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The Digital Development Opportunity: New Technologies and Partnerships Redefine What is Possible
From GPS to Skype to e-tablets, new innovations are fundamentally changing the way we communicate, work, learn, share and interact. Almost two decades ago, we launched the Leland Initiative, an effort to expand access to information and communication technology in more than 20 African countries. To build on this legacy, we teamed up with the U.K., Google.org, and the Omidyar Network to establish the Alliance for Affordable Internet. Since then, the Alliance has grown to more than 65 members, from Facebook to the Government of Mozambique. Together, they are building global consensus around a set of policy and regulatory recommendations that will lower the cost of internet access -- unlocking new opportunities for doctors, entrepreneurs, and local leaders across the developing world.
From http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2014/10/21/digital-development-opportunity, October 28, 2014

Disaster Preparedness Must Include People with Disabilities
When the next natural disaster strikes, many people with disabilities are bound to find themselves in harm’s way due to poor disaster planning by public officials. A lawsuit settlement reached in late September may improve access to emergency services in New York City and provide a roadmap for improving access everywhere else.
From http://www.dailyrepublic.com/opinion/statenationalcolumnists/disaster-preparedness-must-include-people-with-disabilities/, October 28, 2014

UN: Rights of Persons with Disabilities Gaining Recognition
People with disabilities and their advocates have recently marked a milestone with one more country signing the Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). In September, Guyana was the 150th Member State to ratify the document which supports the rights of persons with disabilities in their respective societies.
From http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/2014/10/rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-gaining-recognition/#%2EVDrrnildVz5, October 28, 2014

SimplEye: Now Smartphones are Accessible to Visually Challenged Too
With the buzz that surrounds the launch of every new smartphone, like the upcoming iPhone 6, it's easy to forget that there is a fairly large demographic that cannot use these products - the visually impaired. According to the World Health Organization, 285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide. Sankara Nethralaya, a not-for-profit institution for ophthalmic care in Chennai, pegs the number of visually impaired Indians at about 15 million.
From http://firstbiz.firstpost.com/startup/simpleye-now-smartphones-are-accessible-to-visually-challenged-too-97253.html, October 28, 2014

IBM’s Frances West Says Demand is Rising for Easy-to-Use Technology
Here’s a C-suite role you may never have heard of: chief accessibility officer. But as demographic and regulatory developments bring disability issues squarely into the workplace—and the marketplace—companies will find themselves paying closer attention, says Frances West, who was appointed CAO at International Business Machines Corp. IBM in July. The 57-year-old Ms. West, who began her career as an engineer at IBM in 1979, is responsible for making sure IBM delivers products and services that people of all ages and abilities can use. She also guides efforts to make IBM’s own workplace accessible.
From http://online.wsj.com/articles/new-c-suite-mandate-accessibility-1413751560, October 22, 2014

Removing Barriers and Advancing Digital Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities
G3ict’s mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the CRPD on the accessibility of Information Communication Technologies and assistive technologies. Their recent article focuses on removing barriers and advancing digital accessibility, and highlights that persons with disabilities must participate in the active evaluation and monitoring of their country’s implementation of the CRPD.
From http://zeroproject.org/how-to-advance-digital-accessibility-by-the-g3ict/, October 22, 2014

US DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy Announces Launch of Web Portal on Accessible Workplace Technology
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy today announced the launch of http://www.PEATworks.org — a comprehensive Web portal spearheaded by ODEP’s Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology. From educational articles to interactive tools, the website’s content aims to help employers and the technology industry adopt accessible technology as part of everyday business practice so that all workers can benefit.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/16/us-dols-office-of-disability-employment-policy-announces-launch-of-web-portal-on-accessible-workplace-technology/, October 20, 2014

USA: SafetySign Offers New NY Accessibility Signs
SafetySign.com, a leading source of official safety signs, traffic signs, and parking signs, and a division of Brimar Industries, Inc., has recently added new accessibility signs that comply with New York’s updated sign design. The signs can be purchased at http://www.safetysign.com/new-york-accessibility-parking-signs. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law on July 25, 2014, that updates the state’s accessibility signage and symbols. The new accessibility design portrays a more active symbol, where the figure in the wheelchair is leaning forward and has arms bent in a way that suggests independent motion.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/17/safetysign-offers-new-ny-accessibility-signs/, October 20, 2014

UAE: Sign Language Customer Service for People with Hearing Disabilities
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has announced that it is to provide live video connections to people with hearing disabilities to allow them to make inquiries about ministry services using sign language. The service was created in cooperation with the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care, which will provide a trained staff member to communicate with customers with hearing disabilities. Customer service staff will later be trained on sign language communication.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/16/sign-language-customer-service-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, October 20, 2014

UAE: Abu Dhabi to Offer Tourist Information in Braille
Tourists and residents with vision disabilities visiting Abu Dhabi are now being offered information on the destination in Braille. A brochure outlining ‘Ten Things to Know about Abu Dhabi, its Al Gharbia Western Region and heritage heartland of Al Ain’ has been produced in Braille and is now ready to circulate through the emirate’s tourism authority’s 10 overseas offices, its visitor centers in the emirate, and at key events.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/15/abu-dhabi-to-offer-tourist-information-in-braille/, October 20, 2014

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