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British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill Passed Unanimously
The British Sign Language (BSL) (Scotland) Bill was passed unanimously by all Parties in the Chamber in Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh on September 17. The British Deaf Association (BDA) Scotland is delighted that the BSL (Scotland) Bill is set to become an Act and will promote the use of British Sign Language.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/09/18/british-sign-language-scotland-bill-passed-unanimously/, September 21, 2015

IBM Launches New Internet of Things Division
IBM launches two new business units that will apply the company’s considerable strengths in Big Data, advanced analytics and cognitive computing to the Internet of Things (IOT) and Educations markets, respectively. Harriet Green, formerly CEO and executive director of the Thomas Cook Group and of Premier Farnell plc, has joined the company as vice president and general manager for the new units, and will be responsible for developing these and other new growth businesses.
From http://www.machinetomachinemagazine.com/2015/09/15/ibm-launches-new-internet-of-things-division/, September 21, 2015

IDPP Special Report at UN SDGs Summit Side Event
IDPP is delighted to co-sponsor and present at the Side Event “Towards Full Inclusion of Disabled Persons in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and Global Governance Processes” on 24 September 2015 in Conference Room 11 at United Nations headquarters leading up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals Summit in New York. IDPP Executive Director Dr. Derrick Cogburn will offer the Special Report: “Participation of Persons with Disabilities in the UN System and Broader Global Governance Processes” at the Side Event based on IDPP’s Accessible Global Governance study.
From http://aseanidpp.org/idpp-special-report-at-un-sdg-summit-side-event, September 18, 2015

User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 2.0 Working Drafts Updated
UAAG defines how browsers, browser extensions, media players, readers, and other user agents should support accessibility for people with disabilities and work with assistive technologies. It is introduced in the UAAG Overview. The User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (UAWG) has published updated Working Drafts of User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 2.0 and UAAG 2.0 Reference: Explanations, Examples, and Resources for User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. Please note the change in Recommendation track status to Working Group Note.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/09/15/user-agent-accessibility-guidelines-uaag-2-0-working-drafts-updated/, September 18, 2015

USA: Researchers to Develop Robotic Device to Help People with Vision Disabilities
A project at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock that could help millions of people with vision disabilities will move forward thanks to funding from the National Institutes of Health. About 25 million Americans live with significant vision disability, according to the American Foundation for the blind, and Dr. Cang Ye, a UALR professor in the Department of Systems Engineering, aims to make their lives easier with his upcoming research, funded by a National Institutes of Health grant.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/09/16/researchers-to-develop-robotic-device-to-help-people-with-vision-disabilities/, September 18, 2015

How Smart, Connected Products Are Transforming Companies
The evolution of products into intelligent, connected devices—which are increasingly embedded in broader systems—is radically reshaping companies and competition. Smart thermostats control a growing array of home devices, transmitting data about their use back to manufacturers. Intelligent, networked industrial machines autonomously coordinate and optimize work. Cars stream data about their operation, location, and environment to their makers and receive software upgrades that enhance their performance or head off problems before they occur. Products continue to evolve long after entering service. The relationship a firm has with its products—and with its customers—is becoming continuous and open-ended.
From https://hbr.org/2015/10/how-smart-connected-products-are-transforming-companies, September 17, 2015

Understanding Disability: Rise of Technology Benefits Visually Impaired
Trapp said there are still barriers in education for a blind or visually impaired person, because “students who are entering college must have excellent computer skills to function in the modern college setting, and many blind children are not getting the same level of access as their sighted peers. In addition, educational software is not always accessible to persons using screen readers,” said Trapp. Higher educational institutions have faced increased scrutiny for inaccessible learning technologies for individuals who are blind.
From http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/health_and_science/understanding-disability-rise-of-technology-benefits-visually-impaired/article_a20cb8f7-5fea-573d-91fe-e247b5eb86a1.html, September 17, 2015

IBM: Placing Accessibility at the Forefront of Design and DevOps
To make it easier for organizations to create accessible applications and content, IBM has released two new cloud-based accessibility services on IBM Bluemix. The services, Digital Content Checker and Automated Accessibility Tester, provide greater availability of accessibility so organizations can speed development efforts, create more personalized experiences through any contact point, and help conform to industry standards and government regulations.
From https://developer.ibm.com/bluemix/2015/09/15/accessibility-services-on-bluemix/, September 16, 2015

How a Simple Browser Add-On is Changing the Way Visually Impaired People Use the Web
Last month, Parsley presented Depict, a crowd-sourced image description tool that could change the experience of the browsing the web for the blind and visually impaired. The tool works in two parts—a browser extension for blind users that provides user-created descriptions of images around the Internet, and a website for sighted users to provide those requested descriptions. If a blind user clicks on an image of an apple tree, which is not properly described in the HTML code, the photo will appear on the crowd-sourced website where sighted users can write “apple tree.” The highest rated description based on sighted user votes will then replace the original description, and be read aloud to any blind user that scrolls over the photograph in the future. Parsley’s husband Jason Sanders helped her develop the final iteration of Depict, which is now available as an extension on Google Chrome browsers.
From http://magazine.good.is/articles/depict-accessibility-visual-impairment-web-browsing, September 16, 2015

Braille Tablet Can Convert Text for Blind Users and Let Them Read, Write and Chat
We have seen technology springing up in many forms to empower those that are visually impaired. In Madrid, Touching the Prado was an exhibition where creators printed 3D replicas of masterpieces that visually impaired visitors can touch and explore. Touch Graphics similarly make interactive, touch-sensitive maps, which give audio directions to blind users. Now, also combing the sense of touch with new tech, is Blitlab, an Austrian company planning to release a responsive Braille tablet.
From http://www.springwise.com/braille-tablet-convert-text-blind-users-read-write-chat/, September 16, 2015

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