India: Braille Ballot Paper to Help Blind People Cast Their Vote
Blind people of the state of Punjab in northern India would now be able to exercise their franchise “independently, confidently, and fearlessly”, and without anybody’s assistance in the upcoming Assembly polls on January 30, 2012. Ballot papers in Braille for blind people are being printed at Chandigarh’s National Institute for Blind.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/01/23/ballot-paper-in-braille-to-help-blind-people-cast-their-vote-in-upcoming-assembly-election/, January 23, 2012
USA: Theater Meets Students' Sensory Needs
Going to the movies to eat popcorn and watch a new film on the big screen is a favorite pastime for many children and their parents. But for some families, every day activities like a movie can be difficult, which is why the Durham Public Schools Office of Exceptional Children initiated a series of movie screenings for special audiences. Last spring, the school system partnered with Stadium 10 Cinemas at Northgate to host a trial run of a customized movie screening for students with sensory sensitivities, such as those with autism or attention deficit disorder. That first showing was such a success that cinema manager Joe Backus pledged to host the events monthly.
From http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/01/20/1790695/theater-meets-sensory-needs.html#storylink=cpy, January 23, 2012
World Down Syndrome Day at UN – 3/21 – “Building our Future”
The first official World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) will be celebrated at the UN Headquarters in NY, on March 21 2012 (3/21), with the Conference “Building Our Future”. Inclusive education, political participation, independent living, how to work with the media and research are some of the topics that will be discussed.
The event is sponsored by the Missions of Brazil and Poland to the UN and organized byDown Syndrome International with the collaboration of the Brazilian Federation of Associations of Down Syndrome (FBASD), Down España, Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation (DSRTF), National Down Syndrome Center (NDSC) and National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).
From http://www.inclusive.org.br/?p=21921, January 23, 2012
USA: Apps the Key to Revolutionizing Autism Learning?
Veronica is six years old and severely affected by autism. She has significant learning difficulties and finds many social situations very difficult. She lost all her speech three years ago. But in common with many other children like her, touchscreen computers have provided a way of learning and communicating that plays to her strengths. As a result, devices like iPads are fast becoming a 'must-have' for many families of children with autism.
From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16534678, January 23, 2012
Digital Health Care Puts Control in Consumer Hands
For years, do-it-yourself health care meant looking up your symptoms on WebMD. But smart phones are extending our control, with apps that let people plan and track workouts, monitor important health indicators, and even locate nearby clinical trials. Apple's App Store alone offers thousands of mobile health apps. Digital health care tech isn't just for hipsters. It's also for those young merely at heart. The Aging Technology Alliance formed a few years ago to help the elderly and their caregivers better take advantage of the latest health care tools.
From http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=digital-healthcare-puts-control-in-12-01-19, January 19, 2012
USA: Prize On Offer for Star Trek Type Medical Device
Could the ‘tricorder’ medical diagnostic tool used by Star Trek’s Drs McCoy and Spock, become a future reality? To encourage the design and build of such an innovative gadget a prize of ten million dollars (£6.5m) is up for grabs courtesy of The Qualcomm Foundation. This was announced during last week’s Las Vegas-centred Consumer Electronics Show. The Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize challenges scientists to build a portable device that can detect key health measurements and is able to diagnose a list of 15 diseases and must not exceed 5lb (2.2kg).
From http://www.pabnews.com/23280/high-prize-on-offer-for-star-trek-type-medical-device/, January 19, 2012
USA: OFCCP Publishes Proposal to Improve Job Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities
The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing a new rule that would require federal contractors and subcontractors to set a hiring goal of having 7 percent of their workforces be people with disabilities, among other requirements. The department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs invites public comment on this proposal, which was published in the December 9 edition of the Federal Register
From http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/sec503/Sec503_Media_Release_2011-12-07.htm, January 18, 2012
UK: London Olympic 2012 Route Network: Wheelchair Users Concerns
Tower Hamlets-based wheelchair-user Pat Davey feels that even though the Olympic Games are on his doorstep, locals have been sidelined. "I was born in Bow and have lived in Tower Hamlets my whole life. I've been tetraplegic since a car accident broke my neck 10 years ago. The Olympics is a prestigious event, but they haven't given a thought for the local people.
From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16491988, January 17, 2012
USA: FCC Prohibits Text-to-Speech
This post is Part 1 of 5 in a series of reports on the contents of the FCC Fifth Report and Order released on January 10, 2012, which amends the Emergency Alert System (EAS) rules to accommodate Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) messages.
From http://www.awareforum.org/2012/01/fcc-prohibits-text-to-speech/, January 17, 2012
USA: Speech Therapist Filed Felony Battery Charges Against an Autistic Student
When the news broke last week that a speech therapist filed felony battery charges against an autistic student, the incident sparked discussion about whether the legal system is the best way to handle special-needs children when they act out. Some said Ferry Pass Middle School speech therapist Kathy Roupe, 57, was right to do what she believed was necessary to feel safe when 13-year-old Conner Brown hit her in the head "with so much force, it felt like my skull cracked." Others were appalled and asked "Who would file charges against an autistic child?"
From http://www.pnj.com/article/20120115/NEWS01/201150320/Charges-against-special-needs-children-create-legal-limbo, January 16, 2012