May Monthly Newsletter

Dear Valued Readers,
We are delighted to present the May monthly edition of the Continual Engine newsletter. In this issue, we have included an array of compelling topics to keep you informed about trends and news in accessibility and learning:
  • A comprehensive overview of upcoming events that Continual Engine will be hosting or attending, offering valuable opportunities for networking and engagement.
  • Inspiring accounts of individuals overcoming obstacles, inclusive playground initiatives, and the remarkable resilience displayed by Bobby Henline.
  • The latest news related to accessibility and inclusion which includes Provincial funding boosting wheelchair-accessible cabs, smart glove improves braille accessibility, and Pennsylvania introduces a disability inclusion program for students.
  • Noteworthy news articles encompassing the critical subjects of addressing barriers, insights into Saskatchewan's Accessibility Act, the substantial impact of extreme weather on people with disabilities, and the challenges faced by blind individuals in navigating touchscreen technology.
We trust that you will find this edition both engaging and informative. Please reach out to us with your feedback or questions.
Warm Regards,
Continual Engine

I. Upcoming Learning Opportunities

1. Join Continual Engine's Upcoming Webinar With Web Accessibility Specialist Sarah Stricker

Continual Engine is thrilled to announce an upcoming webinar that will feature Sarah Stricker, an IAAP-certified Web Accessibility Specialist from ansrsource. Mark your calendars for Thursday, June 15, 2023, as we delve into the informative session titled “Prepping PDFs for Accessibility.”

During this engaging webinar, Sarah will provide a hands-on demonstration, sharing invaluable insights, tools, and best practices on how to enhance document accessibility by prioritizing accessibility from the outset. With a wealth of experience in instructional design and educational technology, Sarah’s expertise will prove invaluable to those seeking to create more accessible content.
As a recognized leader in web accessibility, Sarah’s role as an IAAP-certified Web Accessibility Specialist involves overseeing a team of web developers and spearheading technical solutions for higher education clients. This allows her to bring a unique perspective on the challenges faced and the effective solutions employed in the pursuit of accessible content creation.
Register now for our enlightening webinar on accessibility! Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to learn from a true expert in the field and equip yourself with the knowledge to make your content more inclusive and accessible.

2. Continual Engine Is Exhibiting And Attending The AHEAD 2023 Conference In Portland, Oregon

Continual Engine is delighted to announce that we will be exhibiting and attending the highly anticipated AHEAD 2023 Conference, which is set to take place at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland this July. As an award-winning company dedicated to transforming learning and accessibility through the power of artificial intelligence, we are excited about the opportunity to connect with fellow industry leaders and explore the latest trends and technologies that are shaping the future of our field.

Continual Engine’s Senior Vice-President of Growth & Strategy, Vijayshree (‘VJ’) Vethantham, will be joining the AHEAD 2023 conference. VJ’s presence at AHEAD 2023 signifies our dedication to staying at the forefront of accessible communications and our eagerness to share our insights and expertise with others. We also eagerly anticipate learning from the experiences and innovative approaches of our industry peers as we collectively strive to create groundbreaking solutions for our valued clients.

The AHEAD Conference serves as a pivotal annual gathering, drawing professionals from the realms of higher education and disability services, all united in their mission to foster access and inclusion for students with disabilities in higher education settings. This exceptional event offers a rich program of keynote speakers, workshops, and panel discussions covering an array of critical topics, including disability law, assistive technology, accessible design, and mental health services. It serves as an indispensable platform for individuals involved in disability services in higher education who are eager to stay abreast of the latest trends and best practices in the field.
If you would like to learn more about our AI enabled solutions for accessibility PREP and Invicta™, please connect with our Senior Vice President, Growth & Strategy, Vijayshree (‘VJ’) Vethantham. You can reach out to us via email at contact@continualengine.com to schedule a meeting. We look forward to seeing you at the Conference.

II. LATEST ADVANCEMENTS IN ACCESSIBILITY

1. Province Ramps Up Funding For 51 Companies Operating Wheelchair-Accessible Cabs

Provincial grants worth $2.6 million promises to improve transportation for British Columbians with accessibility challenges. Minister of Transportation Rob Fleming said the grants will help 51 tax companies across the province reduce maintenance costs for nearly 400 wheelchair-accessible taxis.

2. Student-Developed Smart Glove Boosts Braille Accessibility And Literacy

Two Cornell students have created BrailleWear, a smart glove that aims to improve accessibility and increase braille literacy rates among the visually impaired.

3. Pennsylvania Launches Program To Teach Students Disability Inclusion

School districts across the state, including those in Western Pennsylvania, could soon implement new curriculum focusing on political and historical contributions made by people with disabilities.

III. EMPOWERING STORIES IN THE NEWS

1. Staffordshire Gymnast Hopes Her Success Inspires Others

Hannah Louise, 18, has hypermobile joints caused by Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and took up disability acrobatic gymnastics four years ago.She became a British champion in the national NDP finals in Stoke-on-Trent. “I hope that it opens people’s eyes that this sport is not just for able-bodied people,” she said.

2. How A First-Grader With Cerebral Palsy Helped Make His Playground More Inclusive

While his classmates run and climb on Robinson Elementary School’s brand-new playground, 7-year-old Finn Hall has to stay on the sidelines. He can’t get on the equipment because Finn, who has cerebral palsy, is in a wheelchair. There are no ramps — only stairs — and on the ground level, there’s little Finn can do but navigate the bright green poles supporting the play structure.

3. Bobby Henline: Forging Forward

Bobby Henline survived two wars and 48 surgeries and now he’s standing in front of an audience on the Huckabee TV show, telling jokes. “Halloween is my favorite holiday because I make lots of money at the haunted house,” he says. “I made $50 laying in my neighbor’s yard. I even got a modeling job at the Halloween Super Store.”

IV. NEWS ARTICLES ON ACCESSIBILITY

1. Increased Accessibility Takes More Than A Welcome Sign

After 32 years since the establishment of the American Disability Act (ADA), barriers still exist, proving that it will take more than a civil rights law to end inequity. Addressing systemic oppression towards the disabled community begins with the root of ableism. In other words, the end of prejudice against disabled people that stems from false debilitating beliefs. From the seen to the unseen, unconscious bias continues to rear its ugly head, becoming more visible to the disabled community.

2. Canada: Saskatchewan's Accessibility Plans And Upcoming Requirements

The Government of Saskatchewan introduced The Accessible Saskatchewan Act (the “Act”) on November 15, 2022. The Act’s goal is to enhance accessibility by eliminating barriers that impede individuals with disabilities in various areas such as employment, infrastructure, information, transportation, service animals, procurement, service provision, and other specified activities. The Act defines “Disability” as an impairment that, in interaction with a barrier, hinders a person’s full and equal participation in society.

3. Federal Report Finds Extreme Weather Substantially And Disproportionately Impacts People With Disabilities

The National Council on Disability recently released a report focused on the effects people with disabilities experience due to natural disasters and extreme weather.

4. ‘They’re Everywhere’: Why Touchscreens Are Causing Huge Accessibility Problems For Blind People

Nadia Mattiazzo remembers going to her regular café one day back in 2016 and trying to buy a cup of coffee. To her shock and dismay, she found there was no way she could pay for it. Mattiazzo, who is blind, said the café had installed a new Electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) machine overnight which had a touchscreen.

Editors:

Debangku Sarma

Digital Marketing Associate
Continual Engine

Vijayshree Vethantham

Senior Vice-President, Growth & Strategy
Continual Engine US LLC

Skip to content