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Australia: Municipal Association of Victoria Unlocks Power of Digital Accessibility
The peak body representing local councils in the Australian state of Victoria partners with Media Access Australia to deliver upskilling, training and best practice on digital accessibility enabling its members to boost inclusion and community engagement. One particularly pressing compliance issue for the MAV’s members, and an area in which a clear skill and knowledge gap existed, is the councils’ ability to meet the legislative requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act. The Australian Human Rights Commission, which enforces the act, has advised that all websites should be compliant to Level AA of the global web accessibility standard, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/professional-services/case-study-municipal-association-of-victoria-unlocks-power-of-digital-accessibility, May 12, 2015

Norway: Lessons from Skandia Bank's Accessibility Journey
Norwegian bank Skandiabanken’s Snorre Kim discusses why a major national bank decided to put digital accessibility at the front and centre of its recent website redesign and move to a new banking platform.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/news/lessons-from-skandia-bank%E2%80%99s-accessibility-journey, May 12, 2015

USA: Students Create Tactile 3D Campus Map to Assist Students with Vision Disabilities
For Holly Carneal, a social work major at the University of Central Missouri, college life presents the daily challenges faced by many college students. However, as a blind student, Carneal and her guide dog, Stella, face the additional challenge of learning to navigate campus without the benefit of being able to read a traditional printed campus map. Intrigued by the possibility of creating such a map of the main UCM campus, Loch contacted the UCM Office of Accessibility Services. Services coordinator Cathy Seeley in turn contacted Kyle Palmer, professor of drafting and design in the UCM School of Technology, about taking on such a project using the three-dimensional printing technology available in the school’s Design and Drafting Technology CADD program.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/12/students-create-tactile-3d-campus-map-to-assist-students-with-vision-disabilities/, May 12, 2015

India: Students Develop ‘Gesture Vocaliser’ to Help People with Hearing Disabilities
A group of girl students of BTech final year Electronics & Communication Engineering of Holy Grace Academy of Engineering, Mala, has developed a ‘Gesture Vocaliser’ to help people with speech disabilities communicate through sound. S. Deepthi, Delna Domini, Minu Varghese and Nimya Varghese say their system enables people who are deaf and mute to talk with others. “The device-based body positioning technique (mainly hand gestures) is used here. The aim of this system is to make a simple prototype by taking the gestures and converting it into audio and visual form so that it can be understood by everyone,” said Minu Varghese.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/04/students-develop-gesture-vocaliser-to-help-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, May 08, 2015

South Korean Firm Develops Graphic Tactile Display for People with Vision Disabilities
Tactisplay Corp. located in South Korea has developed a prototype of graphic tactile display for people who are blind. This device has individually actuated 3,072 cells configured in 64 column with 48 rows. With this configuration, it can show graphic information in raised tactile dots.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/04/south-korean-firm-develops-graphic-tactile-display-for-people-with-vision-disabilities/, May 08, 2015

Switzerland: People with Disabilities in Emergencies
ICRC-hosted event calls for greater awareness and inclusion of people with disabilities during humanitarian crises. More needs to be done to ensure that people with disabilities – both mental and physical – are not left behind or forgotten during humanitarian crises. This was the core message coming out of a briefing in Geneva hosted jointly by the ICRC and Human Rights Watch on "Persons with Disabilities in Emergencies."
From https://www.icrc.org/en/document/people-disabilities-emergencies, May 08, 2015

Disability Rights Boosted in Ecuador with New Funding Plans
Agreements signed with the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion will provide $250,000 to five national federations of persons with disability. Ecuador’s Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion has signed agreements with key bodies representing people with disabilities, with the aim of furthering their rights. The agreement was reached with five national federations that seek to ensure that all rights of people with disabilities are upheld and that public policy is enacted in compliance with the 2012 Organic Law for Disabilities.
From http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Disability-Rights-Boosted-in-Ecuador-with-New-Funding-Plans-20150504-0021.html, May 08, 2015

Saudi Arabian Airlines to Introduce Flight Guide in Braille
Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) will introduce a comprehensive flight guide in Braille for passengers who are blind or have love vision. The airline offers all of its services for to people with disabilities and disadvantaged through trained and well-qualified staff, in addition to elevators, special meals and. “Now, menus, safety procedures and magazines printed in Braille in-flight.”
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/01/saudi-arabian-airlines-to-introduce-flight-guide-in-braille/, May 04, 2015

UN Calls for Critical Disability Rights Reforms
The Croatian government should urgently heed the calls by United Nations disability rights experts to improve its disability rights record, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 17, 2015, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recommended that the Croatian government should do more to protect the rights of people with disabilities, including legal reform and ensuring that everyone with a disability who is in an institution has the opportunity to move into the community.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/01/un-calls-for-critical-disability-rights-reforms/, May 04, 2015

USA: Assistive Technology is a Needed Tool in the City’s Resource-Starved Schools
Touch-to-speak technology, a form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) that supplements or replaces existing speech, is not new. In fact, it is decades old. But the intelligibility, capabilities, and cost of this critical resource have improved dramatically in recent years, and so has our knowledge of when and how to use it. Today’s devices incorporate an individual's full communication abilities – integrating existing speech or vocalizations, gestures, manual signs, and aided communication. They also allow children to create their own stories.
From http://thenotebook.org/april-2015/158392/assistive-technology-needed-tool-city%E2%80%99s-resource-starved-schools?, May 02, 2015

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