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ADA Amendments Act Aims to Change Definition of Disability
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has just announced the final regulations to the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), in order to simplify and clarify the definition of "disability". This is important stuff. The ADAAA was passed into law in 2009. In the Act, the US Congress tasked the EEOC with revising regulation to conform with the Act.
From accessibility.net, March 25, 2011

How Technology Can Help Disabled Students in the Classroom
Everyone likes having techie gadgets -- and college student Adam Amick is no exception. He carries an iPad instead of heavy textbooks and uses a Bluetooth-enabled microphone to offset his hearing loss. A Newport News Daily Press story explains how these gadgets help the 19-year-old sophomore, who has cerebral palsy. "It levels the playing field," he told the paper. "It allows people with disabilities to adapt to their environment and be treated like everybody else."
From latimes.com, March 25, 2011

New Zealand’s First Report to the UN on Implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Disability Issues Minister Tariana Turia is welcoming New Zealand’s first report to the United Nations on implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. “The report illustrates that New Zealand is relatively advanced in its implementation of the Convention and considerable work has been achieved across all articles,” says Mrs Turia.
From beehive.govt.nz, March 25, 2011

Technology Helps Visually Impaired People to Enjoy Art
The Long Gallery at Nottingham Castle is crowded with fine art – but how do you make it appeal to visitors who can't see the exhibits? This was the task for Artfully Sighted, a group of people with a range of visual impairments who are all involved with the Nottinghamshire Royal Society for the Blind (NRSB). The result is Blockwerk Orchestra, an installation which enables visitors to hear music and sound effects depending on which pictures they are near to in the gallery.
From thisisnottingham.co.uk, March 25, 2011

A Fresh Approach to Disability Employment
In the first of two articles, New York based disabled businessman and former Wall Street trader, Rich Donovan, considers what circumstances would lead to companies embracing disabled people as employees by first seeing their potential as customers.
From BBC - Ouch! (disability), March 25, 2011

USA: From Smartphones to E-books, New Technologies Expand Options for the Blind
There are more than 1.3 million blind people in the United States, and for decades many have been successfully using technology to improve their lives. But they’ve typically had to rely on blind-specific products like computers with expensive text-to-speech software. Now, smart phones and other mainstream devices are compatible with recording software that help the blind. We look at how the blind are using these new technologies.
From hereandnow.org, March 24, 2011

Feds Broaden Workplace Protections to Include Invisible Disabilities
New rules expanding what qualifies as a disability for the purpose of job discrimination protections are set to be published on 25 March in the Federal Register. While people with disabilities have long been protected in the workplace under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, what qualified as a disability was often open to interpretation and ended up somewhat constrained by the courts. As a result, in 2008, Congress passed the ADA Amendments Act, which was designed to ensure a broader definition of disability.
From disabilityscoop.com, March 24, 2011

USA: Columbia Doctors Partner with IBM to Develop Watson's Potential in Healthcare
Last month, IBM’s Watson took down a pair of Jeopardy! champions, and now it’s on to bigger and better things. A team of Columbia University doctors led by Dr. Herbert Chase have been working with IBM to adapt Watson’s algorithms for diagnosing medical conditions. The researchers have been providing the computer with a list of symptoms, and have been assessing its ability to provide a diagnosis.
From medgadget.com, March 24, 2011

IBM Launches Network of ‘Spoken Web’ Sites In India
The conventional wisdom says that access to the Web is good for the poor because they get access to information that can help them improve their lot in life through education and finding jobs. But what good is a PC and a Web connection if you can’t read or write?
From newenterprise, March 23, 2011

USA: COAT Affiliate AFB Gives Awards for Significant Accessibility Innovations
COAT leading affiliate AFB presented awards to several companies and individuals who made products accessible to users with visual impairments. Recipients of the AFB 2011 Access Awards included CBS, Walt Disney, Accessible Twitter and Lexmark.
From coataccess.org, March 23, 2011

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