A Virtual Conference for Veterans in Agriculture

AgrAbility logoFrom the National AgrAbility Project

Veterans Harvest: A Virtual Conference for Veterans in Agriculture

Five consecutive Tuesdays beginning July 27, 2021
1:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET

The National AgrAbility Project is pleased to present Veterans Harvest: A Virtual Conference for Veterans in Agriculture.


Use this link for the registration form.

All sessions are free. Those already registered for the 2021 AgrAbility National Training Workshop Virtual Sessions are automatically registered for the veterans’ conference. Register by Thursday, July 22. Instructions for accessing the session will be sent to registrants by Monday, July 26.

The current conference agenda includes the following sessions:

  • July 27: “Conference Introduction” by Cindy Chastain, National AgrAbility Project, and Jeanette Lombardo, Farmer Veteran Coalition, plus “One Veteran’s Journey from PTSD to Farmer” by Sarah Creech, Blue Yonder Organic Farm and Indiana Farmer Veteran Coalition
  • August 3: “Celebrating Veteran Total Farmer Health” by Linda Emanuel and Shay Foulk, AgriSafe Network
  • August 10: “Programming for Veterans in Agriculture: How Maine Does It” by Anne Devin, veteran outreach specialist with Maine AgrAbility
  • August 17: “Update on USDA’s support for Veterans” by Bill Ashton, USDA Military Veterans Agricultural Liaison
  • August 24: “Panel Presentation on State/Regional Programs for Farmer Veterans” moderated by Cindy Chastain, National AgrAbility Project

“Agriculture has become an important source of employment and healing for many veterans,” says Cindy Chastain, National AgrAbility’s veteran outreach coordinator. “A large percentage of veterans come from rural areas, even though not all of them grew up on farms. After leaving the military, they discover that working in agriculture fulfills them in ways that other occupations can’t.”

Groups involved with the conference include Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) and Indiana AgVets. FVC is a national organization with chapters in Indiana and 23 other states that helps veterans develop viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities. Indiana AgVets is a USDA-sponsored agricultural career training program, led by Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corporation in cooperation with Purdue’s Indiana AgrAbility Project, which provides internships and other support for U.S. military veterans in Indiana or surrounding states.

Contact AgrAbility at 800-825-4264 or email agrability@agrability.org if you have questions.

The National AgrAbility Project is supported by USDA/NIFA Special Project 2016-41590-25880.


Assistive Technology in the Workplace – webinar from HKNC

Helen Keller National Center - logoThe Helen Keller National Center for Deaf Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) is pleased to announce the release of their latest courses and more.

These are asynchronous courses (take them when you want to) and are free of charge until further notice. Please contact Brenda.Baroncelli@hknc.org to get the coupon code.

Assistive Technology in the Workplace

This course provides an overview of the types of adaptive technology available for individuals who are DeafBlind. Focus is placed specifically on access to computers and mobile devices. This course was designed as a resource for employers looking to ensure full access for their DeafBlind employees. However, this information can be beneficial to individuals who are DeafBlind themselves as well as providers working with or supporting people with combined vision and hearing loss. The DeafBlind population is quite diverse and therefore the types of technology or accommodations needed vary greatly from person to person.  This course does not provide in-depth training on how to use a specific device or software but rather provides an overview of what is available and the features and limitations of each. Resources on where to obtain and learn more about this technology are provided. The course is divided into two modules. The first module focuses on access via braille and speech output and the second module addresses screen magnification and enhancement software which allows an individual with some residual vision to access their computer screen or mobile device. The presenters in this training, Scott Davert, and Bryan Ward are both leading professionals in the field of Adaptive Technology and are DeafBlind themselves. They share personal and professional perspectives and a wealth of experience.

ACVREP CE Hours: 1.0

Technology Solutions for Older Adults with Combined Hearing and Vision Loss

Technology Solutions for Older Adults with Combined Hearing and Vision Loss is a first-of-its-kind resource. This new course is designed for people who directly work with, or otherwise provide support to, older adults who have combined hearing and vision loss and provides a foundation to better understand adaptive technologies that improve participants’ ability to communicate with others and live independently.  Authored by experts from various departments throughout HKNC and with input from the DeafBlind community, this 3-part course offers practical guidance to help improve the overall quality of life and self-sufficiency among older adults with combined hearing and vision loss. HKNC would like to gratefully acknowledge the Consumer Technology Association Foundation for the generous grant to develop this critical resource.

ACVREP CE Hours: 3.0


AgrAbility webinars by Therese Willkomm

AgrAbility logoThe following come from Lani Carlson, Project Coordinator, Maine AgrAbility Program…

Join AgrAbility for a webinar series by Therese Willkomm hosted by Georgia AgrAbility.  This will be an interactive webinar series, so bring your own stories and experiences to share.

Dr. Willkomm is the director of New Hampshire’s State Assistive Technology Program with the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and is an associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy.

For those of you who have not had the privilege of meeting Therese Willkomm, she is known internationally as the “MacGyver of Assistive Technology.” Growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin Therese learned she had to be creative to help keep the farm running. She turned that knowledge into her lifelong passion to make low-cost adaptations and fabrications for individuals with disabilities. Therese has a long and rich history working with AgrAbility projects across the nation. You can read a great article about her on the Easter Seals society website.

Therese recently published her third book on assistive technology, and it will be featured on the last webinar of the series.

Farming with An Amputation -Voices from the Past

Wednesday, July 28 2021 
3:30 – 5 pm ET

Therese Willkomm shares a collection of interviews with farmers with an amputation who share their experiences and adaptations to continue farming. Join us for an interactive discussion about what has changed and what is stayed the same.

Register in advance for the Wednesday, July 28 2021 webinar

Farming with Vision Loss -Voices from the Past

Wednesday, August 11 2021
3:30 – 5 pm ET

Therese Willkomm shares a collection of interviews with farmers with vision loss who share their experiences and adaptations to continue farming. Join us for an interactive discussion about what has changed and what is stayed the same.

Register in advance for the Wednesday, August 11 2021 webinar

Make Stuff and Love People

Wednesday, August 18 2021
3:30 – 5 pm ET

Therese Willkomm will share the joy of making thousands of assistive technology devices; discoveries of new tools and materials for rapid fabrication; and lessons learned over the last 30 years. She will also share her new book Assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes -Book III.

Register in advance for the Wednesday, August 18 2021 webinar

CEU’s will be made available.


Practices Webinar: New approaches to web accessibility requirements under WCAG3

From the US Access Board...

US Access Board logoThe Section 508 Standards apply the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to web content and other electronic content. Issued by the W3C, WCAG 2.0 is a globally recognized, technology-neutral standard.

The next webinar in the Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series will take place July 27 from 1:00 to 2:30 (ET) and will feature new and differing approaches to web accessibility requirements proposed for the next generation of these guidelines, the draft WCAG 3.0, (or WCAG3).

Presenters will discuss various topics, including the purpose of an accessibility standard, digital accessibility and technical requirements, and approaches to developing an accessibility standard. The conversation will include candid discussion about the concerns and difficulties various stake holders have with current web accessibility standards. Section 508 (and EN 301 549) applied the WCAG 2.0 web standards to other digital content, which has implications for the development of WCAG3. Presenters will address both pre-submitted and live session questions.

For more details or to register, visit www.accessibilityonline.org.

Questions can be submitted in advance of the session or can be posed during the live webinar. Webinar attendees can receive a participation certificate for attending the 90-minute session.

Registration closes 24 hours before the start of the session. Instructions for accessing the webinar on the day of the session will be sent via email to registered individuals in advance of the session. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) and Video Sign Language Interpreters are available for the session and will be broadcast via the webinar platform. A telephone option (not toll-free) for receiving audio is also available.

The Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series provides helpful information and best practices for federal agencies in meeting their obligations under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act which ensures access to information and communication technology in the federal sector. This webinar series is made available by the Accessibility Community of Practice of the CIO Council in partnership with the U.S. Access Board.

All webinars are archived and available on the archives webpage. 

July 2021 Webinars

Webinar: Accessibility Features – Microsoft

Date: July 27, 2021
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Microsoft logo

This webinar is part of a series focused on the built-in accessibility features included with the major technology operating systems: Apple, Microsoft, 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.

In this second webinar of the series, we will review the access features found in the world’s most popular operating system, Microsoft Windows, as well as several of their other popular software packages and hardware systems including their gaming devices.

Use this link for more information and to register for the webinar: Accessibility Features – Microsoft

The following list of July 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.

Beyond Keyboards: Alternative Tools for Controlling Your Computer from PHP
July 7, 2021 at 3:00 pm Eastern

Wired Wednesday: AT Bits & Bytes with TFL and WATAP
July 14, 2021 at 2:00 pm Eastern (45 min.)

Accessibility in Technology Purchase and Use Decisions from AT3
July 14, 2021 at 2:30pm Eastern

Accessibility Features to Consider & Avoid When Developing an Accessible Kiosk from TPGi
July 20, 2021 at 10:00 am Eastern

Reading and Vision Accessibility in Your Pocket from PHP
July 20, 2021 at 12pm Pacific, 3pm Eastern

New Approaches to Web Accessibility Requirements under WCAG3 from ADA Southeast
July 27, 2021 at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern


ADA Anniversary Update

President George HW Bush signs the ADAThe Great Lakes ADA Center in collaboration with the ADA National Network invites you to register for the upcoming ADA Audio Conference Webinar titled “ADA Anniversary Update”, featuring Amanda Maisels, Deputy Chief, Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice and Sharon Rennert, Senior Attorney Advisor, ADA/Gina Division, Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Mark the 31st Anniversary of the ADA by joining this session as we hear from representatives of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) provide an update on their litigation, technical assistance, and enforcement efforts. Participants will have an opportunity to pose questions to the presenters regarding issues in their own workplace or community.

Date: Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm ET 

Format: Zoom Webinar Platform (closed captioning will be provided via Zoom and Stream Text link option)

Cost: No Charge

Registration Required: Registration for this session can be found on the schedule page at ada-audio.org.

Registration deadline: Monday, July 19th, 2021

CEUs: Certificate of Attendance, ACTCP

Questions: should be directed to webinars@adaconferences.org

Public Input Sought on Removing Barriers to Voting for People with Disabilities

From the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Accessible Voting System in MaineWASHINGTON – June 16, 2021 – The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released for public comment a request for information (RFI) to remove barriers to voting for people with disabilities. The RFI is in response to Executive Order (EO) 14019 on Promoting Access to Voting. The public comments will inform NIST’s December 2021 report that will offer recommendations on how to overcome barriers that these voters with disabilities experience.

NIST will evaluate the steps needed to ensure that the online Federal Voter Registration Form is accessible to people with disabilities. NIST, in consultation with the Department of Justice, the Election Assistance Commission, and other agencies, will also analyze barriers to private and independent voting for people with disabilities, including access to voter registration, voting technology, voting by mail, polling locations, and poll worker training.

Public comments are due July 16, 2021. Comments may be submitted at www.regulations.gov by searching for NIST-2021-0003 or by email at pva-eo@list.nist.gov.

Complete instructions for comment submission can be found in the RFI.

June 2021 Webinars

Assistive Technology for Self-Regulation

Date: June 3, 2021
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET.

Person engaged in video conference

Self-regulation is defined as an individual’s awareness of and ability to modify their social, emotional, and sensory processing functions. This impacts the overall behavior and level of participation across activities and environments unique to the individual. This webinar will look at how assistive technology (AT) can be used to facilitate and support self-regulation skills for individuals with a variety of emotional, cognitive, and behavioral concerns across the lifespan.

Presenter: Hannah Pullen

Use this link to learn more about and to register for the webinar: Assistive Technology for Self-Regulation

The following list of June 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.

Let’s Start Filmmaking! Connect, Film, Stories from ISAAC (AAC)
June 4, 2021 at 11:00 am Eastern

Your Inclusion Toolkit for Google and Beyond from DJI
June 9, 2021 at 1:00pm Eastern

The Keys to Job Success: Tools to Support Executive Function from PACER
June 9, 2021 at 3:00 pm Eastern (75 min.)

Lunch & Learn : Exploring Switches, Keyboards, & Other Access Tools from PACER
June 24, 2021 at 1:00 pm Eastern

Tech for Teens Club : Building Websites from PACER
June 26, 2021 at 11:00 am Eastern.


Apple previews new innovative Access Features

Apple accessibility features screen shotOn May 19th in conjunction with Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Apple, Inc. announced a number of new and innovative Access Features for their product line that will be rolled out in the coming months. Included among these were Assistive Touch on Apple Watch, on-demand, one-on-one sign language services in Apple stores, and updates to link apple products with individuals hearing aids.

Some of these new services are available now and others will be rolled out over the coming year.

For More Information

Use this link to the May 19th press release: Apple previews powerful software updates designed for people with disabilities…

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…