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Revamped White House Website Aims For Inclusivity And Accessibility

Wednesday's inauguration ushered in new occupants of the White House, as well as a revamped White House website. Shortly after President Biden and...

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Accessibility news archive

Here's what happened in the accessibility world from January 17–23, 2021

Be sure to check Accessibility News Briefly for the latest news and updates — and don't forget to subscribe to get weekly recaps right to your inbox. It's the easiest way to stay informed.

As a reminder, we provide these news briefs for your information and convenience, and we don't endorse or recommend any of these publications or products.

Parents With Disabilities Face Extra Hurdles With Kids' Remote Schooling

January 23, 2021, NPR: The Americans with Disabilities Act says schools have to help not just students but parents with disabilities, too, like making sure deaf or blind parents can communicate during parent-teacher conferences. But what happens when kids are learning at home? That's uncharted territory.

Thinking about students with disabilities in the pandemic

January 23, 2021, University World News: Ayse sounded very happy on the phone. “Now my friends are getting online education like me! Now I’m also a class member...” Ayse had a genetic disorder called epidermolysis bullosa, a rare and serious skin disorder. Getting the right environment for her to do a two-year computer programming course was a challenge.

COVID-19 pandemic boosts visibility of sign language, increases accessibility for deaf community

January 23, 2021, WBIR–TV: The COVID-19 pandemic changed daily life for people across the world. With new safety guidelines requiring people to wear masks and practice social distancing and companies changing how they do business, people are having to adapt.

DuBois barber invents device to make haircuts more comfortable for wheelchair users

January 23, 2021, The Courier Express: Chuck Sallows – recreational therapist turned barber – can now add inventor to his list of accomplishments. Sallows, the owner of Baka’s Barber Shop inside of the WPAL Fitness Center in downtown DuBois, has designed a wheelchair accessible barber chair/apparatus, which was brought to fruition by UPMC’s rehabilitation science and technology team of engineers. They have developed the device that will help individuals with physical disabilities have a more tailored, comfortable, and safe experience at the salon.

Disability Representation On TV Breaks Record

January 22, 2021, Disability Scoop:Characters with disabilities are set to account for a larger percentage of those on prime-time television shows this season than ever before, according to an analysis.

National Federation of the Blind Applauds the Introduction of the Access Technology Affordability Act in the House

January 22, 2021, Herald-Mail Media: The National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, applauds the introduction of the Access Technology Affordability Act (ATAA) (H.R. 431) in the United States House of Representatives by Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee Chairman Mike Thompson (D-CA-5) and Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA-16). This legislation removes an employment barrier commonly experienced by blind Americans who cannot afford the high cost of access technology by creating a refundable tax credit in the amount of $2,000 to be used over a three-year period to offset the cost of these technologies.

Level Access, G3ict and IAAP launches 2021 State of Digital Accessibility Survey to benchmark worldwide efforts to create inclusive technology

January 22, 2021, PRWeb: Level Access, the global leader in digital accessibility, in collaboration with G3ict and IAAP, has launched the State of Digital Accessibility survey. This is the third year for the survey, which asks professionals in various roles to describe their organization’s commitment to creating inclusive technology, including websites, mobile apps, software, and hardware.

Global Electric Wheelchair Market (2021 to 2026) - by Product, Battery Type, Age group, End-users, Geography and Company Analysis

January 21, 2021, Yahoo! Finance:The "Electric Wheelchair Market Global Forecast By Product, Battery Type, Age group, End Users, Geography, Company Analysis" report has been added to's offering. This report studies the Electric Wheelchair Industry. According to the publisher, The Global Electric Wheelchair Market will be worth US$ 9.8 Billion by 2026.

Guest article: The role of intuitive assistive tech solutions to support students with learning difficulties

January 21, 2021, AT Today–UK: COVID-19 has impacted nearly every facet of daily living – including extensive effects on education. For many months, educators, parents and students throughout the UK have faced extraordinary challenges as schools resorted to near-total closures to slow the pandemic’s spread. Teachers scrambled to adapt to long-term online learning, parents juggled work responsibilities with caring for and educating their children, and students grappled with isolation combined with anxiety about the future, while striving to maintain their learning.

CDC Study Pinpoints Prevalence Of Intellectual Disability

January 21, 2021, Disability Scoop: Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are offering up a new estimate of the number of American children with intellectual disability. In a study looking at 8-year-olds in several communities across the nation, CDC researchers found that 1.2% had IQ scores of 70 or below qualifying them for an intellectual disability diagnosis.

Revamped White House Website Aims For Inclusivity And Accessibility

January 21, 2021, NPR: Wednesday's inauguration ushered in new occupants of the White House, as well as a revamped White House website. Shortly after President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took office, sharp-eyed Internet users noticed several major changes relating to the inclusivity and accessibility of the Executive Branch's official site. Among them are a new feature allowing users to include their pronouns when submitting contact forms and a relaunch of the Spanish-language website.

Firefighter Leads The Pledge Of Allegiance, Spoken And In Sign Language

January 20, 2021, NPR: Andrea Hall, a career firefighter and union leader from Fulton County, Ga., led the Pledge of Allegiance during the inauguration of President-elect Biden. Hall recited the familiar words of the pledge out loud and in American Sign Language.

IA Disability Advocates Push for Mental-Health, Community-Care Funding

January 20, 2021, Public News Service: Advocates for Iowans with disabilities want state lawmakers to dedicate more funding in two key areas: mental-health treatment and community-based care.

Facebook Improves Photo Experience For The Blind, Visually Impaired

January 20, 2021, Nasdaq: Facebook said it has launched an improved version of its automatic alternative text or AAT feature to improve photo descriptions for its users who are blind or visually impaired.

Mini horses as service animals? North Dakota bill aims to make it happen

January 20, 2021, Inforum: Miniature horses could soon be trotting into local stores and businesses with a bill the North Dakota Legislature is considering that would designate the compact creatures as service animals.

USDOT releases draft of first Strategic Plan on Accessible Transportation

January 19, 2021, Mass Transit: The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) published a draft of its first Strategic Plan on Accessible Transportation (Accessibility Strategic Plan), which aims to help make America’s transportation system more accessible for all travelers.

Property manager slammed for advice not to rent to intellectually disabled tenants

January 19, 2021, Stuff–NZ: An Auckland property management firm has been criticised for publishing an article advising landlords against renting to the intellectually disabled and young people.

New DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Adventure Is Wheelchair Accessible

January 19, 2021, Nerdist: Dungeons & Dragons is a vast fantasy world where almost anything is possible. Which is why we’re extra happy about this latest development, as it works accessibility into the mix. The upcoming Dungeons & Dragons book Candlekeep Mysteries—published by Wizards of the Coast—includes a wheelchair accessible adventure. We first covered the book when it was announced on January 12, and we just learned even more exciting information via Polygon.

Disability Discrimination In Health Care Under Scrutiny

January 19, 2021, Disability Scoop: Federal officials are weighing a rewrite of regulations designed to ensure that people with disabilities do not face discrimination from medical providers amid persistent concerns about unequal access.

Want to Know if Your Employees Received the COVID-19 Vaccine? Some Best Practices to Consider

January 18, 2021, The National Law Review: While its rollout has been slow, the vaccine is being administered across the U.S. and in other countries. As of January 15, 2021, nearly 36 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, just over 11 million in the U.S. For a variety of reasons, organizations want to know whether their workforce members (employees, contractors, etc.) have been vaccinated. Some are trying to assess prospects for return to work, while others want to provide incentives to get the vaccine, and still others are managing customer demands to know if their vendor’s workforce has been vaccinated.

Highschool Start-Up Launches Virtual Reality System to Help Mitigate Autistic Meltdowns

January 18, 2021, EIN Presswire: Three high schoolers made a first-of-its-kind virtual reality platform that helps individuals with autism calm down during meltdowns. Cognality is currently in the beta-testing phase and has received very promising feedback.

Calling Helen Keller a fraud for her 'unbelievable' accomplishments is ableist

January 17, 2021, Metro–UK: ‘Helen Keller is NOT real,’ one TikTok video argued. ‘There is absolutely NO way she was blind and deaf and wrote TWELVE books, learned FIVE whole languages, fell out of a building and DIDN’T die, went to Harvard, and had very very neat handwriting. She DOESN’T exist.’