ADA Accessibility Lawsuit Tracker: Final Numbers for August 2022 — from info.usablenet.com

Also see:

Download our 2022 Mid-Year Report on Digital Accessibility Lawsuits — from info.usablenet.com
Our Digital Accessibility Report highlights the newest trends in digital accessibility lawsuits.

 

 

A New Initiative to Tackle Education’s Big Problems — from the74millioin.org by Andrew J. Rotherham
Rotherham: For all the rhetoric around ‘reimagining’ and ‘reinventing’ schooling, there’s precious little to show for it. There’s another way

Excerpt:

Instead, experts operate in silos to find solutions, reform and pandemic fatigue abound, and dysfunctional reactionary politics define various debates.

Beta by Bellwether, [which launched on 8/31/22], is a new initiative bringing viewpoint- and background-diverse experts together to tackle big problems and develop blueprints, strategies and tools that can help communities address structural educational problems. We’re building on our 12 years of work at Bellwether bridging policy and practice with a perspective that should be mundane but in this climate seems radical: the belief that the best ideas often lie between different perspectives and are strengthened through serious debate. No faction owns solutions, good ideas or virtue.

Bellwether Beta -- A New Initiative to Tackle Education’s Big Problems

Bellwether.org 

From DSC:
This is something to keep on your K-12 learning ecosystems radar.

Bellwether dot org -- something to keep on your K-12 learning ecosystems radar


Also see:

National Microschooling Center launches, proving ‘modern one-room schoolhouse’ is no flash-in-the-pandemic phenomenon — from reimaginedonline.org by Tom Jackson

Excerpt:

Writing for the Manhattan Institute, researcher Michael McShane lays out the framework and the appeal of microschools:

Neither homeschooling nor traditional schooling, [microschools] exist in a hard-to-classify space between formal and informal learning environments. They rose in popularity during the pandemic as families sought alternative educational options that could meet social-distancing recommendations.

But what they offer in terms of personalization, community building, schedules, calendars, and the delivery of instruction will have appeal long after Covid recedes.

Long-time education choice advocate Don Soifer concurs.

“For whatever reason, families are just rethinking the public education system,” he says. “The research is telling us now that microschooling serves 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 million learners as their primary form of education.”


Also see:


Learning Pods Are Here, Are You In? — from schoolchoiceweek.com by National School Choice Week Team

Excerpt:

If you’ve stumbled into an education conversation or joined a parent discussion group recently, you’ve surely heard of pods or micro-schools. As families grapple with a changing education environment, some hope to find the flexibility, safety, and community they desire in small, local learning arrangements called learning pods. Whether you have your heart set on joining a pod or just want to better understand education choices for your child, we’ve broken down all types of pandemic pods here.

 

The 21-day challenge for disability equity -- offered by the United Way of South Central Michigan

To view previous content, click HERE.
Also see the following resources from this challenge.

Below are some local and general resources related to disability justice and advocacy that may be helpful. There is a Disability Network or Center for Independent Living serving all of the counties in the state of Michigan. You can find the office that covers your area by going to https://dnmichigan.org/

If you have questions about the information in this 21 Day Challenge, please contact Disability Network Southwest Michigan.


Michigan Resources


  • Find your local Disability Network or Center for Independent Living: https://dnmichigan.org/ 
  • Disability Rights Michigan is the independent, private, nonprofit, nonpartisan protection and advocacy organization authorized by Federal and State law to advocate and protect the legal rights of people with disabilities in Michigan: https://www.drmich.org/ 
  • Michigan Disability Rights Coalition cultivates disability pride and strengthens the disability movement by recognizing disability as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity while collaborating to dismantle all forms of oppression: https://mymdrc.org/
  • Self-Advocates of Michigan is an advocacy organization comprised of people with developmental disabilities and intellectual disabilities, working together to make a difference: https://selfadvocatesofmichigan.wordpress.com
  • The Arc promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports full inclusion and participation in the community. https://arcmi.org/.

General Resources


  • Americans with Disabilities Act information and technical assistance: www.ada.gov
  • Disability is Natural is a source for new ways of thinking about disability and moving beyond the status quo: www.disabilityisnatural.com
  • Job Accommodation Network is a one-stop web page to get information regarding accommodations at work and advocating for disability rights in the workplace: www.askjan.org
  • Disability Scoop is the nation’s premier source for developmental disability news and information: www.disabilityscoop.com
  • Rooted in Rights tells authentic, accessible stories to challenge stigma and redefine narratives around disability: www.rootedinrights.org
  • Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) serves as a national grassroots disability rights organization for the autistic community, advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of autistic people are heard in policy debates and the halls of power: www.autisticadvocacy.org
  • Sins Invalid promotes leadership opportunities for people with disabilities within our communities and within the broader social justice movement: www.sinsinvalid.org
  • The Disability Visibility Project is an online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture: https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/
  • The National Association of the Deaf is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America: https://www.nad.org/
  • The National Council on Independent Living is the longest-running national cross-disability, grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities: https://ncil.org
  • National Federation of the Blind is the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans. The National Federation of the Blind is continuously working toward securing full integration, equality, independence, acceptance, and respect for all blind Americans: https://nfb.org
  • Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) is the United States’ national self-advocacy organization: https://www.sabeusa.org
  • Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution is a feature-length documentary about the disability rights movement available on Netflix and YouTube: https://youtu.be/OFS8SpwioZ4
[Image description: photo of Mia Mingus on a colorful striped background with her quote, “Understanding disability and ableism is the work of every revolutionary, activist and organizer – of every human being.” Mia Mingus, writer and community organizer for transformative justice and disability justice.]

To view previous content, click HERE.


A somewhat relevant resource:

 

Here Are Some Dos And Don’ts Of Disability Language — from forbes.com by Andrew Pulrang

Excerpt:

Is there a way for anyone to navigate disability language clearly, safely, and respectfully?

Obviously, it’s impossible to satisfy everyone. But that doesn’t mean there are no useful guidelines. Here are a few tips to sort through the competing schools of thought on disability language, and ride the various waves of popularity and revision that disability language goes through.

1. Recognize obviously insulting terms and stop using or tolerating them.
2. Aim to be factual, descriptive, and simple, not condescending, sentimental, or awkward.
3. Respect disabled people’s actual language preferences.

Disability Language Style Guide — from National Center on Disaplity and Journalism (ncdj.org)

Disability and Health Overview  — from cdc.gov

Research Center | ALICE in focus studies:
Financial Hardship Among People With Disabilities

Excerpt:

According to the outdated Federal Poverty Level, 18% of people with disabilities in the U.S. lived in poverty in 2019. Yet United For ALICE data shows that another 34% were also struggling, in households that earned above the FPL but less than what it costs to afford the basics. These households are ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

Disability & Socioeconomic Status — from the American Psychological Association (apa.org)

Excerpt:

Socioeconomic status (SES) encompasses not just income but also educational attainment, financial security, and subjective perceptions of social status and social class. Socioeconomic status can encompass quality of life attributes as well as the opportunities and privileges afforded to people within society. Poverty, specifically, is not a single factor but rather is characterized by multiple physical and psychosocial stressors. Further, SES is a consistent and reliable predictor of a vast array of outcomes across the life span, including physical and psychological health. Thus, SES is relevant to all realms of behavioral and social science, including research, practice, education and advocacy.

Those with Disabilities Earn 37% Less on Average; Gap is Even Wider in Some States — air.org

Subminimum Wage and Sheltered Workshops — from United Way of South Central Michigan

Congress enacted the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 as part of the New Deal; one of the Act’s provisions, Section 14 (c), grants special certificates allowing for the employment of workers with disabilities below the federal minimum wage.

Many employers operating under 14(c) have historically employed people with disabilities in segregated work centers commonly referred to as sheltered workshops. This creates a situation where the employer profits from paying sub-minimum wages to their employees with disabilities. Some states have prohibited the practice of subminimum wages and sheltered workshops altogether; however as of 2020, 46 states and the District of Columbia continue to allow 14(c) certificates. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights revealed that in 2017 and 2018, the average wage of a person with a disability working under a 14(c) certificate was $3.34 per hour and the average number of hours worked was 16 hours per week, making the average wage just $53.44 per week.

Employment First is a state and national movement to help individuals with disabilities realize their fullest employment potential through the achievement of individual, competitive, and integrated employment outcomes. Employment First in Michigan has established guidelines to help move the state to community-based and integrated employment by using executive orders and passing legislation.

 

It’s Time to Rethink the ‘One Teacher, One Classroom’ Model — from edweek.org by Irene Chen & Stephanie Banchero
How to build a happier and more effective teaching force

Excerpt:

Let’s address this crisis by reenvisioning the traditional school staffing model, which has not changed in generations. We need innovative, differentiated staffing that creatively utilizes educators and plays to their strengths. This means schools must deploy adults to work collaboratively in response to the needs of individual students, rather than asking one teacher to meet the needs of all students in one classroom. This approach can address children’s specific skills gaps, while also diversifying the workforce, retaining the most effective teachers, and extending great teaching.

 

Providing foster children with better educational outcomes — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Foster children have a difficult life ahead of them. They have a higher chance of having a bad life than the rest of the population. Adults who were in foster care as children are more likely to be homeless, jobless, and on welfare than the general population. They also have higher chances of being jailed, consuming drugs and alcohol, and having physical or psychological problems.

We owe it to them to help children grow up to be productive, well-adjusted people, and none of this is their mistake. Lawmakers and educational activists should work diligently to improve foster care children’s educational possibilities by broadening their alternatives. Foster children in the United States will benefit from higher educational attainment that will prepare them for a healthy transition to adulthood.

 

Accommodations for students with ADHD — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Accommodations for students with Dyspraxia — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew

Excerpt:

Dyspraxia, also known as Apraxia, is a learning disability that is noticeable by difficulty in carrying out routines that need balance, fine motor skills, and coordination. Often, we think of these kids as being ordinarily “clumsy” or “awkward.” Kids with Dyspraxia need to be that an occupational therapist treats them to help boost their fine gross motor skills. Verbal Dyspraxia describes a reduction in the capacity to use speech sounds, which is commonly the sign of a developmental delay. Verbal Dyspraxia can either be separate or accompany Dyspraxia. Children with Dyspraxia may also suffer from a bit of impediment in speech and short-term memory loss.

From DSC:
If you don’t think teaching is incredibly tough, check out these lists of potential accommodations for just a few of the potential students in a classroom.

 

In Fight Against Ableism, Disabled Students Build Centers of Their Own — from chronicle.com by Adrienne Lu

Excerpt:

Thanks to student advocates, including Sullivan and Lockwood, the university recently became the latest in a growing number with disability cultural centers, which aim to shine light on the perspectives and experiences of disabled people, foster a sense of community, and promote activism and disability justice. Altogether, at least 12 disability cultural centers now exist nationwide; in addition, students are working to create new centers on about a dozen other campuses.

 

7 Surprising Ways ADHD Shows Up in the Classroom — from additudemag.com by Mark Bertin, M.D., Beverley Holden Johns, Kathy Kuhl
ADHD in the classroom is easy to mistake for carelessness, defiance, laziness, or a learning difference. Here are the 7 ADD symptoms that educators seldom recognize at school — and solutions for each.

Excerpt:

ADHD sometimes manifests in obvious ways — like when a second grader blurts out an answer (again) or when a high school student forgets her completed assignment at home (again). Just as often, though, signs of ADHD in the classroom are more subtle and easily overlooked because they don’t align with stereotypes. Here are seven less-recognized ways ADHD symptoms show up at school, and productive ways to address each one.


Also relevant/see:

 

Optimizing Your Website for Screen Readers and Other Accessibility Tools — from hongkiat.com by Jori Hamilton

Excerpt:

But what is web accessibility, and how, exactly, can you prioritize this on your website?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what web accessibility means and tips for how to design a website that is more accessible to all users.

 

GAO: Accommodations pose challenges to testing companies, test-takers — from k12dive.com by Kara Arundel
The pandemic made it more difficult to provide accommodations for higher ed admission tests, educational testing companies told the government agency.

Excerpt:

Individuals with disabilities and testing companies that administer assessments for higher education admission report challenges regarding testing accommodations, ranging from problems in providing documentation to concerns about maintaining test integrity, according to research by the Government Accountability Office.

Some individuals had difficulty providing adequate documentation to justify their accommodations, according to representatives from six disability advocacy organizations. Officials from five testing companies described hardships in reviewing and granting accommodation requests.

 

‘Accessibility is a journey’: A DEI expert on disability rights — from hrdive.com by Caroline Colvin
Employers can wait for a worker to request reasonable accommodation under the ADA, but Kelly Hermann asks: Why not be accommodating from the start?

Excerpt:

Often, employers jump to the obstacles that exist in physical spaces: nonexistent ramps for wheelchairs, manual doors that lack motion sensors, and the like. But the digital world presents challenges as well. Hermann and the U Phoenix accessibility team likes to “demystify” disability for campus members seeking their counsel, she said.

“Are you making those links descriptive and are you using keywords? Or are you just saying ‘click here’ and that’s your link?” Hermann asked. Like a sighted person, an individual with a disability can also scan a webpage for links with assistive technology, but this happens audibly, Hermann said, “They tell that tool to skip by link and this is what they hear: ‘Click here.’ ‘Click here.’ ‘Click here.’ ‘Click here.’ With four links on the page all hyperlinked with ‘click here,’ [they] don’t know where [they’re] going.”

 

AI Plus VR at Purdue University Global — from er.educause.edu by Abbey Elliott, Michele McMahon, Jerrica Sheridan, and Gregory Dobbin
Adding artificial intelligence to virtual reality provides nursing students with realistic, immersive learning experiences that prepare them to treat patients from diverse backgrounds.

Excerpt:

Adding artificial intelligence (AI) to immersive VR simulations can deepen the learning by enabling patient interactions that reflect a variety of patient demographics and circumstances, adjusting patient responses based on students’ questions and actions. In this way, the immersive learning activities become richer, with the goal of providing unique experiences that can help students make a successful transition from student to provider in the workforce. The use of AI and immersive learning techniques augments learning experiences and reinforces concepts presented in both didactic and clinical courses and coursework. The urgency of the pandemic prompted the development of a vision of such learning that would be sustainable beyond the pandemic as a tool for education on a relevant and scalable platform.


Speaking of emerging technologies and education/learning, also see:

NVIDIA's new AI magic turns 2d photos into 3D graphics

Best virtual tours of Ireland

 

Bionic Reading

Bionic Reading

 

 

From DSC:
Thanks to my good friend Chris for this resource. By the way, this Chrome Extension, Converter, and API remind me a bit of Microsoft’s Immersive Reader.

Also related, see:

 

Small Business Website Accessibility Tips — from boia.org

Excerpt:

Many small business owners think of digital accessibility as a series of technical, complicated rules. If you have limited resources for web design and development, accessibility can seem like an expensive extra — but fortunately, that’s not the case.

Website accessibility is achievable on any budget, and it’s a savvy investment regardless of the size of your business. Even if you can’t afford professional testing and remediation, you can take immediate steps to remove barriers that affect people with disabilities. Here are a few tips for getting started.

Also relevant from boia.org, see:

One last accessibility-related item from equalentry.com:

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian