The Digital Silver Lining for Inclusive Technology
Mainstream devices are becoming increasingly user-friendly for disabled people as design becomes more inclusive for all of us. The gap between usability and accessibility is narrowing and with it the digital divide between disabled and non-disabled people.
From http://www.computerweekly.com/opinion/The-digital-silver-lining-for-technology-inclusivity, July 08, 2013
USA: New FCC Speaker Series Highlighting Accessibility
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has begun a new Accessibility and Innovation Speaker Series to “highlight and encourage innovation in accessible communications technologies” benefiting people with disabilities. The Series begins on July 16, 2013, when Clayton Lewis from the University of Colorado will present on “The Future of Inclusive Design Online.” Professor Lewis’s presentation will highlight developments in technology and how they are working to ensure accessibility for people with functional needs through providing opportunities for superior access. The presentation will begin at 10 AM in the FCC Commission Meeting Room and will be followed by an accessible technology demonstration.
From http://wirelessrerc.gatech.edu/content/newsroom/new-fcc-speaker-series-highlighting-accessibility, July 05, 2013
USA: National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Allocations
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) announced the 2013-2014 funding allocations for entities eligible to receive support and reimbursements under the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP). The NDBEDP is a program mandated by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) that enables low-income individuals who are deaf-blind to have access to the Internet and advanced communications, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services. Each year, the FCC allocates $10 million to NDBEDP, $500,000 of which is used for national outreach efforts, and the rest goes to one entity per state chosen to receive support for the local distribution of equipment.
From http://wirelessrerc.gatech.edu/content/newsroom/national-deaf-blind-equipment-distribution-allocations, July 05, 2013
EveryBody: An Artifact History of Disability in America
Many stories and events related to people with disabilities never make it into the history books or shared public memories. Familiar concepts and events such as citizenship, work, and wars become more complicated, challenge our assumptions about what counts as history, and transform our connection with each other when viewed from the historical perspective of people with disabilities, America’s largest minority.
From http://everybody.si.edu/, July 04, 2013
USA: New Deadlines for Closed Captioning Rules
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice noting the deadlines concerning the June 14, 2013 Order on Reconsideration and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) in the Matter of Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 [MB Docket No. 11-154].
From http://www.wirelessrerc.gatech.edu/content/newsroom/new-deadlines-closed-captioning-rules?sthash.uL7RbwXg.mjjo, July 04, 2013
Google Petitioned on Accessibility
Software giant Google has been petitioned by J.P. Shandra, a blind user, to make each of its products usable for people with disability. The petition, posted on global consumer campaigning site Change.org, identifies that Google is failing to keep up with its competitors on accessibility.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/general/google-petitioned-on-accessibility, July 03, 2013
Microsoft Develops 3D Touchscreen with Tactile Feedback
Details of a touchscreen showing 3D images that can be felt and manipulated have been published by Microsoft's research unit. The project combines an LCD flat panel screen with force sensors and a robotic arm that moves it back and forwards.
From http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23132678, July 03, 2013
Montreal Lab Developing Video Games About Social Impact
There’s no shortage of video games that give you a sense of what it’s like to fire a weapon, but few explore how and where they get made — and their unforeseen consequences on a global scale. That’s the focus of a game in the works tentatively called Gun Factory, one of four projects at a Concordia University lab that helps produce games with an eye toward social change.
From http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/montreal-lab-developing-video-games-about-social-impact/article12911725/, July 03, 2013
Sign Language Service Available in Japanese Rail Stations
The East Japan Railway Company has added a new customer service capability for its passengers who use sign language: video remote interpreting. Passengers can now use an iPad in 7 stations to communicate with customer support via sign language interpreters, getting answers to their questions about schedules, tickets, etc. The service is part of a larger initiative that also provides translation access in English, Chinese, and Korean -- universal design in customer care.
From http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/06/19/business/sign-language-service-via-ipads-tested-by-jr-east/, July 03, 2013
Hiring People with Disabilities Less Daunting Than We Think
York Chow Yat-ngok's appointment as the new head of the Equal Opportunities Commission should be a positive step for people with disabilities since he has a wealth of experience serving voluntary orgs that promote their rights. This, together with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's proclamation in his policy address that people can only be truly integrated into their community through employment, should bode well in terms of enabling people with disabilities to get equal access to employment.
From http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1199120/hiring-people-disabilities-less-daunting-we-think, July 03, 2013