Canada: FDM Announces New Text-to-911 Standard
For Canadians with hearing or speech disabilities, calling 911 in an emergency hasn’t been possible. Until now. An enhancement to FDM Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) now allows Canadians with hearing or speech disabilities to call 911 in an emergency and communicate by text message. The FDM enhancement enables a visual alert for emergency dispatchers indicating a call is coming from a Canadians with hearing or speech disabilities. The alert signifies to the call-taker that the communication needs to continue via text.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/04/09/fdm-announces-new-text-to-911-standard/, April 09, 2014
USA: Microsoft’s Ann Marie Rohaly Wins National Broadcasting Award for Her Closed Captioning Work
One of Microsoft’s leaders in accessibility, Ann Marie Rohaly, was honored as a 2014 Woman to Watch today for her work to make movies, television shows and other video accessible to everyone, including viewers with disabilities. The national broadcasting award from TVNewsCheck recognizes Rohaly for more than 15 years of work on digital media, including work on closed captioning standards that improved accessibility as video content increasingly moved online.
From http://blogs.msdn.com/b/accessibility/archive/2014/04/08/national-broadcasting-award.aspx, April 09, 2014
Ireland: NUI Galway Hosts Events Across Campus to Highlight Disability Awareness Week
Funded through the EXPLORE project at NUI Galway, the week saw a range of inter-disciplinary events organized all over campus with the aim of raising awareness around disability, diversity and equality in access to higher education and inclusion in society. More specifically, this project aimed at increasing staff, student and public awareness about people with disabilities, with a view to combating stereotypes and promoting the contributions of people with disabilities through a campus-wide awareness week.
From http://www.nuigalway.ie/about-us/news-and-events/news-archive/2014/april2014/nui-galway-hosts-events-across-campus-to-highlight-disability-awareness-week-.html, April 08, 2014
USA: Webinar on Emergency Management for People with Disabilities
In the past 12 months, Illinois residents have endured flooding, tornadoes, snow storms, a Polar Vortex and other public safety emergencies. While these and other disasters can’t be prevented, their impact can be reduced when people, businesses, schools and others in a community are properly prepared. With that in mind, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will focus on ‘Preparedness for the Whole Community’ throughout April as part of its 2014 preparedness campaign.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/04/07/webinar-on-emergency-management-for-people-with-disabilities/, April 07, 2014
India: Technology Changing Lives for People with Vision Disabilities in Developing Countries
The study shows that assistive technology-screen readers and other communication software-can boost the economic and social aspirations of people with vision disabilities, enabling them to pursue work they once thought was impossible. The technology also makes them less marginalized in low- and middle-income countries, where they are often stuck at home or limited to low-skilled jobs.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/04/07/technology-changing-lives-for-people-with-vision-disabilities-in-developing-countries/, April 07, 2014
Five Ways Web Designers Can Build Accessible Websites
In a blog post for Toronto-based New Design Group Inc., Alexandra Tanasa writes about how website designers can ensure they’re compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). As more and more of the world is coming online, the act recognizes people with disabilities should also be able to access the Internet with ease, so AODA recommends website designers follow the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
From http://www.itbusiness.ca/article/5-ways-web-designers-can-build-accessible-websites, April 07, 2014
USA: Pew Research on Older Adults and Technology Use
America’s seniors have historically been late adopters to the world of technology compared to their younger compatriots, but their movement into digital life continues to deepen, according to newly released data from the Pew Research Center. In this report, we take advantage of a particularly large survey to conduct a unique exploration not only of technology use between Americans ages 65 or older and the rest of the population, but within the senior population as well.
From http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/04/03/older-adults-and-technology-use/, April 03, 2014
USA: Microsoft Unveils Cortana Virtual Assistant for Windows Phone
The voice-controlled app, named Cortana, uses both the firm's search engine Bing and data stored on the handsets to make personalized recommendations and carry out tasks. Apple and Google already offer comparable facilities on their iOS and Android platforms. But one artificial intelligence expert said Microsoft's decision to wait until now to launch could prove wise.
From http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26855113, April 02, 2014
Three New Samsung Smartphone Accessories Show the Universal Appeal of Accessibility
Accessibility is increasingly a mainstream issue, as companies, developers and consumers recognize that accessibility is about giving all people, including people with disabilities, new tools and ways to interact with the world. Samsung is one of the latest to expand the universe of accessibility by creating three new products for its Galaxy Core Advance smartphone, according to a new story. The new Optical Scan Stand starts a program that reads text placed in front of the smartphone out loud, Engadget reports. With new Voice Labels, users can record audio notes about devices in their homes, the story adds.
From http://blogs.msdn.com/b/accessibility/archive/2014/04/01/three-new-samsung-smartphone-accessories-show-the-universal-appeal-of-accessibility.aspx, April 01, 2014
Power of Technology is Expanding the Use of Memory-Assisting Tools
The following blog post was written by Erin Beneteau, a senior learning and development strategist for accessibility at Microsoft. Apps that help me manage my daily life can also assist people with memory impairments. The key is to ensure these apps have interfaces that are easy to use, navigate, and access. Then these apps can truly change lives.
From http://blogs.msdn.com/b/accessibility/archive/2014/03/13/the-power-of-technology-is-expanding-the-use-of-memory-assisting-tools.aspx, March 31, 2014