U.S. Education Department Issues New Special Ed Rules
The Education Department announced Tuesday that it will begin to look at graduation rates, test scores and other measures of academic performance to help determine if states are meeting the needs of students with disabilities. The department called the change a “major shift” in the way it assesses special education programs, since such benchmarks weren’t stringently applied to special education students previously. An estimated 6.5 million children and youth have such disabilities, the department said, and have lower graduation rates overall and don’t do as well on average in reading and math as their peers.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/06/24/us-education-dept-issues-new-special-ed-rules/, July 03, 2014
Australia Signs Treaty to Increase Print Access for Blind and Vision Impaired
On 23 June 2014, the Australian Government signed the ‘Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled’. Last year, 51 countries signed the treaty (link is external), which will give blind and vision impaired people greater access to works in accessible formats like braille and audio. Currently, due to copyright restrictions, only between 1 and 7 percent of the world’s published books are made available in these formats.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/policy-legislation/australia-signs-treaty-to-increase-print-access-for-blind-and-vision-impaired, July 02, 2014
USA: FCC to Promote Social Media Accessibility
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is to facilitate an industry discussion on making social media tools and content accessible to people with disabilities. The event, Accessibility & Innovation (A&I) Initiative, on July 17 will seek to heighten awareness among technology developers and media producers so that they are inspired to increase the level of social media accessibility.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/online-media/fcc-to-promote-social-media-accessibility, July 02, 2014
USA: FCC Proposes Steps to Improve Emergency Alert System
The FCC has proposed taking several steps to improve Emergency Alert System warnings including, among other things, requiring broadcasters and cable operators to meet minimum standards of EAS alert accessibility to the disabled, taking a page from closed-captioning requirements. It also signaled another EAS test is coming up soon.
From http://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/washington/alert-fcc-tweaks-eas/132113, July 02, 2014
USA: FCC Moves to Caption the Web
The Federal Communications Commission is taking another step to make the Internet more accessible, voting next month on rules for closed captioning online video clips. The vote, planned for the FCC’s July meeting, is the result of a years-long push — and Chairman Tom Wheeler's personal interest — to increase accessibility online.
From http://thehill.com/policy/technology/210881-fcc-moves-to-caption-the-web, July 02, 2014
Accessibility of Online Services Grows: UN
The accessibility of online services around the world has dramatically increased in the last two years, according to United Nations (UN). In its 2014 e-Government Survey (link is external), the UN stated that in the two years since its 2012 survey the percentage of government websites with information for “disadvantaged and vulnerable groups”, including people with disabilities, had grown from 28 percent to 64 percent.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/online-media/accessibility-of-online-services-grows-un, July 01, 2014
Interview: Challenges of Captioning and Copyrights
Media Access Australia spoke to Blake E. Reid, Assistant Clinical Professor at Colorado Law, following his chairing of a session at the 2014 M-Enabling Summit on copyright and third party captioning. The session at M-Enabling (link is external) covered issues such as the proliferation of inaccessible video content, the need for third party captioning, and the dangers of captioning infringing on the copyrights of audio-visual content owners.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/television/challenges-of-captioning-and-copyrights, July 01, 2014
Accessibility Solutions: Lack of Information to Consumers Remains Barrier
The 3rd M-Enabling Summit, which took place 9-10 June 2014 in Washington, gathered over 500 stakeholders in mobile accessibility and was the forum for many interesting discussions. Participants that had also been at the first and second Summits, noted that the center of discussions has shifted from explaining what accessibility is and why we need it, to concrete exchanges on how to achieve it. Indeed, this 3rd Summit seemed marked by the acceptance amongst regulators, industry and consumers that accessibility is happening.
From http://blog.mobileaccessibility.info/2014/06/accessibility-solutions-lack-of.html, July 01, 2014
India Becomes First Country to Ratify the Marrakesh Treaty
Francis Gurry, Director General, WIPO said that the Marrakesh Treaty received 79 signatures in the twelve month period that the treaty was open for signatures. He further said that India’s ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty one year from its conclusion was a “WIPO record of sorts” and a “great example from a major country” of the importance attached to the Marrakesh Treaty.
From http://cis-india.org/accessibility/blog/indias-ratification-of-marrakesh-treaty-celebrated, July 01, 2014
Bangladesh: 2nd International Conference on Inclusive Education in Dhaka
The 2nd International Conference on Inclusive Education under the banner of Asian Centre for Inclusive Education (ACIE) that is going to be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 9-11 January 2015.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/06/30/2nd-international-conference-on-inclusive-education-in-dhaka/, June 30, 2014