Microsoft Disability Answer Desk Wins 2015 Washington Access Fund Award
Microsoft’s Disability Answer Desk provides product and accessibility support to people with disabilities. Recently they expanded their services, now offering American Sign Language (ASL) technical support for deaf customers whose preferred method of communication is ASL. Microsoft's Disability Answer Desk won in the Large Business Best Practices Award category.
From http://washingtonaccessfund.org/announcing-the-2015-award-winners/, November 13, 2015
Canada: Ontario Launches Workplace Accessibility Compliance Audits
Accessible Media Inc (AMI) interviews a Government spokesperson and Geof Collis regarding the recent Government Audit initiative. Insights is a current affairs program covering science, health, politics and society with a focus on the issues and ideas affecting Canadians with disabilities. Hosted by Jason Vermes, episodes feature a blend of interviews and columns from culture commentator Dr. Jeff Preston, journalist Michelle McQuigge and political analysts Bob Allison and Craig Oliver.
From http://www.accessibilitynews.ca/insights-ontario-launches-workplace-accessibility-compliance-audits/, November 13, 2015
USA: UGA to Launch Inclusive, Post-Secondary Education Program in 2017
Students with intellectual or developmental disabilities will soon be able to enjoy the full University of Georgia experience with the launch of a new inclusive post-secondary education program, Destination Dawgs, beginning in spring 2017. The program, housed within the College of Family and Consumer Sciences’ Institute on Human Development and Disability, aims to assist those students’ transition into adulthood by fully immersing them in UGA life. Destination Dawgs, still in development, aspires to have students reside in on-campus housing, audit classes and be supported by peer mentors who will assist the students in courses and on campus to improve their independent living skills.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/11/uga-to-launch-inclusive-post-secondary-education-program-in-2017/, November 11, 2015
USA: New Book Launched: Disability and Disaster: Exploration and Exchanges
The Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University has announced the release of the scholarly work, Disability and Disaster which includes disaster research to the expanding area of disability studies. This edited collection includes writings by international scholars as well as 19 chapters about individuals with disabilities affected by disaster across five different continents. “In Disability and Disaster: Exchanges and Explorations, editors Ilan Kelman and Laura M. Stough have achieved something truly ground-breaking. First, in terms of the academic importance of this work, it adds to the social vulnerability literature and represents the first serious book-length treatment of disability and disaster studies.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/11/new-book-launched-disability-and-disaster-exploration-and-exchanges/, November 11, 2015
African Disability Forum (ADF) holds First General Assembly
Delegates from 30 organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) in Africa, members of the African Disability Forum (ADF), held their first General Assembly meeting, October 31-November 1, 2015 at the Desmond Tutu Conference Center in Nairobi, Kenya. ADF is the pan-African membership organization of DPOs at continental, sub-regional and national levels, created to unify and amplify the voice of persons with disabilities in Africa and strengthen the technical capacity of their organizations.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/10/african-disability-forum-adf-holds-first-general-assembly/, November 10, 2015
Sri Lanka Declares National ICT Week from November 16-22
President Maithripala Sirisena has declared November 16-22 as 'National Information and Communication Technology Week'. This is the first time that such a week dedicated to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has ever been declared at national level. It is in recognition of the significant role the ICT industry plays in all spheres of life, and also in honor of the ICT-related national and international conferences due to be convened in Sri Lanka that the President declared a week devoted to this sector. The APICTA - 2015 International Awards ceremony will be held in Sri Lanka during 'ICT Week'. Sri Lanka was selected as the first country to host this international parley. This global platform is considered the 'Oscars' of the ICT sector in Asia.
From http://www.news.lk/news/business/item/10708-sri-lanka-declares-national-ict-week-from-nov-16-22, November 09, 2015
USA: Barrie to Launch Text with 911 Service for People with Hearing Disabilities
People who are deaf or hard of hearing will soon be able to communicate with Barrie’s 911 call center by Text with 911 or T911 service in Barrie on November 10. T911 will add to existing services for people who currently use Teletypewriter (TTY) and Bell Relay.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/06/barrie-to-launch-text-with-9%E2%80%911%E2%80%911-service-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, November 09, 2015
USA: Carnegie Mellon and IBM Intro Open Platform To Help Blind Navigate
A research project at Carnegie Mellon University is helping blind people navigate with the use of an iPhone app that directs them based on information picked up from nearby sensors. NavCog, which is expected to be made available in the iTunes Store soon, draws on Bluetooth beacons and cognitive technologies to inform users on campus about their surroundings by talking to them through the phone or vibrating. The user enters the destination, turns on voice navigation, follows directions and will be notified when he or she arrives.
From https://campustechnology.com/articles/2015/11/05/carnegie-mellon-and-ibm-intro-open-platform-to-help-blind-navigate.aspx, November 09, 2015
World Bank Conducts Webinar On Developing Disability Data
The World Bank under its Social Inclusion Webinar Series conducted a webinar on “Disability and Data – What can we count on?” on October 19, 2015. The webinar was conducted by Daniel Mont, an international expert on disability measurement and inclusive development who discussed
(1) What are known data gaps on disability, and how they can be filled?
(2) What are existing sources of data on disability?
(3) What datasets could be analyzed from disability perspective? and
(4) How can we build and use evidence for more inclusive policy and development decisions?.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/04/world-bank-conducts-webinar-on-developing-disability-data/, November 05, 2015
RapidWristbands.com Introduces Braille Wristbands for People with Vision Disabilities
RapidWristbands.com has announced that they now offer embossed braille as a wristband font option for people who are blind or have low vision. RapidWristbands is no stranger to creating made-to-order wristbands for teams and events, but now they are able to provide braille bands to charities and non-profits that support those people with vision disabilities. Currently, the company is reaching out to many blind organizations and donating wristbands to their causes free of charge.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/04/rapidwristbands-com-introduces-braille-wristbands-for-people-with-vision-disabilities/, November 05, 2015