USA: FCC Will Allow Text-to-Speech Emergency Alerts
The Federal Communications Commission has decided to defer, rather than prohibit, converting emergency alerts from text to speech, a prohibition in its initial EAS order. In an order released in April, the FCC amended its Jan. 10 order on specifying how emergency alert system (EAS) participants, which include broadcasters and cable operators, must receive Common Alert Protocol (CAP) messages.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/04/28/fcc-will-allow-text-to-speech-emergency-alerts/, June 01, 2012
Feature: The Future of Speech Recognition
Until recently, the idea of holding a conversation with a computer seemed pure science fiction. If you asked a computer to “open the pod bay doors”—well, that was only in movies. But things are changing, and quickly. A growing number of people now talk to their mobile smart phones, asking them to send e-mail and text messages, search for directions, or find information on the Web.
From http://mashable.com/2012/05/29/where-speech-recognition-is-going/, June 01, 2012
India: Tourism Industry Making Efforts to Improve Accessible Tourism
Sudipta Dev writes in Express Travel World that while Portugal, Spain, UK, Germany, France and other northern European countries, Oman and UAE, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, USA, Canada, and Australia are leading the world in developing accessible tourism, certain segments of the travel and hospitality industry in India are also making commendable efforts to provide tourism, travel and hospitality for people with disabilities and seniors. The Ministry of Tourism has already included in its strategy the intent to make tourist dedtinations barrier-free.
From http://www.accesstourismnz.org.nz/2012/06/india-tourism-industry-making-efforts-to-improve-accessible-tourism/, June 01, 2012
Australia: Newcastle City Council Needs $15M to Make Bus Bus Stops Accessible
An audit of the city’s bus stops has found Newcastle City Council needs to spend between $10 million and $15 million to bring them to an acceptable standard for disability access. The findings of the council audit, which were shown to councillors at a confidential briefing session on Tuesday, have raised concerns about cost-shifting the bus stop upgrades onto local government authorities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/04/29/newcastle-city-council-needs-15m-to-make-bus-stops-accessible/, May 31, 2012
Asia-Pacific: UNESCAP Declares 2013-2022 as the Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities
Sponsored by South Korea, the resolution was adopted unanimously at UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific's (Unescap) 68th ministerial session held in Bangkok between May 17-23 this year. The decade is designed to promote, protect and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities. Many of its activities are to be funded by Korea, starting with a set of four back-to-back conferences on disability to be held in Incheon between Oct 24 and Nov 2 this year.
From http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/economics/295356/do-good-feel-good-and-make-some-money, May 31, 2012
USA: Sorenson Communications Unveils New Videophone Booth at Lexington School for the Deaf
Sorenson Communications unveiled a new student-designed videophone booth containing a Sorenson ntouch(R) VP, a videophone that empowers deaf and hard-of-hearing people to communicate with hearing people. The unveiling took place at Lexington School for the Deaf, part of the largest organization serving the deaf community in the State of New York.
From http://ht.ly/bfAcG, May 30, 2012
Belgium: Vodafone Foundation Launches Smart Accessibility Awards 2012
The competition calls for developers across Europe to design smartphone applications which take into consideration the needs of older people and people with disabilities. The Smart Accessibility Awards are part of the Vodafone Foundation's 'Mobile for Good' programme which supports initiatives around the world which use mobile technology to drive positive social change. This year, the Vodafone Spain Foundation is running the pan-European competition, and will host the final in early December.
From http://developer.vodafone.com/smartaccess2012/, May 30, 2012
Philippines: 34th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week Celebration
In celebration of the 34th National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week on July 17 – 23 this year, the National Council on Disability Affairs hereby adopts the theme adopted the theme “Mainstreaming Persons with Disabilities in Economic Development.”
From http://www.ncda.gov.ph/2012/05/34th-national-disability-prevention-and-rehabilitation-ndpr-week-celebration/, May 29, 2012
Braille Support Goes Android with Mobile Accessibility
After launching Mobile Accessibility in March 2011 and with more than 35.000 downloads worldwide, Code Factory has worked for months to make Braille display usage possible with the product. Once more, we have listened to our customers and turned their desires into reality. “Based on the tremendous response from our customers, we have been more than motivated to keep improving this product and make the impossible possible: add Braille support for the first time on this platform” says Eduard Sanchez, CEO. “Our ambition is to keep improving our products and keep up with the constant OS updates and add new features that add value to our products.”
From https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Code+Factory, May 29, 2012
Prototype Glasses Help the Visually Impaired Avoid Obstacles
Researchers at the Instituto de Oftalmología Aplicada have created a prototype system, based around a head-mounted display and a pair of small cameras. This prototype is simply meant to help the visually impaired detect and avoid obstacles. A small computer performs real-time analysis of the environment highlighting objects and color coding them to indicate distance. The goal is to help those with glaucoma and other impairments that hinder depth perception. The next step is to streamline the device, making the computer portion of it smaller and more portable and to make the goggles less cumbersome.
From http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/29/prototype-glasses-help-the-visually-impaired-avoid-obstacles/, May 29, 2012