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Working from Bed Isn’t Lazy — It’s Accessible

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Accessibility news archive

Here's what happened in the accessibility world from March 14–20, 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.

Disability Rights Advocates Question Kentucky Policy On COVID Vaccines

March 20, 2021, West Virginia Public Broadcasting: Nathan French signed up for a COVID-19 vaccination and is waiting for an appointment. The 22-year-old Transylvania University senior has had COVID-19 twice. “The first time it was asymptomatic, and I was thankful,” French said. “But the second time, I was stricken with lung issues, and it felt like my heart rate was faster than normal. I was horrified for my safety because I just didn’t know what was going to happen to me.”

Petition launched to improve wheelchair accessibility on the Glasgow Subway

March 20, 2021, GlasgowLive–UK: A campaign has been launched calling for greater wheelchair accessibility on the Glasgow Subway. Currently, two of the fifteen stations on the line are accessible for wheelchair users - St Enoch and Govan.

How dyslexic entrepreneurs are leading the way in business

March 20, 2021, FE News–UK: There are plenty of misconceptions about dyslexia in education, the workplace and online, with dyslexic individuals, often being told that they will struggle to retain job security. But although there’s a long way to go in supporting dyslexic individuals in education and employment, dyslexic entrepreneurs are proving that the learning difference can provide unique strengths.

Audio, Visually Impaired Pitch FCC on Expanding Audio Description to Streaming

March 19, 2021, TV Tech: As streaming continues to grow around the world, the audio and visually impaired communities don’t want to be left behind. In a meeting in early March, representatives for these communities met with the FCC to discuss how to improve accessibility issues for streaming and beyond.

I Hid My Disability for Years. Now I'm Trying to Be the Change I Want to See.

March 19, 2021, Men's Health: Chris Ruden was born with a congenital birth defect which means he only has two fingers on his left hand. He struggled with insecurity and hid his disability for years, but after finding a sense of purpose and self through weightlifting and fitness, he has since become a motivational speaker and author. He competed in Season 1 of The Titan Games, and just walked in the Runway of Dreams fashion show. Here, Chris shares with Men's Health how his journey to self-acceptance meant taking the good with the bad:

Chrome just introduced a powerful new accessibility tool — here's how it works

March 19, 2021, LaptopMag: Chrome 89 is rolling out to users and the browser update brings a number of helpful upgrades including reduced RAM usage for macOS users. The latest feature announced is a huge win for accessibility. Chrome 89 includes a new Live Captions feature that will provide instant captions for any video or audio content played through your browser (via The Verge).

Alex Gray Went Blind As A Child. Now He's Running For Boston City Council

March 18, 2021, WBUR News: Campaigning last week outside Forest Hills Station in Jamaica Plain, Boston City Council candidate Alex Gray paused at a granite curb with no cutout. Holding a red-and-white cane, Gray took the elbow of his communications adviser, and carefully stepped down.

Disabled citizens left behind in US push to overcome pandemic

March 18, 2021, Herald-Mail Media: Millions of Americans with disabilities are being overlooked during the pandemic recovery, stuck at home without therapy or social programs, and struggling to book COVID-19 vaccinations.

Talking Headways Podcast: A Philosophical Justification for Accessibility

March 18, 2021, Streetsblog USA: This week, we’re joined by Karel Martens, associate professor of Architecture and Town Planning at Technion – Israel Insitute of Technology. Martens talks with us about the philosophy underpinning the idea of sufficient accessibility and how he got to the idea in his book, Transport Justice.

12 Things Disabled People Want Their Nondisabled Friends To Know

March 17, 2021, HuffPost: One in four U.S. adults has a disability, making it the largest minority group in the country. In spite of how common disabilities are, disabled people still deal with ignorance, stigma, exclusion and lack of accessibility on a regular basis.

20-Year-Old with Autism Pens Viral Letter to His ‘Future Employer’: ‘Take a Chance on Me’

March 17, 2021, People: After deciding he'd like to pursue a career in animation, 20-year-old Ryan Lowry penned a heartfelt message to his "future employer" that described his talents and passions, while also noting that he has autism.

AI hearing aids optimize sound in real time

March 17, 2021, ZDNet: A software update is coming to an ear near you. Whisper, which develops AI-enabled hearing aids, just announced that they've rolled out the first software upgrade to their Whisper Hearing System, AI-powered hearing aids that improve over time.

Accessibility in games is advancing -- now marketing needs to catch up | Opinion

March 17, 2021, There has been a notable push over the last few years to improve accessibility in game development. From behemoth studios such as Naughty Dog to indie developers such as Special Magic Games, new accessibility features are being implemented and innovated upon -- but there's some catching up to be done when it comes to the marketing and PR for those very same products.

Jury Awards $650,000 for ADA Violation That Would Have Cost $3,000 to Correct

March 16, 2021, Wheelchair Travel: Remember when your mom told you that ignoring a problem won’t make it go away? That problems left to fester are likely to grow worse, perhaps substantially so? That’s a lesson Ameriport, LLC and Ocean Properties, Ltd. likely wish they had shared with their employees and managers, as the companies were hit with a $650,000 jury verdict for failing to act on a wheelchair user’s request for a reasonable accommodation.

Beauty brands are improving accessibility for visually impaired customers

March 16, 2021, Glossy: When Isaac Shapiro launched body-care brand Cleanlogic almost 20 years ago, he wanted to make the line accessible to visually impaired customers. While braille on packaging was nearly unheard of then, he was thinking of his mother, who lost her eyesight when she was a child.

Workers with disabilities experience more micromanagement, less recognition, survey says

March 16, 2021, HR Dive: Employees with disabilities are less likely than workers without disabilities to report they possess the freedom to use their judgment to accomplish their jobs, according to the results of a survey from Global Disability Inclusion and Mercer released March 9.

Does Your Firm Need an ADA-Compliant Website?

March 15, 2021, Advisor Perspectives: If you wonder whether your firm’s website should be ADA compliant, the short answer is “yes.” While the big picture is more complicated, continuing to ignore the needs of disabled users presents unnecessary problems and legal risks that can be avoided by updating your website and providing reasonable accommodations.

Starbucks to release new large-print and Braille menus this summer amid other accessibility moves

March 15, 2021, Business Insider: Starbucks announced Monday it would be making several major steps to make its menus and stores more accessible for blind and low-vision customers in a release preceding its annual shareholders meeting.

4 signs your product is not as accessible as you think

March 15, 2021, TechCrunch: For too many companies, accessibility wasn’t baked into their products from the start, meaning they now find themselves trying to figure out how to inject it retrospectively. But bringing decades-long legacy code and design into the future isn’t easy (or cheap).

[Video] Deaf content creators say TikTok, YouTube must improve accessibility on social media

March 15, 2021, The Washington Post: Social media is a key part of modern culture and everyday life. Deaf users and creators say the lack of good captioning tools leaves them out.

Nonprofit organization to create jobs for individuals with intellectual, developmental disabilities

March 15, 2021, The Daily Evergreen: Suzanne Taylor was making breakfast with her son, Kaden, one morning in 2017 when he said he wanted to cook when he was older. He began jumping up and down, still holding a spatula in one hand, when Taylor told him that the future is possible for him.

What Seeing People Should Know About Blind People Wearing Sunglasses

March 15, 2021, Healthline: If you’ve ever seen a blind person wearing sunglasses, you may have wondered why they were wearing them despite not being able to see. It’s a common misconception that most blind people have no vision. In fact, only 15 percent of people with eye disorders have total blindness. The other 85 percent can see at least a limited amount.

You Can’t Solve Accessibility with 1 Line of Code

March 14, 2021, Practical Ecommerce: Accessibility overlays are third-party web scripts that alter the user experience. Providers, which include AccessiBe, Userway, AudioEye, and EqualWeb, sometimes claim that installing their script will prevent lawsuits in the U.S. under the Americans with Disabilities Act.