A blind UCLA law grad should able to take the California bar exam using computer equipment that gives her the best chance of passing, a federal appeals court has ruled.The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Stephanie Enyart should be able to use special equipment that magnifies the text and reads the words aloud into earbuds, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The National Conference of Bar Examiners had objected to the equipment because of fears that hackers could access test questions. Instead, the NCBE had offered to accommodate Enyart by giving her a Braille version of the test, a live reader, an audio recording of the questions, and enlarged type, according to the opinion (PDF).Enyart suffers from a juvenile form of macular degeneration and extreme sensitivity to light. She took the multistate test twice last year, and passed only the legal ethics portion.The opinion, which affirmed a district court injunction, cited the Americans with Disabilities Act. … [Read more...] about 9th Circuit Rules Blind Law Grad Can Use Computer Aids, Despite Hacking Fears
Computer aided reporting
Today, the three federal agencies charged with regulating components of health information technology (“Health IT”) issued their long-awaited Health IT Report: Proposed Strategy and Recommendations for a Risk-Based Framework (the “Report”). The Report seeks to develop a strategy to address a risk-based regulatory framework for health information technology that promotes innovation, protects patient safety, and avoids regulatory duplication.Congress mandated the development of the Report as part of the 2012 Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, requiring the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”), and the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to coordinate their efforts to regulate Health IT. Notably, the Report identifies and distinguishes between three types of Health IT: (i) health administration Health … [Read more...] about Tri-Agency Health Information Technology Report Issued
U.S. Supreme Court cases about government aid to religious institutions have revolved around tax breaks, school textbooks, transportation, private school vouchers and even computer software. But recycled tires?A church-state case that has long been touted as one of the marquee appeals of an otherwise low-key term will go before the justices on April 19.The case involves a Lutheran church in Missouri that operates a preschool and day care. It sought to improve its playground by applying for the state’s scrap-tire grant program, which provides money to install safe, rubberized ground coverings.Missouri officials turned down the church’s application, which otherwise ranked high on a set of neutral criteria, based on a state constitutional provision that bars direct or indirect government financial aid to churches.“If you could write your own facts, you couldn’t write them any better,” says David A. Cortman, senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, … [Read more...] about Is church is entitled to state aid to buy playground covering?
To provide services throughout South Australia, the commission knew it had to do something different. So last October the agency joined a growing number of legal service providers around the globe by launching a live webchat platform called Legal Chat.Webchat is a system that allows users to communicate in real time using easily accessible web interfaces.“We’re harnessing this webchat technology because it helps us provide access to justice,” says Chris Boundy, a commission lawyer and manager who oversaw the creation of Legal Chat. “The law can be expensive, but Legal Chat is free to all South Australians.”Since its launch, more than 1,000 visitors have used the service, and two other commissions in Australia and attorneys from Malaysia are looking to replicate the model.In the United States, Pro Bono Net has been using webchat tools to improve access to legal aid since 2006. Begun as a pilot “rural access tool” in Montana and Iowa, the website … [Read more...] about Legal aid agencies are using webchat to answer queries
On April 3, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) jointly issued a report that sets forth a proposed strategy and recommendations for a risk-based regulatory framework for health information technology (health IT). The report, which was mandated by Congress in the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA), proposes that no new or additional regulations are needed to implement this regulatory framework. Instead, the three federal agencies propose a limited approach that “relies on ONC-coordinated activities and private sector capabilities.” In addition, the report proposes a mostly deregulatory approach for clinical decision support (CDS) technologies and states that the majority of these products would be considered to have “health management health IT functions,” which FDA does not intend to actively regulate. … [Read more...] about Health IT Update: Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) Health IT Report Issued by FDA, FCC, and ONC