UAE: High-tech Shoes to Guide People with Vision Disabilities
A pair of shoes to guide people who are blind, a glove that converts sign language into spoken words and a device to create environmentally friendly dye. These were just some of the 200 creations from about 550 young innovators on display at the Think Science fair and competition yesterday. Sara Al Suwaidi and her team came up with the idea to help people who are blind become more mobile by using shoes with an ultrasound device attached. “Our project’s name is ‘Guiding Shoes’ – it is for helping people with vision disabilities reach their destination safely,” she said.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/04/21/high-tech-shoes-to-guide-people-with-vision-disabilities/, April 21, 2014
Dubai: Campaign Pushes Equal Rights for People who are Deaf
People with hearing disabilities in the UAE will have a new dictionary of Emirati sign language that will help the deaf better communicate and learn the nuances of the new language. The Emirati sign langauge is being used by people who are deaf to communicate, but the language is in its infancy and needs a database (of signs), said a campaigner.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/04/20/campaign-pushes-equal-rights-for-people-who-are-deaf/, April 21, 2014
USA: US Access Board Launches Online Guides to the ADA and ABA Standards
The Access Board has launched new online guides on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Standards and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Standards. This web-based material features illustrated technical guides that explain and clarify requirements of the ADA and ABA standards, answer common questions, and offer best practice recommendations. It also includes a series of animations on various subjects covered by the standards.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/04/18/us-access-board-launches-online-guides-to-the-ada-and-aba-standards/, April 21, 2014
Equal Access: How to Include Persons with Disabilities in Elections and Political Processes
A true democracy requires that the poorest and most marginalized citizens have a meaningful voice in decisions affecting their lives. However, persons with disabilities, often among the poorest of the poor and comprising approximately 15 percent of the global population, are rarely empowered to participate politically in their countries.
From http://www.ifes.org/Content/Publications/Books/2014/Equal_Access_Persons_with_Disabilities_Elections_Political_Processes.aspx, April 17, 2014
Australia: App Challenge Launches to Raise Accessibility Awareness
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network and the Australian Human Rights Commission have today launched the inaugural Apps For All Challenge 2014, a competition to find Australia’s most accessible apps. Apps For All is Australia’s first and only competition for accessible mobile apps, aiming to raise awareness of the issues faced by people with disability and older Australians with inaccessible apps. “This challenge will recognize the apps that excel at including everyone, while encouraging all Australian developers to become leaders in accessibility,” said ACCAN disability policy advisor Wayne Hawkins. “As apps continue to increase in popularity, we can’t leave millions of people behind,” said Mr Hawkins.
From http://www.accan.org.au/our-work/app, April 15, 2014
Cameras Embedded in Contacts to Help Aid the Blind
A patent application to embed cameras into contact lenses was filed by Google. The embedded microscopic cameras are designed to help the blind allowing the wearer to photograph their direct line of vision. This could be a potential life-changing device for the blind. Among the potential applications for the lenses, the cameras and analysis components could process image data to determine if the user is approaching a busy street. This information could be conveyed to a device like a smart phone which could deliver an audible warning.
From http://www.interactiveaccessibility.com/news/cameras-embedded-contacts-help-aid-blind, April 15, 2014
Using Tablets to Reach Kids with Autism
Creating custom stories to help kids learn communication skills or understand complex situations is just one of the ways parents, therapists and educators have taken advantage of tablets to work with kids with autism. Today, tablets still play a big role in the autism community. But the expectations for the technology have come down to earth a bit. Now app creators, autism educators and parents are exploring new ways of using tablets and apps to work with the 1 in 68 kids in the U.S. with autism.
From http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/09/tech/innovation/autism-tablet-apps/, April 14, 2014
Dubai: ITU Conference Sets Agenda for Future ICT Development
The Dubai Action Plan, adopted today by the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference, sets the agenda for telecommunication and information and communication technology development over the next four years. Under the theme ‘Broadband for Sustainable Development’, the Conference focused on development priorities and agreed on the programmes, projects and initiatives to implement them. The theme underlines ITU’s commitment to leverage broadband as a catalyst to meet the goals of sustainable development.
From http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2014/18.aspx#.U0wIuVWSyJs, April 11, 2014
Fiji Releases Braille Constitution
Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama released the Braille version of the 2013 Constitution for citizens with vision disabilities of the country. While unveiling the Constitution at the School for the Blind in Vatuwaqa, Bainimarama encouraged students with vision disabilities to read the supreme law of the country.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/04/03/fiji-releases-braille-constitution/, April 10, 2014
Azerbaijan’s First Report on Implementation of the UN CRPD
Azerbaijan has made the first report on fulfillment of its commitments within the framework of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities and optional protocol to it. Azerbaijan joined the mentioned Convention and protocol in 2008.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/04/03/azerbaijans-first-report-on-implementation-of-the-un-crpd/, April 10, 2014