USA: FCC's First Technology Transitions Policy Task Force Workshop in March 2013
The first FCC Technology Transitions Policy Task Force workshop will be held on Monday, March 18, 2013. The Task Force was formed to recommend policies that “empower and protect consumers, promote competition, and ensure network resiliency and reliability.” The workshop will focus on transitions to new technologies including: the advancement of network protocols; the implementation of fiber networks replacing copper; and the increased use of wireless in place of wireline services.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.org/content/newsroom/first-technology-transitions-policy-task-force-workshop-march, February 19, 2013
EU: Putting Accessibility at the Heart of e-Government
Public administrations across Europe are making the leap from government to e-government, but citizens will only reap the rewards of being able to access more services online if they are efficient, accessible and easy to use. A new user-centric web-based platform, developed by EU-funded researchers, promises to bring down the barriers to accessing e-government services.
From http://cordis.europa.eu/fetch?CALLER=OFFR_TM_EN&ACTION=D&RCN=9871, February 18, 2013
UNWTO and Italy Advance Accessibility in Tourism
Ensuring that tourism facilities and sites meet the needs of persons with disabilities, both as a key means of promoting tourism for all and as an engine for market growth, were the main focus of the International Conference on "Accessibility in tourism: an ethical value, a business opportunity" (14 February 2013, BIT Milan, Italy).
The event, organized by the Permanent Secretariat of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics hosted by the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers at the Office for Tourism Policies of the Department of Regional Affairs, Tourism and Sport in Rome, was held with the support of UNWTO and constitutes another significant step in the Organization’s endeavors in the area of accessibility. Participants included representatives from hotels, tourism companies, disabled persons organizations and students from three higher tourism education centres in Italy.
From http://www2.unwto.org/en/press-release/2013-02-18/unwto-and-italy-advance-accessibility-tourism, February 18, 2013
Video: Talking Cash Machine Campaign by RNIB
Blind and partially sighted people in America can plug their ear phones into one in every four cash machines and hear a voice that guides them through their transactions. In Britain, only one in a thousand can talk!
From http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgSqJq8jX6Q&feature=share&list=PL06E63C85F9143A61, February 15, 2013
Feature: How does Accessible Web Design Benefit all Web Users?
There are many examples in society of innovations that were originally intended for people with disabilities but that have provided access benefits to all people (curb cuts and automatic door openers are two of the most common). Accessible web content is a similar innovation. Web content designed in a way that is accessible to people with disabilities additionally benefits many non-disabled users and often benefits all users.
From http://eapd.weebly.com/2/post/2013/02/how-does-accessible-web-design-benefit-all-web-users.html, February 14, 2013
Canada: Deadline to Prepare Accessibility Policies Approaching
In January, I wrote about how large organizations in Ontario must prepare multi-year accessibility plans to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (by January 1, 2014). Well, those obligated private sector organizations (50+ employees) must also develop and implement relevant policies, practices and procedures under their general obligation and under each accessibility standard (Information and Communication, Employment, Transportation and Built Environment for public spaces) under the Integrated Accessibility Regulation by January 1, 2014 as well, and that’s going to arrive sooner than you think.
From http://blog.firstreference.com/2013/02/13/deadline-to-prepare-accessibility-policies-approaching/#axzz2KrLb8tZW, February 14, 2013
UNICEF: Transforming the Lives of Children with Disabilities through Inclusive Education
Children with disabilities are among the most vulnerable and excluded in the world. Their rights are often violated. Hidden at home or placed in special institutions, they often miss out on education. Many grow up apart from their families. If they stay at home, parents fear their children will be mocked and taunted because of the stigma associated with having a disability. They are often not seen in public, nor do they get a chance to be actively involved in their communities.
From http://www.unicef.org/protection/57929_67845.html, February 14, 2013
Mobile Accessibility Landscape Update
Accessible mobile devices increase the ability of people with disabilities to communicate, shop, learn, integrate, and interact with society. Common mobile devices can replace expensive specialized devices that many people with disabilities rely on such as augmentative and alternative communication devices, way finding, and reading.
From https://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/2013/02/11/mobile-accessibility-landscape-update/, February 13, 2013
mHealth: Policy Brief on how Mobile Phones can help Improve Health Education in India
A policy briefing focusing on how the mobile phone offers important opportunities for saving lives, drawing on BBC Media Action's direct experience in using phones to improve health education in one of the poorest states of India.
From http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaaction/publicationsandpress/policy_mhealth.html, February 13, 2013
Google Computer Science Scholarships for Students with Disabilities
“Access to knowledge is our thing.” That’s what Google says about its scholarship for students with disabilities. The deadline to submit an application in Monday, February 18. Recipients of the 2013 Google Lime Scholarship will each receive a scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year. Winners are invited to the Google Scholars’ Retreat at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California. Another unique aspect of this scholarship is that all winning candidates will be considered for software engineering internship opportunities with Google. Recipients of the scholarship will receive US$10,000 for those studying in the US and C$5,000 for those studying in Canada (based on tuition costs).
From http://www.eastersealstech.com/2013/02/12/google-computer-science-scholarships-for-students-with-disabilities/, February 13, 2013