The Smartphone is Ubiquitous, Addictive and Transformative
The dawn of the planet of the smartphones came in January 2007, when Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, in front of a rapt audience of Apple acolytes, brandished a slab of plastic, metal and silicon not much bigger than a Kit Kat. “This will change everything,” he promised. For once there was no hyperbole. Just eight years later Apple’s iPhone exemplifies the early 21st century’s defining technology.
From http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21645180-smartphone-ubiquitous-addictive-and-transformative-planet-phones?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/planet_of_the_phones, March 01, 2015
Scheme to Address East Africa ICT Skills Divide
Organizers of this year’s East AfricaCom are recruiting mentors ahead of the launch of the event’s inaugural Mentorship Program aimed at addressing the business skills gap and quality of engagement between the region’s brightest start-up talents and the telecommunications sector’s greatest minds.
From http://cajnewsafrica.com/2015/02/26/scheme-to-address-east-africa-ict-skills-divide/, February 27, 2015
USA: AMI's Robert Pearson Appointed as FCC's Disability Advisory Committee Subcommittee Representative
Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) announced today that Robert Pearson, the organization's recently designated Accessibility Officer, has been appointed as a representative on one of the subcommittees overseen by the Federal Communications Commission's Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) in the United States. The subcommittee to which Robert has been appointed will focus on video programming access and will cover initiatives including Closed Captioning, Described Video programming, access to video programming apparatus, and access to televised emergency information, among others. As a representative, Robert will share AMI's viewpoints on accessibility issues and help develop recommendations for the DAC's consideration.
From http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1492961/media-advisory-ami-s-robert-pearson-appointed-as-a-disability-advisory-committee-subcommittee-representative, February 26, 2015
Accessibility Originates With UX: A BBC iPlayer Case Study
Not long after I started working at the BBC, I fielded a complaint from a screen reader user who was having trouble finding a favorite show via the BBC iPlayer’s home page. The website had recently undergone an independent accessibility audit which indicated that, other than the odd minor issue here and there, it was reasonably accessible.
From http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2015/02/23/bbc-iplayer-accessibility-case-study/, February 24, 2015
Australia: Parents ‘want kids taught digital skills’
The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has published a Digital Skills and Careers Report, in collaboration with National ICT Australia (NICTA) and the Australia Computer Society (ACS). The research was conducted by Newspoll. The research, undertaken in late 2014, found that 61% of Australian parents believe it is important that children learn how to design, build or program computer applications. Less than 30% of respondents thought that the current school curriculum is adequate in preparing children with the skills they need for the future.
From http://www.itwire.com/government-tech-news/govenrment-tech-policy/67067-parents-%E2%80%98want-kids-taught-digital-skills%E2%80%99, February 23, 2015
Huawei Drives Smart Banking Services into New Era
Huawei, a global information communication technology (ICT) solutions provider, has announced an expanded focus in helping financial institutions to deliver innovative services to their customers by bringing to market a series of next-generation banking technologies as well as additional consultancy expertise. Rising technology trends such as cloud computing, big data analytics, smart and virtual banking concepts are accelerating the digitization of the local financial industry. To keep up with the demands of a globally integrated marketplace, financial firms in the Middle East today are increasingly turning to ICT to drive innovation and deliver services to customers that are both secure and reliable. CIOs are looking to new technologies that can manage and store the influx of mission critical data. A need to ensure resilient network security that allows for extended customer services such as mobile banking is also essential.
From http://www.albawaba.com/business/pr/huawei-smart-banking-services-659868, February 23, 2015
Rights of Persons with Disabilities Cannot be Ignored in Development Agenda, UN Experts
“One billion people – 15 per cent of the world’s population – are persons with disabilities, and their rights cannot be ignored,” a group of United Nations human rights experts said today, as they urged negotiators and UN Member States to include rights of such persons in the new development framework. The call came as the second session of negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda closes this week in New York.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/02/23/rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-cannot-be-ignored-in-development-agenda-un-experts/, February 23, 2015
Fiji: Access to ICT for Persons with Disabilities
THERE is room within the Pacific to develop and change mind-sets concerning persons with disabilities using information communication technology (ICT), says Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro, South Pacific Computer Society president. Speaking at the Youth Regional Conference on Disability yesterday morning, Ms Tamanikaiwaimaro said this would be possible if they synergised initiatives and build effective partnerships in the Pacific region to combat ICT accessibility problems for persons with disabilities.
From http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=295530, February 23, 2015
Accessible Council Websites 'Perform Better for All'
Research for Socitm, the representative body for public service ICT professionals, compared the 43% of sites rated as satisfactory for disabled accessibility with those rated less accessible.
It found that performance on a number of tasks was 41% better for the accessible sites than the rest.
A report by Socitm said its research suggests “a significant relationship between the accessibility of the websites for people with disabilities and the more general usability of the websites for everyone”.
From https://www.publictechnology.net/articles/news/accessible-council-websites-perform-better-all, February 23, 2015
Australia to Introduce Tactile Banknotes
The Governor, Glenn Stevens has announced that the next generation of Australian banknotes will include a ‘tactile’ feature to assist people who are blind or have low vision.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/02/19/australia-to-introduce-tactile-banknotes/, February 19, 2015