The DEAF/HARD OF HEARING INFORMATION NETWORK is an on-line service exclusively for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community featuring: Job Opportunities, Chat Sessions, Software, Deaf community News, Full Internet Link all without on-line charges. For software and information call Deaf/HOH Info Network at HCS Spec Training Centers, LLC 3900 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Ste. 110, Bohemia, NY 11716 (516) 981-0197 Text, (516) 981-1514 FAX.


Paradigm Enterprises, Inc. has a unique alternative to visual or tactile alarm devices that are designed to alert persons who are deaf or hard of hearing while they are sleeping. Reportedly, when activated by a sound emitted by a conventional smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, the SCENT OF LIFE Alarm device arouses and alerts sleeping individuals by releasing an aerosol spray with a pungent cinnamon odor. I like cinnamon! For more information contact Paradigm Enterprises at PO Box 339, Hixson, TN 37343-0339, (423) 855-5025 Voice, (423) 894-0406 FAX.


The first Disability Media Calendar was produced in 1995. The calendar is loaded with more than 100 entries that mark milestones in Rehabilitation, Independent Living and Disability Rights – covering “everything from technology to entertainment”. A 1996 version is in the works and will reportedly have additional entries and be ready for distribution by December 1995. For more information or to order your copy of the ’96 Disability Media Calendar contact Independent Living Research Utilization Program (ILRU) 2323 South Shepherd, Ste. 1000, Houston, TX 77019. (713) 520-0232 Voice, (713) 520-5136 Text, (713) 520-5785 FAX. A must for your wall!

ANOTHER Disability Journal

Here’s yet another disability related publication, ‘The Disabled Outreach Journal“. I got to take a gander at the May/June 1995, Volume VII, No. 3 issue. From the latter bit of information, I gather the publication has been around for a while. The publishers indicate that the magazine is distributed at no cost to individuals with disabilities! What’s even neater is that the publication is now available on the Internet ( I’ll have to check it out. For more information contact TDOJ at 629 S. Rancho Santa Fe Road, Ste. 363, San Marcos, CA 92069.


General Motors is at it again. An optional feature has been introduced for some of its ’96 truck lines with extended cabs. Chevrolet calls it an “E-Z Access System“, while GMC truck models calls it a “Side Access Panel“. The optional panel swings open (like a back door) to reveal the back space on extended cab trucks. The photo that accompanied the announcement shows a woman loading a wheelchair into the back area. I couldn’t help but wonder if the model has personal experience with disability?


Rock musician Neil Young and I have a few things in common!. We’ve been growing up since the 50’s and we both think model trains are really cool! A minor difference with the latter is that Neil has

been an avid model train hobbyist. My set is back in the box. In September, I read in the local paper that Young has entered into a joint venture with Wellspring Associates to buy Lionel Trains (I grew up with American Flyer). Apparently one of Neil’s primary goals is to make it easier for persons with disabilities to operate model trains with sophisticated remote control devices. I’ll bet Mr. Young’s sons will be eager to offer their two-cents worth of advice for their Dad’s new business venture ~ they just happen to have cerebral palsy.


For most major special events such as a County or State fair, it is likely that off-site parking and shuttle services will be provided to minimize the burden of on-site parking facilities. Personally, I like the idea. Less of a hassle. be sure to remember to include accessible vehicles as I am sure that persons with disabilities also would like the option of the less traveled road!


An avid sailor buddy of mine, who happens to be Deaf, asked the producer of a internationally distributed quarterly video on sailing that they add closed captions to their videos. Their response: “Like many business decisions it comes down to economics. A tape which sells only a few thousand copies total could never recoup the cost of captioning to sell 5-10 closed caption tapes. I do wish it were a service we could offer without loosing money. As a producer of numerous sailing videos we have priced closed captioning. Unfortunately the economics of videotape production and distribution don’t allow us to provide these services which I would personally like to offer.

Okay, let’s make some assumptions, do a little arithmetic and draw a conclusion or two… Let’s assume “a few thousand” to mean 2,000 tapes per issue. The average price of a video from the company’s catalog is approximately $29.95. 2,000 copies @ $29.95 represents $59,900 bucks or just about $240,000 annually is subscriber fees. Granted the production and distribution costs must be considered when determining if the cost of captioning ($3,000 per quarter or about $12,000 annually) is readily achievable or not. I get the impression they think they would only caption a handful of copies of each video if and when requested by a subscriber. Perhaps they are unaware that the standard practice is to caption the master tape before duplication. Doing so ensures that every copy of the video will be accessible!


Sprint, a provider of Telephone Relay Services in various states across the country has introduced Video Relay Interpreting Services. A pilot program was introduced in Austin, TX by the Public Utilities Commission and Sprint, was well received by the Deaf Community. Two-way video is the key to Video Relay Interpreting. An ASL user with a Video Relay setup dials the relay center which is answered by a Communications Assistant (CA) who is fluent in ASL and a qualified interpreter. The caller communicates with the CA using ASL or alternate means of communication through a two-way, full motion video image. The CA then dials the number requested by the caller. With both parties on the line, the CA functions as the relay

link by translating ASL to spoken voice and vice versa. For more information on how Relay Video Interpreting Services can work for you, contact your Sprint Account Manager (if Sprint is your TRS provider) or call Sprint TRS Sales at (800) 377-1130 Voice/Text.


The DISABLED OUTDOORS MAGAZINE is one of the thousands of disability-related resource publications with a focus on the outdoors and persons with disabilities. DOM provides articles, product descriptions, accessible resort listings, and personal accounts -pertaining to outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, boating, and camping of, by and for individuals with disabilities. For more information about this quarterly magazine contact Disabled Outdoors

Magazine at 5223 South Lorel Ave., Chicago, IL 60638 (312) 284-2206 Voice.


A proposal being considered by the FCC would require that new phones bought by businesses be compatible with hearing aids. Under the plan, most business phones would be hearing aid compatible by Jan. 1, 2000. Businesses that bought new phones between 1985 and 1989 would have until Jan. 1, 2005 to install compatible ones.


Gynergy Books has published IMPRINTING OUR IMAGE: An International Anthology By Women With Disabilities, edited by Diane Driedger and Susan Gray. The book is a groundbreaking collection of stories from women with disabilities from 17 different countries. The book reinforces that women with disabilities are citizens with rich perspectives, talents and the means to contribute to their societies. Contact Gynergy Books, PO Box 2023, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada, C1A 7N7, (902) 566-5750 Voice. Good reading if you want to keep broadening your perspective on disability, women’s and accessibility issues in the WORLD.


Understanding the ADA

A video worthy of viewing that is produced by the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association (EPVA) is called “Understanding the Americans With Disabilities Act“. The program provides an exceptional overview of the law and regulations (Titles I-IV) implementing the ADA and presents alternative strategies and solutions. The last segment of the video introduces you to some of the informational and technical resources available through the EPVA and other sources. The “ADA Resource Information” brochure would be an excellent one to order by calling EPVA’s Publications Hotline at (800-444-0120 V) or by writing to them at 75-20 Astoria Blvd., Jackson Heights, NY 11370-1177. Without a doubt this video is typical of the fine quality of materials produced by EPVA. Copies of the video can be ordered by calling Video Management Services at 800-489-8436 V. Cost is $39.95 plus $4.95 S&H. The video is closed captioned and has “voice over” audio description.

Improving A Business With The ADA

The folks associated with the Breaking New Ground Resource Center at Purdue University (See The ACCESS Corner NF Nov/Dec ’95) have produced an excellent video entitled, “Improving Your Rural Business With The ADA“. Although the focus of the video is on businesses in a rural community, the video is full of information and suggestions that could be applied in any business. The video covers benefits for a business that complies with the ADA, consumers with disabilities, strategies for removing architectural and service barriers and employment issues. For more information contact BNG Resource Center/Purdue University 1146 Agricultural Engineering Building, West Layfayette, IN 47907-1146 ~ (800) 825-4264 V/T, (317) 494-1221 Voice, (317) 496-1115 FAX or The video is closed captioned and good!

Universal Design Series

A series of three videos about Universal Design has been produced by San Luis Video Publishing. They include : Introduction to Universal DesignUniversal Design In The Landscape, and Universal Design In Architecture. The first video presents a brief history of how the philosophy of accessibility has emerged. The second video takes the viewer through in-depth examples of accessible design in the landscape. The final video shows examples of accessible design involving the path-of-travel through built environments. It was obvious that the producers of these videos did their homework and exercised care in soliciting advice and input from some of the more renowned professionals and experts in the field of accessible/universal design. This, coupled with the quality and content of these videos, gives the them a high rating in my book. For more information or to request an opportunity to preview the videos contact San Luis Video Publishing 2121 Bush Drive, Los Osos, CA 93402 (805) 528-8322 Voice or (805) 528-7227. Surprisingly, these videos are not captioned or audio described~yet!.

The ACCESS Corner continues, page



is prepared by

Peter M. Robertson, MA, CPCM, Founder and President of ACCESS Unlimited(AU) – the first, full-service, professional accessibility management consulting firm established in the United States with offices in Santa Barbara, CA. Since 1986, AU has helped public and private entities, professionals and individuals create, market and manage environments that accommodate and attract people with different disabilities. E-mail Peter at

alternative to their ever popular, under-the-shelf, retractable drawer TDD you see on many public telephones. The new Pay Phone TTY ST is a vandal-resistant, text telephone device that offers a lower cost and it can be installed by an end-user. The device easily mounts to most existing public telephone enclosures. The advantage of the shelf-top model over the under-the-shelf is that in most typical installations of the under-the-shelf type, the knee clearance under the telephone and drawer is inadequate for most people using a wheelchair or other powered mobility aids to approach and use. For product literature contact Ultratec, Inc. at 450 Science Dr., Madison WI 53711, (800) 482-2424 Voice/Text or at (608) 239-3008 FAX.


According to the National Family Caregiver Association (NFCA) there are 18 million family caregivers. You know, someone who provides personal or supportive care to a family member with a disability or serious illness. NFCA was founded on the beliefs that “the needs of family caregivers are distinct from the needs of those for whom they care, and that family caregivers share a common bond despite the differences in their individual situations”. Makes sense to me. Reportedly, NFCA is a non profit membership organization that provides services designed to minimize the disparities between a caregiver’s quality of life and that of mainstream America. For more information about NFCA, 9621 East Bexhill Drive, Kensington, MD 20895-3104 (800) 896-3650 Voice and (301) 942-2302 FAX.


Today, many businesses or government agencies offer a toll-free 800 number for persons wanting information or customer service. In many cases, the toll-free number is typically accessible only to people that use a spoken language to communicate over the telephone. I’ve always thought it curious that when a company also provides a number for people wanting to send a facsimile or who use a telecommunication display device, the calls are not via a toll-free number!


Continued from The ACCESS Corner July/Aug ’95

Aluminum Dihydroxyaminoacetate

American Dairy Association

American Dance Asylum

American Dart Association

American Dehydrators Association

American Dental Association

American Dermatological Association

American Diabetes Association

American Dietetic Association

American Dove Association

American Down Association

Americans for Democratic Action

Americans with Disabilities Act (Phew!)

Amonium Dihydroen Arsenate

Amplifier Detector Assembly


Analog Drive Assembly

Andover Distributors Association

Angle Data Assembly


Feedback and suggestions for The ACCESS Corner are encouraged and welcome! Send to NATIONAL FOCUS or to

Continued from page



According to SHHH (Self Help for the Hard of Hearing) twelve states have passed consumer protection legislation, commonly referred to as “lemon laws” for assistive technology devices. A few other states have similar legislation pending. Of the twelve, eight cover wheelchairs only, and four cover all assistive technology including that used by persons who are deaf and hard of hearing. Louisiana’s assistive technology lemon law is reportedly the model because it contains the broadest coverage. Way to go Louisiana! To find out more about assistive technology lemon laws, contact your state Technology Assistance Project.


According to the SHHH California ((Self Help for the Hard of Hearing) Winter ’95 newsletter, the FCC has announced that due to technical adjustments and clarifications being made to allow implementation to occur in a later budget year, the implementation date of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) for broadcasters has been delayed to January 1, 1997. The EAS will replace and strengthen the current Emergency Broadcast system in place today. See the ACCESS Corner in the Jan/Feb ’95 and Mar/April ’95 issue of the NATIONAL FOCUS.


A disability-related magazine worthy of subscription, MAINSTREAM Magazine, announced an off-shoot of its information dissemination called ONLINE MAINSTREAM is now available via the World Wide Web. Stop by for a visit and tap into the Hot topic of the week, MAINSTREAM News-Line, Confessions of a Cybergimp, Sound-Off, Hip Crip Five & Dime and Tell It To The Editor. Reach OM at


First reported in NATIONAL FOCUS May/June ’94, was a ACCESS Corner caution about the claims of the makers of the WHISPER XL hearing assistance product. 11 states have accused the manufacturer of misleading the public about the benefits of the product. The US Food and Drug Administration took a look at the Whisper XL and its advertising and warned the company it was implying their product would compensate for impaired hearing which would require FDA clearance which it never received. Apparently, Floridians have purchased $713,000 worth of these devices. Ouch!


Human Kenetics has published Inclusive Games: Movement Fun For Everyone, by Susan L. Kasser. It is a playtime activity resource with effective ways to ensure that “everyone” in a group (classroom) setting can join in a game regardless of the. For more information contact Human Kinetics at PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61825-5076 (800) 747-4457.


Ultratec has introduced a more affordable and, in this author’s opinion, a more universally accessible