UK: Disabled Facing Technology Barriers Using Common Gadgets
A report from a disability charity says that people with disabilities face barriers when using common gadgets, despite huge technological advances in recent years. Scope says that there is huge untapped potential for mainstream devices, like smart phones and tablets, to provide support.
From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24171027, September 20, 2013
TATA DoCoMo to Showcase Google Glass Competitor at CEATEC 2013
NTT DoCoMo is joining the action, as reported by GforGames. Japan’s leading mobile operator will showcase its “Intelligent Glass” at CEATEC 2013, which is a local equivalent of CES. The carrier’s press release (in Japanese) says that its “glasses-type wearable device” will incorporate some fancy features like face recognition and character recognition / translation. In addition, it will boast two types of interfaces: “Anything” and “Spatial.” We’re not sure what each of these does but it has something to do with augmented reality and virtual keyboards.
From http://bit.ly/18GPDSk, September 20, 2013
Top e-book Reader Firms Contest US Accessibility Law
Three of the biggest e-book reader manufacturers – Amazon, Kobo and Sony – have petitioned the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ask for exemptions from US laws requiring products to be accessible to users with disabilities. The three are urging the commission to waive parts of the 21st Century Video and Communications and Video Accessibility Act which require any product offering ‘advanced communication services’ (ACS) to be “accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.” The manufacturers say that as e-readers are used almost exclusively for reading, they do not provide more generic ACS. They argue that to make them fully accessible would increase their cost and weight and decrease battery life, essentially turning them into different devices more similar to tablet computers.
From http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7022314526, September 20, 2013
1st October is the UN International Day of Older Persons
HelpAge is launching the Global AgeWatch Index on 1 October, International Day of Older People. As the number and proportion of older people increases at an unprecedented rate, the Global AgeWatch Index will illustrate how the world is adapting to this new reality by ranking more than 90 countries in terms of how their older populations are faring.
From http://www.helpage.org/global-agewatch/, September 20, 2013
Accessibility Now Thriving in Mainstream Mobile Market: Axel Leblois, G3ict President
Axel Leblois will provide an international overview of the rapidly evolving possibilities of mobile technology in providing greater access and inclusion for people with disability and older people. Mr Leblois will highlight the success of M-Enabling initiatives around the world and outline how G3ICT promotes accessibility to information and communications for people with disability. This opening session will include a moderated Q and A, setting the scene for two days of collaboration, discussion and exploration of the opportunities and challenges in the rapidly developing mobile environment.
From http://accan.org.au/index.php/news-centre/news/69-accan-news/629-m-enabling-australasia-presentations-and-transcripts, September 20, 2013
Financial Inclusion: Expanding Service Accessibility for Older Persons and PWDs
The U.N.’s Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) is conducting a survey for financial services providers on the practices of their institutions in implementing services that are accessible for older persons and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
From http://cfi-blog.org/2013/09/20/expanding-service-accessibility-for-older-persons-and-pwds/, September 20, 2013
Accessibility Policy Has Moved Onto the Global Stage
When I joined Microsoft seven years ago to work on global accessibility policy I thought: ‘Is there even enough activity around the world to keep me busy?’ Policymaking was largely centered in the United States, the European Union, and a small number of other countries. The following blog post was written by James Thurston – Director of International Accessibility Policy at Microsoft. James works with Microsoft’s global subsidiaries, NGOs, and governments around the world to develop public policies that support broad digital inclusion.
From http://blogs.msdn.com/b/accessibility/archive/2013/09/17/accessibility-policy-has-moved-onto-the-global-stage.aspx, September 18, 2013
With Talking Guide, TV Becoming More Accessible
How does a person who’s blind find what to “watch” on a TV with 200 channels and 46,000 video-on-demand choices of movies, shows and clips? Tom Wlodkowski, an executive at Comcast Corp. who is blind, thinks he has the answer: a talking TV channel guide. No joke. “The television is not strictly as visual a medium as you might think,” said David Goldfield, a computer technology instructor at the Associated Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired. “Radio drama in the U.S. is more or less dead. If you are blind and you want a good story, you’re still going to get it on television.”
From http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2013/08/29/with-talking-guide/18609/#!, September 18, 2013
Analysis: How to Make Disasters Less Deadly for the Disabled
Early and accessible information about pending disasters, relief and aid dissemination are crucial to improve disaster risk reduction and relief programming for people with disabilities, say experts. “A lot of the risk people face in disasters comes from poverty and social marginalization – where people live, what they live in, and their ability to move matters immensely when it comes to risk,” Myroslava Tataryn, a research fellow at the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told IRIN.
From http://www.irinnews.org/report/98758/analysis-how-to-make-disasters-less-deadly-for-the-disabled, September 16, 2013
Does Future of Accessible Telecommunications Include Holograms, Real Time Captions, Tactile Displays?
The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Telecommunications Access held a State of the Science conference on Monday September 9, 2013 at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC at the I. King Jordan student center (“RERC-TA-SOS”). Well attended with over thirty-five participants onsite and another twenty-five online, participants included many leaders from disability organizations that have comprised COAT and have worked to ensure passage and implementation of the 21st CVAA, along with other consumers, industry representatives, researchers, and others.
From http://www.coataccess.org/node/10156, September 13, 2013