Uncle Sam Orders Airlines Make Websites Accessible To Disabled Passengers

Friday, 08 November 2013
Written by Roberto Castiglioni

All airlines operating flights to, from, and within the United States will have to make their websites accessible within two years, a new DOT rule states.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced airlines are required to make pages of their websites that contain core travel information and services accessible to persons with disabilities within two years, and to make all of their web pages meet the standards for accessibility contained in the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) within three years.

Therapist Introduces iPads as Educational Tool for Children with Special Needs

St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) November 06, 2013

St. Louis Children’s Hospital occupational therapist Nicole Weckherlin says the tablet devices help special education students on multiple levels.

The iPad enables Emma to complete school work more efficiently.

The universal access to the iPads really levels the playing field for regular ed and special ed kids.

“I have that app. But I don’t use it all that frequently.”

Listening to St. Louis Children’s Hospital patient Emma Allison speak, the only giveaway to her age is the high-pitched voice of a little girl. According to her mom, she’s 8 – going on 18. But the fact that she’s swiftly navigating advanced technology is nothing new.

Hearing Loss Association of America and AMC Theatres® Reach Landmark Agreement to Dramatically Improve Access to Movies for Millions of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Patrons in New York State

Oct. 10, 2013, New York, NY.

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) announced today that they have reached an agreement with AMC Theatres® (AMC) to improve access to its movies for patrons who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Under the agreement, AMC will make available personal closed captioning systems at all of its digital screens in its 24 theatres in New York State within one year.

AMC is installing captioning systems in New York, and across its national circuit, on a rolling basis in conjunction with the company’s national conversion to digital cinema. Installation has already begun, and personal captioning equipment is currently available for about a quarter of screens at AMC locations in New York.

Enforcing Accessibility Regulations: A Canadian Perspective

By Robert Pearson

Accessibility compliance guidelines help guide the work of governments and professionals to ensure digital inclusion for users of all abilities. But how do we ensure that these guidelines are enforced and measured?

Who enforces accessibility in specific situations, for instance, in public transit?

Press release: The First World Summit Destination for All will be held in Montreal in October 2014

Montreal, October 28, 2013.

The first World Summit Destination for All aims to establish an international strategy to develop inclusive tourism.

Mr. André Vallerand and Mr. Ivor Ambrose are the co-chairs of this prestigious, one-of-a-kind event.

“The development of universal accessibility of infrastructures, tourism services, and transport services cannot be done without a global

partnership: we must share our knowledge and best practices for dissemination, and convince our partners that sustainable development must

be inclusive.” – André Vallerand, Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), President of the World

Centre of Excellence for Destinations, and co-chair of the Summit.


Jury finds NuVision Credit Union denied disabled vet loan because he did not
have a driver’s license.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., October 25, 2013.

A Federal jury awarded Army Sgt. Major Jesse Acosta $160,000 in a legal
victory finding that Huntington Beach-based NuVision Credit Union violated
the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Unruh Act by denying
Jesse Acosta a loan because he could not produce a valid driver’s license.

In 2006, Sgt. Major Acosta was blinded and suffered severe Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD) while serving in Iraq.

Video Could Transform How Schools Serve Teens With Autism

Published: Oct. 17, 2013

Video-based teaching helps teens with autism learn important social skills, and the method eventually could be used widely by schools with limited resources, a Michigan State University researcher says.

The diagnosis rate for Autism Spectrum Disorder for 14- to 17-year-olds has more than doubled in the past five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet previous research has found very few strategies for helping adolescents with autism develop skills needed to be successful, especially in group settings.

“Teaching social skills to adolescents with ASD has to be effective and practical,” said Joshua Plavnick, assistant professor of special education at MSU. “Using video-based group instruction regularly could promote far-reaching gains for students with ASD across many social behaviors.”

News Release: FEMA and National Public Radio Work Together to Increase Emergency Alert Preparedness for People Who Are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing

Posted October 22, 2013

WASHINGTON —The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced a cooperative pilot project with National Public Radio’s (NPR’s) technology research and development group, NPR Labs, to demonstrate the delivery of the first-ever, real-time emergency alert messages to people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing in five Gulf states.

Twenty-five NPR-affiliated public radio stations throughout Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas agreed to participate in the pilot project to transmit emergency alert messages, such as weather alerts, to 475 individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing in the stations’ listening areas to determine how effectively the messages are being sent and received.

The Not-So-Hidden Cause Behind the A.D.H.D. Epidemic

Published: October 15, 2013 258 Comments

Between the fall of 2011 and the spring of 2012, people across the United States suddenly found themselves unable to get their hands on A.D.H.D. medication. Low-dose generics were particularly in short supply. There were several factors contributing to the shortage, but the main cause was that supply was suddenly being outpaced by demand.

The number of diagnoses of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has ballooned over the past few decades. Before the early 1990s, fewer than 5 percent of school-age kids were thought to have A.D.H.D. Earlier this year, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 11 percent of children ages 4 to 17 had at some point received the diagnosis — and that doesn’t even include first-time diagnoses in adults. (Full disclosure: I’m one of them.)

NIH Funds Development of Novel Robots to Assist People With Disabilities, aid doctors

Posted October 18, 2013

Robots enhance mobility for visually and physically impaired, improve treatment for atrial fibrillation

Three projects have been awarded funding by the National Institutes of Health to develop innovative robots that work cooperatively with people and adapt to changing environments to improve human capabilities and enhance medical procedures. Funding for these projects totals approximately $2.4 million over the next five years, subject to the availability of funds.

Co-robotic cane would use computer vision to guide visually impaired. Image courtesy of Cang Ye, Ph.D., University of Arkansas at Little Rocky
The awards mark the second year of NIH’s participation in the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), a commitment among multiple federal agencies to support the development of a new generation of robots that work cooperatively with people, known as co-robots.

UN Survey Shows Needs of Persons With Disabilities Largely Ignored During Disasters

UN global survey explains why so many people living with disabilities die in disasters.
10 October 2013

A high proportion of persons with disabilities die or suffer injuries during disasters because they are rarely consulted about their needs and Governments lack adequate measures to address them, according to a United Nations survey released today ahead of the International Day for Disaster Reduction.

The online survey, produced by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and partners, consulted nearly 6,000 persons with disabilities in 126 countries on how they cope and prepare for disasters.

By Tricking the Brain, Disney’s Bringing Digital Sight to the Blind

By Jennifer Booton /
Your World Tomorrow /
Published October 11, 2013

The iconic media company that brought you “Fantasia” and the aspiring magician Mickey Mouse now has a nifty trick of its own: bringing digital sight to the blind.

New technologies being developed and studied by Walt Disney Co. (DIS) are expected to add new dimensions — literally — to touchscreens.

Think screens that not only look but actually feel 3D.

Disney researchers in Pittsburgh are hoping their advancement in this technology — known as haptics — shakes up everything from the way people shop to how the blind interact with new media.

Take 2: iLife On-line Event Changes In iOS7 Replay

iLife Online Event A Huge Success, Well Attended And Informative 

Leanne from New Jersey wanted to know what it means when Siri can’t answer questions. Lynn from Pennsylvania does not like the calendar app, and asked about
tips to make the experience easier. 

These and a number of other questions were addressed during Fedora Outlier’s first iLife Online Event Changes In iOS7, held on Wednesday evening, October 2nd. If you missed it, or if you were there, a replay of the event in its entirety is available for you to listen at your leisure. You will find a complete list of the questions covered, as well as the link to replay the event, at http://www.fedoraoutlier.com/changes-ios7/

Wednesday Roundup For October 9, 2013

This week’s Roundup includes stories about iOS technology, apps that make our life easier, events, and stories about people and their triumphs over blindness. It’s time to grab that favorite beverage, get comfy, and indulge in some really incredible content.


Haptic Shoe Provides GPS Directions for Independent Motion of Blind, Visually Impaired

Users interact with a smartphone app to set their destination.

Ocular Surgery News Europe Edition
Originally posted March 2013
A haptic shoe that receives signals from a GPS-enabled smartphone allows the blind and visually impaired to walk independently, giving directions and alerting to obstacles.

Invented by Anirudh Sharma, this haptic technology system has been developed by Ducere Technologies and is being tested at the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness located in Hyderabad, India.

New Laws Promised for Seniors and Disabled; Parties Speak Out on Access and Inclusion

By Steven Christianson
October 1, 2013

Nova Scotia has the highest rate of disability in the country, averaging at one-fifth of the population. This number typically does not include the increasing number of seniors, many of which often age into disability. So the numbers, in effect, are much higher, and they will continue to increase.

If the Parties vying to form the government think the current pressures of public policy are challenging, wait till they see what will happen if nothing is done to address the needs and challenges of aging and disability.

Federal Prison Staff Mishandling Mentally Ill Women Inmates: Ombudsman

Howard Sapers, federal corrections ombudsman, makes 16 recommendations on how to change the way the system treats troubled women offenders.

Correctional Service watchdog Howard Sapers reports ongoing concerns about the capacity of Correctional Service of Canada to manage mental illness.
By: Tonda MacCharles Ottawa Bureau reporter, Published on Mon Sep 30 2013

OTTAWA—Six years after the death of Ashley Smith, an investigation by the federal prisons watchdog says guards and managers are still taking a dangerously wrong approach to troubled women offenders.

The damning report is the result of an investigation by the office of Howard Sapers, the federal corrections ombudsman.

Fake Service Dogs, Real Problem

By Brian Fischler

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) website defines service animals as
dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people
with disabilities. That’s a very clear, concise definition.

So why does an online ad elsewhere read, “Identification for your service dog will reduce conflict. Get yours before the law changes!”

It’s never surprising what you can find for sale online. A Google search produced a multitude of different service/emotional dog kits for sale from
several different small companies. These kits will provide tags for your dog claiming they are a service or emotional dog, identification for you and your dog as a service dog, and a service dog vest.

Guide Dogs: Study Finds Shops Bar Users

Secret filming shows blind people being illegally refused entry to restaurants and shops because of their guide dogs.
12:23pm UK, Friday 06 September 2013

Philip Biggs, of Hearing Dogs For Deaf People, says there is a lot of misunderstanding about access for guide and hearing dogs.

A new study by the charity Guide Dogs has shown that blind people are being illegally turned away from restaurants and shops because of their canine companions.

Sky News has obtained undercover footage from the charity of examples of this taking place, despite legislation being passed three years ago aimed at ensuring disabled people have the same right to services as everyone else.

U.S. Proposes ADA Compliance for Public Websites

September 24, 2013 • Marcia Kaplan

When Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, the public Internet did not exist. Over the past 23 years, making the Internet accessible to those with disabilities has been a low priority for both the federal government and Internet businesses, bolstered by the fact that court decisions refuted the idea that the ADA applied to the Internet. Now, the federal government, with prodding from groups representing the disabled, is acknowledging how much of daily life the Internet affects.