UK: Tactile Map of Eden Created for People With Visual Impairments
Today saw the unveiling of a beautiful wooden scale model of Eden Project that allows people with visual impairments to experience the site’s famous landscape and architecture. Complete with Biomes and planting schemes, the map is the handiwork of Lauren Milton, who created it on her model-making course at The Arts University College of Bournemouth.
From www.edenproject.com, July 19, 2011
Interview: Sonia Arrison Reflects on Life-Span Increases of up to 150 Years
Think how culturally and materially richer we would be if people could live, be healthy, and contribute to society up to ages of 150, 200, or beyond. Thus argues Sonia Arrison, senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute. In her book 100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith (Basic Books, 2011), she tracks the advancements of “life-extension” medical techniques, which undo the damage that our bodies incur over time. With further refinement of such procedures, Arrison hopes, we could look forward to unprecedented innovation and societal reform as brilliant innovators stay with us and share their knowledge and experience for decades—and in time, centuries—longer than they would today. She spoke about this with Rick Docksai, assistant editor for THE FUTURIST.
From www.wfs.org, July 19, 2011
St. Petersburg Subway's Wheelchair Ban Highlights Plight Of Russia's Handicapped
Late last month, St. Petersburg authorities began enforcing what they say was an existing ban after a girl in a wheelchair had an accident on a subway escalator. Yulia Shavel, a spokeswoman for the subway, said wheelchair users are a danger to themselves and others on the steep escalators that descend into the city's cavernous subway system. But sitting in Yekaterina Park in downtown St. Petersburg, the 33-year-old Kuzmin said he believed he and other handicapped passengers pose no danger on the subway and bristled at what he sees as prejudice against the disabled.
From www.rferl.org, July 19, 2011
UK Announces Early Warning System to Prevent Conflict
Britain is to set up an early warning system in an effort to anticipate events that could trigger violence in areas where it has significant interests, as part of a strategy announced Tuesday. Mindful of the momentous events in the Arab world, the move represents an attempt to pool the expertise and resources of the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development (DfID) in identifying and preventing conflict in high-risk areas.
From www.guardian.co.uk, July 19, 2011
UK: BBC Asks Public to Help Map Mobile Phone Coverage
The BBC is going to attempt to map 2G and 3G services across the country and is asking the public to help. The Corporation is claiming that this will be the first independent survey of mobile phone coverage as previous surveys have been based on data provided by the operators.
From www.wired.co.uk, July 18, 2011
Google Bets on Africa as the Next Internet Hotspot
To global search giant, Google, Africa is the next Internet hotspot. Globally, there are 94 domains registered per 10 000 users. However, in Africa, there is only one domain per 10 000 users. As such, there is tremendous potential for growth on the continent in the web space. Through its Africa programs focused on getting more Africans online, the company is betting that by developing an accessible, vibrant and self sufficient Internet ecosystem on the continent many more Africans would come online.
From thenextweb.com, July 18, 2011
TEDTalk: Why We Made a Car for Blind Drivers
Dennis W. Hong, an associate professor of engineering at Virginia Tech, leads RoMeLa, a robotics lab at the university that won a major worldwide competition in the field -- RoboCup 2011. In our modern society, driving is really a necessity. It is a means of getting you to your destination wherever, whenever. Driving is also fun. Some people even consider it an expression of power. Most importantly, driving is really about freedom, about independence.
From www.cnn.com, July 18, 2011
US Access Committee Reports on Internet Video Captioning
The the Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee has released a report to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which proposes a timetable for the compulsory closed captioning of all Internet video content originally broadcast with captions on American television. The committee’s report was one of the requirements of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which was signed into law by President Obama last October. Now that the FCC has the report, it has six months to set new closed captioning rules.
From mediaaccess.org.au, July 18, 2011
Apple Continues to Improve Accessibility of iOS
A new feature in the latest beta release of iOS 5, the operating system for the iPad and iPhone, provides on-screen replacements for various button functions, such as the home button. The control panel, called Assistive Touch, will assist users who may have trouble using the standard gestures or the physical buttons on the iPad. For example, instead of using the swipe action (gesture) to move from screen to screen, you can tap on an icon instead. This may increase accessibility for users with a physical disability.
From mediaaccess.org.au, July 14, 2011
ADA's 21st Anniversary: The Impact of Reasonable Accommodations
Employees with disabilities may do a job differently–they may use adapted computers, screen reading software, large print materials or raised desks that can accommodate a wheelchair–but they get the job done like any other employee in their position. They are not asking for special treatment or to be excused from performing the essential functions of their jobs. But they do ask that they be given the tools or supports they need to perform these tasks competently. This is one of a series of articles and resources produced by the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University.
From www.newswise.com, July 14, 2011