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Video: Could Robots Help Children with Autism?
A robotic companion is helping children with autism learn and develop communication skills. Caspar has deliberately simple features and repetitive phrases and gestures, and teachers say they have noticed improved communication skills in some of the children who play with him.
From http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26511354, March 10, 2014

EU: Three Out of Every Four European Banks Fails in the Accessibility of Websites
Researchers from the University of Oviedo, Spain have analyzed the websites of nearly 50 banks from the EU to check whether any user, even if disabled, has equal access. The results show that this right is not fulfilled in 74% of cases, and therefore they demand greater interest from financial entities in this technological and social problem. Web accessibility is the set of technological innovations that ensure equitable access to the web for all users, regardless of disability or the device used. However, these facilities are not present in most of the web pages of European banks, according to an analysis by computer scientists and economists from the University of Oviedo.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/03/07/three-out-of-every-four-european-banks-fails-in-the-accessibility-of-their-websites/, March 10, 2014

USA: FCC Speaker Series to Address Innovation in Voting Accessibility
he FCC will host Dr. Juan E. Gilbert, one of the winners of the 2012 Chairman’s Award for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman’s AAA), will be the honored speaker at the third A&I Initiative Speaker Series, March 11, 2014, at FCC headquarters in Washington.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/03/08/fcc-speaker-series-to-address-innovation-in-voting-accessibility/, March 09, 2014

Scientists Explore How Technology Can Expand Human Rights for People with Disabilities. and Everyone.
Last month, I joined the annual meeting of the Human Rights Coalition of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC. In all my years working on accessibility, I had never come across an event where scientists and technologists together explored how technology could expand and safeguard human rights. But, the linkage between human rights and technology is important. At the United Nations, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities stresses the role of technology in enabling rights. In the treaty, Article 9 talks about the power of technology for people with disabilities to enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms. It marks the first time a human rights treaty raises access to technology to such a high level, where digital inclusion is defined as a human right.
From http://blogs.msdn.com/b/accessibility/archive/2014/02/07/scientists-explore-how-technology-can-expand-human-rights-for-people-with-disabilities-and-everyone.aspx, March 07, 2014

Post-2015 Development Framework Inclusive of Persons with Disabilities
International Disability Alliance (IDA) chair Mr. Yannis Vardakastanis addressed United Nations (UN) Member States, UN agencies and civil society at the UN Headquarters in New York today, calling for a post-2015 sustainable development agenda that is inclusive of persons with disabilities. Mr. Vardakastanis spoke to UN Member States of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during the morning meeting of the Group’s eighth session, stating the importance of mainstreaming the rights of persons with disabilities across the sustainable development agenda. The theme of the session was “Promoting equality, including social equity, gender equality and women’s empowerment”.
From http://inclusion-international.org/post-2015-development-framework-inclusive-persons-disabilities/, March 07, 2014

European Union Legislates for Web Accessibility
The European Parliament has passed a law to improve the accessibility of information on government websites in European Union member countries. This will give millions of people enhanced access to vital information and services. The draft law — which was approved by 593 votes to 40, with 13 abstentions — requires all European Union (EU) member countries to ensure that all websites managed by public sector bodies are fully accessible to elderly people and those with a disability.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/general/european-union-legislates-for-web-accessibility#.UxcWNKvgwT4.twitter, March 05, 2014

Brazil’s National Telecommunications Agency Runs Study on Telecoms Accessibility
Brazil’s National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) and the Secretariat for Human Rights of the Presidency (SDH/PR), are jointly working on the definition of the General Regulation of Accessibility to Telecommunications. The two partners have organized a cycle of lectures on accessibility, with the mission of combining all existing legal provisions and articles on telecoms accessibility in Brazilian law into in a single regulation.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/03/03/brazils-national-telecommunications-agency-runs-study-on-telecoms-accessibility/, March 05, 2014

Researchers Find Wireless Communication Devices Help Children with ASD to Engage More in Class
A study published in The Journal of Pediatrics has shown that sustained use of wireless communication devices can help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD, understand more speech in class, aid in their social interaction and improve educational outcomes. A neurodevelopmental condition, ASD, involves a range of behavioral symptoms including impaired social interaction and communication difficulties.
From http://www.educationforeverybody.co.uk/researchers-find-wireless-communication-devices-help-children-with-asd-to-engage-more-in-class/, March 05, 2014

Sprint Receives Award for Commitment to Accessible Mobile Technology
Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC), a New York-based charity supporting children and adults with autism, has selected Sprint as the 2014 recipient of the Change Maker Award for its commitment to accessibility for people with disabilities. Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO, will accept the honor on behalf of the company at QSAC’s annual gala taking place on Tuesday, June 17, at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers (West 26 Street and West Side Highway) in New York.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/02/28/sprint-receives-award-for-commitment-to-accessible-mobile-technology/, March 05, 2014

A New Vision for an Accessible Web: Enhancing Accessibility for People with Disabilities
Enhancing accessibility for people with disabilities is an insightful process. Often, solutions designed for a specific problem will improve life for everyone. Take automatic door openers, for example. Anyone with their hands full can push that button and enter a building more easily. Digital accessibility matters, too. Websites as well as buildings can comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition to website design, apps and devices are improving experiences for differently-abled people across the internet.
From http://techli.com/2014/03/a-new-vision-of-the-web/, March 04, 2014

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