USA: Project to Improve Web and Cloud Computing Accessibility
The U.S. Department of Education is sponsoring a five-year, $3.7 million project led by Carnegie Mellon University to develop methods that enable people with disabilities to take full advantage of the resources available on the Internet. The Disability Rehabilitation Research Project (DRRP) on Inclusive Cloud and Web Computing includes researchers at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies (iSchool) and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). “Our projects are focused on finding ways to create inclusive user experiences on the Internet,” said Aaron Steinfeld, the team director and an associate research professor at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. “There has been great progress over the years on Web accessibility standards and systems, but there is still a lot of work left to do.”
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/11/26/project-to-improve-web-and-cloud-computing-accessibility/, November 26, 2013
Ghana: Minister Calls for Amendment of Disability Act
Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection has called for amendment of the Disability Act 2006 to conform to international obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She said the amendment would also ensure that the needs of Ghanaians with disabilities were addressed in accordance with the new mandate given to the Gender Ministry. Nana Oye made this call on Monday during the inauguration of the National Council on Persons with Disability. She charged the Council to develop modalities for raising funds to facilities its activities. She said the Council was mandated to pursue and promote a better Ghana experience for the estimated 20 per cent of the nation’s population with disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/11/26/minister-calls-for-amendment-of-disability-act/, November 26, 2013
Braille Newspaper Launched in Namibia
New Era Publication Corporation on Friday witnessed a new dawn of inclusiveness when it launched Namibia’s first weekly Braille newspaper. Published courtesy of the New Era newspaper’s content, the Braille weekly is produced and translated at the Namibia Federation for the Visually Impaired (NFVI) using that organization resources. Speaking at the launch held at the New Era head offices in Windhoek, Daniel Trum, the National Coordinator of the NFVI said people with vision disabilities generally do not have much access to technology and reading material.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/11/25/braille-newspaper-launched-in-namibia/, November 26, 2013
Meeting to Promote Disability-Inclusive Development Agenda
UNESCO will be hosting the 8th meeting of the UN Inter-Agency Support Group for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (IASG) at its Headquarters in Paris from 25 to 26 November 2013. IASG, which has two chairs – the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR) – and one yearly co-rotating chair, has also previously been ensured by UNICEF, ILO, the World Bank and other Agencies.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/11/25/meeting-to-promote-disability-inclusive-development-agenda/, November 26, 2013
Day of the African Child: Urgent Action for Children With Disabilities
The Day of the African Child (DAC) is commemorated every year on 16 June by Member States of the African Union. This occasion is firstly a commemoration to recall the 1976 uprisings in Soweto, when a protest by school children in South Africa against apartheid-inspired education resulted in the public killing of these unarmed young protesters by police officials. But every year there is also a special theme chosen, related to the children of today across Africa. This year’s 22nd Day of the African Child commemoration theme is “The Rights of Children with Disabilities: The Duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and Fulfil.”
From https://www.repssi.org/day-of-the-african-child-urgent-action-for-children-with-disabilities/, November 25, 2013
Sudan Unveils National Education Strategy for Children with Disabilities
Sudan’s ministry of education this week launched a three-year national strategy aimed at providing better quality education for children with disabilities. In a statement, UNICEF welcomed the initiative, saying it was the first of its kind in Sudan, offering a comprehensive take on the issues and challenges affecting children with disabilities in the Sudanese school system and setting out a broad range of responses to gradually address the needs of these children.
From http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article48905, November 25, 2013
USA: Department of Defense Backs UN Disability Treaty
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Eric Shinseki, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, said a UN treaty requiring signatory nations to improve services and accessibility to the disabled is good for American troops and its disabled veterans. In separate statements submitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday, the two combat-wounded Vietnam veterans urged the Senate to ratify the treaty. The agreement has broad support from veterans' organizations, but is viewed with suspicion by some conservative groups who believe it could be used to alter American law regarding decisions about children's health -- especially with respect to birth control and abortion -- and home-schooling.
From http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/11/21/dod-va-back-un-disability-treaty.html, November 25, 2013
Disability Treaty CRPD, an Opportunity for American Leadership
Human rights activists filled the room to support Senate ratification of the disability rights treaty at the second hearing on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on November 21. The CRPD is an international human rights treaty that seeks to provide a framework for nations around the world to fight discrimination against people with disabilities. The CRPD was inspired by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. There are more than 1 billion people with disabilities worldwide, and about 58 million living in the United States. Currently, 126 nations have ratified the disability treaty, but the United States has yet to do so.
From http://www.civilrights.org/archives/2013/november/1170-CRPD-second-hearing.html, November 25, 2013
Apple Co-Developed Next Generation Hearing Aid Device Coming to Market
This was the year that Apple put a lot of energy into developing technology to advance hearing aids in connection to the iPhone. Apple's first patent application surfaced at the US Patent Office in February and their most recent application came to light last month. Their work was obviously more aggressive than first thought. Today we've learned that Apple approached all hearing aid companies to introduce their ideas and technology and a next generation product from Denmark's GN Store Nord is now only months away from being the first to tap into technology that will work with Apple's iPhone.
From http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/11/apple-co-developed-next-generation-hearing-aid-device-coming-to-market-in-q1-2014.html, November 25, 2013
Advancing Equal Technology Access Rights to People with Disabilities
I am honored to testify to the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Thursday, Nov. 21 to discuss IBM’s point of view on the proposed U.S. ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The UNCRPD mandates that people with disabilities should have the full rights and freedoms enjoyed by other citizens worldwide, including equal access to employment, healthcare, education, transportation and technology.
From http://ibmresearchnews.blogspot.in/2013/11/advancing-equal-technology-access.html#fbid=ZX5fHFcrrS1, November 22, 2013