access - Archive

How New York City Hears People With Hearing Loss

August 9, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

FORBES
By Janice Schacter Lintz
AUG 8, 2016

New York City is the most accessible city in the country for people with hearing loss. Hearing access is available at many of the city’s Broadway theaters, museums, and stadiums. Even the subway information booths/call boxes as well as the new Taxis of Tomorrow have hearing access. The degree of access available varies by site, so check the individual websites for specific details.

A hearing induction loop permits a person with a telecoil-equipped hearing aid or cochlear implant to use the T-setting to hear the sound directly from the microphone through the hearing aid/implant—no receiver is needed. Background noise is blocked on the T-setting. The other types of assistive listening systems, FM and infrared, require the use of a receiver (a headset or body-worn device); telecoil users can plug in a neck loop.

Read more  . . . New York City

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Fight to Be Heard

March 29, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Disability Law

 

 

The New York Times

Lydia Callis wanted to get her mother a gym membership for Christmas last year. When she called to arrange a consultation, she mentioned that her mom (who lives in Arizona) is deaf and would need a sign-language interpreter for the session. The health club said it would not provide a signer. Ms. Callis — who became an Internet sensation during Hurricane Sandy as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s exuberant sign-language interpreter — told the club that it was actually required by law to do so. Still it refused, and Ms. Callis, who was calling from Manhattan, gave up.

Last year was the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, and yet this kind of scenario plays out regularly for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. While the broader culture has become accustomed to certain changes the law has engendered, particularly wheelchair access, the rights of the deaf have frequently been misunderstood or simply disregarded.

Read more  . . . Fight to Be Heard

 

Why should Deaf people vote? | #VoteDisability (CC – VIDEO)

January 19, 2016 in Community News

 

 

Rooted in Rights

Watch Video:  Why should Deaf people vote? 

New Era Of Old Discrimination: How I Won A Pitch Competition

January 5, 2016 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Interpreting & Transliterating

 

 

BuzzFeed
Posted on Jan. 4, 2016

When Deaf startup Aerial Productions won the International Drone Expo Pitch Competition, it served as a reminder that there is still a long way to go in overcoming barriers for the Deaf Community.

My late grandmother, who was Deaf, told me a story about when closed captions on TV first became available. She loved Westerns, and had spent most of her life watching them without any captions. She would always imagine the dialogue and the storylines as she watched them, filling in the breaks in action with her own mental scriptwriting. Years later, she watched some of her favorite episodes again with captions. To her surprise and disappointment, she found she didn’t like her shows as much. She thought the writing was superficial and the characters were nothing like she had imagined.

Access can be disappointing like that.

I recently had the opportunity to compete . . .  Read More – International Drone Expo Pitchfest

EEOC Launches Direct Video Access to ASL Speakers for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

December 16, 2015 in Community News, Employment

 

 

PRESS RELEASE
12-11-15

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today it is launching a new service that will enable individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing whose primary language is American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate directly with agency staff about issues of discrimination they may be facing. EEOC information intake representatives who are fluent in ASL will be available to answer questions and guide callers through the process of filing a charge of discrimination using videophones.

Previously, individuals who were deaf and or hard of hearing relied on an interpreter using relay services when they contacted EEOC. This new system provides direct access to an EEOC employee who can answer the caller’s question in ASL over a videophone.

EEOC is only the third federal agency-after the Federal Communications Commission and the Small Business Administration-to provide this direct access to the public.

“EEOC is proud to strengthen our service to the deaf and hard of hearing community and provide a more effective way for individuals to connect with our agency,” said EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang. “This enhanced means of communication helps to ensure that all individuals have access to EEOC resources on employment rights and responsibilities.”

Carrie St. Cyr, one of the ASL information intake representatives who will answer the videophones, said, “About 98 percent of people who are deaf and hard of hearing use videophones. Now, when those individuals call EEOC, they will now be able to communicate face to face with a staff member who speaks their native language and whose gestures, body language, and expressions they can read easily.”

Deaf and of hard of hearing callers can access the toll free ASL direct video line at 844-234-5122, between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.

EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination.  Further information about the agency is available at www.eeoc.gov.

See ASL Video

Demand for sign-language interpreters soars

November 19, 2015 in Interpreting & Transliterating

 

Orlando Sentinel
By Susan Jacobson
Oct. 28,2015

At basketball games, theme parks, schools and businesses in Central Florida, sign-language interpreters bridge the gap between the hearing and deaf worlds.

Florida has more than 3 million deaf and hard-of-hearing people, according to the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Nearly 30 percent more interpreters and translators will be required in the state by 2022, according to the state.

To meet the need, Valencia College is planning to ask the Florida Department of Education to let it add a four-year, American Sign Language-interpretation degree starting in 2017. The program would focus on preparing students for regional jobs in the hospitality, health and education industries, according to a Valencia document submitted to the state.

Currently, Valencia’s sign-language students must transfer to the University of North Florida or the University of South Florida to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Read More  . . . Demand for sign-language interpreters

Fairfax County Job Opportunity – Access & Functional Needs

October 6, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Emergency Preparedness

 

Access and Functional Needs Specialist
(Emergency Management Specialist II)

The Access and Functional Needs Specialist will coordinate the agencies’ emergency preparedness efforts for persons with access and functional needs and disabilities. Access and functional needs emergency planning initiatives include, but is not limited to, emergency transportation, emergency sheltering, outreach projects, medical needs registry and developing liaisons with access and function needs support groups.

Read entire Job Posting – Fairfax County

Deaf parents’ claim over sign language failure reinstated

September 1, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

 

Business Insurance
By Judy Greenwald
Aug. 31, 2015

An appeals court has reinstated discrimination claims filed against a hospital by the deaf parents of a child with a brain tumor, who claimed the hospital failed to provide deaf interpreters for them for most of the time they needed it.

The four-month old daughter of Rolando and Miriam Perez was diagnosed with a brain tumor that required monthly treatment in January 2011, according to Friday’s ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in Rolando Perez; Miriam Perez v. Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Ltd.

Ms. Perez is completely deaf and communicates exclusively in American Sign Language, while Mr. Perez is completely deaf in his right ear and cannot hear well in his left, and ASL is his primary language, according to the ruling.

The Perezes allege that while Doctors Hospital in Edinburg, Texas, provided them with interpreters for a time period of 2013 through early 2014, during the periods 2011 through part of 2012, and again beginning in April 2014, they had problems, including interpreters failing to arrive.

The couple filed suit against the hospital in March 2013, charging it with violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which governs public accommodation of the disabled, and state laws

The hospital’s executive vice president for nursing testified in a deposition that the hospital’s ADA compliance policy  . . .

Read More . . . American Sign Language

Opportunity for Stakeholder Input on Broadband Access and Adoption

May 7, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Community News, Emergency Preparedness, Technology

 

 

The Broadband Opportunity Council (Council), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are requesting public comment to inform the deliberations of the Council. Stakeholders have the opportunity to review the Federal Register Notice and submit written comments by e-mail to BOCrfc2015@ntia.doc.gov on or before 5 p.m. Eastern time on June 10, 2015.

A summary of the Federal Register notice is below, and stakeholders can view the full Federal Register Notice at  https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/04/29/2015-09996/broadband-opportunity-council-notice-and-request-for-comment.

Summary: “In furtherance of the Presidential Memorandum entitled Expanding Broadband Deployment and Adoption by Addressing Regulatory Barriers and Encouraging Investment and Training, which established the Broadband Opportunity Council (Council), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are requesting public comment to inform the deliberations of the Council.1 The Council’s objectives are to: (i) Engage with industry and other stakeholders to understand ways the government can better support the needs of communities seeking to expand broadband access and adoption; (ii) identify regulatory barriers unduly impeding broadband deployment, adoption, or competition; (iii) survey and report back on existing programs that currently support or could be modified to support broadband competition, deployment, or adoption; and (iv) take all necessary actions to remove these barriers and realign existing programs to increase broadband competition, deployment, and adoption.2 We welcome input from all interested parties, including the stakeholder groups identified in the Presidential Memorandum.”

 

 

 

Disney Tweaking Disability Access Procedures

May 1, 2015 in Community News

 

 

Disability Scoop
By 

Disney is again updating its program for accommodating guests with disabilities at its theme parks.

Starting Thursday, the Disability Access Service Card is going digital at Walt Disney World in Florida. Rather than write down return times for rides and other attractions on a card, cast members will scan visitors’ tickets or MagicBands, the company said.

The change will allow the disability accommodation to be integrated with My Disney Experience, a website and app for park visitors.

The switch to an electronic process will not alter procedures for guests utilizing the Disability Access Service Card, however. Disney said visitors with disabilities will still need to visit each attraction in order to obtain a return time based on current wait times.

Disneyland previously adopted a digital approach to the Disability Access Service Card in November.

Changes in recent years to Disney’s accommodations for people with disabilities have been highly controversial. In 2013, the company did away with its Guest Assistance Card which often let individuals with special needs and those they were traveling with skip to the front of long lines for theme park rides.

Read more  . . Disney.

Other Disney resources Services for Guests with Hearing Disabilities

Access Fairfax from Fairfax County Disability Services: Bus Stop Accessibility

December 16, 2014 in Community News

 

 

12/12/2014

Bus Stop Accessibility Information Now Available on Metro’s Trip Planner

Metro has added a bus stop accessibility feature to its online Trip Planner. This feature will enable customers to be informed about the accessibility features of every bus stop served by Metrobus.  By using the new feature, riders can learn whether a bus stop has a shelter or bench, the availability of nearby crosswalks and curb ramps, and more.

To utilize Metro’s new bus stop accessibility feature, simply click on any Metro bus stop that appears in a Trip Planner itinerary, and it will give you a comprehensive checklist of all the accessible features offered at that bus stop.

To subscribe to Access Fairfax: disabilityservices@listserv.FairfaxCounty.gov.

Access Fairfax: News & Events for People with Disabilities 09-05-14

September 5, 2014 in Community News

AccessFairfax

In this week’s edition:

  • Voters with Disabilities: Are You Ready for the November 2014 Election?

  • Therapeutic Recreation Program Expo

  • Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society Launches New Public Service Announcement

  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing to Distribute Free Currency Readers

  • Volunteer Sign Language Users Needed to Assist Older Adults, Adults with Disabilities

  • TPB Announces Enhanced Mobility Solicitation


 

Voters with Disabilities: Are You Ready for the November 2014 Election?

Big changes are coming to Fairfax County for the November 4, 2014 election, and they could impact YOU when you go to your polling place on Election Day.  NewPhoto Voter ID Requirements and a new voting system will be in place for the first time.  That’s why the Fairfax County Office of Elections and the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board are teaming up to invite you to come try out the accessible features of the new ES&S Express Vote machines and to get your new Virginia Voter Photo ID Card so you’ll be fully prepared for the next election.

When: Monday September 8 from 6-8:30 p.m.

  • 6-7:30p.m.—Voting Machine Testing and Voter Photo ID Card Distribution
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m.—Public Comment and Fairfax County Office of Elections presentation to the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board

Where:  Fairfax County Government Center
12000 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, Virginia 22035
Conference Rooms 2/3

This is YOUR opportunity to make sure that you won’t run into any barriers when you cast your ballot on Election Day, and to share your experiences as a voter with a disability with the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board and the Fairfax County Office of Elections, so don’t miss out!

For more information, or to request an ADA reasonable accommodation, contact Matthew Barkley at Voice: 703-324-5868, TTY: 703-449-1186 or emailmatthew.barkley@fairfaxcounty.gov.


 

Therapeutic Recreation Program Expo

Come join Therapeutic Recreation Services for a Therapeutic Recreation Program Expo to learn about the recreation, leisure, and respite opportunities available for people with disabilities of all ages! Activities will be provided for children and teens while parents discover all of the exciting programs and services Therapeutic Recreation Services has to offer for residents of Fairfax County, Fairfax City and Falls Church City. For more information, call 703-324-4600.

September 13, 2014
10 a.m.- noon
James Lee Community Center (2855 Annandale Rd., Falls Church, VA)


 

Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society Launches New Public Service Announcement

As part of their alliance, the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) released a PSA to Major League Baseball clubs and their minor league affiliates. This PSA featuring Curtis Pride is part of a multi-year outreach initiative, “Ability Transcends Challenges,” undertaken by PBATS to educate the public about the talents of people with disabilities in sports and in the workplace. In his own words, Pride, who is deaf and played 11 years in the major leagues, talks about being accepted for his talent. He urges everyone to give people with disabilities an opportunity to prove themselves.


 

Bureau of Engraving and Printing to Distribute Free Currency Readers

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is distributing free currency reader devices to people who are blind or visually impaired as part of an effort to improve access to printed money. BEP will begin a four-month pilot program in September 2 in partnership with the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) that will enable NLS patrons to pre-order the devices. NLS administers a free library program that circulates braille and audio materials to approximately 400,000 people through a national network of cooperating libraries. BEP will use this pilot phase to test ordering and distribution processes and to gauge demand.

A nationwide roll-out of the program will be initiated early next year. Starting on January 2, 2015, currency readers will be widely available to all U.S. citizens or persons legally residing in the U.S. who are blind or visually impaired. To request a currency reader, those who are not NLS patrons must submit an application signed by a competent authority who can certify eligibility. For further information on the program or applying for a currency reader, visit BEP’s website.


 

Volunteer Sign Language Users Needed to Assist Older Adults, Adults with Disabilities

The Fairfax Area Agency on Aging is seeking volunteers who use sign language to assist older adults and adults with disabilities in Reston, Herndon and Vienna with computer support, grocery shopping, and social visiting. Volunteer Solutions provides meaningful volunteer opportunities to improve the lives of older adults and adults with disabilities in Fairfax County.

Learn more.


 

TPB Announces Enhanced Mobility Solicitation

The Transportation Planning Board is pleased to announce the first grant solicitation under the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program. This new Federal Transit Administration program offers matching grants to qualifying agencies and projects to help meet gaps in transit service for people with disabilities and/or older adults.

$5.07 million in federal funding is available; applicants must identify the requisite matching funds of 50% for operating projects and 20% for capital projects or mobility management prior to applying for a grant.

For additional information and the online application: www.tpbcoordination.org.


 

ADA Question of the Week

Did the restaurant handle this situation correctly? Lois has a severe peanut allergy that puts her into anaphylactic shock.  She has a service dog who detects the presence of peanuts and alerts her. She attempts to take her service dog with her to a restaurant.  The restaurant tells her she cannot bring her dog into the restaurant unless she shows them some type of certification or doctor’s note.

Question from last week Are pregnant employees covered under Title I of the ADA?

Answer: In some circumstances, employees with pregnancy-related impairments may be covered by the ADA. Although pregnancy itself is not an impairment within the meaning of the ADA and thus is not a disability, pregnant workers and job applicants are not excluded from the ADA’s protections. Changes to the definition of the term “disability” resulting from the enactment of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 make it much easier for individuals with pregnancy-related impairments to demonstrate that they have disabilities and are thus entitled to the ADA’s protection.

Pregnancy-related impairments are disabilities if they substantially limit one or more major life activities or substantially limited major life activities in the past. Major life activities that may be affected by pregnancy-related impairments include walking, standing, and lifting, as well as major bodily functions such as the musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. The term disability should be construed broadly, and the determination of whether someone has a disability should not demand extensive analysis. An impairment does not have to prevent, or severely or significantly restrict, performance of a major life activity to be considered substantially limiting, and impairments of short duration that are sufficiently limiting can be disabilities.

The ADA also covers pregnant workers who are regarded as having disabilities. An employer regards a pregnant worker as having a disability if it takes an adverse action against her (e.g., refuses to hire or terminates her) because of an actual or perceived pregnancy-related impairment, unless the employer can demonstrate that the impairment is transitory (lasting or expected to last for six months or less) and minor.

Thanks to Doris Ray, Sheri Abrams, and Don Kissinger for responding!

Sign up for Access Fairfax: News and Events for People with Disabilities!

The articles above are included for information purposes and do not represent Fairfax County Government’s opinion or endorsement.

————————————————————This list (DISABILITYSERVICES)is hosted by the government of Fairfax County, VA  – http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/.Change your email address, unsubscribe and/or subscribe to more newsletters: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/email/lists/.

This e-newsletter can be made available in alternative formats.  Call Disability Services at (703)324-5421 or TTY at (703)449-1186 to request alternative formats.

 

 

Mom-To-Be Sues To Have Accommodations In Delivery Room

September 5, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Disability Law

 

 

Disability Scoop
By September 2, 2014
Article in Disability Scoop

Sometime this month or next, Cheylla Silva will be admitted to Baptist Hospital in Miami to give birth to her second child. The delivery will be high-risk: Silva suffers from high blood pressure and other complications.

Silva is hoping the delivery goes smoothly because if there are serious problems, she might be at a loss to communicate with her doctors and nurses. Silva is profoundly deaf, and, for months, Baptist administrators have refused to provide her with an American sign language interpreter, she says.

Late last week, Silva filed an emergency motion in federal court, asking U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. Williams to order Baptist to provide the interpreter, arguing the hospital’s refusal to do so violates the federal Americans With Disabilities Act, a landmark civil rights law signed by then-President George Bush in 1990.

Baptist’s obligation, the suit says, “is to ensure that deaf patients be provided an equal opportunity to participate in their care and treatment.”

“One of the essential elements of personal dignity,” the pleading adds, “is the ability to obtain the necessary information to make an adequate and informed choice about one’s own medical treatment. Medical treatment and childbirth are some of the most intense and important experiences for a person.”

Through a telephonic interpreter, Silva said her experiences at Baptist, which is near where she lives, have frequently been frustrating. “Can you imagine going to a doctor’s office and not being able to understand what they are talking about? And it’s about your care. How would you feel?”

Read more . . . →

Fairfax County Voters with Disabilities: Are You Ready for the November 2014 Election?

September 2, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Community Events

 

 

Big changes are coming to Fairfax County for the November 4, 2014 election, and they could impact you when you go to your polling place on Election Day.  New Photo Voter ID Requirements and a new voting system will be in place for the first time.  That’s why the Fairfax County Office of Elections and the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board are teaming up to invite you to come try out the accessible features of the new ES&S Express Vote machines and to get your new Virginia Voter Photo ID Card so you’ll be fully prepared for the next election.

When: Monday September 8 from 6-8:30 p.m.

  • 6-7:30p.m.—Voting Machine Testing and Voter Photo ID Card Distribution
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m.—Public Comment and Fairfax County Office of Elections presentation to the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board

Where:  Fairfax County Government Center
12000 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, Virginia 22035
Conference Rooms 2/3

This is your opportunity to make sure that you won’t run into any barriers when you cast your ballot on Election Day, and to share your experiences as a voter with a disability with the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board and the Fairfax County Office of Elections, so don’t miss out!

For more information, or to request an ADA reasonable accommodation, contact Matthew Barkley at Voice: 703-324-5868, TTY: 703-449-1186 or emailmatthew.barkley@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Here’s a complete list of times and locations for other opportunities to become more familiar with the new voting machines.

Thank you for helping the FA-DSB make sure that people with disabilities of all ages are fully included in all aspects of mainstream community life!

Matthew Barkley
Director of Disability Services Planning and Development
12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 708
Fairfax, Virginia 22035-1104
Voice: 703-324-5868
TTY: 703-449-1186
E-Mail: matthew.barkley@fairfaxcounty.gov
Web: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/disabilities/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fairfaxcountydisabilities
Access Fairfax E-Newsletter: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dfs/disabilities/e-newsletter.htm

 

 

Advocates for deaf, blind pressure Apple for more-accessible apps

July 17, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

Reuters
By 
Christina Farr
Monday July 14, 2014
Article Source

SAN FRANCISCO — Advocates for the blind are debating whether to use a carrot or a stick to persuade one of their oldest allies, Apple Inc, to close an emerging digital divide in mobile technology.

As digital life increasingly moves to the world of smartphones and tablets, some disabled people with visual, hearing and other impairments are feeling more left out than ever.

As baby boomers retire and age, the number of people needing help is multiplying. Many advocates for the disabled believe federal law requires that apps be accessible, but courts have not ruled on the issue. Few disabled want to risk alienating Apple, considered a friend, by fighting it.

Mobile apps that work well can transform a blind person’s life, reading email on the go or speaking directions to a new restaurant. Some young blind people no longer feel the need to learn Braille to read with their fingers, when Siri and other computer voices can do the reading instead. Captions on videos and special hearing aids bring hearing impaired into the digital fold.

But when apps don’t work, life can grind to a stop. Jonathan Lyens, a San Francisco city employee who is legally blind, has a hard time browsing for jobs on professional networking site LinkedIn.

“The app is insane. Buttons aren’t labeled. It’s difficult to navigate,” Lyens said. When it comes to social-media apps, new problems arise with every release, he said. “I get nervous every time I hit the update button.”

Read more . . .