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India Launches National Action Plan for Skill Training of Persons with Disabilities
On Saturday, March 21, 2015, India launched a new National Action Plan for Skill Training of Persons with Disabilities, at a day long conference held in Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, India. The National Action Plan is the result of a collaboration between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability within the Ministry for Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE), for the training of 2.5 million persons with disabilities over the next seven years.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/03/24/india-launches-national-action-plan-for-skill-training-of-persons-with-disabilities/, March 24, 2015

UN Chief Urges Inclusion, Equality for Persons with Down Syndrome
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed for better access and equality to health services for persons with Down syndrome. “Too often, persons with disabilities – including those with Down syndrome – face stigma, discrimination and exclusion,” said Mr. Ban in a message for World Down Syndrome Day, observed on 21 March, with a special focus this year on “Health and Wellbeing: Access and Equality for All.”
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/03/23/un-chief-urges-inclusion-equality-for-persons-with-down-syndrome-2/, March 24, 2015

UN Conference in Sendai Adopts Action Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction incorporating Disability-inclusive Perspectives
The third U.N. World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction was held from March 14 to 18, 2015, in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, focusing one of its working sessions on “disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction” for the first time. The Post-Hyogo Framework for Action adopted at the Sendai conference incorporated the need for disaster management measures inclusive of persons with disabilities and expected to be reflected in future disaster management measures of member states and an important milestone for disability inclusion in international development frameworks such as the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be adopted next fall.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/03/20/un-conference-in-sendai-adopts-action-framework-on-disaster-risk-reduction-incorporating-disability-inclusive-perspectives/, March 24, 2015

Most Zambians to Afford ICT
Government is developing the National Information and Communication Technology - ICT strategic and implementation plan to enable Zambians to afford various services using ICT. Transport, Communications, Works and Supply Minister Yamfwa Mukanga says government has prioritized the development of the ICT sector as it has potential to contribute to economic development.
From http://www.znbc.co.zm/?p=8700, March 22, 2015

Towards Digital Bangladesh
On January 12, 2014, the present government has elapsed one more year towards the destination of Digital Bangladesh. Though one year is not enough for a great leap in progress, I believe, within a year we could initiate a lot of things which would help us to materialize the Digital Bangladesh. I would like to depict a brief picture of the achievements of the ICT sector in 2014 and our initiation and attempts for achieving Digital Bangladesh in the last year.
From http://www.thedailystar.net/supplements/24th-anniversary-the-daily-star-part-1/towards-digital-bangladesh-72925, March 22, 2015

UK: Our Cities Must Undergo a Revolution for Older People
Cities are designed for a mythical average person – super-mobile, without dependants or disabilities but with a cast-iron bladder. This person is more likely to be young than old. And yet by 2030, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities and, in high-income societies, a quarter of them will be over the age of 60. There’s a paradox at the heart of cities and old people, and it’s this: all the research on health and wellbeing – and there’s reams of it – suggests that old people are more content and more likely to flourish if they go out, participate in local life and have a decent amount of social interaction.
From http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/15/age-friendly-cities-design-future, March 20, 2015

Design for User Empowerment
As an accessibility researcher, I have noticed that some of the best work comes when there are people with disabilities on the design and development team, contributing to all aspects of the design and implementation, not just as participants in user studies. I call this strong engagement by users design for user empowerment, meaning, in its strongest sense, that the users of the technology are empowered to solve their own accessibility problems. Here, I will try to explain, mostly using examples, why this approach is so powerful.
From http://interactions.acm.org/archive/view/march-april-2015/design-for-user-empowerment, March 20, 2015

Zimbabwe: National ICT Policy Needs Re-Look
The Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services has been directed to have a relook at the National ICT Policy before presenting it to Cabinet. Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira said this while opening the third e-Tech Africa exhibition recently.
From http://allafrica.com/stories/201503190395.html, March 20, 2015

Policymakers Must Support Families Affected by Down Syndrome
For many parents, the realization that their child has Down syndrome is a whirlwind of emotions. Still in some parts of Europe in 2015 a diagnosis of Down syndrome can be a sentence to a life of institutionalization, without hope or possibilities, writes Maureen Clarke.
From http://www.euractiv.com/sections/health-consumers/policy-makers-must-support-families-affected-down-syndrome-313107, March 20, 2015

Australia: Supporting Research Into Social Inclusion for People with a Disability
Vision Australia supports valuable research into the social inclusion of people with a disability. This research is being carried out by Scope Victoria, who provide a range of disability services, including accommodation and respite care, across Victoria.
From http://www.visionaustralia.org/about-us/news-and-media/latest-news/news/2015/03/16/supporting-research-into-social-inclusion-for-people-with-a-disability, March 19, 2015

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