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Accessibility news archive

Here's what happened in the accessibility world from May 23–May 29, 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 is Assistive Technology for Disabled Persons?

May 29, 2021, IMC Grupo: Assistive technologies are devices or technology-based products that enhance the living, working, and even learning of persons with disabilities. These devices are beneficial because disabled persons can perform simple to complex tasks while having these aids. Examples of these include mobility devices, hearing aids, cognitive aids, and others.

Letters to The Sun, May 29, 2021: Accessibility legislation opens doors

May 28, 2021, Vancouver Sun: On April 28, I was honoured to introduce Bill-6, the Accessible British Columbia Act. This bill marks an important step in building an inclusive province that works for all of us.

Website Compliance: Key Costly Legal Risks Every Business Should Consider

May 28, 2021, JD Supra: During COVID, many companies were forced to digitize their entire business model, becoming reliant on their websites and other online platforms to retain employees, revenue, and market share.

COVID long haulers are likely protected by the ADA and FMLA

May 28, 2021, Business Management Daily: While the pandemic is winding down for most Americans, one group continues to suffer the consequences of a pandemic that struck people unequally. They’re the “long haulers,” so-called because they can’t seem to shake the COVID-19 virus’ effects. Often in their prime working years, long haulers complain of debilitating fatigue, chest pain, headaches, and persistent fevers. Worst, some say they’re experiencing a sensation they call brain fog that makes it hard to concentrate.

Twitter Spaces will be available for the web, including accessibility features

May 27, 2021, TechCrunch: On Wednesday evening, Twitter announced that Spaces — its Clubhouse competitor — will start rolling out for use on the web. Earlier this month, Twitter Spaces became available for any user with more than 600 followers on the iOS or Android apps, and around the same time, Clubhouse finally released its long-awaited Android app. Still, Clubhouse has yet to debut on the web, marking a success for Twitter in the race to corner the live social audio market.

A $10B federal proposal to improve transit station accessibility

May 27, 2021, Smart Cities Dive: A new federal, bicameral bill would offer $10 billion to ensure transit and passenger rail stations are accessible to people with disabilities.

Playgrounds Designed With Accessibility In Mind Make Play Fun for Every Kid

May 27, 2021, The 74: When it comes to providing play opportunities to children with disabilities, not all playgrounds are created equal. On most playgrounds in the United States, complex play structures with lots of stairs and uneven ground coverings like woodchips or gravel make play inaccessible to kids who depend on mobility aids like wheelchairs or walkers. Traditional swings or narrow slides are inaccessible to kids who need a caregiver’s support or the extra safety feature of a harness to use them.

Amazon's Alexa calls attention to Global Accessibility Awareness Day all month long

May 27, 2021, CNET: Alexa's accessibility features are designed to help people with specific needs, but anyone can take advantage of these Amazon Echo shortcuts, tips and tricks.

What Did the Pandemic Teach Chefs About Accessibility? A disabled food writer contemplates a return to restaurant dining rooms.

May 26, 2021, Grub Street: If COVID-19 shuttered New York restaurants like a tidal wave, then disability pulled me from their dining rooms like a riptide.

KKR Makes $55 Million Investment in eSSENTIAL Accessibility

May 26, 2021, Business Wire: KKR today announced a $55 million investment in eSSENTIAL Accessibility (“eA” or the “Company”), the pioneering provider of Accessibility-as-a-Service. As the digital divide for people with disabilities expands and the number of companies facing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-related litigation continues to skyrocket, eA’s digital accessibility platform addresses the growing demand for a comprehensive, sustainable solution.

Lawsuit Seeking Online Votes for Disabled Is Being Settled

May 25, 2021, US News: A lawsuit that led to a system for Mainers with print disabilities to cast absentee ballots online is being settled in an agreement that formalizes a requirement for a system for those plaintiffs to vote online in private, without assistance, from their homes.

MTA Capital Program To Improve ADA Accessibility For Subway Riders

May 25, 2021, Canarsie Courier: Commuting on the subway is hard enough for most commuters – having to deal with crowded subways, sweltering hot platforms during the summer months and transit delays – but for a person with a disability or injury, commuting in NYC can be a nightmare. A plan to make the city’s massive subway system more user-friendly is in the works.

West Fargo Schools adds communication boards to playgrounds

May 25, 2021, INFORUM: West Fargo’s Freedom Elementary School and L.E. Berger Elementary School have a new element to their playground, a communication board to facilitate communication between nonverbal and verbal students.

Colleges fix 100,000 files to make digital content accessible

May 25, 2021, University Business: Students with disabilities often encounter challenges when accessing digital content, even on some of the most popular home pages.

Scientists Partially Restored a Blind Man's Sight With New Gene Therapy

May 24, 2021, Yahoo! News: A team of scientists announced Monday that they had partially restored the sight of a blind man by building light-catching proteins in one of his eyes. Their report, which appeared in the journal Nature Medicine, is the first published study to describe the successful use of this treatment.

Learning Without Limits: Increasing Tech Accessibility in the K–12 Classroom

May 24, 2021, EdTech Magazine: Over the course of the past year, K–12 districts have created entirely new ways for teachers and students to connect and collaborate. Now, schools face mounting pressure to prioritize in-person teaching over online options, but not everyone is eager to return. Recent survey data from Echelon Insights found that 45 percent of parents would keep their children entirely online, if possible, while 22 percent of parents preferred a hybrid learning model.

BarrierBreak launches Covid-19 Accessibility Bug Bounty to promote Digital Accessibility

May 24, 2021, PRWeb: BarrierBreak, a leader in the digital accessibility delivering an offshore solution launched #CovidAccessibilityBugBounty to celebrate the 10th Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Covid-19 made access to information even more critical for people with disabilites globally. The need for digital accessibility is even more heightened today wherein we rely on the web and mobile apps.

Amazon's Alexa aids in accessibility for everyone during Global Accessibility Awareness Month

May 23, 2021, CNET: As one of the world's leading digital voice assistants, Amazon's Alexa has revolutionized the way people access information -- from fun and games, music and entertainment to the more important stuff like communicating with family and friends. But while Alexa can improve the life of anyone who uses an Amazon Echo smart speaker, it plays a special role in the lives of those with disabilities -- and those who care for them.