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Accessibility: A New Frontier for Mobile Technologies
Mobile communications technology intended to benefit persons with disabilities and aging adults can bring considerable benefits to users with or without disabilities as mobile service providers implement innovative strategies and business processes to promote them, according to a White Paper released today by G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies. 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.
From prnewswire.com, March 22, 2011

USA: Microsoft's Kinect Hacked to Guide the Blind
Michael Zöllner and Stephan Huber from the University of Konstanz in Germany have created a system that uses a Kinect mounted atop a helmet along with a vibrating waist belt to help visually impaired people navigate through indoor locations. It's all part of the NAVI project (Navigational Aids for the Visually Impaired).
From msnbc.msn.com, March 22, 2011

USA: GSA - Cloud Computing Is Safer Than You Think
GSA assistant commissioner Mary Davie tries to dispel cloud computing 'myths' and says a phased deployment strategy will raise the chances for successful projects.
From InformationWeek, March 22, 2011

Accessible Digital Content for the Disabled
While we exploit technology and work on interoperability to share digital contents over multiple platforms, what we don’t realise is that we might inadvertently leave behind a group of individuals who may have difficulty accessing these digital content, said Chia Woon Yee, Director of Technology & Vocational Training at the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD).
From FutureGov Asia Pacific, March 22, 2011

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

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