Australia: A World First for Game Accessibility
Australia is leading the world in making games accessibility a priority. The latest demonstration of commitment to enabling a wider cross section of the community be catered for when playing games is the inaugural Accessibility Award announced by the Game Developers’ Association of Australia (GDAA) as part of the 2013 Australian Game Developer Awards. This follows on from the inclusion of accessibility considerations by Film Victoria and Screen Australia when allocating funding to game development projects.
From http://switchgaming.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/a-world-first-for-game-accessibility.html?m=1, October 07, 2013
Will Google Glass Be Assistive Technology's Next Big Thing?
Therese Willkomm test drives the long-awaited prototype and considers its potential for individuals with disabilities Thank her for this sneak peek... Google Glass is not exactly in your local assistive technology (AT) demonstration/loan program. To get her hands on it, Therese Willkomm, PhD--that app-happy professor at the University of New Hampshire who is passionate for both high and low-tech solutions--applied for the privilege to pay $1,500 to purchase Google Glass (plus tax!) And once found worthy, she traveled at her own expense to Glass headquarters in New York City for training, fitting, and "free" Champagne. Why did she go to all this trouble? Initially to "enable virtual participation for persons with disabilities".
From http://blogs.collaborativeportal.atis4all.eu/MarketplaceBlog/post/345.aspx, October 07, 2013
UK: HSBC to Launch Talking ATMs
HSBC announces the roll-out of talking ATMs, making them easier to use for customers who are blind or low vision. HSBC announces that it will roll-out talking ATMs in the UK to aid customers who are blind or low vision on September 30. The bank is investing in new machines and software across the UK. The roll-out began in 2012 and is ongoing, and new software which gives the ATMs the ability to ‘talk’ will be installed in early 2015.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/10/02/hsbc-to-launch-talking-atms/, October 07, 2013
64 Million Wearables to Ship by 2017, with Smartwatches Leading
Consumer wearable devices — including fitness trackers, smart glasses, and smart watches — will have shipped 64 million units worldwide by the end of 2017, according to a new report from Berg Insight. That’s up from 8.3 million in 2012 and 3.1 million in 2011, a compound annual growth rate of 50.6 percent.
From http://mobihealthnews.com/26067/berg-64-million-wearables-to-ship-by-2017-with-smartwatches-leading/, October 07, 2013
India Adopts United Nation’s Development Agenda for Disabled
India has adopted a landmark UN General Assembly’s document aimed at inclusion of disabled persons in all aspects of development and giving them due consideration in the post-2015 UN development agenda. At a high level meeting on Disability and Development in the United Nations General Assembly, India also called upon the the international community to identify measures and formulate policies for the disable to help enhance their accessibility to education, healthcare and employment.
From http://www.firstpost.com/fwire/india-adopts-united-nations-development-agenda-for-disabled-1150139.html, October 04, 2013
All Technology Is Assistive Technology
In 1941, the husband-and-wife design team, Charles and Ray Eames, were commissioned by the US Navy to design a lightweight splint for wounded soldiers to get them out of the field more securely. Metal splints of that period weren’t secure enough to hold the leg still, causing unnecessary death from gangrene or shock, blood loss, and so on.
From https://medium.com/thoughtful-design/a8b9a581eb62#!, October 04, 2013
USA: Using Mobile Technology to Decrease Experiential Gap for School Students
In February, I posted an article in conjunction with national Digital Learning Day, Making School a Digital Dream. We explored Lake Tahoe Unified School District’s (LTUSD) approach to bridging the digital divide by providing every student from third to twelfth grade a netbook computer enabled with mobile broadband connectivity. By using technology to re-energize both teachers’ and students’ approach to learning, and by providing students with the Internet access many did not previously have at home, LTUSD was able to dramatically improve adequate yearly progress (AYP) scores by nearly 6.8% among non-native English language learners at the high school level – and by nearly 2.3% district-wide!
From http://networkingexchangeblog.att.com/enterprise-business/greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts/#!, October 04, 2013
India: Cabinet Okays National Policy on Universal Electronic Accessibility
The Union Cabinet today approved the National Policy on Universal Electronic Accessibility that recognizes the need to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disabilities as well as to facilitate equal access to electronics and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). This policy has been prepared after incorporating comments and suggestions from various stakeholders, an official press release said.
From http://netindian.in/news/2013/10/03/00026248/cabinet-okays-national-policy-universal-electronic-accessibility#!, October 04, 2013
How AI, Twitter and Digital Volunteers are Transforming Humanitarian Disaster Response
On 24 September a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck south-west Pakistan, killing at least 300 people. The following day Patrick Meier at the Qatar Computer Research Institute (QCRI) received a call from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) asking him to help deal with the digital fallout -- the thousands of tweets, photos and videos that were being posted on the web containing potentially valuable information about the disaster.
From http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-09/30/digital-humanitarianism#!, October 01, 2013
New Report: HelpAge Global Age Watch Index 2013
The Global AgeWatch Index ranks countries by how well their ageing populations are faring. It is based on four domains that are key enablers of older people\'s wellbeing: income, health, employment and education, and enabling environment.
From http://www.helpage.org/global-agewatch/reports/global-agewatch-index-2013-insight-report-summary-and-methodology/, October 01, 2013