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A lockdown silver lining for workers with disabilities

The pandemic normalized working from home, and that could open doors for America’s workers with disabilities.

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Accessibility news archive

Here's what happened in the accessibility world from March 21–27, 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.

Physicians’ biases, lack of knowledge, partly to blame for health care disparities among people with disabilities

March 27, 2021, The Connecticut News Project: Jennifer Lortie is accustomed to facing obstacles to health care. The 37-year-old assistive technology specialist for United Cerebral Palsy of Eastern Connecticut has cerebral palsy. As she describes it, her condition, which resulted in quadriplegia, means “pretty decent use of my left arm, very limited [use] of right arm, and no use of my legs.”

People with disabilities: End subminimum wages

March 26, 2021, The Seattle Times: When a neurotypical person accepts a job, they know they are going to be paid at least the minimum wage because that’s the law. Yet, the state can issue permits that allow companies to pay people with disabilities below the minimum wage.

How To Make A New Business More Accessible

March 26, 2021, HostReview: When it comes to running any kind of business, the idea of making it more accessible to attract as many clients as possible is both valid and a smart way to run a company. Not too many businesses take the time to really try and understand what their business needs, which could very well cause plenty of problems down the line that could have been avoided with a few best-practice methods.

Blind and low-vision Australians shut out of Covid vaccine finder website

March 25, 2021, The Guardian: Blind and low-vision Australians are being shut out of the Covid-19 vaccination process because the government’s eligibility checker and clinic finder website fail to meet basic web accessibility standards, according to Australia’s biggest provider of low-vision services.

Chrome can now caption almost any video or audio

March 25, 2021, PCWorld: A lot of the web revolves around video content (subscribe to our YouTube channel!) and podcasts these days, but that brings some accessibility challenges you won’t find with the written word. Hundreds of millions of people are deaf or hard of hearing. Other folks have trouble processing spoken words. And sometimes, you’re just in a noisy area. Good news! Google Chrome’s new Live Caption accessibility feature can provide closed captioning for many videos and audio files—online or offline—even if those videos don’t offer native support.

Path forward should be barrier-free: strides in accessibility a community effort

March 25, 2021, A few decades ago, someone requiring the use of a wheelchair might have been met with closed doors or an impassable sidewalk. Though barriers still exist, advocates have pushed accessibility to the forefront of conversations and policies to create change. Collingwood installed an accessible dock and boat launch, allowing barrier-free access to competitive and recreational boating activities on Georgian Bay.

Disabled People Menstruate, Too. Which Reusable Products Might Work For You?

March 25, 2021, Forbes: Each day, 800 million people menstruate. But because of lingering stigma, some feel uncomfortable discussing their periods or reusable menstrual products.

Is Your CAPTCHA Keeping Humans Out?

March 24, 2021, Built In: Today’s internet-connected devices provide a wealth of potential targets for bad actors to conscript into botnets. Attackers use the sheer number of devices in botnets to overwhelm systems in attacks such as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS).

Disability Commission report calls on the Government to tackle disability employment gap

March 24, 2021, THIIS–UK: A new report by the Centre for Social Justice Disability Commission has recommended a number of measures for the UK Government to consider to help close the employment gap for disabled people.

Transport: disability and accessibility statistics, England: 2019 to 2020

March 24, 2021, GOV.UK: Analysis of the National Travel Survey for 2019 shows disabled adults (aged 16 years and over) in England made on average 26% fewer trips and travelled 41% fewer miles than non-disabled adults.

Making employment opportunities accessible

March 23, 2021, KPC: Indiana has many students with disabilities in our education system, and compared to their non-disabled peers, students with disabilities are more likely to experience unemployment, underemployment, lower pay and job dissatisfaction.

A World Gone Digital: Enhanced Online Risks & Liabilities for Hospitality Businesses

March 23, 2021, Total Food Service: Nowadays, one can say that a restaurant needs a website almost as much as a kitchen, in order for customers to place pick-up or delivery orders consistent with physical social distancing. These changes have resulted in the development of new websites, mobile apps, increased digital content, and heavier online traffic. However, as organizations are relying much heavier on digital platforms to conduct their business, their exposures to several risks, vulnerabilities and liabilities are also enhanced, notably those involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) website compliance and cyber-crime.

As students with disabilities return to school, districts are unprepared to meet their needs, report says

March 22, 2021, The Washington Post: As students return to schools shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic, many large school districts are not prepared to meet the needs of well more than 1 million students with disabilities who have a legal right to receive support and services but are not getting them ― and the problem is most severe for students of color, according to a new report.

College is an Option for Individuals with Disabilities

March 22, 2021, Delaware News: What better month than March to release a video entitled College is an Options for Individuals with Disabilities ~ Stepping Up to the Challenge. March is Intellectual Disability (IDD) Awareness Month. This occasion allows us to look back at the past, examine the present and envision the future we want for people with IDD. More importantly, it is an opportunity to learn more about intellectual disabilities and how to eliminate the stigma surrounding IDD.

Be My Eyes and Seeing AI: How These Accessibility Apps Benefit the Visually Disabled

March 22, 2021, MUO: Living in a visually-driven world, we often forget those around us with limited sight or who are entirely blind. A few decades ago, people with visual disabilities had to rely on white canes, guide dogs, and good Samaritans when crossing the street or buying groceries. Although these methods are still effective, more advanced options have become available through technology.

Sunshine plus ADA bill clears first hurdle

March 21, 2021, West Hawaii Today: A Senate bill that would give boards the option — in conjunction with in-person meetings — to use videoconferencing for public meetings under the state’s Sunshine Law, without a declared emergency, cleared its first House hurdle.