Issue 4 June 26 2020

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WHAT TO SAY?

The past weeks, months, years, decades, centuries that have spawned the Black Lives Matter movement have left many pondering what to say. We at Access Ready are no different. Are we shocked and sickened by the death of George Floyd and other blacks at the hands of police? Yes, it should go without asking. What to say is not the question. What to do is.

 

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Government Spotlight

21ST CENTURY IDEA ENVISIONED A DIGITAL GOVERNMENT, A PANDEMIC MADE IT HAPPEN

As the corona-virus puts a toll on public health and the economy, the demand for information during the pandemic has strained agency websites and the employees who run them. Web-pages run by the IRS, the Postal Service, and the National Institutes of Health make up just a few of the dot-gov sites that saw hundreds of millions of visits over the last month. Amid this surge in traffic, investments in digital government have paid dividends for some agencies, and some have sought to expedite modernization projects through funding in the CARES Act…

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Accessible Elections

BLIND MICHIGAN VOTERS WIN GROUNDBREAKING LAWSUIT

In a historic outcome, a Federal Court in Detroit has approved a consent decree that orders the State of Michigan to provide accessible absentee ballots to blind Michigan voters in all future elections. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of blind voters Michael Powell and Fred Wurtzel, along with the National Federation of the Blind of Michigan, alleged that Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Director of Elections Jonathan Brater violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide absentee ballots that can be completed by the blind…

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Current Legal Actions

COALITION OF DISABILITY GROUPS DEMAND ACCESS TO NEW YORK’S INACCESSIBLE ABSENTEE VOTING

A coalition of disability organizations filed a lawsuit against the New York State Board of Elections (“NYS BOE”) for excluding New Yorkers with disabilities as their Absentee Voting program expanded in response to COVID-19. The lawsuit charges the state agency with discrimination against voters who are unable to independently and privately mark a paper ballot due to print disabilities, including blindness and low vision, or physical disabilities such as paralysis, dystonia, and tremors. All New Yorkers deserve to vote safely and independently, especially during the COVID-19 crisis…

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Business Accessibility

NOW IS THE TIME FOR HOTEL OWNERS TO MAKE THEIR WEBSITES ADA-COMPLIANT

While the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically reduced the number of guests staying at hotels, it has barely had any impact on the number of lawsuits being filed in which a hotel’s website is accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The majority of these cases are brought by visually impaired individuals who are not able to access certain content on the website because the site is not compatible with the assistive device or technology the plaintiff uses to navigate and obtain information from websites…

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Non-Profit Accessibility

FOR PBS KIDS, ACCESSIBILITY AND REPRESENTATION ARE TOP OF MIND

In an interview last summer, Lesli Rotenberg, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager for Children’s Media and Education at PBS, told me the overarching goal for the ever-popular PBS Kids is to create television shows and other content that is as accessible and representative of children, of all abilities, as possible. “PBS Kids aims to reach all kids, but we have a special focus on supporting those kids that need it most,” she said. “As a public broadcaster, we’ve always felt a deep responsibility to uphold representation and inclusiveness in our content, including how that content is accessed and consumed…

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Accessible Education

‘IT’S BEEN HELL’: PARENTS STRUGGLE WITH DISTANCE LEARNING FOR THEIR KIDS WITH DISABILITIES

Malika Simmons couldn’t believe her eyes when she received the schoolwork for her son to do at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Eli Simmons, 12, who has autism spectrum disorder and severe learning disabilities, usually works with a team of four professionals each day at River Springs Middle School in Orange City, Florida. He’s still learning his letters and numbers. The packet of work they received was filled with lessons on how to write a check and how to identify different angles – things that are miles beyond Eli’s ability…

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Accessible Technology

COMMONLOOK OFFERS A FREE WEBINAR TO ADVANCE ACCESSIBILITY

 

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