Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

RDPFS Resources for Partners July 14, 2023

Disability Pride Month Events and Resources

Across the nation, events are taking place in person as well as online during this coming week in recognition of Disability Pride Month. Among the highlights of those that can be attended virtually are free events listed on the Eventbrite website and taking place on the following dates: July 16, 2023, beginning at 11 am ET: The Disability Unite Festival: This activity, being held in person in New York City and online, will commemorate the month with a public event, beginning with inclusion training, followed by live performances at noon, and an “exclusive virtual experience” at 4 pm. This Festival will be available online at The in-person program takes place at the Central Park Bandshell. More information is available here for the Disability Unite Festival. And click here to reserve a spot July 17, 2023, from 8 to 9 am ET: How to build a disability inclusive workplace: Recognizing that an inclusive work environment is “not just a moral imperative but a strategic imperative,” this program will explore how to increase inclusivity in the workplace to tap into the full potential of a workforce and to foster sustainable organization success. Sponsored by the Digital Poverty Alliance, the session will feature Lizi Green, a digital inclusion consultant at AbilityNet. Green will focus specifically on recruitment, onboarding, and teamwork. Read more here about How to build a disability inclusive workplace and register here. July 20, 2023 from 2 to 4:30 pm ET: AbleOTUK Disability Pride Month Celebration: AbleOTUK is an Occupational Therapy Network/Advocacy Group based in the United Kingdom for “practitioners, students, researchers, educators, and people with disabilities/long term health conditions.” The celebration occurs as part of a monthly virtual series of get togethers for members to gain support and share experiences and challenges. Additional information is available here for the AbleOTUK Disability Month Celebration and click here to reserve a spot. [...]

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“Virtual Bookshelf: Disability Pride Month”

To celebrate Disability Pride Month, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has highlighted some of the projects they have funded that “expand disability access and research and support the teaching and preservation of disability history and experience.” A few examples include: – The American Foundation for the Blind received support to digitize their archival collections and to create the Helen Keller Archive, a fully accessible and free online resource containing the world’s largest collection of letters, speeches, scrapbooks, photographs, and artifacts relating to Helen Keller. This resource makes important materials documenting Keller’s life and work accessible to blind, deaf, deafblind, sighted, and hearing audiences. Read more here about the Digitization of the Helen Keller Archival Collection. – The Hastings Center organized “The Art of Flourishing: Conversations on Disability,” a series of public events over the past few years. These discussions engaged the participation of scholars, artists, writers, and other “thought leaders” to reflect on “what ‘flourishing’ means to them.” Among the topics: “Questioning Cure: Disability, Identity, and Healing;” “Disrupting Ableism with Artful Activism;” and “Navigating: On Disability, Technology, and Experiencing the World.” To read more about the six events involved and to access the recordings, visit The Hastings Center webpage here on its Public Events Series: The Art of Flourishing: Conversations on Disability – An instructional book, Building a More Perfect Union, has been created by NEH and National History Day in preparation for the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. This publication includes a lesson plan with primary sources and activities to help students learn about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Available through NEH’s education portal, EDSITEment, the book, Building a More Perfect Union, may be accessed here. For the complete listings of related resources, visit the NEH webpage for the Virtual Bookshelf: Disability Pride Month. [...]

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Dry Eye Awareness Month

by B. E. Lewis, RDPFS intern “Dry Eye Awareness Month,” recognized in July, marks an opportunity to increase public awareness about this eye condition, which can lead to vision problems. Nearly 16 million Americans experience dry eye and it is more common among individuals over the age of 50, women, and contact lens users. It occurs when the eyes do not make enough tears to stay wet or when tears dry up too quickly or “don’t work well enough to keep your eyes wet.” Dry eye can be detected through a comprehensive eye exam and treated with eye drops, prescription medications, or with lifestyle changes, such as using a humidifier and drinking “plenty of water.” Left untreated, severe dry eye can sometimes damage the cornea, the clear outer layer at the front of the eye, and can lead to vision loss. Concern is heightened this summer in light of unprecedented environmental conditions of smoke and poor air quality. USA Today reported that in the wake of smoke caused by Canadian wildfires and firework displays during the 4th of July holidays, the air may have temporarily worsened. Environmental factors, such as pollution and smoke, may exacerbate dry eye among other eye and health conditions, as explained in a recent issue of this Bulletin. A new episode of the Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health Expert Series, “Dry Eye and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD),” provides additional information. It features April Jasper, OD, FAAO, Advanced Eyecare Specialists, who shares her experience as a dry eye patient as well as an eye care provider.  Prevent Blindness also provides free resources on dry eye, including fact sheets and shareable social media graphics available in English and Spanish, and a dedicated web page. For additional details, read the press release announcing that Prevent Blindness Declares July as Dry Eye Awareness Month to Educate Public on Eye Disease that Affects more than 16 million Americans. More information is also available from the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) webpage on Dry Eye and the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health webpage highlighting that July is Dry Eye Awareness Month. [...]

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Best Practices Webinar on July 18, 2023: Ensuring Access to Information and Technology in the Federal Sector

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act ensures access to information and technology in the federal sector. On July 18, 2023, from 1 to 2:30 pm ET, the US Access Board webinar, “A Tale of Three Agencies: The Section 508 Playbook,” will highlight strategies used by three federal agencies to develop, implement, and maintain a plan related to achieving the legislation’s objectives. Representatives from the Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will highlight strategies and policies they have used that can be adapted by other agencies. Among those encouraged to participate are Section 508 Coordinators, IT Specialists, Reasonable Accommodation Specialists, and Disability Program Managers. For more details or to register, visit Great Lakes ADA Center’s A Tale of Three Agencies: The Section 508 Playbook webpage. Questions can be submitted in advance or posed during the live webinar and attendees can receive a participation certificate. Registration closes 24 hours prior to the start of the session. Instructions for accessing the webinar will be sent via email to registered individuals in advance of the session. [...]

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2023 Audio Description Project Award Winners

Winners of this year’s Audio Description Project (ADP) Awards have been announced by the American Council of the Blind (ACB). The ADP aims to promote and advocate for the effective use of audio description (AD) in media, including television, films, performing arts, museums, educational materials, and “other venues where the presentation of visual media is critical” to content appreciation and understanding. The ADP Awards honor individuals and organizations for their contributions to the “quality, availability, and understanding of audio description.” The 2023 winners are: Achievement in Media (Individual): Debra Erickson, executive chef and founder of The Blind Kitchen; Achievement in Museums (Individual): Karen Bergman, recognizing her work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City; Achievement in Museums (Organization): The North Carolina Museum of Art and its “Sensory Journey Program.” Special Achievement in Museums: Dr. Michelle Edwards, from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, for developing “History Alive,” a series of virtual tour programs; Achievement in the Performing Arts (Individual): Bonnie Barlow, who has provided live audio description of more than 258 plays and events; Achievement in Performing Arts (Organization): The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, for live audio description at their Broadway series and personalized accessibility assistance; Public Sector Award: The Space Telescope Science Institute for their description of images relayed by the James Webb telescope; International Award: MovieReading, a technology that allows audio description and captioning to be downloaded to an individual’s device; and Barry Levine Memorial Award for Career Achievement in Audio Description: Dr. Joshua Miele, an adaptive technology designer who works to solve “everyday accessibility problems.” The award honors contributions to AD over time through leadership and by inspiring or providing service to others. For additional details, read the Digital Journal webpage with the ACB press release on the 2023 Audio Description Project Award Winners. [...]

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Public Comment Requested for Potential Changes to Regulations Regarding Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is seeking comments on potential changes in its regulation on implementing Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act for those who receive financial assistance from HUD. Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities that the Department supports. This Section 504 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) acknowledges the need to align the HUD regulation with “environmental, societal, and technological advances and emerging issues.” General information and comments requested relate to the obligations of funding recipients, such as advances in accessible design, the use of websites, assistive technologies, and other resources that have emerged since the 504 regulation was originally issued in 1988. All members of the public are invited to provide input by July 24, 2023 via the Federal Register; the e-rulemaking portal; or mail to: Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Room 1076, Washington, DC 20410-0500. For more details, read HUD’s Section 504 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM): “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability: Updates to HUD’s Section 504 Regulations.” [...]

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Having Trouble Reading Standard Print? Enjoy today’s bestsellers in easy-to-read large print: Select Editions Large Type Books

Enjoy the best in current fiction, romance, mystery, biography, adventure, and more. Reader’s Digest Select Editions Large Type features expertly edited best-selling books in every volume. You get a full year of exciting reading (five volumes in all), for the low nonprofit price of $25. Indulge your love of great reading in a format that is comfortable and pleasurable to read. A portion of the proceeds from each subscription supports Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation’s work and dedication to fostering the independence of people who are blind and visually impaired. Each subscriber also receives a large-print calendar free of charge. Subscribe to Reader’s Digest Select Editions Large Type today or give a gift subscription. To order your subscription by phone, call 1-800-877-5293. [...]

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