Smartphones, Apps are Liberating the Blind and Visually Impaired
Ruben Morales, a blind 59-year-old retired engineer who lives in Morgan Hill, has used a specialized screen-reading program for years to write and run spreadsheets on his desktop computer. But just this month, he figuratively cut the cord to his desktop and joined the mobile revolution. Morales was visiting the Veterans Affairs Department's Western Blind Rehabilitation Center in Menlo Park learning how to use an iPhone's features for vision-impaired people.
From http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_28641561/smartphones-apps-are-liberating-blind-and-visually-impaired, August 18, 2015
USA: Special Education Training Efforts to Get Millions
As school gets underway in many parts of the country, federal officials are doling out millions of dollars to help parents and teachers better serve students with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Education said it will grant $14 million to support parent training and information centers in 28 states and two U.S. territories over the next five years.
From http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2015/08/17/special-ed-training-millions/20550/, August 18, 2015
UAE: Dubai 2020: Barrier-free, Inclusive, Disability-Friendly
Dubai is on course to become a barrier-free, inclusive and disability-friendly city by 2020. “We have studied the current status of the city of Dubai and the disability gaps. We have done a lot of comparison on best practices in different countries and are localising the best ones,” said Khaled Al Kamda, Director-General, Community Development Authority (CDA). Giving an example, the official revealed that a task force has been set up under the chairmanship of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), which is working on a plan for accessible transportation, accessible buildings, pathways and everything else in between.
From http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/dubai-2020-barrier-free-inclusive-disability-friendly-2015-08-17-1.600483, August 18, 2015
Internet-Connected Homes Soar to 500m-700m by 2020
The number of Internet-connected homes or smart homes is expected to grow from 100 to 200 million homes today to between 500 to 700 million homes by 2020, according to Gartner. New research by US information technology and advisory firm Gartner cites smart household appliances such as smart stoves, smart lighting and other electronic devices as the primary driver of internet-connected homes.
From http://www.metering.com/internet-connected-homes-soar-to-500m-700m-by-2020/, August 18, 2015
Stephen Hawking’s Voice Software is Now Available in App Form
Stephen Hawking's speech system has now been released by Intel as an open source platform, with the company intending for it to be toyed around with by developers and hackers in order for it to cater to a wider range of disabilities. As outlined by the Microsoft Developer Network, Intel's Assistive Context-Aware Toolkit (ACAT) has been made available in the form of a .NET 4.5 WinForms app that can be accessed by anyone. The ACAT was developed by Intel following a personal request from the physicist, after the symptoms of his ALS had grown worse and therefore negatively impacted upon his ability to communicate using his old speech system. Intel therefore developed a new system that was put in place in January 2014, which saw Hawking's ability to perform common tasks using his computer improve dramatically. Now the entire platform has been made open source, and users are encouraged to tinker around with it in order for it to be help those suffering with other disabilities.
From http://www.craveonline.com/design/891133-stephen-hawkings-voice-now-available-app-form#uYz7ZAK6Zjd171ll.99, August 18, 2015
Former Ghana President Calls for Use of Sign Language at Workplaces
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor says Ghanaian institutions must begin to appreciate the use of sign language at at their workplaces to close the gap between citizens with hearing disabilities of the country. He said there is the need for an all-inclusive working environment that would ensure that people with hearing disabilities are supported to showcase their talents and capabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/08/17/former-ghana-president-calls-for-use-of-sign-language-at-workplaces/, August 17, 2015
India: Children with Disabilities in Mangaluru to Get Accessible Education
The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has sanctioned Rs 62.85 lakh to the district to provide inclusive education to children with disabilities. Around 4,157 children with disabilities from the district will benefit this year. There are around 20 programs, which will be implemented in a 50:50 association with non-governmental organizations, using the grants released by the government. In the first round, children have been selected through assessment in medical camps at block education officer-level. Hearing aids and appliances like tricycles, wheelchairs, crutches and Braille books will be distributed to the children soon after the release of funds.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/08/17/children-with-disabilities-to-get-accessible-education/, August 17, 2015
USA: New Guidance Helps Child Welfare Systems Under the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services Issue Technical Assistance for Child Welfare Systems Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today issued joint technical assistance to state and local child welfare agencies and courts on the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The technical assistance released today is part of a new partnership between HHS and the Department of Justice to help child welfare agencies protect the welfare of children and ensure compliance with nondiscrimination laws.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/08/15/new-guidance-helps-child-welfare-systems-under-the-ada-and-section-504-of-the-rehabilitation-act/, August 17, 2015
UCP’s Life Labs Receives Motorola Solutions Foundation Innovation Generation Grant
United Cerebral Palsy has received a grant for $20,000 as part of the “Innovation Generation Grant” program from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc. Through the grant, UCP’s Life Labs initiative will distribute universal design curriculum modules through iTunes U and offer an immersive two-day design challenge, called an Innovation Lab, to engage students across disciplines in human centered design concepts.
From http://lifelabs.ucp.org/ucps-life-labs-receives-motorola-solutions-foundation-innovation-generation-grant/, August 17, 2015
USA: FCC Roundtable Discussion of Closed Captioning for Public Access and Governmental Programming
The FCC will hold a forum on November 10, 2015, to promote discussion about closed captioning of public access and governmental programming shown on television. The event will include discussions about the benefits of captioning such programming, the relevant captioning obligations of programmers and stations, and effective captioning solutions. The event will engage local government professionals, policy makers, captioning vendors, consumer groups, engineers, representatives from the programming industry, and others as appropriate. The goal of this event is to raise awareness of the issues surrounding captioning of public access and governmental programming, and to ensure the accessibility of such programming for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, as well as other individuals who may benefit from the availability of closed captions on this programming.
From https://www.fcc.gov/events/roundtable-discussion-closed-captioning-public-access-and-governmental-programming, August 14, 2015