by SAM MANZELLA: Complete Post through this link…
Selma Blair wants to help you shop with accessibility in mind this holiday season. The veteran actress and disability justice activist recently teamed up with QVC to curate an accessible gift guide. From adaptive clothing items to innovative kitchen gadgets, her picks are designed to make everyday tasks easier for people with disabilities.
Blair knows firsthand how challenging it can be to navigate an able-bodied world with a disability. In 2018, the Cruel Intentions star was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic and potentially disabling disease of the central nervous system.
Like many of the 1 million Americans living with MS, Blair experiences pain flare-ups and restricted mobility as a result of this condition. She is now in remission, but she continues to use her platform to advocate for accessibility in Hollywood and beyond. It’s no wonder she was named QVC’s official ambassador for accessibility.
Below, we’ve rounded up all 15 products Blair selected for her gift guide with an explanation of what makes them accessible. Plenty of her picks can benefit able-bodied people, too. (Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t appreciate a leverage-boosting, 5-in-1 jar opener?)
By JON BRODKIN: Complete Post through this link…
Verizon tricked by fake cop, fake search warrant despite obvious warning signs.
Verizon Wireless gave a female victim’s address and phone logs to an alleged stalker who pretended to be a police officer, according to an affidavit filed by an FBI special agent. The man, Robert Michael Glauner, was later arrested near the victim’s home and found to be carrying a knife at the time, according to the affidavit submitted in court yesterday.
Glauner allegedly traveled from New Mexico to Raleigh, North Carolina, after finding out where she lived and, before arriving, sent a threatening message that said, “if I can’t have you no one can.” He also allegedly threatened to send nude photos of the victim to her family members.
By Kelby Vera: Complete Post through this link…
Blair graced the Glamour Women of the Year Awards wearing a custom cardigan that sent a message.
Selma Blair put the spotlight on leading disability activists during the Glamour Women of the Year Awards on Tuesday.
While the actor was there to be honored for her own advocacy, she used her red carpet moment to recognize other women fighting for a more fair and accessible world.
Blair, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018, paid tribute to seven female disability activists by wearing a one-of-a-kind cardigan over her lacy dark blue Isaac Mizrahi gown.
The sweater’s designer, cashmere couturier Lingua Franca, noted on Instagram that the piece was hand-embroidered with the names of Alice Wong, founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project; Sinéad Burke, an Irish writer and activist; Keely Cat-Wells, disability rights activist and CEO of Making Space; Maria Town, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities; Andraéa LaVant, founder of LaVant Consulting, a disability-focused strategy and communications firm; and KR Liu, head of brand accessibility at Google.
From The Blind Kitchen: Complete Post through this link…
What The Blind Kitchen does
The Blind Kitchen ships practical adaptive cooking tools to blind and visually impaired cooks to assist with a safe, confident, and independent cooking experience in their own kitchens. We also provide blind-friendly tips and strategies for the many aspects related to cooking that do not involve a specific tool or kitchen equipment.
From ACL: Complete Post through this link…
The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) helps people with disabilities get connected to information about local community resources that support independent living. Launched in 2021 to help people with disabilities access COVID-19 vaccinations, DIAL also provides information about essential services such as transportation, housing support, disability rights, and more.
Call or send a text message to trained staff.
Chat online with trained staff.
For Deaf and hard-of-hearing callers who use American Sign Language
Connect directly to an agent using ASL Now.
DIAL’s staff are trained to work with people of various communication abilities and will spend as much time as needed to ensure effective communication.
From Opthalmic Edge: Complete Post through this link…
With a welcomed emphasis on accessibility and inclusion, numerous companies now offer specialized support services for customers with vision loss. They are there to help you get the most out of their products and to ensure your devices are set right to accommodate your needs. This is an effort we greatly appreciate and are delighted to spread the word.
Amazon’s Accessibility Customer Service
Call to speak with an accessibility specialist who can help you buy books and other products, or get you directly to tech support for Amazon devices and services including Alexa, Kindle & Fire Tablet. Hands raised triumphantly for accessible and inclusive smartphones.
Audible Support: 888-283-5051.
And Many More…
By: Kristen Shahverdian, Samantha LaFrance: Complete Post through this link…
Earlier this month, when disability activist Alice Wong submitted her remarks for a virtual talk at Boston University’s School of Public Health, the school made an unusual request: to change what she planned to say.
Because she cannot speak, Wong requires questions in advance of public appearances. This allows her to type answers ahead of time to more efficiently use a text-to-speech app. In her pre-written responses for her appearance at BU, she included the phrase “F U Dr. Fauci” and the names of several other public health officials she criticized.
Days before the scheduled talk, a school official wrote to Wong, asking that she change “F U Dr. Fauci” to “I disagree with Dr. Fauci” and to remove the names of the other officials. In doing so, the school inadvertently transformed a simple accessibility request into an opportunity to muffle the activist’s speech.
The BU official claimed the request was in accordance with the School of Public Health’s speech guidelines, saying in an email to Wong that “we do not encourage calling out people who are not present” and “we do not lend our platform to speech that is non-rebuttable.”
In fact, the official free speech policy of the university does not include such civility clauses, but a blog from the dean of the Public Health School, which does not constitute official school policy, does. There, he explains his philosophy, which includes the idea that “We are under no obligation to provide a platform for speech which is not open to reasoned reply.”
By Nicole Segnini: Complete Post through this link…
For many, experiencing the outdoors has more to do with accessibility and ableism, rather than “ability”.
When we talk about outdoor adventures, we usually envision breathtaking landscapes, thrilling hikes, or serene lakes. But for people with disabilities, accessing and enjoying the wonders of nature can be a real struggle.
In the United States alone, more than one in four adults have some form of disability, with Black and Indigenous people having higher rates of disability. Disabilities can range from mobility differences to neurodivergence. It’s important to recognize that people with disabilities are a diverse group with a wide range of needs, and ensuring access to the outdoors and welcoming spaces remains an ongoing challenge for many.
Some of the obstacles facing people with disabilities: uneven terrain, steep inclines, a lack of ramps and handrails, narrow pathways that aren’t wheelchair-friendly, absence of closed captioning on video exhibits and maps without tactile or audio features. While federal agencies are making efforts to address some of these issues, there is much work to be done in improving access to all types of parks and public lands.
Aside from physical obstacles, ableism also plays a significant role in making many feel unwelcome in outdoor spaces. These experiences arise from society’s narrow definition of capability and the absence of inclusive practices in outdoor recreation. People with disabilities are also often left out of conversations regarding climate and environmental justice, resulting in inaccessible systems and policies. In recent years, online communities and organizations like Disabled Hikers, Unlikely Hikers, Wildability and Disabled & Outdoors have emerged to challenge this status quo.
We spoke with seven people involved in this advocacy work about their connections to the outdoors, how they find joy in nature and their fight for a more inclusive outdoors and better access to parks and public lands.
From Molinaro Website: Complete Post through this link…
U.S. Rep. Marc Molinaro (NY-19) today introduced the Think DIFFERENTLY About Education Act. This bipartisan bill helps parents of children with disabilities advocate for the resources their child needs to succeed in school. It builds on Rep. Molinaro’s successful ‘ThinkDIFFERENTLY’ initiative. Rep. Molinaro introduced this bipartisan bill alongside U.S. Reps. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA-29), Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY-04), and Mike Lawler (R-NY-17).
In an annual IEP meeting, school staff and parents of a child with a disability meet to develop an educational plan for the student. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, parents have the right to bring a third-party advocate, such as a therapist, lawyer, or knowledgeable family member, to these meetings. However, most parents are not aware of this right.
The Think DIFFERENTLY About Education Act requires K-12 schools to inform parents of their right to bring an advocate to individualized education program (IEP) meetings.