Showing posts from March, 2016

Technology for Accessibility

Accessibility and inclusion are huge topics among the Tech community these days.  Technology has reached a point where it can truly impact how a person with a disability lives their lives on a daily basis.  Between apps and built-in features on smartphones, these hand held devices could mean more accessibility for more people everywhere.  This article from USA Today by Edward C. Baig not only gives an example of an amazing smartphone user climbing mountains with an app that connects to his hearing aide, it tells us all about the features on both the iPhone and Android that can help its users be handi-capable.

Don't Let a Disability Stop You from Using Your Smartphone
By: Edward C. Baig

NEW YORK — As an expert mountain climber who guides clients at night up Mount Rainier in Washington state, Win Whittaker knows how critical it is to be able to listen for falling rock.

Only Whittaker is hard of hearing, having gradually lost his hearing through the years because of the time he spent …

TedX Talk: How Digital Navigation Systems Will Create Universal Access

A great perspective on where accessibility can go with universal technology!  A very interesting talk on the future of design technology that is inclusive and usable for the broadest range of people.

A Global Messenger for the Special Olympics of Virginia Shares Her Story

One of our clients recently presented a speech at John Rolfe Middle School as a Global Messenger for the Special Olympics of Virginia.  In her speech, she speaks to her the challenges that she’s faced and her passion to overcome them.  We couldn’t think of a better way to represent her than through her own words!

"Hi!! my name is Emily Bower.  I want to thank you for having me speak here for team excel at John Rolfe middle school. Today, I want to convey my message of how I got involved with Special Olympics Virginia, why I wanted to become a global messenger, and what the campaign to end the r-word means to me. 
While I was an intern at TechAccess, 5 years ago I met my current work coach, Pam Russell, through the choice group. It was through her that I got the opportunity to interview for a position as an office assitant at Special Olympics Virginia or, what we commonly call SOVA. Guess who got the job?!  At the time, I didn't know much about Special Olympics except that th…

Make Your Next Event Accessible for Everyone

There are lots of ways that people can raise awareness about accessibility for people with disabilities, with the Spring season about to come into full swing, the best way for you to do it is at your next event!  In Richmond we love our festivals and events, so here are some tips on how to make your next event accessible for everyone.
Just like any other attendee, those with mobility devices such as a wheelchair or scooter need to access all areas of the venue.  This includes concessions, restroom facilities and the main event!  Ask the venue for their guide for the accessible traveller and encourage tips and photos in any event literature to ensure participants know what to expect.
Make sure your event website is accessible.  Have options for registration and ticketing for those with disabilities.  The Web Accessibility Initiative is a good resource for design inclusive information. 
Transportation to and from the event.  Consider any linking accessible shuttles for transportation t…

Ticket to Work Virtual Job Fair Today!

Attend Ticket to Work Job Fair March 16th!
The Ticket to Work program will host its next Virtual Job Fair on March 16, 2016,
from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.

The job fair is sponsored by Social Security and will connect you to companies that
work with the government. These companies have job openings for individuals with
many different skill and experience levels and are particularly interested in hiring
qualified people with disabilities.

The participating employers will have job openings in one or more of the following
locations: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Delaware,
Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico.

Current Ticket to Work Participants
If you are using your Ticket to receive services from an approved Employment
Network (EN) or your State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency, and are ready
to work, you should register for the fair!

Contact your EN or State VR agency to find out how to register for the Virtual Job
Fair or if you have questions a…

Engineering at Home: Create Solutions for Everyday Tasks

There's the saying that necessity is the mother of all invention.  In Cindy's case, just like so many others with a physical disability, this could not be more true.  Her experience led to the creation of Engineering at Home with the help of the Olin College of Engineering in Massachusets.  She has created a number of solutions to meet lots of everyday needs of people with disabilities through creative and easy adaptations.  Some of her DIY engineerings include custom tools for grasping, pinching, lifting, buttoning, pouring, eating, you name it!

Engineering at Home Hopes to Help People with Disabilities Create Their Own Custom Tools

A new website has been setup to help people with disabilities create tools that will improve their daily lives. Engineering at Home is a resource that was inspired by a woman named Cindy who lost her legs and some fingers on her hands due to amputations necessitated by a terrible reaction to medication given to her post card…

Job Training for Transition-Age Students

What a great concept! While we don't have any mock stores in Virginia, The Choice Group offers on-site training to get our clients comfortable with any of their job requirements!  Just check out our amazing success story with Nick Barker!  He though he could never work the register, and now he trains others how to do it!

For Transition-Age Students, Mock Store Offers Job Training
By: Sandra Stokley on

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – For 20-year-old Jasmin Vega, folding shirts and stacking them on a shelf appeals to her innate sense of order.

“I get them and they are all in a jumble,” Vega said. “I enjoy making them neat.”

Vega is one of the special education students learning real-world retail skills in a mock CVS store at the Riverside Unified School District’s Adult School campus.

The store – the only mock CVS on the West Coast – is a replica of a neighborhood CVS, complete with a front counter and cash register; magazine rack; shopping carts; shelves stocked with toothpa…

VCU Paralympic Experience Day

The Center for Sport Leadership, a graduate program at Virginia Commonwealth University, is teaming up with Sportable to host the VCU Paralympic Experience Day on Friday, April 15, 2016! The event will take place from 5-8 pm at the Stuart C. Siegel Center located at 1200 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA.

Sportable, a non-profit sports organization, works with physically and visually disabled athletes to give them opportunities to participate in sports. Sportable exists to transform the lives of people with physical and visual disabilities through sport!

This event will showcase a wide variety of adaptive sports including wheelchair basketball, goalball, sitting volleyball, power soccer, and more! This event exists to provide an opportunity for all of members of our community to participate together in a variety of adaptive sports, regardless of ability level. Please join us in trying out new sports, talking with current Sportable athletes, and hearing from special guest speakers from …