FDA Releases Final Guidance for Mobile Health Applications
In 2011, FDA requested public comment on how it should regulate smartphones, tablet computers and apps that collect health information or are used to monitor medical conditions. According to FDA, the agency has approved about 100 mobile medical apps over the last decade, about 40 of which have received clearance over the past two years.
From http://www.ihealthbeat.org/articles/2013/9/23/fda-releases-final-guidance-for-mobile-health-applications, September 24, 2013
Report: The ICT Opportunity for a Disability-Inclusive Development Framework
A new report released today demonstrates how Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), have become a positive force of transformation and a crucial element of any personal development, empowerment and institutional framework for inclusive development. While the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) represent a concerted effort to address global poverty, there is a striking gap in the current MDGs and their inclusion of persons with disabilities. The estimated 1 billion persons with disabilities are still excluded from equitable access to resources (education, healthcare, etc.) and as a result persons with disabilities experience disproportionately high rates of poverty. In spite of the conclusion of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2006, disability remains largely invisible in most mainstream development processes.
From http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2013/39.aspx#!, September 24, 2013
ISOC NY Hosts OneWebDay on Accessibility in Honor of Cynthia Waddell
Today,September 22 2013, is the 8th annual OneWebDay. This year’s theme is “Working for Internet Accessibility”, particularly in memory of accessibility advocate Cynthia Waddell – who died in April 2013. Here is a 1 minute video of Cynthia adressing the topic at the 2011 IGF, courtesy of Elon Musk’s Imagining The Internet project.
From http://isoc-ny.org/p2/5964, September 23, 2013
UN Broadband Commission Releases Data on State of Broadband Access Worldwide
Mobile broadband is the fastest growing technology in human history, according to the 2013 edition of the State of Broadband report. Released in New York at the 8th meeting of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, the report reveals that mobile broadband subscriptions, which allow users to access the web via smartphones, tablets and WiFi-connected laptops, are growing at a rate of 30% per year. By the end of 2013 there will be more than three times as many mobile broadband connections as there are conventional fixed broadband subscriptions.
From http://bit.ly/1aZ4cF2, September 23, 2013
UN: New Development Agenda Must Take into Account Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The rights of persons with disabilities must be directly addressed by the post-2015 development agenda, United Nations officials told world leaders today, urging them to adopt national and international policies that enhance and promote disability-inclusive development. “Disability is part of the human condition; almost everyone will be temporarily or permanently impaired at some point in life,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the General Assembly’s High-level Meeting on Disability and Development.
From http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45931&Cr=mdg&Cr1=#.UkBeglOO6Sp, September 23, 2013
UK: Disabled Facing Technology Barriers Using Common Gadgets
A report from a disability charity says that people with disabilities face barriers when using common gadgets, despite huge technological advances in recent years. Scope says that there is huge untapped potential for mainstream devices, like smart phones and tablets, to provide support.
From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24171027, September 20, 2013
TATA DoCoMo to Showcase Google Glass Competitor at CEATEC 2013
NTT DoCoMo is joining the action, as reported by GforGames. Japan’s leading mobile operator will showcase its “Intelligent Glass” at CEATEC 2013, which is a local equivalent of CES. The carrier’s press release (in Japanese) says that its “glasses-type wearable device” will incorporate some fancy features like face recognition and character recognition / translation. In addition, it will boast two types of interfaces: “Anything” and “Spatial.” We’re not sure what each of these does but it has something to do with augmented reality and virtual keyboards.
From http://bit.ly/18GPDSk, September 20, 2013
Top e-book Reader Firms Contest US Accessibility Law
Three of the biggest e-book reader manufacturers – Amazon, Kobo and Sony – have petitioned the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ask for exemptions from US laws requiring products to be accessible to users with disabilities. The three are urging the commission to waive parts of the 21st Century Video and Communications and Video Accessibility Act which require any product offering ‘advanced communication services’ (ACS) to be “accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.” The manufacturers say that as e-readers are used almost exclusively for reading, they do not provide more generic ACS. They argue that to make them fully accessible would increase their cost and weight and decrease battery life, essentially turning them into different devices more similar to tablet computers.
From http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7022314526, September 20, 2013
1st October is the UN International Day of Older Persons
HelpAge is launching the Global AgeWatch Index on 1 October, International Day of Older People. As the number and proportion of older people increases at an unprecedented rate, the Global AgeWatch Index will illustrate how the world is adapting to this new reality by ranking more than 90 countries in terms of how their older populations are faring.
From http://www.helpage.org/global-agewatch/, September 20, 2013
Accessibility Now Thriving in Mainstream Mobile Market: Axel Leblois, G3ict President
Axel Leblois will provide an international overview of the rapidly evolving possibilities of mobile technology in providing greater access and inclusion for people with disability and older people. Mr Leblois will highlight the success of M-Enabling initiatives around the world and outline how G3ICT promotes accessibility to information and communications for people with disability. This opening session will include a moderated Q and A, setting the scene for two days of collaboration, discussion and exploration of the opportunities and challenges in the rapidly developing mobile environment.
From http://accan.org.au/index.php/news-centre/news/69-accan-news/629-m-enabling-australasia-presentations-and-transcripts, September 20, 2013