Fan Calls Out Youtube Auto-Captions on New Cubs Channel

Oooops! We've been trying to tell you the auto-generated caption feature on Youtube isn't as good as it's AI (artificial intelligence) thinks it is. Case in point, is your city council meeting youtube-streamed and archived with auto-generated captions? Playback the video for your mayor or city council member and check out their surprise when misquoted by the auto-generated captions.

So, the Chicago Cubs learned how bad the auto-generated caption feature is when a fan and freelance photographer for the Iowa Cubs, Dylan Heuer, tweeted "Dearest @Cubs, your new YouTube channel is awesome! But can you please add captions to them for the deaf viewers? The auto-captions are not gong to cut it. Kris Bryant is not named “Chris Brian.” On behalf of the deaf community, thank you for your consideration #EverybodyIn #Deaf" The Chicago Cubs agreed. Get National Association of the Deaf CEO Howard A. Rosenblum's take on internet captions and what the Cubs organization is doing to make the new channel more accessible to viewers in the Chicago Tribune.


CDC's Contagious Conversations Features ADA Advocate Dr. Lex Frieden

The CDC Foundation has launched a podcast series, Contagious Conversations featuring compelling interviews with people who are making the world safer and healthier for us all. Every ADA Coordinator should know the history of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. There is no better way to learn about that history than from someone who was there, front and center, Dr. Lex Frieden, disability rights activist and architect of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In this podcast, Dr. Frieden shares his personal story and his passion for independent living by people with disabilities along with the legislative history leading up to the passage of the historic civil rights law.


Guess Who is Going to be at the National ADA Symposium?

If you haven't registered for the National ADA Symposium yet, you might want to today before it sells out. You know it's our absolutely favorite conference for learning from national experts in the field. To make this year even more exciting, conference planners have just announced the addition of architect Chris Downey as one of the keynote speakers. Downey is an award-winning architect who, in 2008, unexpectedly lost his sight. As one of the few practicing blind architects in the world, Chris has been featured in local, national and international media stories and speaks regularly about his many “outsights” (aka insights) since losing his sight. He’s graced the TED stage, among so many others, leaving audiences with a sense that silver linings are sometimes made of pure gold. Oh, and yours truly, Jennifer Skulski will be presenting concurrent sessions on ADA Standards, Self-Evaluations & Transitions Plans.

Getty Images Unveils The Disability Collection and It is AWESOME!

Verizon, Getty Images and the National Disability Leadership Alliance have partnered to create The Disability Collection, a growing collection of stock images that break stereotypes and authentically portray people with disabilities in everyday life. "The Disability Collection is the first partnership between disability leaders and major media companies to change representation of disability in the media. We are empowering our industry to get real about disability representation with stock photos that can be licensed and used by anyone in the world. The Disability Collection portrays the spectrum of everyday experiences of people living with disabilities - relationships, workplace, recreation, travel and transportation. The Collection aims to show the diversity of disability with a focus on traditionally underrepresented groups." For the first time The Disability Collection's inaugural images--now totaling over 350 with hundreds more in curation--were unveiled and are being showcased at the Verizon Technology and Policy Center in Washington, D.C. A celebratory event marked the occasion and brought together leading disability advocates, photographers and media professionals for a pop-up gallery experience, networking and discussion on the importance of disability representation in the media.


Are Your CEO's Tweets, Social Posts Accessible

Is your CEO sending out thought-provoking images on social media that aren't accessible to people with disabilities? Good news. There's a toolkit for that! The Social Media Accessibility Toolkit and Explore Access web resource has been developed through a project of the University of Arkansas Partners for Inclusive Communities through funding from the Southwest ADA Center. The toolkit includes step-by-step instructions for making Facebook images, videos and posts accessible. In addition, there is information to do the same via Twitter and LinkedIn. Read more >


"Certified" - Should Public Accommodations Become Pros on Specific Diagnoses?

Aquatica Orlando made headlines earlier this year becoming a Certified Autism Center by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) According to IBCCES, "As a Certified Autism Center, Aquatica Orlando is required to provide ongoing training to ensure that team members have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to interact with all families and children with special needs, specifically on the autism spectrum. Training takes place in the areas of sensory awareness, environment, communication, motor and social skills, program development, and emotional awareness as well as a comprehensive autism competency exam. The autism training must be taken every two years in order to maintain the certification."

While the U.S. Department of Justice and other enforcement agencies recommend broad disability awareness training, the ADA does not require public entities or public accommodations to have training on specific types of diagnoses. This prescriptive training begs the question as to whether an organization, in turn, is prepared to meet the needs of customers with other types of disabilities. What approach works best for your organization? Broad disability awareness/customer service training? Population-specific training? ADA-issue specific training? Or a combination of broad overviews and subject-specific as issues arise?


What If the Boss Looked Mental Health Right in the Face?

Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year (NAMI. Insel, T.R. (2008). But what if the boss could actually look mental health right in the face and actually do something about it? In their new article for the Harvard Business Review, Diana O'Brien and Jen Fisher, do just that with 5 Ways Bosses Can Reduce the Stigma of Mental Health at Work. According to Diana and Jen, "When your people are struggling, you want them to be able to open up and ask for help. These five strategies can help any boss or organization create a culture that ceases to stigmatize mental illness."

Are there other strategies you would add to the list?


Why You Should Always Use a Microphone in Meetings

It can be frustrating when a speaker says "That's okay, I don't need a microphone, I'll just talk loud." It doesn't take into consideration the number of people with hearing loss that rely on the microphone for amplification and clarity. In this article, Sheri Eberts discusses the need for microphones at meetings. The featured video “Like the Mic,” produced by Rooted in Rights in conjunction with Hearing Loss Association of America, is an awesome video short for staff training. Read more >


"Access" Documentary Filmmaker Shares Man's "Typical Day" Wayfinding with Technology

Storyteller and filmmaker Chris Higgins has released a short documentary about accessibility. It follows Cory Joseph through a typical day, showing how he uses his smartphone, Braille display, tactile watch, and guide dog to navigate the world. Higgins describes the film making experience in his blog, "I wanted to make a film that would raise the consciousness of creative people, and help them understand why accessibility is important." Higgins and Joseph are perfectly paired to give viewers greater insights to challenges and solutions to making the environment more accessible to people with visual impairments.


Is Your "Smart City" REALLY Accessible?

How are your city planners working to make a "Smart City" ACCESSIBLE and INCLUSIVE of people with disabilities? Is the use of new technology really accessible or is it putting up new roadblocks for people with disabilities? In MIT's Technology Review, Elizabeth Woyke explains how Smart cities could be lousy to live in if you have a disability.