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Don’t miss the ImpAACt Voices Live AAC Hangout and Celebration 2022, the only networking event of its kind for the Augmentative Alternative Community (AAC) and business communities.

 

Organized and led by AAC users, the event will:

  •  Provide networking opportunities for businesses and the AAC community

  •  Assist AAC users in showcasing their abilities and gain employment opportunities

 

Link to learn more and register: Learn More 

View a video message from Vice President Chris Klein below:

Inaugural Live Hangout and Celebration 2022, Save the date October 7th & 8th in Arlington, Virginia

 

Event Details

Date: October 7 and 8, 2022

Location:

Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport

1999 Richmond Highway

Arlington, Virginia 22202

Tel: 703-413-5500

Cost: 

Two-Days: $200

One-Day: $100

AAC User Scholarship: Request Scholarship

Includes:

  • Friday night happy hour & networking reception

  •  Friday night IV Live Hangout & Celebration event, featuring AAC speakers

  •  Saturday light breakfast 

  •  Saturday workshops and round table discussion

  •  Complimentary snacks and drink

 

Reading, Writing, Organizing & Notetaking AT Solutions

Maryland AT Program logo

September 14th @ 1pm, EST

Join us for this free webinar highlighting AT tools to help students, teachers, and parents feel ready for a successful, new school year. 

REGISTER HERE!

All webinars include live captioning. If you need additional accommodations, please contact Lori Berrong, lori.berrong@maryland.gov

Photograph of a man using hand signs, sitting in front of a laptop

September is an important month in the d/Deaf community. Not only is Deaf Awareness Month celebrated, but also International Week of Deaf People from 19-25 September and World Deaf Day on 27 September.

 

These are occasions to celebrate the d/Deaf community, educate about deafness, and advocate for accessibility in everyday life.

 

We’d love to take this opportunity to encourage you to make your events this September – and all events – accessible! CLICK HERE to find out how. 

 

Other Events:

Live Events Captioning: How Tech & Talent Are Transforming Captions

No matter whether it’s an in-person or online event, a common component is emerging: captioning. Event organizers are following the lead of broadcasters and many other content creators worldwide, extensively adopting closed and open captions to meet accessibility requirements for attendees with hearing loss.

Read more

Event-On-Laptop-1000x667-1

 
 

Tips for Being Deaf-Aware: Part 1

Understand the spectrum of deafness, learn more about Deaf culture, and get our top deaf communication tips.

Read more

Two people in a sitting room talking and smiling. One is wearing a hearing aid. A cat sleeps on the couch.

Tips for Being Deaf-Aware: Part 2

In our second article on being deaf aware, we explore how to communicate when an interpreter is present, learning signs, words to use (and not use), and more.

Read more

Three people outdoors smiling and meeting each other. One person signs 'hello' and another person is wearing a cochlear implant. There are trees and grass behind them.

 

 

 

Written by Stephen Polacek

Our work in the IT Access Initiative is centered on complying with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.  Maryland’s own Non Visual Access Clause and the federal Section 508 guidelines both use WCAG 2.0 as their baseline.  There’s been a lot of discussion around moving up to 2.1 standards to incorporate mobile access, but with 2.2 around the corner, it may be better to wait and look at what these new standards have to offer.

WCAG 2.2 expands on the same goals as 2.1: providing better accessibility on mobile devices and increased accessibility for those with cognitive disabilities.  It also keeps the older standards numbers; there’s no moving around of existing guidelines.  This means there is no grouping by the subset level (A, AA, AAA) but that should be easy enough to remember.  What WCAG 2.2 (found here) does offer is more guidance on physical interactions, such as dragging or touch targets and newer trends like two-step authentication. 

For those asking about WCAG 3.0, W3C states in the draft that 3.0 will be an incorporation of the WCAG, Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG), and User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAA).  This means 3.0 will have different testing requirements and a different compliance level determination.  The current working draft also states that 3.0 is not backward-compatible with WCAG 2.X.  Depending on what 3.0 looks like closer to its final publishing, the existing laws based on WCAG 2.X may need to be rewritten.

When considering these 2.2 updates, it’s worth considering skipping 2.1 and going straight to 2.2 compliance.  

Article Contributed by Amanda Henderson

Have a Disability? Use Technological Advances to Your Advantage

woman in orange sleeveless top sitting on couch

There are a wealth of job opportunities if you have a disability, especially if you consider work-from-home jobs. Fortunately, if you have a disability, it doesn’t have to hold you back. There are ways to accommodate using technology. 

Find a Work-From-Home Job

The Americans With Disabilities Act makes it illegal for a business to discriminate against you due to a disability, and the business has to make reasonable accommodations to help you succeed in the role. However, not all businesses are fully equipped to handle all disabilities. When you’re at home, though, you have all the accommodations you require for success. Therefore, finding a remote job might be in your best interest. The phone and internet make it possible to take on roles in various positions, whether as an editor, web developer, customer service representative, social media manager, or any number of other jobs. 

Prepare Your Resume and LinkedIn Page 

Prepare your resume and LinkedIn page to put your best foot forward. Highlight your skills, accomplishments, and attributes concisely and accurately. When creating your LinkedIn page, explain your expertise in a few short paragraphs. Have a high-quality photo of yourself that looks professional. To use LinkedIn to your advantage as much as possible, it’s important to connect with the right people to expand your network. It helps to upgrade to the premium version. You can then message people directly and even look at the people and companies interested in you. 

Update your resume to include your most recent experience and achievements. Note any computer or interpersonal skills because many employers are looking for these skills in addition to the standard educational requirements and experience. Try a free PDF editor to update your resume if it’s currently in PDF format. The process is as simple as uploading the file, making the necessary changes, and then downloading it. It’s then ready to share with prospective employers. 

Use Assistive Devices to Help 

Technology has come a long way for everyone, especially those with disabilities. For instance, you can have a screen reader on your computer if you have trouble seeing the print. You may also use a magnification software program on your computer to increase the size of the text. 

Most meeting platforms, like Zoom and Google Meet, include AI captioning, which is increasing more accurate. This is a great alternative if there is no live captioning available. You may also use an app that transcribes meetings

Consider Remote Career Advancement Programs 

Maybe it’s time to further your education so that you’re more marketable in your field. If you only have an associate’s degree, earn a bachelor’s. If you already have a bachelor’s, consider a master’s or complete a certificate program. Fortunately, online programs let you complete your work from the comfort of your own home, in an environment already tailored to your disability. 

Better Your Life With Technology 

Technology has increased the opportunities for people with disabilities by providing them with ways to better adapt. Prepare your resume and LinkedIn page, use assistive devices, go back to school, and consider remote work options. If you need further resources to support you, visit Maryland’s Department of Disabilities

Maryland ABLE Image

family at computerMaryland ABLE is seeking input on who can manage an ABLE account. The Treasury Department has issued final regulations for Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) savings and investment programs that included new provisions for who can assist a person with a disability to manage their account and would allow for people other than those serving as Power of Attorney or guardian of property, with specific relationships to the person, to manage the ABLE account for the person. Implementation of these new provisions of the regulations would require a change in the Maryland statute. The Maryland ABLE program is seeking input from people with disabilities, family members, and service providers before moving forward with how we may implement these new classifications of account managers for people over the age of eighteen. We value your input and invite you to share your thoughts by participating in one of the virtual focus groups:

September 8th, 6:30 pm https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85699299024?pwd=aDRodlpMOG90aHVKSzBnY1pyM3k0Zz09

Meeting ID: 856 9929 9024 Passcode: 066125 One tap mobile +13017158592,,85699299024#,,,,*066125# US (Washington DC) +13092053325,,85699299024#,,,,*066125# US

September 9th, 11am https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89110054758?pwd=YStvdmJGMVdRd1dlY1k3RkNwSTY3QT09

Meeting ID: 891 1005 4758 Passcode: 749161 One tap mobile +13017158592,,89110054758#,,,,*749161# US (Washington DC) +16468769923,,89110054758#,,,,*749161# US (New York)

We look forward to having you share your thoughts with us as we work towards making the Maryland ABLE program the best program to meet the needs of people with disabilities.

 

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