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USDA Announces Funding to Support People with Disabilities in Agriculture
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of $540,000 in funding for state and regional projects that provide education, assistive technology and other support to current and prospective farmers and ranchers with disabilities.
From United States Department of Agriculture, January 12, 2017

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Pilot Program to Loan iPads to Those with Speech Disabilities to Aid in Communication
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) launched an 18-month pilot speech technology program called Voice Options, which will offer iPads with speech applications to people with speech disabilities for short- and long-term loan through 10 demonstration centers throughout the state.
From California Public Utilities Commission , January 12, 2017

An Egyptian Audio Book Project is Making Reading Accessible
An Accessibility project in Egypt is producing audio books for blind readers. Accessible through a SoundCloud channel, users get access to a wide genre of books.The project depends entirely on volunteers who record themselves reading the books using their mobile phones or tablets and then upload them to the MediaFire application and send them to the project’s production team.
From Al-Monitor, January 12, 2017

New Section 508 Rules on ICT and Telecom Published
New Section 508 Rules on ICT and Telecom have been published. The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board), has revised standards for electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by Federal agencies covered by section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as guidelines for telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment covered by Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934.
From Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, January 11, 2017

Report of the White House Disability and Inclusive Technology Summit
The Disability and Inclusive Technology Summit at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC convened representatives of the technology industry, disability advocates, and federal officials. The Summit connected a diverse group of speakers who shared their experiences and ideas to catalyze technology inclusiveness and accessibility.
From American Association of People with Disabilities, January 10, 2017

A Third of UK Council Homepages Fail Accessibility Tests
SOCITM, which represents IT and digital professionals in the UK public sector conducts the Better Connected assessment, which includes a set of tests on accessibility. A third of UK council websites have not passed the first stage of Socitm’s annual test to assess their accessibility to people with disabilities.
From Public Technology, January 10, 2017

Tech Industry Must Focus on People to Promote Digital Inclusion
One of the criticisms of the technology industry is that, by focusing on products and platforms, it has forgotten about people. Advocates for disability rights are adding that they want to see a greater commitment to disability inclusion in product development as well as global development.
From Devex, January 09, 2017

How Voice Technology is Transforming Computing
The fast-emerging technology of voice computing is undertaking a paradigm shift for technology. Voice assistants are proliferating, dictating e-mails and text messages now works reliably enough to be useful. Voice therefore has the power to transform computing, by providing a natural means of interaction.
From The Economist, January 08, 2017

Canada: New AODA Requirements for Small Organizations on Accessibility
From January 1, 2017, private and not-for-profit organizations with 1-49 employees in Ontario (small organizations) will be impacted by several new requirements under the Employment Standards to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), including a new requirement on Accessible Formats and Communication Support under the Information and Communications Standard.
From Mondaq, January 05, 2017

How to Make Emojis Accessible
Emoji help us communicate complex ideas very easily. When used in native apps and applications, emoji are reasonably accessible to screen readers, but on the web we need to do a little more to make sure everyone can understand emoji.
From Tink, January 03, 2017

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