News and Notes 59 March 27

NARIC and social media; Tax Access website; relationships after TBI; social media accessibility toolkit; new technology expanding access to  movies and in-flight entertainment; NIDRR research featured on Blind Matters Radio Show; NIDRR researchers honored; high rise evacuation for people with disabilities.

Date sent: 
NARIC news: 

Happy Spring! We want to say thank you to the nearly 2,000 people who follow us every day on Twitter! We signed up in June 2009 and were over the moon when we passed 100 followers less than a month later. This week we will add our 2,000th follower. Our NARICenEspanol Twitter following is growing, too! Are you using Twitter or other social media to share resources? Which modes work best for your audience? Ever tried a Google Hangout? Join us on Facebook, Google+, or send us a note on Twitter and share your social media insights! Plus, take a look at the Elsewhere in the Community section below to learn about accessibility in social media. 

Resource Highlight: 

Tax Access
The NIDRR-funded Southeast ADA Center (H133A110021)  offers Tax Access, a website and service in collaboration with the Burton Blatt Institute and the National Disability Institute. Tax Access offers resources and information for site coordinators and volunteers who provide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance on how to serve their customers with disabilities more effectively. The site includes frequently asked questions; archived presentations; and publications that address accommodations for taxpayers with disabilities, effective communication, disability awareness, facility access, website and materials accessibility, and training resources. Volunteers and site coordinators may also call 800/949-4232 for technical assistance. 

Hot Topics Module - Relationships After TBI
The NIDRR-funded Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (H133A110004) released Relationships After Traumatic Brain Injury, the first in a new Hot Topics series of modules for people facing traumatic brain injury. This module consists of a suite of resources including videos, factsheets, and a slideshow to provide useful information, including strategies that may be helpful to individuals with traumatic brain injury and their partners to address issues experienced after TBI. 

News items: 

New Technology May Soon Expand Access to Movies and In-Flight Entertainment
Technology developed under recently-completed NIDRR-funded field initiated projects on Access to Digital Cinema Systems (H133G030104) and Making In-flight Communication and Entertainment Accessible (H133G050254) by the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)  may soon be more widely available. Two bills were recently introduced to expand access to captioning and image narration in movie theaters and airplanes. The Captioning and Image Narration to Enhance Movie Accessibility (CINEMA) Act would amend Title III of the ADA to require movie theater complexes of two or more theaters to make captioning and video description available for all films at all showings. The Air Carrier Access Amendments Act would amend the Air Carriers Access Act to require that air carriers make captioning and video description available for all visually-displayed in-flight entertainment programming. 

NIDRR Research Featured on Blind Matters Radio
Jamie O'Malley, PhD, of the NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment Outcomes for Individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired (H133E110004), participated in two interviews for the Blind Matters Radio Show. In the first interview (MP3), Dr. O'Malley highlighted the Center's research to improve employment outcomes for people with blindness and low vision. In the second interview (MP3), she discussed the Employment Mentoring Project and encouraged college students and professionals who are legally blind to enroll. 

Researchers Honored
James S. Krause, PhD, director of the NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Secondary Conditions in the Rehabilitation of Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (H133B090005) , will receive the Anniversary Award from the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA). Dr. Krause receives this award in recognition of his work as editor-in-chief of ASIA's journal Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. The award will be presented at ASIA's 40th Anniversary Scientific Meeting in May.

Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD
, director of the NIDRR-funded Northern New Jersey Model Traumatic Brain Injury System Center (H133A120030), was honored for her contributions to science during the 2013 Hudson County Women's History Month Ceremony "Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination." The ceremony honored women of Hudson County (NJ) who have made significant contributions in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

Grantee event: 

Webinar: High Rise Evacuation for People with Disabilities
The NIDRR-funded Pacific ADA Center (H133A110024) hosts High Rise Evacuation for People with Disabilities, April 10th at 2pm EDT. This webinar will include representatives from building code, evacuation chair development, and fire agencies to discuss how planning, building codes, and evacuation chair and other technologies are being used to improve the evacuation of people with disabilities from high rise buildings. Registration is free but required. Previous webinars in this Emergency Management and Preparedness - Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities Webinar Series are available for any-time viewing. 

Elsewhere in the Community: 

Social Media Accessibility Toolkit
The Federal Social Media Community of Practice's Social Media Accessibility Working Group, led by the US Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy, has developed Improving the Accessibility of Social Media in Government, a toolkit of recommended, baseline strategies to improve the accessibility of government social media. The toolkit, highlighted in articles in Federal Computer Week and FierceGovernmentIT, features guidelines and instructions for making Facebook posts, Twitter messages, and YouTube videos accessible for followers with disabilities. It also includes resources, training, and instructions to provide feedback on the recommendations.