January 2021 Webinars

Maine CITE is offering the following webinar in January 2021:

Webinar: Assistive Technology for Your Life – Tools for Independence

Date: January 26, 2021
Time: 1:00 PM ET

Man wearing dark glasses holds cane and smatphoneTechnology is a part of daily life for most of us, making our lives easier, safer, and more enjoyable. For people with disabilities, Assistive Technology (AT) can be especially empowering and create opportunities for greater independence and access. Join us for a webinar on how people with disabilities and their providers can identify, obtain, and use assistive technology to support a wide range of needs.

Presenters: Ketra Crosson, Henry Powell, Victoria Schalk

Use this link for more information and to register for the webinar: Assistive Technology for Your Daily Life- Tools for Independence


The following list of January 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.

Implantable Brain-Computer Interfaces in Late-Stage ALS: Real-World Implications from G3ict
Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 12:00 pm Eastern

Using Screen Readers and Testing Tools to Evaluate the Accessibility of a User Journey from the Paciello Group
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 12:00 pm Eastern

Morphic – Making Computers Easier to Use from Great Lakes ADA
Friday, January 15, 2021 at 2:00 pm Eastern

Making Social Media Accessible for People with Disabilities from CIDI
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 2:00 pm Eastern

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Fairness for Persons with Disabilities in Workplace Technologies from Southeast ADA & PEAT
Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 2:00 pm Eastern (90 min.)

Review of the Revised 508 Standards (Part 1): Requirements for Federal Websites and Electronic Content from Great Lakes ADA
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at 1:00 pm Eastern

Creating Accessible Content in 2021 from AEM
Thursday, January 7th at 4:00 pm Eastern

Implementation: Adoption vs. Abandonment from AbleNet
Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:00 pm Eastern

 

 

US Access Board Announces Schedule for Public Forum on Autonomous Vehicles

From the U.S. Access Board...

autonomous transporterDecember 17, 2020 – In partnership with other federal agencies, the U.S. Access Board will host a series of virtual meetings in March and April on making autonomous vehicles (AVs) accessible to all passengers, including those with disabilities. The sessions will be free and open to the public via a virtual platform (Zoom). Attendees will be able to pose questions and share comments, suggestions, and information.

The four-part series will feature presentations by agency representatives and invited speakers who will discuss considerations, challenges, and solutions in designing AVs that are inclusive of everyone. Presenters will also review findings and recommendations, identify areas for further study, and recommend next steps. An open dialogue with attendees will follow. In addition, an online crowdsourcing platform (ePolicyWorks) will provide a forum for continued discussion after each live session.

Further details will be provided and posted on the Board’s AV webpage in the coming weeks. Direct questions to Randall Duchesneau III at duchesneau@access-board.gov or (202) 272-0044.

Inclusive Design of Autonomous Vehicles: A Public Forum

Accessibility for Passengers with Mobility Disabilities: Entering and Exiting Vehicles
March 10, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)

Accessibility for Passengers with Mobility Disabilities: Maneuvering and Securement in Vehicles
March 24, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)

Communication Accessibility for Passengers with Sensory or Cognitive Disabilities
April 7, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)

Findings, Recommendations, Future Research, and Suggested Next Steps
April 21, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 (ET)

Photo credit: Image licensed through Creative Commons by Pixabay

Section 508 Best Practices Webinar: Review of the Revised 508 Standards

From the U.S. Access Board

Part 1: Requirements for Federal Websites and Electronic Content

US Access Board logoThe next webinar in the Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series will take place January 26, 2021 from 1:00 to 2:30 (ET) and will cover requirements in standards that apply to a federal agency’s public-facing content, including websites, publications, and social media sites. It will also address requirements for other types of electronic content, such as policy announcements, notices of benefits, templates or forms, educational or training materials, and intranets. Presenters from the U.S. Access Board will discuss relevant application, scoping, and technical provisions, as well as definitions and functional performance criteria.

The following webinar (Part 2) on March 30, 2021 will cover requirements in the Section 508 Standards for hardware and software.

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.

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 each 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.

 

U.S. Access Board Webinar: Interior and Exterior Accessible Routes

US Access Board logoThe next webinar in the U.S. Access Board’s free monthly series will take place January 7 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will provide an in-depth review of ADA and ABA requirements for interior accessible routes and issues, such as overlapping clear space requirements and door maneuvering clearances. The session will also address exterior routes, such as site arrival points, connections to transit stops and public streets and sidewalks, and unique accessible route exceptions permitted at recreation facilities. Presenters will highlight some of the more frequently asked questions and common source of confusion for accessible routes.

Visit www.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. 

 

Blind and low vision individuals needed for research study

UNAR Labs,Person reading Braille an early stage Maine-based startup with a mission to empower people with vision impairment via multisensory information access using touchscreen-based smartphones and tablets. UNAR Labs researchers are seeking individuals for paid participation in a study to understand and identify the best tactile guidelines, conversion/translation parameters, and embossing strategies used in traditional tactile graphics generation processes. The researchers believe that insights from experts in the field will guide them in designing a meaningful prototype software system for enabling blind and visually-impaired users with access to digital graphical materials.

The commitment is an interview (zoom or phone) with field experts involved in the process of generating braille and tactile graphics. The interviewee may be tactile artists, braille transcribers, braille proofreaders, tactile graphic prepress support staff, and braille/tactile graphics transcribers. Researchers are also interested in shadowing staff at work to better understand workflow, recognize steps used in information down-sampling and the overall conversion/production process; this, of course, will need to take into consideration health and safety during this time of the spread of the coronavirus.

Each interview will take approximately 30-60 minutes. Qualified participants will be compensated $20/hour (Amazon gift card) for their participation (prorated at $5 per 15 minutes). Researchers would like to conduct interviews in the next 2-3 weeks so please don’t delay your response.

To participate, please send an email to Hari Palani at hari.palani@unarlabs.com

Learn more about UNAR Labs…

 

December 2020 Webinars

Maine CITE is offering the following webinar in December 2020:

Webinar: Assistive Technology for Age-Friendly Communities

Date: December 2, 2020
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm

woman using digital magnifierIn recent years, AARP has promoted the development of Age Friendly Communities (AFC) to encourage local officials and citizens to implement changes that make their communities more livable for people of all ages, especially older adults. As the state with the largest percent of older adults in the country, the efforts in Maine are noteworthy.

Join us for a presentation on Assistive Technology (AT) devices and services in Maine. AT can be essential to making your home, community and public spaces accessible and impact the health, safety and independence of older adults who want to continue to live at home. The presenters will share a variety of AT devices, smart home tech and home modifications that help to make your home more age-friendly. AT Resources and information about paying for AT will also be explored.

Presenters: Ketra Crosson and John Brandt

Use this link for more information and to register for the “Webinar: Assistive Technology for Age-Friendly Communities”


The following list of December 2020 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.

Time for a Change: Case Study Illustrating a Complex Child Who Has Plateaued in AT Use from AbleNet
December 15, 2020 at 12:00 pm Eastern

Social Media Management: Accessibility Basics from Great Lakes ADA
December 15, 2020 at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern   (90 min.)

Making SEL Accessible for Students with Learning Differences from edWeb
December 15, 2020 at 11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern
 

U.S. Access Board Launches New Website

From the U.S. Access Board

US Access Board logoThe U.S. Access Board has redesigned and updated its website at access-board.gov. The new site features a streamlined design to make information easier to find. New menus and cross links enhance navigation of key resources, including the ADA Accessibility Standards and the Section 508 Standards.  In addition, the site updates information on Board programs and services, including training and filing of complaints under the ABA.

The Board updated its site based on the U.S. Web Design System (USWDS). Developed by the General Services Administration (GSA) and U.S. Digital Service, the USWDS helps federal agencies create websites that are accessible, fast, and easy to use on mobile devices. The 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act requires agencies to aims to update their websites using the USWDS to improve the digital experience for government customers.

Now published on GSA’s Federalist platform, the Board’s website continues to serve as a leading resource on accessible design and federal accessibility guidelines and standards. Through this site, the Board provides updates to the public on initiatives in rulemaking, research, ABA enforcement, and other programs. The Board’s guidelines and standards, published guidance, animations, and other resources, are also available on the site.

Send questions or comments on the site to webmaster@access-board.gov 

 

 

Maine State Library finds temporary new quarters down the street

Maine State CapitolAccording to a report in Mainebiz…

“The Maine State Library will be the sole tenant of 242 State St., Augusta which has approximately 25,760 square feet over two floors. The public-facing component will take up almost all of the first floor, save for some private library offices, said Kelsey Goldsmith, director of communications for the state Department of Administrative and Financial Services, which oversees state government real estate. The entrance is off the parking lot, on Manley Street.

“The library and archives, which shares space with the Maine State Museum, has been closed to the public since July, 2020 so the 53-year-old Maine State Cultural Building can undergo extensive asbestos removal and an electrical, cooling and heating overhaul. While it remains closed, the museum is offering  online exhibits and events. The library has had curbside pickup since it closed.”

Among the programs affected by the closure has been the Talking Books program, a service for people with print disabilities. The Talking Book Program is administered by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) and provides free library services for eligible patrons, including digital books via smartphone app, NFB-Newsline newspaper services, and free matter mailings.

Much of the Talking Books Program in Maine has been functioning fully as much of the resources are on-line, however staff have been working from home.

According to Mainebiz:

“In a normal year, the Maine State Library gets about 75,000 in-person visitors; 17,500 patrons used its computers. In partnership with the Portland and Bangor public libraries, it answered more than 59,000 reference questions in 2018. The library also has a Book by Mail service for rural communities, sending out an average 6,500 books a year to people in areas that don’t have access to a library. It’s talking books program for people who are vision or reading-impaired lent 103,800 items.

Once the majority of the library’s collection is moved to the Winthrop site, it will be available to the public through the library’s delivery service. The public can pick up requested materials at 242 State St., or have them delivered to the appropriate library across the state. For instance, if a patron of the Portland Public Library requested a book, library staff would send it to Portland.”

Webinar on ADA/ABA and Recreation Facilities

From the US Access Board…

Upcoming Webinar on Recreation Facilities

US Access Board logoDecember 3, 2020
2:30 – 4:00 pm ET

The final webinar of 2020 in the Board’s free monthly series will take place December 3 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will review scoping and technical provisions for recreation facilities in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards (Chapter 10).

This session will address the requirements for:

  • amusement rides,
  • recreational boating facilities
  • exercise machines and equipment
  • fishing piers and platforms
  • golf facilities and miniature golf facilities
  • play areas
  • swimming pools, wading pools, and spas
  • shooting facilities with fixed firing positions
  • sports facilities.

Presenters will address common sources of confusion and frequently asked questions about these provisions. The webinar series is hosted by the ADA National Network in cooperation with the Board.

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 webinar. Webinar attendees can earn continuing education credits.

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

 

Remembering Travis Roy

Photos of Travis RoyThe news of the untimely passing of Maine Sports Hall of Fame legend Travis Roy was met this past weekend with accolades coming from all parts of the sports world. All Mainers know the story of the promising 20-year-old hockey star from Yarmouth whose life was forever changed in October 1995 when eleven seconds into his first Boston University men’s ice hockey match he slid into the boards and suffered a spinal cord injury. The injury was permanent, ending his dreams of a NHL career and leaving the young man with quadriplegia.

Most Mainers also know that two years later, Roy would start the Travis Roy Foundation and rally to become one of the country’s best philanthropists, advocates and motivational speakers.

Since 1997, the Travis Roy Foundation has distributed more than $9 million in grants to people with spinal cord injuries and to research projects and rehabilitation institutions. The individual grant funds have been used to modify vans and to purchase wheelchairs, computers, ramps, shower chairs, and other adaptive equipment to help people with spinal cord injuries live their lives.

Called the Travis Roy Foundation Quality of Life Grant Program, the program funds adaptive equipment and assistive technology, as well as home modifications for people paralyzed from a physical spinal cord injury. While there are some restrictions to the grant program, there is no age requirement and grants are available up to $5,000. Applicants must have financial need and may be asked to provide supporting financial documentation.

Thank you, Travis.

Use this link to learn more about the Travis Roy Foundation Quality of Life Grant Program

Use this link to learn more about Travis Roy – Boston Globe

 

Photo credit: Images of Travis Roy from the TR Foundation