USA: Chicago Transit Authority Announces Next Step Making Rail System 100% Accessible
As part of Mayor Emanuel’s ongoing commitment to improve accessibility throughout the City of Chicago, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) announced on January 7, a new initiative that will establish a blueprint for making the nation’s second largest transit agency 100 percent accessible over the next 20 years. TA President Dorval Carter introduced plans for the creation of the new CTA Strategic Accessibility Program – a first-ever, comprehensive plan that will outline both short-term and long-term initiatives to make the CTA’s rail system fully ADA accessible over the next 20 years and plans to either repair and/or replace existing rail system elevators.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/01/08/chicago-transit-authority-announces-next-step-making-rail-system-100-accessible/, January 11, 2016
Monitoring and Evaluation of Disability-Inclusive Development: Data and Statistics
The lack of data and information on disability and the situation of persons with disabilities at the national level contributes to the invisibility of persons with disabilities in official statistics, presenting an obstacle to achieving development planning and implementation that is inclusive of persons with disabilities. The Washington Group on Disability Statistics, a group which operated under the aegis of the UN Statistical Commission, has developed an internationally comparable set of questions for census and surveys. Data collected with these questions will be useful to assist the monitoring of development goals for persons with disabilities.
From bit.ly/1mK1a22, January 08, 2016
WHO Launches Survey to Identify 50 Most Priority Assistive Products
We need more than a billion assistive products now and 2 billion by 2050. However, today only 1 in 10 persons in need has access to assistive products (AP). To change this scenario, based on the success and learning of Essential Medicines List (EML), WHO is developing a WHO Priority Assistive Products List (APL) to assist Member States to plan policies and programs related to the provision of AP. Like the EML, the main goal of this initiative is to improve access to high-quality affordable assistive products. Towards this, WHO is launching a global survey to identify 50 Most Priority Assistive Products. All stakeholders, especially the users/potential users or their family embers/organizations are specially encouraged to take part in this survey. Please share this survey with your colleagues and friends. Please complete this survey online or download the survey form and send the completed survey after selecting the 50 Most Priority Assistive Products to email@example.com.
From https://extranet.who.int/dataform/355553/, January 08, 2016
Best of CES 2016: Car Technology and the Rise of Virtual Reality
The Mashable Tech Team has been there for the announcements and the demos, and walked the halls of CES 2016 to find the standouts-in-waiting. This year’s show has seen both car technology and virtual reality rise to new prominence. Turntables made a surprise comeback. And after an inconsistent year, smart devices were still able to bring the “wow.”
From http://mashable.com/2016/01/07/best-tech-ces-2016/#NgG.My8yqkqV, January 08, 2016
W3C to be Honored with Emmy Award for Standards Work on Accessible Video Captioning and Subtitles
W3C is delighted to announce that it will receive a 2016 Technology & Engineering Emmy ® Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for its work on the Timed Text Mark-up Language standard that makes video content more accessible with text captioning and subtitles. Representatives from W3C staff and the Timed Text Working Group will attend the awards ceremony on 8 January at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
From https://www.w3.org/blog/news/archives/5253, January 06, 2016
USA: Researchers Find Way to Improve Image Sharpness for People with Vision Disabilities
Retinal implants that deliver longer pulses of electrical current may noticeably improve image sharpness for individuals who have lost their sight due to retinitis pigmentosa, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) Eye Institute and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. The research was published online in the peer-reviewed journal Science Translational Medicine.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/01/05/researchers-find-way-to-improve-image-sharpness-for-people-with-vision-disabilities/, January 05, 2016
UAE: Law Books Released in Braille
Dubai Police Academy has released seven law books to Braille to encourage reading by people who are blind. The newly-published Braille books can be borrowed by anyone, including students not attending the academy.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/01/05/law-books-released-in-braille/, January 05, 2016
India: All India Radio Creates History with Braille News Bulletin
The All India Radio in Pune created history on Monday when its morning bulletin was read out by a newsreader with vision disability, officials said. The second half of the regular regional news bulletin at 7.10 a.m. was typed out in Braille script and Dhanraj Patil read it out during a live broadcast in Maharashtra to Marathi audiences.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/01/05/all-india-radio-creates-history-with-braille-news-bulletin/, January 05, 2016
Dubai Airports to Have Counters for Persons with Disabilities
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) is considered the first in the Middle East to offer services for persons with disabilities at Dubai Airports. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director-General of GDRFA-Dubai, said that the directorate has made significant progress in caring for persons with disabilities by adopting modern techniques in the field of services offered for them. GDRFA is keen to play its role in making Dubai a disability-friendly city by 2020, he added.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/01/05/dubai-airports-to-have-counters-for-persons-with-disabilities/, January 05, 2016
USA: Device Helps People with Vision Disabilities See Sound
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) researchers have discovered that intrinsic neural connections—called crossmodal mappings—can be used by assistive devices to help people who are blind or have low vision detect their environment without requiring intense concentration or hundreds of hours of training. This new multisensory perspective on such aids (called sensory substitution devices) could make tasks that were previously attention-consuming much easier, allowing nonsighted people to acquire a new sensory functionality similar to vision. The work is described in a paper published in the October 22 issue of the journal Scientific Reports.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/01/04/device-helps-people-with-vision-disabilities-see-sound/, January 04, 2016