South Africa: Advocates Focus on African Children with Disabilities
Thousands of South African children took to the street to fight for a cause more than 30 years ago — better education, and ultimately, a better life. June 16 may be a normal day for most people, but for Africans this date commemorates the day these children risked their lives and fought for a cause that still resonates with families and children to this day.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/06/29/advocates-focus-on-african-children-with-disabilities/, June 29, 2012
Feature: Universal Design Strikes Balance Between Safety and Style
Living in a two-story house became a challenge for Susan and Paul Toback and their two sons, one of whom is physically and cognitively disabled. Their newer one-level house in Bannockburn makes life much easier. “It wasn’t just the stairs, which didn’t work for my son or for my back problems,” Susan Toback said. “The new house means my son is safer and more independent.”
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/06/29/universal-design-strikes-a-balance-between-safety-and-style/, June 29, 2012
USA: Library Program Teaches Technology to People with Vision Disabilities
People with low vision may find computers difficult to navigate at best, as icons and keyboards designed for those with normal vision can appear miniscule and inadequate to their special needs. A new, free program offered through the Macomb Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (MLBPH) aims to offer alternative coping methods for this and other low vision issues beginning June 12. The MLBPH is located at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library’s Main Branch in Clinton Township. Courses will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Courses are open to any Macomb County resident with low vision, blindness, seniors with vision concerns and caregivers.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/06/29/library-program-teaches-technology-to-people-with-vision-disabilities/, June 29, 2012
Canada: Video Description could bring 30 Million Potential New Viewers to Network Programming
Diane Johnson, founder and chief executive officer of Descriptive Video Works, one of the leading providers of video description services in North America, is proclaiming July 1, 2012 as Independence Day for the nearly 30 million Americans with vision disabilities. July 1, 2012 is the deadline set by the FCC for the top broadcast and cable networks to begin providing a minimum of four hours per week of video described programming – a secondary audio track narration describing the visual elements in each scene that add to a program’s plot or storyline and is inserted between natural pauses in dialogue – creating a more robust television experience for audience with vision disability. Video description could also increase ratings for those networks offering the service.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/06/28/video-description-mandated-as-of-july-1-could-bring-30-million-potential-new-viewers-to-network-programming/, June 28, 2012
Bank Sued for not having Accessible ATMs for Blind People
A Plano bank is being sued for failing to have ATMs that are fully accessible to people who are blind by having operational voice-guidance features. Richard Davis, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed suit against Amegy Bank N.A. on June 21 in the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/06/27/bank-sued-for-not-having-accessible-atms-for-blind-people/, June 28, 2012
USA: Michigan Department of Transportation and Indian Trails Launch Bus Fleet with ‘Hearing Loop’ Technology
The inside of a bus, train, airplane or transportation terminal can be noisy enough that passengers with ordinary hearing aids can’t separate important public announcements from the sound of a crowd, a crying baby, background music, or nearby conversations. A hearing loop can make a dramatic difference, enabling most hearing aid wearers to clearly hear the PA system by broadcasting its sound directly into their ears. Hearing loops are based on a simple technology that enables hearing aids equipped with “telecoils” or “T-coils” to amplify a single source of sound (telephone, television, PA system, etc.) instead of amplifying all sounds, as ordinary hearing aids do. Nearly 70 percent of hearing aids in the U.S. are already equipped with telecoils, which are just tiny coils of copper wire.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/06/28/michigan-department-of-transportation-and-indian-trails-launch-first-u-s-bus-fleet-with-hearing-loop-technology/, June 27, 2012
France: Robot Technology helps Blind People Navigate Indoor and Outdoor Spaces Independently
Robots need help navigating their surroundings and sophisticated location systems keep track of their position. Now, the same technologies are being adapted to help people who are blind navigate indoor and outdoor spaces independently. One such system, being developed by Edwige Pissaloux and colleagues at the Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France, consists of a pair of glasses equipped with cameras and sensors like those used in robot exploration.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/06/27/robot-technology-helps-blind-people-to-navigate-indoor-and-outdoor-spaces-independently/, June 27, 2012
EU Foreign Affairs Council adopts New Human Rights Package
The EU Foreign Affairs Council has adopted the new Human Rights package. Advocacy efforts have lead to a reference to disability rights, including a specific focus on the CRPD, the EU Disability strategy, and development programmes.
From http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DISABILITY/Resources/2806581298502475589/article_on_EU_HR_package.docx, June 26, 2012
EU: Unlocking Europe's Potential through Accessibility
More than 70 parliamentarians, policy experts and representatives of disabled people's organizations will gather at the European Parliament for a high-level debate on how to unlock Europe's potential through accessibility, under the lead of Dr Ádám Kósa MEP, the Essl Foundation and the World Future Council, and in collaboration with the European Disability Forum.
From http://bit.ly/NSkfLB, June 26, 2012
Botswana Revises Building Regulations to Accommodate Persons with Disabilities
The Attorney General is revising building control regulations to cater for the needs of people with physical disabilities, the Minister of Transport and Communications Nonofo Molefhi has said. The revised draft of the 1981 Building Control Regulations seeks to make it mandatory that buildings should cater for people with disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/06/25/botswana-revises-building-regulations-to-accommodate-persons-with-disabilities/, June 25, 2012