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Safety Tips for the Star-Spangled Spectacular

Contributed by Provi Sharpe, Director of Emergency Preparedness & Equipment Reuse, MDTAP 

The Star-Spangled Spectacular, September 10 to 16, 2014, is the 200th anniversary of our national anthem. A Baltimore harbor map and printable schedule of events are available online. There is also important information for the public, and two of the participating ships, the USS Constellation and USNS Choctaw County, are accessible to those with mobility impairments.

There will be many people at the festival, so staying safe is important. Stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings. Take note of emergency personnel, evacuation exits, restrooms and the location of medical tents or first aid stations. To help prevent dehydration you may want to avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, which increase the risk of dehydration. Guard your personal belongings. Appear calm and confident. Trust your instincts; if something or someone makes you uneasy, leave the area.

If you will be accompanied by a service animal, be mindful if it appears overly excited, unfocused, distracted, overstimulated or otherwise out of control, and be prepared to leave if necessary.

Remember to be patient. An event like this can attract overwhelming crowds. Staying calm can be your best ally in helping you and your loved ones stay safe.

Have fun!

Consistent Navigation and Identification

Consistency is important for web site accessibility and usability. WCAG 2.0 Success Criterion 3.2.3 (Level AA) requires that navigation elements that are repeated on web pages do not change order across pages. Success Criterion 3.2.4 (Level AA) requires that elements that have the same functionality across multiple web pages be consistently identified. For example, a search box at the top of the site should always appear in the same place and be labeled the same way.

Chances are, if you’ve been on Facebook or the internet any time in the past few weeks, you’ve seen the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. In fact, half of us have probably even done it (thank you to everyone who has). It’s a tremendous boon to the research supporting finding a cure for ALS and other motor neuron disorders. And although many people have heard of this devastating illness, not many have a complete understanding of just how quickly it can ravage a person.

Often Awesome is a web series that follows the life of a young man shortly after his diagnosis, and documents the physical, emotional and social impact this illness has on him, his wife, and friends. You’ll see his struggles, his hopes and his reliance on assistive technology, as it becomes his only means to communicate as his body shuts down.

Grab your tissues, and don’t miss this chance to learn more about a disease that we all hope to beat.

Webinar: eQuality: The Struggle for Web Accessibility by Persons with Cognitive Disabilities

Date: Thursday – October 16, 2014 Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Please join us for this informative discussion on web accessibility​ as BBI Chairman, Dr. Peter Blanck, will discuss and answer questions about his new book entitled “eQuality: The Struggle for Web Accessibility by Persons with Cognitive Disabilities,” Commissioned by the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities at the University of Colorado and​ published by Cambridge University Press in 2014.

To register for the webinar, please complete the Registration Form. [https://syracuseuniversity.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1B9MUgmhxM8cHnn]

It’s that most wonderful time of year when kids return to school, the weather gets cool, and we dive head-first into anything pumpkin flavored. Of course it’s also when we focus a lot of time & energy into thinking about what AT could best meet the needs of students, in and out of school. This week’s review includes a fair amount of that, including lists of “best apps,” tactile books, and more. Check it all out right here – AT News Wrap Up for the week of 8/18 thru 8/22

DynaVox Unveils Dedicated Speech-generating Tablet Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments

A chair that’s a chair but isn’t there

MIT engineers clothing technology for disabled

Apps to help deaf, hearing people communicate more easily

Make It PrAACtical: Adapted Writing Tool

StopInfo for OneBusAway App Makes Buses More Usable for Blind

PTSD Online Coach: self-help tools to build coping skills

The Internet of Things Could Empower People with Disabilities

Assistive technology is transforming the lives of people with a disability

Back-to-School Guide for Dyslexic Students: Apps and More

Is the solution to wheelchair damage on airlines in the bag?

Now you only have to barely move your hand to control your smart glasses

What Technology Product Would Be the Biggest Help to Older People?

Former automotive engineer designs more user friendly wheelchair

You Don’t Have to Be Able to See to Enjoy Picture Books

Speech Apps to Smart Pens: Tech Aids Students With Learning Disabilities

A 16-Year-Old Google Science Fair Finalist Wants To Help People With Disabilities Communicate With Their Breath

Time lapse video showing how to build an Everest-D V4 braille embosser

New generation of ‘muscle suits’ make light work of heavy lifting

The invention that unlocked a locked-in artist

5 iPhone apps anyone with a #disability should be aware of

Veterans & soldiers w/ ALS now eligible for grants that will help them find accessible homes!

Increasingly, Parents Push For Inclusive Playgrounds

Judge rules case on blind ballot tool will go forward

We hope you’re checking often, but just in case you aren’t, here’s a short list of some of the newest AT listed on Equipment Link. And if you want to see more, visit www.equipmentlink.org.

Lift chair - Free, Port Deposit, MD

Exterior Wheelchair Lift, Kwiklift II - Chevy Chase, MD

U-Step Walker/Rollator – $500, Parkville, MD

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