USA: Student Develops Braille Printer with Legos
Shubham Banerjee, a San Francisco Bay Area seventh grade student, has developed BRAIGO, a Braille printer using Lego Mindstorms EV3, which slashes the price of a printer from more than $2000 to $350, thereby giving a more cost-effective printer. According to WHO reports, there are an estimated 285 million people with vision disabilities worldwide, 90 percent of whom lives in developing countries. At this moment, the cost of a Braille printer is more than $2000 for a basic version, which means many millions of people across the world have limited access.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/02/06/student-develops-braille-printer-with-legos/, February 12, 2014
Kuwait Develops Braille Reading, Printing Techniques
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) on Saturday reaffirmed keenness on developing new techniques for serving people who are blind or low vision. The Institute has developed, for the first time, a domestic Braille-reading technique for the Holy Quran, it said in a statement, noting that Kuwait used to import such techniques from other Arab countries.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/02/10/kuwait-develops-braille-reading-printing-techniques/, February 11, 2014
Eighth Session of the UN Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals
International Disability Alliance (IDA) chair Mr. Yannis Vardakastanis addressed United Nations (UN) Member States, UN agencies and civil society at the UN Headquarters in New York today, calling for a post-2015 sustainable development agenda that is inclusive of persons with disabilities.
From http://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/en, February 10, 2014
Microsoft Announces Improved Access to Office to Benefit Persons who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Microsoft and GW Micro are partnering to provide people who are blind or have low vision improved access to Microsoft Office. Starting today, customers who have purchased and installed any version of Microsoft Office 2010 or 2013, including both perpetual and subscription clients, are eligible to download a free copy of Window-Eyes, GW Micro’s widely used and highly regarded screen reading software.
From http://blogs.office.com/2014/01/14/announcing-improved-access-to-office/, February 10, 2014
USA: Rural Carriers Start Connecting Customers to Doctors Via Mobile Video Chat
Cellular One is connecting its customers directly with doctors via Skype and Facetime as part of a larger effort from the Competitive Carriers Association to bring telemedicine to rural communities.
From http://gigaom.com/2014/02/04/rural-carriers-start-connecting-customers-to-doctors-via-mobile-video-chat/, February 05, 2014
New Zealand: Start-up Appcessible Helps App Developers Reach the Blind
Blind iPhone user and technologies Jonathan Mosen is offering app developers a helping hand in servicing the blind. Mosen has founded Appcessible, a start-up staffed entirely by blind people, to help app developers gain access to users of mobile assistive technologies.
From http://www.zdnet.com/start-up-helps-app-developers-reach-the-blind-7000025972/, February 05, 2014
Designing for Easy Interaction: Accessibility is for Everyone
Success in interaction design is largely a matter of following established patterns, so people can apply what they already know to new contexts. Using known and well-established interactive controls goes a long way in designing for easy interaction. There are specific considerations that will help make controls more usable for people using assistive technologies. And there are design considerations that make interaction more usable and enjoyable for everyone, including people with disabilities.
From http://alistapart.com/article/designing-for-easy-interaction, February 05, 2014
UK: Tourism Businesses Encouraged to ‘Take the Lead’ on Access
VisitEngland and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have produced a new guide for tourism businesses on welcoming customers with assistance dogs. Take the lead highlights the important role performed by assistance dogs, it outlines the legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010, and how tourism businesses can boost business by attracting more visits from disabled travellers and their canine companions.
From http://ablemagazine.co.uk/disability-news/tourism-businesses-encouraged-to-take-the-lead-on-access/, February 05, 2014
USA: Graduation Disparities Loom Large for Students With Special Needs
The wide graduation-rate gaps in many states between students with disabilities and those in regular education raise the stakes for next year's first-ever federal evaluation of how well states are serving their special education students.
From http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/01/29/19grad_ep.h33.html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS2, February 04, 2014
The Future of Universal Design: From Accessibility to Inclusion
Universal design (UD) is an idea that developed in the mid-1990s as advocates of making buildings and products accessible to people with disabilities realized that these features often had benefits for a broader population. Examples include curb ramps, automated doors, closed captioning in television sets and accessibility features for computer operating systems.
From http://usodep.blogs.govdelivery.com/2014/02/04/the-future-of-universal-design/, February 04, 2014