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November 4, 2013, Benetech and Bookshare released this press announcement.
Disabled Veterans Who Qualify Can Download 20 FREE eBooks with 30-Day Trial Membership!
The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that 13 percent of all U.S. Veterans, over 2.8 million individuals, now live with blindness, physical disabilities, or traumatic brain injuries. These print disabilities make it difficult, if nearly impossible, to read a newspaper, study a textbook or enjoy a bestseller.
With the evolution of digital accessible books, disabled Veterans may have a new lifeline to reading throughBookshare, the world's largest online library of copyrighted books and periodicals for people with qualified print disabilities.
Today, Bookshare serves over a quarter million members who are blind, have low vision, a physical disability, or a severe reading disability, like dyslexia.
"We want to ensure that all qualified disabled Veterans know about Bookshare and how to easily become a member," said Betsy Beaumon, VP and General Manager of the Benetech Global Literacy Program. "Digital accessible books can break down reading barriers and open a new lifeline to reading to go back to school, learn a new vocation or read for pleasure."
For nonstudent disabled Veterans who qualify, Bookshare now offers a free 30 day trial membership to download 20 digital accessible books and use thefree reading tools and apps until December 31, 2013.
After the trial, a minimal annual fee of $50 includes full access to a vast collection of accessible eBooks, (over 210,000), including military collections. Titles can be easily searched, downloaded and read on a variety of devices like a computer, tablet, smart phone, or MP3 player. Titles can also be read on a refreshable braille display that uses accessibility features for quick navigation, bookmarking and text-to-speech.
Bookshare is free to any U.S. student who qualifies, thanks to an award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. This free membership includes qualified Veterans now attending a U.S. school or university.
Disabled Veterans receiving services from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, through the Vocational, Rehabilitation and Employment Program (VET Success), may also be eligible for free membership.
Veterans' hospitals and associations please contact Veterans@bookshare.org.
For more information and to sign up, visithttp://veterans.bookshare.org/2013free.
Today, Vice President Biden met with the leaders of 20 disabilities and veterans advocacy groups at the White House to discuss the Disabilities Treaty. In the coming weeks, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will begin considering the Treaty, and the Vice President's meeting served as an opportunity to explain the Administration's strong support for ratification of this important Treaty and to discuss next steps in the ratification process. The Vice President was joined by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, and Judith Heumann, the State Department's Special Advisor for International Disability Rights.
The group met in the Vice President's Ceremonial Office, where Vice President Biden discussed his longtime personal commitment to ensuring that Americans with disabilities enjoy the same opportunities as their fellow citizens to live, work, and travel overseas. He made the case that ratifying the Disabilities Treaty is important because many countries around the world don't have the same high standards as the United States. In many countries, wheelchair ramps, sign language interpreters, service animals, and other accommodations are the exception, not the rule. That makes it more difficult, or even impossible, for people with disabilities - including our veterans and wounded warriors - to work, study, and travel abroad.
By ratifying the Disabilities Treaty and encouraging other countries to change that, the United States can carry forward its strong legacy of leadership on these issues, breaking down barriers, and making a real difference for those who have too often faced discrimination, inequality, abuse, or neglect.
In addition to discussing the Administration's strong support for ratification of the Disabilities Treaty, the Vice President expressed his appreciation for the groups' work as champions for the rights of people with disabilities. The Administration is committed to doing everything we can to ensure that all Americans - including those with disabilities - have the chance to live up to their fullest potential at home and abroad.
To learn more about the Disabilities Treaty, visit http://www.state.gov/disabilitiestreaty.
On Sept. 26 the US Access Board issued finalguidelines for outdoor developed areas administered by federal agencies. This release was timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which mandated equal access for people with disabilities to federally funded programs and federal employment. It also established the Access Board itself. The new guidelines cover newly constructed or altered camping facilities, picnic facilities, viewing areas, trails and beach access routes.
A Webinar on the Final Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas is scheduled for Oct. 17 from 2:30-4:00pm (ET).
On September 26th the U.S. Access Board issued new accessibility guidelines for outdoor areas developed by the federal government. The guidelines provide detailed specifications for accessible trails, picnic and camping areas, viewing areas, beach access routes and other components of outdoor developed areas when newly built or altered. They also provide exceptions for situations where terrain and other factors make compliance impracticable.
"The Board is eager to release these guidelines, which were long in the making, to explain how access to the great outdoors can be achieved," states Access Board Chair Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA. "The greatest challenge in developing these guidelines was balancing what's needed for accessibility against what's possible in natural environments with limited development."
Requirements for trails, outdoor recreation access routes, and beach access routes address surface characteristics, width, and running and cross slopes. Exceptions are included for these and other provisions under certain conditions stipulated in the guidelines. Departures are allowed where compliance is not practicable because of terrain or prevailing construction practices. Exceptions are also recognized where compliance would conflict with mandates such as the Endangered Species Act and other laws or where it would fundamentally alter a site's function or purpose.
The guidelines originate from recommendations prepared by an advisory panel chartered by the Board, the Outdoor Developed Areas Regulatory Negotiation Committee. They were made available for public comment twice and finalized according to the feedback received. The rule applies only to national parks and other federal sites, but the Board plans to follow-up with rulemaking to address non-federal sites under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at a later date.
"The Board is moving ahead to issue the guidelines first for federal sites out of expediency," explains Braitmayer. "In developing its guidelines, the Board must assess and aggregate their impacts. The Board was able to complete the necessary assessment on sites in the federal sector, but will require more time to analyze the impacts on the broader range of sites controlled by state and local governments covered by the ADA."
The rule applies to federal agencies that develop outdoor areas for recreational purposes, including the National Park Service, the Forest Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation. The new requirements will become mandatory on November 25, 2013 as part of the Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards, which apply to facilities that are built, altered, or leased with federal funds.
The Board will conduct a public webinar on the new rule on October 17 from 2:30 to 4:00 (ET). To register for this free webinar, visit www.accessibilityonline.org.
|Karen L. Braitmayer Access Board Chair|
|David M. Capozzi Access Board Executive Director|
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which requires access to programs and activities that are funded by federal agencies and to federal employment. The law also created the U.S. Access Board to ensure access to the built environment.
Specifically, the Board was established to enforce a law passed a few years earlier, the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) of 1968. One of the first laws on the books to address accessibility, the ABA aimed to make the federal government a model of accessibility by requiring access to all facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with federal funds.
In passing the Rehabilitation Act, Congress determined that the ABA needed better enforcement. As originally written, the ABA effectively left compliance up to each agency with little oversight. Further, comprehensive standards for accessibility were not available at that time. It was clear that a central agency was needed to both establish and enforce accessibility requirements for facilities covered by the law.
According to Access Board Chair Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA, "In creating the Access Board, Congress recognized that you can't guarantee accessibility until you clearly spell out how it is to be achieved and have a process in place to make sure that those requirements are met." In fact, the lessons learned from the ABA and the Rehabilitation Act would not be lost on later laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
"With accessibility, it's fair to say that the Federal government essentially started in its own backyard," states David M. Capozzi, the Access Board's Executive Director. "The Rehabilitation Act and the Architectural Barriers Act helped lay the groundwork for the landmark ADA and coverage of accessibility beyond the federal realm."
To this day, the Board continues to do what it was created to do. It develops and keeps up-to-date the accessibility requirements of the ABA and enforces compliance with them through the investigation of complaints. If a member of the public is concerned about access to a facility that may have received federal funding, it can file a complaint with the Board. The Board then opens an investigation to determine whether the facility is covered by the ABA and, if so, whether it meets the applicable standards. If a covered facility is not in compliance, the Board will pursue a corrective action plan and monitor the case until all necessary work is completed. The Board typically opens about 50 to 100 cases each year, and has ensured access to all types of facilities covered by the ABA, including post offices, national parks, and social security offices, among others. Since the ABA also applies to non-Federal buildings that are federally funded, the Board's casework has encompassed many other types of facilities as well, such as schools, transit stations, local courthouses and jails, and public housing.
The Board's mission has grown tremendously over the years under later laws. Its work developing and maintaining accessibility requirements is no longer limited to buildings covered by the ABA. Now, the Board is responsible for design requirements for facilities and transportation systems covered by the ADA, electronic and information technology in the federal sector under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, telecommunications equipment subject to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and, most recently, medical diagnostic equipment under Section 510 of the Rehabilitation Act. Through this work, the Board has become a leading resource on accessible design.
"The Board has eagerly accepted the responsibility to address access in new and unchartered areas," says Capozzi. "The Board maintains a very active and varied rulemaking agenda. In fact, just today, the Board is releasing new guidelines that address access to federal outdoor recreation sites." The Board is also developing new guidelines or standards for public rights-of-ways, shared use paths, passenger vessels, emergency housing, classroom acoustics, and medical diagnostic equipment. Having previously developed and updated its guidelines for facilities under the ABA and ADA, the Board is currently refreshing its ADA guidelines for transportation vehicles and its standards and guidelines for information and communication technologies covered by section 508 and the Telecommunications Act. In addition to rulemaking, the Board provides technical assistance and training to the public on its guidelines and standards on a regular basis and funds research on accessible design.
"Often people ask which department the Board is part of, but in fact it is an independent federal agency with authority to report directly to the President and Congress," says Braitmayer. Its governing Board includes 13 members from the public appointed by the President to four-year terms. Over the years, almost 100 people have served on the Board as public members. Since the Board also coordinates policy government-wide relating to accessible design, 12 federal departments are represented on the Board as well.
US Access Board
I possessori di pass auto per disabili dovranno sostituire il vecchio contrassegno con quello in formato europeo, presentandosi personalmente all'Assessorato al Traffico e alla Mobilità del Comune di Lecce, in viale Rossini 110. Scadenza prevista per lunedì 30 settembre.
E' in arrivo, infatti, il "Cude" Contrassegno Unificato Disabili Europeo destinato ai cittadini disabili. L'adeguamento alle normative europee da parte del Comune di Lecce prevede il rinnovo per i pass disabili convertendo gli stessi nel formato europeo. Un passaggio che consentirà ai cittadini con invalidità di parcheggiare negli appositi spazi a loro riservati su tutto il territorio dell'Unione Europea. Il Contrassegno Unificato Disabili Europeo (Cude) rappresenta un passo avanti per il diritto alla circolazione nello spazio europeo.
Il nuovo tagliando, identificato dal simbolo internazionale dell'accessibilità bianco su fondo azzurro, che consente la sosta ed il riconoscimento dei veicoli delle persone diversamente abili, cambia oltre che colore, la forma e prevede anche, a differenza del precedente, la fotografia e firma del titolare sul retro del contrassegno. La nuova norma - che impone, dunque, al proprietario del contrassegno di essere presente al momento della firma - servirà anche per evitare l'uso improprio degli stessi.
Per eventuali chiarimenti è possibile contattare il Front - Office del settore Mobilità e Traffico del Comune di Lecce ai seguenti numeri telefonici 0832 230782 - 0832 682786.
Under the Specific Programme: Preparatory Action "Tourism and accessibility for all", the European Commission has issued an Open Call for projects that will foster accessibility in local tourism development agendas, strategies and practices.
Call Deadline: 22/10/2013
Call Number: 102/G/ENT/PPA/13/511
The specific objectives of this call are:
- To foster adaptation of tourism products and services to the needs of people with special access needs
- To promote equal opportunity and social inclusion of people with special access needs
- To improve skills and training with relation to accessibility in the tourism supply chain
- To help mainstreaming accessibility in all segments of the tourism supply chain, while at the same time creating a seamless chain of accessibility in tourism
- To promote, market and disseminate best practices in accessible tourism
- To provide adequate support and guidance to SMEs
- To enhance the quality and diversify the offer of accessible tourism experiences in Europe
The UNWTO recommendations on "Accessible Tourism for All" (2013) have been approved and endorsed by the General Assembly. Updated from the 2005 version, the recommendations outline a form of tourism that involves a collaborative process among stakeholders to enable people with access requirements to function independently through universally designed tourism products, services and environments. These recommendations were developed within the framework of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of 2007.
- Delta left a blind woman alone in a wheelchair on a moving walkway.- Delta failed to bring an 81-year-old man to a hotel after canceling his flight. The man had to sleep in a wheelchair.- An elderly couple in wheelchairs missed an international flight because Delta failed to board them.- A woman who needs a ventilator to breathe was removed from a Delta flight, which was a return flight, because the Delta flight crew inexplicably determined that her ventilator and medical equipment could not be brought to the plane.
Are you a traveller with particular access requirements? Do you have a disability, or do you regularly travel with young children?
The aim of this survey is to research the travel patterns and behaviour of people with specific access requirements. The topics covered in the questionnaire are designed to gain an understanding of your personal situation, your travel experiences and your thoughts about travelling in future, so that we can build up a picture of the demand for accessible tourism.
The survey results will be used for a report identifying options for improving the range of accessible tourism services, which will be widely disseminated among and evaluated by stakeholders in the sector, and your responses will ultimately help inform future policy.
To participate, register atwww.accessibletourismsurvey.com and enter your email address to receive a link to the questionnaire. The survey will be open until 22 August 2013.
We would also be very grateful if you could circulate this email to anyone who may be interested in participating.
The Access Board has released for public comment proposed guidelines for passenger vessels. Developed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the guidelines provide design criteria for large vessels when newly constructed or altered to ensure that they are accessible to people with disabilities. The guidelines address various features of vessel accessibility and include provisions for onboard routes, vertical access between decks, doorways and coamings, toilet rooms, guest rooms, alarm systems, and other spaces and elements used by passengers.
"The Board is pleased to unveil proposed guidelines that will ensure access to vessels for passengers with disabilities," states Access Board Chair Karen L. Braitmayer, FAIA. "We know from experience that barriers to accessibility are often due to a lack of clear and detailed design guidance, and this rule will fill a long-standing gap in making passenger vessels accessible to all."
As proposed, the guidelines would apply to cruise ships and other vessels that carry over 150 passengers or at least 50 overnight passengers. They also cover ferries designed to carry 100 or more passengers and tenders allowed to carry 60 or more passengers. The Board is not proposing requirements for smaller vessels due to design challenges, space constraints, and other factors. The guidelines would apply to newly built or altered vessels.
In laying the groundwork for this effort, the Board conducted research on the feasibility and impacts of integrating accessibility into the design of vessels. This information includes case studies on vessels of various types and sizes, examination of design solutions to identified design and engineering constraints, and cost and impact analyses. The Board previously released advance drafts of the guidelines for comment which were based on recommendations from two advisory panels organized by the Board, the Passenger Vessel Access Advisory Committee and the Passenger Vessels Emergency Alarms Advisory Committee.
The Board is developing these guidelines under the ADA, which requires access to transportation and other services and to places of public accommodation. Under the law, the Board is responsible for developing minimum guidelines covering access to transportation systems and to the built environment. The vessel guidelines, once finalized, will join the Board's ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Vehicles, which are currently being updated, and its ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities. The new guidelines will be used by the Department of Transportation and the Department of Justice in setting mandatory standards.
The proposed guidelines and related information can be accessed, and comments submitted, through the federal government's rulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov. Instructions for submitting comments are included in the proposal. The deadline for comments is September 23, 2013. The Board will hold a public hearing on the guidelines in Washington, D.C. on July 10.
Public Hearing on the Proposed Guidelines for Passenger Vessels
July 10, 9:30 - Noon
Access Board Conference Room
1331 F Street NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20004
Note: For the comfort of all participants and to promote a fragrance-freeenvironment, attendees are requested not to use perfume, cologne, or other fragrances.
Call-in option (listening only):
Dial: (888) 603-7094 (toll-free)
To submit comments by phone, contact Al Baes in advance at email@example.com, (202) 202) 272-0011 (v), or (202) 272-0082 (TTY)