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Here's what happened in the accessibility world from June 13–19, 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.

This woman is a chess champion. And she's blind

June 19, 2021, CNN: Jessica Lauser is relentless on the chess board. She plays quickly, applying constant pressure on her opponents. She attacks constantly, not unlike the Beth Harmon character from the Netflix television series, "The Queen's Gambit." She baits her opponents out of their comfort zones, then leverages the element of surprise.

United Spinal's Virtual Roll on Capitol Hill Strengthens Disability Rights, Accessibility, and Inclusion for Future Generations of Wheelchair Users

June 18, 2021, PRNewswire: United Spinal Association and approximately 200 advocates from across the country gathered virtually on June 14-16 for the 2021 Roll on Capitol Hill, meeting with their representatives in Congress to ensure that people with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D) are included in shaping disability policies.

Firmer Accessibility Standards Sought For Health Care

June 18, 2021, Disability Scoop: Doctors’ offices are supposed to be accessible to people with disabilities, but rules outlining what that means are going unenforced. Now, an independent federal agency is calling for change.

Why Disability Activists Argue Against Labels Like ‘Differently Abled’

June 17, 2021, The Swaddle–IN: People with disabilities have long been opposing “positive” terminologies for their disabled experiences — through movements like #SayTheWord and #ThisIsWhatDisabilityLooksLike, among others. However, before the popularity of social media, people were often told to use terms like “specially abled” or “differently abled” to describe people with disabilities. But as the disabled community began taking control of their own narrative, the euphemistic references began to be criticized — here’s why.

A new sustainable wheelchair seat design

June 17, 2021, The Manufacturer: The National Composites Centre (NCC) and the charity Motivation have collaborated to design and manufacture a wheelchair seat pan for users in Third World countries.

Calgary's temporary patios need accessibility overhaul, councillor says

June 16, 2021, Calgary Herald: The movable ramps and bright orange barriers around many of Calgary’s temporary patios aren’t cutting it when it comes to accessibility, a city councillor says.

Technology helps disabled student play the harp with her eyes

June 16, 2021, WHBL: Alexandra Kerlidou sits in her wheelchair on stage in Athens. With only the shift of her eyes across a computer screen, the 21-year-old fills the air with harp music.

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Newton County, Arkansas and its Board of Election Commissioners to Ensure Polling Place Accessibility for Voters with Disabilities

June 16, 2021, Department of Justice: The Justice Department yesterday reached a settlement under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with Newton County, Arkansas, and its Board of Election Commissioners to ensure that the County provides an accessible voting program, including accessible polling places, to voters with disabilities.

Shirley Pinto, the first-ever deaf MK, is sworn into Knesset using sign language

June 16, 2021, The Times of Israel: Shirley Pinto, the first deaf member of Knesset, was sworn into office Wednesday morning using sign language.

Costa Mesa fourth-grader petitions school district for greater accessibility to restrooms

June 16, 2021, Los Angeles Times: Rory Siwula is 9 years old and speaks quickly, as if she were in a rush to get all the words out. She’s confident and happy to answer questions about herself. She’s entering the fourth grade this fall. She uses a wheelchair. She is in the special education program at Killybrooke Elementary. She thinks of herself as pretty smart and said she knows generally what people think about when they see her.

Xbox now supports speech-to-text and text-to-speech accessibility features

June 16, 2021, SlashGear: Gaming is and should be for everyone, but games and gaming platforms weren’t always designed with everyone, and we mean everyone, in mind. Developers and console makers have fortunately been making strides in the accessibility department, and some have hailed Microsoft’s Xbox as leading the pack, especially with its unique Xbox Adaptive Controller. For June, Xbox is once again diving into opening the platform to all types of gamers, allowing them to chat the way they can or even want to.

Bill passed to help special education students recover academically from pandemic

June 15, 2021, WSYR: Legislation was passed that ensures students with disabilities “aging-out” of public education can return to school to get the educational services they were unable to receive during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill will allow special education students to return to school until completing their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or turning 23 years old – whichever is sooner.

Accessibility experts compile top 10 list of inclusive tourist hotpots

June 15, 2021, Access & Mobility Professional: With lockdown restrictions easing across the country, thousands of Brits are gearing up for long-awaited staycations. But for those with mobility issues of disabilities, venturing outdoors can seem like a daunting endeavour.

Indoor dining is back, but let’s not forget the lessons of eating in the streets

June 15, 2021, WHYY: If one thing has been constant for restaurants over the last year and a half, it’s change. From lockdown life to takeout hustle, to the recent return of indoor dining, these businesses have gotten used to pivoting hard and fast.

Experts calling on businesses to make their online content more accessible

June 14, 2021, Calgary Journal: With increasing reliance on online meetings and digital tools, experts are calling on businesses and organizations to ensure their online spaces are accessible to all.

Lawsuit Filed Against City of Baltimore Over Accessibility of Curb Ramps, Sidewalks

June 14, 2021, Roads & Bridges: A class action lawsuit has been filed alleging widespread and ongoing violations of federal accessibility requirements by the City of Baltimore for its "failure to properly install and maintain of curb ramps and sidewalks."

JavaScript Requirements For Accessible Components — Smashing Magazine

June 14, 2021, EIN Presswire: Spoiler alert: tooltips, modals, tabs, carousels, and dropdown menus are some of the user interface components that require more than CSS. To ensure accessibility of your interface, JavaScript is a necessary addition to accomplish focus management, respond to keyboard events, and toggle ARIA attributes.

Arts festival aimed at young deaf and disabled audience

June 13, 2021, The Northern Echo–UK: An inclusive outdoor arts festival will be staged in the colourful grounds of a former Roman Catholic seminary later in the summer. InludFEST is aimed at young people and their families, but with specific appeal to deaf and disabled children.