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IBM: Accessibility Policy and Regulation Outlook 2016
As the Accessibility Standards Program Manager, sometimes work goals are hindered by the slow movement in government policies and standards that we strive to push forward. For every year of delay, the danger of standards being outpaced by emerging new technologies grows, and that can lead to a widening gap in accessible technology. 2016 could turn out to be a watershed year with the potential of two major events completed by the year’s end.
From http://ageandability.com/2016/01/28/accessibility-policy-and-regulation-outlook-2016/?platform=hootsuite, February 10, 2016

Accessible Media Inc Renames Annual Scholarship Program in Memory of Robert Pearson
Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) announced today that it has renamed its scholarship program in memory of former colleague and advocate for accessibility, Robert Pearson. Formerly known as the AMI Scholarship, the bursary has been renamed the AMI Robert Pearson Memorial Scholarship in honor of the organization's Accessibility Officer who passed away in December, 2015. Robert Pearson was a long-time employee of AMI and fervent supporter of accessibility in Canada and around the world.
From https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2016/02/09/809053/10159931/en/AMI-renames-annual-scholarship-program.html, February 10, 2016

USA: Wearable Device with 3D Camera to Guide People with Vision Disabilities
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed a low-power chip for processing 3-D camera data that could help people with vision disabilities navigate their environments. The chip consumes only one-thousandth as much power as a conventional computer processor executing the same algorithms.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/02/05/wearable-device-with-3d-camera-to-guide-people-with-vision-disabilities/, February 10, 2016

India: Sign Language Dictionary Released in Bangalore
‘Sign Language for Beginners’, the Indian sign language dictionary was released on Friday. The book, written by Arun C. Rao, Editor of TheDeafWay.org, and released by Kannada actor Yash, promises to help both parents and teachers to communicate with children who have hearing disabilities. P.C. Jayanna, Director, Department for Empowerment of Disabled and Senior Citizens said: “It is not only the responsibility of the teachers but also of the parents to learn sign language that will enable them to interact with children and help them grow peacefully and efficiently. The department will provide full support to circulate the book and to ensure its accessibility in libraries.”
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/02/08/sign-language-dictionary-released/, February 10, 2016

Kenya: Students with Vision Disabilities Learn Through Technology
Until recently, students who are blind or have low vision in Kenya were still using Braille books for their studies. But Kenyan schools for the blind are now beginning to adopt technology that provides material in a audible form — and in the process expands their opportunities. Until recently, students who are blind or have low vision in Kenya were still using Braille books for their studies. But Kenyan schools for the blind are now beginning to adopt technology that provides material in a audible form — and in the process expands their opportunities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/02/09/students-with-vision-disabilities-learn-through-technology/, February 09, 2016

India: New Smartphone App to Audit Accessibility
To find out if the polling stations for the upcoming State elections are accessible to persons with disabilities, the Disability Rights Alliance, Tamil Nadu (DRA) has developed an app that volunteers can use to audit the stations. The app, to be called ‘Election Audit’, has been developed by software company Ardhika, and will be available on the Android platform, but can only be used by registered volunteers, said Sathya Madurantakam of DRA.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/02/08/new-smartphone-app-to-audit-accessibility/, February 08, 2016

New EU Working Group Aims to Draft Guidelines to Improve mHealth Apps Data Quality
The Commission has set up a working group to develop guidelines for assessing the validity and reliability of the data that health apps collect and process. Based on their expertise, 20 members representing civil society, research and industry organizations were selected to participate in the working group. The guidelines are expected to be published by the end of this year.
From https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/new-eu-working-group-aims-draft-guidelines-improve-mhealth-apps-data-quality, February 03, 2016

WFD-WASLI International Sign Interpreter Accreditation System
The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and the World Association of the Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) have recently established an International Sign (IS) Interpreter Accreditation system. The Accreditation aims to set, maintain and promote standards in International Sign Interpretation, and acts as a quality-assurance system for credentialing practitioners who meet those standards. Since its inaugural appearance at the WFD Congress in 1987, demand for International Sign Interpreting has grown over time. It now consists of both hearing International Sign interpreters as well as Deaf International Sign Interpreters.
From http://wfdeaf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/WFD-WASLI-International-Sign-Interpreter-Recognition-Interim-Policy-and-Guidelines.pdf, February 03, 2016

New Zealand: Children with Disabilities and Disaster Preparedness: Case Study of Christchurch
An estimated seven million children with disabilities worldwide are affected by disasters annually. This significant figure emphasizes the particular vulnerability of these children in facing natural hazards. However, their needs as well as their capacity and role in disaster risk reduction have largely been overlooked by researchers and policymakers. This paper draws on a case study in Christchurch to identify insights, realities, possibilities and obstacles in relation to the involvement in disaster preparedness of children with diverse disabilities.
From http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1177083X.2015.1068185, February 03, 2016

Disability Indicators for Monitoring the SDGs
The Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) released their report that has nine indicators that explicitly refer to persons with disabilities, and also calls for data disaggregation by disability. The IAEG-SDGs is the focal point on developing a global indicator framework for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the corresponding targets. The IAEG-SDGs Member States and observers increasingly recognize the need to integrate disability in the SDGs indicator framework, which is now reflected in their report to the 47thsession of the UN Statistical Commission. The Commission will meet in March 2016 where it will decide on the adoption of the proposed list of SDG indicators. The nine indicators are under six SDGs focusing on poverty eradication (Goal1), education (Goal 4), employment (Goal 8), reducing inequalities (Goal 10), inclusive cities (Goal 11), and promoting peaceful and inclusive societies (Goal 16).
From http://bit.ly/newsiaegsdgs, February 03, 2016

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