Last Day to Registor for Legislator’s Reception

January 29, 2010 by cpehrson

This is the last day to register for the Reception with Legislators sponsored by the Utah Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities (LCPD) and other advocacy agencies in Utah that will be held on Wednesday, February 3rd from 4:00-5:30 p.m. in the State Capitol Rotunda. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to invite your Legislators to come and join you in a discussion of disability issues and concerns.  This is an important year to give your input on budget items that will greatly impact the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. 

To locate the names and contact information for your State Senator and House of Representative Member, go to the Utah State Legislator website.

RSVP PLEASE by contacting Trisha Rouse at the Utah Statewide Independent Living Council at 801-463-1592 or email: trouse@usilc.org/

Pediatric wheelchairs available at CReATE warehouse

January 26, 2010 by heather

CReATE logo

Citizens Reutilizing Assistive Technology Equipment (CReATE) has 19 pediatric wheelchairs available for people who need them.

None of these wheelchairs has been refurbished or sanitized because CReATE does not have the expertise in the pediatric area. However, if you are a practitioner qualified to evaluate the mobility needs of a pediatric client, refurbish a device and properly sanitize it, you are welcome to have any of the devices listed at no cost. The devices listed in the pediatric inventory do not have a service fee attached to them.

Power pediatric devices will not have a battery included, unless a battery was included in the device when it was donated to CReATE. The CReATE Program is simply collecting these devices and passing them on to you. The inventory may be viewed on CReATE’s webpage.

Contact CReATE if you are interested in one of the devices listed, have questions about a specific device or would like to donate a device by contacting CReATE Office Coordinator Faye Hauser.

CPD medical employee among the Utah volunteers bound for Haiti

January 26, 2010 by JoLynne Lyon

George Wootton

George Wootton will take the next three weeks off work, but it will be no vacation.

Instead he will be one of 150 volunteers working to rebuild the Healing Hands for Haiti clinic in Port-au-Prince through the Utah Hospital Task Force. The trip’s organizers ended up turning many volunteers away, but Wootton was among those selected.

The aid organizers were looking for people who could provide medical, construction and translation expertise. As a family nurse practitioner and a man with construction and carpentry experience, he filled two of the three skills the group was looking for. He currently provides psychiatric evaluations and general medical care at the CPD’s Medical Clinic. His experience includes years of providing primary care.

That said, he has been told to be flexible, since the project could require him to swing a hammer as well as care for patients. “We’ll be doing whatever they ask us to do,” he said. The volunteers’ objective is to rebuild the clinic, which collapsed in the January 12 earthquake. Efforts are coordinated through the United States Agency for International Development.

Security will be provided, and the effort is well-organized, Wootton said. All the same, the situation will be unpredictable. Transportation may not be reliable, and Wootton is prepared to see some sad things. He is not completely sure that a plane will be available to fly them out at the end of the three-week period.

Still, the CPD’s management has supported his plans and accommodated his absence, he said. “Nobody has said anything but, ‘George, do this.’”

His personal plea is for people to continue giving generously, though the earthquake has begun fading from the news. The novelty of the story may have worn off, but the needs are only increasing, he said.

The United Nations reports 112,250 deaths from the quake—and that number does not take into account the bodies still trapped in rubble or buried by private means.

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Follow-up on e-reader accessibility

January 14, 2010 by JoLynne Lyon

In an earlier post, this blog reported on accessibility issues swirling around Amazon’s Kindle e-reader.

Since then, the Department of Justice has reached an agreement with four universities regarding the device. It states that they will finish a pilot program that used the e-reader in classrooms,  but they will stop using the Kindle DX and similar e-readers when the project ends–until the devices are fully accessible to blind  students.

The e-reader comes with a text-to-speech function, but its menu and navigation controls are not spoken, making it inaccessible to people who cannot read text. The Kindle’s inaccessibility  prompted a lawsuit against Arizona State University, which was one of a few universities participating in the pilot program. A student who is blind joined with the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind, suing the university.

The Justice Department reached an agreement with Arizona State and the three other universities this week.  “In passing the ADA and the recent ADA Amendments Act, Congress found that individuals with disabilities were uniquely disadvantaged in critical areas, including education,” the statement from the Justice Department reads. “It is a core priority of the Civil Rights Division to strengthen and expand the educational opportunities for individuals with disabilities.”

In a separate issue, Amazon has for now left it to publishers to decide whether speech functions will be available for books, since the Author’s Guild objects to the technology. The guild argues that the text-to-speech infringes on audio book copyrights.

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Meet your Utah legislators in Salt Lake City, Logan

January 14, 2010 by JoLynne Lyon

Participants mingle at the 2009 LCPD reception in the Utah State Capitol rotunda.

The Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities  Reception is scheduled for February 3 from 4 to 5:45 p.m. at the Capitol Rotunda in Salt Lake City. This is an excellent opportunity to meet with your legislators and discuss disability issues. 

Invite your legislators to come to the reception and join you in a discussion of disability issues and concerns. To find out names and contact information for your state representative and senator, try the Legislator Lookup. If you plan to attend the reception, please RSVP Trisha Rouse at the Utah Statewide Independent Living Council by Friday, January 29 by calling 801-463-1592. You may also email her at trouse@usilc.org.

People in Cache County will have opportunities closer to home to meet with their legislators. The Cache County Council will host local lawmakers each Saturday at 11 a.m. starting on January 30 and continuing throughout the Utah legislative session. The meetings will be at the Historic Courthouse on 199 North Main in Logan. Participants should enter through the west door.