Google Adds Details On Accessibility

A small change to Google Maps could make a big difference for people with disabilities.

Alongside information about a business’s hours, telephone number and address, the search giant is now including details about whether or not the location has a wheelchair-accessible entrance.

“It’s a step toward providing more information about the accessibility of places around the world,” said Elizabeth Davidoff, communications manager for Google Maps.

The new feature launched late last year and is available globally, Davidoff said. Accessibility details are based on submissions from users.

“For the most part, our users submit feedback on whether a place has an accessible entrance, and once enough data is gathered, we’re able to note that a particular location has a wheelchair accessible entrance,” Davidoff said.

Business owners can also submit information about accessibility through Google My Business.

Adaptive Tech Solutions: New Products

My Pal Violet is a cuddly cute bear that learns your child's name, favorite color and more. Has three different play modes, including music, night time lullaby with auto shut-off, and play activity. Violet has been adapted so a child with a disability can use up to 3 switches (sold separately).

Price: $75.95

Click here to go to Adaptive Tech Solutions' website.

ABLE United Webinar January 24, 2017 at 12:00 PM

ABLE United provides a unique way to save up to $14,000 per year, tax-free, for qualified disability expenses, while maintaining eligibility for government benefits. If you've debated whether an ABLE account is right for you, your loved ones or the individuals you serve, you'll want to join us for our next webinar. 

Jen Pascarella and Scott Mattson, proud parents of ABLE United account holders, will share their motivation behind choosing ABLE United and the benefits of the account for their children with disabilities. The session will be moderated by the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST).

Click here to register for the webinar.

Computer Coding Bill filed in the Florida Legislature

A House Republican on Tuesday filed legislation that would allow high-school students to take computer-coding courses to satisfy two credits of foreign-language requirements. Rep. Elizabeth Porter, R-Lake City, filed the legislation (HB 265), after Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, filed a Senate counterpart (SB 104) last month. Porter chairs a House subcommittee that oversees post-secondary education. The proposal would take effect in the 2019-2020 school year. Similar legislation last year passed the Senate but wasn't taken up in the House. Supporters say the proposal would help students prepare for a world in which computer skills are increasingly important. But critics argue that it could undermine the value of traditional foreign-language courses.

USDA announces $540,000 to support people with disabilities in agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $540,000 in available funding for State and regional projects that provide education, assistive technology and other support to current and prospective farmers and ranchers with disabilities. Since 1991, NIFA's AgrAbility program has helped thousands of individuals with disabilities, including older farmers and Veterans, achieve success in agricultural occupations.

"Whether you are an experienced farmer facing mobility issues or a Veteran starting a new career in agriculture, AgrAbility works with the Cooperative Extension System and nonprofit disability organizations to open doors to people with disabilities," said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. "The AgrAbility network gives health, farm and government service providers tools to provide greater access to the agricultural profession."

This funding opportunity will support the development of new State and regional AgrAbility Projects that help providers build their capacity to serve people with disabilities. Projects also directly provide assistance to people with disabilities. Eligible projects focus on the following:

Education - Projects help...