From ACLU Iowa: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Today the 8th Circuit Court made a decision in our lawsuit to protect Iowa students with disabilities that make them vulnerable to COVID.

It’s important to note that the Court did not vacate as moot our lawsuit as a whole. The lawsuit was filed to protect Iowa students with disabilities who need to be protected by masking from COVID from the way the state was enforcing a new Iowa law. That new state law prohibited schools from requiring masking. 

The Court’s decision today vacates as moot the district court’s preliminary injunction only; the Court’s decision allows for the possibility of further litigation in this case.

It’s also very important to note that the court specifically did NOT rule that schools cannot require masking to protect students with disabilities. Today’s decision interprets the new state law to mean that schools can still require masking for students with disabilities that make them particularly susceptible to COVID, under federal disability rights laws. 

 Bottom line: Iowa schools can still require and Iowa parents can still request masking as a reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities under appropriate circumstances. 

Google brings transcripts and auto-translated captions to YouTube on mobile

By J. Conditt: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Google is rolling out auto-translated video captions for YouTube on mobile devices, with support for 16 languages, the company announced during its I/O 2022 keynote today. The feature is live now. Additionally, YouTube video transcripts are now available to all Android and iOS users.

This is all part of Google’s work to make YouTube videos easier to navigate and search, building on existing features like auto-generated chapters. Google has a plan to increase the number of YouTube videos with auto-generated chapters from 8 million to 80 million by the end of the year. 

Microsoft Expands Adaptive Accessories to Include Mouse, Hub and More

By Lori Grunin: For Complete Post, Click Here…

And the company consolidates its accessibility research into a single, broadly focused facility.

Microsoft made a big splash when it introduced its Xbox Adaptive Controller for gamers with disabilities a few years ago, and followed up with its low-tech Surface Adaptive Kit for laptops last September. Now, it’s introducing a new general-purpose line of adaptive accessories that the company announced Tuesday. The new peripherals were announced alongside a new research facility called the Inclusive Tech Lab, signaling the company’s commitment to further supporting users with varied accessibility needs. 

Slated to launch in the second half of the year, the initial products are a modular Adaptive Mouse, four Adaptive Buttons and the Microsoft Adaptive Hub for wirelessly pairing the various input devices.

All the accessories are created with the intent to support third-party components. The mouse is composed of a small central core, the technology part, to which you add the pieces most suited to your navigation needs, supporting both left- and right-handed operation. They can be Microsoft’s official components, the Adaptive Mouse Tail and Thumb Support (a traditional back with a gaming-like thumb rest) or custom 3D-printed ones.

The Adaptive Hub supports up to four Adaptive Buttons, as well as standard 3.5mm assistive tech switches, and can store three profiles for use with different devices. Like the mouse, you can choose from various button toppers — such as a D-pad, joystick or dual button — as well as add 3D-printed custom toppers. 

Since availability is still a bit further out, we don’t have any pricing or information about bundles.

TronicBoards: Making STEM accessible for people with intellectual disabilities

From Monash University: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Monash University researchers have developed customized electronic toolkits to help encourage STEM knowledge, logical thinking and creativity for people living with intellectual disabilities.

TronicBoards, created by researchers from the Faculty of Information Technology (IT), are a range of customised colour-coded printed circuit boards with large controls and recognisable symbols adapted to facilitate easy circuit making for diverse intellectual abilities.

Lead researcher PhD candidate Hashini Senaratne said a variety of simplified electronics toolkits are increasingly available to help people engage with technology. However, they are often inaccessible for people with intellectual disabilities, who experience a range of cognitive and physical impairments.

“We developed TronicBoards as a curated set of electronic modules to address this gap in accessibility. These boards can be combined with conductive tape and other electronic components, including LEDs, vibration motors, buzzers and push buttons etc. to create and demonstrate working electronic circuits,” Ms Senaratne said.

“The design of TronicBoards was informed by workshops conducted by co-author Dr Kirsten Ellis involving 148 adults living with intellectual disabilities. The participants were guided and supported by the researchers and support workers from various disability support organisations.

“We found that the participants, with varying degrees of support, were able to logically interact with the boards, complete workable circuits and in some cases were also able to add creativity and craft personally meaningful objects like adding lights to a mirror and a music box that can change melodies with a slide switch.”

NeuroStar® Advanced Therapy for Mental Health Receives FDA Clearance for Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

From Neuronetics: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-This is part of the non-invasive brain stimulation industry…

Neuronetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: STIM), a commercial stage medical technology company focused on designing, developing, and marketing products that improve the quality of life for patients who suffer from neurohealth disorders, announced clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its transcranial magnetic stimulation system as an adjunct for treating adult patients suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

“This is evidence of our commitment and strategic initiative to accelerate new clinical indications for NeuroStar,” stated Cory Anderson, VP of R&D and Clinical. “This new indication means that NeuroStar can help even more people suffering from mental health disorders that can be debilitating in their daily lives.”

NeuroStar pioneered the TMS category as the first system FDA cleared for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). NeuroStar is now leveraging the system’s versatile coil design, which allows providers to treat both MDD and OCD without the need for additional hardware upgrades or purchases. NeuroStar’s proprietary cloud-based software, TrakStar, can remotely activate the new treatment protocol for providers once they are trained. Practice Development Managers and Clinical Training Managers will be available to deliver training to NeuroStar practices in the third quarter. This new indication will significantly add to NeuroStar’s extensive Outcomes Registry, which is the largest outcomes registry in the world for depression.

Help Musicians launch new mental health platform Music Minds Matter Explore

By Will Richards: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The service arrives to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

Help Musicians have launched a new digital mental health platform to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

Music Minds Matter Explore is a new website providing those in the music industry with help and resources for mental health support, with help on depression, performance anxiety and more.

The number of musicians who are reaching out for help and advice from Help Musicians has continued to increase, even after lockdown was lifted last summer. Musicians seeking counselling through the Music Minds Matter service has increased by 94.4 per cent in 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, with some of the key concerns including financial worries and thoughts of leaving the profession.

Ed Dept. to Update Section 504 on Protecting Children With Disabilities

By Linda Jacobson: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The U.S. Department of Education will update a 45-year-old civil rights law meant to protect students with disabilities from discrimination. The department this month will begin collecting public comments on what is known as Section 504, which applies to students with physical or mental health needs who might not qualify for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Special education experts say there’s wide variation in how school districts accommodate students’ needs in the classroom and that parents are often in the dark about their children’s rights under 504.

AT LIBERTY PODCAST: Pain Relief Is a Civil Right

From Kendall Ciesemier: For Complete Post, Click Here…


For years now, pain has been the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting more than 50 million Americans annually. This isn’t the kind of pain you endure when you trip onto the pavement, scab, bruise and heal. It’s the persistent gnawing, aching, throbbing that happens over a long period of time. This is chronic pain.

One of the most powerful and effective forms of treatment for pain is the safe use of opioids. Opioids in combination with other therapies have allowed those hindered by pain to live full and vibrant lives, but the stigma around opioid use was exacerbated in 2016 due to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, that both seriously discouraged doctors from prescribing these drugs and also over attributed the prescription of them as the cause of addiction and overdose.

While opioids are not a one-size fits all pain reliever, the rollback on prescriptions has disproportionately impacted people with disabilities, people of color, women, and incarcerated folks. Kate Nicholson, founder of the National Pain Advocacy Center, believes now is the time to course-correct. Pain relief, in her view, is a civil right.

PCP: Explore the Six Main Areas of Future Planning

From The Arc: For Complete Post, Click Here… When developing a person-centered plan for a person with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (IDD), there are different aspects of daily living that need to be considered. To help you get started, we have broken the future planning process into six manageable sections. In each section, you will … Continue reading PCP: Explore the Six Main Areas of Future Planning →