USA: Department of Justice to Release NPRM on Web Accessibility
DoJ will release an NPRM on web accessibility for state and local government websites, in July 2013. This notice also indicates that DoJ has separated the state and local government rules (Title II) from the public accommodation rules (Title III). A Title III NPRM may be released later, but no confirmation or date is included.
From http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201210&RIN=1190-AA65, January 28, 2013
IDEAL Group Reader App Showcased at CES 2013
"IDEAL Group Reader" is a fully-accessible eBook reader app that can read text aloud, just like an audio book. It was developed by Apps4Android with support from Wireless RERC's App Factory. The Beta version of this ePub3 reader has been tested by thousands of users in 116 countries. Apps4Android's CEO Steve Jacobs showcased the IDEAL Group Reader (IGR) at the Consumer Electronics Association's (CEA) International CES 2013 in Las Vegas on January 8-12.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.org/content/newsroom/ideal-group-reader-app-showcased-ces-2013, January 28, 2013
USA: Quiet Hybrid Cars Pose a Danger to the Blind?
The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced proposals for minimum sound requirements on hybrid and electric vehicles. They say the vehicles pose a safety issue for pedestrians and cyclists, especially for those who are visually impaired.
From http://www.npr.org/2013/01/11/169172188/quiet-hybrid-cars-pose-a-danger-to-the-blind, January 14, 2013
USA: What Accessibility Standards Apply to Mobile Phone Applications?
Mobile Apps (including mobile web apps) are generally covered by the same standards for access by people with disabilities that apply to non-mobile software and web applications. Applicable U.S. laws such as the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), Section 508, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) apply in different ways.
From https://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/2013/01/11/what-accessibility-standards-apply-to-mobile-phone-applications/, January 14, 2013
USA: Cornell University to Present New Status of Disability Report 2011
Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute (EDI) will host a free online webinar on Friday, January 18th from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST to present the findings of the 2011 Disability Status Report. This free webinar will explore data from the recently released 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) related to disability and employment, education, poverty, household income and labor earnings.
From http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/TXGOV-65b9e8?reqfrom=share, January 11, 2013
UN General Assembly Adopts Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review with Disability-specific Language
The QCPR is a key guiding document for the work of the UN agencies that are active in the area of development; it sets the framework within which the strategic plans operate for the next 4 years (2013 onward). Operative paragraph 23 directs UN agencies to take the needs of persons with disabilities into account in all operational activities for development, including in the Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). It also mandates development agencies to address the lack of adequate and reliable information about disability and development, and to strengthen coherence in this regard.
From http://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/sites/disalliance.e-presentaciones.net/files/public/files/A 67 442 Add.1 QCPR Report.doc, January 11, 2013
WHO Hosts Global Expert Consultation on Disability Statistics
On 5-6 December, in Geneva, Switzerland, an expert consultation was held on the Model Disability Survey questionnaire developed by WHO and the World Bank. A rigorous process is being undertaken to develop the questionnaire. 179 national surveys were reviewed to identity good practice examples for further analysis. Micro data from 10 surveys were reviewed in depth before drafting the questionnaire.
From http://who.int/disabilities/media/news/2012/06_12/en/index.html, January 11, 2013
Future of WCAG – Maximizing its Strengths, Not its Weaknesses
2012 was a year of real ups and downs for the de-facto Standards for web accessibility, WCAG 2.0. It’s finally become ratified as an international Standard (ISO/IEC 40500:2012) and it’s been directly included in legislation such as the EU proposed directive on accessibility of public websites, Canada’s AODA, and work going into the refresh of US Section 508.
From http://www.hassellinclusion.com/2013/01/wcag-future/, January 10, 2013
Active Ageing Index 2012 for 27 EU Member States
The Active Ageing Index (AAI) is a newly developed tool that offers national and European policy-makers a way to measure and promote the untapped potential of the older population. In its design, the index follows the conceptual framework of the 2012 European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. The index measures the active ageing performance across four distinct domains that together capture the untapped potential of older people across EU Member State.
From http://www.euro.centre.org/data/1356002554_9393.pdf, January 10, 2013
UK: Six Steps to Improve Digital Inclusion in 2013
We know the main barriers that prevent people from using the internet are motivation, skills and access, so to be successful in supporting your tenants you need to address all three, without over emphasizing any of them. It's easy to see broadband for all as the golden ticket, but without the need to go online, or the skills to use the internet confidently, it's likely residents will continue to feel excluded. Supporting residents to improve their skills isn't always easy, but there are organizations who are experts at it, including UK online centers, Digital Unite and Age UK, so seek out advice and support when you need it.
From http://www.guardian.co.uk/housing-network/2013/jan/10/six-steps-improve-digital-inclusion?CMP=twt_gu, January 10, 2013