Recently in For Persons with Disabilities Category

Check Out The Phoenix Exoskeleton!

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Colleague WG passed along this link about how the SuitX company in Berkeley came up with the Phoenix, a 27-pound, $40,000 robot frame that can allow paraplegic people to walk.  Wearers do still need to use crutches or a walker to balance, however. Still,  "it's amongst the lightest exoskeletons in the world". And  "it feels like you're actually walking," according to one of its users. 

Here's a video demo:


For more info, click here

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The Department of Labor has put out these guidelines to assist young persons with mental health needs who are entering the workforce for the first time.  Besides defining exactly what a mental health disability is, the document also outlines various concerns these workers may have, such as reasonable accommodations on the job (such as having flexible leave to attend counseling) and whether you need to disclose your disability or not to your employer.

For more information, click here

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On July 29th, I was one of the speakers at the Connecticut State Library's "ADA for Libraries and Librarians" program held at the Middletown Library Service Center.  The headlining speaker Elanah Graham talked about what the ADA requires libraries and staff to go about assisting patrons with disabilities.  Maria Bernier spoke briefly on how libraries can apply for LSTA grants to provide assistive technology. 

And yours truly went in some stammering detail about the aforementioned assistive tech, including mention (and demonstration) of such software & devices like the JAWS screen reader, the MAGic screen maginifier, the SARA scanner, and the Ruby Handheld Video Magnifier. (See our ADA Page for more details on those services.)

Anyway, the whole 3 hour workshop was captured for a podcast in two parts which you can find on the CT State Library's Archived Events page here.  Hope you'll find it informative.

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Courtesy of, here's how last week's Supreme  Court decision can affect anybody who has or doesn't have health insurance. You might even be able to get insurance for this year!

And you can read the actual court decision here.

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Sony's PlayStation 4 may soon be able to make gaming more easier for people with disabilities.  In this online article, the Huffington Post's Damon Beres writes about a possible "firmware update" that "could add new features catering to people with visual, auditory or other impairments". The update would include PS4 settings like "text-to-speech, color inversion, text enlargement, closed captions and button reassignment, among others".

However, Sony itself hasn't yet confirmed that the updated settings are coming anytime in the immediate future. For more info, click here.

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My colleague WG sent me this article about a new app, Be My Eyes.  The app connects visually impaired people with "someone able to see and willing to help out". 

As the article points out:

"The examples the company shows in its product video include visually impaired users getting help with things like reading an expiration date, figuring out what a photograph looks like, and reading signs in an unfamiliar location. The app is more about helping with particularly difficult moments, rather than long periods of assistance."

For more info (plus an embedded link to the aforementioned product video), click here.

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Here's another reminder that Greenwich Library currently offers an email service for patrons who can't come into the building to ask a reference question (or help in general). We set up this service so patrons, especially those with disabilities, as well as working professionals and others "on the run", could get in touch with the library without any hassle.To access this service, click here

And the Technology Training Center downstairs next to the library café has a "Drop In Computer Lab" that's described as follows:

Get hands on assistance with downloading audio books and eBooks using OverDrive, Library databases, Microsoft Office, Internet search, email,online forms and more with library staff every Tuesday and Saturday 11 am-12 pm, and Thursday 3-4 pm.

(NOTE:  The Drop In Lab will be closed between December 23rd 2014-January 3rd 2015 on account of the holidays.)

So be sure to check out these library resources when you get a chance!

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As a follow-up to my previous post on enrolling online for health insurance, writer Mary Agnes Carey at Kaiser Health News lists five tips on what to look for when you enroll.   Whether you're signing up with or state exchanges like our own Access Health CT, you'll want to read Ms. Carey's article first.  The piece includes advice on changing current plans, billing, and finding out if you qualify for financial help.  Click here to read it.

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Open enrollment for 2015 health care insurance coverage began this weekend (November 15th, 2014) and continues until February 15, 2015.  Access Health CT notes that " you can also shop and compare costs, providers and health plan benefits, and select a different plan if that would better meet your needs."  Go to their website by clicking here for more info. 

For coverage to begin January 1, 2015, you must select your health plan by December 15th 2014, if you're new to the Marketplace, not eligible for auto-enrollment, or want to select a different plan than the one you had for 2014.  Access Health CT adds that if " you select a plan after December 15, 2014, your coverage for that plan will not start until a later month. Remember, you will not be able to enroll in the Marketplace after February 15, 2015, unless you qualify for Special Enrollment, for example, you lose your existing health coverage; you relocate to Connecticut; or you experience certain other qualifying life events".

If you need help creating an Access Health CT account or finding an In-Person Assister, Navigator, Certified Application Counselor or broker located near you or that speaks your language, contact the Call Center at 1-855-805-4325.  Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact the Call Center at the TTY line at 1-855-789-2428.

Even more information on picking the right insurance coverage that can meet your needs can be found at by clicking here.  Good luck!

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The Paralyzed Veterans of America Website

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The stated mission of the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVoA) website is "helping veterans and all people with spinal cord injury and disease... enjoy the high quality of life they deserve".  As Veterans Day is tomorrow, friends and families of vets might want to check out the site by clicking here.

PVoA offers paralyzed veterans and their families assistance with long term care and support, social security, legal services and employment, among other areas.  They even detail the benefits of the Affordable Care Act to persons with disabilities here.  So check out this amazing resource if you can!

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the For Persons with Disabilities category.

Classic & Cult Television is the previous category.

Library Stuff is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.