Categories: Civil Rights & Voting
By Guest Blogger Eric Rosenthal, Founder and Executive Director of Disability Rights International
Founded in 1993, Disability Rights International (DRI) is dedicated to promoting the human rights and full participation of children and adults with disabilities in society. Our staff also works to ensure the inclusion of disability rights within the international human rights movement. Through reports and media campaigns, DRI has brought international awareness to the human rights concerns of children and adults with disabilities on a global level by documenting human rights violations and training activists in more than three dozen countries. With regional offices in Eastern Europe and Latin America, DRI currently works in Mexico, Guatemala, Serbia, Turkey, the Republic of Georgia and Ukraine.
As a result of these efforts, in 2008, I received the Henry A. Betts Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) for “pioneering the field of international human rights advocacy for people with disabilities.” I’d like to share a few of DRI’s services and priorities:
READ MORE ABOUT SPOTLIGHT ON: Disability Rights International
Categories: Employment, Technology
By Guest Blogger Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy
Someone recently asked me to name the one thing I couldn’t live without at work. My answer? Technology. I couldn’t do my job – or live my life – as effectively as I do now without information and communication technology (ICT).
Considering that I’m blind, this answer is sometimes met with surprise. Some people don’t realize that individuals with disabilities also rely on technology – as long as it’s accessible – to perform daily tasks. I certainly do. I use a screen reader to relay the information on my computer screen, a Braille note-taking device and a smartphone with built-in accessibility features. To say that I’d be lost without these innovations is an understatement.
Technology is paramount for all of us – whether we have disability or not – and this is particularly true in the workplace. From computers to mobile devices to email platforms and other Web-based applications, ICT is a central driver of productivity. It streamlines operations, boosts efficiency and forges instantaneous connections. It empowers us in transformative ways. And this phenomenon is not limited to office settings. Whether you work in an office, a warehouse or a retail establishment, chances are technology is part of the job.
But imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t access or navigate all that technology. It’s an unfortunate reality experienced by many people with disabilities who are faced with workplace technologies that are neither accessible to them nor compatible with assistive technology devices. And that’s unfortunate—not only for workers and jobseekers with disabilities, but also for employers.
READ MORE ABOUT Charting a Pathway to a Technology-Accessible Workplace
Categories: Community Life
By Guest Blogger Jan Withers, MADD National President
While the holidays are a joyous occasion for so many, for others, empty chairs and memories of happier times make the holidays difficult—the grief can be unbearable.
My daughter, Alisa, was killed in a drunk driving crash when she was just 15 years old. I still remember that first Christmas after Alisa died. I was paralyzed by grief. We didn’t make any plans or give any thought as to how we would deal with her absence. I thought that gathering together as a family would take care of everything.
Looking back, what we did was try to move forward like nothing had changed. I realized we needed to figure out a way to incorporate Alisa in our celebrations, not ignore her absence. Now, before we open presents, we light a candle and share a favorite Alisa memory. Making plans ahead of time lessens the apprehension and helps us face our pain together.
READ MORE ABOUT Saving Lives This Holiday Season