USA: Proposed Bill on Technology, Education and Accessibility in College and Higher Education Act, Aims to Provide Access to Technology in Class
The NFB is leading the effort through a draft bill that would mandate that the Access Board, a federal independent agency, create national accessibility standards for higher-education technology.
From http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130714/NEWS08/307140109, July 15, 2013
Zero Project 2014 - Call for Nomination
The European Foundation Centre recently started a cooperation with ESSL Foundation and the World Future Council on the drafting of the Zero Project 2014 and will have accessibility as its main focus. The Zero Project´s mission is to support the rights of persons with disabilities, as stated in the UN Convention adopted on 13 December 2006.
From http://www.zeroproject.org, July 15, 2013
USA: Accessible Prescription Drug Label Bill Signed by President Obama
President Obama Signs Landmark Accessible Prescription Drug Label Bill - AFB Applauds White House and Congress for Protecting the Safety of Americans with Vision Loss. On July 9, President Barack Obama signed into law the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, which brings us a step closer to ensuring Americans with vision loss have access to the important information on their prescription labels. The Act includes provisions that establish national best practices for retail and other pharmacies to use in providing accessible prescription drug labeling to customers with vision loss. This includes proper dosage, the name of the medication, accompanying information about possible side effects, and more.
From http://www.disabled-world.com/medical/hr-4087.php, July 12, 2013
Australia: Launch of World-first Technology to Enable Blind and Vision Impaired to Enjoy Live Theatre
From today, a cutting-edge new app will enable people who are blind or vision impaired to enjoy live theatre by providing high-quality audio descriptions on their mobile devices, including smart phones and tablets. Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers Amanda Rishworth today launched the GoTheatrical! mobile app, developed by award-winning Australian company The Captioning Studio, at the Art Gallery of South Australia.
From http://amandarishworth.fahcsia.gov.au/node/65, July 09, 2013
Device Could Help the Blind See Images with Their Ears
Researchers with the University of Bath’s psychology department in the U.K. have a device that they claim may be able to train the brain to do this today, teaching people to conjure mental images of what they’re hearing in their vicinity. While the research just out deals with blindfolded sighted people, the implications for the blind and partially-sighted are substantial, the impetus being that by exploiting neuroplasticity — the idea that the brain can essentially rewire itself to compensate, whether functioning with a missing limb or an absent sensory input — you might be able to train a brain to visualize its surroundings just by listening to them.
From http://techland.time.com/2013/07/09/this-device-could-help-the-blind-see-images-with-their-ears/#ixzz2YdphXcww, July 09, 2013
The Longevity Economy Goes Mobile -- 2013 Market Overview of Technology for Aging and Caregiving
Baby boomers have changed every other market they touch – and they are propelling the market of technology for boomers and seniors, families and professional caregivers. In 2013, this opportunity is remarkable for the steady stream of mobile offerings and new vendors, according to the newly-updated report by Aging in Place Technology Watch. The growth of mobile interfaces to services ‘in the cloud,’ coupled with numerous caregiving smart phone and tablet apps amid the explosion of digital health investment, marks benefit for older adults and those who help with their care -- according to Laurie M. Orlov, founder of the market research firm.
From http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1344616, July 08, 2013
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