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Greece: Vodafone Launches Speaking App for Users with Vision Disabilities
Vodafone Greece has launched the Vodafone Speaking App for users who are blind or low vision. The application has a text-to-speech functionality for Android devices, offers reading of Greek text in email, SMS and the internet, as well as the user’s telephone contacts. Contract subscribers or Vodafone Kartomobile subscribers can download the Vodafone Speaking App from Google Play store.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/02/10/vodafone-launches-speaking-app-for-users-with-vision-disabilities/, February 12, 2014

USA: AFB to Recognize Independence Science with Access Award
A Purdue Research Park-based company that strengthens hands-on experiments in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses for students who are blind or low vision will be recognized by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). Independence Science Inc., founded by Purdue University alumnus Cary Supalo, will receive the American Foundation for the Blind’s Access Award at the organization’s 2014 Leadership Conference, Feb. 27-March 1 in New York. Previous winners of the American Foundation for the Blind’s Access Award include Apple, CBS, Google, IBM, McDonald’s and Panasonic.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/02/10/afb-to-recognize-independence-science-with-access-award/, February 12, 2014

New Zealand: Technology Makes Big Difference for People with Hearing Disabilities
Technology is a significant part of the answer for over 700,000 individuals with hearing disabilities in New Zealand who have some level of hearing loss. Access to hearing aids, cochlear impacts and captioning make a world of difference to their lives. In celebration of Hearing Week 2014, The National Foundation for the Deaf is highlighting the importance of technology aids and their benefits on the lives of people with hearing disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/02/07/technology-makes-big-difference-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, February 12, 2014

USA: Student Develops Braille Printer with Legos
Shubham Banerjee, a San Francisco Bay Area seventh grade student, has developed BRAIGO, a Braille printer using Lego Mindstorms EV3, which slashes the price of a printer from more than $2000 to $350, thereby giving a more cost-effective printer. According to WHO reports, there are an estimated 285 million people with vision disabilities worldwide, 90 percent of whom lives in developing countries. At this moment, the cost of a Braille printer is more than $2000 for a basic version, which means many millions of people across the world have limited access.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/02/06/student-develops-braille-printer-with-legos/, February 12, 2014

Kuwait Develops Braille Reading, Printing Techniques
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) on Saturday reaffirmed keenness on developing new techniques for serving people who are blind or low vision. The Institute has developed, for the first time, a domestic Braille-reading technique for the Holy Quran, it said in a statement, noting that Kuwait used to import such techniques from other Arab countries.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/02/10/kuwait-develops-braille-reading-printing-techniques/, February 11, 2014

Eighth Session of the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
International Disability Alliance (IDA) chair Mr. Yannis Vardakastanis addressed United Nations (UN) Member States, UN agencies and civil society at the UN Headquarters in New York today, calling for a post-2015 sustainable development agenda that is inclusive of persons with disabilities.
From http://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/en, February 10, 2014

Microsoft Announces Improved Access to Office to Benefit Persons who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Microsoft and GW Micro are partnering to provide people who are blind or have low vision improved access to Microsoft Office. Starting today, customers who have purchased and installed any version of Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013, including both perpetual and subscription clients, are eligible to download a free copy of Window-Eyes, GW Micro’s widely used and highly regarded screen reading software.
From http://blogs.office.com/2014/01/14/announcing-improved-access-to-office/, February 10, 2014

USA: Rural Carriers Start Connecting Customers to Doctors Via Mobile Video Chat
Cellular One is connecting its customers directly with doctors via Skype and Facetime as part of a larger effort from the Competitive Carriers Association to bring telemedicine to rural communities.
From http://gigaom.com/2014/02/04/rural-carriers-start-connecting-customers-to-doctors-via-mobile-video-chat/, February 05, 2014

New Zealand: Start-up Appcessible Helps App Developers Reach the Blind
Blind iPhone user and technologies Jonathan Mosen is offering app developers a helping hand in servicing the blind. Mosen has founded Appcessible, a start-up staffed entirely by blind people, to help app developers gain access to users of mobile assistive technologies.
From http://www.zdnet.com/start-up-helps-app-developers-reach-the-blind-7000025972/, February 05, 2014

Designing for Easy Interaction: Accessibility is for Everyone
Success in interaction design is largely a matter of following established patterns, so people can apply what they already know to new contexts. Using known and well-established interactive controls goes a long way in designing for easy interaction. There are specific considerations that will help make controls more usable for people using assistive technologies. And there are design considerations that make interaction more usable and enjoyable for everyone, including people with disabilities.
From http://alistapart.com/article/designing-for-easy-interaction, February 05, 2014

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