USA: Hearing Aid Prices Under Pressure From Consumer Electronics
At the Audiology Now! convention here last week, visitors stood next to blowing electric fans to experience how a new hearing aid could screen out wind noise. They donned goggles to attend a virtual reality dinner party to learn how new technology made it easier to hear conversations around them. The consumer electronics industry is encroaching on the hearing aid business, offering products that are far less expensive and available without the involvement of audiologists or other professionals.
From http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/21/business/hearing-aid-business-feels-pressure-from-consumer-electronics.html?_r=2, April 27, 2016
It’s Time To Make Web Accessibility Integral To Your Project Lifecycle
It is imperative that accessibility considerations are integrated at each stage of a project's life-cycle, and are not treated as an arbitrary exercise. But why is that, and what happens if they aren't? The definition of ‘web accessibility’ and the scope of what it refers to should encompass the complete combination of interfaces that sit between the application interface (which conveys semantics), and the user’s cognitive evaluation of those semantics. For example, an unsupported browser used against a well-designed application may be as detrimental to the user journey as an assistive technology used against an application that is not using semantic HTML.
From https://econsultancy.com/blog/67751-it-s-time-to-make-web-accessibility-integral-to-your-project-lifecycle/, April 26, 2016
Bahrain Marks Arab Deaf Week
Bahrain celebrated the 41st edition to Arab Week for the Deaf. Labour and Social Development Minister Jameel bin Mohammed Ali Humaidan opened the ceremony at Bahrain and Kuwait Rehabilitation Centre in Isa Town. The event was attended by Bahrain Deaf Society Chairman Aqeel Ali Hassan, guests and other officials. Addressing the opening event, he stressed the keenness of the Ministry of Labour and Social Development to take care of people with hearing disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/04/25/bahrain-marks-arab-deaf-week/, April 26, 2016
USA: Netflix to Improve Features for Customers Who are Blind
In a first-of-its-kind settlement, advocates for people who are blind have reached an agreement with Netflix to make accessible the movies and videos offered through the Netflix video streaming and DVD rental subscriptions. The settlement provides that Netflix will make its video content accessible by adding a new technology called “audio description” as a feature that customers who are blind can activate so they can more fully understand and enjoy the movie and video experience.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/04/25/netflix-to-improve-features-for-customers-who-are-blind/, April 26, 2016
Toolkit from Business Disability Forum on Retention and Recruitment of Persons with Disabilities
Retaining skillls within an organization is vital to the ongoing success of a business or activity. Losing good people incurs significant costs, most obviously in recruitment, training and lost opportunities. So retaining a great employee who has acquired a disability makes good business sense, no employer likes to spend money without benefit.
From http://www.businessdisabilityforum.org.uk/about-us/news/download-a-free-preview-of-our-retention-toolkit-retention-maturity-model-sponsored-by-ingeus/, April 25, 2016
USA: Seeking Case Studies in Inclusive Urban Design and Development
GAATES is currently working closely with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) (Division for Social Policy and Development, Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) to ensure that Universal Design, accessibility and inclusive urban design and development are adequately addressed in the upcoming UN Habitat III events, outcomes and publications.
On behalf of UN DESA, GAATES is soliciting Case Studies that demonstrate inclusive and accessible Urban Design and Development for inclusion in a publication that they will be publishing mid-summer 2016. Successful submissions will be included in the publication and your contribution will be acknowledged.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/04/16/seeking-case-studies-in-inclusive-urban-design-and-development/, April 25, 2016
UNITAR Free Training Course: Introduction to the 2030 Agenda: A New Agenda for a Sustainable World
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) announces the launch of a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the 2030 Agenda and its related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): “Introduction to the 2030 Agenda: A New Agenda for a Sustainable World”. This free of charge, self-paced course is open to everyone interested to learn more about the meaning and principles of the 2030 Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals and understand how the implementation could be financed and why it is important to monitor and review progress.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/04/20/unitar-free-training-course-introduction-to-the-2030-agenda-a-new-agenda-for-a-sustainable-world/, April 25, 2016
Researchers Develop Magnifying Smartphone Screen App for People with Vision Disabilities
Researchers from the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School have developed a smartphone application that projects a magnified smartphone screen to Google Glass, which users can navigate using head movements to view a corresponding portion of the magnified screen. They have shown that the technology can potentially benefit users with vision disabilities, many of whom find the smartphone’s built-in zoom feature to be difficult to use due to the loss of context. Their results are published online in the journal IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/04/23/researchers-develop-magnifying-smartphone-screen-app-for-people-with-vision-disabilities/, April 25, 2016
New Zealand: Sign Language Projects Receive $1 Million
Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner today congratulated 24 successful applicants who received just over $1 million worth of grants from the New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Fund. Successful projects include the development of a youth mentorship programme, a series of NZSL Immersion Courses in Otago where there is very limited access to NZSL for families with children with disabilities and a national conference for families with deaf children.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/04/25/sign-language-projects-receive-1m/, April 25, 2016
India: 'Tech Innovations Will Improve Lives of the Visually Impaired'
Android smartphones are smart enough to assist the visually impaired. But, they could be smarter with more innovations," said Kiran Kaja, who himself is afflicted with visual impairment. Kaja, currently working as an engineer with Google with a specialization in the field of technical assistance for visually impaired, opined that technological advancements such as 'text to speech' and 'speech to text' conversion software and screen readers could be of much help to the visually impaired and will improve the quality of their lives.
From http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/Tech-innovations-will-improve-lives-of-the-visually-impaired/articleshow/51887238.cms, April 21, 2016