European Consortium To Create Wearable Technology For The Blind

Partners Combine Cutting-Edge Technology with End User Design Requirements

A consortium of European companies, comprised of research institutions and technology companies, today announced it will work together to create a standalone, wearable assistive device for the visually impaired. The consortium, including Dräger & Lienert and TU Dresden out of Germany, Elitac and TNO in the Netherlands and Ghent University and SoftKinetic® in Belgium, have labeled the FP7 project Range-IT. The goal of the Range-IT system is to create a wearable device that will extend mobility and improve employment opportunities and daily interactions for blind persons.

Experience Descriptive Audio at the Theater with a New iOS App MovieReading

By Alena Roberts
Tuesday, 19-Nov-2013

Many theaters around the country are starting to offer the visually impaired the option of listening to the descriptive audio track while they’re watching a film. Sadly though, this technology is not available everywhere, and sometimes it doesn’t work. The team at Solo-DX wants to make the experience better by having the blind film-goer use a smart phone app to listen to the descriptive audio track instead.

Students Design Website for Deaf People

Published 12 November 2013

Two students have designed a new website to enable deaf people to find trusted traders who can communicate with them.

Contacting the likes of plumbers, flower arrangers and decorators, is difficult enough for deaf or hard of hearing people, but this is made harder when trades people come to their home and cannot communicate with them.

DeafCOG (Deaf Cultural Outreach Group) is a social enterprise that creates resources to support the lives of deaf people who use British Sign Language (BSL). One of its projects aims to create a trader-search website, where deaf and hearing people alike can find traders who can communicate with deaf people, from using clear English to signing in BSL.

Tax Tips for the Deaf

Updated for Tax Year: 2013

One in five Americans has a severe hearing loss, yet may not be aware of the special tax deductions and credits allowed by the Internal Revenue Service. Knowing about these deductions and credits can help you know which receipts and paperwork to save so you can claim them on your taxes.

Medical deductions

If you itemize your deductions on your taxes and your medical expenses total more than 10 percent of your adjusted gross income, you might get a tax deduction. These expenses include mileage to and from doctor and diagnostic appointments, prescriptions, eyeglasses and insurance premiums. Deaf individuals and those with hearing loss have special expenses they can deduct to reach that 10 percent threshold.

Justice Department Seeks to Intervene in Lawsuit Alleging H&R Block’s Tax Preparation Website Is Inaccessible to Individuals with Disabilities

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz announced today that they have moved to intervene in National Federation of the Blind et al v. HRB Digital LLC et al, a private lawsuit alleging disability discrimination by HRB Digital LLC and HRB Tax Group Inc., subsidiaries of H&R Block Inc.

In the memorandum and proffered complaint filed by the United States in support of its motion to intervene, the United States alleges that the H&R Block companies discriminate against individuals with disabilities and that their website, , is being operated in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), notwithstanding well-established and readily available guidelines for delivering web content in an accessible manner.

Angry Note Left on Wheelchair Accessible Van attracting attention

Angry Note Left on Wheelchair Accessible Van attracting attention

Published Friday, November 22, 2013 6:45PM CST
Last Updated Friday, November 22, 2013 6:46PM CST

It’s a story that began with mean notes left on the windshield of a wheelchair lift van, but now, one woman’s story is prompting people in Saskatoon to take a second look at accessibility issues.

CTV News was with Desirée Parisien as she shared some of the notes.

“You are parked like a complete jackass,” one note read. “You are in two spots, one of which is for pregnant ladies. Stupidity is not a handicap. Use your wheelchair sticker for a better cause. Don’t use it for an excuse.”

10 Tips to Enable People With Disabilities to Get Jobs

Posted: 11/15/2013 9:09 pm

Fully 70 percent of working-age people with disabilities in America are not working. This leads to poverty, powerlessness and prison. So how can we, who care about people with disabilities, change that?

Back in the old days, people with disabilities didn’t have access to quality education. Now, thankfully, with better access to education and technology some of the smartest and most productive people on earth are people with disabilities. Think of Stephen Hawkins. Fifty years ago he wouldn’t have been able to communicate. Today he is unlocking the secrets of the universe.

iPads Help Late-Speaking Children With Autism Develop Language

by Joan Brasher
Posted on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 — 11:44 AM

The iPad you use to check email, watch episodes of Mad Men and play Words with Friends may hold the key to enabling children with autism spectrum disorders to express themselves through speech.

New research indicates that children with autism who are minimally verbal can learn to speak later than previously thought, and iPads are playing an increasing role in making that happen, according to Ann Kaiser, a researcher at Vanderbilt Peabody College of education and human development.

Blind job Seekers Face Hurdles in Pursuit of Work

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — The Associated Press
Published Monday, Nov. 04 2013, 7:00 PM EST

Back in the late 1980s, when Maura Mazzocca was a human resources administrator with a Boston-area firm, a blind man showed up to apply for a job. Today, she remembers the encounter ruefully.

“What I kept thinking about was, ‘How can this man work in a manufacturing company?’” Ms. Mazzocca recalled, saying she looked past his abilities and saw only his disability.

“I wish now I’d given him a chance.”

That reflectiveness is heartfelt. Ms. Mazzocca lost her own eyesight in 1994 through complications related to diabetes. Now as a job seeker herself, she knows first-hand the many hurdles the blind must overcome in pursuit of full-time work.

Court Says New York Neglected Disabled in Emergencies

Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
Published: November 7, 2013

After Hurricane Sandy, Judith Rodriguez who is blind and unable to walk, could not leave her 10th-floor Brooklyn apartment.

New York City has violated the rights of about 900,000 of its residents with disabilities by failing to accommodate for their needs during emergencies, a federal judge ruled on Thursday.

In Manhattan, supplies had to be hoisted into an apartment in the days after the storm.

The ruling arose from a lawsuit filed in 2011 after Tropical Storm Irene, but came into sharper focus after Hurricane Sandy, when many New Yorkers with disabilities were stranded for days. The judge, Jesse M. Furman of Federal District Court in Manhattan, found that the city, through “benign neglect,” was in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.