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Making Microsoft Products More Accessible: Our Path Forward
Accessibility is top of mind at Microsoft when we think about living our mission. In the past few months, we have outlined commitments that will guide our progress as a company and announced a number of organizational investments to make our products more accessible and better serve people with disabilities. I know I speak for the entire accessibility leadership team at Microsoft when I say that we’re excited about the journey ahead.
From http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2016/02/18/making-microsoft-products-accessible-path-forward/, February 20, 2016

This 18-year-old CEO in Poland is Making the First Messaging App for Deaf People
Over the weekend, 18-year-old Polish entrepreneur Mateusz Mach went to his high school's senior prom. Today, on Monday morning, Mach announced that his app, Five, had raised the equivalent of about $150,000 in funding - no easy feat in Poland, where venture capital cash can be hard to find even for seasoned entrepreneurs. Five started as a silly app, designed by Mach and developed by a bunch of freelance coders, that lets you and your friends send one another custom hand signs, like the kind rappers throw.
From http://www.businessinsider.in/This-18-year-old-CEO-in-Poland-is-making-the-first-messaging-app-for-deaf-people/articleshow/50813222.cms, February 18, 2016

Trinidad to Host High-Level Caribbean Technology Forum
Senior Caribbean government officials will meet here on Thursday to explore new mechanisms for facilitating comprehensive regional approaches for the planning and execution of information and communications technology (ICT) projects to foster development in the region. The two-day first Caribbean ICT Collaboration Forum is being convened by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), whose Secretary General Bernadette Lewis noted that “countries have been working in silos in their pursuit of development, seeking assistance from funding agencies without reference to similar activities being undertaken in other countries.
From http://antiguaobserver.com/trinidad-to-host-high-level-caribbean-technology-forum/, February 18, 2016

There's Finally a Good Way to Text in Sign Language
With new mobile keyboard app Signily, American Sign Language speakers no longer have to worry about their messages being lost in translation. Created by American Sign Language nonprofit ASLized!, the Signily keyboard lets users send text messages and emails using specific ASL emoji, BuzzFeed reported.
From http://www.techinsider.io/text-in-american-sign-language-with-keyboard-app-signily-2015-8, February 18, 2016

New Technology Helps Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing RIT Students
The new technologies include voice recognition apps, video remote-interpreting and captioning services, just to name a few. This is technology that students say is changing the way they're communicating both in an out of class. The ability to fully hear is something some of these RIT students do not have, but the ability to communicate is something they do, and it just got a whole lot easier. “The world is becoming more accessible to deaf people,” says Rico Petersen, Assistant Dean and Director of the Department of Access Services. “Typically they might not know sign language, or they might prefer English instead of sign language, so we have a provider that is trained in specialized software. They go into class and type live what is being said.”
From http://www.whec.com/article/stories/s4032751.shtml?platform=hootsuite, February 18, 2016

USA: How the Super Bowl Became a Platform for 'Hearables'
Athletes like Carolina Panther’s wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. came together with celebrities and the hard of hearing for a nine-year tradition between The Starkey Hearing Foundation and the Super Bowl where nearly 150 people got to take home a piece of free wearable innovation—hearing aids. The TruLink app allows the patient to have direct iPhone to hearing aid adjustment if you wanted to change the sound, turn up the volume, and stream phone calls. Apple owns the patents on this low-battery antennae which helps with the batter-draining nature of Bluetooth connectivity
From http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferelias/2016/02/08/how-the-super-bowl-became-a-platform-for-hearables, February 15, 2016

3D printed Mouth Operated Mouse for people with disabilities wins MakerBot’s Assistive Technology Challenge
MakerBot Thingiverse, the world’s largest 3D design community, has announced the winning designs from the Assistive Technology Challenge which asked the Thingiverse community to create 3D printed devices for people with disabilities. he Challenge attracted more than 170 submissions from around the world. Tobias Wirtl’s Mouth Operated Mouse, which was designed to help people with disabilities navigate the Internet, was named the winning design at the event organized by MakerBot.
From http://bit.ly/1SrJgij, February 15, 2016

IAAP Launches First Certification Examination for Accessibility Professionals
The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) is pleased to launch the first administration of the certification examination for accessibility professionals – Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC). We invite you to join us and take the exams on Tuesday, March 22 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in San Diego, California. Please note that space is limited and spots will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to complete this application is Tuesday, March 1, 2016.
From http://www.accessibilityassociation.org/content.asp?admin=Y&contentid=340, February 12, 2016

Bookshare Helps Students with Disabilities Gain Independent Living Skills
Bookshare, an online accessible library, free to U.S. students with qualifying print disabilities, is helping students at Riverview School in Massachusetts learn important work and life skills for successful transitions outside of school. The ten-month vocational program, Getting Ready for the Outside World (GROW), is structured like a college campus. Students live in dorms, take classes, and participate in an extensive internship program to gain authentic work experiences and function independently.
From http://bit.ly/20VuJNf, February 12, 2016

IBM: Accessibility Policy and Regulation Outlook 2016
As the Accessibility Standards Program Manager, sometimes work goals are hindered by the slow movement in government policies and standards that we strive to push forward. For every year of delay, the danger of standards being outpaced by emerging new technologies grows, and that can lead to a widening gap in accessible technology. 2016 could turn out to be a watershed year with the potential of two major events completed by the year’s end.
From http://ageandability.com/2016/01/28/accessibility-policy-and-regulation-outlook-2016/?platform=hootsuite, February 10, 2016

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