News You Can Use
When we find useful information related to assistive technology or disability, we'll post it here.
October 26, 2005: New European Assistive Technology Information Resource Launched
The European Assistive Technology Information Network (EASTIN) officially launched its Web site on October 14. The EASTIN site's major resource allows people to get information on assistive products from the national databases of six European countries - Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The EASTIN site is the product of two years of work by a consortium of the national assistive technology information projects from the six participating countries.
Link to source: http://www.eastin.info.
September 2, 2005: CILs in MS and LA Need Hurricane Aid!
A message from Dawn Heinsohn at Independent Living Research Utilization:
As you may know, the Centers for Independent Living in Biloxi, Mississippi and New Orleans have been gravely affected by the hurricane. In fact the Biloxi, MS center was totally destroyed. Many of you are asking how you can help. Here is what we have learned from colleagues in those states.
Sending money is the first priority. Sending supplies to those centers is helpful too but NOT RIGHT NOW, because they can't get through the water.
Here are the suggested options for right now:
1) Send a check or credit card payment to the Red Cross and designate it for Hurricane Relief, or designate it for people with disabilities in the Biloxi/Hattiesburg or New Orleans areas.
2) If you want to send money for the CILs that are dealing with this disaster directly, here are your options:
For the Biloxi Center, mail the check (payable to LIFE of Central MS and designated for the Biloxi Center) to:
LIFE of Central Mississippi
754 North President Street, Suite 1
Jackson, MS 39202
For the centers in Louisiana (make checks payable to Resources for Independent Living - this is a branch of the N.O. center - and designate for the New Orleans center)and mail to:
Resources for IL
11931 Industriplex Blvd. Suite 200
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
We have also learned from Mack Marsh of the Shreveport Center that centers in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, and Lake Charles are assisting evacuees. Mack says they would also appreciate supplies if there is any way to get those supplies to the centers. His list includes: manual wheelchairs, hospital beds, adult diapers, bed pads, catheters and other supplies. The address for the Baton Rouge center is shown above, addresses for the Shreveport and Lake Charles centers follow.
Southwest LA Independence Center, Inc.
1202 Kirkman, Suite C
Lake Charles, LA 70601.
New Horizons, Inc.
9300 Mansfield Road, Suite 204
Shreveport, LA 71118.
For a more complete information on places that need help and places to contact if you need help, please visit Katrina Disaster Relief Information for People with Disabilities and people who want to help them. This site includes a place to list available expertise and goods as well as to list services and items needed. These lists include durable medical equipment and assistive technology.
July 26, 2005: Surgeon General Issues First Call To Action on Disability
U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS, today released "The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Improve the Health and Wellness of Persons with Disabilities," appealing to all Americans to help increase the quality of life for people with disabilities through better health care and understanding. This first-ever Surgeon General's Call to Action on disability is being issued on the 15th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. "This Call to Action is a call to caring. Every life has value and every person has promise," Surgeon General Carmona said. "The reality is that for too long we provided lesser care to people with disabilities. Today, we must redouble our efforts so that people with disabilities achieve full access to disease prevention and health promotion services." Developed by the Surgeon General in collaboration with the HHS Office on Disability, the Call to Action describes the particular challenges to health and well being faced by persons of all ages with disabilities and identifies four goals that, together, can help people with disabilities experience full, rewarding and above all healthy lives as contributing members of their communities.
Link to source: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2005pres/20050726.html.
June 6, 2005: Supreme Court Rules that ADA Applies to Cruise Ships
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that international cruise lines sailing in U.S. waters must comply with Americans with Disabilites Act requirements that apply to U.S.-based cruise lines. The 5-4 ruling was unclear abount how much the foreign cruise lines will actually have to reconfigure the pools, restaurants and emergency equipment on their ships. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that cruise lines need not comply with the ADA to the extent it creates too much international discord or disruption of internal affairs, under a provision of the ADA limiting modification to those that are "readily achievable". The decision resulted from a suit by three people with disabilities claimed that they paid for accessible staterooms on board a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship only to find that they were unable to use elevators, restaurants and other facilities on the ship.
April 27, 2005: Decision on Emergency Evacuation for People with Disabilities
A precedent-setting decision on emergency evacuations for people with disabilities was issued in Montgomery County, Maryland. The decision requires places of public accommodation to consider the needs of people with disabilities. For the first time, a court has declared that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires places of public accommodation to consider the needs of people with disabilities in developing emergency evacuation plans. This groundbreaking decision--issued on December 28, 2004 by Judge John W. Debelius III of the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland--means that shopping malls, stores, restaurants, movie theaters, museums, and other private entities subject to the ADA throughout the country, whether landlords or tenants, must now seek to accommodate people with disabilities in the development and modification of emergency evacuation procedures. Read more at http://www.washlaw.org/news/releases/010405.htm Following the decision, The Marshalls department store chain agreed to settle the lawsuit that resulted in the decision by revamping its store evacuation policies to specifically address how people with disabilities can escape in an emergency -- a decision effecting the chain's nearly 700 stores nationwide. For more information, see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/03/AR2005050301515.html?referrer=emailarticle
Link to source: http://www.washlaw.org/news/releases/010405.htm.
April 26, 2005: Graduate Scholarships Available for Women With Disabilities
The mission of The Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation, Inc. (ELA) is to “Change the Face of Disability on the Planet.” Having been disabled by a spinal cord tumor at the age of two, I have first hand knowledge of the needs and opportunities that are available to a woman with a disability. Through ELA, we have the opportunity to offer scholarships to women with disabilities who are currently pursuing graduate degrees. Women who have been successful in becoming ELA Scholars in the past have read all of the scholarship guidelines carefully and have completed all information requested prior to submitting the application to us for consideration. They have also given the essay portion of the application great thought and consideration.
Link to source: http://www.ela.org/scholarships/scholarships.html.
April 20, 2005: Montgomery College of Maryland The Challenge Program for Adults with Developmental Disabilities
The Graduate Transition Program (GTP) is a two-year, noncredit certificate program for young adults with developmental disabilities. GTP offers academic classes, job coaching, job development, and career exploration. These unique courses are designed to help adults with developmental disabilities function more independently in the home, at work, and in the community. Course topics include arts, professional development (from computer skills to interpersonal skills), health, cooking, the Internet, first aid, personal finances and more. Of equal importance, students will have the opportunity to increase their social and community awareness by visiting Montgomery College Rockville Campus and learning what it has to offer. For more information, contact Karla Nabors of Montgomery College at 301-650-1660 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration begins April 20, 2005, ends, June 10, 2005.
Link to source: http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/wdce.
March 14, 2005: Art & Disability: A Means for Transformation
Very Special Arts of Richmond (VSAR) in collaboration with Artspace Gallery is presenting Art & Disability: A Means for Transformation. This event includes an Academy Award-winning documentary, about a successful artist living with cerebral palsy on Saturday, April 16th at 7:30 PM and followed by a roundtable discussion about the transformative powers of art for people with disabilities on Sunday, April 17th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. The event will be held in the Artspace Gallery located at 0 E. Fourth Street in Richmond, Virginia. The event kicks off Saturday, April 17th at 7:30 PM with the Academy Award winning documentary, King Gimp, presented by Jayne Shepherd, Assoc. Prof., VCU Dept. of Occupational Therapy. When artist Dan Kreplinger (born with cerebral palsy) was 12, two filmmakers in Baltimore began to document his life over a 13 year period. King Gimp won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject in 2000 and was featured on HBO. The film also earned a Peabody Award and a national Emmy nomination. On Sunday, April 17 the event closes with a roundtable discussion about the transformative powers of the arts for people with disabilities moderated by Mary Knapp, Interim Executive Director of VSA arts of Virginia. Discussion participants will include: Sandra Wagener, Director of Resources for Independent Living; Rosana Lopez, Director of Richmond's da Vinci Project, an open studio for artists with disabilities; Krishanna Spencer, The Altered Artist, painters Chris Warham and Gary Bachers; all artists with disabilities. Gabrielle Bachers, Gary Bachers’ wife, will represent him.
January 5, 2005: Extreme Makeover Incorporates Universal Design
On each episode of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition", a team of professional designers is given one week to transform an entire home - interior and exterior. In many episodes, the designers incorporate universal design concepts into their rebuild. In an October 2004 episode, the team went to work for the Vardon family in Detroit, Michigan. Judy and Larry Vardon, both of whom are deaf, have two sons, one of whom is blind and autistic. The "Extreme Makeover" team worked with HITEC Group International to incorportate innovative assistive technology solutions to facilitate communication between the family members and to make a safer environment for all of the Vardons.
Link to source: http://abc.go.com/primetime/xtremehome/.