Links
    Education
Organizations
Assistive Technology
Regulatory
Advocacy Information
Electronic Books And Literature
Speech And Voice Recognition
Parent Resources
Deaf Culture
Hearing Loss and Accessibility



Education

About.com's Special Education section
specialed.miningco.com

Deaf Education
www.deafed.net/

Gallaudet University
www.gallaudet.edu

John Tracy Clinic
www.johntracyclinic.org

League for the Hard of Hearing
www.lhh.org

National Technical Institute for the Deaf
www.ntidweb.rit.edu/

OPTION Schools
www.oraldeafed.org

Speech Pathology Resource Guide for Students
www.onlinespeechpathologyprograms.net

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Organizations

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
www.agbell.org

American Academy of Audiology
www.audiology.org

American Society for Deaf Children
www.deafchildren.org/

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
www.asha.org

Auditory-Verbal International
www.auditory-verbal.org

Better Hearing Institute
www.betterhearing.org

Cochlear Implant Association
www.cici.org

Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf
www.caid.org

Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf
www.caid.org

Deaf Inc.
www.deafinconline.org

Educational Audiology Association
www.edaud.org

LD Online
www.ldonline.org

National Association of the Deaf
www.nad.org

National Center for Accessible Media
www.wgbh.org/ncam

National Coalition on Auditory Processing Disorders
www.ncapd.org

National Cued Speech Association
www.cuedspeech.org

National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities
www.nichcy.org

National Rehabilitation Information Center
www.naric.com/

SEE Center for the Advancement of Deaf Children
www.seecenter.org

Self Help for Hard of Hearing Persons
www.shhh.org

The Listen Foundation
www.listenfoundation.org

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Assistive Technology

ABLEDATA
www.abledata.com
The ABLEDATA website is a very comprehensive source for information on Assistive Technology sponsored by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education.

Alliance for Technology Access
www.ataccess.org
This site is a comprehensive source for information regarding access to conventional, assistive and information technologies, related services and resources.

Assistivetech
www.assistivetech.net
This site has been created by Georgia Tech's Center for Rehabilitation Technology and its partners and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/NIDRR/ It provides access to information on assistive technology devices, services and other disability-related resources for people with disabilities and the general public.

Closing the Gap
www.closingthegap.com
A variety of articles, resources, and interactive activities related to assistive technology are available on this website. It also has a Resource Directory of computer related products for individuals with special needs.

Florida Assistive Technology Education Network (ATEN)
www.aten.scps.k12.fl.us
ATEN's homepage has tutorials on a variety of assistive technology devices that can be downloaded. ATEN has iCommunicator's available for loan to local assistive technology (LAT) teams throughout the State of Florida.

National Assistive Technology Advocacy Project
www.nls.org
The National Assistive Technology Funding Link supports the advocacy efforts of attorneys, advocates, service agencies, persons with disabilities and their families as they seek funding for AT services and devices.

Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA)
wwww.resna.org
The RESNA Technical Assistance Project provides technical assistance to the 56 state and territory assistive technology programs www.resna.org/taproject/at/statecontacts.html as authorized under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-394).

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Regulatory
  1. Regulatory Authority Related to Communication Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities
  2. Funding Sources
  3. Assitive Technology Overview
  4. 508 Compliance


Regulatory Authority Related to Communication Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities

Communication accessibility is addressed in various federal regulations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Assistive Technology Act of 1998, the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act of 1997 (IDEA), and the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998. Following is a summary of key legislation related to communication accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and links to full text of the regulatory acts.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
The Americans with Disabilities Act, Public Law 336 of the 101st Congress, was signed into law on July 26, 1990. The purposes of the ADA are to: (1) provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities; (2) provide clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities; (3) ensure that the Federal Government plays a central role in enforcing the standards established in this Act on behalf of individuals with disabilities; and (4) invoke the sweep of congressional authority, including the power to enforce the fourteenth amendment and to regulate commerce, in order to address the major areas of discrimination faced day-to-day by people with disabilities. The ADA prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. It also mandates the establishment of TDD/telephone relay services. Section 3 (1) of the ADA specifically addresses auxiliary aids and services for persons with disabilities and includes: (1) qualified interpreters or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments; (2) qualified readers, taped texts, or other effective methods of making visually delivered materials available to individuals with visual impairments; (3) acquisition or modification of equipment or devices; and (4) other similar services and actions. For further information: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/pubs/ada.txt

Assistive Technology Act of 1998
The Assistive Technology Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-394, formerly the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988) supports programs of grants to States to address the assistive technology needs of individuals with disabilities, and for other purposes. The original Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 was the first time the importance and necessity of assistive technology in everyday life was clearly defined at the national level. P.L. 105-394 establishes the mandatory and discretionary activities for any State receiving continuity grants for assistive technology for individuals with disabilities to states that have received less than 10 years of funding under the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988. The Act also authorizes States to enter cooperative agreements with other States to expand their capacity to assist individuals with disabilities of all ages to learn about, acquire, use, maintain, adapt, and upgrade assistive technology devices and services. Furthermore, the act authorizes States to operate or to participate in a computer system through which the State may communicate electronically with other States to gain timely technical assistance and avoid duplication of efforts. Finally, the act authorizes the State to pay for expenses and services necessary for access to the comprehensive statewide program of technology-related assistance by individuals with disabilities in financial need who are ineligible for such services through another public agency or private entity.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (1997) (IDEA)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (formerly called P.L. 94-142 or the Education for all Handicapped Children Act of 1975) requires public schools to make available to all eligible children with disabilities a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment appropriate to their individual needs. President Bill Clinton signed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997 (P.L. 105-17) on June 4, 1997. The Final IDEA '97 Regulations were released on Friday, March 12, 1999. This Act strengthens academic expectations and accountability for the nation's 5.8 million children with disabilities and bridges the gap that has too often existed between what children with disabilities learn and what is required in regular curriculum. IDEA requires public school systems to develop appropriate Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for each child. The specific special education and related services outlined in each IEP reflect the individualized needs of each student. IDEA also mandates that particular procedures be followed in the development of the IEP. Each student's IEP must be developed by a team of knowledgeable persons and must be at least reviewed annually. The team includes the child's teacher; the parents, subject to certain limited exceptions; the child, if determined appropriate; an agency representative who is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of special education; and other individuals at the parents' or agency's discretion. Among the significant changes in the revision of the IDEA is the focus on student's accessibility to education in the regular education curriculum and access to participation in general assessments that are provided to all other students. Another key feature of the IDEA is that assistive technology must be considered for every student for whom an IEP is developed. The final amendments were published in the Federal Register on March 12, 1999. For further information: http://www.edu.gov/IDEA

Rehabilitation Act
The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal agencies, in programs receiving Federal financial assistance, in Federal employment, and in the employment practices of Federal contractors. The standards for determining employment discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act are the same as those used in title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of particular interest are Sections 504 and 508.

Section 504 states that "no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under" any program or activity that either receives Federal financial assistance or is conducted by any Executive agency or the United States Postal Service. Each Federal agency has its own set of section 504 regulations that apply to its own programs. Agencies that provide Federal financial assistance also have section 504 regulations covering entities that receive Federal aid. Requirements common to these regulations include reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities; program accessibility; effective communication with people who have hearing or vision disabilities; and accessible new construction and alterations. Each agency is responsible for enforcing its own regulations.

Section 508 establishes requirements for electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured, or used by the Federal government. Section 508 requires Federal electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public. An accessible information technology system is one that can be operated in a variety of ways and does not rely on a single sense or ability of the user. For example, a system that provides output only in visual format may not be accessible to people with visual impairments and a system that provides output only in audio format may not be accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Some individuals with disabilities may need accessibility-related software or peripheral devices in order to use systems that comply with Section 508.

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) issued final accessibility standards for electronic and information technology covered by section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 on December 21, 2000. Section 508 requires the Access Board to publish standards setting forth a definition of electronic and information technology and the technical and functional performance criteria necessary for such technology to comply with section 508. Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, they shall ensure that the electronic and information technology allows Federal employees with disabilities to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of information and data by Federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Section 508 also requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a Federal agency, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. On April 25, 2001, the General Services Administration issued a final rule that incorporates the standards into the Federal government's procurement regulations and establishes the effective date as June 25, 2001. For further information on Section 508 compliance go to http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Content&ID=3
For further information on the Rehabilitation Act: http://www.usdoj.gov

Information on ADA accessibility issues and Section 508 compliance also is available on the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board's website: http://www.access-board.gov

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Funding Sources

Note: This information is provided as a convenience and a service to visitors to our web site. It is your responsibility to understand the funding laws and regulations and how they apply to your situation and your goals. Some of this information may not be applicable to The iCommunicator system.

Grants/Funding Information in Communication Sciences and Disorders:

Funding of Assistive Technology:
http://www.nls.org/specedat.htm
This document was developed through the Assistive Technology Funding and Systems Change Project. It contains information about the public schools special education as a funding source for assistive technology.

Foundation Center:
http://fdncenter.org
They collect, organized, analyze and disseminate information on foundations, corporate giving, and related subjects. Have a library of resources.

Grantsmanship Center:
http://www.tgci.com
Offer workshops on program planning and proposal writing, as well as various grantsmanship publications and access to the Federal Register and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

Department of Education:
http://www.ed.gov
Includes a list of grant competitions that are currently open and provides links to downloadable application packages and forms to apply.

National Institutes of Health:
http://www.nih.gov
Has information on grants, contract, training, and links to specific institutes that offer grants.

Tech Learning:
http://www.techlearning.com
Has links to the Department of Education 2001 Appropriations Table and the federal budget

State Improvement Grants:
The following states were provided with $7.5 million to improve state services for children with disabilities: Alaska, Connecticut, Illinois, Montana, Nebraska, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota and Oklahoma. Money can be used for training and web-based instruction. The main contact person was Jim Bradshaw (202) 401-2310.

Kentucky Assistive Technology Loan Corporation:
This is a 4-6% loan for Kentuckians in the adult arena to apply for money to obtain assistive technology to improve their independence or quality of life. It was reported that many states have this program. Contact your local state government.

AT&T Learning Network Grants Program:
http://www.att.com/foundation

Focuses on the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. Eligible are all accredited public and private elementary and secondary schools, as well as accredited public and private 2 & 4-year institutions. Most interested in projects that promote family involvement in education, provide professional development for teachers and develop and implement plans to promote lifelong learning and community collaboration.

Technology and Learning Magazine:
http://www.techlearning.com

Has a web site with funding information

Newsletter sites regarding technology funds and grants:
http://www.eschoolnews.org/pubs/stfb_benefits.cfm
http://www.eschoolnews.org/funding/

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Assistive Technology Overview

Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability. Assistive technology opens doors to opportunities for persons with special needs to learn, interact with, and to function with independence in their natural environments. Communication accessibility is addressed in various federal regulations. Refer to Regulatory Authority Related to Communication Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities for a summary of key legislation and links to full texts of the regulatory acts. State Technical Assistance Projects (TAPs) have been authorized by the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 and state contacts are provided on the ABLEDATA website that may be accessed in the Links section.

Following are some useful assistive technology (AT) resources for parents and professionals.

Maximizing the Provision of Appropriate Technology Services and Devices for Students in Schools: Technical Report.

This document produced by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (1997) offers information on mandates and policy interpretations, funding options, assessment processes, and training as related to AT. Appendices provide a wealth of information on resources such as AT goals and objectives for the IEP, funding justification letters, and AT feature matrices. Contact ASHA at http://www.asha.org for further information.

Technology: Some Common Questions Answered.
Frequently asked questions and answers to AT questions are provided in this document, which was originally published in 1998 in the newsletter of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDE). The full text is available at http://www.ldonline.org/ld_indepth/technology/nasdse_questions.html

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508 Compliance

Rehabilitation Act

The Rehabilitation Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal agencies, in programs receiving Federal financial assistance, in Federal employment, and in the employment practices of Federal contractors. The standards for determining employment discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act are the same as those used in title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of particular interest are Sections 504 and 508.

Section 504 states that "no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under" any program or activity that either receives Federal financial assistance or is conducted by any Executive agency or the United States Postal Service. Each Federal agency has its own set of section 504 regulations that apply to its own programs. Agencies that provide Federal financial assistance also have section 504 regulations covering entities that receive Federal aid. Requirements common to these regulations include reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities; program accessibility; effective communication with people who have hearing or vision disabilities; and accessible new construction and alterations. Each agency is responsible for enforcing its own regulations.

Section 508 establishes requirements for electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured, or used by the Federal government. Section 508 requires Federal electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public. An accessible information technology system is one that can be operated in a variety of ways and does not rely on a single sense or ability of the user. For example, a system that provides output only in visual format may not be accessible to people with visual impairments and a system that provides output only in audio format may not be accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Some individuals with disabilities may need accessibility-related software or peripheral devices in order to use systems that comply with Section 508.

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) issued final accessibility standards for electronic and information technology covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998 on December 21, 2000. Section 508 requires the Access Board to publish standards setting forth a definition of electronic and information technology and the technical and functional performance criteria necessary for such technology to comply with Section 508. Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, they shall ensure that the electronic and information technology allows Federal employees with disabilities to have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of information and data by Federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Section 508 also requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a Federal agency, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. On April 25, 2001, the General Services Administration issued a final rule that incorporates the standards into the Federal government's procurement regulations and establishes the effective date as June 25, 2001. For further information on Section 508 compliance go to http://www.section508.gov/ For further information on the Rehabilitation Act: http://usdoj.gov

Information on ADA accessibility issues and Section 508 compliance also is available on the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board's website: http://www.access-board.gov

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/pubs/ada.txt

Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
www.access-board.gov

Assistive Technology Act of 1998
www.usdoj.gov

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/IDEA//

Rehabilitation Act
www.usdoj.gov

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
www.section508.gov

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Advocacy Information

ADA information on the web
www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada
Site maintained by the Department of Justice, provides links to both the official ADA site and other sites that provide information and services relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

State Advocacy Center
www.protectionandadvocacy.com
Federally mandated system in each state and territory that provides protection of the rights of persons with disabilities through legally based advocacy.

The Rights of Deaf Individuals in Education
www.nad.org/infocenter/infotogo/legal/

The Rights of Deaf Individuals in Education (alternate site)
www.clerccenter2.gallaudet.edu/KidsWorldDeafNet/e-docs/IDEA/

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Electronic Books And Literature

Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts
www.infomotions.com/alex
The Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts is a collection of public domain documents from American and English literature as well as Western philosophy.

The Online Books Page
www.onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/

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Speech And Voice Recognition

Frank W. Lovejoy Symposium: Applications of Automatic Speech Recognition with Deaf and Hard of Hearing People
www.rit.edu/~ewcncp/Proceedings.pdf
This link provides the full text of the proceedings of this unique symposium which occurred in Rochester, New York, April 10-11, 1997.

Speaking to Write
www.edc.org/spk2wrt/
This website is funded through the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and offers information about a federally-funded project that explores the use of speech recognition technology by secondary students with disabilities. The views expressed within this site do not necessarily reflect the views of the Government.

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Parent Resources

American Society for Deaf Children
www.deafchildren.org

Children of Deaf Adults International
www.coda-international.org

Deafnet
www.deaf.net/deafchild.htm

Parents of Deaf Students
www.angelfire.com/fl/fladeaf/home.html

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Deaf Culture

The Deaf Resources Library
www.deaflibrary.org
This site contains reference material and links to educate and inform people about Deaf cultures in Japan and the United States.

The National Theater of the Deaf
www.ntd.org

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Hearing Loss and Accessibility

www.deafness.about.com/cs/accessibility/index.htm

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