Archive for February, 2013

Tax Preparation Help

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February 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm Leave a comment

Access Board to Form Advisory Committee on Update of Rail Vehicle Guidelines

The Access Board is access-board-sealorganizing an advisory committee to assist in the review and update of its ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles and seeks nominations for membership.  The Rail Vehicles Access Advisory Committee will develop consensus recommendations for the Board’s use in updating sections of the guidelines that cover vehicles of fixed guideway systems, including rapid, light, commuter, intercity, and high speed rail.  The committee’s work will not extend to portions of the guidelines that address buses and vans which the Board is already in the process of updating.

The Board seeks to include representatives from rail vehicle manufacturers, transit providers, disability groups, and other stakeholders and interested parties on the committee.  The committee will be balanced in terms of interests represented.  A notice issued by the Board provides further details, including application instructions. The deadline for applications is April 1.

Meetings of the advisory committee will be open to the public and will provide opportunities for all interested parties to provide information. Its work will be conducted in accordance with regulations governing Federal advisory committees. Committee membership is voluntary, and members will not be paid or reimbursed for their services.

For further information, visit the Board’s website or contact Paul Beatty at rvaac@access-board.gov, (202) 272-0012 (voice), or (202) 272-0072 (TTY).

February 20, 2013 at 5:31 pm Leave a comment

Nalaga’at gives American theatergoers a new experience

By Natalie Schachar, Tabletmag.com 2/4/2013

See the full story: http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/123388/israels-deaf-blind-theater-ensemble-arrives

Conceived and directed by Adina Tal, ¨Not By Bread Alone¨ is a production by Nalaga´at, the world’s only deaf-blind theater ensemble. While the actors cannot see or hear though, the loud applause over the last weekend of the New York showing may have confirmed that the play successfully bridged the communicative gap between cast and audience.deaf-blind
It was received very well, and the New York audience is a great audience, said Tal, in an interview at the NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts. ¨It transcends so many cultures, it´s about humanity and the human spirit.¨

The entire performance happens in the time it takes the 11-member cast to bake bread in onstage ovens, and as the aroma wafts around the audience, the show becomes a true sensory experience. The actors rely on tactile signals from one another and they produce sights and sounds for the audience in a series of lively vignettes about their memories and dreams.

¨Welcome to our darkness and silence. We invite you to share our everyday lives together,¨ says actor Itzik Hanuna at the beginning of the show.

Over the two years that the actors rehearsed for the play, the cast established functional elements that helped them to navigate their surroundings and interact with the audience. The rhythm of a drum cues a scene change, for example, even though most of the actors cannot see the instrument or hear its booming sound. The actors learned how to sense the vibrations created by the instrument, however, and the sound cues a scene change. Similarly, the warmth given off by heat lamps helps the actors find their position onstage.

As such, the storyline itself reiterates that the actors are blind and deaf, but the actors´ movements and body language during the performance can even make their disabilities easy to forget. But while every part of the show is planned meticulously, the story of the deaf-blind theater troupe itself happened more by coincidence. More than ten years ago, Tal reluctantly gave a workshop to a class of deaf-blind people, and it ended up changing her life.

February 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm Leave a comment

FMCSA Grants Exemptions to Hearing Impaired Drivers

From Truckinginfo.com, 2/4/2013

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted the first exemption to rules for interstate commercial drivers when it comes to hearing standards.

Forty individuals received permission to operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce effective last Friday. It’s good for two years and may be renewed.

The request was made of the agency last May, with comments taken until the end of July. FMCSA received 570 responses.

Several of the applicants had previous experience driving interstate and became unable to pass the required hearing test, while others had been involved in intrastate commerce, were bus drivers, had driven smaller commercial vehicles or were looking to become first-time truckers.

In announcing its decisions, the FMCSA said “granting exemptions for these CMV (commercial motor vehicle) drivers will provide a level of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level of safety maintained without the exemptions.

Current FMCSA standards for hearing were adopted more than 40 years ago.

The applicants received assistance from the National Association of the Deaf. The association cited and FMCSA Medical Review Board study from 2008 that examined the relationship between hearing loss and crash risk exclusively among CMV drivers, as well as evidence from studies of the private bus driver license holder population, saying these studies do not support the contention that individuals with hearing impairment are at an increased risk for crash.

For the rest of the story:

http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2013/02/fmcsa-grants-exemptions-to-hearing-impaired-drivers.aspx?prestitial=1

 

February 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm 1 comment

Partners in Policymaking accepting applications

Deadline Has Been Extended to May 10!

Are you the parent (or guardian) of a young child with a Partners in Policymaking logodevelopmental disability (DD)? Or are you a person with DD?

If you are, or know someone who is, now is the time to apply for a free training program called Partners in Policymaking (PIP).

Only 30 people (from across Virginia) will be chosen to be Partners. Classes (on Friday evenings and Saturdays) begin in September 2013 and will conclude in May 2014. Eight sessions are held; lodging, meals, training, and transportation (plus individual accommodations such as personal care attendants and interpreters) are paid for participants in Partners.

Topics covered in the sessions include independent living, assistive technology, supported employment, and history of the disability rights movement. Partners practice presenting testimony and learn about impacting the legislative process.

Download the application at http://www.vaboard.org/policymaking.htm and be sure to include three (3) letters of recommendation. Materials are accepted electronically, by fax, or by mail. If you have questions, please contact Rachel Loria at 1-800-846-4464 or Rachel.Loria@vbpd.virginia.gov for more information.

Videos about PIP are available on the Board’s web page and on YouTube through these links, which you can share to your own Facebook page or group:

http://bit.ly/13vaPIP

http://bit.ly/Pip13Va

Don’t delay…Partners in Policymaking is a training program for those who want to make a difference by becoming a skilled, informed advocate for people with disabilities.

February 5, 2013 at 12:18 pm Leave a comment


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