USA: Universal Access to Supermarkets and Pharmacies: Six Major Chains Pledge to Improve Their Practices
As part of the Semaine québécoise des personnes handicapées, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse released findings of an awareness project aimed at six of Québec’s major chains of supermarkets and pharmacies. The project examined the barriers encountered by people with disabilities when they attempt to buy basic necessities, and highlights possible solutions to remedy the situation.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/06/07/universal-access-to-supermarkets-and-pharmacies-six-major-chains-pledge-to-improve-their-practices/#!, September 30, 2013
Visually Impaired Turn to Smartphones to See Their World
Luis Perez loves taking photographs. He shoots mostly on an iPhone, snapping gorgeous pictures of sunsets, vintage cars, old buildings and cute puppies. But when he arrives at a photo shoot, people are often startled when he pulls out a long white cane. In addition to being a professional photographer, Mr. Perez is almost blind. "With the iPhone I am able to use the same technology as everyone else, and having a product that doesn’t have a stigma that other technologies do has been really important to me,” said Mr. Perez, who is also an advocate for blind people and speaks regularly at conferences about the benefits of technology for people who cannot see. “Now, even if you’re blind, you can still take a photo.”
From http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/disruptions-guided-by-touch-screens-blind-turn-to-smartphones-for-sight/?_r=0#!, September 30, 2013
UK: Students with Disabilities Get a Career Boost
In the UK, nearly one in 10 university students classes themselves as having a disability, but in 2012 only 2% of graduate job applications came from those with disabilities. Greatwithdisability.com is a new website aimed at closing that gap, by offering advice and support to students, and a recruitment platform to employers.
From http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/sep/30/greatwithdisability-graduate-website#!, September 30, 2013
How the Mobile Internet and the Internet of Things Signal a Better Life for All
What has made such devices possible is the interplay between two of what the McKinsey Global Institute has identified as among the most disruptive technologies of the coming decade: the mobile Internet and the Internet of Things. The mobile Internet is the ability to access the Web on mobile devices. The Internet of Things is a set of technologies that incorporates the physical world into the virtual one through networks of electronic sensors and devices connected to computers. The applications of a mobile-ready Internet of Things go beyond clothes: Tiny detectors that can gather and relay data about location, activity, and health (how well an object or device is holding up) have already been incorporated into everything from bridges and trucks to pacemakers and insulin pumps.
From http://fam.ag/15nRtHB, September 27, 2013
UN Report Highlights Technology’s Potential to Foster Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities
A report released by the United Nations and its partners illustrates how information and communication technologies (ICTs) can help give access to resources to persons with disabilities. The report, “The ICT Opportunity for a Disability-Inclusive Development Framework,” contributes to a better understanding of the extent to which ICTs can enable the social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities. It lists challenges that are still to be addressed, while outlining concrete actions to help achieve a disability-inclusive development agenda.
From http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45958&Cr, September 25, 2013
FDA Releases Final Guidance for Mobile Health Applications
In 2011, FDA requested public comment on how it should regulate smartphones, tablet computers and apps that collect health information or are used to monitor medical conditions. According to FDA, the agency has approved about 100 mobile medical apps over the last decade, about 40 of which have received clearance over the past two years.
From http://www.ihealthbeat.org/articles/2013/9/23/fda-releases-final-guidance-for-mobile-health-applications, September 24, 2013
Report: The ICT Opportunity for a Disability-Inclusive Development Framework
A new report released today demonstrates how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), have become a positive force of transformation and a crucial element of any personal development, empowerment and institutional framework for inclusive development. While the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) represent a concerted effort to address global poverty, there is a striking gap in the current MDGs and their inclusion of persons with disabilities. The estimated 1 billion persons with disabilities are still excluded from equitable access to resources (education, healthcare, etc.) and as a result persons with disabilities experience disproportionately high rates of poverty. In spite of the conclusion of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006, disability remains largely invisible in most mainstream development processes.
From http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2013/39.aspx#!, September 24, 2013
ISOC NY Hosts OneWebDay on Accessibility in Honor of Cynthia Waddell
Today,September 22 2013, is the 8th annual OneWebDay. This year’s theme is “Working for Internet Accessibility”, particularly in memory of accessibility advocate Cynthia Waddell – who died in April 2013. Here is a 1 minute video of Cynthia adressing the topic at the 2011 IGF, courtesy of Elon Musk’s Imagining The Internet project.
From http://isoc-ny.org/p2/5964, September 23, 2013
UN Broadband Commission Releases Data on State of Broadband Access Worldwide
Mobile broadband is the fastest growing technology in human history, according to the 2013 edition of the State of Broadband report. Released in New York at the 8th meeting of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, the report reveals that mobile broadband subscriptions, which allow users to access the web via smartphones, tablets and WiFi-connected laptops, are growing at a rate of 30% per year. By the end of 2013 there will be more than three times as many mobile broadband connections as there are conventional fixed broadband subscriptions.
From http://bit.ly/1aZ4cF2, September 23, 2013
UN: New Development Agenda Must Take into Account Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The rights of persons with disabilities must be directly addressed by the post-2015 development agenda, United Nations officials told world leaders today, urging them to adopt national and international policies that enhance and promote disability-inclusive development. “Disability is part of the human condition; almost everyone will be temporarily or permanently impaired at some point in life,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the General Assembly’s High-level Meeting on Disability and Development.
From http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45931&Cr=mdg&Cr1=#.UkBeglOO6Sp, September 23, 2013