What’s New in iOS 16 Accessibility For Blind and DeafBlind users

By Scott Davert: For Complete Post, Click Here…

 Just like in years past, September brings us a new major release of iOS. This latest edition includes many mainstream changes such as a revamped Lock screen; enhancements to privacy and safety features; Focus Mode enhancements; new functionality in Messages and Mail; along with many other improvements. For Apple’s official list of iOS 16 features and changes, see this webpage which Highlights many. A lot of articles will cover these changes in detail, but far fewer will cover the accessibility enhancements and features for individuals who are blind or DeafBlind.

Hello Automatic Verification, Goodbye Captcha!

CAPTCHAs may soon become a thing of the past thanks to a new feature in iOS 16 called Automatic Verification. By allowing iCloud to automatically and privately verify your device and account, it may soon be possible for users to bypass CAPTCHAs. For more detailed information on how Automatic Verification works, please see this TechCrunch article.


Each time I cover what’s new in iOS, Siri gets a mention. This article is no exception. This time around, Siri gains the option to carry out new tasks. You can shut down your phone, restart it, hang up a call, and other actions. With “Hey Siri” enabled, simply tell it to carry out any of these tasks.

If you are someone who prefers to collect their thoughts before dictating, you now also have the ability to control the amount of time Siri will wait for a response. You can adjust this by going to Settings > Accessibility > Siri and choosing among the 3 options. The default setting is what we have always had, but there are now options for “Longer” and “longest”.

Finally, there are new sounds for when Siri is listening and when it stops. These new sounds are much lower pitched and may be easier for someone with a high frequency hearing loss to detect.


With iOS 16, it is mostly no longer necessary to speak the punctuation needed to formulate a proper sentence. Even when I spoke with no inflection in my voice, the dictation was still able to correctly insert punctuation marks in many instances. That said, I’ve also had random times where no punctuation shows up at all, so it is always best to verify what you are sending before doing so.


There Are More Voices Inside My Phone! Explore these and other new options by going to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Speech > Voice.

Read Eloquently With Reed

You can listen to your iOS device with any other variant of Eloquence you would like as well. In English, this includes both the U.S. and U.K. variants. Many prefer this speech synthesizer to others, as it is the default with JAWS and is very responsive. Its comparatively robotic and more predictable nature can also help those who are hard of hearing, as it can sometimes be difficult to understand the more modern concatenative synthesizers at faster rates.

The Americans With Disabilities Act and Elections: Disabled Voters Are Still Disenfranchised

BY JILL KESSLER: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Disability (In)Justice is a package exploring where the fight for disability justice stands.

The midterm elections are fast approaching. As people research their preferred candidates and mark key dates in the election cycle on the calendar, there is a group of people who often need to do extra research and due diligence to ensure their votes are received: the disabled. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 61 million adults in the United States have disabilities, including conditions that limit mobility or impair cognition. Others live with deafness or are hard of hearing, are blind or have limited or low vision. Many conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and various neuromuscular conditions, can be multiply disabling. Thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), disabled Americans are supposed to have equal access to the ballot box. But it wasn’t always this way.

But more than three decades after the passage of the ADA, too many disabled people remain disenfranchised. My informal survey of fellow members of the disabled community and disability rights advocates has turned up many disappointing stories. I’ve heard about inaccessible venues, improperly trained staff, and other undue barriers. I’ve spoken with multiple people whose polling places have stairs and no ramps.

Lydia Nunez, a disability rights activist who lives in Texas, reports that she had to go to multiple locations to vote in recent elections. At the second location, she recalls being dismayed to find there was no privacy partition at the accessible voting booth. She felt the attendant at the machine did not give her adequate time to make her selections, asking repeatedly if she needed help when Nunez was just taking her time to read the amendment questions; the hovering attendant also made it so she didn’t have the same privacy afforded to other voters, she says. 

Canada’s Euthanasia Experiment: How Can a Person Die with Dignity if They’re Denied a Dignified Life?

By Sean Donovan: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Canada’s euthanasia law faces intense scrutiny, and it’s not coming from the religious right.

On July 25th, 2019, Sean Tagert dragged his gaze across an on-screen keyboard, and with the help of an eye-reading communication system used by quadriplegics and people suffering from advanced ALS, letter-by-letter, he painstakingly wrote out a final farewell to his Facebook followers.

A debilitating 2017 cardiac arrest, coming after a 4-year battle with Lou Gherig’s Disease, left Sean unable to move, speak, or even eat. The farewell was neither measured nor resigned. It was not a goodbye left by a man at peace with what was to come. Sean was bitter.

“I’ve been quiet lately because I’m just done, worn-out. So last Friday, I officially submitted my medically assisted death paperwork, with lawyers and doctors, everything in proper order. It’s been over a month since I submitted my appeal to the Vancouver Coastal Health patient care quality department. They didn’t even respond,” he wrote. “Welcome to the great Canadian Healthcare system, people.”

It’s only natural for a person who chooses euthanasia, as a means to free themselves from pain, to be bitter. We plead, we beg whatever higher powers we might fancy for succor, we wonder why the seemingly astronomical chances landed the way they did, and our rage becomes inconsolable. But Sean wasn’t bitter about having to seek release; his acrimony was motivated by Vancouver Coastal Health, the local health authority, which had denied him full funding for his illness.

After Tagert’s condition worsened in 2017, he was placed on a ventilator, and the health authority recommended he receive 24-hour care. The problem: They were only willing to pay for 16 hours a day.

Frandor evicts CATA over ‘safety concerns’ caused by shelters and riders

By Todd Heywood: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-abadonment just as the cold weather flows in. This is a feature not a bug because it will punish the people Frandor wants to punish…

Frandor is kicking out CATA in three weeks because the shopping center’s management says bus shelters and some riders pose “many safety concerns for our customers and employees.”

“Lansing Police are not effectively helping us with vagrancy, public intoxication/open container, aggressive panhandling, public urination and other major incidents at these stops,” Patrick Corr, president of Corr Commerical Real Estate, which manages Frandor, told the Capital Area Transportation Authority.

As a result, the company  has ended an agreement to allow the publicly funded transportation agency to run its routes through its property, effective Oct. 17. The 1, 13 and 15 routes cross there. CATA will remove its two bus shelters, leaving cement pads.

 Corr notified CATA in a letter dated Aug. 1. The letter, however, was sent to the agency’s downtown bus station, instead of the business offices located on Tranter Street in south Lansing. As a result, CATA didn’t find out until Aug. 17, setting in motion two months’ notice to end the agreement. 

The letter provides no details for Corr’s decision. However, in a follow-up email on Aug. 30 from Corr to Dustin Hagfors, CATA’s director of planning and development, Corr accused the users of public transportation of causing public safety and health concerns. 

“As we discussed, there have been many safety concerns for our customers and employees that are not being addressed, he wrote.

“Unfortunately, the changes to various laws/ordinances the City have put in place have greatly hindered the ability of police to affect significant progress. The Cata shelters are being used as a ‘safe haven’ from LPD and our security staff and, almost daily, are used as a roof over their heads for the purpose of sleeping, living, drinking and loitering. And, when called, the police do not remove them from the property for the above referenced issues we continue to have here. Also, when violators find out LPD won’t remove them, it emboldens them and word spreads. Usually, the police just let someone get on the bus….and they sometimes return the same day by bus.”

Corr claimed LPD has been called “over 150” times by mall staff and retailers. 

“A majority of those calls involved the two bus stops in one way or another,” Corr wrote to Hagfors. “The stops have become a conduit in addition to a hangout for these individuals.”

Severe Storm Risk Live Cams

From BirdingPeepWx: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Description@BirdingPeepWx on Twitter & Venmo ***If you use this map for your weather coverage – PLEASE tag, mention or link the map. I don’t gate-keep my hard work, and neither should you. Its literally the least one could do, thank you! 🙂

2,800+ Live Cameras across Severe Storm Risk areas, plus I add more almost daily! I also post highlights of these cameras on my Twitter. **If a camera has a Star Icon thats just a camera I want to pay close attention to during Severe Weather** *Yellow – Aurora Borealis Cam *Orange – Severe Thunderstorm Watch *Dark Orange – Tornado Watch *Purple – Tornado Warning If a camera is down, or if you have a camera you’d like to add, feel free to Tweet me.

Xylazine, the newest killer street drug in Michigan: What you need to know

By Georgea Kovanis: For Complete Post, Click Here…

A non-opioid animal tranquilizer for which there is no antidote is being mixed into Michigan street drugs, making the already deadly supply more dangerous, according to toxicologists and researchers.

Xylazine, a fast-acting central nervous system depressant that is not approved for human use, is showing up largely in fentanyl, the ultra-potent synthetic opioid that is mixed into heroin and pressed into counterfeit pills and responsible for more overdose deaths than any other drug. Adding xylazine to fentanyl, which is also a depressant, increases the already high odds of overdose. It’s a double whammy to the central nervous system. It “should be avoided at all cost,” said UCLA researcher Joseph Friedman, who has studied the drug extensively.

In Michigan, xylazine has turned up in toxicology screenings of almost 200 people who have died from drug overdoses since 2019, said Varun Vohra, who is director of the Michigan Poison and Drug Information Center at Wayne State University in Detroit.

McKinsey and Providence colluded to force poor patients into destitution

By Cory Doctorow: For Complete Post, Click Here…

“How would you like to pay that today?”

Providence is a health giant whose anchor is a network of Catholic hospitals. They colluded with McKinsey to steal from their poorest patients, by deceiving them about their eligibility for free care, saddling poor, sick people with crushing debts:

Though Providence is nominally a nonprofit, but it sits atop a $10 billion private equity fund that it invests in unrelated sectors. Its nonprofit status lets it evade $1.2 billion per year in federal and state taxes. The company stole $500,000,000 in US covid relief intended for hospitals in danger of closure. Its CEO makes $10,000,000 per year.

As a nonprofit, Providence is required to provide free care to low-income patients. In 2018, the company retained the services of McKinsey and Co, a scandal-haunted global consulting firm with a long track record of designing criminal strategies for its clients. There are many ghastly examples of this conduct — for example, helping the Saudi government hunt down, torture and murder dissidents:

Registration: Assistive Technology for Trauma – Michigan Alliance for Families

This webinar meets 2 times.

Wed,Oct 12, 2022 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EDT
Wed,Oct 12, 2022 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM EDT

Show in My Time Zone

Join Michigan Alliance for Families at either 12:00pm or 6:30pm for Assistive Technology (AT) for Trauma with Ajaune Thomas and Aimee Sterk, MI Disability Rights Coalition.

Join us for a virtual presentation about the possibilities of assistive technology to support people affected by trauma.

This training, presented by staff from Michigan Disability Right Coalition’s Assistive Technology Program, covers topics including:

• Assistive Technology (AT) and Trauma

• Disability Pride

• AT Devices for Daily Living and Safety

• AT in IEP

• Post Trauma Resources and Transitioning

We will explore AT that youth can use at home, work, and school for safety, sensory, self-regulation, building connections, structure and routine, social and emotional development, and self-advocacy.

Who should attend? Students with a disability who have experienced trauma and those that support someone that has experienced trauma.

Research revealing the main cause of narcolepsy named as breakthrough of the year

By Vishwam Sankaran: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Research sheds light on a central mechanism behind sleep and waking.

Running separate labs, the two led teams of scientists pursuing different research programmes that converged on a new understanding of the genetic causes of narcolepsy.

They found that the protein orexin which regulates wakefulness – also called hypocretin – plays a major role in the chronic sleep disorder.

The two labs unravelled that narcolepsy is triggered in humans by the immune system attacking cells that produce orexin likely “mistaking” it for a viral particle, and their findings have led to treatments that could relieve symptoms of the disease.

Three Common Issues With Assisted Suicide Laws

From PRAF: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The debate about assisted suicide and euthanasia laws continues to increase around the world, but as Americans begin to see the repercussions of assisted suicide laws from our northern neighbors in Canada, even proponents of assisted suicide are questioning whether or not these laws are working.

There are three issues that this article by Nicholas Goldberg addresses that opponents of assisted suicide have been calling out for quite some time.

1. Discrimination of people with disabilities

“Three United Nations-appointed experts reported last year that the law appeared to violate the rights of the disabled and could have a “discriminatory effect” on them.”

The top five reasons people request the lethal drugs for assisted suicide are loss of autonomy, loss of ability to engage in activities, loss of dignity, loss of control of bodily functions, and feeling like a burden on others (Oregon Death With Dignity Act). These are disability-related issues. Assisted suicide laws communicate to people with disabilities who are experiencing these issues on a daily basis that their lives are not worth living and that it would be better for them to be dead than disabled.

It is not a question of whether these laws could discriminate against people with disabilities. It is verifiable that these laws absolutely discriminate against people with disabilities. Only people with disabilities qualify. Everyone else gets suicide prevention care.

2. Steering of patients by doctors

“Another worry is that Canadian doctors are initiating discussions about euthanasia with patients who are not otherwise considering it. Critics fear they may be encouraging patients to end their lives…Perhaps it makes sense to bar doctors from initiating discussions about assisted suicide and euthanasia…”

The doctor patient relationship is built on trust, but it is by nature an imbalanced relationship. When it is the doctors who are initiating these conversations, their authority is stamped on the suggestion, which is a nudge by the non vulnerable person in the relationship. The patient has to trust that their lives are not being devalued, that doctors or other medical professionals will not help them kill themselves in a dark moment, when they give everyone else suicide prevention.

3. “Safeguards” that aren’t working

“Canada appears to have fewer safeguards than other countries that allow assisted suicide or euthanasia. Whatever reasonable protections can be enacted to ensure people aren’t encouraged, steered, or pressured into ending their lives should be welcomed.”

Canada’s “safeguards” were in place in the original formation of the assisted suicide laws. They included limits such as requiring the patient to have an “irremediable” condition, that the person must be given multiple options to change their minds, that if they do not have a “natural death foreseeable” that “the person has been informed of the means available to relieve their suffering, including, where appropriate, counseling services, mental health and disability support services, community services and palliative care and has been offered consultations with relevant professionals who provide those services or that care” (Canada’s Criminal Code, 2016, c. 3, s. 3).

Not only were these “safeguards” ignored or circumvented with impunity by many when they are in place, but now Canada and several jurisdictions in the US where the practice is legal are removing yesterday’s “safeguards,” which are today’s “barriers to access.” What little safeguard were in place are being eroded. Assisted suicide laws will never be safe.

You cannot both have assisted suicide laws and protect those with disabilities, avoid steering by doctors, and trust existing safeguards. Experience has born that out, but hopefully it’s not too late to close Pandora’s box.