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UK: Roman Baths Win Award for Creating, Improving Access for People with a Variety of Disabilities
The South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2011/12 have praised Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Roman Baths for the improved accessibility it offers all visitors. The Romans Baths received a “Highly Commended” in the Access for All award section in recognition of recent development work carried out by the Council to improve access in a wide range of ways and make the experience more inclusive for people with a wide range of different needs.
From http://www.accesstourismnz.org.nz/2012/03/uk-roman-baths-win-award-for-creating-improving-access-for-people-with-a-variety-of-disabilities/, March 28, 2012

Australia: Government Spending USD 1.39 Million to Improve Bus Stops Accessibility for People with Disabilities
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government is spending USD 1.39 million to upgrade 300 Canberra bus stops to improve access by people with disabilities. ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Katy Gallagher said the works would see seniors and people with disabilities benefit from upgrades to existing transport infrastructure. Already, work on 75 bus stops on major public transport corridors had been completed. Where possible, concrete waiting areas were being enlarged to three metres by five metres and connections to footpaths to help with wheelchair access were being improved. Tactile ground surface indicators would help blind people.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/03/13/government-spending-1-39m-to-improve-bus-stops-accessibility-for-people-with-disabilities/, March 27, 2012

Bahrain’s Ministry of Human Rights and Social Development Opens Training Session on UNCRPD
Minister of Human Rights and Social Development Dr. Fatima Mohammed Al-Balushi patronized the training session on the preparation of reports in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), within the program of the implementation of the national plan and strategy for the rights of persons with disabilities in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Bahrain and the Supreme Committee for Disabled affairs (SCDA) and the Gulf Disability Society (GDS).
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/03/26/bahrains-ministry-of-human-rights-and-social-development-opens-training-session-on-uncrpd/, March 26, 2012

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

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