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U.S. Education Department Awards $13.4 Million in Grants to Improve Services, Outcomes for Children with Disabilities
The U.S. Department of Education announced more than $13.4 million in grants to higher education institutions to fund quality personnel preparation programs to help improve services and results for students with disabilities. “We are committed to promoting equity and excellence at every level of the education system,” said Sue Swenson, acting assistant secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. “These grants will give special education teachers and leaders the skills to help America’s students with disabilities achieve their academic potential.” Of the $13.4 million, more than $4.1 million is being awarded under the Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities – Leadership Personnel program. The funds will go to higher education institutions to prepare doctoral students for faculty and administrator positions in special education, early intervention and related services.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/05/20/u-s-education-department-awards-13-4-million-in-grants-to-improve-services-outcomes-for-children-with-disabilities/, May 20, 2016

Beijing Launches Free App to Guide People with Vision Disabilities
The free app, ‘see4me.org’, has two channels – one for people who are blind or have low vision and one for volunteers, which allows people with vision disabilities to post requests, such as medical instructions or having mail read to them. When a request is posted, it will be received and answered by volunteers. The app also enables people who are blind or have low vision and volunteers to hold live video or audio chats, and volunteers can determine those who need directions.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/05/19/beijing-launches-new-free-app-to-guide-people-with-vision-disabilities/, May 20, 2016

Report: Smart Appliances and IoT: Trends and Impact for Persons with Disabilities Older consumers and Senior Consumers
We interviewed experts in the field of design and manufacturing and supported these conversations with desktop research to uncover what the impact of these new technologies might be. In particular we asked what the home in the near future might look like for people with disabilities. This report is part of a broader investigation into inclusive design and was carried out by Rica and funded by The Thomas Pocklington Trust.
From http://pocklington-trust.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Smart-Appliances.pdf, May 20, 2016

Global: Celebrating 10 Years of the CRPD
The 9th session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will be held from 14 to 16 June 2016 at UN Headquarters in New York. The overarching theme of this year’s session is “Implementing the 2030 development agenda for all persons with disabilities: Leaving no one behind”. The sub-themes are: eliminating poverty and inequality for all persons with disabilities; promoting the rights of persons with mental and intellectual disabilities; enhancing accessibility to information and technology and inclusive development; and celebrating the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the CRPD.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/03/24/9th-session-of-the-conference-of-states-parties-to-the-crpd/, May 19, 2016

IBM: Inclusive Design Can’t Be An Afterthought
Guest post from Sara Mansell, Design Research Lead for Hybrid Integration, IBM Cloud. “It was so refreshing to hear a person outside of the accessibility department talking about accessibility,” said Gerry Ellis, an Accessibility and Usability Consultant at Feel the BenefIT, after I presented on accessible design at G3ict‘s International Briefing on Financial Services Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities. The event, held in Paris in April, hosted an international mix of financial services, accessibility and technology experts, and the European Commission. As a Design Researcher and User Experience Practitioner, I know that accessible design is something that should be considered from concept to creation, not as an afterthought during the testing phase.
From http://ageandability.com/2016/05/12/inclusive-design-cant-be-an-afterthought/?platform=hootsuite, May 19, 2016

Dubai Aiming to Be One of World’s Most Disabled-Friendly Cities by 2020
Dubai is embarking on Dh10 million study that will steer it towards becoming one of the world’s most disabled-friendly cities by 2020. Schools, hospitals, parks and transport are among the targets for change in the research, which was launched on Wednesday. By the end of the year, four pilot projects to improve access will be chosen as models to be replicated across the city by 2020.
From http://www.thenational.ae/uae/health/20160413/dubai-aiming-to-be-one-of-worlds-most-disabled-friendly-cities-by-2020, May 19, 2016

Joint Statement from NFB and MPAA in Support of the Marrakesh VIP Treaty for Blind
National Federation of the Blind President Mark Riccobono and Motion Picture Association of America Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd today released the following joint statement calling for the quick ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (MVT): This treaty strikes a meaningful balance that came about through collective action by a wide range of parties and the WIPO countries themselves. We hope that the Senate will act swiftly and faithfully to implement this treaty.
From https://nfb.org/joint-statement-national-federation-blind-and-mpaa-support-marrakesh-treaty-facilitate-access, May 19, 2016

Microsoft: Inclusive Hiring for People with Disabilities
We are on a journey to leverage the strength of our diverse workforce through greater inclusion. Being inclusive is not something we simply do, but rather, it stands for who we are. In other words, where we are along our journey determines who we are as a company and gives meaning to the culture we are building at Microsoft. The diversity of our workforce and inclusion of talented people from different backgrounds is the fuel that keeps the engines of innovation and growth running.
From https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/diversity/inside-microsoft/cross-disability/hiring.aspx?platform=hootsuite, May 19, 2016

USA: DOJ Clicks “Refresh” on Proposed Title II Website Accessibility Regulations
Website owners and operators have been eagerly awaiting the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) expected pronouncement of disability access rules for websites under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). DOJ’s unexpected announcement further delays the much-anticipated rules regarding accessibility of government/public (and later private) websites, but indicates an open-mindedness to consider further public comment on the government’s direction and accessibility issues, and provides a new public comment period.
From http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/doj-clicks-refresh-on-proposed-title-ii-74539/, May 16, 2016

What’s Next for Smartphones?
It’s fair to say that smartphones have changed the way people live and work, but perhaps the most burning question the industry is pondering is what comes next? In many western markets smartphone sales have almost reached saturation point, forcing companies like Samsung and Apple to come up with new ways to tempt customers with their hardware, software and ecosystems. Some pundits claim sales of smartphones are following the same trajectory as tablets and PCs, in other words plateauing before a fall. Bob O’ Donnell, founder and chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research certainly seems to think so: “We are clearly entering a new era where growth of traditional devices has ended and you have to think differently”.
From http://www.mobileindustryreview.com/2016/05/whats-next-smartphones.html, May 16, 2016

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