India: First–ever RTI Book in Braille Launched for Blind People
To observe the 12th death anniversary of Jagdish Patel, founder of the Blind People's Association (BPA), the Gujarati version of Right to Information Act in Braille was launched on Thursday. This is the first time such a book has been brought out in Braille so that visually challenged people can learn about their rights. Speaking to DNA, director of BPA, Bhushan Punani, said, "The deputy secretary of Gujarat Information Commission, K S Diwan wanted the RTI Act to be translated into Gujarati and Braille for blind people." He added that the book will give an opportunity to the blind to access information on rights. This step would empower them and make them self–reliant, he said.
From http://www.dnaindia.com, April 15, 2011
India: High Court Backs E–ticketing Facility for Disabled People
Supporting the idea of e–ticketing facility for disabled people, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Railways and the central government on a PIL demanding web reservation for them at concessional rates. A Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the authorities must first display the sensitivity and that the technical requirements could be taken care of subsequently.
From http://www.indianexpress.com, April 15, 2011
How Google Is Teaching Computers To See
Computers used to be blind, and now they can see. Thanks to increasingly sophisticated algorithms, computers today can recognize and identify the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa or a can of Budweiser. Still, despite huge technological strides in the last decade or so, visual search has plenty more hurdles to clear.
From edition.cnn.com, April 14, 2011
Committee on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities Concludes Discussion With Non-Governmental Organizations
The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities this afternoon concluded its discussion with non-governmental organizations and other bodies about the implementation and monitoring of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. During the discussion, a representative from the Association of World Citizens spoke on behalf of parents of children with autism, saying that these children needed additional support from governments, which often did not recognize their needs in their policies or with adequate financial support. Autistic children often needed assistance above and beyond what people with less complex disabilities needed. Their symptoms were often not visible at birth and this made the situation worse because their condition was often not recognized until they were older. This situation could be compounded for people who did not speak the language or did not have health insurance.
From www.ohchr.org/, April 13, 2011
FCC Names New Administrator for National Relay Services Fund
COAT notes that the FCC has named a new Administrator for the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services Fund (TRS fund), a company called Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates, LLC (RLSA) located in Harrisburg, PA. This Fund supports interstate relay service for people who have hearing disasbilities, or speech disabilities, or who are deaf-blind. RLSA will also oversee the distribution of funds for the FCC’s National Equipment Distribution Program for persons who are deaf-blind.
From coataccess.org, April 13, 2011
USA: House Approves Bill to Move Money From Deaf Services Fund to Education Fund
The Alabama House of Representatives tonight voted 61-34 for a bill to take USD30 million from a fund created to pay for telephone services for the deaf and put the money in the state Education Trust Fund. The telephone services fund finances a ''dual party relay system'' that lets deaf or hearing-impaired people use phones to communicate with others, and pays for related programs.
From blog.al.com/spotnews/, April 13, 2011
FCC to Ensure Deaf-Blind Americans Have Access to 21st Century Communications Technology
The US media and communications regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has announced that it will spend USD10 million per year to provide low-income people who are deaf-blind with access to 21st century communications technology.
From mediaaccess.org.au, April 11, 2011
Video Games Effective Treatment for Stroke Patients
Virtual reality and other video games can significantly improve motor function in stroke patients, according to research from St. Michael's Hospital. Patients who played video games, such as Wii and Playstation, were up to five times more likely to show improvements in arm motor function compared to those who had standard therapy.
From www.sciencedaily.com/, April 11, 2011
FCC Sets Up First Ever National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program To Access Communications
COAT is delighted that the FCC issued an order to set up the first ever National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) to enable low-income individuals who are deaf-blind to access 21st century communications services.
From www.coataccess.org, April 09, 2011
Stroke Patients Get Boost From Virtual Reality Therapy
Virtual reality games may help patients recover after a stroke. The results of a new study show these games can improve the patient's arm strength. Patients were more likely to improve their arm strength if they played virtual reality games than if they received standard physical therapy, which includes exercises such as extending the elbow and flexing the wrists and thumbs, the study reported.
From www.msnbc.msn.com, April 09, 2011