USA: Allsup Provides Voting Resource for Persons with Disabilities
Deadlines for submitting new or updated voter registrations to vote in the November 6th, 2012 presidential election are fast approaching. Recognizing that the voting rate for citizens with disabilities has traditionally been lower than that for the general public, Allsup, a nationwide Social Security disability representation company, offers an online resource of voter information that is particularly important for persons with disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/08/20/allsup-provides-voting-resource-for-persons-with-disabilities/, August 27, 2012
Fiji: School Teachers Learn about Inclusive Education in Three-Day Workshop
The teaching of children living with disabilities will soon become part of Fiji's education system. Sixty-seven teachers from around the country are attending a three-day workshop at Suva's Holiday Inn to familiarize themselves with a pilot project to introduce disability inclusive education in primary schools. The project, an initiative of the Education Ministry and the Australian government, aims to increase access to education for children with disabilities in Fiji and increase retention and completion rates and learning outcomes.
From http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=209836, August 27, 2012
EU Promises 'Accessibility Act' in 2012
European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding told MEPs last week that she will present a proposal for a 'European Accessibility Act' before the end of 2012. This new legislation is seen by the Commission as a key element of the European Disability Strategy, which was unveiled last year.
From http://www.euractiv.com/socialeurope/disability-eu-promises-accessibi-news-501294#.UDd0Yq9AgjQ.twitter, August 24, 2012
Austrailia: Government Unveils $5m Telehealth Project
A $5 million telehealth project aims to enhance delivery of mental health care in South Australia. The project, announced today, is funded by the commonwealth and the South Australian government under the US$20 million digital regions initiative. The mental health project includes more than 100 new videoconferencing units to upgrade call and image quality for more than 80 sites around the state, the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy said. The project aims to reduce patient travel time, enable online access to health services, connect patients with family members living far away and “deliver round the clock emergency triage and liaison services,” the department said.
From http://tikki.visibli.com/share/A7hWGh, August 24, 2012
UNESCO Request for Input on Mobile Learning Policy Guidelines
The unprecedented uptake of mobile devices, in particular mobile phones, in both developed and developing countries opens up new possibilities for increasing education access, equity and quality. Mobile learning, a growing field of ICT in education, has the potential to significantly impact the delivery of education. However, an enabling policy environment is needed to fully realize this potential. UNESCO’s research has revealed a dearth of policies related to mobile learning. To address this gap UNESCO, in broad consultation with relevant stakeholders, will develop a set of guidelines to help national government policy makers and educators create environments that enable the safe, affordable and sustainable use of mobile technologies for education.
From https://edutechdebate.org/mobile-learning-policy/unesco-request-for-input-on-mobile-learning-policy-guidelines/, August 24, 2012
Report: Disability and Poverty in Developing Countries: A Multidimensional Study
About 15% of the world population lives with some form of disability. Yet little is known about the economic lives of persons with disabilities, especially in developing countries. This paper uses for the first time internationally comparable data to draw an economic profile of persons with disabilities in 15 developing countries. In most countries, disability is found to be significantly associated with higher multidimensional poverty as well as lower educational attainment, lower employment rates, and higher medical expenditures. Among persons with disabilities, persons aged 40 and above and persons with multiple disabilities were more likely to be multi-dimensionally poor.
From http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X12001465, August 23, 2012
USA: “App Camp” Teaches Visually Impaired Youth to Use iPhones, iPads
Developers and advocates say the emergence of hundreds of apps designed for the blind, largely controlled by voice or touch, has made smartphones an invaluable tool for navigating streets and public transportation, checking the value of paper currency, or finding the right product in a store. “It seems like everybody who’s blind and hip to the tech world now carries an iPhone,” said Ken Nakata, director of accessibility consulting at HiSoftware, a provider of Web compliance products in Nashua.
From http://www.boston.com/business/technology/2012/08/18/app-camp-teaches-visually-impaired-youth-use-iphones-ipads/UlTB4WwU8QOYnqZiyL72oL/story.html, August 22, 2012
USA: For Children Who Cannot Speak, a True Voice via Technology
Enrique has Down syndrome and speech apraxia, which means that he cannot speak, aside from a few grunts and “Ma” in the word “Mama.” He was able to speak to his brother, though, with an iPad loaded with the latest version of a widely used text-to-speech application, Proloquo2Go. “The voice now matches the boy,” said John Mendez, Enrique’s father. Until recently, devices that help children like Enrique speak used modified adult voices. The effect can be startling to those listening because it doesn’t sound like a child’s voice. Most existing children’s voices sound “like adults on helium,” said David Niemeijer, chief executive and lead developer at AssistiveWare, which developed the software Enrique tested.
From www.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/technology/evolving-technology-gives-true-voices-to-children-who-cannot-speak.html, August 22, 2012
USA: Talk Therapy an Option for Those Using Assistive Technology to Speak
When asked to work with patients who don't speak, but use assistive technology to communicate, psychologist Amy Szarkowski said yes. Szarkowski, of Harvard Medical School's psychiatry department and Children's Hospital Boston, works with many clients who are deaf and hard of hearing, so she had a lot of experience overcoming communication challenges to provide therapy. "We know the communication language is not perfect, so let's work around it," she said while presenting her work at the American Psychological Association's annual convention here earlier this month.
From blogs.edweek.org/edweek/speced/2012/08/for_those_who_dont_speak_use_a.html, August 22, 2012
USA: FEMA Urges Attention to Persons with Disabilities in Emergency Preparedness
Nearly seven years after Hurricane Katrina exposed gaping holes in emergency planning, federal officials are calling on communities to bring people with disabilities to the table as they prepare for the worst. “It is of the upmost importance that people with disabilities are actively involved from the very beginning of these processes and every step along the way,” Marcie Roth, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s director of disability integration and coordination, told a group in New Jersey this week, according to the Asbury Park Press. Roth said communities need to consider a variety of needs ranging from physical accessibility to chemical sensitivities, among other factors.
From http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2012/08/17/fema-special-needs/16276/, August 22, 2012