Affordable Virtual Reality Creates Worlds for People With Disabilities
Virtual reality’s appeal as a medical tool is nothing new. It’s been used to treat phobias, reduce pain and even help doctors perform surgery. And now, it’s increasingly used to help people with disabilities explore the world in ways they may never be able to in real life—at a price within reach. For $10 you can buy a cardboard virtual reality “headset,” download a free iPhone app, slot in your phone and explore virtual worlds from a wheelchair, bed or couch. A couple months ago, virtual reality company Specular Theory was hosting a table at Singularity University’s Future of Virtual Reality event, when Danny Kurtzman cruised by in his wheelchair.
From http://bit.ly/1kpk5OV, October 21, 2015
USA: NDOT Seeks Public Feedback on Transportation Accessibility Plans
The Nevada Department of Transportation is soliciting public feedback on Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility plans for Nevada roadways and transportation infrastructure. New NDOT roadways and facilities are constructed to meet accessibility needs. NDOT has also developed a new ADA Transition Plan which establishes policy, procedures and programs to further enhance accessibility on Nevada roads. The public and other stakeholders are invited to review the plan and provide feedback through Oct. 31 by visiting nevadadot.com/ADA.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/10/20/ndot-seeks-public-feedback-on-transportation-accessibility-plans/, October 20, 2015
USA: New Voting Machines for People with Disabilities in Virginia State
Voters in Montgomery County with disabilities will use a new voting system this November. Now voters can either vote by a paper ballot or by touch screen. The new Unisyn OVI machine has headphones and a touch pad for people with hearing disabilities or people who are blind.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/10/16/new-voting-machines-for-people-with-disabilities/, October 19, 2015
USA: Assistive Technology Expo to be Held in New York this October
The 2015 Adirondack Assistive Technology Expo will be sponsored by Clarkson University’s Department of Occupational Therapy on October 26 and 27 at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, N.Y. Occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech and language pathology professionals from across northern New York and Vermont are invited to attend. An optional networking dinner will be held at the Wild Center on Monday from 6 to 9 p.m. with entertainment provided by FLAME, internationally recognized performers from the Lexington Center of the Fulton County NYSARC, Inc. John Robinson, president and CEO of Our Ability Inc. of Glenmont, N.Y., will deliver the keynote presentation “Overcoming Obstacles-Get Off Your Knees! Helping People See Beyond Differences: See the Value We All Hold Inside Ourselves.”
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/10/15/assistive-technology-expo-october-26-27/, October 19, 2015
Portugal: ICT 2015 Brings Together the Best of Europe\'s ICT Research & Innovation
ICT 2015 - Innovate, Connect, Transform, takes place in Lisbon from 20th to 22nd October 2015 with some of the most important European players in ICT, the excellence of EU universities and research centres and flourishing SMEs and start-ups. The event will take place under the patronage of Aníbal António Cavaco Silva, the President of the Republic of Portugal.
From https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/ict2015-brings-together-best-europes-ict-research-innovation, October 19, 2015
Ireland: Parents to Learn Role of ICT in Children’s Mental Health
A mental health organization said addressing the digital disconnect between older and younger generations is crucial in educating people on the benefits of digital literacy to youth mental health.
From http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/parents-to-learn-role-of-ict-in-childrens-mental-heath-359606.html, October 16, 2015
Japan: Tokyo College Student Plans Thesis in Sign Language
A graduate school student, born without the ability to hear, has become the first person in Japan to undertake the challenge of completing a master’s degree thesis through sign language instead of by means of written Japanese. Shinya Kawabata, 36, studying at the Japan College of Social Work in Kiyose, western Tokyo, has been video recording the sign-language thesis for presentation in DVD format to the graduate school. He has been receiving sign-language instruction from Prof. Kurumi Saito, a specialist in linguistics. Mitsuji Hisamatsu, chief of the secretariat of the Japanese Federation of the Deaf (JDF), points out the challenges students with hearing disabilities face.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/10/16/student-plans-thesis-in-sign-language/, October 16, 2015
USA: Duke University Launches Autism Research App
A team of researchers and software developers from Duke University and the Duke Medical Center has introduced a free iOS app to learn more about autism in young children living around the world.
Beginning Thursday, a ResearchKit app called “Autism & Beyond” is being offered from the Apple App Store for use on iOS devices. ResearchKit is a new open-source framework developed by Apple that allows researchers to create app-based studies with a global reach.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/10/16/duke-launches-autism-research-app/, October 16, 2015
‘Knowledge Saves Lives,’ UN Stresses on International Day for Disaster Reduction
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the “indispensable” power of traditional, indigenous and local knowledge in his message on this year’s observance of the International Day for Disaster Reduction. “Traditional and indigenous knowledge is the indispensable information base for many societies seeking to live in harmony with nature and adapt to disruptive weather events, a warming globe and rising seas,” Mr. Ban said in his message on the International Day. The Secretary-General recalled a conversation he had earlier in the year with the President of Vanuatu at the opening of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan. Vanuatu was at that time being hit hard by Cyclone Pam.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/10/13/knowledge-saves-lives-un-stresses-on-international-day-for-disaster-reduction/, October 16, 2015
Exchange of Views with European Stakeholders Ahead of Internet Governance Forum in November
On 9 October, the European Commission invited European business and civil society representatives for an exchange of information and views on Internet Governance issues, in preparation to the upcoming IGF meeting, that will take place in João Pessoa, Brazil, on 10-13 November 2015. The European Commission provided a debrief on the most prominent Internet Governance issues, focussing in particular on the IANA transition and ICANN accountability, the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS+10 review) and the future of the IGF and highlighting the interdependencies of these different processes.
From https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/exchange-views-european-stakeholders-ahead-internet-governance-forum, October 15, 2015