State of Connecticut: Governor Lamont Announces Agreement With Disability Rights Groups on Distribution of COVID-19 Rapid Tests and N95 Masks

State of Connecticut: Governor Lamont Announces Agreement With Disability Rights Groups on Distribution of COVID-19 Rapid Tests and N95 Masks. “Governor Ned Lamont today announced that his administration, working in cooperation with the Office of Attorney General William Tong, has reached an agreement with Disability Rights Connecticut and Connecticut Legal Rights Project regarding the state’s ongoing distribution of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests and N95 masks.”

Michigan Daily: New-York disability advocacy group files restraining order against AAPS

Michigan Daily: New-York disability advocacy group files restraining order against AAPS. “After Ann Arbor Public Schools resumed classes virtually on Wednesday, a disability-rights advocacy group asked U.S. District Court Judge Judith Levy to stop Michigan school districts from cancelling in-person classes going forward. The Brain Injury Rights Group (BRIG) is a New York-based legal rights advocacy group that offers pro-bono services to individuals with disabilities.”

StateTech: The Pandemic Has Highlighted the Need for Accessible Technology in Government

StateTech: The Pandemic Has Highlighted the Need for Accessible Technology in Government. “The coronavirus pandemic has changed a great deal about how state and local governments operate, with many agencies expanding digital services. However, with governments turning increasingly to remote work, virtual meetings and online service delivery, the pandemic has also shown the shortcomings of such solutions and technologies for those with disabilities.”

Limping Chicken: Clear masks reportedly approved for use in UK-wide health settings

Limping Chicken: Clear masks reportedly approved for use in UK-wide health settings. “Two brands of clear, transparent face coverings have been approved by the UK Government to be trialled in health settings this year – according to the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS). The charity reports that Contechs’ transparent surgical face mask and Alpha Solway’s MX C mask have been given the all clear by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), in what NDCS described as an ‘exciting and long-awaited update’.”

Engadget: The tech industry’s accessibility report card for 2021

Engadget: The tech industry’s accessibility report card for 2021 . “There are too many individual transgressions and improvements to exhaustively detail here. Due to their sheer size, though, tech’s largest companies wield the greatest influence over what the rest of the industry does. By holding them accountable, we have a better chance of seeing widespread change in the way tech thinks about inclusive design. Here’s how Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta (formerly Facebook) and more did to improve the accessibility of their products and services in 2021.”

Jurist: Germany legislature will enact law to protect COVID-19 patients with disabilities

Jurist: Germany legislature will enact law to protect COVID-19 patients with disabilities. “German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann announced Tuesday that the German legislature must take action to protect disabled patients and patients with pre-existing conditions in the event of triage caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Buschmann’s proclamation comes after an identical ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court.”

9to5 Google: Google’s ‘Look to Speak’ accessibility app now works in 17 more languages

9to5 Google: Google’s ‘Look to Speak’ accessibility app now works in 17 more languages. “Google has really expanded and improved the volume of services offering enhanced control schemes and accessibility for those with disabilities and motor impairments. Look to Speak is an app that allows you to control your smartphone with just your eyes – by looking at predetermined and prewritten phrases, which your smartphone will then read aloud.”

Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association: New “Smart Homes Made Simple” Website is Live!

Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association: New “Smart Homes Made Simple” Website is Live!. “We hope this website will serve as a hub of information where members of the disability and aging communities, as well as service providers, housing professionals, and technology consultants, can learn how to integrate smart home technology into the homes of people with disabilities and older adults for greater independence, autonomy, safety, and accessibility.”

Sky News: Online abuse of those with disabilities increases more than 50 percent during lockdown

Sky News: Online abuse of those with disabilities increases more than 50 percent during lockdown. “According to Freedom of Information data requested from 39 police forces in England and Wales by charities Leonard Cheshire and United Response, there were 9,200 disability hate crimes reported to police in 2020-21, both online and in person. Of those, 44% were classed as ‘violent’, involving assault or possession of weapons, up 4.4% from the previous 12 months. But with lockdowns forcing people to stay at home for much of the year, it was in online abuse that the biggest increase was seen with 981 cases, up 52% on 2019-20.”

Sarasota Tribune: Sarasota special-needs mom goes viral on TikTok, sparks positive gamer movement

Sarasota Tribune: Sarasota special-needs mom goes viral on TikTok, sparks positive gamer movement. “A Sarasota mother and a dog food factory worker from Pennsylvania have teamed up to create a safe haven for children with disabilities to play video games online. Fed up with her special-needs son being ignored, Linda Espada sparked the movement after a TikTok rant went viral.”

The Conversation: From bespoke seats to titanium arms, 3D printing is helping paralympians gain an edge

The Conversation: From bespoke seats to titanium arms, 3D printing is helping paralympians gain an edge. “Major sporting events like the Paralympics are a breeding ground for technological innovation. Athletes, coaches, designers, engineers and sports scientists are constantly looking for the next improvement that will give them the edge. Over the past decade, 3D printing has become a tool to drive improvements in sports like running and cycling, and is increasingly used by paralympic athletes.”

Dallas Morning News: Disability Rights Texas files federal lawsuit against Gov. Abbott over school mask mandate ban

Dallas Morning News: Disability Rights Texas files federal lawsuit against Gov. Abbott over school mask mandate ban. “Disability Rights Texas filed the first federal lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbott over his ban on mask mandates, alleging that his executive order puts students with disabilities at risk. The advocacy group’s suit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District in Austin, escalates the legal fight over mask mandates that’s been playing out as millions of students head back to school amid a COVID-19 surge driven by the highly contagious delta variant.”

Web Accessibility for the Human Experience: When We Can Help (Search Engine Journal)

Search Engine Journal: Web Accessibility for the Human Experience: When We Can Help. “If you were talked into buying an accessibility automatic AI product by today’s version of a vacuum cleaner salesperson selling pink colored Kirby’s, you are making assumptions about the needs of persons with disabilities. The pushback by accessibility advocates and persons who find themselves facing interference by unwanted accessibility tools is intense and justified. The claim that one line of JavaScript inserted into a web page automatically fixes all accessibility issues and prevents an ADA lawsuit has been proven to be false.”

No Camels: Paralympic Swimmer To Rep RightHear, An Israeli Accessibility App For The Visually Impaired

No Camels: Paralympic Swimmer To Rep RightHear, An Israeli Accessibility App For The Visually Impaired. “Last week, Becca Meyers, a deaf-blind Paralympic swimmer was forced to withdraw from Team USA just five weeks before the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo because she was told she had to navigate the city and the Olympic Village alone. It’s these kinds of situations and stories that emphasize the urgent need for more inclusion and accessibility for those with disabilities. Israeli startup RightHear, the developer of a navigation app for the blind and visually impaired, has been working for six years to make that inclusion a reality.”

The Verge: How A Teen Punk Led A Movement For Disabled People Online

The Verge: How A Teen Punk Led A Movement For Disabled People Online. “When Tyler Trewhella opened Tumblr in 2014 and posted a photo of themself outside a diner, they had no idea that image would become their legacy. The photo shows them with cane in hand and cigarette in mouth, clad in boots, a denim jacket with pins, and a hat with earflaps. A small banner across the picture was originally going to say ‘diner punk,’ but they decided at the last second to change it to ‘cripple punk.’ Tongue in cheek, they captioned the post, ‘i’m starting a movement.’”