FCC Launches Emergency Broadband Benefit Program on May 12

FCC logoThe Emergency Broadband Benefit is a Federal Communication Commission (FCC) program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and more.

The FCC has announced that eligible households can apply for the program starting May 12, 2021 in three ways:

  1. Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process, or use the FCC’s online tool to find a participating company near you. Participating companies can help you apply through the National Verifier or through their company’s application process.
  2. Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and to find participating providers near you.
  3. Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with proof of eligibility to: Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742.

Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).

Enrollment for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program will end when the fund runs out of money, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner. Therefore, Mainers should also be aware of the FCC’s Lifeline Program, a permanent federal program that offers a monthly benefit of up to $9.25 towards phone or internet services for eligible subscribers (up to $34.25 for those living on Tribal/Native lands). Please use this link for more information about the Lifeline Program…

 

Two free virtual events on Employment & Transition Age Youth

From the Maine Department of Labor – Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Division for the Blind & Visually Impaired, and Maine Medical Center – Department of Vocational Services

Your First Steps on the Pathway to Employment

A collaborative summit for youth with disabilities and their allies

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
2:00-3:30 PM

This virtual conference will explore the expansion of Special Education Services to the age of 22, the importance of Work Experience, information on Social Security disability benefits, and how working impacts benefits for transition-aged youth. Hosted by the Maine Department of Labor Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Division for the Blind & Visually Impaired, and Maine Medical Center Department of Vocational Services.

Use this link to register for the May 12 event…

Disability Work Incentives for Teenagers & Young Adults

Wednesday, May 26, 2021
2:00-3:00 PM

This is a free webinar offered by Benefits Counseling Services at Maine Medical Center’s Department of Vocational Services. We will discuss the unique work incentives available to transition age youth, as well as important benefit transitions such as the Age-18 redetermination process.

Use this link to register for the May 26 event…

Accessibility Standards for assembly areas

From the U.S. Access Board

US Access Board logoJune 3, 2021
2:30 – 4:00 pm ET

The next webinar in the U.S. Access Board’s free monthly series will take place June 3 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will review the scoping and technical requirements for assembly areas in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards. These requirements apply to movie theatres, lecture halls, grandstands, performing arts centers, stadiums, arenas, and other assembly areas. Access Board Accessibility Specialists will discuss provisions for wheelchair spaces, companion seats, accessible routes, designated aisle seats, bleacher seating, assistive listening systems, and press boxes. Presenters will also cover frequently asked questions and common sources of confusion with assembly areas.

Registration

Please use this link for more information or to register.

All webinars include video remote interpreting (VRI) and real-time captioning. Questions can be submitted in advance of the session or can be posed during the live webinar. Webinar attendees can earn continuing education credits. The webinar series is hosted by the ADA National Network in cooperation with the Board.

Archived copies of previous Board webinars are available on the site. 

 

Building Codes and the 2010 ADA Standards – webinar

Date: Tuesday, May 18th, 2021
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm ET 

Description

Accessible buildingThe Great Lakes ADA Center in collaboration with the ADA National Network invites you to register for the upcoming ADA Audio Conference Webinar titled “Building Codes and the 2010 ADA Standards” featuring Kim Paarlberg, Senior Staff Architect, International Code Council (ICC) and Rich Sternadori, Education Coordinator, Great Plains ADA Center.

This informative session covers building codes and the 2010 ADA standards. Our speakers will discuss application of building codes and the ADA to new construction, alteration and existing facilities. Case studies will be used to demonstrate the application of building codes and ADA in different context. Following the presentation there will be time for speakers to address questions from participants.

Registration

This free webinar is provided on the Zoom Webinar Platform (closed captioning will be provided via Zoom and Stream Text link option). Certificate of Attendance, ACTCP, AIA HSW CES, ICC available.

Please use this link to register for this webinar

Registration deadline:   Monday, May 17th, 2021. Questions should be directed to webinars@adaconferences.org

May 2021 Webinars

Webinar: Accessibility Features Series – Apple

Date: May 18, 2021
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Apple logoThis webinar in part of a series focused on the built-in accessibility features included with the major technology operating systems: Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google/Android. 

Accessibility features are meant to make the use of technology less challenging for those with disabilities. Common accessibility features include screen readers, text-to-speech, closed-captioning, voice control and keyboard shortcuts. Additional access features are designed to work with various assistive technologies including switch technologies.

This first webinar in the series starts off with the operating systems associated with the highly popular Apple devices, iPhones (iOS), iPads (iPadOS), Apple Watch (WatchOS), as well as their Macintosh (MacOS) devices.

Use this link to learn more about and to register for the webinar: Accessibility Features Series – Apple

 

The following list of May 2021 webinars on the topic of assistive technology and accessibility is generated by the Accessible Technology Consortia funded by the Center for Accessible Technology. Thank you.

The Hardware to the Software: Everything you need to know to make an iPad Switch Accessible, from AbleNet – note separate registrations
Part 1 – May 4, 2021 at 11am Eastern
Part 2 – May 11, 2021 at 11am Eastern

Low-Tech Assistive Technology at Home and Abroad from AgrAbility
May 11, 2021 at 1pm Eastern

Web Accessibility for Developers from inData
May 12,2021 at 11am Eastern (5 hours)

Dementia-friendly design: expert tips for inclusive websites from AbilityNetUK
May 18, 2021 at 4pm Eastern

Automated Accessibility Testing from AT3Center
May 19, 2021 at 1:30pm Eastern

Basic Accessibility Fundamentals Bootcamp from deque
Thursday, May 20th at 12pm Eastern (3 hrs.)

Technology and Dementia: a creative approach from AbilityNetUK
May 25, 2021 at 4pm Eastern

Manual Accessibility Testing from AT3Center
May 26, 2021 at 2:30pm Eastern

Providing Access to the Curriculum on the House that Google Built from Don Johnston
May 6, 2021 at 1pm Eastern

 

Helping your Teen Work Toward Independence as an Adult

Person engaged in video conferenceThe Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research (MAIER) is offering a free recorded web-stream presentation entitled “Helping your Teen Work Toward Independence as an Adult: A Mother and Son’s Perspective,” presented by Connor and Jessica Archer, for April’s Autism Acceptance month!

This pre-recorded one-hour web-stream event is available free to families and caregivers for viewing at your own convenience.

Session Description

This topic explores different techniques and approaches of how parents can help your teen work towards becoming independent when he/she enters adulthood. Presenters Connor and Jessica Archer will guide parents and caregivers through what is like in the early teenage years for children, the years where your teen graduates’ high school, and then the transition where your teen becomes a young adult. The presentation will focus on the early teen years, graduation from High School, and the transition to adulthood with examples from their own personal experience as an individual on the autism spectrum and his mother, an educator with an advanced degree in Special Education.

Speaker Bios

Connor Archer is a 5th year student at Husson University, finishing his work towards a Bachelors of Science in Integrated Technology, two certificates in Marketing Communications and Digital/Social Media Marketing, and a Masters in Business Administration, with an expected graduation date of May 2021. Connor is also the founder & Chairman/CEO of The Courageous Steps Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that strives to help children and young adults with developmental challenges such as Autism. Connor is a National Award Winner from the 2016 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, focused on recognizing youth volunteers for their outstanding contributions in the community. Most importantly, Connor is diagnosed with the challenges of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and has overcome many obstacles in his development, which leads to his successful accomplishments thus far.

Jessica Archer (Connor’s mom) holds a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education with a concentration in Science, Masters Degree in Special Education, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Literacy and Special Education all from the University of Maine. Currently, Jessica is a middle school teacher, and an adult education English teacher and math tutor in the RSU #26 (Orono) school system. Jessica has worked in education for 28 years. Jessica went back to get her Masters Degree in Special Education to learn how to teach Connor at a young age, as he was learning.

The Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research (MAIER) is a partnership between the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development and the Maine Department of Education. MAIER is dedicated to building statewide capacity to improve outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). UMaine is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Registration

2020-2021 MAIER PD Series offered at no cost to participants.

Please use this link to register for the link to the recording

Questions

Please contact

MAIER
5766 Shibles Hall, 307
Orono, ME 04469

Phone: 207-581-2352

Email: maineautisminstitute@maine.edu

Website: umaine.edu/autisminstitute

 

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Update

FCC logoThe Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. If your household is eligible, you can receive:

  • Up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals
  • Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)
  • Only one monthly service discount and one device discount is allowed per household.

The FCC expects enrollment for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to open within the next few weeks. It will end when the fund runs out of money, or six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID-19 health emergency, whichever is sooner.

A new website – getemergencybroadband.org – provides all of the information needed to apply including:

Mainers should also be aware of the FCC’s Lifeline Program, a permanent federal program that offers a monthly benefit of up to $9.25 towards phone or internet services for eligible subscribers (up to $34.25 for those living on Tribal/Native lands). Please use this link for more information about the Lifeline Program…

 

Brain Injury Needs Assessment Survey

The Brain Injury Association of America’s Maine Chapter, under contract with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (“the Department”), has engaged Koné Consulting to conduct a Needs Assessment of MaineCare funded brain injury services and supports, to include all other public and privately sourced funding opportunities.

They have developed two online surveys; 1) to gather input from people with brain injury, their family members, caregivers, and, 2) to gather input from service providers.  This is an opportunity to share experiences  that will provide needed insight for the Department’s direction of efforts to strengthen Maine’s system of brain injury services and supports.

Survey #1 for people with brain injury, their caregivers and family

Please use this link to access the survey for people with brain injury, their caregivers and family. It should take approximately 30 minutes and includes an opportunity to enter a random drawing for a $100 Visa gift card.

Survey #2 for service providers and other interested parties

Please use this link to access the survey for service providers and other interested parties. It should take approximately 20 minutes.

 

We ask for completion of the survey by Wednesday, April 28, 2021

If you need to request a paper survey or seek support in assisting groups of people in completing this survey, please contact Karin Ellis at Karin.ellis@koneconsulting.com

If you have other questions about this survey, please contact Sarah Jordan at BIAA-ME – sjordan@biausa.org

Please stay tuned for focus groups, which will be the next step in this process.

 

Independent Living OIB-TAC launches national public awareness campaign

Time To Be Bold is a national public service awareness campaign through the Independent Living Older Individuals who are Blind Technical Assistance Center (OIB-TAC) at the National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision. The OIB-TAC and this campaign are funded by the Dept. of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration, which also funds services and training for individuals with visual impairments, including vocational rehabilitation (VR) and the Independent Living Older Individuals who are Blind (OIB) programs nationally.

The Time To Be Bold campaign is designed to educate, engage and empower people who are 55+ with low vision to maintain/regain their independence by utilizing the free or low-cost services provided by the RSA-funded OIB programs.

  • Over 3 million Americans 55 and older have difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses.
  • Almost 1 in 10 individuals age 75 or older reports difficulty seeing, even when wearing glasses.
  • Each U.S. state and territory offers free or low-cost services to help individuals adjust to vision loss.
  • It is estimated that less than 5% of individuals with vision loss, who are eligible for services seek them each year.
  • It can be challenging to find services, which is one major reason we created this campaign.

Go to timetobebold.org for a list of free or low-cost services in your state that will give you the tools, technology, training, and support you need to live your bold, best life.

Accessible Play Areas – webinar

From the U.S. Access Board...

US Access Board logoMay 6, 2021
2:30 – 4:00 (ET)

The next webinar in the U.S. Access Board’s free monthly series will take place May 6 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will review requirements for play areas in the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards, which apply to all newly designed or constructed play areas for children ages 2 and older. The requirements uphold accessible play areas at day care facilities, parks, shopping malls, fast food restaurants, and other facilities. They address accessible play components, ground-level and elevated accessible routes, play area surfaces, transfer systems, soft contained play structures, and water play components. In addition to an overview of the play area provisions, the presenters will address frequently asked questions and common sources of confusion with accessible play surfaces.

Visit accessibilityonline.org for more information or to register.

All webinars include video remote interpreting (VRI) and real-time captioning. Questions can be submitted in advance of the session or can be posed during the live webinar. Webinar attendees can earn continuing education credits. The webinar series is hosted by the ADA National Network in cooperation with the Board.

Archived copies of previous Board webinars are available on the site.