Qatar Computing Research Institute Launches Custom Braille Keyboard for People with Vision Disabilities
The Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), one of Hamad bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) three specialized national research institutes, has developed a custom keyboard for iOS that enables eyes-free, one-handed typing based on Braille and is suitable for both Arabic-speaking and English-speaking users. The BrailleEasy keyboard was launched by QCRI on Thursday November 12th, alongside representatives of Qatar Social and Cultural Center for the Blind (QSCCB), Al Noor Institute for the Blind, and MADA (Qatar Assistive Technology Center), each of which played an important role in the development of the application. The app helps people with vision disabilities type quickly on touch-screen devices, a process that can otherwise be very cumbersome and slow.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/16/qatar-computing-research-institute-launches-custom-braille-keyboard-for-people-with-vision-disabilities/, November 16, 2015
Georgia to Make Tourist Attractions Accessible
Within the next year Georgia’s oldest city, Mtskheta, one of the most attractive destinations for tourists, will fit ramps so people using wheelchairs can access the city. According to Georgia’s National Tourism Administration special steps will be implemented for the development of accessible tourism in the country. Georgia’s National Tourism Administration invited international experts from the United Kingdom, Greece, Turkey, China and Russia for the introductory tour in Mtskheta.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/16/georgia-to-make-tourist-attractions-accessible/, November 16, 2015
Japan: Expo Brings High-Tech Devices for Persons with Disabilities
A trade fair showcasing the coolest cutting-edge technology to assist people with disabilities got under way in Tokyo’s hip Shibuya district on Nov. 10. Some of the high-tech hardware on display at the Super Welfare Expo include a device that assists speech and vision; a four-wheel drive electric wheelchair with increased mobility due to front wheels equipped with specially designed tires made up of 24 segments; and prosthetic arms that can be operated at will by sensing the user’s myoelectricity. Twenty-seven companies, organizations and universities are participating. Being held ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, the event was organized by the Tokyo-based nonprofit organization People Design Institute.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/13/expo-brings-high-tech-devices-for-persons-with-disabilities/, November 13, 2015
SAGE Announces Launch of New Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
Since its start in the 1960s, Deaf Studies has been impacted by the political activism of Deaf communities, significant advancements in technologies and medicine, and broadened knowledge in interdisciplinary disciplines such as Deaf culture, signed languages and deaf bilingual education. Now a developed field of study at many colleges and universities, Deaf Studies is taking its place among other critical disciplines in the social sciences. Dedicated to the scholarship of Deaf people and Deaf communities worldwide, SAGE (SAra and GEorge) announces the launch of The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia. With 350 entries, the three-volume set applies a deaf-centric perspective on a range of multidisciplinary academic fields and combines research with political and cultural inquiry.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/11/sage-announces-launch-of-new-deaf-studies-encyclopedia/, November 13, 2015
Microsoft Disability Answer Desk Wins 2015 Washington Access Fund Award
Microsoft’s Disability Answer Desk provides product and accessibility support to people with disabilities. Recently they expanded their services, now offering American Sign Language (ASL) technical support for deaf customers whose preferred method of communication is ASL. Microsoft's Disability Answer Desk won in the Large Business Best Practices Award category.
From http://washingtonaccessfund.org/announcing-the-2015-award-winners/, November 13, 2015
Canada: Ontario Launches Workplace Accessibility Compliance Audits
Accessible Media Inc (AMI) interviews a Government spokesperson and Geof Collis regarding the recent Government Audit initiative. Insights is a current affairs program covering science, health, politics and society with a focus on the issues and ideas affecting Canadians with disabilities. Hosted by Jason Vermes, episodes feature a blend of interviews and columns from culture commentator Dr. Jeff Preston, journalist Michelle McQuigge and political analysts Bob Allison and Craig Oliver.
From http://www.accessibilitynews.ca/insights-ontario-launches-workplace-accessibility-compliance-audits/, November 13, 2015
USA: UGA to Launch Inclusive, Post-Secondary Education Program in 2017
Students with intellectual or developmental disabilities will soon be able to enjoy the full University of Georgia experience with the launch of a new inclusive post-secondary education program, Destination Dawgs, beginning in spring 2017. The program, housed within the College of Family and Consumer Sciences’ Institute on Human Development and Disability, aims to assist those students’ transition into adulthood by fully immersing them in UGA life. Destination Dawgs, still in development, aspires to have students reside in on-campus housing, audit classes and be supported by peer mentors who will assist the students in courses and on campus to improve their independent living skills.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/11/uga-to-launch-inclusive-post-secondary-education-program-in-2017/, November 11, 2015
USA: New Book Launched: Disability and Disaster: Exploration and Exchanges
The Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University has announced the release of the scholarly work, Disability and Disaster which includes disaster research to the expanding area of disability studies. This edited collection includes writings by international scholars as well as 19 chapters about individuals with disabilities affected by disaster across five different continents. “In Disability and Disaster: Exchanges and Explorations, editors Ilan Kelman and Laura M. Stough have achieved something truly ground-breaking. First, in terms of the academic importance of this work, it adds to the social vulnerability literature and represents the first serious book-length treatment of disability and disaster studies.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/11/new-book-launched-disability-and-disaster-exploration-and-exchanges/, November 11, 2015
African Disability Forum (ADF) holds First General Assembly
Delegates from 30 organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) in Africa, members of the African Disability Forum (ADF), held their first General Assembly meeting, October 31-November 1, 2015 at the Desmond Tutu Conference Center in Nairobi, Kenya. ADF is the pan-African membership organization of DPOs at continental, sub-regional and national levels, created to unify and amplify the voice of persons with disabilities in Africa and strengthen the technical capacity of their organizations.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/10/african-disability-forum-adf-holds-first-general-assembly/, November 10, 2015
Sri Lanka Declares National ICT Week from November 16-22
President Maithripala Sirisena has declared November 16-22 as 'National Information and Communication Technology Week'. This is the first time that such a week dedicated to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has ever been declared at national level. It is in recognition of the significant role the ICT industry plays in all spheres of life, and also in honor of the ICT-related national and international conferences due to be convened in Sri Lanka that the President declared a week devoted to this sector. The APICTA - 2015 International Awards ceremony will be held in Sri Lanka during 'ICT Week'. Sri Lanka was selected as the first country to host this international parley. This global platform is considered the 'Oscars' of the ICT sector in Asia.
From http://www.news.lk/news/business/item/10708-sri-lanka-declares-national-ict-week-from-nov-16-22, November 09, 2015