Virtual Assistive Technology and Community Living Summit

Assisitive Technology at exhibit spaceThe Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center (ATAC), New Jersey’s designated Assistive Technology Act program, is a program of Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ), with the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) as its lead agency, has served as the central clearing house for information about AT devices and services statewide since 1997.

ATAC announces their 5th Annual Assistive Technology Statewide Virtual Conference on September 23 – 24, 2021.

Join consumers and professionals for a day of learning and sharing about all areas of Assistive Technology. In order to increase the learning and sharing, we have super sized this year’s virtual event! Disability Rights New Jersey and ATAC have partnered to bring quality content focused on Assistive Technology and Community Living.

Last year’s virtual event was attended by over 350 individuals and featured over 25 concurrent sessions focused on all areas of Assistive Technology. This year’s virtual event will be even bigger and better – with speakers and participants from all across the country!

Day 1: Thursday, September 23, 2021; 8:30am-3:00pm Eastern Time

Day 2: Friday, September 24, 2021; 8:30am-1:00pm Eastern Time

Please visit the ATAC website for more information and to register to attend this free event.


The Great Lakes ADA Center in collaboration with the Southwest ADA Center is pleased to announce the upcoming ADA Legal Webinar session titled:


featuring Barry Taylor and Rachel Weisberg.

Date: Wednesday, September 22, 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

For the last 18 months, COVID-19 has significantly impacted all of our lives, including people with disabilities. The COVID-pandemic has also caused the courts to apply traditional ADA principles to an entirely new context. This session will review court cases, settlements and federal agency guidance involving the interplay between COVID and the ADA. Topics will include COVID as an ADA-disability; employment rights; mask/vaccine mandates; voting rights; effective communication; corrections; access to healthcare; access to private businesses; and access to education. This is a constantly evolving area of the law so be sure to attend this session to make sure you have the latest information about COVID and the ADA. This session will use lots of examples to show what accessible design looks like to the end user as well as the user experience when web page elements are not accessible. The session will not go into technical details and will not require knowledge of coding or technical language.

Please use this link to register for this ADA Legal Webinar Series (An account is required to register)

Registration deadline: Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Certificate of Attendance available.

Questions should be directed to

WCAG V2.1: Understanding the Basics

The Great Lakes ADA Center in collaboration with the Great Plains and Southeast ADA Center is pleased to announce the upcoming Accessible Technology Series session titled

“WCAG V2.1: Understanding the Basics”

featuring Julie Brinkhoff, Director of the Great Plains ADA Center.


New Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2021
OLD Date: Thursday, September 16, 2021
Time: 2:00 –  3:30pm ET 
Format: Zoom Webinar Platform (closed captioning will be provided via Zoom and Stream Text link option)
Cost: No Charge

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are technical standards designed to make web content more accessible to people with a wide range of disabilities. This session will discuss:

  • How the standards were developed and organized based upon the principles of accessible design (POUR)
  • The relationship between Section 508 and WCAG V2.1 Level AA
  • Why the accessibility guidelines are organized into levels and how that is important in developing/assessing your webpages.
  • Most common level A accessibility errors.

This session will use lots of examples to show what accessible design looks like to the end user as well as the user experience when web page elements are not accessible. The session will not go into technical details and will not require knowledge of coding or technical language.

Please use this link to register for the Accessible Tech Webinar Series (An account is required to register)


Certificate of Attendance available.

Questions should be directed to


Learning Strategies for Children with Vision Impairment and Deafness/Hard of Hearing

The New England Consortium for Deafblind Technical Assistance and Training (NEC)The New England Consortium on Deafblindness (NEC) announces the Fall 2021 on-line learning cohort is about to begin.

The online modules are an exciting opportunity to learn more about Deafblindness and engage with a consortium of service providers in CT, ME, MA, NH and VT. Upon completion of each group of modules, you will receive a certificate of completion and Professional Development Points (6 PDPs per module)

Description of the Modules

Each module is designed to increase knowledge related to intervention for students who have combined vision and hearing loss or at risk (ages 3 through 21). The module content was created by a diverse group of experts in the field of Deafblindness including state and national deafblind project staff, parents of children who are deaf-blind, higher education faculty, teachers, educational
interpreters, and interveners. Also each module takes about 6 hours to complete and includes accessible videos, photographs, slide presentations, and learning activities.

Target Audience

Paraprofessionals, Teachers, Related Service Providers, Parents, Agency Personnel

  • NEC will also host NCDB On-Line Modules to support continuing groups of service providers
    working with child(ren) who have combined vision and hearing loss or who are at-risk.
  • NEC will host NCDB On-Line Modules to support a new group of service providers working
    with child(ren) who have combined hearing loss or who are at-risk.
  • We encourage teams to participate (i.e., one classroom teacher and one paraprofessional/aide)
    but parents and individual service providers are also welcome!
  • Modules are hosted by a Facilitator and participants will be provided support and feedback in
    completion of each module. The modules can be completed at a time most convenient for you
    and at your own pace.

NOTE: Each Individual module takes 6-8 hours to complete so there is a time commitment. Many
participants report that it’s a fun and convenient opportunity to share ideas and expertise!

For More Information, visit:, email:  or call: 617-972-7515.



The Civil Rights Complaint Portal: An Accessibility Journey

From the U.S. Access Board

Section 508 Best Practices Webinar
The Civil Rights Complaint Portal: An Accessibility Journey

September 28, 2021
1:00 to 2:30 PM ET

US Access Board logoA new design to the Civil Rights Reporting Portal has integrated accessibility to improve the usability for the public to report concerns and discrimination. The next webinar in the Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series will take place September 28 from 1:00 to 2:30 (ET) and will feature members from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and 18-F at the General Services Administration (GSA) who will present on their collaborative efforts to improve the functionality of the external user interface and the data collected as well as increase analysis and response efficiency.

This project began with DOJ staff asking how it could overhaul the Civil Rights Reporting Portal and integrate accessibility as foundational to the new design to improve the usability and accessibility of the existing online portal. The project team consolidated a complex process involving dozens of unique reporting pathways into a single stream lined accessible user experience. The enhanced site models accessibility for persons with disabilities, and the team continues to ensure that new features are vetted for accessibility.


Use this link for more details or to register –

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.


DCMP Helps Bring Audio Described Content to YouTube

From the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP)

Audio DescriptionDCMP is involved with a new YouTube pilot program designed to give participating content creators the ability to add audio description to their videos through a secondary audio track. We’ve been partnering with science communicator Emily Graslie to help bring Art Lab to YouTube as the very first educational series with native audio description! DCMP was a pioneer in bringing audio description to streaming media, and we’re thrilled to be working with Emily and YouTube in expanding accessibility to people with disabilities on a global scale.

You may know Emily Graslie as the host of The Field Museum’s Brain Scoop series, which is available with audio description at DCMP, or from her recent broadcast television debut on PBS in Prehistoric Road Trip. Her new series, Art Lab, celebrates art and science, how they come together, and how the skills used by artists help teach scientific concepts to a general audience. Art Lab will also be available to families and educators at

Not only does Art Lab have audio description, but DCMP serves as technical advisor and accessibility provider to help make the series accessible from concept to completion.

We hope you take the time to be involved in this project yourself by viewing Art Lab with the audio description turned on! To activate the description, look for the Settings icon (a gear shape) at the bottom of the YouTube player, click “Audio Track,” and then choose “English Descriptive” to turn on audio description. Keep in mind that only a small number of content creators currently have access to this feature—but you can always find thousands of videos with audio description at DCMP!

ArtLab on YouTube


Wheelchair securement on airlines – Briefing

From the U.S Access Board

U.S. Access Board to Host Public Briefing on Study on the Feasibility of Wheelchair Securement Systems in Passenger Aircraft

WASHINGTON, August 11, 2021 – The inability to use one’s wheelchair on airplanes makes air travel very difficult, if not impossible, for many people with disabilities. Among other challenges, it requires multiple transfers between boarding chairs and aircraft seats, posing injury risks. To address these challenges, the U.S. Access Board commissioned a study to assess the feasibility of equipping aircraft with securement systems so that passengers can remain in their wheelchairs on flights. The Transportation Research Board (TRB), of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, will release its final report mid-September.

The U.S. Access Board will host a public briefing on the final report on September 22 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm (ET).

The briefing will feature a presentation by the TRB Study Committee Members, including Committee Chair Dr. Alan M. Jette, on the two-year research study that focused on the design, engineering, and safety requirements for equipping aircraft with securement wheelchairs. The event is free, but registration is required. Members of the public will be able to pose questions during the event.

For further information on registration, visit the Access Board’s website or contact Rose Marie Bunales at Note that the briefing will include video remote interpreting (VRI) and real-time captioning.

Visit TRB’s website for further information on the project. 

U.S. Access Board Launches New Site for the ICT Testing Accessibility Baseline

From the U.S. Access Board

US Access Board logoWASHINGTON – August 4, 2021 – Testing information and communication technology (ICT), including websites, for accessibility is essential to ensure conformance with the Section 508 Standards that apply to ICT in the federal sector. However, there are two ways to test webpages for conformance: manual review and fully automated tools. Often a mix of manual and automated testing is needed to fully evaluate most websites.  The results, however, may vary according to the test methods used. It is important that test procedures align to an established framework or “baseline” to ensure that the results accurately evaluate conformance with the standards.

In partnership with the General Services Administration (GSA) and the ICT Baseline Working Group in coordination with the CIO Council Accessibility Community of Practice (CIOC ACOP), the U.S. Access Board has released a baseline for testing web content. The ICT Testing Baseline for Web Accessibility sets minimum testing criteria and evaluation guidance to determine if web content meets the 508 Standards that incorporate by reference the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA. Issued by the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative, WCAG 2.0 is a globally recognized, technology-neutral standard for web content.

The ICT Testing Baseline describes how to evaluate conformance and is organized by categories to help users easily identify applicable requirements. The Baseline itself is not a test process and does not include testing tools, but it can be used to create an accessibility test process. It can also be used to assess how well an existing test process evaluates conformance with the Section 508 requirements.

For more information:

Read the entire news release

ICT Testing Baseline for Web Accessibility

Accessible Autonomous Vehicles (AVS) webinar

The Great Lakes ADA Center in collaboration with the ADA National Network invites you to register for the upcoming ADA Audio Conference Webinar entitled:

Accessible Autonomous Vehicles (AVS)

autonomous transporterFeaturing Randall Duchesneau, Accessibility Specialist, U.S. Access Board.

Date: Tuesday, August 17th, 2021
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm ET 

The U.S. Access Board, in conjunction with other federal agencies earlier this year, completed a four-part series on the inclusive design of autonomous vehicles (AVs) for persons with disabilities. Join us as representatives from the Access Board provide an overview and summary of these sessions. In addition, this session will look at the next steps in ensuring AVs are accessible to and useable by persons with disabilities including persons with mobility, sensory and cognitive disabilities. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions following the speaker’s presentation.

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

Cost: No Charge

Registration Required:  Use this link to register for this session…

If you do not have an account with our system you will be required to establish one before registering.

Registration deadline: Monday, August 16th, 2021

CEUs: Certificate of Attendance, ACTCP

Questions: should be directed to


U.S. Access Board Releases Report on Autonomous Vehicles

US Access Board logoThe U.S. Access Board has released a summary report on its four-part series of virtual meetings on making autonomous vehicles (AVs) accessible to passengers with disabilities. The sessions featured presentations by invited speakers who shared information and research results on design considerations and solutions for making AVs accessible to passengers with mobility, sensory, or cognitive disabilities. They also provided an opportunity for members of the public to pose questions and to share information and ideas during the session or through an online discussion platform.

Use this link to read more about the summary report