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Accessibility of English-language Proficiency Tests for English Learners with Disabilities
As the English-learner population continues to increase in number and diversity in the U.S., the challenge and importance of assessing all students, including students with disabilities, increases as well. A new white paper from Educational Testing Service (ETS) explores issues of accessibility for English learners with disabilities, including test design, delivery, uses in high-stakes accountability and the need for additional research. Conceptualizing Accessibility for English Language Proficiency Assessments was written by Danielle Guzman-Orth and Cara Laitusis of ETS, in collaboration with Martha Thurlow and Laurene Christensen of the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) at the University of Minnesota.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/06/accessibility-of-english-language-proficiency-tests-for-english-learners-with-disabilities/, December 08, 2014

USA: New Call Center Technology Adapts to Employees with Vision Disabilities
TCN announces the immediate availability of “Platform 3 VocalVision,” a virtual call center technology for the visually impaired. Optimized to work with Job Access With Speech (JAWS) assistive technology, Platform 3 VocalVision enables call center agents with vision disabilities to effectively navigate Platform 3.0, TCN’s cloud-based contact center suite, helping to improve agent productivity while also creating new employment opportunities for people with vision disabilities. In an effort to expand workforce operations, TCN optimized VocalVision to specifically work with JAWS, the world’s most popular screen reader. JAWS assists computer users with vision disabilities prevents them from seeing screen content or being able to operate a mouse. VocalVision helps the agent navigate Platform 3.0’s workflows via hot keys that leverage JAWS functionality during both incoming and outgoing calls, while audible tones signal the connection of an incoming call.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/06/new-call-center-technology-adapts-to-employees-with-vision-disabilities/, December 08, 2014

South Africa to Launch Census for People with Disabilities
The Deputy Minister of Social Development, Henrietta Bogopane-Zulu, has announced that government, in partnership with Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), will soon launch a census dedicated to verifying how many people with disabilities there are in South Africa. She said this would help government and other sectors of the economy respond better to the needs of people with disabilities in terms of increasing access and social inclusion. The Deputy Minister made this announcement following a debate by Members of the Inaugural Disability Rights Parliament that was held in Cape Town on Wednesday.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/05/south-africa-to-launch-census-for-people-with-disabilities/, December 06, 2014

Mobility Scores High Marks for Bancroft
The impact of mobile technology now reaches far beyond the traditional business world. It's altering the way learning takes place in a wide array of environments and situations, including among the developmentally disabled and others with special learning requirements. At Bancroft, a private, not-for-profit provider of specialized learning services—including individuals with autism and brain injuries—mobile devices and apps are ushering in a new era of possibilities and opportunities.
From http://www.cioinsight.com/it-strategy/mobile-wireless/mobility-scores-high-marks-for-bancroft.html, December 06, 2014

Technology Geared to Making Life Easier for Elderly, Disabled and Caregivers
With a looming shortage of caregivers in the future to help with the growing population of older Americans -- especially in Pennsylvania -- the technology industry is stepping up to help both groups. University of Pittsburgh graduate student Hervens Jeannis talks about the "Strong Arm", seen in foreground, a prototype that is in design at the university's Human Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratories in Bakery Square. The "Strong Arm" is designed to help people who use wheelchairs to move to and from their chairs with more ease. It is still a few years away from commercial release.
From http://www.post-gazette.com/healthypgh/2014/11/16/Technology-geared-to-making-life-easier-for-elderly-seniors-disabled-and-caregivers-1/stories/201411160226, December 05, 2014

Making Dropbox for iOS more accessible
We’ve been focused since day one on building products that are simple and convenient to use. As part of that mission, we’re working hard to improve the Dropbox experience for those of you who rely on accessibility technologies. Whether you’re using Dropbox to backup your photos or fixing up a spreadsheet for work, we’ve made significant new accessibility improvements to our iOS app to make sure it’s simple and easy to get stuff done.
From https://blog.dropbox.com/2014/11/making-dropbox-for-ios-more-accessible/, December 05, 2014

Understanding the Experience of Gamers with Disabilities
Gamers with disabilities often face challenges due to accessibility issues found in games, despite some good resources for developers who want to ensure that people with disabilities can effectively engage in a gaming environment.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/digital-technology/understanding-the-experience-of-gamers-with-disabilities, December 05, 2014

Apple Releases iOS 8.1.1 with Fixes for Blind and Low Vision Users
iOS 8.1.1 is now available for download, and - just as with iOS 8.1 - it includes a number of bug fixes for blind and low vision users. The screen now correctly scrolls to follow the movement of VoiceOver focus. Siri now functions correctly when used with VoiceOver, and all commands/responses appear to be spoken fully.
From http://www.applevis.com/blog/apple-releases-ios-811-fixes-blind-and-low-vision-users, December 05, 2014

Promise of Technology for Persons with Disabilities
Technology advances have changed the way people live. But not all people have benefited equally, due to limited accessibility, social and economic barriers. To discuss the promises of new technology for persons with disabilities and other topics related to the upcoming International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, DESA News met with Daniela Bas, Director of UN DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development.
From http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/newsletter/desanews/feature/2014/12/index.html#13191, December 04, 2014

CEA Publishes Accessibility Resource Center
The Consumer Electronics Association has announced that it has published a new Accessibility Resource Center, which is a resource guide available to members of CEA to help them understand and meet the new federal accessibility requirements.
From http://www.bsminfo.com/doc/cea-publishes-accessibility-resource-center-0001, December 04, 2014

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