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ITU – Join in the Open Consultation on Access to the Internet for Persons with Disabilities
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) invites all relevant stakeholders to contribute to an open consultation on the challenges faced by persons with disabilities when accessing Internet services, as well as suggesting the possible approaches to address these challenges. The open consultation is being held in the context of ITU's Council Working Group: International Internet-Related Public Policy Issues (CWG-Internet). The CWG-Internet is one of ITU’s main bodies looking at identifying, studying, and developing matters related to international internet-related public policy issues. The consultation are open until 15 January 2016 at: http://www.itu.int/en/council/cwg-internet/Pages/consultation-oct2015.aspx.
From http://www.itu.int/accessibility, December 03, 2015

WIPO: Moving Closer Toward 20 Signatories for the Entry into Force of the Marrakesh Treaty
With recent ratification by the Republic of Korea on October 8 and by Mongolia on September 23, the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (MVT), is moving closer towards the 20 signatories required for its entry into force. The MVT was adopted by Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on 27 June 2013. To-date, the Treaty has been by ratified by eleven countries including El Salvador, India, Mali, Paraguay, the United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Argentina and Singapore, Mexico, Mongolia and the Republic of Korea.
From http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/marrakesh/, December 03, 2015

December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been commemorated since 1992 to promote awareness and mobilize support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development. The Day works to promote action to raise awareness about disability issues and draw attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all. Theme for 2015: Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities.
From http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1637, December 02, 2015

Accessibility Requires App Developers To Consider Every End User
Spend more than five minutes in the company of accessibility guru Helen Burge and you will realize that she doesn’t mince her words when it comes to assessing how companies, manufacturers and developers handle digital accessibility issues in 2015. To put it bluntly … common sense is in very short supply when it comes to ensuring that apps and devices are designed for everybody. As an acknowledged expert in accessibility testing, Burge deals with companies and testers on a daily basis who, in her opinion, are not testing with every end user in mind and don’t understand the accessibility bottlenecks that can exist on both mobile and Web platforms. For Burge, the answer is obvious - companies need to keep it simple.
From http://arc.applause.com/2015/11/02/mobile-accessibility-end-user/, December 02, 2015

USA: Wearable Tech Translates Sign Language Into Text
A smart device that translates sign language while being worn on the wrist could bridge the communications gap between people who are deaf and those who don’t know sign language, says a Texas A&M University biomedical engineering researcher who is developing the technology. The wearable technology combines motion sensors and the measurement of electrical activity generated by muscles to interpret hand gestures, says Roozbeh Jafari, associate professor in the university’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and researcher at the Center for Remote Health Technologies and Systems. Although the device is still in its prototype stage, it can already recognize 40 American Sign Language words with nearly 96 percent accuracy, notes Jafari who presented his research at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 12th Annual Body Sensor Networks Conference this past June. The technology was among the top award winners in the Texas Instruments Innovation Challenge this past summer.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/30/wearable-tech-translates-sign-language-into-text/, November 30, 2015

Qatar National Bank Organizes Sign Language Training Course
As part of its ongoing activities to better serve people with special needs and the elderly, Qatar National Bank (QNB) organised a sign language training course titled ‘Methods of Communicating With the Hearing Impaired – Sign Language, the Mother Tongue’ at QNB’s Mathaf tower. The course, which was organised by QNB’s Service Quality Department and delivered by Qatar Society for Rehabilitation of Special Needs, comprised eight modules targeted towards serving customers with hearing disabilities. It was attended by Customer Service and Service Quality heads, officers and staff.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/30/qatar-national-bank-organizes-sign-language-training-course/, November 30, 2015

Fiji: Education Plans for Persons with Disabilities
Persons with disabilities now have the opportunity to pursue higher education through the Government’s Tertiary Education Loan and Scholarship scheme. This was revealed by Acting Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Speaking at the Lautoka Special School last Saturday, he said this would increase access for persons with disabilities who were not able to finance their higher education aspirations because of limited resources or financial difficulties. “You would have heard through the budget, we now also through the Tertiary Education Loan and Scholarship scheme will fund a persons with disabilities who wants to go to university,” he said.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/30/education-plans-for-persons-with-disabilities/, November 30, 2015

India: Sign Language Gets Status of Separate Language in Central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh
Sign language will be recognized as a separate language in Madhya Pradesh and 10 industrial training institutes will be set up at divisional headquarters to give vocational training to people with hearing disabilities in the next one year. These and other announcements were made by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday to mark the completion of his 10 years in office. Besides imparting education in sign language to those pursuing diplomas in education (D. Ed) and bachelor of education (B. Ed), the state will bear the fee of students with hearing disabilities in professional courses, Chouhan said.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/30/sign-language-gets-status-of-separate-language-in-mp/, November 30, 2015

India: Prime Minister to Launch Accessible India Campaign on December 3
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan (Accessible India Campaign), on December 3, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot announced on November 26. The Minister was addressing a program on the launching of new / revised schemes of National Trust for the welfare of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities. The Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan), as a nationwide flagship campaign for achieving universal accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and to create an enabling and barrier free environment, with a focus on three verticals: Built Environment; Public Transportation and Information and Communication Technologies.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/27/pm-to-launch-accessible-india-campaign-on-december-3/, November 27, 2015

Turkey: AFAD Launches Emergency Database for People with Disabilities
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority’s (Turkish: Afet ve Acil Durum Yönetimi Başkanlığı, AFAD) Kütahya office launched Z-EVET, a project seeking to collect personal information about people with disabilities to meet their special needs in cases of emergency. The initiative aims to expedite the authorities’ response to disasters and emergencies by ensuring that people with disabilities can be reached with greater ease.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/25/afad-launches-emergency-database-for-people-with-disabilities/, November 27, 2015

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