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USA: Paralympic Veterans May Qualify for New Benefit
Some Veterans in training for the Paralympics will be able to qualify for a monthly subsistence allowance from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), under a new program to help disabled Veterans more easily take part in competitive sports. “Our disabled Veterans are models of courage, resilience and determination,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “This new allowance will enable our disabled athletes to further their recovery by taking part in world-class adaptive sports.”
From www.va.gov, April 05, 2011

USA: Project Mina Enables Upright Mobility for Those Who Have Lost the Ability to Walk
Dr. Kenneth Ford, Director and CEO of the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC), joined institute researchers to unveil Mina, a robotic exoskeleton developed to restore ambulation for individuals afflicted with paraplegia, hemiplegia, paresis, asthenia, and functional muscle loss. Developed by the IHMC robotics team led by Dr. Peter Neuhaus and Dr. Jerry Pratt, Mina acts as a pair of robotic legs that assist people, who have lost their ability to walk, in regaining upright mobility when outfitted with the device. Future applications of Mina are envisioned to span from rehabilitating those with stroke and spinal cord injuries, to augmenting human strength capabilities when operating in complex mobility environments.
From www.ereleases.com, April 05, 2011

New Hack Lets Xbox Kinect Read Sign Language
Soon, you may not necessarily need to be fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) in order to interpret it. Scientists have hacked Microsoft's Xbox Kinect motion control sensor to read ASL.
From www.msnbc.msn.com, April 05, 2011

Brain-Computer Interfaces Could Mean More Freedom for the Disabled
Since the nineteen seventies, scientists have been searching for ways to link the brain with computers. Brain-computer interface, or BCI, technology could help people with disabilities send commands to machines.
From www.voanews.com, April 04, 2011

UK: New Benefit Will Replace Disability Living Allowance
Disabled people will continue to be able to rely on a non-means tested cash benefit as Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is replaced with a new Personal Independence Payment.
From www.disabled-world.com, April 04, 2011

Canada: Ontario College of Art and Design Launches Course in Inclusive Design
Recognizing the high level of demonstrated need and demand for designers and developers with specialized knowledge in inclusive design principles and practices, both in Canada and abroad, OCAD University is launching an innovative new graduate program in Inclusive Design. Inclusive Design is design that is inclusive of the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age and other forms of human difference.
From www.ocad.ca, April 04, 2011

Blind Bargains Announces 2010 Access Award Winners
A mix of mainstream companies and individual efforts have been recognized as winners of the 4th annual Blind Bargains Access Awards. Building on their mainstream success of 2009, Apple was the only company to receive three awards while three other companies and individuals received two each. The 4th Annual Blind Bargains Access Awards recognizes the best products, websites, stores, and people in the blind community. Open nominations are held at the beginning of January. Visitors then vote from the top nominees in each category. This year, nearly 500 people participated in the nomination and voting rounds.
From blindbargains.com, April 01, 2011

USA: House Wants Updated Language on Persons with Disability
Republican Vicki Truitt's bill was unanimously passed without objection or debate. The words that are "out" are disabled, developmentally disabled, mentally disabled, mentally ill, mentally retarded, handicapped, cripple and crippled. The preferred references are persons with a disability, persons with developmental disabilities and persons with mental illness.
From trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/, April 01, 2011

Australia: Framework Launched to Guide Future Research on Maori Disability
The Associate Minister of Health, Hon Tariana Turia, today launched a framework to guide future research on Maori disability. "Research should enable the voices of Maori living with a disability and their whanau to be heard. We hope that with the Maori Disability Research Agenda, research about Maori living with a disability will increase," Mrs Tariana Turia said.
From www.voxy.co.nz, April 01, 2011

Opinion: Mainstreaming Disability - Time to Walk the Talk
For years together now, the movers and shakers of the disability sector have been talking about mainstreaming disability. One big reason why disability issues have lagged behind in the development agenda was/is because disability is being looked at in isolation. When we talk about education, we do not somehow include children with disability; when we talk about health, we forget about people with disabilities; when we talk about women’s rights; women with disabilities are never in the scheme of things. Talk is cheap, or so it is said. What matters is how to do it. After all, over the years millions of dollars have been pumped in by donors into development programmes without ensuring that disability is an integral component of these programmes.
From www.dnis.org, April 01, 2011

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