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TCF launches 1st Global Telecentre Awards
Telecentre.org Foundation and Spark (the 4th Global Forum on Telecentres) organizers, in cooperation with the regional telecentre networks, are proud to announce the launch of first ever Global Telecentre Awards (GTA)! The Awards seek to recognize and celebrate the best players in the international telecentre arena, and encourage them to continue raising the bar of excellence in the delivery of ICT-based services to the communities.
From http://community.telecentre.org/profiles/blogs/tcf-launches-1st-global-telecentre-awards, February 25, 2013

How Browsers Interact with Screen Readers and where ARIA Fits in the Mix
The differing behaviors of screen readers across various browsers are noticed all the time by screen reader users, and differing levels of ARIA support are noticed in a similar manner, but the reasons why this happens aren’t commonly understood by the majority of people. For example, the most widely used screen reader, JAWS, is hard coded to work best in Internet Explorer. The second most widely used screen reader, NVDA, is hard coded to work best in Firefox. This includes ARIA support.
From https://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/2013/01/02/how-browsers-interact-with-screen-readers-and-where-aria-fits-in-the-mix/, February 21, 2013

USA: Legislation Mandates Accessible Learning Technology
U.S. Representative George Miller (CA), the ranking Democrat in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, introduced a new education bill: The Transforming Education through Technology Act [H.R. 521]. The bill proposes that Congress fund educational grants to be distributed to states and districts totaling $500 million.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.org/content/newsroom/legislation-mandates-accessible-learning-technology, February 21, 2013

Google Shows Off Glass in New Video, Puts Out Call for New Buyers
Google has launched a new program called If I Had Glass, which is designed to reach a new Google Glass demographic. For the first time, the company has posted a video (below) that shows off what the interface within the Glass system looks like. Those familiar with the Android operating system will instantly recognize the slick, translucent pane aesthetic, which allows the Glass user to take photos, shoot video, send audio messages, view maps, use voice search, and get directions with real-time graphic overlays.
From http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2415620,00.asp, February 20, 2013

USA: FCC's First Technology Transitions Policy Task Force Workshop in March 2013
The first FCC Technology Transitions Policy Task Force workshop will be held on Monday, March 18, 2013. The Task Force was formed to recommend policies that “empower and protect consumers, promote competition, and ensure network resiliency and reliability.” The workshop will focus on transitions to new technologies including: the advancement of network protocols; the implementation of fiber networks replacing copper; and the increased use of wireless in place of wireline services.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.org/content/newsroom/first-technology-transitions-policy-task-force-workshop-march, February 19, 2013

EU: Putting Accessibility at the Heart of e-Government
Public administrations across Europe are making the leap from government to e-government, but citizens will only reap the rewards of being able to access more services online if they are efficient, accessible and easy to use. A new user-centric web-based platform, developed by EU-funded researchers, promises to bring down the barriers to accessing e-government services.
From http://cordis.europa.eu/fetch?CALLER=OFFR_TM_EN&ACTION=D&RCN=9871, February 18, 2013

UNWTO and Italy Advance Accessibility in Tourism
Ensuring that tourism facilities and sites meet the needs of persons with disabilities, both as a key means of promoting tourism for all and as an engine for market growth, were the main focus of the International Conference on "Accessibility in tourism: an ethical value, a business opportunity" (14 February 2013, BIT Milan, Italy). The event, organized by the Permanent Secretariat of the World Committee on Tourism Ethics hosted by the Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers at the Office for Tourism Policies of the Department of Regional Affairs, Tourism and Sport in Rome, was held with the support of UNWTO and constitutes another significant step in the Organization’s endeavors in the area of accessibility. Participants included representatives from hotels, tourism companies, disabled persons organizations and students from three higher tourism education centres in Italy.
From http://www2.unwto.org/en/press-release/2013-02-18/unwto-and-italy-advance-accessibility-tourism, February 18, 2013

Video: Talking Cash Machine Campaign by RNIB
Blind and partially sighted people in America can plug their ear phones into one in every four cash machines and hear a voice that guides them through their transactions. In Britain, only one in a thousand can talk!
From http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgSqJq8jX6Q&feature=share&list=PL06E63C85F9143A61, February 15, 2013

Feature: How does Accessible Web Design Benefit all Web Users?
There are many examples in society of innovations that were originally intended for people with disabilities but that have provided access benefits to all people (curb cuts and automatic door openers are two of the most common). Accessible web content is a similar innovation. Web content designed in a way that is accessible to people with disabilities additionally benefits many non-disabled users and often benefits all users.
From http://eapd.weebly.com/2/post/2013/02/how-does-accessible-web-design-benefit-all-web-users.html, February 14, 2013

Canada: Deadline to Prepare Accessibility Policies Approaching
In January, I wrote about how large organizations in Ontario must prepare multi-year accessibility plans to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (by January 1, 2014). Well, those obligated private sector organizations (50+ employees) must also develop and implement relevant policies, practices and procedures under their general obligation and under each accessibility standard (Information and Communication, Employment, Transportation and Built Environment for public spaces) under the Integrated Accessibility Regulation by January 1, 2014 as well, and that’s going to arrive sooner than you think.
From http://blog.firstreference.com/2013/02/13/deadline-to-prepare-accessibility-policies-approaching/#axzz2KrLb8tZW, February 14, 2013

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