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Apple Announces New Accessibility Website

On October 27, Apple used the announcement of the new MacBook Pros to debut a new accessibility website highlighting various built-in options on the company’s devices.  The website demonstrates how people are applying these features in their lives.  For more information, visit: http://www.apple.com/accessibility/ipad/.

National Federation of the Blind
2017 Scholarship Program

The 2017 Scholarship Program begins on November 1, 2016 and ends on March 31, 2017. 

To recognize achievement by blind scholars, the National Federation of the Blind annually offers blind college students in the United States and Puerto Rico the opportunity to win one of thirty merit-based, national-level scholarships worth from $3,000 to $12,000. All scholarships awarded are based on academic excellence, community service, and leadership.

For more information, visit NFB.org.

 

The top 5 were hard to narrow down this week, but I don’t think any of this news will disappoint. AT in the news for the week of 11/14 thru 11/18.

Apple researching methods to monitor Parkinson’s disease with Apple Watch and iPhone

New tool makes DC sidewalks more accessible for everyone [Video]

Tiny fingertip camera helps blind people read without braille

Self-Driving Scooter Helps Liberate Elderly and Disabled

University students create robot to help children with special needs

NASA is looking to increase the number of students with disabilities pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers through our regular internship programs. This is not a program for students with disabilities, rather, NASA is recruiting more students with disabilities into its regular internship programs. Students can apply for Summer 2017 internships now! The deadline for submitting applications will be Wednesday, March 1, 2017. If you would like to subscribe to an announcement-only list about NASA internships for persons with disabilities, please send an E-mail to nasainterns-request@freelists.org with ‘subscribe’ in the Subject field, OR by visiting the list page at http://www.freelists.org/list/nasainterns.
http://intern.nasa.gov/

The NFB Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access (CENA) to Education, Public Information, and Commerce, with support from the Maryland Department iDisability through a Non-Visual Access Initiative Grant, is pleased to offer the following Accessibility Boutiques (introductions to accessibility) free of charge and open to the public. The boutiques are held in person at the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute.
 

Chromebooks

Thursday, December 8, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. As Chromebooks spread through educational institutions and individual households, they bring with them an entirely new operating system and approach to screen readers. If you want to learn more about how it works and how it differs from business as usual, this boutique will get you started.  

 

If you are interested in attending any of these boutiques, please RSVP to cvangerven@nfb.org. Space is limited.

200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place Baltimore, MD 21230 United States

5 Great Ways to Make Your Home Disability-Friendly

Contributed by Guest Blogger Paul Deniken, DadKnowsDIY.com

There are a number of ways that you can modify your home to be more disability-friendly. However, many of these home improvements can be costly such as installing a ramp or stair lift. While some of these modifications are necessary, there are also options that will benefit yourself and others without breaking the bank. If you or someone you care about has a disability (or if you just want your home to be more accessible to guests), here are a few cheap tweaks you can make to your home’s accessibility.

Clear Your Walkways

For people who are either visually impaired or struggle with coordination, a cluttered walkway can spell disaster. Though younger people can recover from a fall with little more than their egos bruised, an older person can be seriously injured by such an accident.

It is also a good idea to ensure that these main areas of the house are well lit. A bright lighting fixture can make up for clutter or tight quarters depending on the disability of the person in question. If possible, you should both declutter and light the main walkways in your home.

Modify the Height of Handles

Doors, cabinets, and drawers can be out of reach for certain people. Whether they have a mobility problem or are smaller in stature than many people, these tall fixtures can make visiting or living in your home difficult. While moving the handles of your doors might be difficult, relocating the knobs on cabinets and drawers is much easier and more cost effective.

Create Lowered Spaces in Key Areas

Many people struggle with standing for long stretches of time. Things like cooking can become very difficult whether it is due to fatigue, limited mobility, or other such disabilities. A shortened space in the kitchen, for example, will allow a person to prepare food while seated. Being able to remain sitting while doing a task like cooking or showering can be hugely beneficial for many people.

Tack Rugs Down

Rugs that are not equipped with non-slip backing or mats can become very hazardous for someone with mobility problems. A wrong step or wobble can cause the rug to slip out from under the person, potentials resulting in serious injury. This is particularly important for elderly guests or residents who may not recover from such a fall.

Update Address Numbers

For many people with disabilities, it is common for emergency responders to come to the home. Certain illnesses or predispositions leave a person more accident prone or more at risk for falling ill. If your house’s address is difficult to see, that means emergency responders will take more time trying to find your home. Go to your local home improvement store and pick address numbers that are large, shiny, and easy to see regardless of time of day.

Making your home more accessible to all does not necessarily mean spending big money on huge improvements. Though some people will require larger modifications such as lifts or resized appliances, there are still many improvements you can make that will help. Even if all you can do is clear your floors of tripping hazards and install brighter lights, you are still doing your part to make your home welcoming to everyone.

Image via Pixabay by mploscar

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