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
Tips for Publishing Accessible Video
So what does it mean to publish accessible video? Well, at first glance it sure can feel like a complex and tricky area. Especially in regards to WCAG 2.0 and understanding exactly what is required, at what level.
From http://www.stamfordinteractive.com.au/tips-for-publishing-accessible-video/, May 29, 2012
USA: USICD Urges U.S. Senate to Approve Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The U.S. International Council on Disabilities applauds the unified statement of bipartisan support for United States ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that has been issued by seven senators. Last week, the Obama Administration submitted the CRPD to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent for ratification. In their statement, Senators McCain (R-AZ), Durbin (D-IL), Moran (R-KS), Harkin (D-IA), Barrasso (R-WY), Coons (D-DE), and Udall (D-NM) affirm that the treaty upholds the American values of non-discrimination and equal access for persons with disabilities in all areas of life. The seven senators joined together in promoting the ratification of the Convention which will help protect Americans with disabilities who work and travel abroad from discrimination, including disabled American veterans, and help ensure that all Americans enjoy the same rights outside the U.S. as they enjoy at home.
From http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=84b3c564-d49f-0cf5-7742-9ff158d8ef7e, May 28, 2012
USA: President Obama Orders Government Agencies to Optimize Websites for Mobile Web Accessibility
President Barack Obama on Wednesday issued a directive that requires all major government agencies to make two of their key services available on mobile phones within the year. The President then ordered those agencies to create websites to report on their mobile progress, sites that are due within 90 days.
From http://www.inquisitr.com/242107/president-obama-orders-government-agencies-to-optimize-websites-for-mobile-web-accessibility/, May 28, 2012
New Zealand: Emergency Preparedness Symposium for Persons with Disabilities
Hon Tariana Turia, Minister for Disability Issues, is applauding a symposium which will focus on better emergency preparedness and responses for persons with disabilities to be held in Christchurch on Monday 28th to Tuesday 29th of May. Mrs Turia said “I think it is vital that when we plan for emergencies, such as natural disasters, we are prepared to respond to the needs of every member of our communities – that includes persons with disabilities.”
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/05/28/emergency-preparedness-symposium-for-persons-with-disabilities-in-new-zealand/, May 28, 2012