In 1986, I received funding from vocational rehabilitation in New Hampshire to be able to attend university. Being able to go to university to study television radio and film has allowed me to have the career that I have. And while after 16 years I do not work in television anymore, my career only continues to grow as a business owner and advocate for individuals with disabilities.
None of this would be possible without Voc Rehab and their resources. The United States Senate tax bill effectively kills Voc Rehab funding if approved.
Our organization works for individuals with disabilities and employment regardless of political affiliation. But, these funds will kill many programs that keep people with disabilities moving forward in life, dealing with everyday medical issues and effectively keeps people alive.
Please call your Senator immediately. The disability community is having a call in day tomorrow — feel free to share with anyone who might be interested: http://medicaid.publicrep.org/events/national-disability-call-in-day/
Our Ability, President
From: Stephen A. Wooderson
CEO – CSAVR
I would like to make you aware of the potential elimination of the public VR Program and other programs as a result of Senate and House proposed tax reform plans
While neither the House nor the Senate tax plans expressly eliminate the VR program, the potential high costs projected by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), at least in the initial years, would, under current law, trigger something known as the Pay As You Go (PAYGO) rules. Under PAYGO, a new proposal must either be “budget neutral” or offset with savings derived from existing funds. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the House and Senate tax bills would result in an estimated $1.5 trillion deficit in tax revenue which in turn would trigger PAYGO.
As we understand it, when spending is greater than the established discretionary caps and net costs for a year are negative (thereby increasing the debt)— the Office for Management and Budget (OMB) is required to implement the sequestration of mandatory programs including the public VR Program, required by the Budget Control Act of 2011, to make up for that cost. Given the size of the proposed tax cuts ($1.5 trillion), proposed tax reform would trigger a sequestration level so high that it would entirely eliminate funding for mandatory programs subject to sequestration, including again the public VR program.
This article from the Center for American Progress highlights some of the other programs that will see funding cuts, including the elimination of funding for VR basic State grants. Report about this…
Hill staffer says it is pretty unlikely the Senate tax bill passes as even with the elimination of every program on the list, OMB will still be short the money necessary to cover the deficit. It is also absolutely possible this could happen but unclear how it would actually be implemented. Again, VR isn’t eliminated in the tax bill itself, but the PAYGO would be devastating to just about every program in the country – including financial aid for higher education, Centers for Disease Control, Department of Justice, etc.
CSAVR is sending a letter expressing concern to the House and Senate leadership, but we also think it is time for stakeholders to write letters, just to be on the safe side. We are reaching out to stakeholders to ensure they are aware of this threat and can share concerns they may have about it with their Congressional members. Again, there is an urgency to this matter because the Senate has announced plans to vote on their tax reform bill by this Friday, 12/1/17.
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