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.
Nationally, a significant number of individuals with disabilities spend the majority of their daytime hours receiving public services in sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs. These settings segregate individuals from the community and provide little or no opportunity to interact with people without disabilities, other than paid staff.
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The work of individuals with disabilities in segregated settings is often highly regimented and typically offers no opportunity for advancement. In many sheltered workshops, for example, people with disabilities perform highly repetitive, manual tasks, such as folding, sorting, and bagging, in shared spaces occupied only by other people with disabilities. They also often earn extremely low wages when compared to people with disabilities in integrated employment, resulting in stigmatization and a lack of economic independence. As long as individuals with disabilities who can and want to work remain in segregated work or day settings, they will be deprived of an important opportunity to interact with the community and the community will be deprived of their talents, skills, and contributions.
When people with disabilities are instead given access to supported employment services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs, they have the opportunity to live fuller lives, be more integrated into the community, and gain financial independence to “move proudly into the economic mainstream of American life.” 1 These opportunities fulfill the core promises of the Americans with Disabilities Act to “assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self- sufficiency.” 2
State and local governments that fail to provide services to people with disabilities in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs may be failing to comply with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The U.S. Department of Justice (the Department) has created this guidance to discuss and explain the requirements of the ADA’s integration mandate and the Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead v. L.C. ex rel. Zimring, 527 U.S. 581 (1999), as applied to segregated employment settings and facility-based day programs.
Ten years ago, I wrote an article for NEW MOBILITY about Google’s supposedly revolutionary Glass headset and what it might offer for wheelchair users. I had a lot of fun testing out the futuristic-looking device, but wasn’t sure what its future looked like. I closed the article with a quote from a Google staffer who promised, “We’re going to learn about things that Glass can help people do that we have no idea about now.”
In case you’ve forgotten or never heard about Glass, it was a lightweight headset attached to a glasses frame, with a built-in visual display that let you make calls, take pictures and videos, and access social media hands-free, using voice, head tilt or other controls. Two years after my article, Google stopped making Glass for the public.
I forgot about my headset — packed away in its felt pouch in the back of my closet — until last year. A representative for a German company had sent a message through the NM website touting “a new technology combining smart glasses to help electric wheelchair drivers control their wheelchair (hands-free) through a minimalist head control device via Bluetooth.” When I saw the pictures on their site, the device looked just like a Glass, and more importantly, it seemed to allow users to control their power chairs by simply tilting their heads.
The company, munevo, had been operating in Europe for three years and was preparing to bring their product, munevo DRIVE, to the U.S. Having heard numerous friends rant about their frustrations with current hands-free control options for power chairs, I was excited to hear about a new way to safely drive for those who can’t use arms or hands.
The headset has been exhibited at Abilities Expos around the U.S., and munevo offered one to NEW MOBILITY so I could try it and get feedback from other testers.
Up to 40 percent of children with ADHD also experience symptoms of cognitive disengagement syndrome (CDS; previously called sluggish cognitive tempo). These include excessive daydreaming, staring or zoning out, being lost in one’s thoughts, sleepiness, and peer relationship challenges. While CDS is not an official diagnosis in the DSM, decades of research confirm that CDS is an important type of inattention that negatively impacts day-to-day functioning.
In this webinar, you will learn:About the similarities and differences between CDS and ADHDHow CDS increases risk for internalizing conditions, academic impairments, sleep problems, and strained peer relationshipsAbout the behaviors common in individuals presenting with CDS, and approaches to assessing CDSAbout evidence-based treatment of CDS, including the finding that stimulants aren’t as effective as they are with ADHD symptomsAbout strategies to decrease the negative impact of CDS at home and in school
A Swedish woman who lost her right hand due to a farming accident was implanted with a novel human-machine interface into her residual bone, nerves, and muscles.
Karin’s life took a dramatic turn when a farming accident claimed her right arm over 20 years ago. Since then, she endured excruciating phantom limb pain.
“It felt like I constantly had my hand in a meat grinder, which created a high level of stress and I had to take high doses of various painkillers.”
In addition to her intractable pain, she found that conventional prostheses were uncomfortable and unreliable, and thus of little help in daily life. All this changed when she received groundbreaking bionic technology that allowed her to wear a much more functional prosthesis comfortably all day. The higher integration of between the bionic and Karin’s residual limb also relieved her pain.
I didn’t know what I had lost until I got it back.
A pair of non-prescription, digital in-ear hearing aids made me younger and more beautiful. No, really — I felt old when my biggest contribution to conversation became, “I’m sorry, what?” And it isn’t attractive to carp, “Speak up, for the love of God.”
Follow along and see how my OTC hearing devices are life-altering, cognitively uplifting, and an epiphany at the same time.
Hearing aids, the quality of life, and dementia
Nih.gov cites a clinical trial by Dr. Frank Lin from Johns Hopkins University that compared the rate of cognitive decline over a three-year period between people who did and didn’t receive hearing aids. The group with hearing aids had an almost 50% reduction in the rate of cognitive decline.
“Hearing loss is very treatable in later life, which makes it an important public health target to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia,” Lin said.
His colleagues found that mild hearing loss doubled dementia risk. Read that sentence again, please. Mild hearing loss doubled dementia risk. Mayo Clinic, Harvard Health, and a significant number of other health experts agree.
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.
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.
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.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). NDEAM is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of all workers with disabilities.
During NDEAM, the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council will be sharing stories where people with disabilities successfully obtained competitive-integrated employment (CIE).
CIE is defined as work that is performed on a full-time or part-time basis for which an individual is:
Compensated at or above minimum wage and comparable to the customary rate paid by the employer to employees without disabilities performing similar duties and with similar training and experience;
Receiving the same level of benefits provided to other employees without disabilities in similar positions;
At a location where the employee interacts with other individuals without disabilities; and
Presented opportunities for advancement similar to other employees without disabilities in similar positions.
If you have experience with CIE, and you would like to participate, please complete the questions below. If you are selected, we will contact you before sharing your employment story on our website and Facebook page.
If you prefer to complete this survey over the phone, please send an email to ChapmanT5@michigan.gov to schedule a phone interview.
After last week’s exciting announcement about the new Soundscape Community app from NCBI IA labs and its partners, we are going to discover some use cases for the app and the different ways some people use it.
If you have not heard of Soundscape, it is an app you can download on your iPhone that helps you explore and learn your surroundings using 3D spatial sound. It calls out streets and intersections and you can create Markers and you can even follow an audio beacon for navigation to a destination.
Personally, the way I use it is strictly as a Points of interest finder or if you prefer to describe it as finding out what places I am passing as I walk by them. I use a pair of AirPods Pro in transparency mode, this allows outside sounds into the airpods for safety while listening to announcements from the Soundscape Community app.
In my small town, I rarely use it because I know it so well but when I go to a bigger town or city, I like to know what I am passing by. So, if I am in Kilkenny or Dublin City, I will turn it on and listen, shops and points of interest will be called out. The ones on my left will be announced in my left ear and you might have guessed the ones on my right are announced in my right ear. This gives me a great sense of awareness of what’s around me and it is also great for letting me know when I am passing little service roads and intersections.
Soundscape also has a feature called an Audio Beacon which you can attach to a specific location nearby and walk to it. The beacon makes a changing sound as you walk to the destination. You can also make this sound give you haptic feedback if you prefer. Some people love this type of guidance.