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Making National Parks More Accessible for People with Vision Disabilities
A team of University of Hawaii at Manoa researchers has received a $278,300 National Park Service grant for the development of new technologies to provide dynamic experiences for visitors with vision disabilities of national parks. Led by Assistant Professor Brett Oppegaard from the School of Communications, the group will explore the use of digital communication to convert traditional “unigrid” brochures used at all national parks into an audio description-format that better serves visually impaired audiences.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/11/making-national-parks-more-accessible-for-people-with-vision-disabilities/, December 12, 2014

Swedish City Wins the Access City Award 2015
The European Commission (EC) has announced the Swedish city of Borås is the winner of the 2015 Access City Award. The Award recognizes Borås’s comprehensive and strategic approach to creating an accessible city for all; a good example of local action to help removing the many barriers that people with disabilities still face in their daily life.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/10/swedish-city-wins-the-access-city-award-2015/, December 12, 2014

Toronto Police Introduce Text 9-1-1 Service for People with Hearing Disabilities
The Toronto Police Service, along with emergency services partners, have announced that the T9-1-1 service for people who are deaf or Hard of Hearing in Toronto. The Text with 9-1-1 Service (T9-1-1) for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Speech Impaired (DHHSI) Community is now available in the city of Toronto.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/09/toronto-police-introduce-text-9-1-1-service-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, December 12, 2014

Australia: The Accessible Exit Sign Project
Early in 2013, Lee Wilson, Director of Egress Group Pty Ltd embarked on a journey to write an evacuation guidebook for people with disabilities. It was during the research to prepare the book that he identified a major problem with exit signs currently provided in commercial buildings, facilities, ships and other forms of transportation.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/09/the-accessible-exit-sign-project/, December 11, 2014

Driverless Cars Launch in Four UK Cities Next Month
Four UK cities have been chosen to test driverless cars, starting in January 2015. Thanks to $15 million of funding from Innovate UK, the trials are set to take place in Greenwich, Milton Keynes and Bristol. Greenwich's proposed GATEway project will focus on safety and integrating autonomous vehicles into a busy transport system.
From http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-12/04/uk-driverless-car-trial-cities, December 10, 2014

Open Source Hardware Companies Blend Altruism with Bottom Line
It's very easy for open source users around the world to collaboratively share data and files to modify software. Everyday examples include products like Mozilla Firefox and Chromium which allow users to modify, study, deconstruct and even distribute the programs in a collaborative way with no worry of patent or warranty infringement.
From http://www.kunc.org/post/open-source-hardware-companies-blend-altruism-bottom-line#.VIiFbVrnSCA.twitter, December 10, 2014

Orange and USAID Join Forces to Boost mHealth Innovations Across Africa
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and global telecommunications operator Orange announced a new alliance to develop innovations in mobile health (mHealth) at the Global mHealth Forum in Washington, DC. These mHealth innovations will help treat and care for individuals in developing countries across Africa. “With the increasing use and decreasing cost of mobile phones, leveraging mobile phone technology to accelerate access to health information and services is a game changer,” said Dr. Ariel Pablos-Méndez, USAID’s Assistant Administrator for Global Health. “USAID’s partnerships with private companies, such as Orange, enable us to have a larger impact in a cost-effective manner.”
From http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20141210005848/en/Orange-USAID-join-forces-boost-mHealth-innovations#.VIiFw3vEjX5, December 10, 2014

Will the Home of the Future Improve Our Health?
According to BK Yoon, that would be one of the benefits in their vision of the 'home of the future'. Who is BK Yoon? He's President and CEO of Samsung Electronics. Last Friday, I listened as he delivered the opening keynote of IFA 2014, which is the largest consumer electronics and home appliance show in Europe.
From http://maneeshjuneja.com/blog/2014/9/9/future-home-health, December 09, 2014

UK: Budget Mobile VR Headset Launches
A couple of months ago, a small team from Carl Zeiss visited our office to show us a prototype of the VR One, a smartphone-enabled mobile headset they'd cooked up. They wanted to make it available in December, but what they showed us what little more than a proof of concept -- a moulded-plastic viewfinder that relied on hard finger-taps in order to back out of the few apps they'd cooked up. It was externally attractive, but it was internally clumsy, and Zeiss was hoping that developers would pick up the slack when the unit became available.
From http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-12/04/new-improved-vr-headset, December 09, 2014

IBM, Apple Reveal First Fruits of Partnership
International Business Machines Corp. and Apple Inc. on Wednesday are unveiling the first fruits of a collaboration announced this summer, a set of 10 apps designed to exploit the push by businesses to adapt to the mobile era.
From http://www.wsj.com/articles/ibm-apple-reveal-first-fruits-of-partnership-1418218201, December 09, 2014

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