(Ottawa, April 23, 2019)
The Federal Budget delivered in March included a number of very important measures for college and university students with disabilities that enhance the Canada Student Loans and Grants programs and will be available for disabled students starting in the upcoming fall school year.
Announcements in the budget specific to students with disabilities include a significant increase on the cap on the Canada Student Grant for Services and Equipment for Students with Permanent Disabilities from $8,000 to $20,000 per year. This grant can go towards exceptional education-related services or equipment for eligible students with a permanent disability.
Federal Budget 2019 Contains Good News for Post-Secondary Students With Disabilities full article
By Danise Olague
Originally posted February 22nd, 2018
“Turn on the subtitles, Ms. Olague!”
I clicked on the “CC” button underneath the YouTube video, and the closed-captioning appeared at the bottom of the screen. Suddenly, all my students were looking at the screen with wide eyes, eager to watch the video.
In my first-grade classroom, a third of my students were learning English as a second language. Though my English learners were the initial reason I starting using closed-captioning on videos, I soon realized that students with special needs also benefited. As a public school teacher, I had to constantly evaluate how my teaching practices and materials could better include and empower the vast diversity in my classroom.
eSchool News: 3 Steps to a More Accessible Classroom full article
By Stacey Pusey
April 11th, 2019
Rockville, MD: If we want to help every child reach his or her potential, we need to take the appropriate steps
While the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was last reauthorized in 2004, with amendments in 2015, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) updated back in 2008, the demand for accessibility and equality in education continues to grow. Administrators and teachers, who want to help every child reach their potential, can’t afford to wait for new laws and policies. To ensure accessibility, educators need to constantly evaluate the effectiveness of accessibility initiatives, advocate for resources for their students, and anticipate where they need to go next.
eSchool News: 5 Steps to Ensure Accessibility full article
The U of A is the most recent among universities making headlines for evicting a student with mental illness.
Last week, while #BellLetsTalk flooded social media, allowing institutions to do the bare minimum in relaying their support for mental health initiatives, another story made CBC headlines — in 2016 a University of Alberta student was kicked out of residence after a suicide attempt.
Year after year headlines emerge detailing another student losing their home, being forcibly removed from their school, regardless of academic standing, owing to the fact that they have a mental health problem.
Universities: Stop Evicting Students With Mental Health Issues full article
by Scott Loftesness
Berkeley, CA (July 16, 2018) Three more students have joined a precedent-setting class action brought by Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) against Stanford University for violating the rights of students with mental health disabilities.
The lawsuit alleges that Stanford routinely responds to student mental health crises by barring students from campus and evicting them from on-campus housing, violating disability laws.
DRA, a national nonprofit legal center, today files an Amended Complaint and Class Certification Motion on behalf of this growing coalition to end the university’s discriminatory policies and practices.
More Students Join Class Action by Mental Health Coalition against Stanford University full article
Universities are under legal pressure to make their websites fully accessible to people with disabilities, but is “fully” even possible? By Lindsay McKenzie
November 6, 2018
Hundreds of colleges and universities across the country are currently under investigation by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights for failing to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities.
Universities that receive federal financial aid are required by law to make reasonable accommodations to ensure their web content is accessible to everyone, including, but not limited to, people who are blind, deaf or have limited mobility.
Feds Prod Universities to Address Website Accessibility full article
Post date: Jul 26, 2018
(WASHINGTON)One in five Americans has a disability, and in today’s digital age it’s more important than ever that people with disabilities are able to use technology, from websites to mobile phones to emerging smart devices.
Twenty-eight years after the seminal passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, leading tech companies agree that building and buying products that everyone can use is an imperative, not an afterthought. But a new national study shows that a major barrier many tech companies encounter is that they can’t find job candidates with the accessible tech skills the companies needand 57% report that, as a result, achieving accessibility in their products and services takes increasingly more time and resources.
PEAT and Teach Access Identify Large Skills Gap in the Tech Sector full article
Globe and Mail, August 16, 2018
Afshan Tafler has left no stone unturned in a bid to get help for her son, who has pervasive developmental disorder and who also shows signs of giftedness. The Toronto-based whole-life coach enrolled him in a private school with smaller class sizes and an on-site occupational therapist. She also pays an additional $10,000 a year above the school’s $23,000 tuition for an even smaller, personalized program within the school that tailors the curriculum to his learning style.
The High Cost of Special-Needs Programming full article
Jilly DeStephanos robot is guided out of social studies class and into the hallway by her friend at Octorara Intermediate School in Atglen, Pa. by Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer @Kathy_Boccella | email@example.com Published: February 27, 2018
Jilly, I like your hair, said Melanie, admiring her neat brunette pigtails, which Jilly flicked in response. Suddenly, their teacher Melissa Fanelli showed up.
Jilly, did you get the classwork I emailed you?
Got it, answered Jilly, who was actually a couple of miles away, sitting at her dining-room table at home in Christiana, just past the edge of Philadelphia in Lancaster County.
Robot ‘Double’ Allows Sick Students to Attend School, See Friends full article
The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) has launched an accessible study and community building space available for students with disabilities/disabled students to access.
The lounge has accessible study spaces and supports community building within the disabled community.
The center shows the reprioritization of resources to support grassroots disability activism. The center also is home to UWSAccess, a Disability Justice group run for and by students with disabilities.
The Access Lounge is a space on campus dedicated to students who are disabled by barriers. This space is for those students to study, hang out or complete course work.
Location: Mezzanine Level, Bulman Student Centre
Hours: 10 a.m. 4 p.m.
The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association Launches The Access Lounge full article
ReadSpeakers leading text-to-speech technology integrated into Blackboard Ally, helping instructors worldwide create more accessible content for learners
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 23, 2018 Blackboard and ReadSpeaker are furthering their partnership to help instructors worldwide improve the accessibility of course content for their students.
Currently, ReadSpeaker is Blackboards exclusive text-to-speech provider that is fully integrated within Blackboards learning management systems, supporting Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Now, as part of this extended collaboration, ReadSpeakers text-to-speech technology will also be integrated within Blackboard Ally as an offline audio alternative for course content. This allows students to automatically access an MP3 version of content added by the instructor into the LMS.
Blackboard and ReadSpeaker Partner to Enhance Accessibility of Digital Course Content full article
Each year, the AEBC offers scholarships to recognize outstanding blind, deafblind, and partially sighted post-secondary students. This year, we are pleased to offer six awards in total.
Read more at
Washington, November 7, 2017
Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) today introduced bipartisan legislation that would strengthen the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to ensure that visual and hearing-impaired students receive the best possible education.
The Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act will improve the effectiveness and personalization of education and services for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind.
The legislation would improve reporting and evaluation measures of special education in each state, increase training for teachers and other special education professionals, and reaffirm the Department of Education’s mission and responsibility to ensure an accessible and quality education for all students.
Senators Markey and Capito Introduce Legislation to Improve Educational Opportunities for Visual and Hearing-Impaired Students full article
CBC News Posted: Jul 03, 2017
A group of Manitobans wants to see schools become more accessible for people with disabilities.
Barrier Free Manitoba delivered a letter to Minister of Families Scott Fielding on Friday calling for an education standard to be included in the Accessibility for Manitobans Act.
The letter was signed by 1,100 Manitobans and 59 organizations.
Patrick Faulkner sits on the steering committee of Barrier Free Manitoba. He said although human rights law states that all children have the right to a quality education, in practice, there are many barriers.
“We know that half of parents report that they have real difficulty securing the kinds of supports (that they need),” he said.
Letter Calls on Minister to Include Education in Accessibility Legislation full article
By Sara Gebhardt
Originally Posted June 22, 2017
Ingram Content Groups VitalSource® and CoreSource® to incorporate the results of Benetechs Global Certified Accessible program into their service offerings
Early supporters of Global Certified Accessible include Elsevier, HarperCollins Publishers, Harvard Business Publishing, Macmillan Learning, Penguin Random House, Amnet Systems, Apex CoVantage
Benetech, the leading software for social good nonprofit, in conjunction with Dedicon, Royal National Institute of Blind People, and Vision Australia, today announced Global Certified Accessible. The program is the first third-party ebook verification program for accessible content. Global Certified Accessible supports publisher efforts to meet or exceed accessibility requirements set by K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions. Todays announcement comes on the heels of a six-month beta program with participation from industry leaders spanning educational, academic, professional, and trade publications.
Benetech Establishes Global Certified Accessible Program to Ensure Content Serves All Students Equally full article
Despite the availability of effective teaching methods, BUSD refused to alter its policies and practices, leaving students of all ages who have reading disorders without the basic tool of literacy May 02, 2017 07:54 PM Eastern Daylight Time
BERKELEY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Disability rights lawyers filed a complaint in federal court today against Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD), the BUSD Superintendent, the BUSD Board of Education, and the Directors of the BUSD Board of Education, for systemically failing to educate students with reading disorders, and students who are suspected to have reading disorders.
Students with Reading Disorders Sue Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) for Failing to Educate Them full article
Tuesday, February 14, 2017, By Jennifer Russo
School of Education
The Syracuse University Parent Assistance Center (SUPAC), the Mid-State Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Center (RSE-TASC) and Onondaga Community College (OCC) will host a free conference, “Finding Your Way! Understanding Transition Planning In and After High School.” The event, scheduled for Monday, March 13, on the OCC campus in Syracuse, is an exciting opportunity for families, professionals and students with disabilities to learn about planning for life after high school and the services offered in their community.
Doors open at 8:30 a.m., with the final session of the day ending at 2:30 p.m. Parking on the OCC campus is free.
SUPAC Conference on Transition Planning for Life after High School for Students with Disabilities full article
In civil-rights complaint, parent-advocate seeks to make website fully useable for students with disabilities by Elena Kadvany / Palo Alto Weekly
A special-education advocate from Michigan who has filed more than 1,000 federal complaints against school districts alleging their websites are inaccessible to students and adults with disabilities has brought her grassroots campaign to Palo Alto.
Marcie Lipsitt, a parent-turned-education advocate, confirmed to the Weekly that she filed a complaint against the district with the Office for Civil Rights, though she is not named in the complaint itself. The federal civil-rights agency notified the district in late January that it was investigating allegations that certain pages on the district’s recently redesigned website are not accessible to people with vision impairments and other disabilities.
Federal Complaint Alleges School District Website ‘Inaccessible’ full article
by Maggie Hammond
Even though disabled students are well integrated in public schools, many people don’t understand that going to college with a disability is still not a cakewalk. Since disabilities aren’t always obvious, those living with visual impairments, physical disabilities and neurological disorders often need to tell their stories repeatedly, just to feel like they are fully understood.
Some disabled students feel like you should earn your MBA online while others are driven to get up and go to an on-campus school each day. In any case, being disabled while going to college can be a bit different to the experience of others and it can also be more of a challenge, but that doesn’t mean that the end rewards aren’t even sweeter.
The Reality of Being a Disabled College Student full article
by Maggie Hammond
Living with a disability can often make it more difficult for individuals to carry out everyday tasks and achieve goals that many people take for granted. Attending college can be a difficult experience for many disabled students, although the good news is that more college campuses are making the effort to make their facilities more accessible, for example by adding adjusted rooms to college dorms for students with limited mobility, or having lectures accompanied by a sign language translator for the deaf. Students with disabilities can often apply for extra time in exams or the use of a laptop rather than pen and paper for writing. However, perhaps the best approach to learning for students with disabilities is online education. Here’s why:
4 Reasons to Learn Online if You Have a Disability full article