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India: High Court Asks Architect Body to Conduct Survey of Disability Access of All Government Buildings
In a ray of hope for disabled and senior citizens, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court has asked the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) to conduct a survey of all the government/semi–government buildings in the city on facilities being offered. The IIA has been told to take the help of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) town planning officer and submit the report within four months. A division bench comprising justices Dilip Sinha and Ashok Bhangale also directed the authorities to install facilities in the Vasantrao Deshpande Hall within a stipulated time. The bench was hearing a plea filed by a city–based retired disabled scientist PN Andhare through his counsel Trupti Udeshi.
From http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com, March 22, 2011

USA: National Survey on Emergency Calling by the Disabled
The FCC today launched an on-line national survey of individuals with disabilities to determine the most effective and efficient technologies and methods by which to enable their access to emergency services. The results of the survey will inform the Advisory Committee as it develops recommendations to implement such technologies and methods in a Next Generation 9-1-1 system that will be capable of receiving emergency calls via video, text, and voice.
From www.fcc.gov/, March 21, 2011

Microsoft Announces Free Accessibility Tools For Developers
Microsoft has announced the availability of Microsoft Accessibility Tools & Training, a package of free online accessibility training courses, tools and other resources to help developers create technology products, services and websites that are accessible to people with disabilities.
From www.devwebpro.com, March 21, 2011

India: Thirty-three Percent Increase in Number of Students with Disabilities Taking the Junior High School Exams
The Central Board of Secondary Education (C.B.S.E.) said that there has been nearly 33 percent increase in the number of students with disabilities taking the Secondary School Examination and the Senior School Certificate Examination this year as compared to 2010. However, a closer look at the figures tell us that the larger picture is still as grim as ever. Students with disabilities make up barely 0.24 percent of the total student population taking these examinations and finishing high school! In 2010, a total of 1891 students with disabilities appeared for the Secondary School Examination. This year, this figure has gone up to 2537 - an increase of almost 34 percent. Similarly, a total of 1306 students with disabilities appeared for the Senior School Certificate Examination in 2010. Compared to that, this year a total of 1698 students with disabilities are appearing for this examination. This means an increase of 30 percent over last year.
From www.dnis.org, March 18, 2011

India: IGNOU Launches Disability Course for Teachers
The Indira Gandhi National Open University ( IGNOU) is planning to launch a short–term course to train teachers across the country in disability issues, an official said Thursday. 'The cell would provide advanced training to teachers, who are already teaching disabled students. The three–month course will be offered under distance learning mode and will provide hands–on practical training and exposure, apart from theoretical input,' the official said.
From http://www.sify.com, March 17, 2011

India: ‘Disability Act Should Include Elderly’
Estimates from International Longevity Centre (I.L.C.) show that population of elderly people in India is set to increase by over 55% by 2050 and those above 80 will go up by 326% in the same year. Dr Sharadchandra Gokhale, President of I.L.C., said: “Since the ageing population is on rise and is estimated to increase by many folds, there is a need to understand and address the profound consequences of the ageing population”. “The Disabilities Act, which is in existence but is hardly implemented, has no reference to the elderly associated disabilities. For the same, the law needs to be amended, the policy and programmes on disabilities need to include age related disabilities in a major way,” Dr Gokhale suggested.
From www.dnis.org, March 17, 2011

G3ict Publishes White Paper on 'Accessibility, Innovation and Sustainability at AT&T'
The White Paper "Accessibility, Innovation and Sustainability at AT&T," highlights telecommunications company AT&T's efforts to integrate Universal Design (designing products and services for the greatest number of users) and accessibility in product development, customer services and other areas. The study also examines how creating a corporate culture of citizenship and sustainability fosters inclusion in the workplace that can encourage greater innovation for customers with and without disabilities.
From disabled-world.com/, March 16, 2011

UK: Disabled Make Music at Studio
A professional recording studio is throwing open its doors to people with disabilities who want to learn to play an instrument and record their own CD. Amber Studios, in Stratton Road, is run by Andy Watts, who today launches his new 10-week course aimed at people with any form of physical disability, those with learning difficulties or mental health issues.
From swindonadvertiser.co.uk, March 16, 2011

USA: Regulations for Disability Access Take Effect
New federal regulations improving access for the disabled took effect Tuesday at more than 7 million facilities nationwide, including many used for recreation. The changes, required under the Americans with Disabilities Act, affect places such as amusement parks and movie theaters. The new standards, which were set in 2004 to give builders time to plan, affect amusement parks, movie theaters, event venues, hotel rooms and other facilities.
From latimes.com, March 16, 2011

Ecuador: Disabled Vice President is Inspiration to Nation
Governing from a wheelchair, Ecuador’s vice president, Lenin Moreno, has helped shine a spotlight on the nation’s disabled population.
From miamiherald.com, March 16, 2011

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