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Malawi - ICT Facilities Should be User Friendly Says Fedoma
Executive Director of Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi (Fedoma) Mussa Chiwaula said last week that information, communication and technology (ICT) facilities should be usable by all everyone, including people with disability, as they play a crucial role in a country’s development.
From The Daily Times - Malawi's Premier Daily, July 07, 2008

Visually Impaired Gain Greater Access to Digital Information with the Daisy Talking Book
In an age when most information is transmitted digitally and most digital information takes the form of words and letters projected on a computer monitor, the visually impaired may often feel hopelessly and helplessly left out in the cold. The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) is taking efforts to ameliorate this all-too-common problem by launching the DAISY Digital Talking Book, a centerpiece for a free, downloadable plug-in to provide feature-rich, structured information for individuals who are blind or print-disabled.
From E-Content Magazine, July 04, 2008

Commission Opens Public Consultation to Improve Web site Accessibility in Europe
15% of Europeans suffer from some form of disability, and many face barriers such as reading a website's small text or even knowing how to access websites and online services. Despite repeated calls by the EU and government leaders to improve this situation, progress remains limited: by far the majority of websites fail to use universally accepted user-friendly solutions. On July 2nd the European Commission launched a public consultation on further measures to make websites in Europe accessible, starting with those of public administrations, and invites stakeholders to give their views. It also addresses other technologies like digital television. The consultation is open until 27 August 2008.
From Euroalert.net, July 03, 2008

Singapore - Technology Library to Loan Test Gadgets for Disabled
DISABLED people like those with cerebral palsy or with vision problems who are unsure about which tech gadgets to buy can now test out the goods first. A new technology loan library, which will loan out items like large-key keyboards, Braille note-takers, or sound amplifiers, was officially opened on Thursday, as part of the Society for the Physically Disabled's new Infocomm Accessibility (IA) centre.
From The Straits Times, Singapore, July 03, 2008

USA - Georgia Tech Team Creates Tongue-Steered Wheelchairs
New technology recently developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology can now allow a tongue to move a mouse on a computer screen or maneuver a wheelchair. The technology, developed by a group of engineers headed by Georgia Tech Professor Maysam Ghovanloo, could significantly help improve the quality for life for those living with disabilities.
From The Epoch Times, July 02, 2008

China ratified UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (in Chinese)
On June 26th 2008, the 11th National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China- China’s top legislative body, has ratified a bill submitted the Central Government for China’s accession to the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). As just reported by Xinhua Net (Chinese News Agency), this was done at the 3rd session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in today’s afternoon (Beijing Time) China has actively advocated and supported to the UN in its efforts in formulating the CRPD Convention. Delegations and representatives of the Chinese Government and China Disabled Persons Federation participated the full process of drafting the CRPD Convention and made an important contribution to the process. China was one of the first countries signing the Convention on March 30th 2007, when the treaty opened for states to signing and ratifying.
From www.news.cn, June 26, 2008

People with Disabilities Still Under-Represented in Work Force
As the 18th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act approaches, the employment rate among U.S. workers with disabilities is about 38 percent -about half the employment rate for working-age people without disabilities.
From The Journal News, June 26, 2008

Access Denied - The Blind or Deaf Can Feel Left Behind As the Tools of Technology Advance
Olivia Norman's fingers fly across her laptop keyboard, dexterously tapping out instant messages to friends and entering Google searches without committing a single typo. A minute later, she's listening intently to the voice cues that help her read e-mail and send text messages on her Motorola Q smartphone.
From Washington Post, June 19, 2008

USA - Power to the Paralyzed: The Shepherd Center
The Shepherd Center is a private, not-for-profit, catastrophic care hospital in Atlanta, Ga. It's one of the nation's leading rehabilitation hospitals, specializing in the treatment of people with spinal cord injuries, acquired brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain and other neurological conditions.
From wptv.com, June 16, 2008

India - Meira Kumar Appeals for Implementation of Provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Smt. Meira Kumar, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, has requested all Union Ministers to ensure all due rights to persons with disabilities.
From Press Information Bureau, Government of India, June 13, 2008

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