News

U.S. Access Board: Accessible Education Facilities

The following announcement for a free webinar comes from the U.S. Access Board…

Accessible Education Facilities

US Access Board logoAugust 1, 2019 – 2:30 – 4:00 PM ET.

The ADA Standards apply to many types of education facilities in the public and private sectors, including primary and secondary schools, vocational and trade schools, colleges, and universities. The next webinar in the U.S. Access Board’s free monthly series will take place August 1 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will review requirements in the ADA Standards, as well as similar standards issued under the Architectural Barriers Act, for schools and other education facilities in new construction and alterations. It will cover various spaces and elements in such facilities, including classrooms, laboratories, parking and passenger loading zones, assembly areas, locker rooms, dormitories, and recreation facilities.

For more information or to register, visit accessibilityonline.org.

Questions may be submitted in advance of the session (total limited to 25) 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.

 

ICT Accessibility Webinars

The AT3 Center has posted the following information about these free webinars…

Accessible Information and Communication Technology 101: An Introduction to Accessibility in the Web and Digital Documents

Information TechnologyJuly 18, 2019 at 3:00 PM ET

Presenter: Rob Carr of Oklahoma ABLE Tech

There are a lot of layers to making sure that websites and digital documents from the likes of Adobe PDF or Microsoft Office are accessible to people with disabilities. In this session, you will build a foundation that will help you to better understand what information and communication technology (ICT) accessibility is, how it’s governed and how to start to make your own digital content more accessible.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe at least 4 different interactions that people may have with their devices that websites, software and digital documents should be ready for
  • Understand how civil rights and other laws and policies shape accessibility in technology
  • Specify at least 5 techniques that make websites and digital documents more accessible

Use this link to Join the Zoom Meeting on July 18

Basic Accessibility Testing on the Cheap

August 1, 2019 at 3:00 PM ET

Presenter: Rob Carr of Oklahoma ABLE Tech

You can get started in identifying some common barriers to accessibility on the web pretty quickly. This beginner-level class will introduce you to some tools and techniques that you can use to get high level insight into how accessible or inaccessible a web page is. This class won’t make you an expert, though it will get you started.  All of the tools and resources used in the class are free to use.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand at least 7 elements or attributes that make the web more accessible
  • Use 3 tools and techniques to use to test web pages for accessibility
  • Identify and use 2 web pages that show the same content and interactions in accessible and inaccessible forms

Use this link to  Join the Zoom Meeting on August 1

 

 

Webinars July 2019

Maine CITE is offering two webinars in July…

‘Wearables’ as Assistive Technology

Date: July 9, 2019
Time: 1:00 pm – 2:00 PM ET

More smart watches including Apple WatchExecutive functioning describes the skills that let people plan, organize and complete tasks. Executive challenges can make it more difficult for learners to accomplish their goals, but technology can help. In this session, participants will learn about a number of smartwatches and other ‘wearables’ in order to select the device(s) that best meet their executive functioning and other access needs. Following an overview of the built-in accessibility features of these devices, participants will learn about a number of apps that can assist in improving executive functioning capabilities, including apps for managing time and information, staying on task, and more.

Presenter: Luis Perez, Ph.D.

Use this link for more information and to register for the webinar‘Wearables’ as Assistive Technology

Low Vision Technology in the Home – What Can Be Done to Increase Independence

Date: July 24, 2019
Time 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET

Screen magnifierAssistive Technology (AT) can help a person with a vision loss live an independent, safe and meaningful life at home and in the community. Interventions include evaluating the environment for modifications to make the most of remaining vision; teaching how to use remaining vision as efficiently as possible; reducing clutter and organizing the environment; improving lighting needed for daily tasks; training to use AT in completing daily activities. Technology plays a key role in vision rehabilitation- ranging from simple to high tech devices. Assessment of appropriate technology and training consumers to use it effectively are part of the role of an OT providing low vision services. Examples of AT will be presented, including non-optical aids, magnification, video magnification, text to speech, and wearable technology.

Presenter: Sherry Boothby, OTR/L, CLVT, M.S

Use this link for more information and to register for the webinar Low Vision Technology in the Home – What Can Be Done to Increase Independence

 

And the following free webinars are also available. Thank you to the Accessible Technology Coalition for their monthly update!

(Dis)abling Comics, “Cripping” the Comic Con, and Accessible Technologies from Southeast ADA Center, Great Lakes ADA Center, and Pacific ADA Center
Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 2:00 pm Eastern  (90 min.)

Assistive Technology to Support Employment: Tools That Bring Accessibility to the Workplace from PACER
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at 3pm Eastern (60 min.)

How to Create and Test Accessible PDFs from the Access Board
Tuesday, July 30 from 1:00pm Eastern  (90 min.)

 

Paraprofessional/Intervener Training

The New England Consortium on Deafblindness (NEC) announces

Paraprofessional-Intervener Training

July 24, 2019 – 10:00 am to July 26, 2019 – 12:30 pm

Grousbeck Center – Perkins School for the Blind
55 Beechwood Ave
Watertown, MA 02472

Paraprofessionals working with children and youth with combined vision and hearing impairment (deafblindness) are often in need of specialized training in order to support instruction and learning. This training will provide an overview of the key areas that should be addressed for all learners who are deafblind or at risk, and will also incorporate initial training for those wishing to become an Intervener.

What is an Intervener? An Intervener is a trained staff member who works one-on-one with a child who is deafblind to provide critical connections to other people and the environment. The Intervener opens channels of communication between the child and others, provides access to information, and facilitates opportunities for learning and development.

What is the importance of an Intervener? Deafblindness creates unique and complex challenges caused by the combined effect of both vision and hearing loss. These challenges are mainly in the area of communication, concept development, and social/emotional development. An intervener responds to these challenges by serving as a bridge to the world for the child who is deafblind.

Provided by NEC:

  • Mileage reimbursement
  • Lunch and Dinner on July 24th and 25th
  • Continental Breakfast Days July 24-26th
  • Accommodations available on a first-come-first-serve basis
  • Certificate of Attendance

Requirements:

  • Submission of Application Form
  • FULL Attendance (3 days)
  • Completion of Training Survey

Use this link for complete information and registration…

Access Board Webinar: Accessible PDFs

Section 508 Best Practices Webinar

US Access Board logoThe U.S. Access Board is offering a free webinar series on standards issued under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act which requires access to information and communication technology in the federal sector. The next webinar in this series is scheduled for July 30 from 1:00 to 2:30 (ET) and will explain how to create, test, and remediate PDF files to ensure access according to the Section 508 Standards. It will address common questions about PDF accessibility and review access issues, solutions, and best practices. Attendees will learn how to manually examine files for access and how to use Adobe Acrobat’s Accessibility Checker to validate and remediate identified accessibility problems. Questions can be submitted in advance of the session or can be posed during the live webinar.

For more details or to register for this or other sessions, visit the accessibilityonline.org website.

The Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series is made available by the Accessibility Community of Practice of the CIO Council in partnership with the Board.

 

Bed-shaker smoke alarms for families

Child wearing hearing aid

Maine Hands and Voices is partnering with the American Red Cross to provide bed-shaker smoke alarms and education for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

If you are the parent or caregiver of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing and would like a FREE bed-shaker smoke alarm installed in your home along with fire safety education, please visit the website and complete the request form.

f you are unable to access the form, you may also message Maine Hands and Voices Facebook page or contact Darlene Freeman by call or text at 207-570-5691.

 

Photo credit: Image licensed through Creative Commons by Pittsburgh Association of the Deaf 

AT Beta Testers Wanted – CaptionMate

Person holding smartphoneCaptionMate is a free app for your iOS or android device that allows individuals with hearing loss to read both sides of the conversation in real time. CaptionMate is the next generation IPCTS (Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service). It uses ASR (Automated Speech Recognition) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) providing unmatched speed and accuracy. CaptionMate also provides the first truly private IPCTS experience by removing the need for CAs (Captioning Assistant) & Transcriptionists allowing you to speak freely and openly without any awkward third-party operator on the call.  CaptionMate technology also stands out by providing captioning in 25 languages and a multi-platform system allowing you to view captions on several devices (smart TVs, mobile phones, computers, tablets) simultaneously.

CaptionMate is currently looking to recruit Beta Testers to use the app. Having individuals with hearing loss in real life situations allows us to gain feedback and make any needed improvements before the official public launch. If you are interested in becoming a Beta tester, please contact support@captionmate.com and mention the referral code (AT3Tester).

One last item, to ensure the accuracy & security of the beta trails we need to request that any testers do not work for, have not worked for, nor have any relations with people who work for the following companies:

  • CapTel
  • ClearCaptions
  • Innocaptions
  • CaptionCall
  • Sorenson
  • Sprint

For information about the product, please visit CaptionMate at:  captionmate.com

Assistive Technology Re-authorization Act Introduced in Senate

Casey, Collins Introduce Bill to Expand Access to Assistive Technology for Seniors and People with Disabilities

Legislation Would Help Seniors and People With Disabilities Maintain Independence

US Capitol DomeWashington, D.C. – Today, June 13, 2019, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Susan Collins (R-ME), the Ranking Member and Chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, introduced the 21st Century Assistive Technology Act that would increase access to assistive technology—devices or services that help seniors and people with disabilities to maintain their independence and live where they choose.  The bill, which comes following a May 22nd hearing in the Aging Committee on the topic, would also help reduce the low employment and high poverty rates of older adults and people with disabilities by helping them live independently and maintain employment.

“Assistive technology helps millions of people live independently, remain engaged in their community and improves the quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities,” said Senator Casey.  “It is important that we update this bill to support the advances in assistive technology over the last 15 years, so that those who need it can be full participants in every aspect of their lives.”

“As our population ages, the need for care and support is increasing,” said Senator Collins.  “Advances in technology are working to bridge the ‘care gap,’ improving function in activities of daily living, helping to manage multiple chronic conditions, reducing risk of hazards, and making homes safer for seniors.  The 21st Century Assistive Technology Act would help to ensure that seniors continue to have access to these life-changing technologies to help them maintain their independence.”

The 21st Century Assistive Technology Act (S.1835) Act would update the Assistive Technology Act by clarifying that the program serves all people with disabilities, including veterans and older adults who developed disabilities later in life. The Assistive Technology Act would also increase the funding authorized for programs that serve rural areas. Assistive technology refers to any piece of equipment, product or service that helps someone with a disability or functional limitation accomplish their daily needs such as wheelchair ramps, hearing aids, screen readers and even smart phones.

This bill is supported by the Assistive Technology Act Programs, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the American Association of People with Disabilities, The Arc of the United States, the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools and CAST.

Please contact Senator Collins office to receive an accessible version of the proposed 21st Century Assistive Technology Act.

Senate Hearing Focuses on Assistive Technology

Woman preparing a mealOn May 22nd, the United States Senate Special Committee on Ageing held a hearing which discussed How (Assistive) Technology Can Help Maintain Health and Quality of Life.

Committee Chair Maine Senator Susan Collins noted in her welcoming remarks, “…with 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, and one out of five Americans set to join this group by 2035, we are in the midst of a major demographic shift. The fastest growing segment of our population are Americans age 85 and older. While aging brings opportunity, it also comes with increased risk of multiple and interacting health conditions that can lead to disability, at times requiring long-term care, and making it more difficult to age at home.” She further noted, “Advances in technology are working to bridge the “care gap,” improving function in activities of daily living, helping to manage multiple chronic conditions, reducing the risk of hazards, and making homes safer for seniors. Not only has technology helped seniors age in place, but it is also making it possible for individuals to move out of nursing homes or other institutionalized settings back into their own homes.”

Witnesses at the hearing included:

Joseph Coughlin, PhD, Director, MIT AgeLab, Cambridge, MA; Cara McCarty, Curatorial/Director, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, New York; Brenda Gallant, RN, Executive Director, ME Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, Augusta, Maine, and; Robert (Bob) Mecca, Executive Director, Life and Independence for Today (LIFT), St. Marys, PA.

Use this link for more information and to view a recording of this hearing…

 

Webinar on Best Practices for Accessible Social Media

From the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials – NC-AEM

Best Practices for Accessible Social Media

Date/Time
Tuesday, May 21, 2019 @ 2:00PM – 3:00PM ET

Presenter

Mindy Johnson, AEM Center

Program Description

Social media iconsEducators are integrating social media into their professional learning routines, their daily communications, and their instructional practices. But how do we plan for variability in our social media followers? Join Mindy Johnson, Director of Digital Communications and Outreach for CAST, to learn easy tips for making your social media posts more accessible and more usable by everyone.

Unable to attend the webinar?  No worries!  The link to the recording becomes available on this same page approximately one week after the webinar.

Please use this link for more information and to register for this webinar…

 


Photo credit: Image licensed through Creative Commons by Wikipedia