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Campus Technology must be Accessible for People with Disabilities
Beginning January 18, Northern Illinois University’s (NIU) new policy for “Producing, Developing, Maintaining and Using Technology”, becomes effective and is based on changes to the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act which affects all Illinois universities, and the refreshed version of Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act. All electronic and information technology will be required to be made accessible to people with disabilities and will apply to everything from online course materials, videos shown in class or assigned to be viewed outside of class, web applications, copiers and printers.
From NIU Today, January 18, 2018

AudioConexus Launches Accessible Multilingual Commentary System for Sightseeing Companies
Navilution Evo, launched by AudioConexus is a multilingual commentary system, that breaks down language and accessibility barriers, opening new markets for tour operators. Location-specific audio and visual announcements improve access to key orientation information for all passengers with products supporting braille and video for Sign Language tours for deaf visitors.
From PRS Newswire, January 17, 2018

How Assistive Technologies Could Make Society More Inclusive
The European Parliament’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) published a study, which highlights that many current and future Assistive Technologies (AT) could have a substantial positive impact on the inclusion of people with disabilities in society, education and employment. However, that does not mean that social or regulatory action is not needed. The study therefore cautions that if ATs are not developed and introduced carefully, ATs can pose risks for human rights, privacy, dignity, access to employment, freedom and social inclusion.
From European Parliamentary Research Service Blog, January 17, 2018

Accessibility at Canadian Digital Services - Challenging Assumptions About Ambient Imagery
The Canadian Digital Services (CDS) writes regarding the accessibility of the “hero” images or ambient images used on pages of their website, including the blog posts. Some informal user testing at CDS has found that users have shown a preference for a brief alternative text for ambient and decorative images, unless that image is purely decorative, like a gradient or spacer. The article enumerates some great resources they have found to combat the challenge.
From Canadian Digital Services, January 16, 2018

Israeli App GalaPro Offers Live Translations for Broadway
Israeli startup GalaPro recently launched an application designed to provide accessibility services for theater goers with vision or hearing disabilities and those needing translation. The application is based on voice identification technology enabling theaters to provide full accessibility and translation services for any show with a written script and any seat in the theater in real time.
From Globes, January 16, 2018

7 Steps to Achieve Hotel Website Accessibility & ADA Compliance in 2018
Over the past few years, a number of hotel companies have faced lawsuits for not conforming to the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and various website accessibility guidelines. These 7 steps can help hoteliers begin ensuring accessibility for their websites.
From Hotel News Resource, January 15, 2018

CES begins: Smart Fridges, Accessibility Tech Highlights at the Show
A prominent and early highlight at CES 2018 has been the showcase of tech designed to assist the elderly and disabled. Read further to learn what appliances are noteworthy and what new features they bring this year.
From Engadget, January 14, 2018

Australia: Government Websites Fail to Serve Citizens
A recent report commissioned by The Accessibility Centre, Australia found the majority of government websites are underperforming, with 66% of documents failing an accessibility check.
From IT Brief, January 13, 2018

We Need to Build Accessibility Into Our Digital Workplaces
As we become increasingly dependent on IT applications in our digital workplaces, are we potentially disenfranchising and preventing some employees from being productive members of the organization? The article urges the IT industry to recognize and promote the importance of accessibility more widely, especially for the workplace.
From CMS Wire, January 11, 2018

New Exhibit at the Smithsonian Features Products for Persons with Disabilities That are Both Practical and Stylish
A new exhibition “Access+Ability,” on view at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, features more than 70 works, covering the wide range of innovations occurring in accessible design. It reflects how designers creating products for those with disabilities are making them not just increasingly functional and practical, but stylish.
From Smithsonian, January 10, 2018

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