Canada: Entrepreneur Developing Accessibility Mapping App
As someone who uses a wheelchair, Maayan Ziv was often unsure if city spaces would be accessible until she showed up at the entrance. Unable to find this valuable information anywhere, Maayan took matters into her own hands and developed an application called AccessNow. This groundbreaking web-based app uses crowdsourced information to pinpoint the accessibility status of hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and tourist destinations around the world on an interactive map.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/18/entrepreneur-developing-accessibility-mapping-app/, November 18, 2015
Vietnam to Raise Education Standards Through ICT
The Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training has been carrying out a number of projects to increase the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in education in order to raise the quality of education. After cooperating with Viettel in providing internet connection to all schools in the country, the ministry is currently carrying out programmes with the support of South Korea, such as the virtual university project at Hanoi University of Science and Technology, the e-learning project at Hanoi Open University, and a program to equip Vietnamese schools with computers and train teachers in using information technology in teaching.
From http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/education/146356/vietnam-to-raise-education-standards-through-ict.html, November 17, 2015
ICT Moves Forward with Digital Thailand Policy
Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Chantong has said that the Ministry of Information Communication Technology (MICT) has an important role in developing the country’s infrastructure in a variety of ways concerning the use of digital technology. The Digital Thailand policy will contribute to the national development and develop technology and people’s quality of life to enhance the country’s capacity and competitiveness in preparation for the advent of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The MICT focuses on developing a network of community digital centers and creating opportunities and equality in the society.
From http://news.thaivisa.com/thailand/ict-moves-forward-with-digital-thailand-policy/121251/, November 17, 2015
India: Student Creates Hands-free Mouse for Persons with Disabilities
A 16-year-old student in Coimbatore city, of Tamil Nadu has developed a hands-free mouse for the people with mobility disabilities. Nisanth Kumar, a resident of Coimbatore said he developed the idea when during a recent visit to a home for people with a disability he saw people with the talent and skill to use computers being unable to do so due to physical limitations. Kumar says through this mouse he wants to enable people with mobility disabilities to find a job. The mouse has been uniquely designed as the mouse is worn as a headgear and has an air sensitive microphone. The movement of the head gear moves the mouse on screen. The mouse clicks on the computer screen every time the operator blows on the microphone.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/14/student-creates-mouse-for-persons-with-disabilities/, November 16, 2015
USA: Survey Shown Effective in Helping States Improve Employment Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
The push to end segregated employment in which individuals with disabilities are limited to menial work for sub-minimum wage pay is gaining momentum. Researchers at the University of Kansas are leading the way in promoting equal opportunity and pay as well as assisting states making the effort to end employment segregation. Now, a survey designed to assess training efforts for individuals and families has been shown to be an effective way to investigate many types of disability programs and resources, and states are beginning to put it to use.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/16/survey-shown-effective-in-helping-states-improve-employment-opportunities-for-persons-with-disabilities/, November 16, 2015
Qatar Computing Research Institute Launches Custom Braille Keyboard for People with Vision Disabilities
The Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), one of Hamad bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) three specialized national research institutes, has developed a custom keyboard for iOS that enables eyes-free, one-handed typing based on Braille and is suitable for both Arabic-speaking and English-speaking users. The BrailleEasy keyboard was launched by QCRI on Thursday November 12th, alongside representatives of Qatar Social and Cultural Center for the Blind (QSCCB), Al Noor Institute for the Blind, and MADA (Qatar Assistive Technology Center), each of which played an important role in the development of the application. The app helps people with vision disabilities type quickly on touch-screen devices, a process that can otherwise be very cumbersome and slow.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/16/qatar-computing-research-institute-launches-custom-braille-keyboard-for-people-with-vision-disabilities/, November 16, 2015
Georgia to Make Tourist Attractions Accessible
Within the next year Georgia’s oldest city, Mtskheta, one of the most attractive destinations for tourists, will fit ramps so people using wheelchairs can access the city. According to Georgia’s National Tourism Administration special steps will be implemented for the development of accessible tourism in the country. Georgia’s National Tourism Administration invited international experts from the United Kingdom, Greece, Turkey, China and Russia for the introductory tour in Mtskheta.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/16/georgia-to-make-tourist-attractions-accessible/, November 16, 2015
Japan: Expo Brings High-Tech Devices for Persons with Disabilities
A trade fair showcasing the coolest cutting-edge technology to assist people with disabilities got under way in Tokyo’s hip Shibuya district on Nov. 10. Some of the high-tech hardware on display at the Super Welfare Expo include a device that assists speech and vision; a four-wheel drive electric wheelchair with increased mobility due to front wheels equipped with specially designed tires made up of 24 segments; and prosthetic arms that can be operated at will by sensing the user’s myoelectricity. Twenty-seven companies, organizations and universities are participating. Being held ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, the event was organized by the Tokyo-based nonprofit organization People Design Institute.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/13/expo-brings-high-tech-devices-for-persons-with-disabilities/, November 13, 2015
SAGE Announces Launch of New Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
Since its start in the 1960s, Deaf Studies has been impacted by the political activism of Deaf communities, significant advancements in technologies and medicine, and broadened knowledge in interdisciplinary disciplines such as Deaf culture, signed languages and deaf bilingual education. Now a developed field of study at many colleges and universities, Deaf Studies is taking its place among other critical disciplines in the social sciences. Dedicated to the scholarship of Deaf people and Deaf communities worldwide, SAGE (SAra and GEorge) announces the launch of The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia. With 350 entries, the three-volume set applies a deaf-centric perspective on a range of multidisciplinary academic fields and combines research with political and cultural inquiry.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/11/sage-announces-launch-of-new-deaf-studies-encyclopedia/, November 13, 2015
Microsoft Disability Answer Desk Wins 2015 Washington Access Fund Award
Microsoft’s Disability Answer Desk provides product and accessibility support to people with disabilities. Recently they expanded their services, now offering American Sign Language (ASL) technical support for deaf customers whose preferred method of communication is ASL. Microsoft's Disability Answer Desk won in the Large Business Best Practices Award category.
From http://washingtonaccessfund.org/announcing-the-2015-award-winners/, November 13, 2015