Web Accessibility Vital to Elections
Media Access Australia’s resident web accessibility expert, Dr Scott Hollier, has warned that a lack of accessible websites could lead to voters with disabilities potentially miscasting their votes at the next federal or state election. Speaking ahead of his presentation on disability and digital divides, to be given at the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) conference in Melbourne, Dr Hollier said that a lack of web accessibility could have profound effects on society.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/online-media/web-accessibility-vital-to-elections, July 11, 2014
Australia: Telstra Backs ACCAN's Apps for All Challenge
Australian app developers have been encouraged to enter the Apps For All challenge following the news that significant cash and career development prizes have been added to the inaugural competition. Apps For All is a partnership between the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Australian Human Rights Commission, now offers the winners in all four categories a $1500 cash prize, thanks to Telstra’s signing on as sponsor of the competition.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/digital-technology/telstra-backs-accan%E2%80%99s-apps-for-all-challenge, July 11, 2014
Europe: Call for Nominations for the 2015 EBU “Vision For Equality” Award
The European Blind Union (EBU), as the European NGO representing people with vision disabilities in Europe, invites nominations for the third edition of the “Vision for Equality” Award. The award, which consists of a certificate and a piece of art by a artist with vision disability, will be presented in 2015 on the occasion of the EBU General Assembly.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/06/27/call-for-nominations-for-the-2015-ebu-vision-for-equality-award/, July 10, 2014
USA: SETDA Publishes Brief on Accessibility of Instructional Materials in a Digital Age for State and District Leaders
The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) recently released a policy brief for state and district education leaders focused on considerations and strategies regarding the accessibility of digital content for all students. The brief, The Accessibility of Learning Content for All Students, Including Students with Disabilities, Must Be Addressed in the Shift to Digital Instructional Materials, examines important legal, policy and practice considerations regarding the accessibility of digital instructional materials. The paper discusses the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Framework, Open Educational Resources (OER) and federal law requirements regarding accessibility of instructional materials. The brief also provides recommendations for state and district policy regarding the development, use and distribution and sharing of digital tools to improved the learning experiences of all students.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/06/24/setda-publishes-brief-on-accessibility-of-instructional-materials-in-a-digital-age-for-state-and-district-leaders/, July 10, 2014
Thailand: Telephone Service for People With Hearing Disabilities
Realizing the importance of personal communication for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, especially in a situation where help is needed, Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT) has been expanding and developing its ‘Telephone for the deaf’ service. There are now 500 telephone booths with the service installed nationwide, while 150 of them are located in Bangkok.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/07/07/telephone-service-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, July 07, 2014
UK: Lack of Accessible Tourism Costing Economy Billions
Researchers at the University of Surrey have found that the European tourism sector is losing out on as much as 142 billion euros every year due to poor infrastructure, services and attitudes towards travelers with disabilities. The research project, which was funded by the European Commission, found that travelers within the EU who required special access (whether through disability or age) undertook 783 million trips within the region in 2012, contributing 394 billion euros and 8.7 million jobs to the European economy.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/07/03/lack-of-accessible-tourism-costing-economy-billions/, July 07, 2014
3D Printer Can be Used to Aid Students With Vision Disabilities in Their Educational Endeavors
Braille is a tactile writing system, which is commonly used by people with vision disabilities. With the recent development of braille printers, written materials in braille has greatly helped people with vision disabilities but, this is not to say that there are still many remaining problems such as books that are immobile due to their size and volume as well as durability. Moreover, there are other problems such as not enough books, materials, works, and data for such individuals.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/07/03/3d-printer-can-be-used-to-aid-students-with-vision-disabilities-in-their-educational-endeavors/, July 07, 2014
USA: FDA Approves First Wearable, Motorized Device that Helps People With Disabilities to Walk
Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community. ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk. ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/07/02/fda-approves-first-wearable-motorized-device-that-helps-people-with-disabilities-to-walk/, July 07, 2014
Canada: AMI-Audio Special Focuses on the Accessibility of USA’s Most Famous Monuments
Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) announced that it will air a two-part documentary exploring the accessibility of some of the most recognizable attractions in the capital of the United States. AMI Goes to Washington captures the spirit of America’s capital and takes listeners on a detailed journey through the city as AMI-audio staffers Paul Daniel and Joe Lamanna explore many of D.C.’s iconic monuments and experience first-hand how accessible they are.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/06/26/ami-audio-special-focuses-on-the-accessibility-of-some-of-the-usas-most-famous-monuments/, July 04, 2014
India: People with Vision Disabilities Get New Braille library
Marathi litterateur Kavita Mahajan inaugurated the library for people with vision disabilities in the city on Friday on the occasion of the birth anniversary Helen Keller. Also present on the occasion were Balasaheb Joshi, former district governor of Rotary Club, Ramesh Meher, president of Rotary Nashik (West) and Megha Pawaskar, a senior member of the National Association of the Blind (NAB).
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/06/30/people-with-vision-disabilities-get-a-new-braille-library/, July 03, 2014