Due to a presidential order being posted, residents of Harris, Fayette, Grimes, and Parker counties can apply for several types of disaster assistance.
FEMA is now accepting applications for disaster assistance for the Texas Severe Storms and Flooding that occurred April 17-24, 2016. You can apply for FEMA aid online at disasterassistance.gov, by phone (By phone at 800-621-3362–711 or Video Relay Service is available–or at 800-462-7585 for TTY), or in person at a Disaster Recovery Center.
According to a Texas Workforce Press Release, “Workers who lost their jobs and self-employed individuals who have been unable to work due to storms in Fayette, Grimes, Harris and Parker counties may apply” for Disaster Unemployment Aid.
Applications must be submitted by May 27, 2016.
Individuals affected by the severe storms in these counties can apply for benefits online through Unemployment Benefit Services or by calling a TWC Tele-Center, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 800-939-6631.
Individuals should specify that their applications are related to the damage caused by severe storms and flooding in one of the counties listed in the disaster declaration.
This Tuesday, 12 Deaf lawyers were sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court bar.
According to an Upworthy report, the first Deaf lawyer argued in front of the Supreme Court in 1982. Now, U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts communicated in American Sign Language from the Supreme Court bench.
“Some deaf or hard-of-hearing lawyers doubt that they can actually practice law,” Howard Rosenblum, one of the lawyers who was sworn in that day, told the Washington Post. “But the real practice is based on intellect and deaf people have that in spades,” according to the report.
Upworthy also took a stand on Deaf issues: “Deaf people, like anyone else, are capable of amazing things. But if we’re going to make them find their way in the hearing world, the least we can do is talk to them on their terms.”
According to a recent email from the Texas Office of the Governor, they are accepting interns.
The Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities seeks summer interns “wanting to gain experience in the field of disabilities.”
The committee recommends changes in Texas’ disability policies and programs. It also “supports a network of committees on people with disabilities, issues awards to promote greater awareness, and promotes compliance with disability related laws.”
Internship duties with the committee may include:
Researching policy in the Committee’s issue areas, including accessibility and communication;
Assisting staff disability transportation interim study and compiling ADA coordinator information;
Performing support work; and
Assisting with special projects.
According to the email, “Students studying disability-related fields or related academic majors are strongly encouraged to apply.”
The unpaid internships are available to college students and recent graduates and are typically part-time or 20 hours a week.
Summer Session internship dates for Summer are June 1 – Aug. 31.
The application deadline for the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities is April 30, 2016.
Applications submitted after that date may still be placed based upon availability.
If you’re currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at college, this internship opportunity provides training in disability advocacy and laws, and an opportunity to travel to the nation’s capital to attend a national conference regarding disability issues.
According to a recent announcement from the Independent Living Research Utilization program, the internship includes a $2,160 to $3,600 stipend and will last six to ten weeks during the time frame of June 6 to August 12, 2016.
According to the announcement, interns will attend the annual conference of the National Council on Independent Living in Washington, D.C., where they will gain additional exposure to disability issues, policy and the disability movement.
Interns will also assist in conducting town hall meetings regarding centers for independent living, learn from disability leaders, and visit federal agencies and meet federal officials in the disability network.
Applicants should submit:
a cover letter indicating their interest and availability,
Vox and Curbedcreated a video and article to demonstrate how DeafSpace differs from spaces created for people who hear.
The close captioned video begins with the open captioned words: “We live in a world built for people who hear.”
Curbed houses the article, “How Gallaudet University’s Architects Are Redefining Deaf Space.”
Gallaudet University is America’s only liberal arts college for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
According to the article, “Deaf (with a capital D) is a cultural identity that stems from pride in signed language and what Deaf Studies professors call ‘Deaf ways of being,’ or shared sensory experiences and cultural traditions.”
“DeafSpace is an approach to architecture and design that is primarily informed by the unique ways in which Deaf people perceive and inhabit space,” according to the video.
The video explores some of the five basic principles of DeafSpace.
Space and Proximity
According to the article, “Facial expressions are important in ASL. So are body movements; to be able to sign comfortably, a person needs adequate space—more than is typically required for someone engaged in spoken conversation.”
The video shows wide hallways that accommodate two people signing and using full body language while having more space to sign and maintain eye contact.
The principle refers to “how Deaf people use their senses to read the environment,” according to the article. DeafSpace would extend the person’s sensory reach, by allowing him or her to view between rooms and have low-glare reflective surfaces so people would see shadows indicating someone is outside the room.
In the video, they show transparent elevators and some offices have opaque glass walls, while some public rooms have clear glass walls.
Mobility and Proximity
“DeafSpace design calls for ramps and wide, gently sloping stairs; ‘soft’ intersections to prevent pedestrian collisions…” according to the article.
In the video, instead of stairs, which hinder the free-flow of communication, ramps allow greater access and would accommodate other disabilities that might need white canes or wheelchairs.
The video also shows classrooms in a U-shape that allows for signers to view one another.
Light and Color
“Certain colors, especially muted blues and greens, contrast well with a variety of skin tones, making them easy on signers’ eyes,” according to the article. “Lighting should be soft and diffuse, and avoid dimness, backlighting, glare, and abrupt changes in illumination levels.”
In the video, Derrick Behm, from Gallaudet’s Office of Campus Design and Planning, signs in natural lighting that is restive to the eyes.
According to the article, “In general, acoustically quiet spaces are the goal. Hearing aids and cochlear implants amplify sounds, and for their users, the hum of air conditioning or loud echoes can prove extremely distracting.”
DeafSpace is part of an architectural movement similar to Universal Design, where architectural design considers how to complement all abilities, not just mainstream ones.
The event highlights women artists with disabilities and offers workshops.
This year’s theme is “Learning From Each Other: The Power Of Peer Support & Collective Empowerment.”
The workshops are:
“Sharing The Power”–Women role models with disabilities share their strength, their advocacy, theory journey and their dreams,
“The Woman In The Mirror”–a discussion about body image, self esteem, love and relationships,
“Awakening Our Inner Child”–a session of fun, laughter and ridiculous activities that make your inner child come out and have fun.
The event has health screenings, art, books, jewelry, crafts, candles, music, door prizes, and more.The event will be held at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center at 1475 West Gray, Houston, Texas 77019.
Planning ahead is a strategy that works for people of all abilities, and more so with people who have neurological disorders, wheelchairs, or hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Cory Thomas, CEO/Founder of The Traveling Barbers “Hair Professionals For The Disabled,” was asked for some hair styling tips for people with neurological disorders in a recent article. This included clients who used wheelchairs.
He said, “Make sure the wheelchair are properly locked” and “Guard against flying hairs” by wrapping fabric around the wheelchair.
“Clippers shouldn’t be as sharp as they would be when working in an conventional barbershop or salon, so as to not hurt or bruise the client’s head from any sudden quick motions that may take place with someone who has a neurological disorder,” he said.
Going for simpler, “traditional” hairstyles and making sure clients are seeing familiar faces round out his suggestions.
A blogger for the Say What Club blog gave advice for styling hair for those who use hearing aids or other wearable equipment, such as cochlear implants. “We talked about their haircut/hairstyle before they took their aids off. After that, I made sure to face them while talking a little slower, if I asked more questions.”
With careful planning, a visit to a hair stylist can be a treasure for people with different abilities.