TechNews: Future Interaction - Voice Control
The computer keyboard and TV remote control may be the ways we interact with our technology today, but new ideas are appearing all the time. In the fourth of a series of reports for BBC Future and Click, Ian Hardy looks at how voice control is appearing everywhere from your car and TV to your phone and computer.
From http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120323-future-interaction-voice-control, March 23, 2012
USA: New Disability Access Rules Take Effect Today
Dual laws passed in 2010, both federally and in California, set out stricter regulations designed to help disabled people be as mobile as anyone else. Any place that is open to the public at least once a year is subject to the new laws.
From http://www.pattersonirrigator.com/view/full_story/17959716/article-New-disability-access-rules-take-effect-today?instance=lead_story_left_column, March 22, 2012
Ghana to Organize ICT Training for Persons with Disabilities
The Chief Executive of Birim North District in Ghana Mavis Ama Frimpong has revealed that the Assembly would be organizing an Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) training for persons with disabilities. She said the training was in connection with Vice President John Dramani Mahama’s initiative to support persons with disabilities to have knowledge in ICT to enhance their knowledge. She said the assembly would also organize a non-formal education program in sign language for deaf people without any formal education to be able help to communicate with others and would work with telecom operators to better assist those in need of assistance.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/03/07/ghana-to-organize-ict-training-for-persons-with-disabilities/, March 22, 2012
Canada: Ontario Preparing to Meet IT Accessibility Deadline
At a recent seminar, public servants were told that making the province’s electronic material accessible to people with disabilities is more than an obligation. Since the invention of the personal computer people have marveled at the way information technology can open the world, especially when linked to the Internet. But for people with physical disabilities, IT can be a tease, for if you can’t work a keyboard or see a screen, what good is it?
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/03/09/ontario-preparing-to-meet-it-accessibility-deadline/, March 22, 2012
United Nations Commemorates World Down Syndrome Day
Today marks the first commemoration of World Down Syndrome Day. I congratulate the global partnership of governments, activists, families, professionals and others that worked so tirelessly and passionately to bring this Day into existence. For too long, persons with Down syndrome, including children, have been left on the margins of society. In many countries, they continue to face stigma and discrimination as well as legal, attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their participation in their communities.
From http://www.un.org/en/events/downsyndromeday/2012/sgmessage.shtml, March 21, 2012
USA: University of Delaware Establishes Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities
The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities has been established at the University of Delaware to support the next generation of leaders. We are working in partnership with the major national developmental disability organizations to offer a variety of short-term, intensive leadership development experiences, an on-line certificate program, undergraduate- and graduate-level campus based programs, distance learning opportunities, mentoring opportunities, a resource-rich website as well as research and technical assistance. Learn more about the programs and activities of the National Leadership Consortium.
From http://www.nlcdd.org/, March 21, 2012
USA: Department of Education Announces New Effort to Strengthen Accountability for Students with Disabilities
The Department of Education announced new steps to help close the achievement gap for students with disabilities by moving away from a one-size-fits-all, compliance-focused approach to a more balanced system that looks at how well students are being educated in addition to continued efforts to protect their rights. While the Department has effectively ensured access to educational resources for students with disabilities, not enough attention has been paid to educational outcomes, which have not sufficiently improved. This is partly due to the fact that federal policy has focused more on procedural requirements and not enough on critical indicators like increasing academic performance or graduation rates for students with disabilities.
From http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/department-announces-new-effort-strengthen-accountability-students-disabilities, March 21, 2012
India: Government to Set Up Online Braille Library
Using technology to empower the physically challenged, government has set up an Online Braille Library to make books and reading material in digital format accessible to visually impaired persons.
From http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-03-15/education/31196226_1_nivh-empowerment-minister-mukul-wasnik-books, March 19, 2012
TechNews: iPads Changing the Way Children Learn Today
There are thousands of videos on Youtube today that illustrate the bewildering intuition that young children seem to display when using iPads. They multitask between apps and interact with them in a way that leaves people stunned that infantile companions can get from app A to app B faster than adults can.
From http://betakit.com/2012/03/17/ipads-changing-the-way-children-learn-today, March 19, 2012
TechNews: Sony Unveils Touchless Smartphone Display
A smartphone that allows users to browse the web by hovering a finger above links they would normally touch has been unveiled by the Japanese electronics giant Sony. The firm describes the technology as a "floating touch" user-interface.
From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17367993, March 15, 2012