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PEAT and Teach Access Identify Large Skills Gap in the Tech Sector

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.

The High Cost of Special-Needs Programming

Anna Sharratt
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.

Robot ‘Double’ Allows Sick Students to Attend School, See Friends

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 | kboccella@phillynews.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.

The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association Launches The Access Lounge

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
Email: accesslounge@theuwsa.ca
Hours: 10 a.m. 4 p.m.

Blackboard and ReadSpeaker Partner to Enhance Accessibility of Digital Course Content

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.

The 2018 AEBC/T-Base Scholarship Program is Accepting Applications

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
http://www.blindcanadians.ca/programs/scholarship

Senators Markey and Capito Introduce Legislation to Improve Educational Opportunities for Visual and Hearing-Impaired Students

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.

Letter Calls on Minister to Include Education in Accessibility Legislation

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.

Benetech Establishes Global Certified Accessible Program to Ensure Content Serves All Students Equally

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.

Students with Reading Disorders Sue Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) for Failing to Educate Them

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.

SUPAC Conference on Transition Planning for Life after High School for Students with Disabilities

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.

Federal Complaint Alleges School District Website ‘Inaccessible’

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.

The Reality of Being a Disabled College Student

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.

4 Reasons to Learn Online if You Have a Disability

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:

AMI Announces Scholarship Program for 2017

TORONTO, ON–(Marketwired – January 26, 2017) – Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) announced today that the 2017 AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship campaign will launch Monday, February 6.

Entering its sixth year, the AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship program offers much needed financial assistance to students with a disability. The scholarship was renamed in 2016 in memory of AMI’s former Accessibility Officer, Robert Pearson, who passed away suddenly in December 2015.

In 2017, AMI will once again collaborate with the National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) to administer the program and engage students with disabilities from across the country. Two $5,000 bursaries will be awarded to two deserving students with a permanent disability; one from the English community and one from the French.

New Self-Assessment Launching Will Help Departments Evaluate Accessibility Efforts

Jan 23, 2017
By Sarah Lack

As part of its ongoing work to guide accessibility and inclusion efforts at Ohio University, the Presidentially Appointed Committee on Disability and Accessibility Promotion (PACDAP) Leadership Implementation Team will launch a departmental self-assessment tool on Tuesday, Jan. 24, to help University departments reflect on their efforts to incorporate accessibility planning into their day-to-day activities and identify resources needed to further those efforts.

The Departmental Self-Assessment for Inclusion and Accessibility will help individual departments at OHIO determine their readiness in shifting towards a culture of inclusion and accessibility. Once the data is collected and analyzed, PACDAP will release results of the self-assessments including areas of strength and identified areas for improvement.

Pursuing a Career in Counseling

A career in counseling is one of the most rewarding career options you can explore today. Not only will you receive a healthy financial reward for your services, you will also have countless priceless moments seeing those you have helped succeed in life.

The career options in this field are also very interesting to look into, ranging from positions as a counselor at school to a career as a marriage counselor.

To make it even better, getting the qualifications and qualities required to start a career in this field is easier than ever.
Universities such as Wake Forest University are making their online counseling degrees and programs more available to students. There is no age requirement or limitations either, allowing anyone to embark on a rewarding career helping others.

5 Reasons Why a Person with a Disability Should Consider an Online MBA

by Maggie Hammond

Completing an MBA is a huge achievement for any student. It’s an even bigger accomplishment if you have a disability and you now have a wide range of online MBA options to choose from, that make the whole process of getting an MBA much easier. Below are five of the main reasons why you should consider starting an online MBA.

1. It Costs Less to Study for an Online MBA

If you’re wondering “why should I do my MBA online”, money is often the first reason that springs to mind. Traditionally, studying for an MBA meant that you had to spend money on expensive tuition fees, travel and a wide range of other living expenses. Thanks to the latest online MBA programs, this is no longer the case. You can study at home and avoid these unnecessary expenses, and still manage to obtain a high-quality, recognized qualification.

Nursing Expected to Grow at Twice the Rate of Other Industries

Across the board, 11% more positions are expected to open up in industries throughout the United States in the next five years.

However, if you take a look at the nursing profession, you will find that 20% more positions will be available. If you are currently looking to take a degree, or are considering switching careers, looking into careers in nursing is sure to serve you well in the future.

Not only is nursing expected to grow at twice the rate of other industries, it also offers a much better work-life balance than other industries in healthcare.

4 Reasons Why Online Education is Perfect for Students with Disabilities

by Maggie Hammond

Just about every person out there will see some sort of benefit when it comes to online MBA learning. However, arguably, those who benefit the most are those who are suffering from a disability. There are a number of reasons for this, a few of which will be covered on this page.

1. Convenient

For many people with disabilities, it can be tough to get to and from places. This can make attending a traditional school a chore. Since you will be able to carry out online MBA learning wherever you have a computer, you will not need to travel anywhere. You can do everything from the comfort of your own home. This will make studying a whole lot more convenient for you.