USA: Playgrounds for Kids Who Can’t Run and Jump
To make it easier, National Public Radio recently introduced “Playgrounds for Everyone” to create the first comprehensive national database of accessible playgrounds. Anyone can contribute to the online registry, which includes photos, a search bar and features to look for. After one year, the site included 1,920 such playgrounds. New York City, with 827 as of this writing, currently has the most. The Chicago metro area, with 109, comes in a distant second.
From http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/playgrounds-for-kids-who-cant-run-and-jump/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0, July 17, 2014
USA: Expert Outlines Challenges of Accessibility for People with Low Vision
New approaches and tools are needed to improve visual accessibility for people with low vision in the “real world,” according to a special article in the July issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/06/25/expert-outlines-challenges-of-accessibility-for-people-with-low-vision/, July 14, 2014
Research Team Creates 3D Picture Books for Children with Vision Disabilities
“Goodnight room, goodnight moon. Goodnight cow jumping over the moon…” A children’s classic that already is a candidate for the all-time best feel-good book, “Goodnight Moon,” has gotten a boost: A University of Colorado Boulder team printed the first 3D version of it, allowing children with vision disabilities and their families to touch objects in the story – like the cow jumping over the moon — as it is read aloud.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/06/25/research-team-creates-3d-picture-books-for-children-with-vision-disabilities/, July 14, 2014
Canada Makes Captioning of Commercials and Promos Mandatory
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has made it a licence condition for all television commercials, sponsorship messages and promos to be closed captioned from September 1, 2014.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/policy-legislation/canada-makes-captioning-of-commercials-and-promos-mandatory, July 11, 2014
Web Accessibility Vital to Elections
Media Access Australia’s resident web accessibility expert, Dr Scott Hollier, has warned that a lack of accessible websites could lead to voters with disabilities potentially miscasting their votes at the next federal or state election. Speaking ahead of his presentation on disability and digital divides, to be given at the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) conference in Melbourne, Dr Hollier said that a lack of web accessibility could have profound effects on society.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/online-media/web-accessibility-vital-to-elections, July 11, 2014
Australia: Telstra Backs ACCAN's Apps for All Challenge
Australian app developers have been encouraged to enter the Apps For All challenge following the news that significant cash and career development prizes have been added to the inaugural competition. Apps For All is a partnership between the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Australian Human Rights Commission, now offers the winners in all four categories a $1500 cash prize, thanks to Telstra’s signing on as sponsor of the competition.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/digital-technology/telstra-backs-accan%E2%80%99s-apps-for-all-challenge, July 11, 2014
Europe: Call for Nominations for the 2015 EBU “Vision For Equality” Award
The European Blind Union (EBU), as the European NGO representing people with vision disabilities in Europe, invites nominations for the third edition of the “Vision for Equality” Award. The award, which consists of a certificate and a piece of art by a artist with vision disability, will be presented in 2015 on the occasion of the EBU General Assembly.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/06/27/call-for-nominations-for-the-2015-ebu-vision-for-equality-award/, July 10, 2014
USA: SETDA Publishes Brief on Accessibility of Instructional Materials in a Digital Age for State and District Leaders
The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) recently released a policy brief for state and district education leaders focused on considerations and strategies regarding the accessibility of digital content for all students. The brief, The Accessibility of Learning Content for All Students, Including Students with Disabilities, Must Be Addressed in the Shift to Digital Instructional Materials, examines important legal, policy and practice considerations regarding the accessibility of digital instructional materials. The paper discusses the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Framework, Open Educational Resources (OER) and federal law requirements regarding accessibility of instructional materials. The brief also provides recommendations for state and district policy regarding the development, use and distribution and sharing of digital tools to improved the learning experiences of all students.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/06/24/setda-publishes-brief-on-accessibility-of-instructional-materials-in-a-digital-age-for-state-and-district-leaders/, July 10, 2014
Thailand: Telephone Service for People With Hearing Disabilities
Realizing the importance of personal communication for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, especially in a situation where help is needed, Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT) has been expanding and developing its ‘Telephone for the deaf’ service. There are now 500 telephone booths with the service installed nationwide, while 150 of them are located in Bangkok.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/07/07/telephone-service-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, July 07, 2014
UK: Lack of Accessible Tourism Costing Economy Billions
Researchers at the University of Surrey have found that the European tourism sector is losing out on as much as 142 billion euros every year due to poor infrastructure, services and attitudes towards travelers with disabilities. The research project, which was funded by the European Commission, found that travelers within the EU who required special access (whether through disability or age) undertook 783 million trips within the region in 2012, contributing 394 billion euros and 8.7 million jobs to the European economy.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/07/03/lack-of-accessible-tourism-costing-economy-billions/, July 07, 2014