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Kenya: Students with Vision Disabilities Learn Through Technology
Until recently, students who are blind or have low vision in Kenya were still using Braille books for their studies. But Kenyan schools for the blind are now beginning to adopt technology that provides material in a audible form — and in the process expands their opportunities. Until recently, students who are blind or have low vision in Kenya were still using Braille books for their studies. But Kenyan schools for the blind are now beginning to adopt technology that provides material in a audible form — and in the process expands their opportunities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/02/09/students-with-vision-disabilities-learn-through-technology/, February 09, 2016

India: New Smartphone App to Audit Accessibility
To find out if the polling stations for the upcoming State elections are accessible to persons with disabilities, the Disability Rights Alliance, Tamil Nadu (DRA) has developed an app that volunteers can use to audit the stations. The app, to be called ‘Election Audit’, has been developed by software company Ardhika, and will be available on the Android platform, but can only be used by registered volunteers, said Sathya Madurantakam of DRA.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/02/08/new-smartphone-app-to-audit-accessibility/, February 08, 2016

New EU Working Group Aims to Draft Guidelines to Improve mHealth Apps Data Quality
The Commission has set up a working group to develop guidelines for assessing the validity and reliability of the data that health apps collect and process. Based on their expertise, 20 members representing civil society, research and industry organizations were selected to participate in the working group. The guidelines are expected to be published by the end of this year.
From https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/new-eu-working-group-aims-draft-guidelines-improve-mhealth-apps-data-quality, February 03, 2016

WFD-WASLI International Sign Interpreter Accreditation System
The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and the World Association of the Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) have recently established an International Sign (IS) Interpreter Accreditation system. The Accreditation aims to set, maintain and promote standards in International Sign Interpretation, and acts as a quality-assurance system for credentialing practitioners who meet those standards. Since its inaugural appearance at the WFD Congress in 1987, demand for International Sign Interpreting has grown over time. It now consists of both hearing International Sign interpreters as well as Deaf International Sign Interpreters.
From http://wfdeaf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/WFD-WASLI-International-Sign-Interpreter-Recognition-Interim-Policy-and-Guidelines.pdf, February 03, 2016

New Zealand: Children with Disabilities and Disaster Preparedness: Case Study of Christchurch
An estimated seven million children with disabilities worldwide are affected by disasters annually. This significant figure emphasizes the particular vulnerability of these children in facing natural hazards. However, their needs as well as their capacity and role in disaster risk reduction have largely been overlooked by researchers and policymakers. This paper draws on a case study in Christchurch to identify insights, realities, possibilities and obstacles in relation to the involvement in disaster preparedness of children with diverse disabilities.
From http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1177083X.2015.1068185, February 03, 2016

Disability Indicators for Monitoring the SDGs
The Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) released their report that has nine indicators that explicitly refer to persons with disabilities, and also calls for data disaggregation by disability. The IAEG-SDGs is the focal point on developing a global indicator framework for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the corresponding targets. The IAEG-SDGs Member States and observers increasingly recognize the need to integrate disability in the SDGs indicator framework, which is now reflected in their report to the 47thsession of the UN Statistical Commission. The Commission will meet in March 2016 where it will decide on the adoption of the proposed list of SDG indicators. The nine indicators are under six SDGs focusing on poverty eradication (Goal1), education (Goal 4), employment (Goal 8), reducing inequalities (Goal 10), inclusive cities (Goal 11), and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies (Goal 16).
From http://bit.ly/newsiaegsdgs, February 03, 2016

10 Tips for Reducing Sign Language Interpreter Costs
Paying for interpreters or speech-to-text providers for an international exchange participant won’t necessarily cost more than it does at home. The University of Missouri’s disability services office requested bids from multiple agencies that provided interpreter services.
From http://www.miusa.org/resource/tipsheet/reduceinterpretercosts?utm_content=25856769, February 03, 2016

Microsoft Shuffles Staffers in Renewed Accessibility Push
The software giant names a new chief accessibility officer as part of an initiative to make Microsoft's products more accessible to users of varying abilities. Jenny Lay-Flurrie, chair of the Disability Employee Resource Group at Microsoft, has been named the company's new chief accessibility officer as the Redmond, Wash., corporation turns its attention to making technology more accessible to people with disabilities.
From http://www.eweek.com/it-management/microsoft-shuffles-staffers-in-renewed-accessibility-push.html, February 01, 2016

How To Create A Disability-Friendly Workplace
In 2011, World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that there are one billion people with disabilities (PWDs), which is equivalent to 15 per cent of the world’s population. If you go by WHO’s data, India should have more than 150 million disabled people. Javed Abidi, director of the National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (NCPEDP), said: "Out of the 150 million, at least 60 to 70 million must be of employable age but the cold and bitter truth is that not even two per cent of them are employed.”
From http://www.businessworld.in/article/How-To-Create-A-Disability-Friendly-Workplace/23-01-2016-90561/, February 01, 2016

Dedication to Access on a Global Scale – Interview with James Thurston, G3ict
Welcome to 2016! There's nothing like a new year to start thinking about the changing needs of accessibility on a global basis. To kick things off, it's my great pleasure to introduce James Thurston, Vice President for Global Strategy and Development in the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict). James very kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to explain his remarkable work in supporting the access needs of people with disabilities around the world and the goals of G3ict.
From http://www.accessiq.org/news/w3c-column/2016/02/dedication-to-access-on-a-global-scale-an-interview-with-james-thurston, February 01, 2016

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