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Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act: July 26, 2021

This Facts for Features provides a demographic snapshot of the U.S. population with a disability and examines various services available to them. The statistics come from various U.S. Census Bureau censuses and surveys, covering different periods of time.

Read more here.

Disability rights advocates are worried about discrimination in AI hiring tools

Some companies that create AI hiring games, like Pymetrics and Arctic Shores, claim that they limit bias in hiring. But these games can be especially difficult to navigate for job seekers with disabilities.

In the latest episode of MIT Technology Review’s podcast “In Machines We Trust,” we explore how AI-powered hiring games and other tools may exclude people with disabilities. And while many people in the US are looking to the federal commission responsible for employment discrimination to regulate these technologies, the agency has yet to act.

Read the full story here.

NCDJ at Cronkite Partners with Zero Project for Global Discussion on Disability

The National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University is partnering with the Zero Project, a non-profit disability rights organization based in Vienna, Austria, for a virtual discussion about how disability — and people with disabilities — are covered in the media, both in the U.S. and other countries.

The Zoom discussion will take place on Thursday, July 29, at 4:30 p.m. Central European Summer Time and 7:30 a.m. in Arizona. Registration is required. 

Panelists include Jodi Cohen, a reporter for ProPublica; Jennifer Smith Richards, data reporter for the Chicago Tribune; Nikki Fox, disability correspondent for the BBC; and Amy Silverman, a freelance journalist and member of the NCDJ Advisory Board. The panel will be moderated by Kristin Gilger, director of the NCDJ, which is based at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Panelists will discuss the need for more and better coverage of disability and offer examples and guidance.

Cohen and Richards were awarded the top prize in the NCDJ’s 2020 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability, the only journalism contest devoted exclusively to disability coverage. Silverman served as coordinator of that contest, which accepts English-language entries from media organizations around the world on a range of disability issues. Winners are awarded cash prizes in both large media and small media categories. 

The winners of 2021 contest, which is now open for entries, will be featured during the 2022 Zero Project Conference Feb. 23–25, 2022, at the United Nations office in Vienna. For more information on entering this year’s contest, go to https://ncdj.org/contest/.

About the Zero Project

The Zero Project was initiated by the Essl Foundation in 2008 to research and share Innovative Practices and Policies worldwide related to employment, accessibility, independent living and political participation and education for people living with disabilities. The Zero Project network features experts and disability inclusion advocates from more than 180 countries. For more information, see https://zeroproject.org/

About the NCDJ

The National Center on Disability and Journalism is a service of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU. For the past 12 years, the center has provided support and training for journalists and other communications professionals with the goal of improving media coverage of disability issues and people with disabilities. For more information, see https://ncdj.org/about/.

Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Disability Contest Closes August 7

Winners will receive a total of $8,000 in cash awards in large media and small media categories. First-place winners in each category will be awarded $2,500 and invited to give a public lecture for the Cronkite School in fall 2020. Second-place winners will receive $1,000 and third-place winners $500.

Journalists working in digital, print and broadcast media are eligible to enter. Entries are accepted from outside the U.S., although the work submitted must be in English.

Entries must have been published or aired between July 1, 2020, and July 31, 2021. The deadline to enter is Aug. 7, 2021. There is no entry fee. For more information and to enter, go to https://ncdj.org/contest/.

Ford Foundation to Support The Times’s Disability Journalism Fellowship

Amanda Morris

The New York Times today announced that the Ford Foundation will fund its new Disability Journalism Fellowship.

The two-year program will recruit one early career journalist each year to work at The Times to produce stories that illuminate and explain issues that are relevant to the 19 percent of the U.S. population who currently live with a disability – and to countless others who care about them and these matters. The program will provide fellows with mentorship, a peer network and specialized training on how to cover disabilities. The nonprofit National Center for Disability and Journalism will serve as a training partner to the fellows and other members of the newsroom.

Ford is providing a $150,000 grant to create the new fellowship.

Amanda Morris, who previously worked as a bioscience reporter for The Arizona Republic, joined The New York Times as its first Disability Journalism Fellow in June. She identifies with the disability community as she was raised by profoundly deaf parents and has moderate to severe hearing loss.

The application for the 2022-23 fellowship will open this fall.

The Times will retain full editorial control over the fellows’ work. Funders will have no control over the selection or focus of stories. They will have no role in the editing process and will not review stories before publication.

The New York Times Fellowship is a talent pipeline program started in 2019 to seed and diversify the next generation of journalists in local newsrooms across America. It trains journalists in reporting, audio, visual and other disciplines.

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

The National Center on Disability and Journalism is a service of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. For the past 13 years at Cronkite, the center has provided support and training for journalists and other communications professionals with the goal of improving media coverage of disability issues and people with disabilities.

Philanthropies interested in learning more about The Times’s fellowship program should contact Sharon Chan, vice president of philanthropy, at Sharon.Chan@nytimes.com.

G.O.P. Bills Rattle Disabled Voters: ‘We Don’t Have a Voice Anymore’

Bills brought forth in several state legislatures, including Texas and Wisconsin, might impact people with disabilities negatively. These bills, which are designed to restrict voting methods, leave some people with disabilities wondering how they are supposed to be politically involved.

Read the full story here.

Easterseals Releases Comprehensive Study on the Long-Term Impact of COVID-19 on People With Disabilities

Easterseals, a leading national nonprofit provider of outcomes-based services and a powerful advocacy for people with disabilities, has released its Easterseals Study on the Impact of COVID-19 on People With Disabilities. The organization will use the findings as a dynamic roadmap forward, launching a comprehensive, nationwide strategic effort to modify, expand and amplify its services to respond to the urgent and evolving needs of the 1.5 million children and adults it serves.

Read the key findings here.