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VisionConnect™ is a new, free, accessible app for iPhones and iPads from the American Foundation for the Blind that gives support to people losing their vision. VisionConnect™ provides:

  • A directory of services searchable by service, zip code, and distance, available in the U.S. and Canada.
  • Resources and tips for living independently with a visual impairment.
  • Links to useful information on VisionAware, FamilyConnect, and CareerConnect.
  • Information on products and technology.
  • Personal stories and employment advice.
  • A way to save directory search results and email them.

You can learn more about the app at AFB VisionConnect™ App and download it for free at afb.org/apps.

10 Tips for Creating Accessible Online Course Content

Free Webinar: Thursday, October 8th at 2pm ET

In our media-centric society, the desire and need for online learning is at an all-time high. However, as more academic content goes online, the industry is running into a stumbling block as they struggle to make their online courses accessible. With recent lawsuits in higher education and updates to Section 508 on the horizon, it is more important than ever that online learning content be made accessible to students with disabilities.

In this webinar, Janet Sylvia, Web Accessibility Group Leader and Web Accessibility Trainer, will provide you with 10 tips for making your online course material accessible. Register online, and don’t miss this excellent opportunity to learn about making your courses accessible!

Social Stories for Problem Behaviors – App

Contributed by Lori Markland, Director of Communications, MDTAP

Kids are heading back to school, mornings and evenings are hectic, and stresses are everywhere. I know that in my house alone, my 6-year-old and 9-year-old bicker at least 3 times in the 1.5 hours before we leave for school (seriously, like every single day), and sometimes, that bickering goes beyond complaining and yelling.

For example, this morning alone, one of the kiddos threw a headband at the other, and one decided to loudly proclaim that she had secrets that she would most certainly NOT tell her sister, leading to screaming, tears, slamming doors, a broken toy, and tattling. Compound all of this with my 6-year-old who struggles at home with anger management, understanding emotions, and acceptance, these otherwise-minor sisterly infractions turn into all-out war.  In the end, we made it to school happily (albeit 10 minutes late), with most grievances forgotten and consequences not a reality until this evening. But, I believe that there has to be a better way. Thus, when I discovered the Social Stories For Problem Behaviors App in my research this morning, I was more than delighted to share it with readers (and will certainly be looking into it for my younger child).

Covering 5 main behavior issues, the app is designed to help kids work through their various emotions –

  • Calm Counter includes a social story and a visual/audio tool that walks children through self-calming strategies when they are angry or anxious.
  • Wait Timer includes an illustrated social story about waiting, and a colorful audio/visual timer that can be set to any amount of time & runs in the background of other apps.
  • Turn Taker teaches taking turns & good sharing behavior with an illustrated social story, a customizable sharing timer and a prompting tool.
  • Going Shopping includes a social story and visual tool to help reduce problem behaviors caused by children wanting to pick out a toy or treat for themselves when in a shop or store.
  • Running Social Story teaches children about not running away, and running safety. It includes a visual tool to cue children when it is safe to run and when it is not safe to run.

I plan to take some time with my 6-year-old to focus on this app and will be sure to follow-up on what helped, what didn’t, and her thoughts on using this “tool.” Fingers crossed that maybe, just maybe, it helps to ease the stress of mornings and navigating the ever-changing dynamics of the relationship with her sister.

The International Association of Accessibility Professionals will be hosting their inaugural annual conference this month on October 21-23 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference will include education and interactive sessions on a broad range of topics related to accessibility. Learn more about the association or the conference online.

The makers have it this week. Makerspaces in hospitals, Maker AT challenges, etc. If you like this sort of thing, you’re gonna love this week’s news (and seriously, how often does anyone ever get to say that?!?!). AT in the news for the week of 9/28 thru 10/2.

Airports Across the Globe Begin to Discuss Accessibility

Brain implant memory loss breakthrough

How ad-blocking software could revolutionize disabled people’s lives

New app will help people with autism influence tech developments

There’s an app for that: how assistive tech changes lives of people with autism

MakerBot Announces Assistive Technology Challenge on Thingiverse

Most dangerous US industry shows growing need for accessible agriculture

India’s new currency to help millions of visually disabled handle money

College Programs for Students with Disabilities Are “Changing Culture”

Technologies Fostering Development of New Assistive Devices; $15 Billion in Market Gains by 2020, Says BCC Research

Mobile robots could help the elderly live fuller lives

Dutch Scientists Develop A-gear Novel Wearable Dynamic Arm For Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Makers create a better world: In partnership with Intel, we see how America’s Greatest Makers do good

Nation’s First Medical Makerspace Opens Inside Texas Hospital

Microsoft shows how the Narrator feature helps make Microsoft Edge more accessible

Future of immersive gaming gear for the blind

Dog trainer creating emergency dialer button

How to captions & subtitles work on iPhone videos [TUTORIAL]

[Video] Check out this video on Touch Accommodations, a new accessibility feature in iOS 9

Technology and Work:  Improving Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities

Webcast Date:  Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015

Webcast Time:  12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)

This webcast is free of charge and will be closed captioned.

This webcast will focus on the potential role of technology to enhance employment for people with disabilities in two ways – job and career path opportunities, and the creation of technology-based tools for facilitating productivity in select job tasks, including access to workplace communication channels.

To learn more, or to register, visit https://www.ilr.cornell.edu/online/webcast-series/technology-and-work-improving-employment-outcomes-people-disabilities

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