Weekend recap: UW-Madison students with disabilities say return to campus showed lack of accessibility
Returning to face-to-face classes at universities across the country has been a barrier for many.
Capital Times higher education reporter Kayla Huynh gives us insight into how this transaction went students living with a disability at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Many feel that the university’s enthusiasm for returning to a “normal” school year has overshadowed the realities these students face, especially at such a large school.
Accommodations for students resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic – virtual learning, recorded lessons, transportation and a general feeling of flexibility – have diminished since returning to an in-person semester.
“We were all worried that all of this accessibility would go away once they decided to come back in person, and it was very well,” said student Rachel Litchman, who has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome as well. than postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. “They only really care about accessibility when it comes to people without disabilities and it affects everyone.”
Wisconsin DHS: COVID-19 Weekly Recap
The seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin is 2,587 on Friday. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has confirmed a total of 8,107 deaths from the disease.
Fifty-four percent of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated – 83.7% of people aged 65 and over and 42.8% of children aged 12 to 15.
DHS this week announced the relaunch of the Community Testing Support Program, formerly known as the Testing Pilot Program. The program “will support Wisconsin entities by offering local and practical COVID-19 testing,” DHS wrote in a Release.
More than 750,000 COVID-19 tests have been performed at more than 70 sites, the statement said.
The following groups can apply for the Community Testing Support Program:
- Tribal and local health services
- Wisconsin Licensed Health Care Providers
- “Other individuals or organizations trained in sample collection under the authority and supervision of a doctor or local or tribal health service,” the statement said.
Six Wisconsin cities chosen to resettle Afghan refugees
As thousands of Afghan evacuees begin the process of finding new homes across the United States, about 400 have been cleared to relocate to Wisconsin at this time, according to the U.S. State Department.
Those 400 people will likely settle in one of Wisconsin’s six cities, including: Appleton, Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Oshkosh, and Wausau.
Bojana Zoric Martinez, director of refugee programs at the State Department of Children and Families, told NBC15 that these refugees do not necessarily have to come from Fort McCoy, where more than 12,500 evacuees currently live.
“Based on some of these assurances that resettlement agencies have received, we expect to see some of our first Afghan refugees resettled in our communities next week,” Martinez said.
Report: Rooftop Solar Power Could Meet Two-Thirds of Wisconsin’s Electricity Needs
A report released by the Wisconsin Civil Service Commission found that the state’s roofs have the potential to support enough solar panels to meet two-thirds of the state’s electricity needs.
The study, reported by the Wisconsin State Journal, found enough unshaded rooftop space to support nearly 39,000 megawatts of solar power generation capacity, more than double Wisconsin’s existing generation capacity.
But the study predicts that less than 2% of these panels will likely be installed under current market conditions. This is because the initial costs of solar panels are often too high for homeowners, or people live in multi-family dwellings and do not have control over their roofs.
Still, the potential is emerging for some, including Sam Dunaiski, director of the distributed renewable energy program at Renew Wisconsin..
“Seeing that there’s so much potential out there on the counter side is really great to see,” Dunaiski told the Wisconsin State Journal.
Courses to help parents learn to protect their children online
The State Department of Education and the State Department of Justice are launching an online course to help parents and guardians learn how to protect their children when they are online.
The aim of the course – called “Pro-tech-ting Children Online: ICAC Resources and Support” – is to help identify exploitative behaviors, develop skills to support those affected and provide resources for having conversations about healthy online behaviors.
According to WITI-TV in Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force suggests parents talk to their children about online safety early and often. And that they should have an open dialogue about their child’s online activity.
Champagne appletrip to wisconsin
Only one family in the world grows champagne apples, WEAU-TV reports at Eau Claire. And this family is in Cadott, Wisconsin.
The roots of the apple tree can be traced first to New Mexico, where Dixon’s Apple Orchard debuted in the 1940s with Fred Dixon. After a wildfire in 2011 swept away the orchard, Dixon’s granddaughter Becky Mullane and her family started another one from scratch when the family moved north for a fresh start.
Dixon’s apple orchard has expanded to include Dixon’s fall harvest cellar, and the owners hope to make their own wine and cider products from the champagne apples one day.
Time-limited waiver could wipe out student loan debt for over 20,000 borrowers
The US Department of Education has announced that it will use its authority to grant borrowers a time-limited waiver – relaxing several rules so that previously disqualified loan payments can now count toward the remission.
Until now, to qualify for the Public Service Loan Remission, or PSLF, borrowers had to complete a handful of requirements, including:
- Work in a public sector job.
- Make 120 student loan payments on time.
- Participate in a qualified repayment plan.
- Have a specific type of loan known as federal direct loans.
The ministry estimates that the waiver could make 22,000 borrowers immediately eligible to cancel their loans. Another 27,000 borrowers could see their debts disappear if they were able to prove they were working in the public service at the time they made payments that were previously ineligible.
This NPR report details what has changed and what borrowers need to know about loan forgiveness.