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White House briefings will now include an American Sign Language interpreter

An American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter will attend every daily White House press briefing, Biden administration press secretary Jen Psaki...

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Here's what happened in the accessibility world from January 24–30, 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.

Barriers in access to healthcare for women with disabilities: a systematic review in qualitative studies

January 30, 2021, BMC: Studies show that different socio-economic and structural factors can limit access to healthcare for women with disabilities. The aim of the current study was to review barriers in access to healthcare services for women with disabilities (WWD) internationally.

Disability Etiquette and People-First Language

January 30, 2021, ThinkAdvisor: As brokers and financial advisors, you understand that discussing life insurance policies and estate planning with clients is a sensitive undertaking.

Researchers Describe 5 Cognitive Phenotypes in Multiple Sclerosis

January 30, 2021, AJMC: A recent study from Italy identified 5 cognitive phenotypes in multiple sclerosis (MS) in an effort to improve measures and definitions over traditional dichotomous classifications.

Deaf People Face Unique Challenges as Pandemic Drags On

January 29, 2021, The Verge: After spending five days at a mental health hospital in October, Quinn West left feeling as though they hadn’t gained much from their stay. They spent most of their time in their room, finding group therapy pointless because, as a Deaf person, they couldn’t fully participate in conversations. They communicated with hospital staff primarily through writing and lipreading. They repeatedly asked for an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, but in-person interpretation wasn’t an option because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Diversity in STEM includes scientists with disabilities

January 29, 2021, Science: When Kelly Gilkey was in high school, she sent an email to astronaut Pamela Melroy, asking if it might be possible for a person with a hearing loss like Gilkey to become a NASA astronaut.

The Guide Dog Foundation celebrates 75 years helping the visually impaired free of charge

January 29, 2021, ABC 7 Chicago: For 75 years, The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind has provided guide dogs at no cost to those who are visually impaired or blind. Since 1946, the foundation has trained and placed guide/service dogs to people wanting to achieve increased independence and enhanced mobility.

How business leaders can create true inclusion for people with disabilities

January 29, 2021, Human Resources Director–NZ: People with disabilities are some of the most under-represented individuals in the workplace. Gender is often touted as a more important priority for diversity and inclusion activity – because more than half the population is female. But people with disabilities make up the next largest group yet they are often overlooked. And even when organizations do seek to include people who are differently abled, they often start with an occupational health assessment – telling people what they already know about themselves at a cost to the business.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Announces 2nd Annual Reeve Summit 2021: Where Care, Cure and Community Connect

January 28, 2021, PRNewswire: The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation announced today the 2nd annual Reeve Summit 2021: Where Care, Cure and Community Connect. Kicking off April 27, 2021, the three-day virtual summit will bring together hundreds of health professionals, advocates, community members and caregivers to brainstorm a future for people with disabilities defined by access, inclusion and innovation.

Leading Paralympian says lockdown needs of disabled people ignored

January 28, 2021, the Guardian: The fitness industry and online influencers are ignoring the needs of disabled people during lockdown, according to one leading Paralympian who says the lack of visibility for one of the most vulnerable groups in society “blows my mind”.

CDC Foundation and Georgia Tech's Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation Launch Microsite with COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities

January 28, 2021, PRNewswire: Georgia Tech's Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation (CIDI), with funding from the CDC Foundation and technical assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have launched a microsite with COVID-19 information in alternative formats for people with disabilities. The microsite showcases accessible materials that adapt existing CDC guidance into American Sign Language, braille and simplified text for people with low literacy skills. This collaboration was made possible through partnerships including Deaf Link; the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies (CLDS), Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD).

Accessible Design: Why And How To Make It A Priority In 2021

January 27, 2021, Forbes: Through my company's work in digital product design, I've observed “It’s an edge case,” has been an excuse for some product creators to discount designing for the 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. who have a type of disability.

Lessons from 2020 can make school equal for all

January 27, 2021, The Sydney Morning Herald–AU: The class of 2020 can teach us a lot about equitable education. As a disabled student finishing year 12 in 2020, I can tell you that studying through that unprecedented year was a challenge. Yet as students, teachers and families prepare for a return to school in 2021, and the temptation to dust your hands clean of 2020 looms, I ask that you consider what can be learned from thousands of disabled students like me.

$11.45 million federal grant will develop transit, mobility tech for underserved groups

January 27, 2021, UW News: For many, moving around is easier thanks to technology. Tools like Google Directions and OneBusAway give up-to-date travel and transit information, making unplanned, serendipitous travel seamless and convenient.

Is the Beauty Industry Glossing Over Disability?

January 27, 2021, Allure: Growing up a biracial Asian girl with an X in my name who had Cerebral Palsy and walked with two adapted ski poles for support, I never expected to see myself represented. I identified strongly with other women, but I was too niche and, for the most part, I liked that. My family cultivated the best in me, so I grew up believing my disability was an asset. My mom, an art director for Estée Lauder and Avon, always said, "There's always going to be someone smarter than you, prettier than you, taller than you, and that’s OK, just be you." But not everyone receives that level of support, and the beauty industry has long touted a perfectionist, no-flaw standard free of wrinkles and stretch marks. Perhaps it is this vantage point that the industry struggles with marketing the beauty of disability. The beauty industry created a fantasy that society still feels pressured to make a reality.

Samsung Debuts 2021 Neo QLED, MICRO LED and Lifestyle TV Lines, Highlighting Commitment to Sustainable and Accessible Future

January 26, 2021, Samsung News–South Africa: Samsung has unveiled its 2021 portfolio of Neo QLED, MICRO LED and Lifestyle TV displays during its first-ever virtual First Look event ahead of CES 2021. The new line underscores Samsung’s commitment to accessibility, sustainability, and innovation with new advancements that help redefine the role of television in consumer homes.

COVID Bill Could Finally Fix Wage Discrimination for People With Disabilities

January 26, 2021, Daily Beast: President Joe Biden has framed his pandemic “rescue plan” as critical to addressing the enormous public health and economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but disability advocates hope that one provision in the legislation will finally solve a problem they have fought since far before the crisis.

Amazon Alexa — Blurring The Boundaries Between Assistive Tech And Companionship

January 26, 2021, Forbes: According to an interesting new research study, Amazon’s Alexa is taking assistive technology to a whole new level by boosting disabled people’s emotional well-being and staving off loneliness, in addition to helping them accomplish important daily tasks.

California Attorney General Establishes Bureau of Disability Rights - Bureau to Protect Californians With Disabilities from Discrimination and Other Harms

January 26, 2021, Sierra SunTimes: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Monday announced the establishment of the Bureau of Disability Rights (Bureau) within the Civil Rights becerra official ca agEnforcement Section (Section) of the California Department of Justice. The Bureau will focus on matters that seek to ensure that the rights of persons with disabilities are advanced through specific investigations and litigation. The Bureau will also expand on the Section's work to vindicate the rights of persons with disabilities on issues including discrimination in education, healthcare, employment, access to public services, and with regard to law enforcement involvement.

White House Press Briefings To Provide ASL Interpretation, Press Secretary Says

January 25, 2021, HuffPost: Daily White House press briefings will include an American Sign Language interpreter as part of the Biden administration’s accessibility and inclusion efforts, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced Monday.

Pandemic presents new challenges for lawyers, clients with sight loss, says panel

January 25, 2021, The Lawyer's Daily–UK: For lawyer Jason Mitschele, the courtroom is a place of justice and, at times, a place of peril. In some respects, the pandemic has only elevated the risk for the Toronto-based Crown attorney, who is blind.

Behavioral Challenges Can Push Youth With Disabilities Into School-to-Prison Pipeline

January 25, 2021, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange: Who are youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD)? The population of youth with IDD is vast. In 2018-19, the number of students ages 3–21 who received special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was 7.1 million or 14% of all public school students. You may know some better-known IDDs such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), Down syndrome and cerebral palsy, to name a few.

Tactile Images Partners With Getty Images and the National Federation of the Blind to Deliver More Than 45 Million Images to the World's Blind and Disabled Population

January 25, 2021, PRNewswire: Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, and the National Federation of the Blind, America's civil rights and membership organization of the blind, have partnered with Tactile Images to deliver more than 45 million images to the world's blind and disabled population at museums, science centers, libraries, schools, and government agencies. This partnership will significantly enhance educational opportunities and cultural inclusion for blind and disabled individuals.

Children with disability moving states to access education opportunities

January 24, 2021, ABC News–AU: As the school year is about to begin across Australia, some students are settling into life in a new state so they can access education opportunities not available to them at home.

Toddler takes first steps next to Paralympian Blake Leeper of Kingsport

January 24, 2021, Knox News: Paralympic track and field champion Blake Leeper, a Kingsport native, was drawn to the joyful giggles coming from the doctor’s office hallway. Leeper left his own prosthetic fitting appointment to see what was going on. That’s when he watched two-year-old KJ take his first steps with his new prosthetic foot.