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For the Disabled, Smart Homes are Home Sweet Home
Connected appliances may be the answer for helping the elderly, blind and wheelchair users be more independent in their homes.
From http://fortune.com/2015/02/01/disabled-smart-homes/, February 02, 2015

Rwanda Pulls in Skills Development Program to Boost ICT Literacy
“This opportunity provides us with a new beginning to raise the standards. There are so many places in the country where IT is taught, but so far there has not been a national standard of ICT literacy,” Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Rwanda’s Youth and ICT minister told The New Times. “It is important that they not only acquire skills but they have accredited certification.” According to the report, a private sector computer skills program — International Computer Driving License (ICDL) — and the government are coming together to raise ICT literacy of Rwandan youth, government members and the general public. The official agreement was signed by both partners January 28, 2015.
From http://afkinsider.com/86719/rwanda-pulls-in-program-to-boost-ict-literacy/, February 01, 2015

Clever Modular Mobility Aid Helps People with Disabilities
A modular kit of interchangeable mobility aid parts from crutches to walking frames is set to change the lives of some of the world’s poorest people with disabilities thanks to a design engineering student from Brunel University London.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/01/31/clever-modular-mobility-aid-helps-people-with-disabilities/, February 01, 2015

The Benefit Cycle: How ICT and Skills Will Sustain Each Other in Developing Africa
ICTs can develop skills, which in turn can develop the ICT sector, in a ‘benefit cycle’ that can propel Africa into the mainstream knowledge economy. But more effort is needed to get this wheel rolling, says Ayanda Dlamini, Business Development Manager at LGR Telecommunications.
From http://www.ventures-africa.com/2015/01/the-benefit-cycle-how-ict-and-skills-will-sustain-eachother-in-developing-africa/, January 31, 2015

Standardised APIs Could Aid Data Accessibility in UK Banking Within Two Years
UK banks could be forced to make more of the data they store accessible to consumers, rivals and new entrants to the market via standardized technology within the next year or two, under plans being taken forward by the UK government.
From http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2015/january/standardised-apis-could-aid-data-accessibility-in-uk-banking-within-two-years/, January 31, 2015

Our Doctor, an Integrated ICT Based Healthcare Solution for Underserved Rural Communities in Bangladesh
mPower Social Enterprise from Bangladesh plans to expand its Amader Daktar (or “Doctor in a Tab,” referring to remote medical consultations provided over a tablet device) service into Myanmar in partnership with mobile network operator, Telenor, in order to reach rural populations with basic medical care. The service currently has 200 locations in Bangladesh and has served over 1,200 clients to date.
From http://www.mpower-social.com/#!Amader-Daktar-A-Doctor-in-a-Tab/c1asq/0C5BEA50-E8B6-47A4-8350-410F519AAD55, January 31, 2015

USA: Law Creates Special Savings Accounts for Disabled People
People with disabilities, and their families, will soon have a tax-favored way to save money for a range of expenses. In December, Congress passed the ABLE Act, short for Achieving a Better Life Experience. The law enables the creation of special savings accounts, modeled after the popular Section 529 education plans that many families use to save money for college. The new plans will be known as 529A accounts.
From http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/business/special-savings-accounts-for-disabled-people.html?_r=0, January 31, 2015

Technology Key to Changing Culture of Disability
Dr Mark Bagshaw insists there is nothing remarkable about a person with a disability having a successful career. This culture of low expectations prompted Dr Mark Bagshaw to found The Able Movement, an NGO which aims to use social media to allow disabled people to tell "their own stories in their own way". At the core of The Able Movement, which will be launched in February, is a rejection of the old hierarchical model of welfare.
From http://www.smh.com.au/business/technology-the-key-to-changing-the-culture-of-disability-20150130-130wv5.html, January 30, 2015

Maps That You Can Hear and Touch
Using maps is a major part of using public transit. That's why Dr. Joshua Miele, a scientist at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, partnered with LightHouse, a local organization for the blind, to create accessible maps of every BART transit station. With degrees in physics and psychoacoustics, Miele has dedicated more than 25 years to improving visually impaired people's access to information, with a particular focus on creating accessible maps—where he is truly at the frontier.
From http://www.citylab.com/design/2015/01/making-better-maps-for-the-blind/384495/, January 30, 2015

Nine Common Accessibility Issues Affecting Websites
Access iQ has trawled through its growing list of website accessibility audits to bring you nine of the most common issues we uncover.
From http://www.accessiq.org/news/features/2015/01/nine-common-accessibility-issues-affecting-websites, January 30, 2015

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