India: The Centre for Internet and Society Kickstarts National Resource Kit Project for Persons with Disabilities
The Centre for Internet & Society is engaged in a two-and-a-half year project starting from August 2012 to create a national resource kit of state-wise laws, policies and programmes on issues relating to persons with disabilities in India. This project is supported by the Hans Foundation. The Resource Kit will be brought out in both English and Hindi and disseminated to policy makers from panchayat to ministry levels throughout India.
From http://cis-india.org/accessibility/creating-a-national-resource-kit-for-persons-with-disabilities, September 28, 2012
Windows 8 Adds an App Store, Lets Users Search only for Accessible Apps
The latest version of Microsoft Windows, Windows 8, is due for release in late October 2012 and is radically different to its predecessors. The main difference is that Windows 8 has been developed for both traditional computers and touchscreen devices such as tablets. Like Apple and Google Android operating systems, Windows 8 includes an app store, allowing users to easily download additional software. Unlike Apple and Android, however, the Windows Store lets users search only for apps which the developer has certified as accessible. A version of Windows 8 for tablets, called Windows RT, only allows software from the Windows Store to be installed.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/general/windows-8-accessibility, September 27, 2012
Jordanian Minister of Education Translates Curricula into Braille
Minister of Education Fayez Saudi on Monday said the ministry was committed to providing schools with qualified staff capable of dealing with students with disabilities. During a visit to the Royal Academy for the Blind, he noted that the ministry has translated school curricula into Braille. The four-storey academy, a cooperative effort of the Royal Court, the education ministry and the Higher Council for the Affairs of Persons with Disabilities, was established last year upon Royal directives.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/09/26/jordanian-minister-of-education-translates-curricula-into-braille/, September 26, 2012
YouTube Debuts Video Translator for 300 Languages
With 70 percent of its global audience living outside of the U.S., the video hosting platform introduces a new tool to make caption translations easier for video makers. YouTube has two types of translating services. One is the automatic caption translation service that uses Google Translate and has more than 60 languages. The other service translates more uncommon languages by letting users integrate the YouTube Video Manager with the Google Translator Toolkit.
From http://www.textually.org/tv/archives/2012/09/031095.htm, September 25, 2012
Human Support Robot: Toyota's Personal Assistant for People With Disabilities
Toyota recently announced a new personal robot that has been designed to be an assistant of sorts for people with disabilities, essentially helping them live more independently. The Human Support Robot (HSR) can be controlled using any tablet like device. The tablet can also be placed on top of HSR which would allow communication between the robot's owner and other people (caregivers) using Skype or other similar communication tools. HSR is capable of picking things up from the floor/atop tables/counters, opening & closing curtains, and fetching things for the owner, which may not be easy tasks for elderly or disabled people.
From http://www.assistivetechnologyblog.com/2012/09/human-support-robot-toyotas-personal.html, September 25, 2012
USA: Arizona State University Aims to Improve Access to STEM Classes for Students with Vision Disabilities
Arizona State University is kicking off a pilot program aimed at improving access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes for students who are blind or low vision. Called 3D-IMAGINE (Image Arrays to Graphically Implement New Education), the program will use three-dimensional materials to enhance independent learning. Researchers are seeking as many program participants as possible from both ASU and the wider community.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/08/22/arizona-state-university-aims-to-improve-access-to-stem-classes-for-students-with-vision-disabilities/, September 25, 2012
USA: National Council on Disability Releases Federal Disability Policy 'State of the Union' for 2012
On Tuesday, September 18, the National Council on Disability (NCD) released its annual progress report on national disability policy. In the report, NCD assesses the state of federal disability policy in the last year and examines how emerging trends and government policies influence the quality of life of Americans with disabilities. The report notes progress where it has occurred and makes recommendations to both the executive and legislative branches where necessary.
From http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/09182012, September 18, 2012
Feature: Business May Find Disability as Important as Environmentalism
Disabled people are not just potential employees. While working at Merrill Lynch, Rich Donovan, who has cerebral palsy, looked at disabled people as an emerging market and found it much bigger than he expected: “1.1 billion people, that’s the size of China.” He noted two trends. A generation of people who had benefited from disability laws is coming out of education and into work; second, as the babyboomers age, disabilities are spreading rapidly. That means rising demand for products and services for this unprecedentedly wealthy and consumerist generation.
From http://www.economist.com/node/21562229?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/the_new_green, September 17, 2012
Canada: SOVO Launches Standards Compliance Program for Broadcasters Performing Live Closed Captioning
SOVO Technologies Inc, a supplier of turnkey services and great technology innovator in the field of closed captioning for the hearing impaired, on September 4 announces the launch of a compliance program aimed at enabling Canadian broadcasters to meet their new obligations related to French closed captioning. This initiative follows a decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on February 21st to impose mandatory standards for French-language closed captioning as a condition of licence to broadcasters, notably regarding the captioning of live programs. These new obligations have taken effect on September 1st 2012.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com, September 17, 2012
China Conducts Technological Training for Persons with Disabilities
The Ruzhou Disabled Persons’ Federation has conducted four rural practical technological training courses for persons with disabilities in townships and villages since July. More than 400 persons with disabilities and their relatives attended the courses. Technicians gave detailed introductions to persons with disabilities and their relatives on scientific farming, cultivation and household appliance maintenance. They also answered questions regarding technology and provided living allowances to trainees. Persons with disabilities responded enthusiastically to the courses. They all said that the home training courses gave them access to helpful scientific technology.
From http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/m/henan/ruzhou/2012-09/17/content_15761658.htm, September 17, 2012