APRIL Logo with the words, "The United Voice  of Independent Living in Rural America."

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Creating a Strategic Plan that Deosn't Collect Dust After it's Made 

APRIL Conference 2021 

Michelle West 

Creating a strategic plan will provide your Center with a roadmap for implementation and accountability to grow your Center's impact.

There are five areas to evaluate to create a strategic plan for your Center. We'll discuss what each area is comprised of and the order, and overlap, that each has in the strategic planning process. We'll then cover how to assess how much time, people, and planning will be involved to come up with your strategic plan, as well as how to tie together and streamline your rural and metropolitan efforts.

At the end of this workshop, we'll also discuss a proven formula for ensuring that your strategic plan doesn't sit on a shelf collecting dust but is used collaboratively across your Center.


Aprosae Consulting 



ILRU Part 1: Identifying the Gap 

ILRU Part 2: Filling the Gap 

Daisy Feidt, Seth Hoderewski, Joe Michener, and Patricia Yeager -2021 APRIL Conference 

Centers for Independent Living (CIL) are instrumental in supporting people with disabilities and knowing what supports and services are needed in their local communities. What steps does your CIL take to ensure that it’s meeting the needs of consumers and addressing any gaps? Learn more about the different approaches three CILs take to identify the gap in the communities they serve. This workshop will include emerging practices, tips, and supplemental materials in addition to allowing ample time for questions to be asked from the audience.

Part 1-Powerpoint 

Part 2-Powerpoint 

Part 1 and 2 - Resources



Dear CILs: Here’s What to Expect from Your SILC and Other Messy Stuff    

Kathy Cooper and Ami Hyten  - 2020 APRIL Conference

A simple and down to earth discussion of what CILs should expect from the SILC in their state or territory. We will cover the simple and down to earth discussion of what CILs should expect from the SILC in their state or territory. We will cover the basic purpose of a SILC and what it means to your IL Network, regardless of shape, size or makeup. This workshop will come from a CIL perspective and a SILC perspective and we encourage questions and interaction with the audience.


Reach for the Gold Standard in CIL Operations   

Sean Barrett, Paula McElwee - 2020 APRIL Conference

Drawing from a wide variety of OILP activities, including completed on-site reviews, Sean Barrett OILP Team Lead will provide examples of consistent CILs compliance issues. Information will be provided on how to address the issues as well as strategies on how to do so in a way that improves CIL capacity to serve it's consumers.

PDF   -  Transcript 

Expanding Your Consumer Base Using Technology and Online Tools 

Tannis Hargrove, Joell Austin, Casey Schmidt  - 2020 APRIL Conference

With the onset of COVID-19 many of us were pushed out of our comfort zones and into the world of online delivery platforms such as Zoom. Attendees will learn how to use online tools such as Zoom to serve their current consumers and expand their consumer base.

PDF   -   Transcript

Social Media Outreach Starts with a Plan

Michelle West - 2020 APRIL Conference

In the social media sea of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more, how can a CIL navigate those waves? By charting the in the social media sea of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more, how can a CIL navigate those waves? By charting the course with a social media plan! By the end of this session, you'll have a grasp on: What the elements of creating a social media plan are, how to choose and setup which platforms to be on, why posting isn't the only thing you should do, and- How to measure your plan's effectiveness in reaching your goals.

PDF  -  Transcript 

Keynote Session: Building the Next Generation of IL   

Dustin Gibson, Fanisee Bias, Sarah Martinez   -  2020 APRIL Conference

As we move forward as a movement, it’s important to think about how we are building the next generation of Independent Living. How are we ensuring that we are elevating and including all voices such as those from multiply marginalized backgrounds, young people, and those who are new to Independent Living. What can we be doing to engage a new generation of leaders? How do we support them, and ensure that as a movement we are continually growing and challenging ourselves? Join our amazing mix of panelists as they share their thoughts while hopefully sparking yours to think about Beyond 2020.


An Overview of Supports and Tools for Facilitating an Effective Webinar  

Barbara Schoen  -  2020 APRIL Conference

As millions of people began self-isolating because of the pandemic individuals and businesses turned to internet-based communication tools, like Zoom, for staying connected, hosting special events, meetings, and conferences. This presentation will provide an overview for both lay-persons and webinar planners of the features and protocols for implementing a successful Zoom event. Topics include an overview of Zoom functions, a timeline for event planning and specific processes including close captioning, polling, and multi-lingual presentation options.

PDF  -  Transcript


Creating a Sex Positive Center      

Jennie Ostermiller -  2019 APRIL Conference


Staff Retention: Investing in Your Staff for a Stronger Tomorrow

Brooke Curtis and Scott Burlingame  - 2019

The importance of clarifying values and expectations. Creating incentives and rewards that encourage your staff. Setting staff up for success with on-boarding, training, and support. Effective communication strategies.

Powerpoint    Transcript  


The Values Adventure

Emily Beasley  -  2018 APRIL Conference

 Built on Values Handout  

 Values Adventure Powerpoint  

 Built on Values Handout rtf  

 Values Adventure Presentation  


Promoting Disability Pride: Exploring the Evolution of Disability Culture

Audio Recording   

Steven Brown  - 2015

Exploring a personal and professional history of the evaluation of disability culture. What is disability culture. Why does Steve call disability culture global and diverse. How might CIL’s use disability culture.




History and Philosophy

Get in the ADA Game: Engage, Connect Play & Learn! 

APRIL Conference 2021

Rebecca Williams, Marsha Schwanke 

New to disability rights? Confused by the different parts of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Know the difference between an accommodation and a modification? Can your employer deny your request for an accommodation? Can you have an emotional support animal in public? Get the answers and learn more about the ADA as three fellow APRIL members lock their wits in an interactive game of ADA answers and questions. Play along to check and expand your ADA knowledge plus solve the ADA mystery word puzzle.

If you would like to make a jeopardy game of your own! 

If you want to brush up and play along at home! Oodles of Resources of the ADA


IL Philosophy and Your Organization: Learn it, Live it, and Pass it on  

Kimberly Tissot and Larry Wanger  - 2019

What are the main IL Philosophy Principles IL organizations infuse in their work. How do you incorporate IL Philosophy in your CIL and in your daily work. How is it incorporated in staff training, both in on-boarding and ongoing.  In what ways are you infusing IL philosophy into the community at large. How do you celebrate and honor IL Philosophy and disability rights history.


Staff Orientation Checklist ABLE SC  



Community Outreach

Municipal Partnerships to Improve Recreation Access in Rural Communities 

Brad Hastings and Diane Fleser 


This workshop will explain how to build relationships with municipal leaders in your community and leverage those connections to have a greater impact on improving the accessibility of your service area, while also creating new revenue streams for your CIL.


Accessibility_Review_Template.Update.docx (live.com)

Accessibility_Review_Template.APRILSample.docx (live.com)



Developing Virtual Communities: Creating a Disability Justice Podcast 

Leo Allanach 


In this workshop, Leo Allanach, producer and host of EOCIL's podcast "Voices in Action", will speak on the importance, accessibility, and advocacy benefits of creating an area-specific podcast that elevates local grassroots orgs and activists while tying them to larger issues such as capitalism, the prison industrial complex, the for-profit healthcare system, etc. Additionally, he will discuss the technical elements and logistics of producing a podcast, providing resources to empower others to create podcasts for their own community.


EOCIL’s Voices in Action, a disability justice podcast centered on local movements, organizations, and activists in Oregon and across the nation:
+ Transcript: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1775295
+ Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6cTSy8C26nRVgpLFJBC23Z
+ iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/voices-in-action/id1566767285


Fostering Rural Connections

Rayna Sage, Christina Holtzclaw, Dori Tempio

2021 APRIL Conference 

Reaching rural consumers can be challenging. Over the past year, RTC:Rural and APRIL collaborated to develop a curriculum for a peer mentoring program for rural outreach and organizing. In true "nothing about us without us" fashion, we worked with a team of CIL staff from across the nation to iteratively develop the curriculum with concepts, ideas, and examples coming directly from CIL staff and consumer experiences. This work resulted in nine sessions that can be used by CIL staff mentors to assist other staff who wish to expand their rural outreach. Come to this session to learn about the new peer mentoring program that connects CIL staff with mentors and resources for improving rural outreach and organizing for community living.




Strategies for Rural Outreach and Networking       

Rayna Sage, Lillie Greiman, Ashlie Shaw, Christina Holtzclaw  - 2020 APRIL Conference

Reaching rural consumers often requires networking with other service providers and non-traditional partners. Attendees of Reaching rural consumers often requires networking with other service providers and non-traditional partners. Attendees of this workshop will learn about effective rural outreach and networking strategies, and also about two ongoing projects RTC:Rural and national CIL partners are creating. The first project assists CIL staff in organizing rural community resource mapping in their rural service areas to assess existing resources, identify service overlaps, and provide strategies for filling service gaps for rural community members with disabilities. The second project is developing a peer mentoring curriculum to assist CIL staff in using effective strategies in rural outreach and networking to enact solutions to solve rural community living challenges. Come to hear from CIL team members on both projects and to learn how you help create tools, sign-up to be a peer mentor or mentee, and get trained to better serve people in your communities!




IL Conversation - Taking It to the Streets: Mobilizing Your CIL

Robbie Roppolo  - 2018

Obtaining It. Maintaining It. Sustaining It. And, the lessons learned.





Colorado CIL Network Resource Development  

Joan LaBelle, Peter Pike, Ian Engle, Ty Smith, Linda Taylor  - 2020 APRIL Conference

This session will demonstrate how a strong IL Network collaborated to submit a Federal grant. It could not have happened without the SILC and CILs partnering with the DSE. We will go through the process of how, together, we developed the concept, wrote the grant which led to a new funding stream for the Centers for Independent Living.




Diversifying Funding at Your CIL

Audio Recording   

Phil Pangrazio and Dennis Fitzgibbons - 2017

What does it mean to diversify your organization’s funding. Fee-For-Service examples, tips for implementing, and lessons learned. Tips for creative funding beyond fee-for-service.



Becoming ‘The Duct Tape of Disability’ in Your Service Area

Audio Recording  

Jim Whalen and Jim Moore - 2015

Learn from one CIL’s experience the benefits of using the acting skills of Improv for growing your staff skills and improving the business side of your Center. Learn about potential Micro-Business options to diversify your CIL’s funding. Share how your CIL has incorporated fee-for-service and other Micro-Business models.



Cross Disability

Cross Disability Services: Serving Consumers with Mental Health/Substance Use Disabilities  

Kathie Knoble-Iverson and Dee Nash - 2018


Systems Advocacy (Dee’s Presentation)  

CIL Readiness Checklist   



Role of CILS in Supporting People with Psychiatric Disabilities

Audio Recording

Mike Bachhuber and SeRonna Rodgers - 2015

Psychiatric Disability-What is it?    Social Supports and Coping Strategies.    Why IL Centers should be involved.


Handout from Speakers with definitions and Recovery Model

Center for Clinical Interventions : http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/

Sleep Hygiene

Behavioral Activation Fun and Achievement

The Vicious Cycle of Depression

The Vicious Cycle of Anxiety

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Problem Solving

Assertive Communication

Anger Coping Strategies

Unhelpful Thinking Styles



No Wrong Questions: A Smorgasbord of Resources for Day-to-Day Disability Issues

Audio Recording   

Mike Collins - 2014

Are you are regular traveler? Get some tips on dealing with the airlines, shuttles, hotels and more.  Do you have trouble when shopping or going to public venues?  Hear how to handle grumpy grocers and other access issues in parks, pools, and theaters. Have you ever had driving issues or a hard time figuring out how to get an accessible vehicle? Find out what the law says and get some ideas on funding sources.




Expanding CIL Capacity through Engagement of Consumers with Mental Illness

Audio Recording   

Kathie Knoble-Iverson, Dee Barnard  - 2014

Learn how to build Center capacity to include serving person living with mental illness, hear about training that will help IL staff be more comfortable providing services to people living with mental illness.  Find out how to utilize Mental Health Peer Specialists to provide IL peer support. Use an assessment tool to see how your Center stacks up at being cross disability-including serving persons with mental illness.

Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialists Employer Toolkit

ILC MH Self Assessment Tool final 1-2011 Word Doc. File

Mental Health Recovery 101 Word Document File



Managing Arthritis for Independent Living

Amber Wolfe and Karen Funkenbusch  - 2012

Understand the scope of arthritis across the nation, and identify the types of arthritis. Identify the risk factors involved with, and the signs and symptoms of arthritis. Discuss the daily challenges presented when living with arthritis. Understand the types of alternative therapies and other forms of pain management. Gain insight into the resources available through the Arthritis Foundation and the AgrAbility projects.

CDC Arthritis 24/7: Saving Lives, Protecting People,http://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/index.htm

Some Work Many Don't APRIL IL Conversation KBF Power Point File



Multiple Chemical Sensitivities: Accommodating Consumers with MCS

Ann McCampbell, Mary Lamielle, Darrell Jones - 2011

Learn more about Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) and some of the problem substances that can either cause or aggravate this condition.  Hear about existing and proposed federal policies and programs that promote healthier indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and provide for accommodations in housing as well as in the workplace and public accommodations. Learn about alternative ways to interact and communicate with people who have MCS.  Get tips and practical advice on how to make your CIL more accessible to staff and consumers who have MCS.  Gain awareness and learn about your personal risk of developing MCS.



Access Barriers Poor IAQ and Pesticides August 10  2011

CDC Fragrance Free Policy pp. 9-10

Create an Interagency Committee on Chemical Sensitivities Intolerances

Creating An Accessible Indoor Environment

Designing & Maintaining Healthier Housing

FEMA Proposal Proposed Fragrance Free Policy January 12  2011

Handouts for IL Presentation August 10  2011

IPM in Multifamily Housing Training Chapter 3, Slide 18

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and the Workplace Handout 2002  Edition

NCEHS Planning an Accessible Meeting  011009

Recommendation for NIEHS Website Millions of Americans experience severe and debilitating multi

Research Recommendations Chemical Sensitivities Intolerances Addressing Public Health and Chemical Exposures An Action AgendaJune 2011

Responding to Chemical Sensitivity in the Workplace 2005

Additional Resources: Understanding & Accommodating People with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity in Independent Living
http://www.ilru.org/html/training/index.html  and do a search for MCS


Facilitating Groups and Online Workshop Delivery  

Tannis Hargrove, Dori Tempio, Edgar Morales  - 2020 APRIL Conference

Attendees will learn about Healthy Community Living's newest program, Facilitating Group Training, as well as tips, and Attendees will learn about Healthy Community Living's newest program, Facilitating Group Training, as well as tips, and resources for making the most of their facilitation skills both in-person and online. Online facilitation involves new barriers, different recruitment strategies, and can be new for facilitators. Hear from some expert online workshop facilitators in the field discuss their experiences as well.

Healthy Community Living - Home



CIL Services 




The Importance of Parental Rights for the Disability Community: An Attempt to Address Discriminatory Termination of Parental Rights Codes in the US

Big Thompson, Kirt Toombs, and William Toombs - 2018 APRIL Conference

Powerpoint Importance of Parental Rights  

Handout Parental Rights  


CIL Services for Parents with Disabilities

Kimberly Tissot - 2017 APRIL Conference

CIL Services for Parents with Disabilities Powerpoint   

 CIL Services for Parents with Disabilities RTF  

ABA Final Ruling CIL Services for Parents with Disabilities


Advocacy Through Social Media: Rooted in Rights

2017 APRIL Conference

Rooted in Rights PowerPoint   


Improving Community Receptivity by Advocacy

David Gray and Jessica Dashner  - 2011

Learn about a tool called the Community Healthy Environment Checklists (CHEC).  It was developed by researchers to assess community accessibility for use by individuals with mobility, hearing and vision impairments.  Hear how the results from CHEC assessments can be used to create maps of accessibility of local establishments (Dr.’s offices, pharmacies, restaurants, stores, museums, etc.) Find out how people with disabilities were involved in the research process. Learn how you can use the maps at our own CIL. 



IL Skills Training

Solving Local Barriers to Health Care with Community Engagement

Charles Drum, Danielle Bailey

Learn about Community Engagement (CE)-a community development technique for empowering communities to improve access to health care. Hear about how community engagement has improved access to health care in rural Oregon communities. Learn how local CILs can implement CE in their community.

Community Action Guide 

The Oregon Community Engagement Initiative 

Community Engagement Workbook 

Outpatient Health Care Usability Profile V4 



How to Host Independent Living Workshops Online 

APRIL Conference 2021

Tannis Hargrove 

We will discuss how to recruit, host and present independent living workshops online using zoom and participants will hear from CIL staff at CILs who have presented Healthy Community Living workshops online using the Community Living Skills or Living Well in the Community workshop curriculums. They will provide their experiences with workshop start-up and facilitation and be available to ask questions to help others get workshops via Zoom started at their organization. We will walk you through planning, outreach, recruitment and facilitation of online independent living workshops.


Video on Online Faciliation from CIL Partners 



Fun & Fit: Recreation Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Audio Recording


Gary Maddox, Lacee Thompson, John Nousaine, Monique Stamps  -  2013

Discover new ways to use recreational activities to increase community participation.  Hear about a successful and innovative recreational program at one CIL that can be easily duplicated at your Center. Learn how to develop your own relationships with local recreation leaders and facilities to build access to recreational activities in your community.  Discover a new accessible twist on an old favorite form of exercise.

 DATR 2013 Fact Sheet  

DATR 2013 Flyer  

DATR Powerpoint-Converted to PDF  

Zip File of DATR Powerpoint   


Information and Referral


Increasing Financial Capability/ Growing Consumers' Personal Wealth

Audio Recording  

Tom Foley and Jacqueline Wilks - 2013

Learn about establishing banking relationships, avoidance of payday and predatory lenders, paying down debt and the value of a credit score. Hear how Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) can help people with low incomes save for high return investments in long-term assets and how the Earned Income Tax Credit applies to low-income filers. Get access to home ownership and retirement planning strategies that help build stable, long-term wealth. Find out about the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its tools and resources aimed at helping individuals with disabilities increase their financial capability. 


http://www.annualcreditreport.com  (free credit report) Phone number 877.322.8228


http://www.creditbuildersalliance.org   (search “rent bureau” for renters’ info)

http://www.cfpb.gov   (for tools Jackie mentioned available from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

Transcript   https://www.april-rural.org/images/stories/2013/Financial_capability-71813-TRANSCRIPT.pdf


Asset Building: Growing Consumers Personal Wealth

Getting out the Jitters: Interviews   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouGRE-2kK_Y

Katrina Parsons - 2020 APRIL Conference

Do you know what is one of the most important aspects of a job application? An interview What is the number one fear that people (especially people with disabilities) have that is even greater than death? Public Speaking. This presentation will guide participants in preparing consumers for interviews and overcome their nerves and fear of talking to new employers to present themselves in the best manner possible so that they can get the job they want. We will go over strategies for consumers to use answer sample questions, non-verbal aspects of presenting themselves, and working on logistics of the interview (such as transportation and dress). The resume is what gets one the interview, and the interview is what gets one
the job.

 PDF  Transcript ready



Assistive Technology: Reuse it!: Explore AT Resuse programs for Consumers

Caroline Phillips, Jim Beck, Tiffany Clifford - 2013

Understand the positive impact safe, effective, and appropriate Assistive Technology Reuse has in the lives of individuals with disabilities.  Learn more about CILs that are conducting assistive technology reuse programs.  Explore assistive technology reuse tools and resources provided by the national Pass It On Center. Identify indicators of quality for assistive technology reuse within Independent Living Centers.

Transcript  https://www.april-rural.org/images/stories/2013/ATReuse-2013-06-27-TRANSCRIPT.pdf


Audio Description? What’s Up with This   https://youtu.be/cyYLELzKtVM

Rebecca Williams, Rene Cummins - 2020 APRIL Conference

Audio description has a long and notable history. So why has this form of effective communication often been unrecognized and seldom provided? As a form of effective communication, audio description is vital for full participation and understanding in numerous venues and situations. In this interactive session, a trained describer and a patron of audio description will present information and perspectives on the status of audio description and how attendees can promote audio description at home.


Q. Why do companies like HBO refuse to participate?

A. Rene—This is an advocacy issue. They have an obligation to provide effective communication, and it might be a good idea to hold up examples from their competitors who are providing audio description on their channels. There is always strength in numbers, so you may want to organize around this issue and start a communication campaign to request that they begin providing some audio description, especially for their own productions which they can totally control and include the audio description during production. I see this approach on Netflix, which offers audio description with their original productions as well as with a great many of their selections on their subscription service.

Becky -At this time the FCC rules for the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 [PL111-260] requires description from the following broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC and the following non-broadcast networks: Discovery Channel, HGTV, History Channel, TBS, TNT, and USA.

Here’s what’s going on with subscription TV providers:

HBO may fall under Title III of the ADA [place of public accommodation] The ADA requires public accommodations to provide effective communication. There may be responsibilities under the ADA. Technology has changed so much since the passage of the ADA. There are many services [via the internet, smart phones, etc.] that were not even imaginable in 1990, and therefore, requirements/standards/regulations were not developed that address this technology.

Networks/media providers can go beyond the law and provide access without/before being required to do so. We cannot address why companies such as HBO are not providing description services. Individuals can file complaints against HBO, etc. and let the courts decide if the requirement for effective communication applies to them. Folks who need/want description services need to exercise their right to request such, and if not provided to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Justice.  

Q. Due to the changing landscape of media shift to streaming, where do you see audio description in the future?

A. Rene—In my experience, this definitely becomes a problem. For example, if I go to the Redbox movie vending machine at the shopping center and rent a movie, I can turn on the audio description before watching in a similar manner to turning on the captioning before watching. However, with an app to stream Redbox from the internet, I have not found the counterpart option to turn on the audio description prior to watching. I know the audio description track is there because I have compared with the DVD from the Redbox vending machine. This is definitely a problem as the trend moves more and more toward streaming services.

Becky - We would like to see audio description requirements for all venues that provide filmed media – television, movies played in theaters and streaming venues. Unfortunately it may be quite some time before this is required in streaming applications. One issue is that there are no regulations or standards for the provision of effective communication in streaming venues. My understanding is the federal administration has halted work on all ADA new regulations at this time. Folks who want this service need to make their voices heard by contacting the Department of Justice. 

Q. Do apps like Hulu and Netflix required to have the audio description services. I only ask because Hulu doesn't have much audio description. How does that work for apps?

A.    Rene—Again, I think the dedication to providing audio description happens “on the front end” so to speak. With my Netflix subscription, once the audio description has been turned ON under settings, a Netflix offering automatically starts with audio description if it is available on that selection. This works the same if I am accessing Netflix through an app or if Netflix is streaming on my smart TV. For me, this is a very good way to find out if a movie or program has audio description or not since the selection will immediately begin with an audio description of the Netflix logo. Again, the requirement is to provide Effective Communication, so it is not acceptable to be providing absolutely no audio description at all. Pointing this out and quoting good examples from their competitors might be a good way to start the conversation. As mentioned in our workshop, The American Council of the Blind has a website that keeps updated on audio description at https:acb.org/adp/masterad.html. On that website, it lists current Cinema, DVD, TV, and streaming titles that are audio described. In that current list are Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, IMDb, TV, iTunes, Netflix, Prime Video, Spectrum-Access, and other sources. This might eliminate the trial and error of trying to find audio description on Hulu.

Becky – Audio description is not required for apps such as Hulu and Netflix under the Twenty First Century Accessibility and Communications Act at this time; however, these businesses may have a requirement to provide effective communication under Title III of the ADA. 

Q. You said it can be used in a court setting, but is it required if a juror has vision loss?

A.   Becky - Court systems fall under either Title II of the ADA [state and local government] or section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act [federal government]. Both of these laws require the provision of auxiliary aids and services when needed for effective communication. Audio description is one type of an auxiliary aid. If a juror with vision loss requests description in order to participate in the judicial process, and description is the only auxiliary aid that will provide equally effective communication then description should be provided unless the municipality or federal government can show why this service would result in an undue financial and administrative burden or a fundamental alteration [which is very difficult if not impossible to be proved by governmental agencies].

Q. Good progress with AD. Question, is how do we make AD available for viewers who are Deaf/Blind?

A.   Rene—Great question! Depending on the degree of hearing loss plus vision loss, this does get rather complicated. If the consumer is successful with using a tactile interpreter, a live action event such as live theater, museum demonstration or exhibitions, nature walks, etc., might lend themselves to having a tactile interpreter who also has the skills to add the audio description integrated into the tactile interpretation. As with all tactile interpretation, this adds another layer of complexity. For scripted audio description provided on television or movies, the consumer may not be able to benefit from the captions nor the audio description provided by the broadcast service. However, if the consumer can use the captioning and can adjust the volume to hear the audio description, I have found that both can be running at the same time. This makes perfect sense since one household might have a person who needs the captioning to watch a movie or program while another member of that household needs the audio description. Or, it could very well be the same person who needs both!

Becky - Great question and one I have not previously encountered. My first thought is this would probably require a tactile interpreter; however, this would work only in live action description where a tactile interpreter also has description skills. Not sure how/if this could be provided in other venues. Someone with knowledge of assistive technology may be better able to answer if such an accommodation is possible. 

Q. Are there any regulations regarding having audio descriptions for movies a person may want to rent or purchase on demand?

A. Becky – The final rule of the Department of Justice CRT Docket No. 126; AG Order No. RIN 1190-AA63 [https://www.ada.gov/regs2016/movie_rule.htm], effective January 17, 2017, requires that movie theater auditoriums provide closed movie captioning and audio description when showing a digital movie distributed with such features unless doing so would result in an undue burden or a fundamental alteration. The rule requires movie theaters to have a specified number of captioning devices and audio description devices based on the number of auditoriums in the movie theater that show digital movies. The rule does not impose any specific requirements for movie theater auditoriums that exhibit analog movies exclusively. The requirements of this rule apply only to public accommodations that own, lease, or operate movie theaters with auditoriums that show movies produced in digital cinema format (digital movies).

There are no specific rules that require audio description be provided on movies available for purchased; however, the requirement for effective communication may come into play. Businesses run on consumer demand. Individuals who want description services should reach out to produces/manufactures of movie DVDs and express their desire to have description services available in their products. 

Q. I’d like more places to use the technology of applications on phones, iPads, etc. so it’s accessible in formats we use every day and I can use my own headphones.

A.  Rene—Disney felt the same way, so they have an app to use audio description in first-run theaters where any Disney production is showing. In this way, you use your own technology that you are familiar with and that you know it works. I have had way too many failures in first-run movie theaters where they issue the viewer the theater’s equipment to use the audio description, and they insist that the movie is accompanied by audio description, only to find that the equipment did not work or the staff person did not know how to use it, or—shudder—the staff person had no idea what audio description is! As I said, I have had way too many failures in trying to use equipment in first-run movie theaters, so I agree with you about the need for apps to receive the audio description while watching the movie. Disney has set a really good example, but most of us do not want to be limited to only Disney movies. So, this becomes another good and necessary advocacy issue.

Becky - When folks use individual receivers to listen to description they can often use their personal head/ear phones. Several folks in one of the local playhouses where I provide description use their own earbuds.

Q. What are the steps to set up audio description on your TV?

A.  Rene—For regular broadcast television, go to the Secondary Audio Programming, or SAP, where you will also find selections for foreign languages. The selection will say video description or audio description, and select to turn it on. If the programming is not accompanied with audio description, the option will not be there to select. As I mentioned, with a subscription service like Netflix, go to Settings and turn on the audio description, and each selection you choose will automatically start with the audio description if it is available for that selection. 

Q. Are there govt. grants for audio descriptions that can be applied for state audio programs?

A.  Rene—I am not completely clear about this question, but I will take a crack at it. There are various grants for “diversity” but they often do not mention disability. You can start with the language in the grant posting and respond by making a case for disability being included in whatever group or groups they included in the grant opportunity. From there, if you want to make a case for audio description, please include a cross-disability set of examples as we did in our presentation to show how a broad range of people with diverse disabilities, including people who are aging, will benefit by the use of audio description for effective communication. Depending on how strongly you want to emphasize the requirement for effective communication under the law, you might want to site the various legal requirements presented during our workshop.

Becky – I do not know of government grants specifically for audio description. One can always begin with a “Google” search.

Folks may want to investigate arts councils, university art/drama departments, local theater groups, performing arts centers, etc. to investigate collaboration to develop/bring audio description into your community. Some cities have had luck forming arts advisory councils that focus on making the arts [drama, music, dance, language arts, museums, etc.https://adata.org/factsheet/quicktips-tax">https://adata.org/factsheet/quicktips-tax.


AT for Independence at Mealtimes and Medication Management  https://youtu.be/Hx3pOWSrG3I

Danny Housley - 2020 APRIL Conference

This presentation will cover high, medium, and low-tech solutions for eating, drinking and medication management. By the end, this presentation will cover high, medium, and low-tech solutions for eating, drinking and medication management. By the end of this presentation participants will be able to identify at least 2 pieces of high, medium, and low-tech assistive technology for eating, drinking and managing medication.

PDF AT for Independence at Mealtimes and Medication Management PDF


Tools and Partnerships for Digital Information Access

Danny Housley and Ken Mitchell

Accessible IOS Tools and RRS Powerpoint

Peer Mentoring and Support


Peer Support: The Bread and Butter of IL- August 15, 2018 (2)

Linda Pogue, and Ken Mitchell  - 2018

Build a Peer Support Program that is mutually beneficial and powerful. Tips and lessons learned from running peer support programs. Building up your peer supports.



Parenting with a Disability

Audio file    

Kelly Buckland, Sarah Launderville, Susan Yuan, Kimberly Tissot  - 2017

All 50 states updates on legislation parents with disabilities: http://heller.brandeis.edu/parents-with-disabilities/pdfs/table-legislation-by-state.pdf

Through the Looking Glass (TLG) is a nationally recognized center that has pioneered research, training, and services for families in which a child, parent or grandparent has a disability or medical issue   http://lookingglass.org/index.php

This section contains articles and advice for people with disabilities who are parents or would like to become parents. Our definition of "parent" is wide: we include biological parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, grandparents and other relatives with disabilities who raise children. http://heller.brandeis.edu/parents-with-disabilities/parents/index.html

Representing Parents with Disabilities: Strategies & Solutions Presentation PDF file