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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

Japan: Elevator With Voice Recognition And Wheelchair Detection
Japan's Mitsubishi Electric has made elevator rides for people with disabilities a lot more easier by adding two important features to its elevator user interface. The new system adds voice recognition so that blind users could speak out the floor number they need to go to, and the elevator makes an announcement when it reaches its destination.
From www.assistivetechnologyblog.com, March 15, 2011

USA: South Side Innovation Center Named Finalist For NBIA’s Incubator of the Year Award
California: The South Side Innovation Center (SSIC), the area’s leading small business incubator and training center, has been named one of two finalists for the National Business Incubator Association (NBIA) Incubator of the Year award in the general and special focus category. The winner of this prestigious, international award will be announced on April 12 at NBIA’s 25th annual International Conference on Business Incubation in San Jose, California. The center provides targeted services to those with low incomes or disabilities, as well as to women- and minority-owned businesses.
From insidesu.syr.edu/, March 15, 2011

UK: David Cameron Backs Video Games Centre for Disabled
The UK's most tangible example of how, contrary to the opinion of a swathe of the population, video games can be a force for good, is now up and running. The Accessible Video Games Centre, in Witney, Oxfordshire, was created by games charity SpecialEffect, whose mission is to enable the severely disabled to access video games and leisure software.
From www.guardian.co.uk, March 15, 2011

American Council of the Blind Campaign for Accessible Prescription Drug Labelling
ACB calls on Congress to introduce and pass The Prescription Drug Accessibility Act. This legislation would grant the FDA clear authority to regulate this area and develop standards to ensure that prescription labeling is accessible to individuals with vision loss. A number of existing solutions demonstrate the feasibility of providing access to prescription drug labeling and pharmacies should be prepared to provide prescription labeling by multiple means.
From www.acb.org/, March 15, 2011

India: Heritage Monuments to Become Disabled-Friendly
The Government has approved a grant of Rs 5 crore to the Archaeological Survey of India (A.S.I.) to make five of its World Heritage Sites and 25 other ticketed monuments accessible to disabled people. The monuments for which accessibility has been sanctioned are: Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Sun Temple at Konark and Jama Masjid Champner-Pavgarh in Gujarat. Some of the ticketed monuments for which accessibility has been sanctioned are: Charminar, Golconda Fort, Nagarjunakonda, Sun Temple in Gujarat, Laxman Temple in Chhattisgarh and some temples in Bhubaneswar. The funds released by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (M.S.J.E.) will be used to undertake the works for making access pathways, ramps, accessible toilets, tactile maps, Braille signage, and modifications in ticket counters, etc.
From www.dnis.org, March 15, 2011

Australia: National Disability Strategy endorsed by COAG
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) recently endorsed the National Disability Strategy, helping to ensure people with disability have the same opportunities as other Australians. It's the first time in Australian history that all levels of government have committed to a strategy of this nature. The Strategy addresses the barriers faced by people with disability and sets out a 10 year plan to ensure mainstream services and programs, including healthcare, housing, transport and education, address the needs of people with disability. The Strategy is the result of a large, nation-wide, public consultation process, with more than 2,500 people with disability and their carers having their say. The National Disability Strategy is available at COAG website.
From www.fahcsia.gov.au, March 14, 2011

Video: iPhone App That Reads Currency, Blind Users Cheer
LookTel Money Reader instantly recognizes US currency and speaks the denomination, enabling people with visual impairments or blindness to quickly and easily identify and count bills. Simply point your iPhone's camera at any US bill and the application will tell you the denomination in real-time. It supports USD1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 bills.
From looktel.com, March 11, 2011

Emergency Access Advisory Committee to Meet March 11 at FCC
The FCC has announced the next meeting of the Emergency Access Advisory Committee (EAAC), scheduled for Friday March 11, 2011, at the FCC. Many COAT affiliates have representatives on this critical committee, which is looking at several issues concerned with implementation of the 21st Century Communications & Video Accessibility Act of 2010.
From http://www.coataccess.org/, March 11, 2011

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