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USA: FCC Seeks Input on New Technologies for Video Relay Services
the FCC is asking for information about the new and off-the-shelf technologies that can be used to access Video Relay Service (VRS), such as Skype, Apple Facetime, etc. What specific features or functions of off-the-shelf equipment, services, and software are needed to effectively use VRS? Commenters should specify whether each feature or function is necessary to use VRS and point-to-point communications or could be optional.
From coataccess.org/, March 01, 2011

India: Union Budget 2011 Brings INR9 Lakh Disability Compensation for Defence Personnel
Defence personnel, who have suffered 100 percent disability during the course of their government service, will henceforth get a one-time compensation of INR9 lakh on par with paramilitary personnel fighting Maoists. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced this benefit for defence personnel in his budget proposals presented in Lok Sabha on 28 February 2011.
From Economictimes.indiatimes.com, February 28, 2011

Australia: USD12 Billion Lifetime Support for the Severely Disabled
People with a severe disability will be guaranteed a lifetime of support and care under a proposal expected to cost governments more than USD12 billion a year. A draft report by the Productivity Commission into disability found the current support system is underfunded and unsustainable, and fails to meet the actual needs of many.
From News.smh.com, February 28, 2011

USA: Feds Find Digital Divide Persists for People with Disabilities
On 17 February 2011, via a Public Notice, the NTIA and the FCC unveiled the National Broadband Map along with an update to the Digital Nation report. The map depicts availability of higher speed Internet access, or broadband, for residential use, across the US and is searchable by zip code. The report said: "... Americans with disabilities are dramatically less likely to use broadband at home than the population without disabilities" and noted that 37.5 percent of people with disabilities did not have broadband at home compared to 68 percent of people without disabilities.
From Coataccess.com, February 28, 2011

USA: Federal Fraud as Healthy Workers Take Disability Paycheck
Federal disability -- about USD170 billion per year -- is intended for those with medical conditions so severe they can't work at any job. Today, so many people claim to fit that definition, 17.9 million people are getting checks.
From cbsnews.com, February 24, 2011

Canada: Disability Tax Credits Under Investigation
The Canada Revenue Agency suspects many Canadians may have received hefty tax refunds or credits for disabilities they or their family members don't have, CBC News and the Toronto Star have learned.
From cbc.ca, February 24, 2011

USA: California to Issue Debit Cards for Disability
Californians drawing disability insurance and paid family leave will soon use EDD-issued debit cards to get their money as the state's massive benefits programs phase out traditional paper checks. The move from paper to plastic is scheduled to be completed by March and is expected to save the state's Employment Development Department about USD4 million initially while giving disability and family leave recipients quicker and easier access to their money.
From sacbee.com, February 24, 2011

USA: Virginia House Endorses USD30 million to move Disabled from Institutions
Hoping to fend off a potential lawsuit from the federal government, the House on 23 February agreed to spend USD30 million to begin moving people with severe intellectual disabilities out of state-operated institutions and into community-based care.
From Washingtonpost.com, February 24, 2011

USA: Missouri Gets Approval to Expand Disability Program
Missouri has received federal approval to double the number of disabled people getting home and community services under a program jointly funded by federal, state and county governments. Governor Jay Nixon says an additional 500 people will be able to enroll in the Partnership for Hope program. The program began last October with slots for 470 individuals.
From bnd.com, February 23, 2011

USA: What’s Next for Special Education
In an exclusive interview with Disability Scoop, Alexa Posny — the Department of Education’s top special education official — offers an insider’s take on what students with disabilities can expect and weighs in on academic standards, restraint and seclusion, teacher training, the future of inclusion and more.
From disabilityscoop.com, February 23, 2011

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