Monday, March 27, 2023

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Mobilizing Georgia voters in a non-election year is crucial for voting rights groups, Philadelphians over 50 will play a major role in the mayoral primary, and the EPA is finalizing a new air quality rule.

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Michigan becomes the first state in decades to repeal a "right to work" law, death penalty opponents say President Biden is not keeping campaign promises to halt federal executions, and more states move to weaken child labor protection laws.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Americans With Disabilities Act Website Gets User-Friendly Upgrades

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Thursday, January 12, 2023   

The Americans with Disabilities Act website has gotten a makeover, with updated navigation tools and easy-to-find answers to common questions on everything from service animals to accessible polling places.

The federal government said it wants to better empower people to understand their and others' rights, and equip workplaces, local governments and other institutions to comply with the law.

The new website also employs speech software to make it even more accessible.

Connor McGarvey, chief operating officer of Easterseals Northern Ohio, said the growing use of assistive technology is improving the lives of people living with disabilities, and explained devices are becoming increasingly sophisticated, including using facial recognition tools.

"The promise of technology is definitely something that has really opened up the lives of individuals with disabilities," McGarvey pointed out. "If they were to look at their caregiver, or their parents, it will tell them who they're looking at. That's huge."

The latest census data show an estimated 10% of Ohioans under the age of 65 live with some type of disability. The number of people worldwide needing assistive technology is likely to reach more than three billion by 2050, largely driven by aging populations.

Visit the new site at ada.gov or call the Justice Department's toll-free ADA information line at 1-800-514-0301.

McGarvey added numerous disability services operated by county boards in Ohio, funded by Medicaid, are possible through ADA legislation.

"If you are receiving job coaching, and community outreach and assistance finding a vocation, in the community, all of that is funded through Medicaid," McGarvey noted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Ohio spends $35 billion each year -- more than a third of the state health care budget -- on services for people living with disabilities.

Disclosure: Easterseals contributes to our fund for reporting on Disabilities, Livable Wages/Working Families, Mental Health, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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