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DAISY Consortium Secretary General George Kerscher, PhD Receives 2008 Dr. Roland Wagner Award at the 11th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP)
The 11th annual International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP) honored George Kerscher, PhD, Secretary General of the DAISY Consortium, with the Dr. Roland Wagner Award. The Wagner award is named for the founder of ICCHP, a pioneer in information and communications technology for people with disabilities in Europe. The award was presented to Kerscher for his tireless efforts to ensure equal access to information by people with print disabilities.
From e-Media World, July 12, 2008

Photocopiers Become More Accessible
The way photocopiers have changed in the last ten years is impressive, but this move into multifunctional digital devices has caused some problems with accessibility. The large operating buttons have been replaced by small touch screens and many people have found the lids much heavier to lift. New features have been developed recently which have the potential to drastically improve accessibility for disabled users.
From PR-inside, July 09, 2008

Malaysia - Award for 'e-inclusion' at APICTA
Custodian of the MSC Malaysia initiative, the Multimedia Development Corp (MDeC) has introduced a new category in the MSC-APICTA (Asia-Pacific ICT awards) this year to encourage more individuals to champion efforts to bridge the digital divide.
From The Star, Malaysia, July 08, 2008

IBM Software Enhances Web Accessibility for the Blind
IBM launched on Tuesday an application that seeks to harness the power and time of Internet users around the globe to make the Web more accessible to the visually impaired.
From PC World, July 08, 2008

Malawi - ICT Facilities Should be User Friendly Says Fedoma
Executive Director of Federation of Disability Organisations in Malawi (Fedoma) Mussa Chiwaula said last week that information, communication and technology (ICT) facilities should be usable by all everyone, including people with disability, as they play a crucial role in a country’s development.
From The Daily Times - Malawi's Premier Daily, July 07, 2008

Visually Impaired Gain Greater Access to Digital Information with the Daisy Talking Book
In an age when most information is transmitted digitally and most digital information takes the form of words and letters projected on a computer monitor, the visually impaired may often feel hopelessly and helplessly left out in the cold. The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) is taking efforts to ameliorate this all-too-common problem by launching the DAISY Digital Talking Book, a centerpiece for a free, downloadable plug-in to provide feature-rich, structured information for individuals who are blind or print-disabled.
From E-Content Magazine, July 04, 2008

Commission Opens Public Consultation to Improve Web site Accessibility in Europe
15% of Europeans suffer from some form of disability, and many face barriers such as reading a website's small text or even knowing how to access websites and online services. Despite repeated calls by the EU and government leaders to improve this situation, progress remains limited: by far the majority of websites fail to use universally accepted user-friendly solutions. On July 2nd the European Commission launched a public consultation on further measures to make websites in Europe accessible, starting with those of public administrations, and invites stakeholders to give their views. It also addresses other technologies like digital television. The consultation is open until 27 August 2008.
From Euroalert.net, July 03, 2008

Singapore - Technology Library to Loan Test Gadgets for Disabled
DISABLED people like those with cerebral palsy or with vision problems who are unsure about which tech gadgets to buy can now test out the goods first. A new technology loan library, which will loan out items like large-key keyboards, Braille note-takers, or sound amplifiers, was officially opened on Thursday, as part of the Society for the Physically Disabled's new Infocomm Accessibility (IA) centre.
From The Straits Times, Singapore, July 03, 2008

USA - Georgia Tech Team Creates Tongue-Steered Wheelchairs
New technology recently developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology can now allow a tongue to move a mouse on a computer screen or maneuver a wheelchair. The technology, developed by a group of engineers headed by Georgia Tech Professor Maysam Ghovanloo, could significantly help improve the quality for life for those living with disabilities.
From The Epoch Times, July 02, 2008

China ratified UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (in Chinese)
On June 26th 2008, the 11th National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China- China’s top legislative body, has ratified a bill submitted the Central Government for China’s accession to the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). As just reported by Xinhua Net (Chinese News Agency), this was done at the 3rd session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in today’s afternoon (Beijing Time) China has actively advocated and supported to the UN in its efforts in formulating the CRPD Convention. Delegations and representatives of the Chinese Government and China Disabled Persons Federation participated the full process of drafting the CRPD Convention and made an important contribution to the process. China was one of the first countries signing the Convention on March 30th 2007, when the treaty opened for states to signing and ratifying.
From www.news.cn, June 26, 2008

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