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New Smartphone App Reads Back Printed Text; Helpful for People with Vision Disabilities
Jonathan Mosen, who has been blind since birth, spent his evening snapping photos of packages in the mail, his son’s school report and labels on bottles in the fridge. In seconds, he was listening to audio of the printed words the camera captured, courtesy of a new app on his Apple Inc iPhone. The new app that allows people who are blind to listen to an audio readback of printed text is receiving rave reviews after its first day of availability and is being heralded as a life-changer by many people.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/09/22/new-smartphone-app-gives-sight-to-people-with-vision-disabilities/, September 22, 2014

New WHO Department to Include Disability Issues
The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, has announced the creation of a new Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention (NVI). This new Department, which results from the merger of the Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability (VIP) and the Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases (MND), is officially established as of today.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/09/22/new-who-department-to-include-disability-issues/, September 22, 2014

World Summit on Tourism and Transportation for Persons With Disabilities
World Summit on Destinations for All, addressing the themes of tourism, culture and transportation for persons with physical disabilities will be held in Montréal from October 19-22, 2014.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/09/21/world-summit-on-tourism-and-transportation-for-persons-with-disabilities/, September 22, 2014

Major Milestone as Ratification of UN CRPD Reaches 150 States
Disability rights worldwide have reached a major milestone after the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was ratified by the 150th country.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/09/18/major-milestone-as-ratification-of-un-crpd-reaches-150-states/, September 22, 2014

Australia: ACCAN Announces Apps For All Challenge Winners
The winners of the inaugural competition to recognize the work of Australian accessible app developers, the Apps For All Challenge 2014, have been announced. The challenge, announced earlier this year, was run by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) and the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), and sponsored by Telstra.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/digital-technology/accan-announces-apps-for-all-challenge-winners, September 18, 2014

Cosmos for Android Lets You Browse the Web Via SMS
In many parts of the world where LTE and 3G aren't as accessible, something like the Cosmos browser for Android could be incredibly cheap and useful. This upcoming Android app, you see, doesn't need data to work -- you simply plug in a URL, and it sends back a simple, stripped-down version of the page via text messages. On the project's GitHub page, its developers explained that once you input a URL, the app texts it to their Twilio number, which then forwards it to their backend. The system then gets the source code of the website and nukes the CSS and javascript to deliver a series of clean text messages to the user's phone.
From http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/16/cosmos-android-text-message-browsing/, September 17, 2014

Philips Aims to Relieve Persistent Pain With Smartphone-Controlled Devices
Philips will soon launch a couple of iPhone- and iPad-controlled devices, but they're not the company's usual phone docks or Hue smartlight models -- they're gadgets designed to help suppress persistent pain. The first device (above) called PulseRelief uses Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation or TENS technology, which delivers electric pulses straight to your nerves. That's supposed to prevent pain signals from reaching your brain and to release endorphins, chemicals that make you feel good and happy. There are tons of similar gadgets out there, but Philips' version lets you choose from 60 intensity levels through its smartphone app.
From http://www.engadget.com/2014/09/17/philips-app-controlled-pain-reliever/, September 17, 2014

MIT Students Learn New Technologies While Making Meaningful Contributions to People With Disabilities
The late professor Seth Teller created 6.811 (Principles and Practices in Assistive Technologies, or PPAT) in the fall of 2011. Through his extensive experience developing assistive technologies (AT) at MIT, his compassion for making technology available to all, and his innovative approach and drive to build this class, student interest in PPAT and AT has grown steadily since.
From https://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/continuing-seth-teller-legacy-assistive-technologies-mit-0910, September 16, 2014

India: How to Make Workplace More Disabled-Friendly
The JAWS screen reader, a computer program that allows visually disabled users to read the screen either with a text-to-speech output or by a refreshable Braille display, allowed him to do the work. He has also used a free and open-source NVDA screen reader for Windows.
From http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/h1F1nwxKXP7kSMUd6Kzc0O/An-equal-music-How-to-make-workplace-more-disabledfriendly.html, September 16, 2014

UN Rights Office Hails Ratification of Disability Convention By 150 States As 'Major Milestone'
Guyana became the latest country to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is widely regarded as the first international human rights treaty of the twenty-first century and one of the fastest to be ratified.
From http://allafrica.com/stories/201409152663.html, September 16, 2014

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