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USA: Medical Device Tax Could Hurt Medical App Developers
In an editorial published in The Wall Street Journal last week, former Senator Evan Bayh, a Democrat from Indiana, argued that at least one provision in the Affordable Care Act “threatens thousands of American jobs and our global competitiveness”. Bayh was pointing to the 2.3 percent tax that the law requires medical device companies to tack on to each sale starting in January.
From http://mobihealthnews.com/18598/medical-device-tax-could-hurt-medical-app-developers/, October 03, 2012

Twitter App Tracks Illness Outbreaks
A new tool for tracking and analyzing health-related comments on Twitter may help public health departments identify emerging health issues and public health emergencies earlier than traditional surveillance methods do. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) will make the Web-based application, called MappyHealth, available to state and local public health agencies within the next few weeks.
From http://www.informationweek.com/healthcare/clinical-systems/twitter-app-tracks-illness-outbreaks/240007513?cid=RSSfeed_IWK_AL, October 03, 2012

mHealth: Twice as Many Use Tablets for Health Tools
According to Manhattan Research, the number of adults in the US who used their mobile phones for health information and tools grew from 61 million in 2011 to 75 million this year. Using tablets for accessing health information and tools doubled over the past year: 15 million US adults used tablets for health information last year and 29 million used them for health activities this year.
From http://mobihealthnews.com/18593/twice-as-many-use-tablets-for-health-tools-information/, October 03, 2012

Australia: Audio Description a First for NBR New Zealand Opera
Blind and vision impaired audience members will be able to touch parts of the set and key props before audio described performances of The Bartered Bride in Auckland on 27 September and Wellington on 20 October in what is a first for the NBR New Zealand Opera. The SIGNAL programme offers Sign Language interpreted performances for Deaf and hearing impaire4d patrons, and audio described performances for blind or vision impaired patrons.
From http://www.accesstourismnz.org.nz/2012/10/audio-description-a-first-for-nbr-new-zealand-opera/, October 03, 2012

Grant to Make Polling Places More Accessible for Persons with Disabilities
Polling places in Gregg County should be easier for persons with disabilities to access during the November election thanks to a state grant. The Gregg County Commissioners Court approved a request Thursday from elections administrator Kathryn Nealy to accept a $5,340 grant from the state to make polling places more accessible. “Almost all of our polling places already meet ADA standards,” Nealy said. “This will just allow us to make some minor changes that will make things even easier for people with disabilities.”
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/10/01/grant-to-make-polling-places-more-accessible-for-persons-with-disabilities/, October 02, 2012

USA: Developing an Appetite for Success
On September 6-7, the FCC hosted a free workshop for developers, “Developing with Accessibility" (DevAcc), at its headquarters in Washington, DC. Jim Mueller, Wireless RERC project director, demonstrated "BrailleTouch" and "ReadMore," two of the apps being developed by the RERC's App Factory.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.org/content/newsroom/developing-appetite-access, October 02, 2012

Australia: Call for an International Convention for Older People
Age Discrimination Commissioner, Susan Ryan, has marked the International day of older persons by calling on the Australian government to support the drafting of a new international Convention on the Rights of Older Persons. “While taking part in the recent UN meeting on the rights of older people, I became convinced by a number of UN member states that the process of developing a new convention would be of practical value to the world's older people,” Commissioner Ryan said. “It would make a difference to those many millions living in precarious circumstances in countries that do not have welfare safety nets.”.
From http://www.hreoc.gov.au/about/media/news/2012/103_12.html, October 02, 2012

Canada: Government Improves Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities in Winnipeg
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Winnipeg Region is increasing accessibility for persons with disabilities and enabling them to participate more fully in their community, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada’s Enabling Accessibility Fund. The Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport) and Member of Parliament for Charleswood–St. James–Assiniboia, congratulated CMHA – Winnipeg Region on the grand opening of their new facility today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/10/02/government-of-canada-improves-accessibility-in-winnipeg/, October 02, 2012

Tactile Books Help Blind Students Grasp Scientific Concepts
Tactile books from National Braille Press can help make concepts and experiments more accessible. A book such as Out-of-Sight Science Experiments offers hands-on orientation to 32 safe experiments kids can do at home or at school. The tactile representations in Touch the Stars bring the Solar System and the universe -- spatial awareness on the grandest scale -- to life. These books raise awareness about the crucial role touch plays in reinforcing facts. Hands-on learning is always good, but for blind students, it sometimes marks the boundary between hearing information and absorbing it.
From http://assistivetechnology.about.com/b/2012/10/01/tactile-books-help-blind-students-grasp-scientific-concepts.htm, October 01, 2012

USA: Disability Employment Office Awards $950K for National Assistive Technology Center
The Office of Disability Employment (ODEP) within the US Labor Department has now awarded a $950,000 grant to establish an accessible technology center. The recipient is the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), located in Arlington, VA, a COAT member organization. With the funds RESNA will set up a National Accessible Technology Action Center to facilitate and promote the use of accessible technology in the hiring, employment, retention and career advancement of people with disabilities.
From http://www.coataccess.org/node/10115?goback=.nmp_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1.gde_3080152_member_171066503, October 01, 2012

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