Ed Roberts' Wheelchair Records a Story of Obstacles Overcome
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By Mario Sevilla Published: April 14, 2015, 8:41 pm
Updated: April 16, 2015, 9:06 am
PALO ALTO (KRON) — Where in the world can a child or adult in a wheelchair play side by side with everyone else, regardless of their physical abilities?
Opening this weekend in Palo Alto is a truly magical, new playground which — so far as we know — is the first of its kind anywhere.
Located in Mitchell Park, Magical Bridge Playground is the nation’s most innovative-inclusive playground, designed and built for visitors of all abilities, according to the magicalbridge.org website.
Built with land and seed money from the city, and some $4 million dollars in private donations, the magical treehouse and several other play stations go well beyond what’s required by the Americans with Disability Act.
KRON’s Rob Fladeboe has a sneak preview of this amazing place, which is open to everybody.
The Magical Bridge Playground is located at 600 East Meadow Street in Palo Alto. The grand opening is at 10 a.m. this Saturday.
CLICK ON THE LINK ABOVE TO WATCH THE VIDEO
Students design device for visually impaired April 20, 2015, 05:00 AM By Austin Walsh Daily Journal
A group of students at Design Tech High School in Millbrae used innovative curriculum and collaborative learning opportunities to develop a piece of wearable technology that aids the visually impaired.
Savannah Summers, Jwanna Yaqub and Amaya Santana, freshmen at d.tech, built an arm band that can sense the denomination of paper currency, to protect blind people from being scammed. The project is the product of a collaboration between d.tech and Oracle Education Foundation, designed to engage female students in technology and engineering. The team of students said the scanning band was inspired by a member of Summers’ family who is blind and struggles with sorting bills.
“We decided that we wanted to make a product that can help people,” said Summers. The band features a sensor that can detect the color difference between $1 and $5 bills when money is run across its surface, and then plays a tune declaring to its user the value.
Based on the success of the initial project design, Oracle has said it would be willing to fund the team building a more complete version of the product, said Summers. Yaqub said the experience has broadened her horizons regarding what she might be capable of through innovation and design. “It makes me really curious, I don’t know what to expect,” she said. “I created something to really help.” Summers agreed, and said the project could be the beginning of their budding career as entrepreneurs. “Who knows, maybe we’ll be successful,” she said. Santana said the project, and experience at d.tech, has encouraged her to consider pursuing a career in engineering or architecture.
The charter school offers students an opportunity to chart their own course through curriculum soaked in technology, innovation and engineering. Teachers set the standards that students must achieve, but students are allowed the agency to learn at their own pace.
To InnoCaption Users:
On April 2, 2015, InnoCaption, Inc., a provider of Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) announced that it will be temporarily suspending its service because it is not in compliance with Federal Communication Commission (FCC) 911 emergency call handing rules. The failure to handle these calls means that the FCC also must suspend InnoCaption’s certification to provide IP CTS, until it comes into 911 compliance. By this letter, I am writing to explain why the suspension of InnoCaption’s service is necessary.
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires the FCC to ensure the provision of telecommunications relay services that are functionally equivalent to voice telephone services. Access to 911 services is an essential component of functional equivalency. Because the ability to effectively place a 911 call can mean the difference between life and death, relay users (including IP CTS users) must have the same capability as hearing telephone users to place emergency calls and receive callbacks from emergency services if an emergency call is disconnected.
In order to ensure effective 911 access, FCC rules require IP CTS providers to accept 911 calls and route such calls to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) or other appropriate 911 emergency center serving a 911caller’s location. In addition, at the beginning of a 911 call, IP CTS providers must convey certain information that will allow the 911 emergency center to re-establish contact with the Communications Assistant (CA) – and thereby the relay user – if the call is disconnected. This is to ensure that the caller continues to have contact with the 911 emergency center operator.
Tests performed by the FCC over the past several months indicate that InnoCaption’s service does not comply with the above emergency call handling rules. InnoCaption’s inability to handle 911 emergency calls in compliance with FCC rules could have serious consequences for the lives, health, and safety of InnoCaption users. As a consequence, it is necessary to suspend InnoCaption’s service until it is capable of handling 911 emergency calls in full compliance with all FCC requirements.
We understand that some consumers rely on InnoCaption to communicate over the telephone in their personal and professional lives. We want to assure you that it remains the FCC’s goal to ensure that all people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or speech disabled have the communication access needed to fully participate in all aspects of society. For this reason, we are working with InnoCaption to expedite its compliance with FCC 911 emergency call handling rules so that it can resume service for the community. Please note that several other companies offer IP-CTS that you may want to consider using. You can find a full list of Internet-based relay providers at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/trs-providers. If you have any questions about this temporary service interruption, please contact the FCC Disability Rights Office at 202-418-2517 or email@example.com. We appreciate your patience and look forward to InnoCaption developing a functionally equivalent service that includes compliant 911 emergency calling service.
Kris Anne Monteith
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
When celebrities read mean tweets about themselves, it's funny. When homeless people do it, it's heartbreaking.
In a powerful PSA by Canadian advocacy group Raising the Roof, people who are dealing with homelessness read actual tweets written about those living without stable shelter.
"Maybe if homeless people took care of themselves, looked pretty, we would want to help them," Kubby, a man in the video who has been homeless for 47 years, reads. "I don't help yellow teeth."
"Never understand why homeless people smell of piss when you can literally piss anywhere," another man named Kim, who's been homeless for three years, reads.
The PSA -- which appropriates the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" segment that has featured entertainers, athletes and even President Obama -- aims to "remind [viewers] the conversation around the issue needs to change," according to Raising the Roof. The organization is using the #HumansForHumans hashtag to promote the video and keep its message spreading on social media.
The PSA uses the same concept as one published online earlier this month by the Canadian Safe School Network and advertising agency John St. that highlights cyberbullying among teenagers.
To learn more and support Raising the Roof, visit the organization's #HumansForHumans website.
Posted By David-Elijah Nahmod @DavidElijahN on Fri, Dec 12, 2014 at 2:14 PM
Matthew Easton's dog Chestnut isn't just his buddy — he's his eyesight.
Easton, an Air Force veteran who served from 2001-2005, lost most of his vision due to an eye disease. Chestnut is Easton's guide dog. With his faithful companion by his side, Easton is able to get around his neighborhood in San Luis Obispo. Chestnut also guides Easton from Central California to the VA Hospital in San Francisco's Outer Richmond District, where he receives medical treatment for his eyes.
But recently, the VA Hospital delivered some not-so-welcoming news, telling Easton that he could no longer bring Chestnut into the eye exam room at the hospital.
"I was told by the Patient Advocate Office as well as the eye clinic that the only option was to have a family member or a friend watch my dog for me during my exam," Easton told SF Weekly. "I was told if that wan't an option that I was to call Animal Control and have them take my guide dog to the shelter at my own expense just for the short duration of my appointment."
Easton says that he was advised to "leave his dog in the car."
Obvious questions arose, such as: leave Chestnut in what car? A blind person can't legally drive. As a person who lives on disability insurance Easton can hardly afford boarding fees. And besides, how would Easton get from the pound—which is in the Mission—to the VA Hospital in the Outer Richmond without his guide dog?
"I depend on the VA for treatment," Easton said. "Putting my dog in a shelter is ridiculous. It's dangerous for me as well as my dog."
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