Disability Rights Maine Provides Special Education School Re-entry Guidance

The Maine Parent Federation and Disability Rights Maine announce the following webinar:

EducationMonday, August 17, 2020
3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Special Education lawyers Ben Jones and Atlee Reilly will provide best practices and answer your questions on understanding and implementing the Maine Department of Education’s (MDOE) re-entry guidance at your local district level for your special needs child/children.

Please use this link to register for this webinar…

 

Governor Marks 30th Anniversary of ADA

The following proclamation was made on July 26, 2020:

State of Maine – PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS, July 26, 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life; and WHEREAS, the ADA has expanded opportunities for individuals with disabilities by increasing awareness, removing barriers, changing perceptions, and promoting greater inclusion in community life; and

WHEREAS, the full promise of the ADA will only be reached if public entities, including the State of Maine, remain committed by providing leadership and continued attention to its purpose; and

WHEREAS, the State of Maine recognizes that all people within its borders have the right to fully participate in leading productive and active lives without regard to their disabilities, and that supporting the rights of persons with disabilities is essential to the economic and social well-being of the entire State; and

WHEREAS, the State of Maine has enacted laws, issued orders, and adopted policies to protect the rights of people with disabilities, to provide accessibility for people with disabilities in all State programs, and to comply with and carry out the State’s responsibilities under the ADA; and

WHEREAS, the removal of barriers to equal opportunity for all that limit the participation of people with disabilities in employment, programs, and activities of the State of Maine remains an ongoing focus and requires the concerted efforts of all agencies and their partners to devote resources to coordinate ADA compliance; and

WHEREAS, State government bears a unique responsibility in demonstrating to all people the goals and values of our common life, including serving as a model of accessibility, inclusion, and nondiscrimination for people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, with information technology and digital services continually becoming a more integral part of everyday life, the State of Maine responsibilities described in Executive Order 2 FY 11/12 are reaffirmed in their entirety, with modifications to ensure that agency procured, utilized, or created digital information and services are available to people with disabilities in an accessible format;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Janet T. Mills, Governor of the great State of Maine, do hereby proclaim the week of July 26, 2020 as ADA Recognition Week throughout the State of Maine and I urge all citizens to celebrate the great progress made under the ADA, reaffirm the principle of equality and inclusion, and recommit our efforts to full accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities in compliance with the ADA.

In testimony whereof, I have caused the Great Seal of the State to be hereunto affixed GIVEN under my hand at Augusta this sixteenth day of July Two Thousand Twenty.

Seal of the State of Maine

/s/
Janet T. Mills
Governor

/s/
Matthew Dunlap
Secretary of State

 

Webinar on Accessible Virtual Meeting Platforms

Recording Available of Webinar on Accessible Virtual Meeting Platforms

US Access Board logoThe U.S. Access Board recently (July 21, 2020) conducted a webinar on the accessibility of virtual meeting platforms as part of its Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series. Presenters from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Communications Commission reviewed features and considerations for ensuring access to virtual platforms according to the Section 508 Standards. A recording of this free webinar – including handouts – is available on the webinar site. 

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.

 

July Webinars

Maine CITE is offering the following webinars in July:

Webinar: Updates on Maine’s Adaptive Equipment Loan Program

Date: July 9, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm ET

Stair lift on straight stairwayUpdates have been made to Maine’s Kim Wallace Adaptive Equipment Loan Program (AELP), the state’s low interest financing program for people with disabilities to give them more options for purchasing Assistive Technology (AT). AELP funds can be used to buy AT devices, adaptive equipment or to make home modifications. The program is now offering loans for non-adapted vehicles for Mainers with a disability who need transportation to return to work. Loans are also available to Maine business owners for the purchase, construction, or installation of adaptive equipment and AT to make their location more accessible for employees and customers. In the presentation we will discuss the loan application process and showcase some recent consumers and how they used their loan funds. Participants will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions about the AELP process.

Presenter

    • Henry Powell. OTR/L

Use this link for more information and to register for the webinar: Updates on Maine’s Adaptive Equipment Loan Program

Building Your Finances and Independence with ABLE Accounts

Date:  July 30, 2020
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

Please hold the date; program description is coming soon…


The following list of July 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.

Self Advocacy, Services and Technology for Adults with Disabilities from Maine Parent Federation
Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 10:00 am Eastern (2 hours)

Apps to Help Young Adults with Disabilities Learn About and Manage Their Money from PACER
Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 3:00 pm Eastern

Buying Websites, Technology and Tech Services: Tools and Tips for Accessible Procurement from ADA National Networks
Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 2:30 pm Eastern (1.5 hours)

Intro to Word Document Accessibility from Deque
Tuesday, July 21st at 2:00 pm Eastern

Accessible Virtual Meeting Platforms from ADA Online
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at 1:00 pm Eastern

Digital Accessibility: What have we learned and what does the future hold? from the ADA National Networks
Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 2:00 pm Eastern

Transition to Employment: Tools to Help You Find a Job from PACER
Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 3:00 pm Eastern

Starting at the Beginning: Case Study Illustrating Positioning, Access, and AT Applications With a Very Young Child from AbleNet
July 7, 2020 at 12:00 pm Eastern

Remote Learning for Early Learners with Autism from edWeb
Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 2:00 pm Eastern

Tech for Teens Club : Coding Video Games from PACER
Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 11:00 am Eastern (2 hours)

Math Tech: Tools to Support Secondary Students from PACER
Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 7:00 pm Eastern (90 minutes)

Managing Behavior in a Technology Rich Environment from AbleNet
July 23, 2020 at 11:00 am Eastern

 

ADA Anniversary Update: 30 Years, Where do We Go Now?

The following announcement comes from Great Lakes ADA Center in collaboration with the ADA National Network…

The Great Lakes ADA Center in collaboration with the ADA National Network invites you to attend the July ADA Audio Conference Series session titled,

ADA Anniversary Update: 30 Years, Where do We go Now?

Date:   July 14th, 2020 
Time:  2-3:30 pm Eastern Time 

Cost:   No Charge

The session will feature:

  • Emily Ladau, Editor in Chief, Rooted in Rights Blog;
  • Maria Town, President and CEO, American Association of People with Disabilities;
  • Timotheus Gordon, Jr., Researcher-Activist, Institute on Disability and Human Development at UIC, Co-Founder (Chicagoland Disabled People of Color Coalition);
  • Jae Jin Pak, Community Education & Training Coordinator, Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois Chicago;

Session Description:

On July 26th, 1990, President George H. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The intent of the ADA was to provide persons with disabilities Equality of opportunity, Full participation, Independent living, and Economic self-sufficiency. Thirty years down the road what is the state of disability rights in the United States? Join us as our speakers look forward and discuss what needs to be done to further the rights of persons with disabilities and fulfill the goals of the ADA. Participants will have an opportunity to pose questions to our speakers.

This session is offered via the Zoom webinar platform. Captioning is available in the webinar room or via StreamText link.

Registration:  Advance Registration is required at the Accessibility Online website. Note: you will need to set up an account on our website if you do not have one already.

Questions:

877-232-1990 (V/TTY) or by email at webinars@ada-audio.org

 

Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Tablet showing the definition of the word "access"

Today, May 21, 2020, we celebrate the 9th anniversary of Global Accessibility Awareness Day – GAAD. Unlike previous years, when celebrations involved many face-to-face meetings and special events around the world, this year we celebrate virtually.

Check out some of the virtual events

Learn more about GAAD

Indeed the need to work and learn from home this year has intensified the importance of access for all in a powerful new way. Hopefully, now the message will be well-heard, remembered and action taken.

 

 

US Department of Education – Guidance on COVID-19

In an article published by Disability Scoop, the US Department of Education has offered guidance to educators across the nation on how to handle the needs of students with disabilities.

The article notes:

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued a webinar and fact sheet this week for education leaders aimed at ensuring that students’ civil rights are upheld while schools are closed due to COVID-19.

The webinar reminds school officials that distance learning must be accessible unless “equally effective alternate access is provided.”

Online learning tools should be compatible with any assistive technology that students use and schools must regularly test their online offerings for accessibility, the Education Department said.

Accessible Polling Facilities and the ADA

The word "vote" with a wheelchair embeddedThe Great Lakes ADA Center in collaboration with the ADA National Network invites you to attend the March ADA Audio Conference Series session titled “Accessible Polling Facilities and the ADA” featuring  Julie Brinkhoff, Co-Director/PI, Great Plains ADA Center.

Session Description: This presentation will cover resources available to election officials to evaluate the accessibility of polling locations, specifically the ADA Checklist for Polling Places developed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2016. The presentation will discuss training polling place staff and volunteers on key issues related to disability voting rights, disability awareness, and avoiding barriers to voting access. The presentation will include real life examples, images and graphics to illustrate the content.

Date: March 17, 2020

Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern Time

Cost: Free

This session is offered via the telephone and/or via a web based webinar platform. The session will be captioned via the web based webinar platform.

Registration is available at www.ada-audio.org  (You will need to set up an account if you do not have one already).

Questions regarding the session should be directed to webinars@adagreatlakes.org or at 877-232-1990 (V/TTY).

Access to air travel for passengers who use wheelchairs

From the U.S. Access Board

Study Initiated on Equipping Passenger Aircraft with Wheelchair Restraint Systems

US Access Board logoThe U.S. Access Board is undertaking a study that has the potential to advance access to air travel for passengers who use wheelchairs. As directed by Congress, this project will assess the feasibility of equipping passenger planes with restraint systems so that passengers can remain in their wheelchairs on flights. Having to transfer out of wheelchairs makes air travel very difficult, if not impossible, for many people with disabilities.

The Board is conducting this study through the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board (TRB). TRB has organized a committee of experts to evaluate the feasibility of in-cabin wheelchair restraint systems. Members include experts in aircraft interiors and safety engineering, accessibility, wheelchair design and crashworthiness, airline operations, and other disciplines. Committee members will evaluate the design, engineering, and safety requirements for equipping aircraft with locking or tiedown mechanisms for non-motorized and motorized wheelchairs used as seats. If such restraint systems are found to be feasible, the committee will then assess the wheelchair restraint systems that can be used to accommodate passengers using wheelchairs through all phases of flight, from boarding to deplaning.

The committee will hold its first meeting February 5 – 6, 2020 at the Access Board’s conference center. Most sessions will be open to the public and available by web conference. Those attending in person do not need to register in advance, but registration is required (free) to attend online.

Visit TRB’s website for further information on this project, the meeting agenda, and the committee.

Questions about the study can be directed to Mario Damiani of the Access Board at damiani@access-board.gov, (202) 272-0050 (v), or (202) 272-0066 (TTY). Inquiries about attending the committee meeting or registering for the web conference should be addressed to Anusha Jayasinghe of TRB at AJayasinghe@nas.edu or (202) 334-2401

 

US Access Board Webinar – Accessible Rest Rooms

From the US Access Board:

U.S. Access Board Webinars: Accessible Toilet Rooms (Oct. 3) and Bathing Facilities (Oct. 24)

US Access Board logoMost technical questions that come up in using the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards concern toilet and bathrooms. In October, the U.S. Access Board will conduct two webinars on accessible toilet and bathing facilities.

The first webinar will take place October 3 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will clarify common sources of confusion and frequently asked questions about accessible toilet rooms. Presenters will review requirements for toilets and toilet compartments, urinals, lavatories and mirrors, doors, turning space, dispensers, and amenities such as baby-changing tables. They will explain how these provisions apply and interrelate in designing single-user and multi-user toilet rooms in compliance with the standards.

It will be followed by a webinar on October 24 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) that will explain and clarify requirements for bathing facilities in the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards. This session will address common questions and sources of confusion concerning transfer showers, roll-in-showers, and bathtubs. Presenters will review components of accessible bathing fixtures, including grab bars, shower and tub seats, shower spray units and controls, and clearances. They will show how these requirements and other provisions in the standards apply and come together in the design of accessible bathing facilities.

For more information or to register for both or either session, visit accessibilityonline.org

Questions can be submitted in advance of the sessions (total limited to 25 each) or can be posed during the live webinars. 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.