European Commission Promises New Accessibility Act by 2012
European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding told MEPs last week that she will present a proposal for a 'European Accessibility Act' before the end of 2012. This new legislation is seen by the Commission as a key element of the European Disability Strategy, which was unveiled last year.
The Commission will develop common standards for ICT (information and communication technologies), the built environment and product design.
From Euractiv.com, February 09, 2011
Study: Understanding how Homesign Learners Count
A new study has concluded that people who communicate using self-developed gestures, called homesigns, were unable to comprehend the value of numbers greater than three because they had not learned a language containing symbols used for counting. The study was based on research on deaf people in Nicaragua who never learned formal sign language. The findings are reported in the paper, "Number Without a Language Model," published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
From The Indian Express, February 08, 2011
USA: Quadriplegic Sets World Record with Swype
Hank Torres, who is paralyzed from the shoulders down, set a world record with Swype and a head tracking device at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando. The sentence he cranked out in 83.09 seconds? “The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.”
From Androidcentral.com, January 31, 2011
Qatar: Mada Project to Make Reading More Accessible
Qatar Assistive Technology Centre (Mada) has partnered with Bookshare to provide accessible electronic books to people with disabilities in Qatar as a first step, but the facility could be expanded to include the region at large.
From Zawya, January 30, 2011
Thailand: ICT Demonstration Centre for the Disabled
Bangkok has opened its first demonstration centre for communication technology devices aimed particularly at the elderly and disabled. The Science and Technology Ministry, which is behind the project, says it hopes the centre will help improve access to technology by the elderly and disabled.
From Bangkokpost.com, January 27, 2011
Venezuelan State to Produce Affordable Mobile Phones for the Blind
On Sunday President Hugo Chavez announced that the state-owned Vtelca, which manufactures the subsidised and very affordable ‘Vergatario’ phone, will now also manufacture a phone designed for blind people.
From Venezuelaanalysis.com, January 25, 2011
Report: Americans Living with Disability and their Technology Profile
Report released by Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.
From Pew Internet, January 21, 2011
Disabled Man Uses Facebook to Summon Help during Fire
Disabled Bob Chambers, who couldn’t reach the phone when a fire broke out in his home, was saved after asking his online gaming friends on Facebook to call 911. A friend in Indiana was routed to the Spokane County dispatchers, leading to the man’s rescue.
From The Spokesman-Review, January 20, 2011
USA: National Federation of the Blind Announces Agreement with Travelocity
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation's leading advocate for Internet access by blind Americans, today announced an agreement with Travelocity, one of the largest and most popular online travel agencies, to make travelocity.com more accessible to the blind.
From The Street, January 17, 2011
USOF India Officially Announce Call for Proposals for Pilot Projects for PWDs
USOF is considering interventions for access to ICT for disabled populations in rural areas. Schemes in this regard are to be evolved with due stakeholder participation. (Please see links below).All interested stakeholders are welcome to respond.
From http://usof.gov.in/usof-cms/disabled.htm, January 12, 2011