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American Foundation for the Blind Announces 2015 Helen Keller Achievement Award Honorees
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) recently announced the names of this year’s recipients of the Helen Keller Achievement Award. Awardees include Apple Inc. for breakthroughs in accessible technology, actor Charlie Cox for his portrayal of a blind superhero, Ward Marston, a musician/recording engineer with vision loss, and Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. for pioneering treatment of a circadian rhythm disorder that can affect blind people. Apple received recognition for VoiceOver, a screen reader program that helps make Apple products accessible to people with vision loss. The AFB's Helen Keller Achievement Awards gala will be held in New York City on June 18, 2015.
From http://www.afb.org/info/about-us/press-room/press-release-archive/afb-announces-2015-helen-keller-achievement-award-honorees-/1245, June 08, 2015

The Accessible Technology Challenges Facing Millennials
Last week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced proposals to move the Commission forward on two important communications access issues for Americans with disabilities. It is a primary objective of the Commission to strive toward better access to information and communication technology for people with disabilities.
From https://www.fcc.gov/blog/accessible-technology-challenges-facing-millennials, June 08, 2015

FCC Chairman Wheeler Honors Innovators in Accessibility Communications
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today announced winners of the fourth annual Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman’s AAA). These awards recognize and honor innovative achievements in communications technology that benefits people with disabilities. The Chairman’s AAA, a project of the FCC’s Accessibility and Innovation Initiative (A&I), recognizes outstanding private and public sector ventures in communications technology accessibility and innovation. The Chairman’s AAA is part of the A&I Initiative’s goal to facilitate ongoing exchanges among industry, assistive technology companies, app developers, government representatives and consumers to share best practices and solutions for accessible communications technologies.
From https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-chairman-wheeler-honors-innovators-accessibility-communications, June 05, 2015

Thailand: Accessibility Centre Opens at ESCAP to Support Persons with Disabilities
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today opened a state-of-the-art Accessibility Centre at the ESCAP Conference Centre in Bangkok to support the participation of persons with disabilities in United Nations intergovernmental processes and meetings.
From http://www.unescap.org/news/accessibility-centre-opens-escap-support-persons-disabilities, May 31, 2015

USA: FCC Extends Tech Program for People Who are Deaf-Blind
The Federal Communications Commission voted yesterday to make permanent its program that distributes communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. Known as “iCanConnect,” the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program provides equipment needed to make telecommunications, advanced communications and the Internet accessible to Americans who have significant vision and hearing disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/22/fcc-extends-tech-program-for-people-who-are-deaf-blind/, May 28, 2015

Understanding the Assistive Technology Needs of People with Mobility Disabilities
A team of researchers at University of Wollongong (UOW) is working to understand the mobility issues experienced by people over the age of 55 who are not being adequately supported by existing assistive mobility aids. The long-term goal of the ‘Enabilise’ project is to help develop new assistive mobility aids that respond to actual lived experiences.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/26/understanding-the-assistive-technology-needs-of-people-with-mobility-disabilities/, May 28, 2015

Africa: National Electoral Commission Develops Policy for Persons With Disabilities in Elections Operations
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) recently in a workshop developed a NEC Disability Policy ( NECDiP) that is designed to ensure the right to election participation for Persons with Disabilities. The NECDiP was developed 2015 and for effective an effective implementation of the NECDiP, the Commission has developed the NECDiP training manual as a key support resource that aims to increase disability awareness issues relating to electoral rights of persons with disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/28/national-electoral-commission-develops-policy-for-persons-with-disabilities-in-elections-operations/, May 28, 2015

Australia: Bus Routes Open for Passengers with Vision Disabilities in Brisbane
A new-generation audible information system is being trialled on the Brisbane bus network to improve accessibility for passengers with vision disabilities. Minister for Disability Services, Coralee O’Rourke said King George Square bus station had been fitted with the easy-to-use Step-Hear system as part of a $50,000 trial of the new technology in a busy public transport environment.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/28/bus-routes-open-for-passengers-with-vision-disabilities/, May 28, 2015

UK Broadcast Regulator Ofcom Ups Sign Language Requirements for Small TV Channels
UK broadcast regulator Ofcom has set new rules that will boost the amount of TV programmes made specifically for sign language users. From next January, smaller TV channels — with an audience viewing share of between 0.05% and 1% – will be required to up their amount of British Sign Language-presented programmes form 30 minutes to 75 minutes per month.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/27/uk-broadcast-regulator-ofcom-ups-sign-language-requirements-for-small-tv-channels/, May 27, 2015

Finland: Sign-language Library Wins International Accessibility Award
The Finnish Association of the Deaf has received international recognition for its sign language library. The award was granted for the library’s innovative use of technological solutions in promoting accessibility.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/26/sign-language-library-wins-international-accessibility-award/, May 26, 2015

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