USA: The Air Carrier Access Act - Web Accessibility Requirements
U.S. and foreign air carriers operating flights to or selling tickets to the U.S. public are required to ensure that the public-facing content of websites that they own or control conforms to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A and Level AA. If enacted, the proposed requirements will not just apply to U.S. air carriers’ public-facing pages; they will also apply to foreign carriers’ public-facing pages that are used to advertise or sell to the U.S. public for air transportation that begins or ends in the U.S.
From https://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/2013/01/29/air-carrier-access-act-web-accessibility-requirements/, January 29, 2013
USA: White House Announces Audio Descriptions for Public Tours
President Obama and the First Lady have long been committed to ensuring that the White House is truly the People’s House, and that Americans with disabilities are fully integrated into our society. Continuing on that commitment, the White House Visitor’s Office is pleased to announce the availability of an audio description for those taking a White House tour. This will give blind and visually impaired Americans and persons with other print disabilities the opportunity to listen to an audio described tour as they visit the historic, public rooms of the White House.
From http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/01/24/white-house-announces-audio-descriptions-public-tours, January 28, 2013
USA: Strategic Plan for Improving Management of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
The Administration is committed to increasing transparency and improving access to government information and data for all people. This increased transparency requires that information be made available to the public in formats that provide equal access to persons with disabilities. Essential to meeting this objective is ensuring that all electronic and information technology (EIT) that is developed, procured, maintained, or used by the Federal Government is accessible, as required by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.1 Many Federal agencies’ guidance and plans, such as the 2012 Digital Government strategy,2 include EIT accessibility as a strategic outcome. However, implementation of Section 508 across agencies is not consistent, and a more comprehensive approach is needed to build and sustain an accessible Federal technology environment.
From http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/procurement/memo/strategic-plan-508-compliance.pdf, January 28, 2013
USA: Department of Justice to Release NPRM on Web Accessibility
DoJ will release an NPRM on web accessibility for state and local government websites, in July 2013. This notice also indicates that DoJ has separated the state and local government rules (Title II) from the public accommodation rules (Title III). A Title III NPRM may be released later, but no confirmation or date is included.
From http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201210&RIN=1190-AA65, January 28, 2013
IDEAL Group Reader App Showcased at CES 2013
"IDEAL Group Reader" is a fully-accessible eBook reader app that can read text aloud, just like an audio book. It was developed by Apps4Android with support from Wireless RERC's App Factory. The Beta version of this ePub3 reader has been tested by thousands of users in 116 countries. Apps4Android's CEO Steve Jacobs showcased the IDEAL Group Reader (IGR) at the Consumer Electronics Association's (CEA) International CES 2013 in Las Vegas on January 8-12.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.org/content/newsroom/ideal-group-reader-app-showcased-ces-2013, January 28, 2013
USA: Quiet Hybrid Cars Pose a Danger to the Blind?
The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced proposals for minimum sound requirements on hybrid and electric vehicles. They say the vehicles pose a safety issue for pedestrians and cyclists, especially for those who are visually impaired.
From http://www.npr.org/2013/01/11/169172188/quiet-hybrid-cars-pose-a-danger-to-the-blind, January 14, 2013
USA: What Accessibility Standards Apply to Mobile Phone Applications?
Mobile Apps (including mobile web apps) are generally covered by the same standards for access by people with disabilities that apply to non-mobile software and web applications. Applicable U.S. laws such as the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), Section 508, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) apply in different ways.
From https://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/2013/01/11/what-accessibility-standards-apply-to-mobile-phone-applications/, January 14, 2013
USA: Cornell University to Present New Status of Disability Report 2011
Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute (EDI) will host a free online webinar on Friday, January 18th from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST to present the findings of the 2011 Disability Status Report. This free webinar will explore data from the recently released 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) related to disability and employment, education, poverty, household income and labor earnings.
From http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/TXGOV-65b9e8?reqfrom=share, January 11, 2013
UN General Assembly Adopts Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review with Disability-specific Language
The QCPR is a key guiding document for the work of the UN agencies that are active in the area of development; it sets the framework within which the strategic plans operate for the next 4 years (2013 onward). Operative paragraph 23 directs UN agencies to take the needs of persons with disabilities into account in all operational activities for development, including in the Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). It also mandates development agencies to address the lack of adequate and reliable information about disability and development, and to strengthen coherence in this regard.
From http://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/sites/disalliance.e-presentaciones.net/files/public/files/A 67 442 Add.1 QCPR Report.doc, January 11, 2013
WHO Hosts Global Expert Consultation on Disability Statistics
On 5-6 December, in Geneva, Switzerland, an expert consultation was held on the Model Disability Survey questionnaire developed by WHO and the World Bank. A rigorous process is being undertaken to develop the questionnaire. 179 national surveys were reviewed to identity good practice examples for further analysis. Micro data from 10 surveys were reviewed in depth before drafting the questionnaire.
From http://who.int/disabilities/media/news/2012/06_12/en/index.html, January 11, 2013