China: Household Appliance Giants Foray into Smart Homes
In December 2014, Midea and Xiaomi Technology joined force to enter the smart home market. Wang Jinliang, director of Midea Group's domestic market division, said that Midea has always focused on white electrical appliances, kitchen appliances, and small appliances, and is a traditional machinery manufacturer. "We need the help of professional internet software companies if we are to make breakthroughs in fields that we are not good at, such as the internet, cloud computing, and cloud services. The partnership with Xiaomi is an important measure for Midea's business expansion and strategic arrangement in the mobile internet era".
From http://en.ce.cn/Insight/201503/30/t20150330_4972864.shtml, March 31, 2015
Seniors Love Technology Too, and Some Companies are Starting to Notice
From specially designed smart watches to advanced sensor systems meant to detect falls, tech companies are designing products with seniors in mind. It's a trend that some in the industry think is long overdue. "There was a stereotype earlier that seniors weren't interested in technology," Marjorie Skubic, director of the University of Missouri's Center for Eldercare and Rehabilitation Technology, told NBC News. "Seniors are willing to embrace technology as long as it has a function that's helpful to them."
From http://www.today.com/money/seniors-love-technology-too-some-companies-are-starting-notice-2D80551238, March 31, 2015
India: Braille Book on Disaster Management Released
A Braille book on disaster management to educate students with vision disabilities on protecting themselves during natural calamity was released. “Since the State Government is keen on disseminating the message of effective disaster management, we wanted to take it among the visually challenged persons also. Hence, we have prepared this book and planned to take it to all schools and colleges so that students with vision disabilities will also understand disaster management,” said T. Manohar, District Disability Rehabilitation Officer.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/03/31/braille-book-on-disaster-management-released/, March 31, 2015
Rwanda Launches National Partnership on Children with Disabilities
Alvera Mukabaramba, the Minister of State in charge of Social Affairs in the ministry of local government, has launched the National Partnership on Children with Disabilities. This partnership is linked to the Global Partnership for Children with Disabilities which brings together more than 220 organizations, including governments, United Nations agencies, international and local NGOs, civil society organizations of persons with disabilities, academia and the private sector, to advance the rights of children with disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/03/31/rwanda-launches-national-partnership-on-children-with-disabilities/, March 31, 2015
Inclusive Education Under Introduction in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani Education Minister Mikayil Jabbarov has signed an order on the introduction of inclusive basic education. The Ministry of Education informs that inclusive education implies attraction of children with disabilities to primary education. “The minister tasked making of an action plan on the execution of the project. Schools #220 of Nizami district and #138 of Khatai district of Baku were defined as pilot schools for introduction of inclusive primary education. Logopedist services will also be rendered there,” the MoE said in a statement.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/03/31/inclusive-education-under-introduction-in-azerbaijan/, March 31, 2015
USA: Technology Offers Independence During National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
Back in 1987, President Ronald Reagan officially declared March as National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The proclamation calls for people to take extra steps to raise awareness about the rights of the people with disabilities, provide support and celebrate their contributions to our communities. Every day, Assisted Living Technologies (ALT) in Meriden helps those with disabilities remain safe and independent with amazing technological products and skilled home care.
From http://news.hamlethub.com/naugatuck/neighbors/796-technology-offers-independence-during-national-developmental-disabilities-awareness-month, March 31, 2015
Rwanda Commended for Using ICT for Sustainable Development
Rwanda has been commended as a model in using ICT and e-Governance for sustainable development by the experts in ICT and policy makers who gathered in Kigali last week for the Commonwealth e-Governance Forum Africa. Professor Tim Unwin, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) lauded Rwanda’s efforts in harnessing ICTs potentials to increase accountability and transparency.
From http://www.busiweek.com/index1.php?Ctp=2&pI=3029&pLv=3&srI=69&spI=221&cI=11, March 30, 2015
Improving Public Sector Disability Employment Through Digital Accessibility
A review into employment has found a marked decline in the number of people with a disability working in the Australian Public Service (APS). However, Media Access Australia says there are many steps agencies can take to help them hire and retain workers with a disability. The review, the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service Report 2013-2014 found large differences in the experiences of employees with a disability when compared to APS employees as a whole.
From http://www.accessiq.org/news/news/2015/03/improving-public-sector-disability-employment-through-digital-accessibility, March 30, 2015
USA: Tech Start-Ups See Gold in Baby Boomers’ Golden Years
With more than 100 million Americans now over the age of 50, technology companies are eager to find new ways to cater to Baby Boomer consumers. From a mobile app that offers medical tips to wearable devices, special correspondent Megan Hughes reports on how startups are designing products to appeal to older Americans’ desires for longevity and wellness.
From http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/tech-startups-see-gold-baby-boomers-golden-years/, March 30, 2015
The Aging-Disability Information Disconnect
You may know about the World Health Organization’s Age Friendly Cities initiative, announced in 2007. And perhaps you know all about Age-Friendly New York, launched in 2009 as a result of the WHO. Lots of folks like to say how age-friendly NYC is – which I have always thought was odd, if not downright laughable – having battled across streets in NYC with a wide range of pedestrian walk times, deep puddles masking ramp cut-outs, and a subway system map that favors insider knowledge. Senior Planet in NYC has some more info on what makes a city age-friendly: “New York has an amazing public transportation system going for it. Even though it’s not perfect and could be improved upon, we know that aging people use subways and buses regularly.”
From http://www.ageinplacetech.com/blog/aging-disability-information-disconnect, March 30, 2015