USA: Gallaudet University Produces DeafSpace Guidelines to Address Urban Environment for Deaf People
Most cities aren’t designed for deaf people. Sidewalks are frequently too narrow or too crowded for deaf persons engaged in a conversation that requires so-called “signing space.” Public benches are often set in rows or squares, limiting the ability of people who are deaf to create the “conversation circles” and open sight lines that they require. Urban landscapes are so visually stimulating that they hinder communication among people who rely on visual cues. And light fixtures may be too dim or shine directly into signers’ eyes.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/03/30/gallaudet-university-produces-deafspace-guidelines-address-urban-environment-for-deaf-people/, April 05, 2012
KU Researchers Develop New Way to Assess Communication of People with Severe Disabilities
A team of researchers led by University of Kansas scientist Nancy Brady has developed a new way to assess the communication capability of individuals with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities who often communicate with gestures, body movements and vocalizations instead of spoken words. The study was published in the February 2012 American Journal of Speech Language Pathology.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/03/29/ku-researchers-develop-new-way-to-assess-communication-of-people-with-severe-disabilities/, April 05, 2012
Thailand to Implement System that Ensures Children with Disabilities have Access to Mainstream Schools
The strict hierarchy of Thai society means the drive for inclusive education needs strong commitment from both politicians and school leaders. In the past decade, there has been significant political progress in moves to implement a system that ensures children with disabilities have access to mainstream schools. However, with cultural barriers and resistance from some headteachers, the journey towards fully inclusive education has only just begun.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/03/29/thailand-to-implement-system-that-ensures-children-with-disabilities-access-to-mainstream-schools/, April 05, 2012
USA: Braille Music Scores Provide Lifeline to Blind Musicians
Isono is one of thousands of visually impaired musicians whose work depends upon the collections of the Music Section of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), a program of the Library of Congress.
From http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2012/03/braille-music-scores-provide-lifeline-to-blind-musicians/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter, April 05, 2012
Philippines: Wireless Service for the Blind Wins at Smart Awards
Visually impaired individuals or the blind are the intended beneficiaries of a wireless application designed by the champion team from the Mapua Institute of Technology, Manila in this year’s 8th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards of Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart). This year’s challenge was to create applications based on the theme “Innovation in the Palm of Your Hand”.
From http://www.smartsweep.ph/news/WirelessServiceForBlindWins.htm, April 04, 2012
Poland Develops “Disability Handbook” Webpage for Euro 2012
Some 2,000 accessible premises for people with disabilities in cities hosting Euro 2012 are included at website coordinating preparations for the football tournament. People with disabilities willing to come to Poland to cheer their football teams may find information about hotels, catering and services outlets adjusted to their need on www.polandnolinits.eu web site. They will also be able to check how to reach a given destination and how to move around in one of four Polish host cities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/03/28/poland-develops-disability-handbook-internet-page-for-euro-2012/, April 04, 2012
USA: Purdue University Students Develop ‘SPEAKall’ App to Help Children with Severe Autism
The app, called SPEAKall!, allows the children to construct sentences by choosing photos and graphic symbols. The app speaks the sentence, which allows a child to communicate a thought and also helps the child learn to talk.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/04/02/purdue-university-students-develop-speakall-app-to-help-children-with-severe-autism/, April 03, 2012
UN: Autism Awareness Day Should spur Action to Combat Discrimination
he annual observance of World Autism Awareness Day should spur global action to combat the “unacceptable” discrimination, abuse and isolation that people with the disorder and their loved ones face, according to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Autism is not limited to a single region or a country; it is a worldwide challenge that requires global action,” states Mr. Ban’s message for the Day, observed annually on 2 April. “People with autism are equal citizens who should enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
From http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=41674&Cr=autism&Cr1=, April 02, 2012
Irish Student Wins Overall Award at European Student Innovation Finals
Kieran O’Callaghan, a PhD student at Cork Institute of Technology, was declared the winner last night among a field of 42 finalists from 28 countries. It is the first time the award has been won outright by an Irish student.
From http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/history-made-as-irish-student-wins-european-innovation-award-188714.html, April 02, 2012
USA: Implementing Section 508: Improving Access to Government Information and Data for Persons with Disabilities
Over the past few years, we have taken several affirmative steps regarding Section 508. For the first time, the Chief Information Officer Council and the Chief Acquisition Officer Council now jointly chair the Chief Information Officers Accessibility Committee. Following that creation, in July 2010, OMB issued a memorandum, Improving the Accessibility of Government Information to set forth additional steps. This memo focused on (1) increasing awareness of responsibilities and requirements associated with Section 508, (2) improving agency accountability and accessibility performance, and (3) improving outreach and communication. It also included a requirement to host listening sessions with the community across the nation to gather input on Federal implementation of Section 508.
From http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/03/19/implementing-section-508-improving-access-government-information-and-data-persons-di, April 02, 2012