USA: Law Creates Special Savings Accounts for Disabled People
People with disabilities, and their families, will soon have a tax-favored way to save money for a range of expenses. In December, Congress passed the ABLE Act, short for Achieving a Better Life Experience. The law enables the creation of special savings accounts, modeled after the popular Section 529 education plans that many families use to save money for college. The new plans will be known as 529A accounts.
From http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/28/business/special-savings-accounts-for-disabled-people.html?_r=0, January 31, 2015
Technology Key to Changing Culture of Disability
Dr Mark Bagshaw insists there is nothing remarkable about a person with a disability having a successful career. This culture of low expectations prompted Dr Mark Bagshaw to found The Able Movement, an NGO which aims to use social media to allow disabled people to tell "their own stories in their own way". At the core of The Able Movement, which will be launched in February, is a rejection of the old hierarchical model of welfare.
From http://www.smh.com.au/business/technology-the-key-to-changing-the-culture-of-disability-20150130-130wv5.html, January 30, 2015
Maps That You Can Hear and Touch
Using maps is a major part of using public transit. That's why Dr. Joshua Miele, a scientist at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, partnered with LightHouse, a local organization for the blind, to create accessible maps of every BART transit station. With degrees in physics and psychoacoustics, Miele has dedicated more than 25 years to improving visually impaired people's access to information, with a particular focus on creating accessible maps—where he is truly at the frontier.
From http://www.citylab.com/design/2015/01/making-better-maps-for-the-blind/384495/, January 30, 2015
Nine Common Accessibility Issues Affecting Websites
Access iQ has trawled through its growing list of website accessibility audits to bring you nine of the most common issues we uncover.
From http://www.accessiq.org/news/features/2015/01/nine-common-accessibility-issues-affecting-websites, January 30, 2015
Disability and Gadgets: Using Technology for Accessibility
Robert Wemyss is the IT guru at Really Useful Stuff. RUS is delighted to join in with Disability Horizons to offer a monthly roundup of all things tech and gadget. We will take a quick look at new ideas on the horizon as well as great new inventions already on the market that make life easier and a lot more fun.
From http://disabilityhorizons.com/2015/01/disability-gadgets-using-technology-accessibility/, January 30, 2015
New Report by Deloitte Highlights the Need for VOD Accessibility
A new review into current and future trends in technology, media and telecommunications refutes the idea that younger people are reluctant to spend money on media content, including video on demand (VOD) services, and reinforces the need for these services to be made accessible with captions and audio description.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/news/new-report-highlights-the-need-for-vod-accessibility, January 30, 2015
Qatar Among Top Five in ICT Usage
Qatar ranks among the top five countries in the world when it comes to ICT usage by the government, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2014. The Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ictQatar) yesterday released its report for 2013-14 which showcases its accomplishments during the past year and progress across the five strategic thrusts of National ICT Plan 2015. The report says Qatar ranks 23rd out of 148 developed and developing countries and first among Arab countries on the World Economic Forum’s 2014 Networked Readiness Index rankings, up from 28th in 2012.
From http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/news/qatar/319135/qatar-among-top-five-in-ict-usage, January 29, 2015
Nigeria: UNESCO Offers ICT Training to 60,000 Women
he United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on Wednesday promised to train 60, 000 Nigerian women and girls on Information Communication Technology (ICT) to reduce illiteracy in the country. The training Project Coordinator, Dr Safiya Muhammad, made this known in Abuja on Wednesday on the sidelines of the beginning of the three-day ICT training workshop.
From http://en.starafrica.com/education/nigeria-unesco-offers-ict-training-to-60000-women.html, January 29, 2015
UK: Modular Disability Aids for World's Poorest
Brunel University London design engineering student Cara O'Sullivan's final year project aims to help developing countries make their own disability aids using modular components. A modular kit of interchangeable mobility aid parts from crutches to walking frames is set to change the lives of some of the world's poorest people with disabilities thanks to a design engineering student from Brunel University London.
From http://phys.org/news/2015-01-modular-disability-aids-world-poorest.html, January 29, 2015
Microsoft Windows Holographic Revealed
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates held a Reddit AMA today, and, as you could have probably guessed, someone asked him about the company's recently announced HoloLens technology. Gates' verdict? He's excited, but says it might be a few years before we see the true potential of the technology. "The HoLolens is pretty amazing," Gates said. "Microsoft has put a lot into the chips and the software. It is the start of virtual reality. Making the device so you don't get dizzy or nauseous is really hard--the speed of the alignment has to be super super fast. It will take a few years of software applications being built to realize the full promise of this."
From http://www.gamespot.com/articles/bill-gates-hololens-is-pretty-amazing-but-will-tak/1100-6424961/, January 29, 2015