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The First PDF Reader for Visually Impaired People
The Swiss National Association of and for the Blind (SNAB), in collaboration with the Access for All foundation and the service provider xyMedia, has developed an important innovation for visually impaired people. The VIP PDF-Reader overcomes a previously insurmountable problem for people with a visual impairment who want to read and work with PDF files. This innovative product is now available free of charge to Windows, Mac and Linux users.
From http://www.szb.ch/en/press/press-releases/the-first-pdf-reader-for-visually-impaired-people.html, June 26, 2013

Redefining "Mobile" for Usability and Accessibility
On most days, I enjoy walking outside for a little while. Working from home means that the commute I used to have no longer exists. So walking serves as a somewhat of a substitute. When I go out for these daily jaunts, I like taking different routes to and from home. Over the last few years, these walks have been lot more colorful thanks to my cell phone and GPS. Thanks to the wonders of accessible software that tells me what I'm passing by, I've gotten to know my neighborhood pretty well. This used not to be the case before the iPhone made it possible for me and other blind people to have ready access to this information without putting a several thousand dollar dent in my wallet.
From http://www.ezfire.net/blog/redefining_mobile, June 26, 2013

FCC Releases Hearing Aid Compatibility Settlements
Today, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau settled two wireless hearing aid compatibility investigations involving Airadigm Communications, Inc. dba Airfire Mobile, and TeleGuam Holdings, LLC, successor-in-interest to Pulse Mobile, LLC. The settlements include voluntary payments of more than one-half million dollars as well as conditions designed to ensure future compliance. The hearing aid compatibility rules ensure that individuals with hearing loss can fully access advanced wireless phone service without excessive feedback or noise.
From http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-releases-hearing-aid-compatibility-settlements, June 26, 2013

HelpAge: Putting Aging at the Heart of Development
The United Nations High Level Panel report, released at the end of last month, was an encouraging first step towards building an improved global sustainable framework to replace the influential Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Particularly promising was the commitment to ensuring that we will measure how progress will impact specifically on men and women of all ages, abilities, identities and locations. This will provide a truer picture of the lives of vulnerable people around the world and help governments, the private sector and civil society organizations tackle inequality - an essential component in the Panel's ambition to eradicate world poverty.
From http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/silvia-stefanoni/ageing-heart-development_b_3440885.html, June 26, 2013

Marrakesh: Agreement Reached on Provisions of New Treaty to Ease Access to Books for Visually Impaired Persons
Negotiators from WIPO's member states at the Diplomatic Conference in Marrakesh reached agreement in the early morning hours of June 26, 2013, on the substantive provisions of a new international treaty to improve access to books for blind, visually impaired, and other print disabled people. The treaty is expected to be formally adopted in the plenary session tomorrow, June 27. The Diplomatic Conference to Conclude a Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works by Visually Impaired Persons and Persons with Print Disabilities, convened by WIPO and hosted by the Kingdom of Morocco, is meeting in Marrakesh from June 18 to 28, 2013.
From http://www.wipo.int/dc2013/en/news/2013/news_0010.html, June 26, 2013

Inclusive Planning for Emergency Preparedness
“Inclusive planning” in emergency preparedness. Sounds like a good idea,so let’s talk about it. Along the way, I’d like to share some of my experiences with inclusive planning—specifically the challenges, benefits and rewards of including persons with disabilities and other access and functional needs into emergency planning efforts.
From http://www.marc.org/emergency/pdfs/Sorg_InclusivePlanningArticle.pdf, June 26, 2013

New Interactive App Charts Access for People with Disabilities in Big Cities
A new app is charting access for people with disabilities in big cities. Using the Google Maps and Google Places APIs, Jason DaSilva of New York has helped create the AXS Map platform, which features accessibility information for places to go out to in a city. On the AXS Map desktop or mobile site, click on a place to view accessibility ratings for a local business’ entries and bathrooms on a five-star rating system. The concept is based on crowdsourcing by users, so according to DaSilva, the map is not where it needs to be — yet.
From http://www.accesstourismnz.org.nz/2013/06/new-interactive-app-charts-access-for-people-with-disabilities-in-big-cities/, June 25, 2013

USA: NFB Commends Department of Education for New Guidelines on Braille Instruction
The National Federation of the Blind commended the Department of Education for guidelines on Braille instruction issued in a Dear Colleague Letter earlier today. The letter clarifies the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regarding Braille instruction.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/06/21/nfb-commends-department-of-education-for-new-guidelines-on-braille-instruction/, June 25, 2013

India to Make Mandatory for Airlines to Allow Guide Dogs on Flight
The government is going to make it mandatory for airlines to allow people with vision disabilities to board aircraft with their guide dogs. While the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had allowed this facility some years back, airlines continue to flout it with impunity. Now the regulator is coming out with new rules for both airlines and airport operators. The regulator will also make it imperative for carriers to have emergency procedure brochures in braille script as backup.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/06/20/india-to-make-mandatory-for-airlines-to-allow-guide-dogs-on-flight/, June 25, 2013

BridgingApps Participates in Mobile Technology Summit for Special Needs
BridgingApps was honored to participate in the M-Enabling Summit in Washington, D.C. in early June. Organized in cooperation with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the summit brought together U.S. and international leaders who support accessible and assistive mobile solutions.
From http://bridgingapps.org/2013/06/bridgingapps-participates-in-mobile-technology-summit-for-special-needs/, June 24, 2013

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