UN Calls for Critical Disability Rights Reforms
The Croatian government should urgently heed the calls by United Nations disability rights experts to improve its disability rights record, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 17, 2015, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recommended that the Croatian government should do more to protect the rights of people with disabilities, including legal reform and ensuring that everyone with a disability who is in an institution has the opportunity to move into the community.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/01/un-calls-for-critical-disability-rights-reforms/, May 04, 2015
USA: Assistive Technology is a Needed Tool in the City’s Resource-Starved Schools
Touch-to-speak technology, a form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) that supplements or replaces existing speech, is not new. In fact, it is decades old. But the intelligibility, capabilities, and cost of this critical resource have improved dramatically in recent years, and so has our knowledge of when and how to use it. Today’s devices incorporate an individual's full communication abilities – integrating existing speech or vocalizations, gestures, manual signs, and aided communication. They also allow children to create their own stories.
From http://thenotebook.org/april-2015/158392/assistive-technology-needed-tool-city%E2%80%99s-resource-starved-schools?, May 02, 2015
How Do Blind Computer Programmers Code?
I am totally blind and I work for Google, writing changes to the ranking algorithm. As part of my experience, and I believe from many other blind programmers, the way that we program is not that different from our sighted colleagues. [Most of the time], I use a text editor (which is Emacs and an extension called Emacspeak, which makes Emacs talk), and a browser to look at some internal pages of Google with documentation and stuff. The main difference here is that we either hear what is on the screen, or read with the help of a braille display.
From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/quora/how-do-blind-computer-pro_b_7163674.html?ir=India&adsSiteOverride=in, April 30, 2015
Hong Kong Honors Accessible Websites and Apps
The Government of Hong Kong has once again recognized the efforts of web developers and designers in creating websites and mobile apps that are accessible to everyone. The Government, through its third annual Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme awards ceremony, has drawn attention to 199 accessible websites and 45 mobile apps for achieving prescribed accessibility requirements—a 50 per cent increase over 2014.
From http://www.accessiq.org/news/news/2015/04/hong-kong-honours-accessible-websites-and-apps, April 30, 2015
China: Beijing Railway Station Unveils Details on Passengers Traveling with Guide Dogs
Beijing Railway Station has introduced a long-awaited policy to assist passengers who are blind with guide dogs. Travelers will be able to reserve the service 12 hours before boarding the train from May 1, which is also the first day of the May Day holiday. The railway station will designate an employee to assist passengers with guide dogs with purchasing tickets and boarding the train.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/04/29/beijing-railway-station-unveils-details-on-passengers-traveling-with-guide-dogs/, April 30, 2015
Indian Government Launches National Action Plan for Skill Training of Persons with Disabilities
Government has launched a national action plan for skill training of persons with disabilities to improve vocational training and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot said in Lok Sabha that the action plan will bring all main stakeholders like various central government ministries, state governments, NGOs, PSUs and private sector on one platform.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/04/28/indian-government-launches-national-action-plan-for-skill-training-of-persons-with-disabilities/, April 30, 2015
Colombian Engineer 3D Prints Mechanical Hands for Children with Disabilities
To help children with disabilities, Colombian engineer Cristian Silva, alongside a team of volunteers, has constructed mechanical hands using three-dimensional printing. The project, which came about during Silva’s dissertation for undergraduate degree in Mechatronics Engineering at the National University of Colombia, has already helped at least a dozen children born with a malformation in their hands and arms. This partial hand prosthesis gives children the opportunity to develop normally throughout their daily life.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/04/27/colombian-engineer-3d-prints-mechanical-hands-for-children-with-disabilities/, April 30, 2015
Samsung and Mybitat to Jointly Work on Technology Designed to Improve Ability of the Elderly to Live at Home Longer with Enhanced Quality of Life
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Mybitat (an AGT Group company) today announced plans for joint development of an innovative smart home solution aimed at helping the elderly remain in their own homes longer and enhancing individual quality of life. Mybitat, a startup focused on "Internet of Things" (IoT) technologies along with Samsung's Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC) based in Silicon Valley, will partner to develop technology that combines advanced sensors, cloud-based software and behavior analytics to monitor an individual's daily routine and wellness. The goal is to allow elderly individuals greater flexibility in determining their living environment.
From http://www.realwire.com/releases/Samsung-and-Mybitat-to-Jointly-Work-on-Technology, April 30, 2015
Canada: The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled
Almost 1 million Canadians live with blindness or partial sight. For these individuals, it can be especially difficult to find print material in a format that is both accessible and easy to use. New technologies can help to address this challenge. However, more can still be done to ensure that copyright laws do not create additional barriers for those with a print disability, and that users have access to the latest and best published material from around the world.
From http://bit.ly/1HMiKcv, April 28, 2015
Microsoft Disability Answer Desk Now Offers Videophone Technical Support in American Sign Language (ASL)
Accessibility enables people of all abilities to realize their full potential. Microsoft creates technology that is accessible to people around the world—of all ages and abilities. The Disability Answer Desk is where people with disabilities can get support with Microsoft products and accessibility features.
From https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/answerdesk/accessibility, April 28, 2015