News Archive

by Gabi Redford, Kaiser Health News                                                                                                                                                            (Reprint from FierceHealthcare)

Nancy Delano, 80, of Denver has no plans to slow down anytime soon. She still drives to movies, plays and dinners out with friends. A retired elder care nurse who lives alone, she also knows that “when you reach a certain age, emergencies can happen fast.” So, when her son, Tom Rogers, talked to her about installing a remote monitoring system, she didn’t hesitate.

With motion sensors placed throughout the house, Rogers can see if his mom is moving around, if she’s sleeping (or not), if she forgot to lock the door and, based on a sophisticated algorithm that detects behavioral patterns, whether her activity level or eating habits have changed significantly, for instance.

“It gives both of us peace of mind, particularly as she ages and wants to live at home,” said Rogers, who lives near Washington, D.C., hundreds of miles away from her.

At $45-$60 a month (plus an upfront fee of $100 to $200), Alarm.com’s Wellness system is markedly less expensive than options such as hiring a home health aide to check on her or moving her into a retirement community. The average cost of nursing home care exceeds $95,000 a year, while assisted living and in-home care tops $45,000 annually, according to a 2017 Genworth Financial report (PDF).

The exorbitant costs of nursing home and assisted living care are driving sales—and innovation—in the technology market, Read the remainder of this entry »

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Summer Camp Time!

Posted March 3, 2018 By Lee Learson

IFB Solutions is hosting two residential camps this summer, both aimed at students in grades 8-12 who are blind or visually impaired:

SEE Camp Abilities H2

Camp Dogwood, Sherrills Ford, NC  • 828-335-1136 •  jhardwig@ifbsolutions.org

SEE Camp Abilities H20 is an overnight water sports camp for rising 8th-12th graders who are blind or visually impaired.  We’ll swim, row, kayak, water-ski, and splash around from our home base on the shores of Lake Norman, and throw in a trip to the National Whitewater Center in Charlotte for good measure.  Novices are welcome, and lifejackets plentiful: all that’s required is a willingness to try new things and get wet.  We’ll have evening activities too. Cost: Free.

Co-Ed • Rising 8th-12th graders • Residential • June 24 through June 3

SEE Adventure Camp

Nantahala Outdoor Center, Bryson City, NC • 828-335-1136 •  jhardwig@ifbsolutions.org

SEE Adventure Camp is for teens who are blind or have a significant visual impairment, and who are ready to stretch their legs and hit the trail.  We plan to hike, raft, climb, swim, and zip in and around the Nantahala Gorge in Western North Carolina.  We’ll stay in bunkhouses at the Nantahala Outdoor Center Basecamp.  Cost: Free.

Co-Ed • Rising 8th-12th graders • Residential • July 22 through July 26

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Reprint from Marlin

With the national unemployment rate below 4.0%, businesses across the country are becoming more diverse and accommodating to a wider array of employees.

More older employees are remaining on the job to stay active and engaged as they bolster retirement savings. In addition, many disabled individuals seek employment opportunities and welcome efforts by employers to make the workplace accessible and inclusive. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the labor force participation rate for people with disabilities is 20.9%.[1]  Physical impairments tend to increase with age, so the proportion of older workers with disabilities is increasing as well.[2]

Assistive technologies help physically impaired workers perform job tasks they otherwise might not be able to do. Several kinds of assistive technologies are in use, including voice recognition software, ergonomic keyboards, screen magnifiers and microphone headsets.[3]

Innovative companies are creating new forms of assistive technologies to help disabled workers adapt and perform their duties effectively. Emerging technologies include: Read the remainder of this entry »

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Microsoft is working with Novartis to create an application that can be used by the visually impaired or blind to describe scenes captures by the camera of a smartphone audibly and thereby improve the independence of users.

The Viaopta Hello app is available in preview for iOS, Android and Windows and features:

  • Uses Cognitive services and Microsoft latest image analysis technology to identify people, items and scene.
  • The mobile app uses the Smartphones camera to take pictures of objects or people and then uses the back-end cognitive services to provide a description.
  • The desktop app can provide a description of the content of pictures from any available document library, and if the picture contains a known contact, the app will identify them by name.

ViaOpta Hello is available in twelve languages including English, German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Greek, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian and Hungarian. Watch a video and find the download links for the preview app at Novartis’s website here.

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RESNA Announces Online & In-Person ATP Fundamentals Course

Posted December 16, 2017 By Lee Learson

The RESNA ATP certification recognizes demonstrated competence in analysing the needs of consumers with disabilities, assisting in the selection of appropriate assistive technology for the consumers’ needs, and providing training in the use of the selected devices.

The ATP Fundamentals Course helps candidates review and refresh their assistive technology knowledge and help identify areas they need to study for the ATP exam. This course will be an online instructor-led course designed as a convenient, cost-efficient and effective way for busy AT professionals to participate.

Course features: Read the remainder of this entry »

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Written by: Jen Crozier

When it comes to education, data shows that deep knowledge and practical skills in science and math levels the playing field of opportunity for a diverse population of young people, regardless of zip code. Despite the fact that success in math in the elementary grades connects directly to achievement across all subjects, elementary school teachers – who teach all subjects – often do not get either the preparation or support they need to improve their ability to teach math effectively.

All researchers agree on one data point: nothing produces high levels of student achievement more than quality teaching. We have seen how rigorous STEM education in IBM P-TECH 9-14 schools is already propelling successful graduates into college and new-collar careers. And we’ve learned that by forging deep partnerships among the public and private sectors, we can prepare young people to compete in the global economy while meeting the growing needs of industry. And yet, despite their best efforts, many teachers lack the resources to help them deliver higher quality instruction.

And so today, the IBM International Foundation is announcing an exciting development in our ongoing drive to strengthen education at all levels and help prepare the next generation of STEM leaders. Teacher Advisor With Watson focuses the innovative power of IBM cognitive computing on perhaps the most critical – yet all-too-overlooked – aspect of education: helping teachers improve their skills and educate our children more effectively. Read the remainder of this entry »

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NASA is recruiting! Students with disabilities wanted!

Posted October 27, 2017 By Lee Learson

By Kenneth A. Silberman, Esq.

NASA is looking to increase the number of students with disabilities pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers through our regular internship programs. This is not a program for students with disabilities.  We are trying to recruit more students with disabilities into our regular internship programs. Disability means both physical and mental disabilities. Internships are a good way to get real-world experience. However, this is not an employment program. NASA jobs can be found at <http://www.usajobs.gov>. Students can apply for Summer 2018 now! The deadline for submitting applications will be Thursday, March 1, 2018. We will begin extending offers to students in mid-to-late January and will continue until all positions are filled. If you would like to subscribe to an announcement-only list about NASA internships for persons with disabilities, please send an E-mail to nasainterns-request@freelists.org with ‘subscribe’ in the Subject field, OR by visiting the list page at http://www.freelists.org/list/nasainterns

Internships run for ten weeks for undergraduate and graduate students. Internships run for six weeks for high school students. Read the remainder of this entry »

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BENEFITS OF AUDIO DESCRIPTION IN EDUCATION CONTEST

Posted October 23, 2017 By Lee Learson

Young People Who Are Blind Write Reviews of Film and Video…

The American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project (ACB-ADP) and the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) are co-sponsoring an exciting opportunity for blind and visually impaired young people, in four categories from ages 7 to 21: the Benefits of Audio Description in Education (BADIE) contest.

Kids love movies! Multimedia experiences are integral to public, private, and special education curriculum. Audio description provides access to all the visual images of the films and videos that sighted young people enjoy.

Students choose an audio-described film or video from the more than 6,000 titles available through Read the remainder of this entry »

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UConn Introduces Adaptive Sports Program

Posted September 15, 2017 By Lee Learson

By Antonio Salazar, staff writer for The Daily Campu

The University of Connecticut became a pioneer in the world of adapted sports by bringing a wheelchair basketball program to campus this fall. Mike Willie, a former graduate student at UConn, approached the university about creating a student organization and in the spring of 2017, Husky Adapted was created.

Willie’s goal for the organization was not only to start an adaptive sports program, but also to promote diversity and inclusiveness on campus for students with disabilities.

Assisting Willie in the process is Ryan Martin, Connecticut resident and former professional wheelchair basketball player.

At UConn, Martin is looking to set the standard and create a plan for other schools to have adapted sports programs.

“The UConn model would be there to show other universities how to go about creating an action plan. This would include tasks like how to assess the population, how to build stakeholders internally and externally, as well as creating a viable business model,” Martin said. “We are hoping that by creating this plan and showing how it can be done, that it will allow for other universities to have a more optimistic view that the creation of programs like this can be done going forward.” Read the remainder of this entry »

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Volunteer at ATIA 2018

Posted August 30, 2017 By Lee Learson

Share your time and expertise at ATIA 2018 by becoming a volunteer! ATIA is looking for volunteers to serve as session monitors, sighted guides, and poster scanners. In exchange for volunteering at the conference, volunteers will receive a 50% discount on ATIA 2018 registration!

Poster Scanner

Session Monitor

Sighted Guide

Pre-Conference: January 30-31 | Conference: January 31 – February 3

Caribe Royale All-Suite Hotel & Convention Center | Orlando, FL

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