Maine AgrAbility video highlights students’ learning on the farm

Buxton, Maine — Over the past year, Maine AgrAbility and partner Alpha One integrated agriculture into the curriculum of a peer mentoring program at Massabesic High School in York county. The program, funded by the Maine Department of Labor Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and supplemented with hands-on opportunities, culminated with summer work experiences on a local farm.

Sally Farrell, owner of Rummler Run farm in Buxton and former University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H professional in York County, agreed to introduce three of the students to daily life on her farm in summer 2019. The stories and experiences of those three students — practicing problem-solving, handling small livestock, helping ensure biosecurity practices — are told in the video “On the Farm.”

Maine AgrAbility, a collaborative project of UMaine Extension and Alpha One, is dedicated to helping farmers, fishermen and forest workers work safely and more productively. For more information, contact Leilani Carlson at 207.944.1533; leilani.carlson@maine.edu.

More information also is available on the UMaine Extension AgrAbility website.

About University of Maine Cooperative Extension:

As a trusted resource for over 100 years, University of Maine Cooperative Extension has supported UMaine’s land and sea grant public education role by conducting community-driven, research-based programs in every Maine county. UMaine Extension helps support, sustain and grow the food-based economy. It is the only entity in our state that touches every aspect of the Maine Food System, where policy, research, production, processing, commerce, nutrition, and food security and safety are integral and interrelated. UMaine Extension also conducts the most successful out-of-school youth educational program in Maine through 4-H.

Survey on Wireless Device User Experiences for People with Disabilities

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Inclusive Technologies (Wireless RERC) announces the launch of its 2020 Survey of User Needs (SUN). The SUN is the Wireless RERC’s cornerstone survey on wireless technology use by people with disabilities. Over 8,000 consumers have completed it with disabilities since it was first launched in 2001.

This latest version has been updated in response to changes in technology. In addition to questions about cell phone and tablet use, this latest version of the SUN collects information about wearables, “smart” home technologies, and other next-generation wirelessly connected devices. User responses will help designers and engineers make new wireless devices and services for people with disabilities. Data from the SUN also provides important information to the wireless industry, government regulators, and other researchers to help them make wireless technology more accessible and more useful to people with all types of disabilities.

If you have a disability, please consider taking this survey. If you know someone who has a disability, please forward the survey to them. Thank you!

Select this link to take the 2020 Survey of User Needs

 

Voice-Assisted Coronavirus COVID-19 Screening

The following comes from Cool Blind Tech:

iPadApple also partnered with CDC on app and website for coronavirus triage

With voice-assisted tools released by Amazon and Apple, you can answer a few questions to figure out if you need further medical assistance for COVID-19.

Simply say, “Hey, Siri” for iPhones or “Alexa” for Amazon devices, and ask if you have the coronavirus.

These technologies are no replacement for professional medical advice, but they can help you figure out first steps at home when the health care system is overwhelmed with long wait times.

Amazon Echo

Amazon announced Thursday that it launched a screening tool for the United States that will talk you through some symptom-checkers.

“Ask, ‘Alexa, what do I do if I think I have COVID-19?” or “Alexa, what do I do if I think I have coronavirus?” and Alexa will ask a series of questions about your travel history, symptoms, and possible exposure. Based on your responses, Alexa will provide CDC guidance given your risk level and symptoms,” Amazon said in a statement.

Read the complete article on Cool Blind Tech

Read the news release from Apple

Read news release from Amazon

 

April 2020 Webinars

Maine CITE is offering the following webinars in April

Everyday Assistive Technology for People with Serious Mental Illness – Refresh

computer keyboardDate: April 1, 2020
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

This is an update and revision of a 2017 webinar of the same name. Dr. Gitlow was kind enough to return to discuss the latest information on this important topic.

People with serious mental illness often experience difficulties comprehending, processing new information and acting appropriately. Common issue include difficulty with attention, concentration, memory, and the ability to plan activities.

In this webinar, we Identify common psychosocial motor, cognitive, contextual, and environmental barriers which may interfere with the use of Assistive Technology (AT) and everyday technology (EDT) among individuals with SMI.

Presenter

  • Lynn Gitlow

Use this link for more information and to register for the Webinar: EveryDay Assistive Technology for people with Serious Mental Illness…


The following list of April 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.

Creating High-Quality and Accessible Video from AEM
April 6, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Learn AAC : AAC Resources in 4 Languages! From USSAAC
April 6, 2020 at 7:00 pm EST

We’re All in This Together: Four Cs for Supporting All Learners in the COVID-19 Crisis from AEM
April 7, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Creating Accessible Documents and Slide Decks from AEM
April 13, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Making Math Notation Accessible from AEM
April 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Basics of Remediating an Inaccessible PDF from AT3
April 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Aidan’s Path to Braille – An Alternative Approach to Literacy from TSBVI
April 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm EST

UDL in Action: Practical Ideas for the Classroom from SETC
April 2, 2020 at 6:30 pm EST

Learning Ally: Motivating Struggling Readers Through Literature from SETC
April 8, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

AAC Eval Genie: An Overview from SETC
April 9, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

GoTalkNow: A Tool for Literacy Instruction for all Learners from SETC
April 14, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Unleashing the Power of UDL: Top Digital Tools for the Inclusive Classroom! From AbleNet
April 15, 2020 at 2:00 pm EST

AAC: Introduction to CoughDrop from SETC
April 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Working w/Students Using Switches: New and Emerging Technologies! from SETC
April 22, 2020 at 6:30 pm EST

AAC: Introduction to Speak for Yourself from SETC
April 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

 

MaineCare now allows Telehealth to deliver pharmacy services

In a special ruling made on March 16, 2020 by the Division of Policy of MaineCare, Chapter 101 of MaineCare Benefits Manual Chapter I, Section 4, Telehealth services for Pharmacy Services are now covered by MaineCARE.

In the “concise summary” the change in rules states:

This emergency rulemaking will remove the MaineCare Benefits Manual (MBM), Chapter I, Section 4, Telehealth Services blanket prohibition against providers utilizing telehealth to deliver services under the MBM, Chapter II, Section 80, Pharmacy Services. Pursuant to 5 M.R.S. Section 8054, the Department has determined that immediate adoption of this rule is necessary to avoid a potentially severe and immediate threat to public health, safety or general welfare. The Department’s findings of emergency are set forth in detail in the Emergency Basis Statement. Maine is facing a substantial public health threat posed by the global spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. As a preemptive action by the Department, Pharmacy Services will be available via telehealth when medically necessary and appropriate.

This emergency rule change will take effect upon adoption and will be in effect for 90 days (5 M.R.S. § 8054). The Department is concurrently engaging in the routine technical rulemaking process for Section 4 to prevent a lapse in the rule and added services.

Please use this link to see the new rules and rulemaking documents

 

Camp Communicate – 2020 Season

Camp Communicate – August 24, 2020 – August 28, 2020

Pine Tree Society - discovering abilities together - logoCamp Communicate at Pine Tree Camp is an innovative retreat designed specifically for non-verbal children who use computerized devices, known as augmentative communication, to communicate. Camp Communicate offers kids a unique opportunity to spend time with other augmentative communicators in an accessible summer camp environment. During their stay they will learn new skills, meet friends and become more comfortable and confident in their communication abilities.

Each camper attends Camp Communicate along with a parent or caregiver. Parents will have the opportunity to attend workshops and share information and strategies in a supportive environment. Learning opportunities for parents will support more effective augmentative communication device use at home and will foster more proficient use in school.
Campers participate in:

  • Small and large group activities led by communication experts and trained volunteers
  • Active outdoor games
  • Swimming and boating
  • Nature walks
  • Team-building exercises
  • Festive social gatherings including a dance
  • Music and art therapy

Program curriculum and activities are developed and led by Communication Pathways staff, all highly qualified Speech Language Pathologists with an expertise in augmentative communication and assistive technology.

For more information visit the Pine Tree Camp website or call Pine Tree Camp at 207-
386-5993.

Accessible Polling Facilities and the ADA – webinar

The Great Lakes ADA Center in collaboration with the ADA National Network invites you to attend the March ADA Audio Conference Series session entitled:

Accessible Polling Facilities and the ADA

featuring  Julie Brinkhoff, Co-Director/PI, Great Plains ADA Center.

Session Description

The word "vote" with a wheelchair embeddedThis 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).

 

Assistive Technology for people with Autism

child using GPS watch phoneAs part of Maine CITE’s presentations at recent conferences, we have created this resource for assistive technology (AT) for people affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Resources include the handouts and links of information shared at the Southern Maine Autism Conference as well as links to other resources on related topics.

This resource is updated regularly as we become aware of new AT devices and services. If you know of anything you think should be added to this page, please contact Maine CITE.

Use this link to go to Assistive Technology for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder

 

Webinar: Accessible Social Media

From the U.S. Access Board...

Section 508 Best Practices: Accessible Social Media

March 31, 2020
1:00 – 2:30 (ET)

Presenters:

  • Jennifer Dorsey, Social Media Coordinator, NIH National Cancer Institute
  • Gary Morin, Program Analyst, NIH Office of the Chief Information Officer
  • Robert Pines, Public Affairs Specialist, NIH National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health

Description

US Access Board logoThe next webinar in the Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series will take place March 31 from 1:00 to 2:30 (ET) and will cover how to provide access to social media. The presenters will provide an overview of social media techniques, address common questions, review access issues and solutions, and offer best practices and techniques for making content accessible on various social media platforms, including Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Twitter, and YouTube. Questions can be submitted in advance of the session or can be posed during the live webinar.

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

Note: 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.

Building Financial Solutions for People with Disabilities

The following free webinar is from the US Department of Labor

Get Empowered: Make the Most of Your Job and Improve Your Financial Security Building Financial Solutions for People with Disabilities

February 27, 2020 – 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. ET

showing money growthIf you are a person with a disability who is getting ready to enter the workforce or who recently did, you probably have a lot of questions related to your new job and your financial security. We want to help you find the answers so that you are empowered to take steps to achieve your financial goals.

As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and America Saves Week, join the U.S. Department of Labor, America Saves, and the LEAD Center for a webcast to learn about ways to improve your financial security. National experts from the National Disability Institute will discuss ABLE accounts that can help you save for some of your goals without threatening disability benefits. Hear a personal account from staff at the Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy about moving from disability benefits to employment and achieving financial independence. The Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration will provide information and resources on financial planning to help achieve your goals. This includes budgeting, managing debt and determining a target retirement saving rate so you can make the most of your workplace-provided retirement plan. Learn more about workplace-provided retirement saving plans – the easiest way to save for a secure retirement.  America Saves will share how direct deposit can help with saving for all of your goals.

So, during America Saves Week, get empowered. The more you know, the more prepared you will be to make decisions for your financial security today and in the future. Start today by registering for this webcast!

Use this link to register for this webinar…

Photo credit: Image licensed through Creative Commons by PixaBay