News You Can Use
When we find useful information related to assistive technology or disability, we'll post it here.
December 17, 2011: Architect, Army Team to Design Accessible Homes
The Washington Post featured a story on the partnership between the U.S. Army and architect Michael Graves to develop innovative designs in accessible housing for wounded soldiers at Fort Belvoir in Virginia., Mr. Graves is working with Clark Realty Capital through the Wounded Warrior Home Project to create these homes. The article includes a photo gallery of the interior and exterior of one of the houses.
October 26, 2011: 60 Minutes Features Autism Apps
In its October 23 episode, the CBS News magazine "60 Minutes" reported on software for the Apple iPad and other tablet computers that allows people with autism and other communication disabilities to use the iPad as a communicator. Correspondent Lesley Stahl interviews people with autism as well as family members, doctors and therapists on the benefits these apps have had for many people.
October 20, 2011: October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's theme is "Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities," which promotes the valuable contributions people with disabilities make to America's workplaces and economy.
Link to source: http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/NDEAM.htm.
July 26, 2011: You Can Participate in Study on Computer Accommodations at Work
The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Workplace Accommodations, working with Fordham University and Microsoft, is conducting a research study to explore how employees with disabilities successfully age in the workplace. This project will specifically identify strategies used to accommodate difficulties with both hardware and software. The researchers are currently asking people with disabilities who use a computer at work to share their experiences in a survey. Please go to the website below if you wish to take part in this study. The survey should take approximately 15 to 30 minutes. For more information on the research study, go to http://www.workplacererc.org/Projects/aging_workers.php.
Link to source: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s/249245/computer-use.
July 6, 2011: Personal Assistance Service Users Surveyed on Emergency Preparedness
The Center on Disability at the Public Health Institute, working with the Center for Personal Assistance Services at the University of California San Francisco, is conducting a research study to determine promising practices in preparing for emergencies among individuals with disabilities who use personal assistance services (PAS). If you use PAS and have been through an emergency or disaster, they would like to hear about your experiences. Please go to the website below to describe your experiences. The survey should take approximately 15 minutes. Each person who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing for which 5 individuals will each win a $50 gift card. Please contact Lewis Kraus, Project Director, with any questions at email@example.com. For help completing the survey, call 510-285-5600.
Link to source: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZTXYZ69.
May 19, 2011: Free License for 1-2-3 Speak Available for MD Residents
CHI Centers, Inc., a non-profit agency in Silver Spring, Maryland, is making available their 1-2-3 Speak software free of charge to non-verbal residents of Maryland and non-profit agencies who serve non-verbal individuals in Maryland. 1-2-3 Speak is a direct selection communicator program program (speech generating software) that provides up to 4,000 spoken words or phrases accessible within three key strokes. To receive a free download of the software, complete the form on the CHI Centers website.
Link to source: http://www.chicenters.org.
May 12, 2011: University of Michigan Launches Disability Survey
Researchers as the University of Michigan invite people with disabilities throughout the U.S. to complete a short online survey about how people with disabilities view their lives and the society in which they live. The survey typically takes 5 minutes to complete. It will be be available until June 30. If you have questions about the survey, please contact the Michigan research team at Rottenstein.Lab@umich.edu.
Link to source: http://tinyurl.com/RottensteinLab.
May 4, 2011: Internet-based Video Calls Open Possibilities for Deaf People
A recent article on the Big Think website offers an enlightening discussion of how Web-based video calls have opened up a new mode of communication for people who are deaf and use sign language. The article also discusses Voice of IP (VoIP) telephone services that incorporate sign language capability as well as mobile applications.
April 4, 2011: Autism Documentary, Wretches and Jaberrers, to be Released April 23.
The Autism Society and AMC Theatres have teamed up to bring a new film, Wretches and Jabberers, to 40 cities in a special limited release beginning April 23. Wretches and Jabberers is a documentary about two men with autism who embark on a global quest to change attitudes about disability, intelligence and communication. The film's stars, self-advocates Tracy Thresher, 42, and Larry Bissonnette, 52, have limited speech and type to communicate. Growing up, people presumed they had intellectual disabilities and they were excluded from typical schooling. They faced lives of social isolation in institutions or adult disability centers. When, as adults, they learned to communicate by typing, it dramatically changed their lives.
Link to source: http://www.wretchesandjabberers.org/.
March 23, 2011: FCC Launches Survey on 911 Access for People with Disabilities
The Emergency Access Advisory Committee (EAAC) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a national on-line survey to determine the most effective and efficient technologies and methods by which people with disabilities may access Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) emergency services systems. Among other things, the survey asks about accessing emergency services via video, text, and voice. The results of the survey will inform the EAAC as it develops recommendations for the FCC to draft rules to ensure that people with disabilities can access NG 9-1-1 services. The survey is available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL) video). It will be available until April 24, 2011. The link below is to the survey in English and ASL. The survey also is available in Spanish at http://fcc.eaac-es.sgizmo.com/s3 (please copy and paste the address into your browser).
Link to source: http://fcc.eaac.sgizmo.com/s3.
March 15, 2011: FCC Asks for Videos on Cloud Computing and Disabilities
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is asking people throughout the United States to share their vision of how cloud computing can create new opportunities for people with disabilities. The challenge is titled, "Lifted by the Cloud: Visions of Cloud-Enhanced Accessibility." It asks people to create a multimedia presentation that shows what could be possible using the computing and communication power now available via the Internet. The presentation can use any combination of video, audio, photos, graphics, text, or other presentation media, with any natural language, as long as it is accessible to a broad audience, including people with disabilities. Visions created in response to this challenge will help to provide direction and motivation to policy makers, software developers, and others who wish to empower people with disabilities toward greater independence in life and greater integration in society.
Link to source: http://challenge.gov/challenges/82.
March 14, 2011: AbleData Translated into Belorussian
Do you want to see what the "About AbleData" page looks like in Belorussian? Martha Ruszkowski has developed a page of Internet resources for Belorussians, and she included a description of AbleData. Take a look at her page by clicking on the link below.
Link to source: http://webhostingrating.com/libs/able-data-be.