10 Tips for Creating Accessible Content for Your Website

first_imgAt last month’s 3PlayMedia webinar on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Janet Sylvia, Web Accessibility Group Leader at the University of Georgia, gave an introduction to web accessibility and offered 10 tips for creating accessible web content. Here are my notes from her presentation.Use page titles, headings, and semantic structure on your pages. Use the title tag to provide a descriptive title for the page. All web web pages need an h1 which should be similar to the title tag.Sylvia recommends using the Web Accessibility Toolbar (Internet Explorer only) to evaluate page structure, headings, and table code. You can also use the Firefox Web Developer add-on or WAVE Evaluation Toolbar extension on Chrome.Use descriptive link text. Text used in links should make sense out of context. Avoid “Click here” and “Read more.”Include ALT text for non-text content. Alternative text provides a clear concise description that conveys function, meaning or purpose of the image.Create accessible documents. Ensure your PDF, Word, and Excel documents are accessible.Create accessible multimedia. For audio, include a text transcript. For video, include video description.For video with audio, include captions, text transcript, and a video description. Don’t auto-play video. Let the user be in control of sound.Auto-playing when a page loads can be annoying for all users, especially for screen reader users who navigate by listening. Ensure JavaScript is device-independent. Use an event handler that works with both the mouse and the keyboard.If using device dependent event handlers, test across browsers and assistive technologies (see WebAIM Accessible JavaScript article for more info. Ensure keyboard accessibility. Often overlooked, keyboard accessibility is easy to test.Unplug your mouse, and user your Tab and Enter keys to navigate a page. Make sure your site has sufficient color contrast. Have a high contrast color scheme between foreground and background colors.Tools to check color contrast include Colour Contrast Check by Jonathan Snook, Color Contrast Analyzer by The Paciello Group, and my favorite way to check colors, Check My Colours.Add an accessibility statement and contact information. Include information on whether your site complies with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and conforms to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.Include contact information (email and phone number) as well as details on when requests will be answered (within 24 hours or one business day). If you can design a website, you can design an accessible one.I liked the webinar because it focused on basic steps everyone involved with web content could follow. When we talk about making content accessible on the web, we can get too detail-oriented. Focusing on the basics will encourage people to build accessibility into the projects from the beginning.Do you have any tips to share on making web content accessible? Share your suggestions in the comments. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…Related10 Ways to Improve Accessibility on Websites and Social MediaWhen I chatted about accessibility with other attendees at WordCamp Denver 2018 this weekend, I shared some of my tips and blog posts on how they could improve accessibility on their websites. After one conversation, they thanked me for the recommendations, and asked if I had a summary post that…In “Accessibility”WordCamp Columbus: Accessibility RoundtableAt our WordCamp Columbus 2014 session today, my friend Jacki Keys and I will be talking about web accessibility, simple steps you can take to improve accessibility on your WordPress website, and some tools for testing your website’s accessibility. Here’s a few of the things we’ll discuss: The web is…In “Accessibility”Takeaways from Online WordPress Accessibility WorkshopAt this month’s full-day Online WordPress Accessibility Workshop hosted by Knowbility, Robert Jolly shared his experience and knowledge as he discussed the current status of WordPress accessibility and explained the accessibility features built-in to the popular content management system. In addition, Jolly offered practical advice and tips to content writers,…In “Accessibility”last_img read more

Men, united, can help stop abuse

first_img28 November 2007As South Africans are being called on to help stop violence against women and children in the country, two local organisations are striving to nurture a stronger and wiser generation of South African men.This year’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign was launched on Sunday, with several men’s marches taking place in cities throughout the country.The campaign challenges South African men to declare a truce on violence against women and children – and, ultimately, to make it a permanent one.Daniel Leshike and Dumisani Rebombo are already doing this. They are among a number of men who are leading men in the fight against gender violence on a daily basis.Men as PartnersAt the age of 15, Rebombo raped a girl along with a friend. “I did it as an act of masculinity,” admits the man who is now 46 years old. He married at a young age and went on to use religion to maintain superiority over his wife.“I insisted that she had to listen to everything I said because that was what God wanted,” he says.Rebombo is now completely reformed, a change which he attributes to education. As the EngenderHealth Men as Partners South African programme manager, he has worked with thousands of men from around the country over the past seven years.Addressing Parliament this month, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka called on South African men to “take ownership” of the issue of violence perpetrated against women.The only way there can be a change in the behaviour of men in the country, Mlambo-Ngcuka said, is to increase their level of understanding of the issues around abuse against women and children.This is exactly what Rebombo does as he counsels men and facilitates workshops where men, young and old, are encouraged to change abusive social patterns to help reduce the abuse, rape and murder of women and children in their communities.“I started volunteering when I worked for Rand Water, and after leaving the company I decided to get more involved,” says Rebombo.Helping men to adaptDaniel Leshike (29), co-ordinator of the Agisanang Domestic Abuse Prevention and Training (Adapt) men’s programme, dedicated his social work career to empowering men in Alexandra, a township in Johannesburg, after training as a counsellor following his university years.Adapt facilitates a forum with a membership of around 26 men, aged from 16 upwards, who host a number of discussion groups in the community aimed at raising awareness of issues surrounding abuse, gender stereotypes and equality.“Our main objectives are to include men as part of the solution to gender-based violence and to empower men to take control of their lives,” says Leshike.Adapt trains forum members in trauma counselling and gender sensitivity and runs several parallel programmes with a youth division in order to promote good fathering in the Alexandra community.In a novel bid to break the silence surrounding abuse, Adapt has a formed a relationship with the Alexandra Liquor Traders Association, and forum members visit taverns regularly, creating impromptu discussions with patrons on topics related to gender violence.“Some men tell us that it is their culture to be in control or abuse a woman because ‘a woman is a woman’,” says Leshike. “But we tell them that in African culture a woman is a flower.”Good men – who remain silentWith over 7 000 men seeking assistance from his organisation annually, Rebombo believes his work is contributing to the eradication of gender violence in the country.He says there are many good men out there – “I believe, and research says so” – but that most of these men remain silent when abuse takes place.Leshike agrees, saying that there are men who would make good role models but they need to stand up and be heard in order to make a difference in the country.Both men agree that many challenges exist in South Africa regarding the education of men in the eradication of gender-based violence. Among these challenges are a lack of sufficient funding, the abundance of stereotypes, and misinterpretation of religion and culture.Most challenging of all in the battle being fought by counsellors such as these, however, is the reluctance of men to work with men – a battle that still needs to be won.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

EarthCam Live Streaming Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Events Guide#news#web Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img rick turoczy 1 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market In the United States, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – now in its 82nd year – is a traditional Thanksgiving morning activity. And while everybody loves a parade, few people love the so-called “witty repartee” of the anchors hosting the parade coverage. If only there were some way to see all of the inflated commercial icons and marching bands without having to suffer through commentary.Thankfully (pun intended), Webware is reporting that EarthCam may have the answer. Tomorrow, beginning around 9:30 AM Eastern time (GMT -5:00), the company will be streaming the Macy’s parade from seven live cams. Only one of those cameras will have audio – and it doesn’t appear that there will be any hosts to detract from your experience.This also provides an interesting opportunity for our non-US-based readers to get a glimpse into some of the strange goings-on of their American counterparts. No doubt, it will provide more insight into the US culture than we care to divulge.The video is Windows Media based, so if you’re on another platform, you’ll need to have the appropriate plugins installed prior to viewing. And another thing, this appears to be traditional traffic cam technology, so take the “streaming” description with a grain of salt. It gets pretty choppy on some of the views. To get an idea of what’s in store, you can view previous years’ parades, like this one from last year. To tune in, visit EarthWeb’s Thanksgiving 2008.(Thanks to the_wb for allowing us to use the balloon image under Creative Commons.)last_img read more

Twitter SEO: Ninja tricks for reputation repair

first_imgTwitter is one of my top slam-dunk assets for trying to displace negative content in search results. If your reputation has been harmed by some negative content that ranks when your name is searched, a strong Twitter account could be one of your primary resources for pushing the bad stuff lower on Google and Bing. Unfortunately, many individuals, small businesses and reputation agencies do a poor job of optimizing Twitter profiles to enable this to happen. Read on for my ninja-level tricks for Twitter SEO!When searching for the names of individuals and businesses in search engines, Twitter accounts can appear on page one of Google and Bing if they have been properly optimized. For example, a search for Coca-Cola shows the brand’s main Twitter account on page one in the second position, just below the corporation’s listing for their official website.In another example from Bing, if you search for Pepsi, you’ll find the official Twitter account of the brand appearing on page one for its name searches.It’s probably borderline unremarkable to report that a search for “Trump” in either Google or Bing brings up President Trump’s Twitter account listing within the top two or three positions in the search results. But if you search on Google for other big names, you will often find that their Twitter accounts are ranking high as well.In the example below, featuring the CEO of Tesla cars, Elon Musk, Google has evaluated his tweets to be so salient for his name search that a carousel of them are displayed in the search results, directly below his Twitter account listing. Twitter SEO: Ninja tricks for reputation repairYou are here: HomeDigital MarketingTwitter SEO: Ninja tricks for reputation repair Posted on 9th August 2017Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+sharecenter_img Of course, these are astronomically popular Twitter accounts for celebrity individuals and strong brands with sophisticated social media management. However, even lesser-known names can achieve placement on page one in search engines. And, if you’re on page one, you then have a good chance of using your Twitter account to displace anything negative about you on the first page.But this can’t happen if the Twitter account is not properly optimized. So, I’ll launch straight into some ninja tricks for maximizing the ranking power of your Twitter profile.Optimize your Twitter handle!I’d count this as one of the two most influential and critical elements for your Twitter optimization effort. Your handle, also known as your username, is incorporated by Twitter into your profile URLs and page titles. It also can appear numerous times in the visible text of the profile, and in links and titles pointing from elsewhere to your page.To best optimize the handle for rankings of your name, you need to craft the handle to be spelled as closely as possible to the version of your name that people type in when searching for you. People who don’t understand search engines get this wrong all the time. Here are some tips on crafting good names:Again, imitate the version of your name that people use to search for you. (People often leave off words like “Inc.” and “Company” when searching.) The ideal naming convention is to spell out your name, leaving out any spaces. The closer you match your spelling, the more search engines are likely to evaluate the handle to be highly relevant for your searches (e.g., @chrissmith).If your ideal name configuration is unavailable, which is more likely the more common your name is, then you will have to craft a variation on it. Try to choose an abbreviation that’s as close to the original name as possible. The higher the degree of similarity, the more relevant the search engines will consider the name compared with your actual name. Craft a name that may look like yours if read rapidly, and then test it by using that name to search in Google. If Google automatically associates the alternate version with your website and other online identity materials, then chances are good that you’re on the right track.If your name is longer than the 15 characters allotted by Twitter — which happens ALL the time — you will obviously have to abbreviate it. Again, craft this abbreviated name carefully and test it in Google. For instance, if I tried to use my full name without spaces, it would be: @chrissilversmith. At 16 characters, it’s one character too long to be accepted by Twitter. Instead, I might choose to use @chrissilversmth or @chrissilvrsmith.People love to generate “cute” Twitter handles that may not even closely resemble their actual names, and they can still rank in search (if other factors and the popularity of the profile are sufficient). You can see my Twitter handle of “Si1very” for an example of this — by the time I joined Twitter, it was difficult to get precise matches for common combos of names like “Chris,” “Silver” and “Smith.” My Twitter profile is otherwise fairly well-optimized, so I can get away with this. But if you’re working hard to get your profile to rank well in Google, DO NOT USE CUTE TWITTER HANDLES that don’t closely match your name!Do not add emojis to your username. It may look fun, but the added characters could cause your name to appear to be a less relevant keyword match when people search for you online. If you want to experiment with this later on, after you’ve solved your reputation issues, go for it. But, it could otherwise be sand-bagging your efforts.It’s tempting to use underscores for multi-word names to take the place of spaces (e.g., @chris_silver). Avoid doing this because Google does not treat the underscore as a “white space” character like spaces, periods, dashes and so on. It’s unfortunate that Twitter does not allow one to use dashes. In rare cases where it may be the best option available, you may use the underscore, but be aware that it only provides a fuzzy match relevancy that can be very weak — so, you need to focus on shoring up all other factors to ensure the page ranks well for your name searches.Optimize your full nameIn addition to the Username field, Twitter provides a “Full Name” field (some people refer to it as a “headline”). The Full Name appears prominently at the top of your profile below your profile avatar pic, and also appears with your avatar icon on all of your tweets.The Full Name is quite important for a few reasons, including: 1) the name becomes incorporated into the profile page’s Title text, along with the username; 2) it’s displayed in larger text near the top of the page within an headline tag; and 3) it appears with all of your tweets, and this text is anchor text everywhere your tweets may appear, linking back directly to your profile page.So, the Full Name helps reinforce for search engines what your name is, and therefore what keyword sequence the page should be considered most relevant for. As with the Username field, one has limited characters to use, albeit it’s longer than the usernames, being 20 characters long, maximum.Make the Full Name imitate your actual name that people search on as closely as possible — hopefully the 20 characters are sufficient length to hold your full name. If not, you’ll need to abbreviate it in some way.Leave out nonessential words, and experiment by searching on the name variations to see how Google may evaluate the sequence — does Google already associate the name you craft with your existing online identify materials? If so, that’s a very good sign.Optimize the ‘Bio’ description fieldThis description field is yet another area for adding some keywords related to you. If your name is so long as to not be included in the Username and Full Name fields without abbreviating, definitely reiterate the full name in the Bio, at the beginning of the text field. Otherwise, the bio can allow you to include other combination keywords that can be valuable to your online identity and representation in the search results.The field should certainly describe succinctly who and what you are. But you could also include the name and Twitter handle of your company, if you’re an individual, or the name of the city where you’re located if you’re a local company. Any other keywords that may be mentioned in combination with your name in searches could also be included here. (Very oddly, I note that Twitter does not use the Meta Description tag on its profile pages — something that seems like a glaring missed opportunity from a search optimization perspective. If they used it, the bio text would seem a natural fit for all or a portion of that Meta Description. Hmph!)Fill in the Link URL and Location fieldsThese should be no-brainers, but they apparently aren’t, since some individuals and even businesses, will leave these blank. Filling in your Link field with your website URL can strengthen its rankings in search. Please be sure to use the proper, canonical URL for this.[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]From our sponsors: Twitter SEO: Ninja tricks for reputation repair Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019last_img read more

11 days ago​Vlatko Andonovski poised to become new coach of US women’s team

first_img​Vlatko Andonovski poised to become new coach of US women’s teamby Ian Ferris11 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveVlatko Andonovski is set to become the new head coach of the United States women’s football team.The 43-year-old is currently in charge of National Women’s Soccer League side Reign FC in Seattle.Previous head coach Jill Ellis took charge of her final game on 6 October, having won two World Cups with the US. TagsMLS NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your saylast_img

Nisshin Shipping In for Up to Seven Panamaxes

first_imgzoom Japanese shipping company Nisshin Shipping has been linked to an order for up to seven 82,000 DWT bulkers at China’s Jiangsu Hantong Ship Heavy Industries.The fleet modernization deal, dated last week, comprises five firm orders plus two options, according to the data provided by VesselsValue.The firm Panamax bulkers, valued at USD 24 million a piece, are scheduled for delivery in 2018, while the optional units would be handed over in 2019.Including the latest order, the company has 16 newbuilds on order: five chemical tankers at compatriot Usuki Zosensho, four LR1 tankers at Korea’s Sungdong Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, and two more bulkers at China’s Jiangsu Hantong and Jiangmen Nanyang, respectively.Out of the above total, six ships are to join Nisshin’s fleet by the end of this year.As World Maritime News reported earlier, the company was busy over the recent period shedding some of its second-hand tonnage, including five Panamax bulkers since December 2016.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

GAVE LINDO APPOINTED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OTT PROGRAMMING FOR CBC

first_img“Jenna’s strong creative and strategic instincts will be essential as we work to expand our linear and streaming slates with a wealth of distinct Canadian programming, as well as a curated selection of best-in-class content from around the world,” added Catto.Prior to rejoining CBC in December 2017, Lindo served as Executive Director of the Reelworld Film Festival and Foundation, where he was responsible for the leadership, operations and execution of mandate for all of the festival and foundation’s programs, partnerships and initiatives. In addition to evolving the festival’s programming vision to include Virtual Reality, gaming, and television content, he created Canada’s leading social issue content summit, Media Impact Conference, and formed partnerships with organizations such as AJ+, Right to Play and RYOT.From 2009–2015, Gave worked with CBC’s Business and Rights team, and was named deputy director in 2013. He also chaired the CBC/Radio-Canada Inclusion and Diversity Advisory Committee between 2011–2015. Before CBC, Lindo was an associate with Fasken Martineau, LLP, where he practiced corporate dispute resolution with a focus on information technology and media.Lindo currently serves on the boards of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, Laidlaw Foundation, the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, the University of Toronto’s Public Good Initiative, SMI Foundation, and Canada’s Top 10. He is also a strategic advisor to the Centre for Social Innovation’s Solutions Media Accelerator, NOW Magazine, and Ryerson University’s SocialVenture Zone.Bourdeau joined CBC in 2014 as Senior Director, Acquisitions. Prior to that, she served as Vice President of Distribution for Canada’s Proper Rights. She was previously co-president at BuzzTaxi Communications, a distributor she co-founded in 1999 with Natalie Vinet, which was acquired in 2013 by Proper.CBC/RADIO-CANADACBC/Radio-Canada is Canada’s national public broadcaster. Through our mandate to inform, enlighten and entertain, we play a central role in strengthening Canadian culture. As Canada’s trusted news source, we offer a uniquely Canadian perspective on news, current affairs and world affairs. Our distinctively homegrown entertainment programming draws audiences from across the country. Deeply rooted in communities, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages. We are leading the transformation to meet the needs of Canadians in a digital world. CBC today announced that Gave Lindo has been appointed Executive Director, OTT Programming. Reporting to Sally Catto, General Manager, Programming, CBC, Lindo will lead and evolve OTT content strategies and partner with all internal teams to ensure the continued growth and expansion of CBC’s over-the-top streaming service, including the CBC TV streaming app for iOs and Android and cbc.ca/watch. Lindo will also oversee CBC’s slate of original digital content for all platforms.“Gave will bring a wealth of experience to this role, both from his time spent outside of CBC and from his most recent role as Senior Director and Chief of Staff, Programming. His strong leadership and strategic abilities will be invaluable to CBC as we continue to evolve our streaming strategies in response to audience and market trends,” said Catto.To ensure the highest quality volume of content for CBC’s growing streaming library, Jenna Bourdeau has made the decision to focus exclusively on overseeing the acquisition of Canadian and international programming for all CBC linear and streaming platforms as Senior Director, Acquisitions, reporting to Catto and collaborating with Lindo on OTT strategies. Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitterlast_img read more

Pedro Cosa Turner Europe Middle East and Africa

first_imgPedro CosaTurner Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has appointed Channel 4 executive Pedro Cosa to fill a newly created analytics role.Cosa is set to join in September as vice president of insights and analytics, reporting to Turner EMEA president, Giorgio Stock.He will join from UK broadcaster Channel 4, where he has worked as deputy head of viewer insights and analytics since 2012, and will help to evolve Turner into a “more consumer-centric, data-driven media company”.Commenting on the hire, Stock said the new role recognises Turner’s aim of “putting the consumer at the heart of every decision we make”.“Understanding our audiences more deeply helps us give them even more personalised and engaging user experiences.”Cosa will manage the implementation of cross-platform business intelligence to support Turner’s expansion of kids and other branded digital assets. He will also collaborate with international CNN data insights to maximise all insights across all of Turner’s brands and consumers.Prior to joining Channel 4 in 2012, Cosa spent nine years at Vodafone, most recently as global principal of consumer insights and planning.last_img read more

For many breast cancer patients one of the most d

first_imgFor many breast cancer patients, one of the most difficult treatment decisions is whether or not to go through chemotherapy.Now, the choice is getting easier for some patients. A study published Sunday finds that many women with early-stage invasive breast cancer could safely forgo chemotherapy, if they score in the midrange or lower for risk that their cancer will recur, as measured by a commonly used genomic testThe study, published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine, finds that patients who fall in the intermediate risk zone do as well with hormone therapy alone as with chemo plus hormone therapy after surgery. “[The findings] are both important and significant, and also practice-changing,” says, Dr. José Baselga, a medical oncologist and physician in chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, who was not involved with this research. “Basically, it’s going to spare a lot of unnecessary chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer.”The genomic test for this type of breast cancer, called Oncotype DX, measures the expression of 21 genes in tumor tissue removed at the time of surgery and predicts risk of recurrence on a scale of 0 to 100.Oncotype DX first hit the market in 2004. Earlier research found that a patient with a high-risk case, or score of 26-100, would benefit from chemotherapy, while a patient at the lower end with a score of 10 and under would not. This left a lot of women, an estimated 65,000 in the U.S. each year, in a gray zone, unsure if they would benefit from chemo.The new study, called TAILORx, is a large, randomized trial involving thousands of patients. It found that for patients in the middle, with scores between 11 and 25, there is a similar rate of cancer-free survival for those who had chemo combined with hormone therapy, and those who had hormone therapy alone, after nine years. Women younger than 50 still saw some benefit from chemotherapy, especially with scores between 21-25.This means in practice doctors can tell 70 percent of these patients they don’t need to agonize over whether to get chemo, says study co-author Dr. Kathy Albain, a hematology and oncology professor at Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois. “Our uncertainty is over,” she says.In the trial, researchers gene tested more than 10,000 patients across six countries with the most common form of early breast cancer, hormone-receptor positive, HER-2 negative breast cancer that hadn’t spread to the lymph nodes. Nearly 7,000 patients’ scores fell into the middle range, between 11 and 25.This researchers split the middle-scoring group into two randomized subgroups: one treated solely with estrogen-blocking hormone therapy, and one with chemo combined with hormone therapy. The researchers tracked the patients’ health outcomes over nine years.In the U.S., the most recent data shows around 135,000 new cases yearly of the specific breast cancer studied, says Dr. Joseph Sparano, an oncologist at Montefiore Medical Center, a professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the lead author of the study. Twenty-five percent of those patients won’t qualify for chemotherapy because of age or medical problems.Out of the 100,000 or so patients who could take the gene test to help make a decision about chemotherapy, he says at least two-thirds fall into the middle range that can benefit from the study findings.”This information really addresses a major unmet medical need to have a very high level of evidence to make potentially life-saving decisions,” Sparano says. “This has very important public health implications. It helps direct patients to the right therapy, so that we’re treating the right people with the right therapy at the right time.”This research, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, comes at a time when rates of chemotherapy for breast cancer are already decreasing. A 2017 study showed that for breast cancer that hasn’t spread to the lymph nodes, the rate of chemotherapy has dropped from around 27 percent in 2013 to 14 percent in 2015.This decline likely came about thanks to earlier research into gene testing, showing that chemo wasn’t helpful for low-risk patients and of marginal benefits for others, says Baselga.All the same, he says, the message of the new study isn’t that chemotherapy is irrelevant.”Chemotherapy has saved a tremendous amount of lives, and will continue to do so,” Baselga says. “But we need to be precise on when to use it and who to recommend it to. The era of one- size-fits-all is basically coming to an end, which is great news.”These results provide assurance that getting gene tested is a valuable first step for patients with this type of breast cancer.Knowing a patient’s recurrence risk can spare them from enduring chemotherapy, but also can direct them towards it if they discover that they are at a higher risk, Sparano says.The Oncotype DX test costs $4,600 and is typically reimbursed by insurance, according to Dr. Steven Shak, chief medical officer of Genomic Health, the maker of Oncotype DX. Currently only about 60 percent of U.S. patients who could potentially benefit from it are taking the gene test, he says.These gene tests are only applicable to patients with early-stage invasive breast cancer, Loyola’s Albain says. Chemotherapy could still be on the table for people who fall outside of this group.Albain is excited to share the study results with her clients in her practice. One of them, a 59-year-old woman came to her office recently with a recurrence score of 17, and was seriously considering chemotherapy.”My first clinic when I get back, she’s on my schedule and it’s going to be fun showing her this,” she says.Women can have the tendency to turn towards chemo, even if the results have a relatively small benefit, Albain says. A little boost can outweigh the risks of the treatment for these patients. “Now, we’re not going to have to have that long discussion,” she says.Looking ahead, Sparano hopes to see if this research could be applied to patients whose cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes, which is prognostic for a higher rate of recurrence. Further research could mean sparing some higher-risk patients from chemotherapy.Sara Kiley Watson is NPR’s Science Desk intern. Her Twitter handle is @SaraKileyWatson. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

A disabled activist who has campaigned to save the

first_imgA disabled activist who has campaigned to save the Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) is celebrating after the Welsh Labour annual conference voted to back his campaign.Nathan Lee Davies has led a campaign to force the Labour-run Welsh government to reverse its decision to scrap the grant, which was introduced to support disabled people with high support needs in Wales to live independently after the UK government closed the Independent Living Fund in 2015.An estimated 1,300 people in Wales receive support through the WILG scheme.And this week, at their annual conference, members of Welsh Labour voted in favour of a motion that called on their government to maintain WILG, at least until the next Welsh assembly elections in 2021.Before the vote, Davies had also secured support from Labour’s UK leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who posed for a picture holding one of the campaign’s “WHERE THERE’S A W.I.L.G. THERE’S A WAY” tee-shirts (pictured).After the vote, Davies posted a blog in which he described his “emotional day” following a victory he said was “key for disabled rights across Wales and throughout the UK”.He added: “We should all rejoice while remembering the fight is far from over as we need to ensure Welsh Labour listen to the will of their members.”Davies has previously described his terror at the prospect of his cash-strapped local authority taking over full responsibility for providing his care package, having been told that without WILG his own care package would be reduced from 86.5 hours to just 31 hours a week.He has described the campaign as a “life or death” fight.He told Disability News Service yesterday (Wednesday) that the passing of the motion was “obviously the high point of our ever-growing campaign” but that it “does not mean that we have succeeded in securing WILG”.He said: “We must continue with our campaign and ensure the Welsh government listen and act upon the wishes of their members.“One thing is for sure, we won’t rest until we preserve and improve the Welsh Independent Living Grant.”He thanked the cross-party and union support for his campaign – including the “wonderfully supportive” Clwyd constituency Labour party, which proposed the motion – and the other recipients of WILG.He particularly praised members of Welsh Labour Grassroots – which represents the Momentum movement in Wales – who he said had “worked tirelessly to ensure independent living remains an option for those with high care and support needs”.Davies is hoping that the Welsh government – which will have a new first minister in the autumn after Carwyn Jones announced that he would be standing down – will now reverse its decision to scrap WILG.A spokeswoman for Welsh Labour said: “As with all motions passed at conference, this will now be considered by Welsh Labour’s policy process ahead of the next assembly elections.”The Welsh government announced in 2016 that, after a two-year transition period, it would transfer all the £27 million-a-year provided by the UK government to support former ILF-users in Wales directly to councils.It decided there would be no continuation of the interim WILG scheme it had been running as a stopgap since the Department for Work and Pensions closed ILF in June 2015, and would not set up a new Welsh ILF, even though such a scheme had been set up in Scotland.All the £27 million-a-year funding is set to be transferred to Welsh local authorities this year, and they will be solely responsible for meeting the support needs of all former ILF-recipients by 31 March 2019.The Welsh government’s new Social Services and Wellbeing Act is supposed to provide new rights for people to access a re-assessment of their support at any time, with local authorities under new legal duties to support independent living.It believes that this is a more progressive system than the one operating in England.But Davies has said previously that the decision to transfer the £27 million to councils and close WILG meant the Welsh government had “sold disabled people down the river” and was “washing their hands of all responsibility for social care to former ILF recipients and transferring the pressure onto local authorities”.Picture by Delyth Lloyd Williamslast_img read more