INFORMATION RESOURCES ON AND OFF THE WEB
In its May 9th edition, The JHU Gazette reported that, in an effort to provide equal access to online content, Johns Hopkins University has recently launched a website intended to serve as a resource clearinghouse for the creation of fully accessible internet-based systems. The Johns Hopkins Web Accessibility site, webaccessibility.jhu.edu, offers tools, guidelines, training and other support to help those in the university community and beyond to fashion web pages, library resources and distance learning systems that are accessible to individuals with visual impairments, learning disabilities and other conditions that may limit or prevent their access to and use of such services. The Web Accessibility site’s function is to offer free basic information on developing fully comprehensible web pages, such as how to write code for a keystroke option that will display a text description of an image or animation. The site, in addition to defining web accessibility and identifying the laws that require it, has a “What Can I Do?” section that lists resources and checklists to help identify and test the elements of an accessible website. Items on one checklist include providing captions or transcripts of important audio content, offering text-only pages and ensuring that color information can also be conveyed for those with black-and-white monitors. You can find the full JHU Gazette article at http://www.jhu.edu/~gazette/2005/09may05/09access.html.
The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities has an ongoing project to enhance independence, inclusion, individual productivity and self-determination for people with disabilities. To this end the MinnesotaCouncil offers free material and features on its website. The information includes:
- Resources for individuals, families and professionals;
- “Parallels in Time: A History of Developmental Disabilities”;
- Partners in Policymaking® materials;
- The Learning Center: A library comprising over 10,000 pages of documents produced by the Council on a wide array of topics;
- Self-paced online learning courses for those wanting to increase their knowledge and skills in self-advocacy, education and employment.
These resources are available at http://www.mncdd.org/ for anyone interested. The Minnesota Council also encourages the creation of reciprocal links between their website and yours. Notify them at MinnesotaDDCouncil@msn.com to set up the reciprocal links or for any other reason.
Spinal Cord Research
Producer Danny Murphy (a longtime, disabled member of AN) and Bill Johnston have released a new short film made in conjunction with the Staff and Students at the UCLA Human Locomotion Research Center. (The Christopher Reeve Foundation is also involved with this film.) It is an inspirational look at the possibilities produced by “cutting-edge” research in the use of electric stimulation and control to facilitate ambulation by people with spinal cord injuries. You can view this film, and the vision it evokes, at http://www.glasssidewalk.com/films/goforwardreeve.mov .