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Accessibility news archive

Here's what happened in the accessibility world from May 2–May 8, 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.

What Your Disabled Friends Want You To Know About 'Going Back To Normal' Post-Vaccine

May 7, 2021, The Huffington Post: As more people are getting vaccinated and many states are lifting closures and restrictions, people with disabilities are urging non-disabled people to learn lessons from the coronavirus pandemic to create a safer, more inclusive world.

Blind Employment Awareness Day in Milwaukee Stresses Importance of Meaningful Work

May 6, 2021, Yahoo! Finance: There's certainly much more to a job than a paycheck. A steady job provides community, personal fulfillment, and growth. The positive impact of employment is especially powerful in the blind and visually impaired community, where recent surveys have shown an unemployment rate of as high as 60%. However, in Milwaukee, a local awareness day is working to bring that down.

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Two Community Colleges to Improve Access for Students with Disabilities

May 6, 2021, Department of Justice: The Justice Department announced today the signing of two agreements with community colleges to remove barriers experienced by students with disabilities, including veterans. The agreements, reached with Central Texas College of Killeen (CTC), located in Killeen, Texas, and Tidewater Community College (TCC), located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, are part of the department’s commitment to ensure that educational institutions comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Both colleges have high populations of servicemembers who have returned from active duty.

Google My Business Wheelchair Accessibility Attributes

May 6, 2021, Search Engine Roundtable: A week or so ago, Google added to Google My Business the ability to add attributes to your business listing that specify if your business is wheelchair accessible. This includes wheelchair accessible entrance, parking lot, restroom, seating and maybe more.

The value of accessible language

May 6, 2021, Whitman Wire: I may not be the only one who feels a burst of energy when I decipher difficult readings for my classes and communicate abstract and theoretical concepts through complex language. This is because the college classroom environment encourages us to ground our dialogue in the academic and theoretical language that we are also being taught. This environment, however, is unique, because everyone is introduced to similar language and specific theoretical ideas, unlike many conversations outside the classroom where everyone has different interests and backgrounds.

Designing Accessible Documents Doesn’t Need to be Daunting

May 5, 2021, UNLV News Center: At UNLV, there is no such thing as a “typical” student, or person, for that matter. I learned that my freshman year in 1998. I have cerebral palsy and limited motor skills. So, when I arrived on campus, I was using a manual wheelchair for locomotion. I spent a lot of time jerry-rigging ways to get myself, physically, through the day. I went on to become a classroom instructor, and now, administrative faculty member. With these experiences in mind, I want to make certain accessibility needs enter the diversity conversation on campus.

Digital products need to be accessible — for everyone

May 5, 2021, The Hamilton Spectator: From grocery shopping to school to concerts, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced almost all activities online. This makes the need for digital platforms to be accessible to people with disabilities more critical than ever.

ReelAbilities raises questions of access, stark truths about Denver arts scene

May 4, 2021, The Denver Post: Producing festivals and other live events over the last 12 months minus big screens, stages or in-person attendance has left many organizers feeling deflated.

Disabled Wisconsin lawmaker asks to participate remotely

May 4, 2021, The Telegraph: A disabled Democratic lawmaker has asked Assembly Republicans to allow him to participate in floor sessions remotely, much like the accommodations sometimes used during the coronavirus pandemic.

When to tell a potential employer about a disability in a remote-work environment

May 3, 2021, The Seattle Times: Q: I took early retirement last year. Shortly thereafter, I decided I wasn’t quite ready to stop working. With the coronavirus pandemic in full swing, I went back to school to become a paralegal. This worked out perfectly, as I am disabled and use either a walker or a cane, and the virtual classes were easy to attend.

How Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer Does Her Job

May 3, 2021, The Wall Street Journal: Microsoft Corp. last week announced steps it plans to take in the next five years to improve accessibility to people with disabilities, promising to ramp up its development of related technology, create opportunities for more of them to enter the workforce and make its own workplace more inclusive for them.

As a student with cerebral palsy, I learn in the community. COVID-19 turned my world into a screen.

May 3, 2021, PublicSource: When people think of school, they think of sitting in a classroom all day learning subjects like math and social studies. When I think of school, I think of going out into the community in my wheelchair with my voice device and working to be more independent in my everyday life.

In search of smoother ground: District clears its trails of barriers in push to make parks ADA accessible

May 2, 2021, Mountain View Voice: When Santa Clara County resident Sean Simonson explores trails and open spaces in the Santa Cruz Mountains, he faces accessibility challenges that other bikers and hikers take for granted. Trail impediments might be easy to hop over or maneuver around, but not so on a recumbent tricycle or in a wheelchair, he said.