Voices From the Field: Interview with Mona Qafisheh

Power to the Early Childhood Education Profession Mona serves as the director of grants and contracts with the Association for Supportive Child Care which provides early childhood coaching, assessment, and professional development to early childhood professionals, and education for family, friends, and neighbor caregivers and families. Mona’s role includes supporting the organization through the granting

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Digital Accessibility Legal Update: ADA Anniversary Edition

July 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA was passed just one year after Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web. In 1990 when then-president George Bush signed the law there were exactly zero websites. Two years later there were ten. And today? Over 1,786,367, 115. Because of the brilliance of the disability organizers and bill drafters, the ADA has provided a strong foundation for advancing accessibility in the digital world.

The First U.S. Web Accessibility Agreement was Signed Twenty Years Ago this Week

Twenty years ago this week (on March 14, 2000) Bank of America became the first company in the United States to sign an agreement to make its website accessible to people with disabilities. The agreement referenced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0 at a time when the standard was less than one year old.…

Accessibility is Delicious: Food analogies for digital inclusion

I’m always looking for ways to talk about digital inclusion without reference to legal hammers. This post gathers some yummy analogies for accessibility that can be used to raise awareness and help develop skills. Think blueberry muffins, curry and peanut butter.

Patreon Accessibility Press Release

Congratulations Patreon! The popular membership platform for creators and their supporters recently announced its commitment to digital accessibility with the press release posted here. Patreon worked in conjunction with the American Council of the Blind and blind creators and patrons including Robert Kingett in Structured Negotiation on its accessibility initiative. Lainey Feingold and Washington, D.C.…

CVS Spoken Rx™ Press Release

CVS Pharmacy announced that it has developed Spoken Rx™, a new feature of the CVS Pharmacy app that can read a specific type of label for patients with visual impairments and those who cannot read standard print labels. Spoken Rx is the first in-app prescription reader application to be developed by a national retail pharmacy.

Federal Partnerships Creating Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

By Kathy West-Evans, Director of Business Relations, CSAVR VR and the IRS: A Partnership that Produces Positive Returns To fulfill its workforce needs across multiple states, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) partners with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation’s (CSAVR) National Employment Team (NET), and the relationship is producing positive returns for the agency

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Patreon Accessibility Press Release

Congratulations Patreon! The popular membership platform for creators and their supporters recently announced its commitment to digital accessibility with the press release posted here. Patreon worked in conjunction with the American Council of the Blind and blind creators and patrons including Robert Kingett in Structured Negotiation on its accessibility initiative. Lainey Feingold and Washington, D.C.…

CVS Spoken Rx™ Press Release

CVS Pharmacy announced that it has developed Spoken Rx™, a new feature of the CVS Pharmacy app that can read a specific type of label for patients with visual impairments and those who cannot read standard print labels. Spoken Rx is the first in-app prescription reader application to be developed by a national retail pharmacy.

Impact Stories — Unified Schools/Special Olympics

Throughout June, OSERS will celebrate the graduating high school class of 2020. This first blog in the series highlights three students who participated in the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program. Congratulations Graduates! A Spotlight on Participants of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools By Andrea Cahn, Project Director & Vice President for Unified Champion Schools

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Impact Stories — Project SEARCH

Throughout June we will celebrate the graduating class of 2020. This second blog in the series highlights three students who participated in the District of Columbia public schools’ Project SEARCH program. Congratulations graduates! A spotlight on DC’s Project SEARCH participants By Sah Brown, Principal, Eastern High School; and Aimeé Cepeda, Ed.D., Principal, River Terrace Education

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Impact Stories — Way2Work Maryland

Throughout June, we will celebrate the graduating high school class of 2020. This third blog in the series highlights two students from Maryland’s Way2Work program. Stay tuned as the graduates featured in this blog will also be part of the VR 100 webinar series in August.   Congratulations graduates! A spotlight on Way2Work Maryland participants Way2Work

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OSEP Releases Fast Facts: Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities

By the Office of Special Education Program In 2018–2019, 409,315 Infants and toddlers, birth through age 2, with disabilities and their families received early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Our new Fast Fact: Infants and Toddlers With Disabilities takes a closer look at what our 618 data tells us about this population. For this

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Impact Stories — Joe McFadden

Throughout June we will celebrate the graduating high school class of 2020. This final blog in the series highlights a student from a private high school in Maryland. Congratulations Graduate! A Spotlight on Joe McFadden. By Pauline Peticlerc and Joe McFadden Joe was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old. He did not

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Voices From the Field: Interview with Justin Brown

A Father’s Engagement Justin Brown is an adoptive father of a 4-year-old boy, and a foster father to two 2-year-old boys. He works as a youth minister for St. Agnes Parish in Dalton, MA and is the co-director of Camp Holy Cross in Goshen, MA. Justin first became involved in early intervention when his 4-year-old

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Success Stories: Kelsey Redding

NOTE: 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Vocational rehabilitation helps student gain confidence and discover passion for public speaking By Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation (part of the Adult Learning & Rehabilitation Services, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) Kelsey Redding wasn’t sure if Missouri’s vocational rehabilitation was right for her when she

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Then and Now: VR Partnership with Business Expands

NOTE: 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Posted by: Kathy West-Evans: Director of Business Relations, CSAVR Christopher Pope, RSA OSERS’ Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) partnered with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation’s National Employment Team during National Disability Employment Awareness Month in 2018 to highlight the partnership between state

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Reflecting Towards Success

Remote education and supporting elementary and secondary students with disabilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic Cross-posted from the Office of Ed Tech Understanding how to best address the needs of students with disabilities during extended school building closures is a challenging task. Students with disabilities in elementary and secondary schools include those who have an individualized

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Voices From the Field: Interview with Linda Gilkerson and Pamela Epley

Promoting Children’s Mental Health Awareness Linda Gilkerson, Ph.D., LSW, is a professor at Erikson Institute where she directs the graduate training programs in infancy and infant mental health. Pamela Epley, Ph.D., is an associate clinical professor and director of special education at Erikson Institute. ED: We are celebrating Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in May.

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New Innovative Early Language and Literacy Program in South Carolina

NOTE: May is Better Hearing and Speech Month By Amy Holbert, chief executive officer of Family Connection of South Carolina Family Connection of South Carolina is pleased to join the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the American Speech Language and Hearing Association in celebrating Better Hearing and Speech Month. Family Connection of South

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Accessibility is Delicious: Food analogies for digital inclusion

I’m always looking for ways to talk about digital inclusion without reference to legal hammers. This post gathers some yummy analogies for accessibility that can be used to raise awareness and help develop skills. Think blueberry muffins, curry and peanut butter.

Education Department-funded Center Helps Families Adjust to Schooling’s “New Normal”

Kristen Kushiyama, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Most schools in the United States shut their doors almost two months ago and switched from traditional classrooms to distance learning environments. Families moved to adapt to at-home school settings while also having to shift their own work schedules and environments. Teachers, many of whom also

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OSEP Releases Fast Facts: Children Identified With Emotional Disturbance

By Office of Special Education Programs We were overwhelmed by the positive feedback we got on our first release, OSEP Fast Facts: Children Identified With Autism, and are excited to present OSEP Fast Facts: Children Identified With Emotional Disturbance. For this Fast Fact, we present data from the 12 data collections authorized under IDEA Section 618 on

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Voices From the Field: Interview with Alicia Brewer Curran

Alicia Brewer Curran works at the University of Missouri, where she is the director of operations for the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) Autism Program, and serves as a parent panelist on three expert hub teams. Additionally, she is the family faculty member for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program,

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Ensuring an Inclusive Rapid Response to COVID-19

NOTE: 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. By the Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) and Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) As the nation continues to adapt to the “new normal” brought on by COVID-19, so too do state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies. While the circumstances are unprecedented, VR’s nimbleness is not. Adapting

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Adapting to Evolving Employment Needs in Ohio During the COVID-19 Pandemic

NOTE: 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. By Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) Throughout its 100-year existence, the nation’s vocational rehabilitation (VR) program has continually adapted and evolved to meet changing public needs. This spirit is certainly evident today, as state VR agencies respond to the rapidly shifting employment landscape triggered by

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