USA: Monster.com to be first fully Accessible Website in its Industry
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) reported today that as a result of an agreement between Monster Worldwide, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and NFB, Monster.com will soon be the first in its industry with a fully accessible website. The NFB reports that this agreement will provide meaningful benefit to individuals nationwide who are blind or visually impaired, including more than 35,000 residents in Massachusetts. As part of the agreement, Monster will contribute $50,000 to the Commonwealth that will be used to fund the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind’s (MCB) job internship program. Monster will also make a $50,000 contribution to the NFB and serve as the title sponsor of the NFB’s annual convention in 2013.
From https://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/2013/01/30/monster-com-to-be-the-1st-fully-accessible-website-in-its-industry/, February 05, 2013
USA: Emergency Access Advisory Committee Meets on March 1, 2013
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that the next meeting of the Emergency Access Advisory Committee (EAAC) will be held on March 1, 2013 at the FCC headquarters in Washington, DC from 10:30am to 3:30pm EST. The agenda includes discussion on reports from select EAAC subcommittees, as they relate to accessibility to 911 services by individuals with disabilities. The EAAC was established by the FCC on December 7, 2010, with the purpose of identifying and recommending the "most effective and efficient technologies and methods by which to enable access to Next Generation 911 (NG 9-1-1) emergency services by individuals with disabilities."
From http://wirelessrerc.org/content/newsroom/upcoming-events/emergency-access-advisory-committee-meets-march-1, February 05, 2013
Innovative Ways the Autism Community Uses iPads
The iPad has proven to be an especially useful communication tool for young people with autism. It provides a way to express themselves through words and images; it can be used to teach them about everyday scenarios and give them more independence. It's also far less bulky than some communication devices of the past.
From http://mashable.com/2013/02/01/innovative-autism-community-ipad/, February 04, 2013
Resource: iOS Apps Developed Specifically for the Blind or People with Low Vision
Listed below are iOS apps that have been developed specifically for the blind or people with low vision. Utilizing the potential of Apple's iDevices, these apps are intended to assist with everyday tasks, increase independence and generally make things easier. The list does not include games, as it is intended to highlight those apps which offer functionality and features that are not available from mainstream apps.
From http://www.applevis.com/apps/ios-apps-for-blind-and-vision-impaired, February 04, 2013
USA: Accelerating Deployment of Broadband Infrastructure
FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, announced plans of the Broadband Acceleration Initiative that will allow for more efficient and accelerated deployment of mobile broadband infrastructure. A technical provision in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 was clarified to enable faster reviews of requests to adapt existing wireless towers or base stations. The Commission also outlined plans for the placement of temporary cell towers during anticipated high-capacity events, such as the Super Bowl. Chairman Genachowski noted the importance of such actions, as he states “we must continue to invest in improvements to cell towers and transmission equipment, in order to ensure ubiquitous, high-speed Internet for all Americans.”
From http://www.wirelessrerc.gatech.edu/content/newsroom/accelerating-deployment-broadband-infrastructure, February 04, 2013
USA: CIOs told to Improve Section 508 Standards
The Office of Management and Budget recently tasked agency CIOs with improving their agency's Section 508 standards. Section 508 was added to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in 1986, then replaced with a new version in 1998. It requires agencies to purchase IT that is accessible to people with disabilities.
From http://fcw.com/articles/2013/01/29/cio-508-omb.aspx, February 04, 2013
UK Proposes Refarming all 2G/3G Bands for 4G Use
UK regulator Ofcom has begun the process of allowing the country’s mobile operators to use their existing licences for 4G services regardless of spectrum band. In a statement today, Ofcom has proposed to liberalise all mobile licences in the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands “to permit the deployment of 4G services.”
From http://www.mobileworldlive.com/uk-proposes-refarming-all-2g3g-bands-for-4g-use?elq=1c36d74a236d4d0b82acf1f2b72a9b73, February 02, 2013
USA: American Foundation for the Blind App Helps People with Vision Loss Take Notes on Apple Phone
For the millions of Americans with vision loss looking for a simple, convenient way to take notes at work, at school, or at home, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today launched the AccessNote™, a specialized notetaker for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. "Apple products have earned high points from us for their out-of-the-box accessibility for users who are blind or visually impaired," said Carl R. Augusto, AFB president and CEO. "We designed this app to complement the iPhone's other popular features, like web browsing and email, so that users who are blind have all the tools they need in one, handy device."
From http://www.afb.org/section.aspx?FolderID=1&SectionID=47&DocumentID=6259, February 01, 2013
Feature: Captioning Support in Internet Explorer 10: An Accessibility Breakthrough
If you frequently watch video content on the web, you may have noticed the recent increase in the availability of captions. Sometimes they are part of the video itself, while other times they are created by voice recognition software during playback. In either scenario, the increased visibility of captioning technology is a result of The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which requires VoIP providers and manufacturers to make their services and equipment more accessible to web users with disabilities.
From https://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/2013/02/01/captioning-support-in-internet-explorer-10-an-accessibility-breakthrough/, February 01, 2013
RSLSteeper Launch Switch Access Device for Apple Touchscreen Devices
At the 2013 ATiA Conference in Orlando, Florida, RSLSteeper unveiled Pererro – a unique product that utilizes VoiceOver to bring Apple touchscreen devices to those previously unable to use this technology. There are an estimated 2.5 million people in the western world unable to use touchscreen technology due to conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease, Duchenne’s, Muscular Dystrophy or simply the elderly or infirm. Pererro will make iOS technology easily and readily available to this audience for the first time!
From http://rslsteeper.com/news/rslsteeper_launches_pererro, February 01, 2013