Assistive technology for people with disabilities

The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing last week concerning accessible technology for people with disabilities.  The Arc, as a member of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), submitted testimony for the record.  Given the ubiquitous nature of technology in today’s world, ensuring access for people with all types of disabilities is more urgent than ever.

Technology Gap

The US Department of Commerce released a report indicating that households that had individuals with disabilities continue to lag behind households without individuals with disabilities in high-speed internet access.  A major reason for the divide is socioeconomic.  Internet access is critical to obtaining employment and accessing post-secondary education.

Disability Policy Call on Wednesday

The next White House Disability call is Wednesday July 27th at 1:00 pm. The call will feature information on technology, Section 508 of the Rehab Act, independent agencies, emergency preparedness, employment, budgetary issues, and other topics. To join the call, dial in to (866) 298-7926 and say White House Disability Call (instead of a code).

The DPC urges HHS to make electronic health records accessible to people with disabilities

The DPC submitted comments to a workgroup that is preparing recommendations for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) concerning standards for electronic health records. The workgroup sought comments about making electronic health records accessible for people with disabilities. We had previously urged HHS to include accessibility standards in its health information technology requirements. In our comments we urged the workgroup to include accessibility as a requirement for EHRs to avoid costly retrofitting in the future. Read our comments at http://www.thearc.org/document.doc?id=2973

The Arc and UCP submit comments regarding regulations on the internet and medical equipment

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) held public hearings concerning its plans to revise the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations to address accessible web information and services, movie captioning and video description, accessibility of Next Generation 9-1-1, and accessible medical equipment and furniture. Read our testimony at http://www.thearc.org/document.doc?id=2874

An additional hearing will be held on January 10, 2011, at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, California. Registration information, hearing transcripts and webcasts of the hearings are available at http://www.ada.gov/anprm2010/anprm2010.htm

DOJ to hold hearings on accessibility regulations

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) will hold public hearings concerning its plans to revise the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations to address accessible web information and services, movie captioning and video description, accessibility of Next Generation 9-1-1, and accessible equipment and furniture.  Hearings will be held on December 16, 2010, at the U.S. Access Board in Washington, DC and on January 10, 2011, at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, California.  Registration information, hearing transcripts and webcasts of the hearings are available at http://www.ada.gov/anprm2010/anprm2010.htm.

Workplace Accommodations Seminar

The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center of Virginia Commonwealth University has created a free, self-paced, on-line seminar on workplace personal assistance services (WPAS).  Many aspects of WPAS are examined including assistive technology, self-employment, funding and employers’ perspectives. Register at http://www.worksupport.com/training/webcourses/pas_course.cfm