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White House to Decide if Treaty for the Blind Moves Forward
Beginning Wednesday, June 15, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) the specialized UN agency for intellectual property, begins nine days of negotiations on possible copyright treaties. The first three days will be spent on a proposed treaty on exceptions to copyright for persons who are blind or have other disabilities. The proposed treaty would bind parties to creating minimum exceptions in copyright laws to facilitate access to copyrighted works by persons who are blind, visually impaired or have other disabilities, and permit the sharing of copies of such accessible works across borders.
From www.huffingtonpost.com, June 15, 2011

New Software 'Hearing Dummies' Pave the Way for Tailor-Made Hearing Aids
New software 'hearing dummies' are part of cutting-edge research that promises to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of hearing impairments. The work could also be used in the long-term to develop a radical new type of hearing aid that can be customised using the hearing dummy to meet the different needs of individual patients. If the procedures gain clinical acceptance, a device could reach the market within 4 years.
From www.sciencedaily.com, June 15, 2011

States Fight Over Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act
Is it right for the federal government to mandate that Americans maintain health care insurance by 2014? Twenty-six states have banded together to argue that it is not right and have sued the federal government to strike it down. The lawsuit over the “individual responsibility provision” has traveled through several rounds of hearings, the latest at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta on June 8.
From www.freedomdisability.com/, June 15, 2011

Sochi Becomes the First Point on Russian Accessibility Map
During the celebrations around the countdown of 1,000 days to go to the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, it has been announced that Sochi is to become the first city in Russia to be put on the Russian Accessibility Map. The Russian Accessibility Map is an innovative project by the Sochi2014 Organizing Committee, whose main objective is to provide sport facilities to people with an impairment within walking distance, as well as informing them of such barrier-free elements as ramps, supporting rails, nonslip coating, etc., located in the vicinity of their houses.
From paralympic.org, June 14, 2011

Disability Rises High on the European Agenda
A delegation of the European Disability Forum led by its President, Yannis Vardakastanis, met with President of the European Commission Barroso in Brussels this June. This was the opportunity to discuss the next steps for disability in the EU.
From edf-feph.org, June 14, 2011

Captionfish iPhone App Helps Viewers Find Accessible Movies
The Captionfish mobile application is the first to offer streaming captioned movie trailers for the deaf and hard of hearing community on the iPhone.
From www.captionfish.com, June 14, 2011

Irish Firm Creates Navigation App For Visually Impaired
John Ryan, founder and director of Point the Way, talks about accessibility on smartphones and its new app for the visually impaired, LookAround.
From siliconrepublic.com, June 14, 2011

European Parliament Votes Its Support For Binding “Books Without Borders” Treaty
Millions of blind EU citizens face a “book famine” in which only a few per cent of books are converted to “accessible formats” they can read such as braille, large print or audio. EBU has campaigned for some years for an international treaty to help us get better access to books. However, the EU Council and Commission have consistently opposed this.
From www.euroblind.org, June 13, 2011

Just In: WHO World Report On Disability
About 15% of the world's population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning. The global disability prevalence is higher than previous WHO estimates, which date from the 1970s and suggested a figure of around 10%. This global estimate for disability is on the rise due to population ageing and the rapid spread of chronic diseases, as well as improvements in the methodologies used to measure disability.
From www.who.int, June 10, 2011

Nearly 1 In 7 People On Earth Is Disabled, Survey Finds
More than 1 billion people in the world are living with some sort of disability, according to a new international survey. That's about 15 percent of the world's population, or nearly one of every 7 people. The numbers come from a joint effort by the World Health Organization and the World Bank. The last time anyone tried to figure out the prevalence of disabilities was back in the 1970s, when WHO figured it was about 10 percent. The current report suggests the 15 percent estimate will grow as the world's population ages.
From npr.org, June 10, 2011

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