I watch politics. I like watching political coverage on the news. I start most of my mornings with MSNBC and Morning Joe. Tuesday, April 12, I was waiting for Morning Joe special guest Bono to discuss his upcoming testimony to Congress. As I was waiting, one of the segments began about a new book on Asperger’s. Highlighting a new book nothing new for morning television.
Ron Fournier was a longtime political reporter for the Associated Press. His appearance was to discuss his new book “Love That Boy.” It is a memoir about raising his son Tyler – a young man with Asperger’s. It became apparent watching the interview that this is a personal story for most of the people on the Morning Joe set. Joe Scarborough mentioned Asperger’s has touched his life in some way. Nicolle Wallace welled-up with the reflections in the book. They all discussed the intricacies of the memoir.
I purchased the book at the end of Morning Joe – electronic version. I downloaded, started and finished the book in the same day. I am struck with how Mr. Fournier’s personal journey raising a child with Asperger’s is so similar to all of our stories as parents. We all struggle with how we raise our children. As an advocate for individuals with disabilities, I understand one out of two people will be indirectly affected by disability in their lifetime-a child, parent, etc. I know that nearly 15% of the United States has a disability or will age into a disability. Those numbers are growing in part with the increase in autism and Asperger’s. As a parent, I empathize with the struggle of raising good children to become productive citizens. As an individual of the disability myself, I understand what it means to be “different,” and yet having to learn to be comfortable and proud to be “different.”
At the same time, the book is a wonderful look at Tyler. In most of the anecdotes, you get to see the positive attributes in Asperger’s. Ron Fournier lists them at the end of the book. Hard working, brutally honest and fantastic with detail. At Our Ability, we understand this as well. About two months ago, we were asked to produce a testimonial video of two successful individuals working in our community (video below). I enjoyed the interview process that morning. While I saw the struggle with eye contact especially in front of the camera, I noted the complete attention to detail in the answers to our questions. I saw how this attention to detail and diligence fit well with their existing employment. I reflected that morning on how proud the family members of these individuals must be.
Ron Fournier discusses the anxiety we all have as parents. We continue to balance our dreams we have for our children with the realities our children face. Our dreams do not always reflect the strengths in our children. It is a constant struggle. As parents we want our children to be the best individuals they can be in life. I found myself while reading “Love That Boy,” reflecting on the hopes and dreams I have for our three children. And, how proud I am of them.
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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