In the News ;
75Average age of participants at senior centers.
Technology is giving a boost to voters with disabilities. ; This
month, as a test, some Oregon voters
will use iPads to mark their ballots in
a special election. The devices, using
software created by Everyone Counts,
will aid people with conditions such
as arthritis or impaired vision. They
cannot actually cast their votes online with the iPads, but they can fill out the ballots, which will then
be printed out and mailed in or dropped off at election stations.
; “This is a big step in the process,” says Dmitri Belser of the Center
for Accessible Technology, a consulting group in Berkeley, Calif.
; All U.S. election jurisdictions must have accessible equipment
for voters with disabilities, but each state has a different approval
process for new devices. ; Darren Burton, a technology expert at the
American Foundation for the Blind, is enthusiastic: “The iPad has
built-in access features that allow those of us who are blind or with
low vision to use them without the assistance of others.” —Frank McCoy
Disabled Voters Testing iPads
Veterans are signing up to serve again—but
this time the focus is on
better health care. ; The
Million Veteran Program,
sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of Research and
Development, has a $19.8 million budget to research how genes affect
the health and illnesses of those who have served in the armed forces.
; More than 25,000 vets have signed up so far—and the VA hopes to hit
the 1 million mark within seven years. ; “We will customize treatments
for conditions that affect veterans,” says Joel Kupersmith, M.D., the VA’s
chief research officer, and study “whether there are underlying genetic
factors that contribute to disorders.” ; Volunteers must provide blood
samples and complete health questionnaires at one of the nation’s 40
VA health centers. The samples are tested for DNA and other genetic
characteristics. Procedures are in place to protect participants’ privacy.
; For more information, call 1-866-441-6075 toll-free. —Todd Beamon
; WWII veterans and other vets are
sought for a VA health care study.