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National Federation of the Blind logo and tagline live the life you wantNational Federation of the Blind logo and tagline live the life you want

Wednesday June 14, 2023 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET via Zoom

Register today for this seminar

Accessibility in public spaces has improved tremendously over the past few years. There are accessible options for transportation information and ticketing, as well as indoor navigation apps, public information kiosks, and autonomous vehicles. The National Federation of the Blind’s (NFB) Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access provides extensive feedback and guidance to the developers of these Smart City technologies.  

Join us on June 14, 2023 from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET to learn about our recent work to improve Smart Cities. We will cover: 

  • Work with the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) 
  • Indoor navigation installation testing 
  • Public kiosks (with a guest presentation from Vispero)

Register today for the Smart Cities Seminar, June 14, 2023, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. eastern.

MDTAP’s own Dr. James Whitney will be partnering with the Kennedy Krieger Institute to provide a live, virtual tour of MDTAP’s Assistive Technology library on Tuesday, June 13! He’ll be joined by a representative from our ‘sister program’, the Maryland Accessible Telecommunications Program, offering a tour of their facility and equipment as well. Register early, as space is limited!



National Federation of the Blind logo and tagline live the life you wantMaryland Department of Disabilities Logo

Virtual Meeting Platforms continue to be a fixture in work, school, and even personal life. The increased demand has pushed providers to add features and improve accessibility. Join the National Federation of the Blind’s Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Accessibility on May 30, 2023, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to learn about the latest developments in online meeting platforms. Some platforms that will be covered are:

  • Zoom
  • WebEx
  • Microsoft teams

Register today for the Virtual Meeting Platform boutique, May 30, 2023, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. eastern.

Image Center Logo

The IMAGE Center of Maryland


Disaster Preparedness Response and Recovery

Disaster Preparedness

This session will provide a comprehensive review of the disaster preparedness /response/recovery activities of the Maryland Department of Disabilities. The discussion will include emerging challenges in how disasters impact people with disabilities. 

Tuesday, June 13 · 1 – 3pm EDT on Zoom


Traffic Stop Practice Sessions for Drivers and Passengers

EVERYONE feels anxiety when they see that police car light up behind them and may worry about what will happen next.

Police car pulling over a black sedan

View the 1-hour webinar and then practice being pulled over by law enforcement in  Anne Arundel County. This program is offered to:

  • Licensed drivers with a developmental disability
  • Drivers with a learner’s permit with a developmental disability
  • Drivers with a passenger with a developmental disability that might be anxious about traffic stops

Participants will receive:
• A printed copy of “PFA Tips: What to Do During a Traffic Stop
• An envelope which can be used to hold the person’s registration card, insurance card, disclosure card, and a copy of the PFA Tips article with tips about autism for the officer on the back side
• A laminated card (with clips) to attach to the driver’s visor with the top five instructions of what the driver needs to remember to do during the traffic stop

• An Autism or Intellectual Disability disclosure card

By Stephen Polacek

Over the course of my three years here at the IT Accessibility Initiative, I’m confident in saying we’re making headway in making Maryland more accessible to those with disabilities.  This State Scoop article explains our approach to this goal.  Here are some of the highlights of the past year.


We’ve continued our partnership with DGS, training procurement officers throughout the state in what the Non-Visual Access Clause (NVA) and what digital accessibility means, what standards we’re using in Maryland to determine that, and what can be done when IT solutions aren’t compliant.  We’re also developing more resources for different situations and for helping departments and vendors create remediation plans to achieve compliance within the time limit of the NVA. 


Our regular monthly webinars are still drawing a broad representation of attendees, on average, providing training to 30-40 participants at a seminar.  We’ve begun expanding our outreach through our monthly newsletter and announcements, and have developed a partnership with the EEO office to help raise awareness of digital accessibility and get our resources into the hands of those who need them.  Individual training requests have risen, including a series of content creation and website accessibility sessions for two state agency communication teams.  These four part series should empower agencies to create and remediate their content for accessibility independently.


This past year, one of our major achievements was the adoption of mapping accessibility guidelines by the DoIT GIS Office and its partners throughout the state.  With this, the state departments using the various mapping tools such as ESRI will have an easier time providing geographical information in an accessible manner without having to reinvent the wheel.


For the future, we’re looking to solidify the NVA evaluation process in procurement and provide more on-demand training especially to communications staff.  This on-demand training will be in the form of classes available on the statewide training platform, meaning state employees have it on hand as soon as they need it or can go back for a refresher without needing to schedule.  Of course, we’ll still be available to provide relevant guidance and training for all.


While I can’t yet claim Maryland state government is fully accessible, the goal of incorporating accessibility into our processes is more than attainable. From procurement, to development, to remediation, we’ll continue working towards greater accessibility, and hopefully, someday soon, accessibility will be a normal part of our daily routines.

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