Canada: Affordable Braille Reader Launched
The new Orbit braille reader was launched last night at the Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN)
in San Diego, California. The Orbit braille reader is the first ever affordable refreshable braille reader that is portable. Until now, braille displays cost on average around $3,000, putting them out of reach for many people – not just in Canada, but around the world. In contrast, the new Orbit braille reader will retail for under $400, providing an important new option for people who are blind or or have low vision to access literacy at an affordable cost.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/03/26/affordable-braille-reader-launched/, March 29, 2016
Google Launches Accessibility Scanner for Android App Developers
Google has launched a tool that will help make Android developers apps more accessible for all users, including persons with disabilities. The company’s new Accessibility Scanner looks at any Android app and will call out aspects of it that could be improved, particularly for users with disabilities. The app will even suggest ways you can alter things for the better.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/03/25/google-launches-accessibility-scanner-for-android-app-developers/, March 29, 2016
Croatia: HAKOM Develops App for Persons with Disabilities
The website of the Croatian Regulatory Agency for Network Industries (HAKOM) has published the Kviz app, designed to inform consumers with disabilities about their rights. The application was created jointly by HAKOM and the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER) of the University of Zagreb, as a part of the research project “Looking into the Future 2020, reports tportal.hr on March 27, 2016.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/03/28/hakom-develops-app-for-persons-with-disabilities/, March 28, 2016
Berkeley Scientist Designs Tools for the Visually Impaired
Dr. Joshua Miele's morning commute to Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute takes about an hour—as long as no one gets in the way. In fact, most people move out of his way when they see him coming, because Miele is blind. He’s one of about 140,000 blind and visually impaired people in the Bay Area. Less than three quarters of those people are employed, and only a few work in tech, like Dr. Miele.
From http://kalw.org/post/berkeley-scientist-designs-tools-visually-impaired#stream/0, March 28, 2016
66th UN DPI/NGO Conference in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea
The United Nations Department of Public Information announces the Sixty-Sixth Department of Public Information (DPI)/Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Conference will be hosted in Gyeongju, the Republic of Korea, from 30 May to 1 June 2016. In past editions, this Conference has brought together over 2500 representatives from around the globe. The title of the conference is ‘Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Together’.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/03/25/66th-un-dpingo-conference-in-gyeongju/, March 25, 2016
USA: 9th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD
The 9th session of the Conference of States Parties (COSP) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will be held from 14 to 16 June 2016 at UN Headquarters in New York. This year’s session will include elections for nine members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to replace those whose terms are due to expire in December 2016.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/03/24/9th-session-of-the-conference-of-states-parties-to-the-crpd/, March 24, 2016
Indonesia: ILO Urges Business Sector to Offer Employment Opportunities to Persons with Disabilities
The International Labor Organization (ILO) has called on the business sector to offer employment opportunities and equal treatment to persons with disabilities following the passing of a law that guarantees the rights of people with disabilities. Employing people with disabilities should not be merely lip service, ILO country director for Indonesia Francesco d’Ovidio said in a discussion on Tuesday. “It’s not a matter of charity. It’s a matter of choice, because employing people with disabilities makes good sense from the business point of view,” he said. Of Indonesia’s 250 million population, 11 to 13 percent have disabilities, according to Central Statistics Agency data.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/03/23/ilo-urges-business-sector-to-offer-employment-opportunities-to-persons-with-disabilities/, March 23, 2016
USA: FCC Enhances Accessibility of Video Programming on Television
The Federal Communications Commission adopted amendments to its rules on closed captioning of televised video programming to ensure that millions of Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing have full access to programming on February 18. This action helps clarify which entities are responsible for which parts of the delivery and quality of closed captions on television.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/03/23/fcc-enhances-accessibility-of-video-programming-on-television/, March 23, 2016
IAAP Announces the Launch of the IAAP Resource Library
The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) is excited to announce the launch of the IAAP Resource Library. This new Resource Library contains a collection of accessibility resources and programs that are collected, gathered, and developed by the Organizational Development Committee (ODC). The mission of the ODC is to develop resources and programs by which organizations, corporations and government entities can learn and grow their accessibility strategies to increase overall access and opportunities for persons with disabilities.
From http://www.accessibilityassociation.org/content.asp?admin=Y&contentid=347, March 23, 2016
Are There Any Cell Phones for the Visually Impaired?
Modern cell phones are important tools which are needed to maximize productivity and security, thus, enhancing our lives with effective communication. Alas! This is gift of technology that cannot be used effectively by the visually impaired or blind people. For them, it is difficult to identify the keys on the keyboards, and go through the navigation process. Having said this, it is needless to say that using touch-screen phones is a distant reality for the visually impaired, because those do not even allow them to feel the keys with their thumbs. Nonetheless, modern technology has come up with cell phones for visually impaired people. These are meant to give all kinds of cell-phone facilities to the blind by overcoming the obvious barriers. Following are some technologies that can help blind people use mobile phones.
From http://www.project-ray.com/blog/visualy-impaired/cell-phones-visually-impaired, March 23, 2016