USA: Vermont Center for Independent Living Announces the Formation of the Burlington Access Focus Group
A recent compliance review by the U.S. Department of Justice of several Church Street Marketplace restaurants, as well as the publication of new DOJ standards for achieving accessibility, have spurred this group of community partners and citizens into action. The Burlington Access Group is bringing together citizens, city government and local businesses to remove physical barriers experienced by people using wheelchairs, walkers and strollers, and increase access to programs and services for people who are Blind, Deaf, may have developmental disabilities, or compromised immune systems.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/02/15/burlington-accessibility-group-forms-to-improve-access-for-people-with-disabilities/, February 15, 2012
Finland: Research Centre Develops NFC-based Applications for Persons with Visual Impairment
New types of devices may offer hope to the millions of people around the world who are visually impaired, in a bid to make their daily lives easier. The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed new NFC-based applications, which take the form of an innovative, speech-based item identification system and new "talking packaging" for medicine and food. The devices have been tested by a group of people and offer a range of possibilities for both normal-sighted and visually-impaired people.
From http://www.contactlenses.co.uk/contactlensesnews/article61816/new-devices-to-make-life-easier-for-visually-impaired.html, February 15, 2012
New Zealand: Deaf MP Mojo Mathers Delivers Maiden Speech
New Green Party MP Mojo Mathers has given her maiden speech to Parliament. Ms Mathers is New Zealand’s first profoundly deaf MP, and said in her speech that she would “advocate for improved access to information and communication services for deaf, hearing and vision impaired” during her time in Parliament. Earlier this week Speaker Lockwood Smith came under fire after announcing that the note-takers required for Ms Mathers to follow Parliamentary debate would have to come out of her own staff budget.
From http://www.3news.co.nz/Deaf-MP-Mojo-Mathers-delivers-maiden-speech/tabid/1607/articleID/242982/Default.aspx, February 15, 2012
Accessible Media Inc Honoured by Canadian Council of the Blind with Inaugural President's Award
For almost 70 years the Canadian Council of the Blind (CCB) has worked to improve the quality of life for Canadians living with vision loss. It represents the largest group of people who are blind or with low vision in the country. "And it is from this perspective that we recognize and honour AMI's barrier-breaking work over the past 20-plus years to promote greater inclusion and enhance the lives of Canadians who are blind or partially sighted through making all media accessible," says Louise Gillis, President, CCB.
From http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/920533/media-advisory-accessible-media-inc-ami-honoured-by-canadian-council-of-the-blind-with-inaugural-president-s-award-in-recognition-of-ami-s-outstanding, February 14, 2012
USA: Broadway Tones Down for Autistic Audiences
Two more autism-friendly performances of Broadway musicals will be offered this spring and fall following the success last year of the first showing of a Broadway show specially altered for those diagnosed with the disorder. The Theatre Development Fund, a nonprofit organization focused on providing access to live theater, said last week it plans to offer specially designed matinee showings of “Mary Poppins” on April 29 and “The Lion King” on Sept. 30.
From http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/13/broadway-tones-down-for-autistic-audiences/, February 14, 2012
USA: 2012 Advocates in Disability Award (ADA) Application
The purpose of the ADA Program is to award and encourage a young individual with a disability between the ages of 14 and 26, who has dedicated himself/herself to positively affecting the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families in the United States. The Program also supports an innovative project developed by this young person with a disability that serves and empowers individuals with disabilities. The Advocates in Disability Award (ADA) is a program of The HSC Foundation, funded in part by the Sarah Beth Coyote Foundation. The selected recipient is awarded $3,000 in recognition of his/her past disability advocacy and will receive up to an additional $7,000 in funding support for his/her proposed project that focuses on serving and empowering individuals with disabilities.
From http://www.hscfoundation.org/node/11#ada, February 13, 2012
UK: Braille is Spreading But Who's Using It?
Thanks to changed regulations Braille is spreading but do most blind people actually use the language of dots? It's been around for 200 years but you may only recently have noticed Braille in everyday usage. If you've had your eyes, or fingers, open, you may have noticed braille on toilet doors to denote gents or ladies, on buttons in lifts, on bottles of wine and packaging on breakfast cereals and ready meals.
From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16984742, February 13, 2012
mHealth: Remote Patient Monitoring Is on the Rise, with Smartphones Leading the Way
Early last year, PEW Research was already reporting that 17 percent of mobile phone users were using their devices to look up health and medical information, and Juniper recently estimated that 44 million health apps were downloaded in 2011. In turn, the amount and availability of health data is exploding in tandem with the growing adoption of health and medical apps and devices, thanks to the increasingly wearable and user-friendly devices that use smart sensors to capture and transmit a variety biometric data.
From http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/08/mhealth-remote-patient-monitoring-is-on-the-rise-with-smartphones-leading-the-way/, February 10, 2012
USA: Disability Rights Fund Releases First 2012 Request for Proposals
The Disability Rights Fund (DRF)—a grantmaking collaborative between donors and the global disability community which supports the human rights of persons with disabilities—today announced its first 2012 grants round, “Implementing Our Rights.” Grant making in this round will be targeted to disabled persons’ organizations (DPOs) in India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mexico, and Ukraine.
From http://www.disabilityrightsfund.org/grantmaking, February 10, 2012
Call for Irish Government to Meet Educational Needs of Children with Hearing Disabilities
Mary Byrne from the National Council for Special Education said children with hearing disabilities should be able to reach their potential in the classroom. “Research is also telling us that children with hearing disabilities can achieve better academic outcomes, in line with their potential ability, if they have the right supports in place. “Our paper is outlining what sort of supports should be in place, and where the focus of these supports should be.”
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/02/06/call-for-irish-government-to-meet-educational-needs-of-children-with-hearing-disabilities/, February 09, 2012