(photo courtesy of Washington Times)
Your weekly roundup of access, inclusions, and disabilities in the news.
The National Council on Disability has released its findings on accessibility for disabled voters during the 2012 elections. The results are jarring—only 27% of polling places were fully accessible to voters with disabilities, while 46% did not offer polling stations that would accommodate wheel chairs. Kristin Duquette, a Paralympic athlete and columnist for the Huffington post, advocates for much needed improvements and oversights to make voting possible for those with disabilities. Duquette questions the fundamental fairness of this accessibility limitations, saying, “The NCD’s Report has brought to my mind whether voting is a right or a privilege for people with disabilities.” For their part, the NCD has made recommendations to the Department of Justice, which promises to add accessibility assessments to its Election Day observations.
Comcast Cable has announced that they will be creating a special customer support team focused on accessibility, along with a product lab for creating new innovations in accessibility technology. Comcast’s new Comcast Accessibility Center of Excellence will help subscribers with disabilities access services like close captioning and video description. You can find Comcast’s Accessibility Services here.
AbleRoad, a company based in Waltham, provides an exciting new platform in accessibility: think of the site as Yelp but for access. Users can use the site to submit ratings and reviews of accessibility of local businesses, offering up everything from restaurants to beauty salons and synagogues. The site is new and looking for reviews—contribute at https://www.ableroad.com/ and help people in your community learn about their accessibility options!
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