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.

Siri

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.

Dictation.

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.

VoiceOver

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.

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.

Registration: Assistive Technology for Trauma – Michigan Alliance for Families

This webinar meets 2 times.

October
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.

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.

Setting Standards for Delivering High-Quality Care to Veterans with Invisible Wounds

by Natalie Ernecoff, Carrie M. Farmer, Matthew F. Amidon, Margaret C. Harrell, Jennifer Silva: For Complete Post, Click Here…

For veterans living with invisible wounds of war, care delivery organizations must define and measure standards for high-quality care. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, traumatic brain injury (TBI), substance use disorders, and other “invisible wounds” are common among post-9/11 veterans and can interfere with their employment, family life, engagement with their communities, and overall well-being. Further, many veterans receive care at non-VA facilities, though the quality and programs in non-VA clinical settings are difficult to assess. Although there are effective treatments for these conditions, many veterans face barriers to accessing high-quality care. Therefore, care delivery organizations could work to ensure that the care and resources they provide are of high quality.

As a first step, the Veteran Wellness Alliance, a coalition of veteran peer network organizations and clinical provider organizations supported by the George W. Bush Institute, previously collaborated with RAND researchers to develop a shared definition of high-quality care consisting of four pillars: veteran-centered care, accessible care, evidence-based care, and outcome monitoring to improve access to high-quality care for post-9/11 veterans with invisible wounds.

The best way to get a crying baby back to sleep? Researchers say they’ve figured it out

By Jordan Mendoza: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Nearly every newborn parent has dealt with it: a crying baby that just won’t go to sleep, or an infant who wakes up in the middle of the night and won’t let anyone go back to bed.

Regardless of the countless hours of sleep lost, people have endless amounts of remedies and tricks to get a baby back to sleep. Now, researchers say they have figured out – scientifically – the best way to get a newborn back in their crib, and it involves moving around.

The findings, published Tuesday in the peer reviewed journal Current Biology, suggest the best method is to hold a crying baby and walk with them for five minutes. After that, researchers say to sit and hold the baby for five-to-eight minutes before putting them to bed. The walking-to-sit method even worked in the daytime, the results showed.

10 TikToks to Watch If You’re Struggling With Suicidal Thoughts Right Now

By Sky Taylor: For Complete Post, Click Here…

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. If you need support right now, you can call, text, or chat the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, or text HOME to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line if you are in the U.S. A list of crisis centers around the world can be found here.

When people are struggling, especially with their mental health, we tell them to reach out. Talk to someone. Tell a trusted adult. But the unfortunate reality is that not everyone has a person they can text when suicidal thoughts get too loud and the pain gets too heavy. Even if someone has a great support system, when you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, feeling like a burden can make it incredibly difficult to reach out. And yes, crisis lines exist, but they have a time and a place (and plenty that needs fixing). Sometimes you just need the face of another person who understands, spending 60 seconds with you, being supportive and empathetic.

That’s why I’m thankful for TikTok, and especially these videos. People can say what they will about screen time and mindless scrolling, but there are far more destructive coping mechanisms, and I’m certainly not one to judge. I know how lonely and isolating living with suicidal thoughts can be. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve watched these videos on repeat, and how many times they’ve saved me. If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts right now, I want you to know I see you. And I hope you find as much comfort and support in these videos as I have. Save them, bookmark them, come back to them when you need to, they’ll be here.

1. POV: You see us struggling with suicidal thoughts.

A wildly popular mental health advocate with years of lived experience, Jazz Thornton is always there to remind you the world is better with you in it. The way she uses her story to help so many who are struggling with such dark thoughts, is inspiring. This point-of-view style video, talking di

Medicare Assistance Programs Go Unused Despite Need

By Julie Carter: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Older adults and people with disabilities may face barriers to programs that could help them pay for Medicare and other basic needs, like food, housing, and utilities. These challenges range from confusing or restrictive application and eligibility rules to simply not knowing about a program’s existence. As costs continue to rise, it is increasingly important to ensure that people who need help get it.

For example, Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) pay Medicare premiums for eligible enrollees and, in some cases, cover cost-sharing like copayments and coinsurance. But MSP enrollment is consistently low, despite widespread efforts to increase use and outreach. This is likely from a combination of people not knowing about or understanding the program and administrative inefficiencies like complex enrollment or asset documentation processes. Medicare Rights continues to suggest ways states could address these problems and increase MSP uptake, like making better use of existing technology and data, implementing automatic renewals, increasing income eligibility thresholds, and removing asset limits.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is another critical but under-enrolled program. Food insecurity is widespread among older adults with an estimated 9.5 million people 50 or older and 5 million people 60 or older facing limited or uncertain access to adequate food. Despite this need, SNAP participation rates for the older adult population are low, with an estimated 29% of those eligible participating. In a series of reports earlier this year, AARP explored the reasons for this and identified several policy changes that could bolster older adult participation: higher eligibility limits, outreach to eligible people, streamlined application processes, and increased minimum benefits.

Other benefit programs are also underused by older adults, leaving many struggling to afford basic needs. Medicare Rights recommends contacting your local Area Agency on Aging and State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), as well as using online tools like Benefits Checkup, to see if you or a loved one are eligible for assistance programs in your area. Eligibility rules and access vary by state and community, so we advise people to check even if they feel certain they do not qualify.

10 Signs of Unresolved Trauma You Would Never Think Of

By Gillian May: For Complete Post, Click Here…

For example, being bad with direction or needing everything to stay the same may be signs of unresolved trauma.

Let’s look at 10 signs of unresolved trauma that we rarely mention or think about. Many of these symptoms are embedded in the body and indicate a stressed nervous system. The energy of trauma never leaves our body until we process it. In some ways, these symptoms are the body attempting to process and resolve the excess energy of trauma.

Many trauma therapists know that this can occur, and they often work on these symptoms with their clients to help them integrate and become more aware of what’s behind the symptoms.

Shaking

Skin and hair picking

and many more…

Long COVID’s link to suicide: scientists warn of hidden crisis

By Julie Steenhuysen and Jennifer Rigby: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The 56-year-old, who caught the disease in spring 2020, still had not recovered about 18 months later when he killed himself at his home near Dallas, having lost his health, memory and money.

“No one cares. No one wants to take the time to listen,” Taylor wrote in a final text to a friend, speaking of the plight of millions of sufferers of long COVID, a disabling condition that can last for months and years after the initial infection.