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Shortlist Announced for Accessible Books Consortium’s 2016 International Excellence Award
The 2016 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing shortlist has been announced. Nominees were judged on the criteria of outstanding leadership or achievements in improving the accessibility of commercial e-books or other digital publications for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled.
From http://www.accessiblebooksconsortium.org/news/en/2016/news_0001.html, March 11, 2016

Web Content Accessibility for Users with Varying Abilities
Great web design is not only dynamic and lovely, it’s also highly functional. Functionality covers a very broad topic – but in a general sense, it means that website design and development enable all online users to access the information on the website (including images, videos, text, etc.). All users includes individuals with disabilities, such as those who are colorblind, have low vision, are blind, have hearing impairments, are dyslexic, are prone to seizures, have motor or mobility impairments, etc.
From http://www.business2community.com/strategy/web-content-accessibility-users-varying-abilities-01464061#SvVBovVbXogaJ0DG.99, March 11, 2016

Accessibility in Office 365—Progress in 2015 and Plans for 2016
Last week, Jenny Lay-Flurrie, chief accessibility officer for Microsoft, outlined our company-wide guiding principles and goals to improve accessibility across our products, services and websites. To support this company priority, the Office 365 team has increased its investments in accessibility to a historical high and is committed to delivering inclusive productivity experiences to empower the 1 billion+ people with disabilities on this planet to achieve more.
From https://blogs.office.com/2016/02/22/accessibility-in-office-365-progress-in-2015-and-plans-for-2016/, March 11, 2016

BBC Researches Caption User Experience
Three researchers from the BBC have created a framework for understanding – and potentially improving – the UX (user experience) of people who use captions. In the Development of a Framework for Understanding the UX of Subtitles (link is external) (note that ‘subtitle’ is the UK term for ‘caption’), Michael Crabb, Rhiane Jones and Mike Armstrong write that improving subtitling “requires a shift in defining what is meant by the quality of subtitles; from the quality of subtitle displays as defined principally by standard efficiency measures - to the quality of the overall viewing experience”.
From http://mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/news/bbc-researches-caption-user-experience, March 11, 2016

Want Grandma to Know Siri from a Selfie? This Teen Can Help
Tara Bahrampour, a staff writer based in Washington, D.C., writes about aging and generations. On Wednesday, Howard, 71, sat in a classroom where Christian, 16, was the teacher. His class: an introduction to smartphones for residents of Westminster at Lake Ridge, a retirement community in Prince William County, Va. Christian began volunteering at the facility a year ago, helping at Tuesday night sessions where people could come with tech questions.
From https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/want-grandma-to-know-siri-from-a-selfie-this-teen-can-help/2016/03/04/8f8b0f5a-e176-11e5-8d98-4b3d9215ade1_story.html, March 10, 2016

Interview: Deafblind Attorney Fights for Online Accessibility
Haben Girma, a disability advocate and the first deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School, spoke with us via iMessage from her Berkeley, CA, office to discuss her work to change the accessibility culture of Silicon Valley, her meeting with President Obama during the 25th anniversary commemoration of the Americans with Disabilities Act and society’s evolving attitude toward people with disabilities.
From http://www.rudermanfoundation.org/blog/article/interview-deafblind-attorney-fights-for-online-accessibility, March 10, 2016

App Helps People with Disabilities Determine, Document Building Accessibility
A group advocating for people with disabilities in Newfoundland and Labrador is hoping that a new app will make it easier to see what buildings in the province are accessible. "Accessibility is a problem across the country and in our province," says Kim White, executive director for the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities (CODNL). The group is working to spread the word about Access Now, an interactive map that shares the accessibility status of various businesses and buildings around the world.
From http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/app-helps-people-with-disabilities-determine-document-building-accessibility-1.3462742, March 10, 2016

Toyota Develops Wearable Device for Blind People
Toyota is developing a wearable device to help give blind and visually impaired people greater mobility, the manufacturer has said. The gadget is worn on the shoulders and uses cameras to recognize surroundings, such as signs, then directs the wearer with speakers and vibration motors. Details were released this week, though no release date has been set. The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) called it an exciting development.
From http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35753978, March 09, 2016

Call for Input from all Stakeholders for Secretary-General's Report on Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities at the United Nations
The United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 70/170 dated 10 February 2016: “Towards the full realization of an inclusive and accessible United Nations for persons with disabilities” requested the Secretary-General to submit to the Assembly at its 71st session, a comprehensive report on the status of accessibility at the United Nations, with a view to realizing an inclusive and accessible environment for persons with disabilities. Email: mailto:doultonf@un.org
From http://www.un.org/disabilities, March 09, 2016

U.S. Access Board Elects Michael K. Yudin Chair
The U.S Access Board unanimously elected Michael K. Yudin of the U.S. Department of Education as Chair. As Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Yudin serves as the Secretary of Education's principal adviser on special education, vocational rehabilitation, and disability and rehabilitation research. He previously served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and as Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. Yudin, who served a term as Board Chair in 2014, succeeds Sachin Dev Pavithran of Logan, Utah as Board Chair.
From https://www.access-board.gov/the-board/members, March 09, 2016

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