People with Disabilities

A joint project of the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences and its Faculty of Electronics and Computer Sciences aims to use robots to improve the diagnosis and assessment of Children with Autism. Up until now the process has been highly complex and subjective.

“For children with autism, the robot is a stimulus that is very simple and always the same,” explains researcher Jasmina Stosic. “Its eyes are always in the same place. Its mouth is always in the same place. People are rather complicated for such children because when we talk we make various gestures. And one day we’ll wear a red t-shirt and the next day, a blue one. The robot is one constant stimulus, and the children don’t need to think about so much different information and instead can concentrate on the essence.”

Read more about Robots Diagnosing Autism.

Microsoft has announced their Microsoft DisAbility Scholarship. The $5,000 scholarship is designed to empower and enable high school students with disabilities:

  • Go to college
  • Recognize the impact of technology
  • Seek careers in technology

The overarching goal of the scholarship is to increase enrolment in higher education and, ultimately, help decrease the unemployment bias for people with disabilities.

All candidates must be high school students who are living with a disability and plan to attend a two or four year university or college program. Further, they must maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA and have declared a major from the approved list in the scholarship guidelines on the application.  

For more information on applying for the scholarship see the Scholarship Description on Microsoft’s site.

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) just released a new study on health-care transition and employment. Because an individual’s ability to manage their health is critical to going to school, learning, and transitioning into employment, ODEP commissioned this study in 2012 to better understand the relationship between disability (including chronic health conditions); health and wellness; and transition and employment outcomes for youth with disabilities. Moreover, the study examined the role health-care providers play in establishing employment expectation.

Read the full policy brief on Health-Care Transition and Employment

The new Vimeo HTML5 Player has added new accessibility features that improve the video experience for people with disabilities. Like with any product, some things could be improved to make the player more accessible and easier to use for people with disabilities.

Through a variety of workshops, the Government of Canada is helping people with disabilities in the Winkler area with the skills and knowledge they need to find jobs.

Candice Bergen, Minister of state, who made the announcement said, “Our government remains committed to helping Canadians get the skills they need to gain access to good-quality jobs in the labor market.” Minister Bergen continued to say, “In particular, people with disabilities face challenges entering the job market and that’s why our government’s partnerships with organizations like Segue Career Options are so important.”

Participants will work on life and job skills that prepare them for the job market. This will include the development of action plans and hands-on experience through volunteer positions in local grocery stores or restaurants.

Studies indicate that karate can help improve posture and ambulatory condition, confidence and strength for people with disabilities. Stokes Mandeville Stadium in the UK has partnered with the Disability Karate Federation to bring the martial art to the community through a new project called KickStart 100.

The Disability Karate Federation is offering the initial three months of karate classes for only 15 pounds. The classes will be held at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium in November.

Research conducted in 2012 indicated significant changes in the white matter of the brain in karate practitioners leading to understanding the role of white matter connectivity as it relates to motor coordination and how the brain changes may relate to the development stage in which learning begins.

More information on karate for people with disabilities can be found on the Stoke Mandeville Stadium website.

The United State Department of Transportation released regulations that govern the accessibility for people with disabilities for airline websites and kiosks on November 5, 2013. Lainey Feingold from the Law Offices of Lainey Feingold reacted to it in a blog post on their website stating that, “While there are positive aspects of the new regulations, the government missed an enormous opportunity to advance and protect the rights of air travelers with disabilities.” Read more of Lainey Feingold's blog on the New DOT Web and Kiosk Regulations.

Nurfland is a new game offered for free by Project Austismus on both the iPad and Android. The game is the first in a series that teaches children 4-8 how to distinguish between various human emotions. As autistic children have played, data has been collected that, along with feedback from parents and teachers, has delivered new insights into their condition. Read more about how Nurfland helps students with autism.

With the release of iOS 7, Apple has added many new accessibility features that make an iPhone and iPad easier to use for people with disabilities. This post summarizes the new iOS 7 accessibility features for people with visual, hearing, mobility and learning disabilities.


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