Philippines: College Students Develop Voice-activated Wheelchair
People with physical disabilities who have lost control of their hands stand to benefit from a new voice-activated wheelchair created by five graduating computer engineering students from the Mapua Institute of Technology.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/04/23/mapua-institute-of-technology-students-develop-voice-activated-wheelchair/, May 18, 2012
USA: U.S. Department of Education Issues Resource Document that Discourages Restraint and Seclusion
the U.S. Department of Education issued a publication that outlines principles for educators, parents and other stakeholders to consider when developing or refining policies and procedures to support positive behavioral interventions and avoid the use of restraint and seclusion. The goal of this resource document is to help ensure that schools are safe and healthy environments where all students can learn, develop and participate in instructional programs that promote high levels of academic achievement.
From http://www.ed.gov/policy/restraintseclusion, May 16, 2012
Qatar: Mada Launches ATbar in Arabic
Mada (Qatar Assistive Technology Center) has released the Arabic version of “AT Bar,” a powerful open source tool that enables people with disabilities to access the internet and computers with greater access. The Arabic version of the product was developed as part of a joint project between Mada (Qatar Assistive Technology Center) and University of Southampton in the UK, and will be made available through the Mada website to Arabic speakers around the world.
From http://mada.org.qa/en/news/2012/05/15, May 16, 2012
Canada: RIM Launches BlackBerry Screen Reader for Customers with Visual Impairments
Research In Motion (RIM) today launched BlackBerry® Screen Reader, a free software application that helps customers who are blind or visually impaired operate their BlackBerry® smartphone. BlackBerry Screen Reader provides an audible output based on visual information displayed on a BlackBerry smartphone.
From http://www.blackberry.com/screenreader, May 15, 2012
UNICEF welcomes Russian Federation ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
UNICEF congratulates the Russian Federation for ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, describing it as a great step forward
for people with disabilities, particularly children. Russia now joins 110 countries that have already ratified the Convention which recognizes the human rights of people with disabilities and commits Governments to making every effort to help them fully participate in their societies.
From www.unicef.org/ceecis/media_19897.html, May 15, 2012
WCAG 2.0 Available as ISO Standard
An ISO standard is a documented agreement containing technical specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as rules, guidelines, or definitions of characteristics to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose. It is a living agreement that can have a profound influence on things that deserve to be taken seriously - such as the safety, reliability and efficiency of machinery and tools, means of transport, toys, medical devices, and so on.
From http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=58625, May 15, 2012
Tunisian Researcher Wins Google Student Award Web For All 2012
Kabil Jaballah preparing his PHD at the research laboratory in information technology and communication at the University of Tunis (www.utic.rnu.tn) under the supervision of Prof. Mohamed JEMNI, wins this award for developing a system that facilitates access for deaf to web content through an automatic translation into sign language. This work is a part of the project Websign conducted in the Tunisian Laboratory.
From http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/21896636, May 15, 2012
USA: Light-powered Bionic Eye Invented to Help Restore Sight
A retinal implant - or bionic eye - which is powered by light has been invented by scientists at Stanford University in California. The new device, described in the journal Nature Photonics, uses a special pair of glasses to beam near infrared light into the eye.
From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18061174, May 15, 2012
Indian Company Launches Talking Chess Board and App for Blind People
Schogini Systems has launched a talking Chess Board and a talking Chess App for people who are blind. In their efforts to empower people who are blind, the company has also launched applications like Coloring App and Seeing Apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/05/15/indian-company-launches-talking-chess-board-and-app-for-blind-people/, May 15, 2012
Peru: Disability Rights in the Voting Booth
(Lima) – Peru should remove significant barriers preventing people with disabilities from exercising their right to vote and other civil rights, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The failure to dismantle the obstacles is undermining Peru’s leadership as one of the first countries to ratify, in 2008, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
From Human Rights Watch, May 15, 2012