Monday, September 22, 2014

How to help ...Protection Orders

October is National DomesticViolence Awareness Month

RantWoman sometimes jokes that her life is sort of a Yucky Topics Festival. Protection orders are one of the Yucky Topics Festival topics that RantWoman has come to know something about.

This looks like a really helpful training about nuts and bolts, pros and cons. RantWoman recommends that if the situation is serious enough to be thinking about protection orders, readers also be in touch with an agency that specifically is informed about domestic violence and sexual assault.

RantWoman recognizes that people with such problems also come walking through the doors of various service providers, libraries, community technology centers, faith communities, and a host of other locations every day. Readers from such locations might need to call in reinforcements / lookfor outside resources. One but definitely not the only place to start: the WA Coalition Against Domestic Violence,

Shop Talk
CMA logo no address
Civil Protection Orders: Helping Survivors of DV and SA to Have Positive Outcomes

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Please join KCCADV to learn about practical ways to help survivors have good outcomes in their petitions for domestic violence and sexual assault protection orders. You don’t have to be a legal advocate to help survivors understand the basics and make decisions about these important options. All DV and SA advocates can benefit from this training.

Topics include:

  • The context: legal definitions, and pros and cons of getting an order.
  • Eligibility: determining whether a survivor is eligible for a protective order, and if so which type of order would be appropriate.
  • Helping survivors to draft effective and relevant petitions.
  • Information to prepare survivors for hearings, including understanding and preparing for respondent tactics in court.
  • Potential impacts of DV & SA protection orders on family law cases.

Instructors are:
Megan Allen, King County Sexual Assault Resource Center
Kris Amblad, Northwest Justice Project
Sandra Shanahan, King County Protection Order Advocacy Program
Natasha Willson, Lifewire


2100 Building
Community Rooms A&B

2100 24th Avenue S.
Seattle, 98144
Register Now Space is limited.

For More Information contact
Alyssa Morrison at or call 206-568-5454

Interpretation available upon request.
wheelchair symbol - tiny no background This facility is wheelchair accessible

Thursday, September 18, 2014

VOTE: Scottish Independence

RantWoman congratulates the people of Scotland.

97% of eligible voters are registered to vote in today's referendum on independence from Great Britain. A standard to aim for!

RanrtWoman notes that her morning news streams bring:

1. News of the Scottish vote

2. Speculation on Iraq and the Middle East and words like dissociation and confederation.

3. News of the Ukrainian president also grappling with matters of association and dissociation.

I it something in the air?

As for insightful policy analysis, here is RantWoman's shortcut to that.

As for RantWoman's position on the matter, RantWoman's family tree is full of ancestors from the British Isles, but none of these ancestors have lived there recently enough for RantWoman to have any claim to topical nationality,. So let the Scots who live there decide!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Seattle Spoken Wheel

Definitely resources to remember:

Seattle Spoken Wheel gives wheelchair users the confidence to explore

The Spoken Wheel website is a good resource, and it’s beautiful!

Seattle Spoken Wheel

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Toolkit | Piktochart Infographic Editor

RantWoman commends the infographic at the link here.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Toolkit | Piktochart Infographic Editor

The infographic has lots of bold colors and clear contrast but may still be visually difficult for some people depending on vision issues.

More important, every word on the infographic is findable by RantWoman'sscreen reader. RantWoman was afraid this might not be the case and delighted to be wrong! If you are reading this blog post, chances are you are concerned about someone else so please read and do not feel you must linger on RantWoman.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Presentation links from the Community Mobility and UNiversal Design event

The recent Community Mobility & Universal Design workshop was wonderful.

Special thanks to the King County Mobility Coalition (co-chairs Alex O’Reilly and Ref Lindmark, Mobility Manager Jon Morrison Winters and Mobility Coordinator Cameron Duncan) for co-sponsoring the event with the NW Universal Design Council (and to Alex and Cameron for presenting).

Also thanks to NWUDC members Tom Minty, Joy Jacobson and Scott Starr for participating in the presentations. They were joined by Matthew Weidner (Accessible Services, King County Metro) and Kevin O’Neill (SDOT).

All the presentations were outstanding. They are now posted on the Northwest Universal Design Council website: Please take a look!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Not the library

RantWoman is playing tour guide for someone wanting to visit the alma mater. Firestone Library is not the reason RantWoman is forwarding this image. RantWoman peculiarly is too squeamish to post the only name she remembers for the sculpture in the foreground.

While we are at it, Nassau Hall briefly served as our nation's capital.

Monday, September 8, 2014

StopInfo enhances OneBusAway

Shameless reprint of press release:

StopInfo for OneBusAway app makes buses more usable for blind riders
Michelle Ma
News and Information
Posted under: Engineering, News Releases, Research, Technology
It's a daily routine for many transit riders in the Seattle area: Pull
out your smartphone, check the OneBusAway app, then decide whether you
need to sprint to the bus stop or can afford that last sip of coffee.
The application, developed at the University of Washington, uses
real-time data to track when your bus is actually going to arrive.
 Click to expand
Jeff Muceus, Flickr
But for many blind and low-vision riders, knowing when the bus will
arrive isn't always enough. Crucial information like where the stop is
in relation to the intersection and whether there is a shelter or
bench sometimes can make the difference between an independent commute
and a frustrating experience.

UW computer scientists have created a program called StopInfo that
integrates with OneBusAway and provides specific information on
location, safety features and stop closures for each bus stop in King
County. In particular, it seeks to collect and share information that
blind people have identified as important when they ride the bus. It
relies on bus riders using the OneBusAway application to update and
provide information about each stop.

"We're interested in having OneBusAway be as useful for as many people
as possible. In this case, we are looking at how we make it more
user-friendly for blind and low-vision riders," said Alan Borning, a
UW professor of computer science and engineering who was involved in
creating the original OneBusAway app.
A team of UW graduate students and researchers, in collaboration with
King County Metro, launched StopInfo last spring and has completed an
initial study looking at its effectiveness for blind and low-vision
users. The study and related paper, which will be presented and
published at the Association for Computing Machinery's Special
Interest Group on Accessible Computing annual conference in October,
found that StopInfo is generally helpful for blind riders and can
promote spontaneous and unfamiliar travel.
Its intent also is to offer more details about bus stops to all users,
including when a stop is temporarily closed, researchers said.
"Ideally, we'd like everyone who's using OneBusAway to use StopInfo,"
said Cynthia Bennett, a UW research scientist involved with the
project. "One reoccurring problem blind users have is it's not always
clear where the bus stop is."

Each month, about 350,000 people in the Puget Sound area use
OneBusAway, a free service launched in 2009. Two former UW doctoral
students created the app with Borning, and last summer Sound Transit
took over its operation. The real-time updating service also runs in
Atlanta and Tampa, Florida. New York City, Washington, D.C., Detroit
and other cities use variations of the service.
 Click to expand
U of Washington

StopInfo shows details about a bus stop in the OneBusAway app.
In the OneBusAway app, users choose a stop, then click on the
information icon at the top right. That takes the user to a StopInfo
page about that stop. At the most basic level, each has information
about the stop's position from the intersection, sign type, and
whether it has a schedule holder or a shelter. This data is provided
by King County Metro and verified by users of the application. Users
can also note other features of the stop such as lighting, seating and
whether the bus sign is close to the curb.

The system chooses which information to display for each stop
according to a majority voting system by OneBusAway users. A field is
considered verified when it receives 75 percent of the same vote by
users, with a minimum of three votes.

Some stops include comments added by users who sign in through a
Google or Facebook account. This could be notes about uneven pavement
or an unusual configuration for boarding the bus.

In the initial StopInfo study, the research team asked six blind or
low-vision participants to use the app for five weeks and record what
features they liked as well as information about their bus trips,
familiarity with routes and confidence while riding the bus. The team
integrated feedback from the blind participants and now is seeking
more participation among transit users to make the program robust on
all routes in King County.
"The success of this program depends in part on how fully the
community participates," said Caitlin Bonnar, a UW doctoral student in
computer science and engineering.
StopInfo is currently only part of the OneBusAway application for
iPhones and related devices, but the researchers plan to expand it for
use on Android and Windows phones. They initially deployed it on this
platform because it's the operating system most often used by blind
and low-vision people and has a number of accessibility tools like
VoiceOver already built in.
The research team that also includes UW doctoral student Megan
Campbell is now interviewing a broader stakeholder base - including
bus drivers, orientation and mobility instructors and additional blind
users - to make the app more useful for blind riders. They also plan
to expand the app's capabilities to help people with mobility
impairments get better information about each stop.
This research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the UW.