Issue 3 May 28 2020

Issue 3, May 28, 2020

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COVID-19 Pushes Commerce Online, Making ADA Website Compliance

The COVID-19 pandemic has tilted the world of commerce decidedly-and perhaps irrevocably-toward a model where the fundamental point of contact between consumer and business is online. Put simply, a restaurant these days needs a website just as much as a kitchen, in order for customers to place pick-up or delivery orders consistent with physical distancing directives. An orchestra needs a way to deliver performances to audiences while concert halls are closed to crowds…

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Government Spotlight

New Bill Attempts To Ensure People With Disabilities Get Equal Ventilator Access

The Center for Public Integrity U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, R-Neb., has drafted legislation meant to ensure states do not discriminate against people with disabilities when deciding which patients get ventilators if supplies run short during the corona-virus pandemic. The senator’s announcement of the bill Tuesday cited a Center for Public Integrity investigation showing that as of early April, half of states had emergency policies to ration care in ways that disability advocates had denounced. “A just society is measured by how we treat the most vulnerable, and now is the time for Congress to step up,” Sasse told Public Integrity in an emailed statement…

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Accessible Elections

Feds Warn States That Online Voting Experiments Are ‘High-Risk’

The federal government is letting states know it considers online voting to be a “high-risk” way of running elections even if all recommended security protocols are followed. It’s the latest development in the debate over Internet voting as a few states have announced they plan to offer it to voters with disabilities this year, while security experts have voiced grave warnings against doing so. An eight-page report distributed to states last week recommends mail-in ballots as a more secure method of voting…

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Current Legal Actions

Businesses Get Early Victory in Lawsuit Demanding Braille Gift Cards

In a first-in-the-nation decision, Judge Gregory Woods of the Southern District of New York ruled that Title III does not require public accommodations to manufacture or sell Braille gift cards. It has been a gloomy month for businesses that (ordinarily) open their doors to the public, but there was a small bright spot yesterday: U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Woods issued a decision holding that Title III of the ADA does not require public accommodations to make and sell gift cards with Braille…

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Business Accessibility

Why is Web Accessibility Important for Your HR Department?

In order to establish and maintain proper digital accessibility, the HR department needs to work on two aspects: Ensuring that the digital assets of the company are accessible to all current employees. and ensuring that their job portal is accessible to job seekers.

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Non-Profit Accessibility

Halifax non-profit ensuring accessibility, inclusion during COVID-19

How do you reach out to hundreds of clientele during a pandemic? If you’re reach Ability, you do it the old fashioned way: by telephone. “The first thing we did, was contact all 500 of our clients and asked them what they needed,” says reach Ability co-founder and CEO Tova Sherman. “We decided the first step was to do a needs assessment of all our clients and what we found was they require information and resources.” Reach Ability is a non-profit organization based out of Halifax, N.S., that provides supportive and accessible programs to individuals facing barriers to inclusion and community participation…

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Accessible Education

Blind and Deafblind Students Set to Take Advanced Placement Tests File Civil Rights Complaint Against College Board

Five blind high school students and the National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s leading advocate for equal education of the blind, have filed a complaint against the College Board with the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) on behalf of themselves and all other blind and deaf-blind students who are registered to take the May 2020 advanced placement (AP) tests from the College Board. The complaint alleges that the College Board, which is primarily administering the AP tests digitally because of the corona-virus pandemic, is refusing to grant the students approved accommodations to which they are entitled…

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