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Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Disabilities

Posted November 15, 2017 By Lee Learson

Reprint from ” Champion Traveler

About 56.7 million United States citizens are living with a disability, according to the most recent national census. While traveling can be a lot of fun with new memories made, it is important to make sure wherever you travel to can accommodate if you have a disability. Luckily, there are several options available so that those who do have a disability are able to travel comfortably and safely. 

General Travel Tips for Individuals with Physical Disabilities

Physical disabilities are those that limit one’s ability to move, making travel more challenging. Physical limitations don’t have to keep you from traveling altogether. These tips and resources will help you plan for your travel and overcome challenges that may arise. 

  • Make sure before your trip, you choose a resort, hotel or cruise that provides accessibility. If you are able to choose your own destination, select a location that provides accessibility for physical disabilities. If you aren’t able to choose your own destination, find out if there will be accessibility accommodations at the location. Flying Wheels Travel lists several destinations and cruise options that offer accessibility for individuals with physical disabilities.
  • Working with a travel agent who is experienced with disabilities can take a lot of pressure off of you and make traveling much easier and smoother. This website, DisabledTravelers.com provides a list of travel agents who offer specialized services for those with disabilities.
  • Research your destination and hotel. Whether you picked it out yourself or a family member or friend chose the location, do your research on the destination and hotel to find out what services and accommodations are available. Different regulations may apply regarding accessibility in public locations when traveling outside of the United States. This article provides tips and information from 23 major airlines on what to do for travelers who need extra support.
  • Find the proper luggage that will be easy for you to handle. Finding luggage that also protects your equipment when handled by airplane personnel is important too. This article from MIUSA.org offers tips for choosing the right type of luggage.
  • Always make sure you pack your medical cards, Medicare card if you have one, discount cards, passport, debit and credit cards, and Traveler’s Checks.
  • You can make arrangements with the airline prior to the day of travel. Certain accommodations, such as bringing wheelchairs or other equipment onto the plane, require to be planned in advance.
  • Make sure to keep TSA’s helpline number on hand. Their helpline can be reached at 1-855-787-2227 in order to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions.

Tips & Resources for Individuals Traveling with Cognitive Disabilities Read the remainder of this entry »

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Holiday Gift Guides!

Posted November 5, 2017 By Lee Learson

It’s that time of year again. Looking for creative, engaging, educational and fun gifts ideas?                                            Check out these resources!

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DocsPlus is Here!

Posted June 12, 2017 By Lee Learson

Cricksoft announces the launch of DocsPlus! This exciting new writing tool for middle school, high school, and college students will be replacing WriteOnline. DocsPlus is a student-friendly word processor designed to help struggling writers to independently tackle curriculum writing tasks:

Help students organize their ideas and plan writing tasks with the built-in mind mapping tool and audio note creator.

Offer subject-specific writing frames and word banks to support your learners as they tackle new writing genres and try to incorporate more relevant vocabulary into their work.

Encourage students to actively review their own work with the DocsPlus speech feedback tool.

Save time and money that would otherwise be spent on scribes and readers by using DocsPlus to support students who require additional access arrangements during exams.

If you would like a free copy of DocsPlus, email to USinfo@cricksoft.com or call 1 866 332 7425.

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Apps for Creating Stories

Posted May 28, 2017 By Lee Learson

Looking for great story creating apps? Here’s a rundown (with links) of some of the best! Story telling is a great way to encourage kids to write and hear themselves speak too. It provides an opportunity for kids to be imaginative and creative while learning the foundations of writing and storytelling. Creating their own stories can be used not only for telling stories about events, but for writing social stories, sequencing daily living skills, creating schedules and so much more. The following are just a few of the wide variety of story creating apps available. Read the remainder of this entry »

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May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

Posted April 30, 2017 By Lee Learson

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month!  In celebration, OSEP’s Early Childhood Assistive Technology Model Demonstration grantees and Center on Technology and Disability is partnering with the Office of Head Start’s Early Childhood Hearing Outreach (ECHO) Initiative to join the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in celebrating this year’s theme “Communication:  The Key to Connection.”  Throughout the month of May, ASHA partners with national and local stakeholders to engage in a multifaceted public education campaign to raise awareness about the critical need to intervene early when young children are identified with communication disorders.  The Coffee Break Webinars will focus on Read the remainder of this entry »

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Readtopia™ Coming Soon!

Posted April 24, 2017 By Lee Learson

Don Johnston, Inc. will be releasing Readtopia and make learning to read an experience! Readtopia™ is a comprehensive reading curriculum for middle and high school students with autism and other complex needs. It brings first-hand experiential learning into the classroom—teaching students standards-aligned social studies, ELA, and science content.

For many, reading is not a natural act, but everyone naturally derives learning from first-hand experience. The purpose of Readtopia is to bring first-hand experiential learning into the classroom, so students can bridge the gap between learning through reading, and learning through experiencing.

In so doing it taps students’ natural learning capabilities, and channel them into reading capabilities so students can begin to more fully participate both in school and in life. Readtopia takes students on-location throughout the world as they learn to read through original video, activities, and graphic novels. Read the remainder of this entry »

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By Shelby Rogers (Interesting Engineering)

A new pair of glasses could help revolutionize computer usage in those with restricted mobility. The tech startup GlassOuse uses a modified pair of glasses to help people with no hands or no usage of their hands use technology.

Millions of people suffer from debilitating physical disabilities around the world. From amputations to strokes to neurological injury, these disabilities force people to reconfigure their lives. For someone who can’t use his hands, technology can be one of the most challenging aspects of a new life. Constantly texting on phones, researching online, or even posting a simple Tweet become infinitely more difficult. The company notes that over 30 million people can’t use their smart devices due to their disability. GlassOuse looks to be the universal device to assist with almost any technological need someone could have.

The glasses track head movement to move the cursor accordingly. A durable bite part clicks on whatever someone needs. The clicker is sensitive enough to register small bites yet durable enough to withstand more pressure. The battery cell can be used for up to 15 days of usage without a need for recharge. The app connects to Android and iOS systems as well as Windows PCs, Macs and Linus PCs.

GlassOuse founder Mehmet Turker has an immensely personal connection to the product. Read the remainder of this entry »

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A 12-Credit Online Graduate Certificate Program

Posted March 18, 2017 By Lee Learson

The University of Connecticut (UConn) A.J. Pappanikou Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service (UCEDD), in partnership with the UConn School of Medicine Department of Community Medicine and Health Care, is offering an online graduate-level Disability Studies in Public Health Online Graduate Certificate.

Program Description:

The Disability Studies in Public Health program examines the multiple aspects of public health, health care, society, culture, politics, economics, history, legislation, education, and social attitudes that impact people living with disabilities. The 4 courses (3-credits each) that comprise the Disability in Public Health program (12-credits total) are:

  • Foundations of Public Health and Disability
  • Epidemiology of Disability
  • Disability Law, Policy, Ethics, and Advocacy
  • Public Health Interventions in Disability

As an online program, the Disability Studies in Public Health courses are offered year-round, and the full, 12-credit program can be completed in as little as one year. Students must earn Read the remainder of this entry »

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Gift Giving Guide for Kids with Special Needs

Posted November 28, 2016 By Lee Learson
By Glenda Hampton Anderson, Education/Assistive Technology Consultant.

As stated by Cari Jean, “It’s no secret that kids love toys. They see a new one on a television advertisement and tell their parents, “I want that!” If kids had their way, they would have every toy imaginable. Toys can be a great way for kids to use motor skills, to learn to play by themselves and to learn to share with others. But what happens when children do not have the required skills to play with their toys? Kids with special needs may not be able to play with many of the mainstream toys available. That’s why there is a market for adaptive toys for special needs children.” Read the remainder of this entry »

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5 ways the cloud complicates accessibility

Posted May 18, 2016 By Lee Learson

By Aaron Boyd, Federal Times

Five years after the administration instituted the Cloud First policy, federal agencies across the government are buying in to cloud computing at an accelerated pace. But, when it comes to the government, progress can’t mean leaving people behind.

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