Legislation that could require parents of blind or deaf children to pay additional school fees is causing a stir amongst advocates for those with special needs.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Eight years ago, the University at Buffalo agreed to make this campus accessible to the roughly 500 disabled students who attend every year. Today, almost a decade later, UB has failed to follow through on that promise.
A woman smacked Steve Stokes in the head with her purse, knocking him out of his wheelchair. She told him he shouldn’t be out in public, that he belonged in a nursing home.
Stokes was a college student in the late 1960s, a time when disabled people often were treated as outcasts. Accessibility on college campuses virtually was nonexistent.
The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice on Tuesday released an open letter to colleges expressing concern that some institutions might be “using electronic book readers that are not accessible to students who are blind or have low vision” and warning them that the government will crack down on any institutions that are “requiring” disabled students to use emerging technology that does not comply with federal accessibility laws.
Knowbility is an organization that advocates for technology that allows blind, deaf and otherwise disabled people to use the net. Knowbility’s Sharron Rush and Desiree Sturdevant talk about the challenges they face in raising awareness and changing the laws surrounding online usability.
Michele Shebroe began avoiding the stairs on campus her sophomore year. After her father, who suffers from a long-term back injury, complained of Virginia Tech’s hilly campus while moving her in freshman year, Shebroe wanted to survey the campus’s accommodations for those with a physical disability
With the Obama administration and many state governors calling for more charter schools, it may be time for policymakers to address directly the issue of these schools’ imbalanced enrollment of students with disabilities.
During her high school years, Lisamaria Martinez, who has been visually impaired since she was 5, carried a 25-pound backpack to school crammed with books written in Braille.
There’s a federal law–the Rehabilitation Act–requiring that federal agencies’ electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities. It’s a law that every agency must take seriously, but many are falling short of the requirements to make web access fully available for 54 million Americans with disabilities.
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