National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped To Celebrate Its 80th Anniversary
On 3 March 2011, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)—the Library of Congress’ talking-book and braille program—will celebrate 80 years of helping visually impaired and physically handicapped individuals enjoy reading their favorite books and magazines. This free library program brings reading materials in digital audio and braille formats straight to the homes of patrons from preschoolers to centenarians. Books on digital cartridge, digital talking-book players and braille books are sent to patrons via the US mail at no cost to users. People who sign up with the program also have the option of downloading books and magazines over the Internet in audio or braille format.
From www.loc.gov/, March 07, 2011
Health Services Are Failing Deaf Children With Additional Complex Needs
Susan Daniels, chief executive of the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) at the University of Manchester, which funded the Complex Needs, Complex Challenges report, said: "We are alarmed by the findings of this research, which shows services are not geared up to support or care for children who are deaf and have other disabilities."
From www.disabilitywales.org, March 07, 2011
Top Prosecutor Signals Crack Down on Disability Hate Crime
Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, warned name calling, mimicking and bullying of disabled people are all crimes but not enough victims realise.
He urged more to come forward with reports of abuse and called on society to change its attitude and stop dismissing such attacks as "routine”.
From telegraph.co.uk, March 07, 2011
USA: St Paul International Airport Introduces Visual Paging Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Customers
Minneapolis: Here’s how it works. When an audio page is made from the airport’s Information and Paging Office, that same message is posted in text form for travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing. Each message paged from the office scrolls across the bottom of the weather screens - co-located with the airport’s flight information displays - and is simultaneously posted to a “paging history” screen located at each of the airport’s information booths. The scrolling messages continue for several minutes, while the historical messages typically stay visible for several hours following the original page.
From businesswire.com, March 03, 2011
USA: Iowa - Website Accessibility and Relay Services Required as Part of ADA Settlement
In an agreement reached with Des Moines, Iowa and its public library, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) includes use of relay services, and accessible websites and web-based services, as requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA Title II). This means that city officials must recognize the Iowa telecommunications relay service as a key means of communicating with individuals who are deaf, are hard-of-hearing, or have speech impairments and they must train staff in using the relay service for telephone communications. Similarly, the city’s official website and other web-based services must be made accessible to people with disabilities, such as people who are blind and use screen readers.
From coataccess.orr, March 03, 2011
USA: COAT Affiliates Ask FCC for Universal Captioning of Television
Several COAT affiliates -- AADB, AAPD, ALDA, HLAA, TDI -- and others filed a petition with the FCC on 27 January 2011 for universal captioning of TV. The petition asked the FCC to begin a rulemaking to eliminate several of the current rules that allow exemptions for some TV captions. Specifically, these are the rules for captioning exemptions for: late night programming, commercial and political advertising, locally produced non-news programming, interstitials, promotional announcements and public service announcements, channels producing revenues under USD3 million annually.
From coataccess.org, March 03, 2011
Canada: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Update
Business owners are being warned to get ready now for tough new accessibility rules that start taking effect next year. The new rules, under the five-year-old Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, will require most businesses to meet new standards that ensure handicapped customers get the same treatment as the able-bodied.
From thespec.com, March 03, 2011
New Zealand: Disabled People Can Access Earthquake Assistance
The Minister for Disability Issues, Tariana Turia, would like to encourage disabled people, or carers of disabled people, who need assistance due to the Christchurch earthquake to contact the government helpline.
“The government helpline, 0800779997, is open to take your phone calls for any help you may need. If you are disabled, or a carer of a disabled person, and you require help please contact the number. The people who answer your call will be able to provide you with the help or further contacts for services or products you need. Don’t leave it until you run out of medication or products,” said Minister Turia.
From Scoop.co.nz, March 02, 2011
USA: FCC Seeks Input on New Technologies for Video Relay Services
the FCC is asking for information about the new and off-the-shelf technologies that can be used to access Video Relay Service (VRS), such as Skype, Apple Facetime, etc. What specific features or functions of off-the-shelf equipment, services, and software are needed to effectively use VRS? Commenters should specify whether each feature or function is necessary to use VRS and point-to-point communications or could be optional.
From coataccess.org/, March 01, 2011
India: Union Budget 2011 Brings INR9 Lakh Disability Compensation for Defence Personnel
Defence personnel, who have suffered 100 percent disability during the course of their government service, will henceforth get a one-time compensation of INR9 lakh on par with paramilitary personnel fighting Maoists. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced this benefit for defence personnel in his budget proposals presented in Lok Sabha on 28 February 2011.
From Economictimes.indiatimes.com, February 28, 2011