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Eleven Major Companies to Promote Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities at the Workplace
Eleven major international companies agreed to promote and include persons with disabilities throughout their operations worldwide in a move the International Labour Organization (ILO) hailed as “not only just a good moral cause” but also “good for business.” In an announcement, ILO said that Accenture, AccorHotels, Adecco Group, AXA Group, Carrefour Group, Dow Chemical, Groupe Casino, L’Oréal, Orange, the Standard Bank Group, and Michelin have become the first signatories of the newly-created ILO Global Business & Disability Network Charter, in a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland. “This new Charter can also make a substantial contribution to realizing many goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder.
From http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/ilo_charter_oct2015.jpg, November 02, 2015

Cyprus Focuses on Action Plan for Accessible Tourism
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) is preparing an action plan aimed at providing accessibility to people with disabilities to enjoy their holidays in Cyprus, opening the door to a specialized tourism which is undoubtedly a big market, while also complying with Cyprus’ obligations as a member of the European Union.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/10/29/cyprus-focuses-on-accessible-tourism/, November 02, 2015

New Zealand: Feedback Sought on Better Access to Books for People with Vision Disabilities
Commerce Minister Paul Goldsmith today released a discussion document which seeks feedback on whether New Zealand should join an international treaty aimed at making more published material available for people with print disabilities. The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled, was concluded in June 2013 and will come into effect once ratified by 20 countries.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/10/30/feedback-sought-on-better-access-to-books-for-people-with-vision-disabilities/, November 02, 2015

India: Adoption of ICT Stressed in Smart City Governance Conference in Bhubhaneswar
Expansion of livelihood opportunities is a key component for making a city smart. Rapid urbanization adds pressure to the resource base and increases demand for energy, water and sanitation as well as public services, education and healthcare, Chief Secretary GC Pati said here on Wednesday. Addressing a conference on Governance in smart cities and intervention of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Pati said the growth rate of population in Bhubaneswar was 3 per cent during 2001-2011 compared to 1.5 per cent for the State.
From http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/odisha/Adoption-of-ICT-Stressed-in-Smart-City-Governance/2015/10/29/article3102949.ece, October 29, 2015

USA: National Disability Employment Awareness Month: My Disability is One Part of Who I Am
Every October during National Disability Employment Awareness Month businesses around the country reflect on and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. For 70 years, the Department of Labor used this time of year to showcase the talents of workers with disabilities and encourage diversity, inclusion and accessibility in the workplace. This year, the Department of Labor is focusing on the theme, “My Disability is One Part of Who I Am.” I am incredibly proud of AT&T’s commitment to the disabled community and to its employees with disabilities, and that commitment is especially meaningful to me because of my own disability.
From http://www.about.att.com/content/csr/home/blog/2015/10/my_disability_isone.html, October 29, 2015

Finland: Mobile Phone Navigation Service for Older People
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a mobile phone-based navigation service which guides older users to the right address, even when lost in a strange town. The result of a European project, the service helps older people to use public transport, assisting them along the entire route. Developed through the European ASSISTANT (Aiding SuStainable Independent Senior TrAvellers to Navigate in Towns) project, the application can be used on computers as well as mobile phones.
From http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-10/vtrc-mpn101615.php, October 29, 2015

Google’s Smarthome Campaign Lets the Houses do the Talking
Nest, a home automation company bought by Google for $3.2 billion in 2014, has created several tongue-in-cheek videos to educate the public about its smart home technology. The Nest Learning Thermostat knows a home owner’s schedule and changes the house temperature accordingly. Then there’s a smoke detector that talks to you, tells you where the smoke is coming from and allows you to silence the alarm from your phone. There is the Nest Cam, with night vision and activity alerts, which allows you to watch what’s going on in your house from your phone. The competitive home automation market was worth an estimated $4.41 billion in 2014. Apple introduced its own system, HomeKit, while Samsung launched its SmartThings hub last month
From http://www.domain.com.au/news/googles-smart-home-campaign-lets-the-houses-do-the-talking-8211-literally-20151028-gkkj8h/, October 28, 2015

USA: 3D Printing Creates Major Breakthrough for People with Vision Disabilities
3DPhotoWorks LLC, with support from the National Federation of the Blind, announces a 3D printing process that allows people who are blind to “see” fine art, diagrams, and other images. This recently patented process converts any conventional painting, drawing, collage or photograph into a 3D Tactile Fine Art Print. Prints have length, width, depth, and texture and are available in sizes up to 60″ x 120″.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/10/27/3d-printing-creates-major-breakthrough-for-people-with-vision-disabilities/, October 28, 2015

USA: IBM, Carnegie Mellon University Create Open Platform to Help People With Vision Disabilities Navigate Better
Scientists from IBM Research and Carnegie Mellon University announced the first open platform designed to support the creation of smartphone apps that can enable people who are blind or have low vision to better navigate their surroundings. The IBM and CMU researchers used the platform to create a pilot app, called NavCog, that draws on existing sensors and cognitive technologies to inform blind people on the CMU campus about their surroundings by “whispering” into their ears through earbuds or by creating vibrations on smartphones.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/10/26/ibm-carnegie-mellon-university-create-open-platform-to-help-people-with-vision-disabilities-navigate-better/, October 26, 2015

Canada: Ryerson University Takes Innovative Approach to Accessibility Challenge
“How can we accelerate the dialogue on accessibility with the goal of helping to shift attitudes and change behavior?” The answer to that question is at the heart of Ryerson University’s Hack-cessibility competition, an event taking place between October 23 and November 6, that will bring together students, businesses, members of the accessibility community, entrepreneurs and policymakers to envision creative digital media solutions to accessibility challenges. Hack-cessibility is the first event as part of Ryerson’s Policy Innovation Platform, a pilot initiative designed to assist governments and non-profits by developing a new model of collaboration to solve today’s policy challenges. The platform is sponsored by Ryerson’s Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Ontario Government.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/10/23/ryerson-university-takes-innovative-approach-to-accessibility-challenge/, October 26, 2015

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