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Q&A with Debra Ruh: Importance of Social Media and Accessibility
Debra Ruh, CEO, Ruh Global Communications and Co-Founder, AXSChat, G3ict EmployAbility and Technology Chair, discusses accessibility and social media. Debra spoke to Media Access Australia ahead of chairing a session on Engaging with Others via Social Media at the M-Enabling conference, being held 1-2 June 2015 in Washington DC.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/qa-social-media-and-accessibility, June 15, 2015

Italy: Milan Airports Launch Guide to Accessible Landmarks
Developed in collaboration with Where, a leading brand in visitor publications, born to facilitate accessible tourism for people with mobility disabilities, one of the core values namely passenger satisfaction at Milan Airports. Milan is also home to the Duomo, La Scala Opera House, Leonardo’s Last Supper, Castello Sforzesco, imposing Romanesque churches, museums brimming over with priceless artworks as well as the recent introduction of some amazing contemporary architecture.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/06/15/milan-airports-launch-guide-to-accessible-landmarks/, June 15, 2015

India: Firm Develops Speech to Tactile Solution for People with Hearing Disabilities
Class 12 student D. Nava Rashika carefully places her hand on a tactile board, which is about the size of her palm with tiny switches. When a word is spoken into the microphone, she carefully feels which lever remains depressed and which springs up. Once the tactile board goes still, she points to the word ‘Amma’ on the chart shown to her. Nava Rashika is one of the students at the CSI School for the Deaf and she is trying out the new ‘Rhema – Speak to Hear Tactile Device,’ developed by Sharon Systems, a Chennai-based company. The system is designed for people with hearing disabilities and will allow them to follow conversations and even help people with a speech disability.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/06/15/firm-develops-speech-to-tactile-solution-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, June 15, 2015

American Foundation for the Blind Announces 2015 Helen Keller Achievement Award Honorees
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) recently announced the names of this year’s recipients of the Helen Keller Achievement Award. Awardees include Apple Inc. for breakthroughs in accessible technology, actor Charlie Cox for his portrayal of a blind superhero, Ward Marston, a musician/recording engineer with vision loss, and Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. for pioneering treatment of a circadian rhythm disorder that can affect blind people. Apple received recognition for VoiceOver, a screen reader program that helps make Apple products accessible to people with vision loss. The AFB's Helen Keller Achievement Awards gala will be held in New York City on June 18, 2015.
From http://www.afb.org/info/about-us/press-room/press-release-archive/afb-announces-2015-helen-keller-achievement-award-honorees-/1245, June 08, 2015

The Accessible Technology Challenges Facing Millennials
Last week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced proposals to move the Commission forward on two important communications access issues for Americans with disabilities. It is a primary objective of the Commission to strive toward better access to information and communication technology for people with disabilities.
From https://www.fcc.gov/blog/accessible-technology-challenges-facing-millennials, June 08, 2015

FCC Chairman Wheeler Honors Innovators in Accessibility Communications
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today announced winners of the fourth annual Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman’s AAA). These awards recognize and honor innovative achievements in communications technology that benefits people with disabilities. The Chairman’s AAA, a project of the FCC’s Accessibility and Innovation Initiative (A&I), recognizes outstanding private and public sector ventures in communications technology accessibility and innovation. The Chairman’s AAA is part of the A&I Initiative’s goal to facilitate ongoing exchanges among industry, assistive technology companies, app developers, government representatives and consumers to share best practices and solutions for accessible communications technologies.
From https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-chairman-wheeler-honors-innovators-accessibility-communications, June 05, 2015

Thailand: Accessibility Centre Opens at ESCAP to Support Persons with Disabilities
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today opened a state-of-the-art Accessibility Centre at the ESCAP Conference Centre in Bangkok to support the participation of persons with disabilities in United Nations intergovernmental processes and meetings.
From http://www.unescap.org/news/accessibility-centre-opens-escap-support-persons-disabilities, May 31, 2015

USA: FCC Extends Tech Program for People Who are Deaf-Blind
The Federal Communications Commission voted yesterday to make permanent its program that distributes communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. Known as “iCanConnect,” the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program provides equipment needed to make telecommunications, advanced communications and the Internet accessible to Americans who have significant vision and hearing disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/22/fcc-extends-tech-program-for-people-who-are-deaf-blind/, May 28, 2015

Understanding the Assistive Technology Needs of People with Mobility Disabilities
A team of researchers at University of Wollongong (UOW) is working to understand the mobility issues experienced by people over the age of 55 who are not being adequately supported by existing assistive mobility aids. The long-term goal of the ‘Enabilise’ project is to help develop new assistive mobility aids that respond to actual lived experiences.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/26/understanding-the-assistive-technology-needs-of-people-with-mobility-disabilities/, May 28, 2015

Africa: National Electoral Commission Develops Policy for Persons With Disabilities in Elections Operations
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) recently in a workshop developed a NEC Disability Policy ( NECDiP) that is designed to ensure the right to election participation for Persons with Disabilities. The NECDiP was developed 2015 and for effective an effective implementation of the NECDiP, the Commission has developed the NECDiP training manual as a key support resource that aims to increase disability awareness issues relating to electoral rights of persons with disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/28/national-electoral-commission-develops-policy-for-persons-with-disabilities-in-elections-operations/, May 28, 2015

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