Disability news, Accessibility Issues, Disability Issues, Accessiblity News

Archive for October, 2007

Mexican school for art by people with Down syndrome gains international acclaim

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

From the Associated Press, a feature on the Escuela Mexicana de Arte Down (Mexican School of Down Art) in Mexico City.

… all the students have Down syndrome, and their accomplishments are wiping away preconceptions about what mentally disabled people are capable of, particularly in the developing world where resources for the handicapped are scarce and many struggle to be treated with dignity.

Their paintings and lithographs “shatter the stereotype that individuals with Down syndrome have no interior mental life of richness and complexity,” said Dr. David Braddock, who oversees cognitive disability research at the University of Colorado and who helped bring their artwork to the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.


Feds: Disabled U-M fans had to be carried to seats

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

From the Ann Arbor News:

A report on the University of Michigan stadium by federal investigators cites accounts of fans with disabilities, invited as guests to the exclusive U-M regents area in the press box, who had to be carried up a staircase to reach their seats.

Other fans reported getting friction burns on their hands from navigating wheelchairs on improperly graded ramps, while others gave up attending games entirely.

The investigation began in 1999 after a fan complained ushers were unable to show his father the location of a handicapped accessible bathroom.

U-M has refuted the report’s findings, which could cause a withholding of millions in federal education aid.

Earlier stories here.

‘Universal design’ concept promoted for education

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Would accommodate different learners together

From Education Week:

A coalition of 28 educational organizations has come together in support of “universal design for learning” (UDL), a concept which calls for flexible curriculum materials that can accommodate different learning styles in the same classroom.

Among the supporting organizations are the National Education Association, the National School Boards Association, the Council for Exceptional Children, and a host of groups that support children with specific disabilities. Other supporters of the concept include Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

According to the tenets of UDL, lessons should be designed with accessibility in mind, instead of retrofitting existing materials in an attempt to accommodate students with learning differences. While the early days of UDL focused on helping students with disabilities, supporters say it has benefits for any student, including those who are learning English, gifted students, or students who simply learn better through methods other than a teacher’s lecture.

Registration required.

Special ed crisis looming in D.C.

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

From Examiner.com:

Despite promising to address the needs of its special education students within federally mandated deadlines, the District of Columbia has allowed its backlog of unserved children to grow by more than 200 [almost 30 percent] in three months, The Examiner has learned.

Federal law requires that students be evaluated for special education needs within 60 days of a request and that children get services within 45 days of an evaluation.


U-M denies violating ADA in stadium accessibility

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

From the Detroit News:

Officials at the University of Michigan vehemently disagreed with findings by federal investigators that the university discriminates against wheelchair users at its football stadium. They said the university is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and is committed to accessibility.

The university has ten days to respond to a scathing report released October 26 by the U.S. Department of Education. If the university is found to be out of compliance, the federal government has threatened to terminate financial aid to the school.

Earlier story here.

Website courts consumers with disabilities

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

From the New York Times:

Although 50 million people in the United States have some form of physical or mental disability, they spend money just as easily as others. But there are few efficient ways for advertisers to reach them, and that’s what a new website, Disaboom.com, hopes to change.

Disaboom is the brainchild of J. Glen House, who graduated from medical school after becoming a quadriplegic as a result of a skiing accident at 20. The site combines the social-networking features of Web sites like Facebook with information of interest to its constituency: medical news, career advice, dating resources and travel tips.

Read the rest here.

Dominated by ambulist metaphors

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

From the (London) New Statesman:

Disability columnist Victoria Brignell writes about all the ways the English language reflects the experience of those who are able to walk.

Just as history is written by the victors, so language evolves to reflect the concerns and interests of the powerful. Throughout human existence, power has rested with able-bodied people and the effects of this are evident in the words people say today.

Obviously, even if disabled people wanted to, it would be impossible to change the prevalence of general able-bodied language. But now disabled people finally have a voice in society, we can and do exert a subtle influence over language.

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More than 50 million people in the United States have disabilities, a number that is growing rapidly as the population ages. Experts say disability will soon affect the lives of most Americans. This website attempts to aggregate news and commentary about disability, and to document the efforts of people who are seeking new ways to address familiar challenges.

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