Opening Session of the CRPD Committee´s 9th Session
The opening of the 9th session took place this morning in a public session from 10am to 1pm. Five new members (Martin Babu Mwesigwa, Monthian Buntan, Laszlo Lovaszy, Diane Mulligan and Safak Pavey) pronounced their solemn declaration to formally join the Committee. Ron McCallum stepped down from his position as Chair and Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes was elected by an overwhelming majority as the new Chair. She is the first woman Chair of the Committee. Ron McCallum, Theresia Degener and Carlos Rios Espinosa were elected as new Vice Chairs and new Committee member Martin Babu Mwesigwa was elected as new Rapporteur of the Committee by acclamation.
From http://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/en, April 28, 2013
USA: Manitoba Presses Ahead with Accessibility Legislation
As was mentioned in the Winnipeg Free Press, the Manitoba government announced that it is introducing legislation today designed to remove or eliminate barriers that those with disabilities in our community face in accessing buildings, services and jobs. The legislation will set the foundation for requirements to be established that businesses in both the public and private sectors will need to meet to ensure that their organizations are as open and accessible as possible to persons with disabilities whether they engage with the business as customers, clients or current or prospective employees.
From http://donnaseale.ca/manitoba-presses-ahead-with-accessibility-legislation/, April 26, 2013
Recruitment and Retention of Older Workers: Considerations for Employers
The National Center on Workforce Development/Adult (NCWD/A), funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), undertook a one-year project that examined practices and strategies implemented by U.S. companies seeking to recruit and retain older workers. This brief presents themes that emerged from phone conversations with employees at 18 companies in 13 states. Five of those companies subsequently participated in more in-depth, in-person visits. NCWD/A staff held phone conversations with human resource or diversity program representatives; during in-person visits, researchers had discussions with a wide range of informants, from company leadership to frontline supervisors/managers and older workers themselves.
From http://www.communityinclusion.org/article.php?article_id=231&type=topic&id=18, April 26, 2013
Accessibility Upgrade: EPUB, Libraries, and Ebook Accessibility
During a visit to Egypt two years ago, George Kerscher, Secretary General of the Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) Consortium, found that the country’s major libraries had only a very small collection of books available for print-disabled patrons. And while staff and volunteers were working to make more books accessible, output was limited to only a handful of titles each year.
From http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/04/technology/ebook-accessbility/, April 24, 2013
USA: Promoting Accessible Technologies in the Workplace
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) released the report ODEP Accomplishments 2009—2012, highlighting ODEP’s progress in ensuring that individuals with disabilities are considered and included when improving the job opportunities for American workers.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.org/content/newsroom/promoting-accessible-technologies-workplace, April 24, 2013
Samsung Demonstrates Tablet That Can Be Controlled By Brain
Samsung has taken the mobile industry by storm in the last couple of years with its very successful Galaxy S III phone and the Galaxy Tab/ Note tablets. Competitive pricing and an easy to use UI (besides the world famous brand) are what set them apart from the rest. It is now planning to take regular tablets into a different realm by allowing a new way of communicating with its tablet devices - brainwaves (mind control!), a feature that people with impaired mobility will definitely appreciate.
From http://www.assistivetechnologyblog.com/2013/04/samsung-demonstrates-tablet-that-can-be.html, April 24, 2013
European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing at eHealth Week
eHealth Week 2013 will bring together two main events: the High Level eHealth Conference co-organised by the European Commission and the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and WoHIT (World of Health IT Conference & Exhibition). The Partnership will be present in a specific track in the programme that will bring an overview of the six Action Plans and their links to ICT.
From http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/european-innovation-partnership-active-and-healthy-ageing-ehealth-week-13-15-may, April 22, 2013
UNESCO Report: ICTs Open New Avenues for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities
The new UNESCO Global Report highlights 18 recommendations to all stakeholders – from decision-makers to educators, civil society and industry – on how concretely to advance the rights of people with disabilities to access information and knowledge using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Assistive Technologies (ATs). It is built on the notion of Knowledge Societies which are inclusive, pluralistic, equitable, open and participatory to all members of society, including persons with disabilities.
From http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002197/219767e.pdf, April 19, 2013
Making Television Accessible for People with Sight Loss
The prize given by the AFB honors RNIB and Panasonic for working together to develop Voice Guidance. We have been awarded in recognition of 'an exceptional and innovative effort that has improved the lives of people with vision loss by enhancing access to information, the environment, technology, education, or employment, including making mainstream products and services accessible'.
From http://www.rnib.org.uk/livingwithsightloss/tvradiofilm/tvradiofilmnews/Pages/video_accessible_tv.aspx, April 19, 2013
Making Emergency Information via Video Programming Accessible
The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) released a Report and Order and a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) (FCC 13-45) related to the accessibility of emergency information provided in video programming. The Report and Order requires that emergency information communicated via video programming is accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. This includes the requirement of an aural presentation of the emergency information on a secondary audio stream that must be conveyed at least twice in full. The use of text-to-speech (TTS) technologies is permitted for providing the aural presentation. In addition, the Report and Order also establishes apparatus requirements for the transmission of emergency information and video description to individuals with disabilities. Specifically, the apparatus is required to “receive, play back, or record video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound.” TTS capability is permitted, but not required.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.gatech.edu/content/newsroom/making-emergency-information-video-programming-accessible, April 18, 2013