People with Disabilities

Your Guide to Understanding the Canadian Human Rights Act,” is a new video that includes both American Sign Language (ASL) and Quebec Sign Language (LSQ) as well as English and French captioning. People with low literacy or vision disabilities will benefit from the audio track, which is in both English and French. The project to create this accessible video was led by Jim Roots, the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of the Deaf, who collaborated with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) on the production.

In research conducted by the University of Kansas, preschoolers with autism will use an iPad voice output app with their classmates. This will help determine whether the technology can improve deficits in communication, social reciprocity and play skills typical for children on the autism spectrum. Read more about the app for autism.

On July 31st at 2pm the Federal Trade Commission will host a free webinar informing blind and low vision consumers on protect themselves from identity theft. People who wish to participate can join the webinar 15 minutes prior to the event. You are strongly encouraged to test your computer prior to the event.

A group of students with vision disabilities, participating in a summer enrichment program at the Carroll Center for the Blind, have been testing the Visus Visual Assist System by the Boston based Visus Technology. The Visus Visual Assist System is a wireless mobile system that takes advantage of the 4G LTE network and allows people who are blind and low vision to recognize faces, determine colors, and navigate their travel. It is expected to be ready for public use soon. Read more about students at Carroll Center for the Blind testing revolutionary technology.

Wireless CapTel by Sprint powered by Raketu is now available for all iOS powered devices. Wireless CapTel by Sprint gives real-time word-for-word captions of phone conversations. Now persons with hearing disabilities can read captions of conversations on the phone’s display when the call is connected to the CapTel service. Watch the YouTube Wireless CapTel video here.

July 26, 2013 marks the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On July 26, 1990 President George H. Bush signed the Act, giving civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. If you want to help celebrate, check out the ADA Anniversary website created by the Southeast ADA center, a member of the ADA National Network and a project of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University.

A student with a low vision disability sparked allegations that the University was in violation of the ADA. The student fell behind in coursework due to a lack of accessible course materials, prompting the student to dropout early in the quarter.

In a Justice Department announcement yesterday, it was said that a settlement was reached with Louisiana Tech University and the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System to remedy the alleged violations to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The University agreed to implement several policies that require they deploy learning technology, web pages and course material that meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA.

Read more about Louisiana Tech University adopting WCAG 2.0 level AA standard in a settlement with the Feds.

Read the Department of Justice Press Release here.

I was interviewing the owner of a large web design firm on my radio show, Seacoast Business Connections and the topic of accessibility came up. As my guest was explaining to me that his firm makes a point of designing with accessibility in mind even if the client is not concerned with it, his twin boys, both of whom were born with cerebral palsy (CP), played in the lobby just on the other side of the studio’s large glass window.

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