By the NYSILC NY State Disability Rights Hall of Fame Albany Volunteer Team
The 1st ever NYSILC Disability Rights Hall of Fame Event was held on April 26th 2018 in Troy, NY. A big theme of the night was honoring the people who had helped to open up opportunities for others. You can go to NYSILC.ORG to get all of the information on that event. This blog will tell you about something amazing that happened behind the scenes of this big night.
When talking to various people who volunteered and attended this event, two points became clear. The themes were struggle and success. It is hard to put into words how much people in the disability community struggle. The victories that they see often take a long time and a lot of effort. Anyone in any NY community could step up and make a difference in their own way, but not everyone does. People who went the extra mile for themselves and for the people in NY are the ones who were being honored on this night.
Volunteer opportunities at the Hall of Fame event were created for people with and without disabilities from all walks of life. Brad Williams of NYSILC was approached with the idea and challenge of creating opportunities for people who needed or wanted them in Albany, NY. Mr. Williams is a man who has a huge workload. He really did not need to spend extra time on trying to create opportunities for other people at this event. That was not the original intent of the Hall of Fame This event was supposed to be a lifetime achievement award ceremony. In addition, he already had plenty of people associated with him that he could ask for help if needed. When challenged with the idea, Brad cared enough to find the time to make sure that everyone was included.
Since November of last year a huge effort was made to create opportunities for those in Albany, NY who needed or wanted them. Money and time was put into attending events in Albany, NY that were focused on volunteer work. College students who are in programs dedicated to working with students with disabilities were invited to volunteer. Students attending workforce development classes were invited to attend. It didn’t matter if you were heading for your GED or heading for your Master’s degree, Brad wanted to play it forward by having your unique skills helping the event. He didn’t agree with every single idea that you had, but he would listen and talk to you until you both could find something that worked for everybody. He didn’t act like he was too elite or busy to listen.
Flyers were handed out about volunteering. A training conference was held when requested. Time was put into making and distributing inspirational flyers to the people who showed interest in volunteering. These efforts were to mentor those volunteers into seeing what they could do for others at the hall of fame and what the hall of fame could also do to help the volunteers. The people who did volunteer got a thank you letter, experience, inspiration, and a nice meal.
Honoring someone with a lifetime achievement award is a huge deal. To honor those same people by living up to their name and opening up doors for others is also amazing. On April 26th 2018, NYSILC volunteers were invited to start or to continue their journeys towards their achieving something great in their lifetime. It wasn’t easy to open up these opportunities. Brad and others put in the time and effort to make sure that the community in Albany, NY was included. It is easy to throw up your hands and say that you have nothing for someone to do. Elite leaders are able to tap into people’s potential and create opportunities. Even as busy as he is, Brad never acts like he is too good or too busy to help someone. He finds a way to make sure that everyone is always included and appreciated. We cannot thank Brad Williams and NYSILC enough for going above and beyond for us volunteers.
For a quick highlight video of the NYSILC NY State Disability Rights Hall of Fame click here-
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|
We firmly believe that the internet should be available and accessible to anyone, and are committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of circumstance and ability.
To fulfill this, we aim to adhere as strictly as possible to the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) at the AA level. These guidelines explain how to make web content accessible to people with a wide array of disabilities. Complying with those guidelines helps us ensure that the website is accessible to all people: blind people, people with motor impairments, visual impairment, cognitive disabilities, and more.
This website utilizes various technologies that are meant to make it as accessible as possible at all times. We utilize an accessibility interface that allows persons with specific disabilities to adjust the website’s UI (user interface) and design it to their personal needs.
Additionally, the website utilizes an AI-based application that runs in the background and optimizes its accessibility level constantly. This application remediates the website’s HTML, adapts Its functionality and behavior for screen-readers used by the blind users, and for keyboard functions used by individuals with motor impairments.
If you’ve found a malfunction or have ideas for improvement, we’ll be happy to hear from you. You can reach out to the website’s operators by using the following email
Our website implements the ARIA attributes (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) technique, alongside various different behavioral changes, to ensure blind users visiting with screen-readers are able to read, comprehend, and enjoy the website’s functions. As soon as a user with a screen-reader enters your site, they immediately receive a prompt to enter the Screen-Reader Profile so they can browse and operate your site effectively. Here’s how our website covers some of the most important screen-reader requirements, alongside console screenshots of code examples:
Screen-reader optimization: we run a background process that learns the website’s components from top to bottom, to ensure ongoing compliance even when updating the website. In this process, we provide screen-readers with meaningful data using the ARIA set of attributes. For example, we provide accurate form labels; descriptions for actionable icons (social media icons, search icons, cart icons, etc.); validation guidance for form inputs; element roles such as buttons, menus, modal dialogues (popups), and others. Additionally, the background process scans all of the website’s images and provides an accurate and meaningful image-object-recognition-based description as an ALT (alternate text) tag for images that are not described. It will also extract texts that are embedded within the image, using an OCR (optical character recognition) technology. To turn on screen-reader adjustments at any time, users need only to press the Alt+1 keyboard combination. Screen-reader users also get automatic announcements to turn the Screen-reader mode on as soon as they enter the website.
These adjustments are compatible with all popular screen readers, including JAWS and NVDA.
Users can also use shortcuts such as “M” (menus), “H” (headings), “F” (forms), “B” (buttons), and “G” (graphics) to jump to specific elements.
We aim to support the widest array of browsers and assistive technologies as possible, so our users can choose the best fitting tools for them, with as few limitations as possible. Therefore, we have worked very hard to be able to support all major systems that comprise over 95% of the user market share including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge, JAWS and NVDA (screen readers), both for Windows and for MAC users.
Despite our very best efforts to allow anybody to adjust the website to their needs, there may still be pages or sections that are not fully accessible, are in the process of becoming accessible, or are lacking an adequate technological solution to make them accessible. Still, we are continually improving our accessibility, adding, updating and improving its options and features, and developing and adopting new technologies. All this is meant to reach the optimal level of accessibility, following technological advancements. For any assistance, please reach out to