G3ict Expresses Heartfelt Condolences on the Demise of AMI Accessibility Officer Robert Pearson's
Our deepest sympathy and condolences to Robert's family, Shannon, Emma and Maxwell and his colleagues at Accessible Media Inc (AMI), Toronto, on behalf of our G3ict colleagues from around the world. Robert will be terribly missed. His dedication to advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities, passion for innovation in accessibility and support for our work were truly exceptional. We are also losing a very dear friend, and a compassionate and dependable companion. As we worked together, Robert always shared how much joy his family life and fatherhood brought to him. There are no words to express our sense of loss. We are confident that his legacy will endure through his family, friends and colleagues, and that Robert's cherished personal and advocacy aspirations will be fulfilled.
From http://www.ami.ca/about/Pages/default.aspx#Message from the President & CEO, December 31, 2015
How the W3C Text Alternative Computation Works
Over the years, there has been a lot of confusion about the W3C Text Alternative Computation and how this works, especially when influenced by the addition of CSS and ARIA attributes. As a bit of forewarning, this article is not primarily meant for general web developers, though having an understanding of these concepts will aid their efforts in building accessible software. Instead, this article is meant to aid browser and assistive technology vendors, as well as those who test and evaluate web technologies for accessibility, in order to identify where the breakdown is between the W3C User Agent Implementation Guide, how browsers implement the naming calculation in the accessibility tree, and how assistive technologies then use this information to convey it to their users.
From http://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/how-the-w3c-text-alternative-computation-works/, December 22, 2015
Helpline Launched for People with Vision Disabilities in India
Now people with vision disabilities in India can call a toll free number and get their queries addressed in their local language, thanks to an initiative launched recently. Lov Verma, secretary in the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, formally launched the Eyeway Helpdesk for people who are blind. This is an initiative of Score Foundation with support from the central government, Essel Foundation, Tech Mahindra Foundation and Hans Foundation. Now the visually impaired citizens will be able to call the Eyeway Helpdesk on 1800-300-20469 and get their queries addressed in their local language.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/12/22/helpline-launched-for-people-with-vision-disabilities-in-india/, December 22, 2015
UGA, Georgia Tech Partner to Create Fully-Accessible Camp for Children with Disabilities
The University of Georgia’s College of Environment and Design and Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture have partnered with Extra Special People Inc. to build Camp Hooray, the first-of-its-kind, fully accessible overnight camp for children and young adults with developmental disabilities. Located on a 70-acre parcel of land in Jackson County, the camp will have traditional camp activities including music, sports and games, art, swimming, boating, archery, field days, talent shows and overnight stays-while providing a safe, fun and meaningful experience for campers of all abilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/12/21/uga-georgia-tech-partner-to-create-fully-accessible-camp-for-children-with-disabilities/, December 22, 2015
New Rules Help Ensure Hearing Aids Compatible with Wireless Devices
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has passed new rules that ensure greater access to wireless communications services and handset devices for Americans with hearing disabilities. New rules and proposed rules passed reflect a consensus-driven approach to foster accessibility for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing while promoting innovation and investment by the wireless industry.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/12/21/new-rules-help-ensure-hearing-aids-compatible-with-wireless-devices/, December 22, 2015
USA: A Smartwatch for the Visually Impaired Developed by University Students
Developed by University of Washington students, Dot translates When a group of students at the University of Washington saw a fellow classmate struggling with big heavy Braille books to study, it sparked an idea that could change the way the visually impaired interact with technology. Similar to other smartwatches on the market, Dot is designed to pair with a Bluetooth-enabled phone. When a text message arrives on the phone, the app translates it to Braille and sends it to Dot, which vibrates. Then the pins rise and fall to relay the characters. Other Dot features include a watch, alarm and notifications. Initial tests show Dot should last about five days between charges.
From http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/smartwatch-visually-impaired-180957581/?no-ist, December 21, 2015
Microsoft: Reaffirming Our Commitment to Accessibility
At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. This mission connects in fundamental ways with how we as a company operate, how we design and develop technology and how we work with others to serve people with disabilities. We are committed to delivering great experiences to people with disabilities, and as President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith noted earlier this month, this will require us to raise our ambition. Today, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reaffirmed that accessibility is core to our mission, and outlined three commitments that will guide our progress as a company in an all-company mail.
From http://blogs.msdn.com/b/accessibility/archive/2015/12/16/reaffirming-our-commitment-to-accessibility.aspx, December 17, 2015
New Turkish Sign Language Dictionary Launched
The Family and Social Policies Ministry has introduced Turkey’s first sign language grammar book and dictionary. Previously, there was no official scientific resource on Turkish sign language. To rectify this, the ministry undertook the project in 2014 in 26 cities to prepare the dictionary. The book features almost 800,000 words illustrated with sign language along with grammar resources. Speaking at the launch event, Family and Social Policies Minister Sema Ramazanoğlu said 16 percent of persons with disabilities have a hearing disabilities. She said the project drew from other scientific studies on Turkish sign language as well. The grammar book will be translated into English next year.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/12/16/new-turkish-sign-language-dictionary-launched/, December 17, 2015
UN-Habitat Launches Publication, “The Right to Adequate Housing for Persons with Disabilities Living in Cities”
Earlier this month, we celebrated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities with this year’s theme “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities”. On this occasion, the UN Housing Rights Programme launched its publication on “The right to adequate housing for persons with disabilities living in cities”. Building on the state of international human rights law and state obligations, the publication outlines the barriers and impediments persons with disabilities face for accessing and realizing their right to adequate housing.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/12/16/un-habitat-launches-publication-on-the-right-to-adequate-housing-for-persons-with-disabilities-living-in-cities/, December 17, 2015
Canada: Ontario Appoints New Chair to Lead Accessibility Advisory Council
Ontario has appointed Rich Donovan as the new Chair of the province’s Accessibility Standards Advisory Council (ASAC). The Council is responsible for providing high-level strategic advice to the Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure on matters related to the implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. Mr. Donovan is a globally renowned authority on disability and corporate profitability. He has helped provide clients and global governments with insights to frame disability as a global emerging market. He is also the publisher of The Global Economics of Disability Annual Report and his expertise on the scope and value of the disability market is sought by businesses, government and non-government organizations around the world.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/12/17/ontario-appoints-new-chair-to-lead-accessibility-advisory-council/, December 17, 2015