UK: ABTA Announces Updated Accessibility Guidance
New guidance and checklist helps Members understand requirements, and how best to meet customers with disabilities needs. ABTA announces that it has produced updated guidance to further help ABTA Members ensure that people with disabilities and passengers with mobility disabilities get the most out of their travel and holiday arrangements.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/01/20/abta-announces-updated-accessibility-guidance/, January 21, 2014
India: Android-Based Braille Mobile Phone Ready for Launch Next Month
An Android-based braille phone with tactile features, targeted at people with vision disabilities, is set for launch next month. Designed by Sumit Dugar, an interaction designer, the phone allows the person to feel and touch various shapes, figures and maps. Speaking at ‘Earthian 2013’ organised by Wipro, on Saturday, Dugar said the product, in the testing stage, would enable a person with vision disability do almost everything a normal person could.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/01/20/braille-mobile-phone-soon/, January 21, 2014
OrCam and IVONA Text-to-Speech Improve the Quality of Life
During the last couple of years we have witnessed the development of a variety of new mainstream devices and software that allow people with vision disabilities gain more independence. IVONA Software is bringing its text-to-speech technology to OrCam, one of the new wearable devices.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/01/17/orcam-and-ivona-text-to-speech-improve-the-quality-of-life/, January 21, 2014
UK: Learning for All: Cutting-Edge Accessibility Software Launches at BETT Show
At the BETT Show, leading accessibility software firm Recite Me is launching 'Include Me', a Cloud based product tailored for the 1.6 million learners with special educational & communication support needs in primary, secondary and higher education
From http://www.journalism.co.uk/press-releases/learning-for-all-cutting-edge-accessibility-software-launches-at-bett/s66/a555647/, January 21, 2014
India: Disabilities Bill to Be Passed in Parliament Next Month
A bill that seeks to provide persons with disabilities five per cent reservation in public sector jobs will be brought for passage in the upcoming Parliament session in February, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/01/16/disabilities-bill-to-be-passed-in-parliament-next-month/, January 16, 2014
Microsoft Makes Office More Accessible for People with Vision Disabilities
Microsoft is making it easier for consumers to access its Office suite of products. Microsoft announces that Microsoft and GW Micro are partnering to provide people who are blind or low vision improved access to Microsoft Office.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/01/15/microsoft-makes-office-more-accessible-for-people-with-vision-disabilities/, January 16, 2014
West Bank: BASR Launches Disability Equality Policy Document
Under the auspices of Governor of Bethlehem, Abdel Fattah Hamayel, Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation (BASR) and its partner, the General Union of Persons with Disabilities (GUPWDs), launched a Disability Equality Policy Document during a press conference organized at the Russian Cultural Centre in Bethlehem city. BASR said in a press release Tuesday that the participants of the conference comprised of more than 65 representatives of civil society, private sector and governmental institutions from the Bethlehem and Hebron districts.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/01/15/basr-launches-disability-equality-policy-document/, January 16, 2014
Spain: Researchers Develop Sonification Prototype to Assist Persons with Vision Disabilities
Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have developed an assistive technology system that works by sounds which contributes to the autonomy of persons with vision disabilities. The commercial systems that exist today in Spain for the mobility of persons with vision disabilities are insufficient, according to these UC3M researchers, because they are costly and too bulky. The assistive technology, conceived as a sound guide that gives information as to the user’s environment, precisely aims to make this ingenious complement to the classic cane or guide dog more economical.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/01/14/researchers-develop-sonification-prototype-to-assist-persons-with-vision-disabilities/, January 16, 2014
UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Pledges Support to People with Vision Disabilities
The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced its support to the Emirates Association of the Visually Impaired. The move comes as part of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s corporate social responsibility program that seeks to raise awareness and support people with disabilities in the Emirates. The regulator’s support will cover a number of initiatives, including scientific seminars, training courses, educational competitions, audio books, guidance leaflets and Braille publications. The Emirates Association of the Visually Impaired organizes the international Exhibition and Conference of Visual Disability Technology Middle East (SightME), held every two years in February at Expo in Sharjah.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/01/14/uae-telecommunications-regulatory-authority-pledges-support-to-people-with-vision-disabilities/, January 16, 2014
Wearable Technology Like Google Glass Can Drastically Improve Lives of People with Disabilities
Although people with disabilities are not usually the target audience when new technology hits the market—think smartphones and home automation—they have certainly reaped the benefits. “As with any new technology, it is always hard to predict how it will be used and what impact it will have on people’s lives,” said Kai Gradert, a UX/Product Designer. Aside from enhancing independence and making it easier to accomplish daily activities, “technology can level the playing field even by improving communication between those with and without disabilities,” said Dana Marlowe, a principal partner at Accessibility Partners LLC.
From http://www.themobilityresource.com/wearable-technology-and-how-it-affects-people-with-disabilities/, January 14, 2014