India: Designer Usies Mumbai’s Cabs to Teach Sign Language to Commuters
For many people in Mumbai, the city’s iconic black and yellow taxis are an everyday means of transport. So in an attempt to spread awareness about India’s deaf community, designer Harshit Vishwakarma, in collaboration with Taxi Fabric, designed a taxi seat cover to introduce Indian Sign Language to Mumbai’s cab-riders. “After having experienced the prevailing gap between the deaf and the hearing communities in my college years, I wanted to intervene,” Vishwakarma said on Taxi Fabric’s blog.
From http://www.buzzfeed.com/andreborges/taxi-fabric?utm_term=.glbJkbr1v#.pezOAbPjo, October 05, 2015
The Potential of Mobile Communications to Assist in Major Disasters
Since the founding of Ericsson Response in 2000, hundreds of employees from more than 30 countries have volunteered, been trained, and deployed all over the world to support over 40 humanitarian relief efforts. Our first major mission was to Afghanistan, and the first team that was on the ground still reflect back on how the UN was not convinced yet about the role of ICT. Back in those days, we had only 750 million mobile subscribers globally, versus the more than 7 billion today.
From http://www.ericsson.com/thecompany/sustainability_corporateresponsibility/technology-for-good-blog/2015/09/18/celebrating-15-years-of-ericsson-response/, October 05, 2015
Apple Acquires U.K.-Based Speech Technology Startup VocalIQ
Apple has acquired a U.K.-based artificial intelligence company that is developing a more natural, human way for machines and people to communicate. VocalIQ has been working on new spoken interfaces that could be used in a variety of applications — from the car to wearables to Internet-connected devices in the home.
From http://recode.net/2015/10/02/apple-acquires-u-k-based-speech-technology-startup-vocaliq/, October 05, 2015
How One Paris Startup is Becoming an Uber for People With Disabilities
"It's very difficult to get around when you are in a wheelchair, because public transportation is not accessible," de Vilmorin tells Mashable. "You can't just grab a cab or rent a regular car." The constant lack of options inspired her to take matters into her own hands. She co-founded Wheeliz, a French car-sharing service that easily connects people with disabilities to owners of adapted cars.
From http://mashable.com/2015/10/04/wheeliz-car-sharing-disabilities/, October 05, 2015
Accessible India Campaign to Greatly Improve Access to Media
The Accessible India campaign is set to launch on December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, with a strong focus on improving access to information and communication technology in the region. Outlined in a release from the Indian Government’s Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) (link is external), the nation-wide campaign aims to provide an “inclusive society in which equal opportunities and access is provided for the growth and development of PwDs to lead productive, safe and dignified lives.”
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/research-policy/accessible-india-campaign-to-greatly-improve-access-to-media, October 01, 2015
United Nations: October 1 is International Day of Older Persons
The 2015 Theme is "Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment". Making cities inclusive of older persons means generating opportunities for their economic and social participation in accessible and safe environments. It also means providing affordable housing as well as the health and social services needed to support ageing in place.
From http://www.un.org/en/events/olderpersonsday/, October 01, 2015
USA: Breakthrough Technology Helps Students with Limited Vision to Communicate
Eye gaze technology allows Emily to control a computer using only her existing vision. “It’s for the kids who can’t use the touchscreen and can’t reliably access a switch,” said Wendy Buckley, a teacher in Perkins’ Deafblind Program. Emily has cortical visual impairment (CVI), which means she has some vision but her brain has difficulty processing visual information. Because of other cognitive impairments, she is non-verbal and does not use sign language. Her physical disabilities make it difficult for her to use her arms or sit up straight for long periods of time.
From http://www.perkins.org/stories/blog/power-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder, October 01, 2015
Ericsson CTO: ICT Essential to Global Development
Public-private partnerships will be a key component of meeting ICT-based sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations, Ericsson CTO Ulf Ewaldsson told RCR Wireless News in an exclusive interview. Ericsson, in conjunction with Columbia University’s Earth Institute, conducted joint research highlighting the importance of ICT in achieving U.N. goals by the target 2030 date. The 17 U.N. goals are broad ranging and include addressing poverty, gender equality, changes to the production and consumption of goods and sustainable urban development.
From http://www.rcrwireless.com/20150929/internet-of-things/ericsson-cto-ict-essential-to-global-development-tag17, October 01, 2015
Australia: ATAG 2.0 is Here and There's Lots to Celebrate
In 2011, Media Access Australia and the University of South Australia co-founded the Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility Compliance course. As part of the course, we believed at the time it was vital to ensure that the then-draft Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0 was included to support ICT professionals in the creation and use of authoring tools that can be used both by people with disabilities and produce accessible content. While the journey towards ATAG 2.0 was a long one, it’s now a recommendation. From my perspective, the timing of this new standard couldn’t be better and its relevance will be quite profound.
From http://www.accessiq.org/news/w3c-column/2015/10/atag-20-is-here-and-theres-lots-to-celebrate, October 01, 2015
Disaster Response Gets Boost From AI, Crowdsourced Data
It may indeed be possible to save the world with a click. Digital humanitarianism is a new grass-roots movement that employs advanced technologies (like robots), social media (and crowdsourcing), and cutting-edge computing (like artificial intelligence) to accelerate relief efforts during major disasters such as the recent Nepal earthquake. In essence, Digital humanitarianism uses crowd-sourcing, social media, aerial imagery, and disaster mapping to save lives and find actionable data in the flood of information following a disaster.
From http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/208180-crowdsourcing-data-for-humanitarian-disaster-response, September 29, 2015