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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC) is asking for individuals to take its new online survey on emergency communications. The survey questions address emergency services, public alerts and warnings, and social media use during emergencies.
The Wireless RERC conducted this survey once before, almost two years ago. Because technology is changing so rapidly and new government rules are being implemented, RERC think it's the right time to conduct the survey again. The data will be of great interest to regulatory authorities and other professionals working to improve emergency response and disaster relief for people with disabilities.
New to this version of the survey is the inclusion of a question for the respondent to identify if he/she is a caregiver. In this way, the RERC hopes to collect data on the caregiver experience as it relates to emergency communications technologies and behaviors, as well as the experiences of individuals with disabilities.
Does assistive technology (AT) play a role in your life? Do you use an assistive device to get things done, or to make your life easier? Have you modified a device to make it work better, or come up with your own device? Then show off your AT! Share your ideas and win up to $400. !!! Visit http://atnet.org/video-contest for details and official rules.
More than half of spinal cord injury patients surveyed had equipment problems within 6 months.
WEDNESDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- An increasing number of wheelchair breakdowns are causing people with spinal cord injuries to be left stranded, hurt or unable to keep their medical appointments, according to a new study. Read More...
From the Bakersfield Californian
Many individuals with disabilities are benefiting from new technology, including iPads and other tablet computers. Bakersfield, Calif., high-school student Tynesha Murray, who has cerebral palsy, communicates with the help of the iPad mobile application TouchChat. "She just happens to be trapped and she needed this device to even out the playing field," school program specialist Beverly Foster said. Read more about How New Technology is Benefiting People with Disabilities article.
FYI. From the Department of Rehabilitation.
As communicated earlier this month the Department of Rehabilitation is conducting a survey to gauge its effectiveness and scan the environment for trends on the pursuit of employment, independence, and equality for people with disabilities. We have added more options for the public to participate and have extended the survey through June 22, 2012.
You and your networks can take the survey by responding through these ways:
For those who do not have access to the Internet and for those who need assistance in responding; all DOR offices have copies of the surveys and postage paid return envelopes. Please help us reach as many people as we can; every opinion counts!
The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete and has sections for narrative comments. Be candid in your responses as they will be confidential. Please note that due to the anticipated volume of comments we will not be able to respond to them directly, but your contributions will be incorporated into the overall analysis and will be used to help shape the plan. We may hold focus groups that concentrate on specific issues that surface from the survey.
Thank you for being a partner in advancing "Employment, Independence and Equality for all Californians with Disabilities”!
As of May 1, 2012, the California Relay Service (CRS) is offering a new service, called "Visually Assisted Speech-to-Speech" (VA STS).
In addition to a phone call to the relay service, the Speech-to-Speech (STS) caller is also using a webcam or videophone with SkypeTM to connect with the Communications Assistant at the relay call center. This allows the Communications Assistant to see the STS user as they are speaking.
Seeing the STS caller's mouth movements, facial expressions, and gestures can enable the Communications Assistant to better understand and re-voice for the caller.
For more information see the press release on the CPUC Web site: http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PUBLISHED/NEWS_RELEASE/165378.htm
Or visit the Web site of the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program:
As you may know, there are estimated to be 1.2 million Americans who are both deaf and visually impaired. Dealing with this dual sensory loss can be challenging at the very least and devastating at its worst, causing profound isolation and loneliness. Support Service Providers can make a huge difference in improving the quality of lives for people who are Deaf-Blind.
Personal testimonials by Donna Ragland of Morrison, Colorado, and other Deaf-Blind travelers from all over the United States, describe the value of support service providers: how their services enable them to access the world around them, participate in their communities, and maintain and enjoy an active life.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this DVD will benefit future trips of the Deaf-Blind Explorers. For more information on this DVD and other books go to http://www.ellexapress.citymax.com/support_service_providers_for_deafblind.html.
Ready to submit your premier Windows 8 app? Interested in adding some new accessibility features? Microsoft wants to ensure that its incoming OS can be used by people with disabilities right out of the box, detailing its "comprehensive accessibility platform" that will arrive on the next version of Windows. It's redesigned the built-in screen reader, improving performance speed while adding more languages and voices. Microsoft has also extended its compatibility, including the ability to read output from applications. The Narrator will even assist with the installation of Windows 8, something that's already integrated into the developer preview. The voice assistant will also be better equipped to keep up with your web browsing habits, with improved processing speed and keyboard shortcuts to navigate during narration. Read more about Windows 8 accessibility features.
Individuals who are blind or visually impaired can download hundreds of the most popular federal tax forms and publications from IRS.gov. These products range from accessible PDFs to e-Braille formats and are accessible using screen reading software and refreshable Braille displays. Visit the IRS Accessibility page to download these forms and publications. Also, view a video that highlights IRS products and services available for people with disabilities.
Free Tax Return preparation help is also available
People who are unable to complete their tax return because of a disability may get assistance from a local IRS Tax Assistance Center or through a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or Tax Counseling for the Elderly site (VITA or TCE). To find a Tax Assistance Center near you, click on contact IRS, on IRS.gov and then select contact your local IRS office. You can also find a nearby VITA or TCE location by calling 1-800-906-9887 or at http://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep for VITA and www.aarp.org/money/taxes/aarp_taxaide for TCE. The IRS sponsors VITA and TCE. Publication 907, Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities, explains the tax implications of certain disability benefits and other issues, and is available at IRS.gov.
Visit www.IRS.gov and enter "accessibility" in the Search box for more information.
The AT Network is dedicated to protecting the rights of our consumers and allowing them to remain independent in the community. If you have a question, concern, or a story to share with us then please don't hesitate to contact us: