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IT Accessibility and Living with Autism
People with autism often have difficulty grasping or manipulating objects, such as a mouse. A touch screen allows people with autism to navigate and interact with the computer by replacing mouse actions with a tap or touch on the screen. Trackballs are another alternative for a mouse. Instead of having to grasp and drag a mouse across a mouse pad, trackballs use a stationary rolling ball to move the cursor around. This design gives people with autism greater control and helps them to position the cursor more accurately.
From http://theweco.com/it-accessibility-living-with-autism/, April 15, 2016

VIDEO: Microsoft and STEP Envision How Technology Can Help Children with Learning Differences
Microsoft and STEP teamed up to look at how technology can make a program targeted at children with learning differences more engaging, precise and rewarding for all.
From https://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/Microsoft-for-Startups/Microsoft-and-STEP-envision-how-technology-can-help-children-with-learning-differences, April 15, 2016

FCC: IP Relay Services Provides Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities
Internet Protocol Relay Service allows individuals with a hearing or speech disability to use Telecommunications Relay Service through a computer or web-enabled device to communicate through the telephone system with individuals who are able to hear. IP Relay is accessible through the Internet rather than a TTY or telephone, allowing users to communicate by text.
From https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/articles/203515890-IP-Relay-Service, April 14, 2016

Pakistan Launches Award with Focus on Apps for Persons with Disabilities
The 2016 edition of Pakistan Mobile App Awards has been launched with focus on development of ready-to-use mobile applications addressing needs of Persons with Disabilities. The theme for this year awards is “Embracing Mobile Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities in Pakistan.” Experts on Friday said around 10% of Pakistan’s population face some form of disability. In his comments, Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Dr. Syed Ismail Shah hoped there would be support for this cause from all across Pakistan as work on accessibility does not stop with mobile applications.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/04/14/pakistan-launches-award-with-focus-on-apps-for-persons-with-disabilities/, April 14, 2016

Building a New Disability Strategy for New Zealand
Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner is encouraging New Zealanders to have their say on issues that affect people with disabilities as public consultation on building a new disability strategy begins. The new disability strategy will establish a clear direction for the government over the next ten years, providing a framework to help make informed decisions on issues that impact disabled people. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will also be incorporated into the strategy.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/04/13/building-a-new-disability-strategy-for-new-zealand/, April 14, 2016

USA: Most K-12 Online Learning Content Does Not Meet Needs of Students with Disabilities
Online education is growing rapidly, reaching millions of students every day. However, a Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities at the University of Kansas study has found the majority of online educational products are not designed to meet the needs of students with disabilities and struggling learners. Sean J. Smith, professor of special education and a co-principal investigator with the center, has authored “Invited In: Measuring UDL in Online Learning.” The report analyzes how six popular vendors of online learning products meet the principles of Universal Design for Learning, or UDL, the concept that education should be designed to meet the needs of all students. It also provides a tool that K-12 school districts across the country can use to evaluate online education programs they are using or considering for their students.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/04/13/most-k-12-online-learning-content-does-not-meet-needs-of-students-with-disabilities/, April 14, 2016

Google.org Pledges $20 Million to Support Disability Technologies
The World Health Organization estimates 1 billion people across the world live with disabilities, and Google's philanthropy division, Google.org, just pledged $20 million to help improve their situations. The money is spread across 29 programs working on disability technologies -- the average amount they'll each receive is $750,000, with six of the grant winners getting more than $1 million, Wired reports.
From http://www.engadget.com/2016/04/12/google-org-20-million-disability-technologies/, April 13, 2016

Gamification in Citizen Participation
Before getting your hands dirty with building a citizen participation program, rethink why citizens would participate nota bene. Understanding the motivations and motives of citizens correctly leads to a more effective participation policy. One of the instruments to increase civic engagement is called gamification. By bringing a more competitive and fun character to your next crowdsourcing project, the engagement rate can be significantly higher.
From http://citizenlab.co/blog/civic-engagement/gamification-in-citizen-participation/, April 13, 2016

Internet of Things Technology & Application Market Worth $1,423 Billion by 2020
According to a new market research report “Internet of Things Technology & Application Market by Communication Technology (ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, RFID), Application Vertical (Building Automation, Consumer, Wearable Electronics, Industrial, Automotive & Transportation, Agriculture) & Geography - Global Trends & Forecasts to 2014 - 2020” published by MarketsandMarkets, the value of Internet of Things market was worth $1029.5 billion in 2013, and is expected to reach $1423.09 billion by 2020, at an estimated CAGR of 4.08% from 2014 to 2020.
From https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/internet-things-technology-application-market-worth-142309-p, April 13, 2016

Juniper: Expect Contactless Payments to Surge
Contactless payments from smartphones and wearables is still a small segment of the payments market, but might see a surge in usage over the next two years, according to Juniper Research. The research firm predicts the value of the smartphone and wearable contactless payments to rise from $35 billion to $95 billion in 2018. Juniper claims that smartphones will account for the vast majority of non-card contactless payments, asserting that “while nearly nine million Apple Watches had been shipped by the end of 2015, these numbers were dwarfed by near field communication (NFC)-capable iPhones.”
From http://readwrite.com/2016/04/12/apple-google-contactless-payments-growth-juniper-vm4, April 13, 2016

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