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UAE: Sign Language Customer Service for People with Hearing Disabilities
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has announced that it is to provide live video connections to people with hearing disabilities to allow them to make inquiries about ministry services using sign language. The service was created in cooperation with the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care, which will provide a trained staff member to communicate with customers with hearing disabilities. Customer service staff will later be trained on sign language communication.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/16/sign-language-customer-service-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, October 20, 2014

UAE: Abu Dhabi to Offer Tourist Information in Braille
Tourists and residents with vision disabilities visiting Abu Dhabi are now being offered information on the destination in Braille. A brochure outlining ‘Ten Things to Know about Abu Dhabi, its Al Gharbia Western Region and heritage heartland of Al Ain’ has been produced in Braille and is now ready to circulate through the emirate’s tourism authority’s 10 overseas offices, its visitor centers in the emirate, and at key events.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/15/abu-dhabi-to-offer-tourist-information-in-braille/, October 20, 2014

The Importance of Information and Communication Technologies in Building an Inclusive Society
Over the coming weeks, ITU’s 193 Member States will be meeting in Busan, Republic of Korea for the 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference. This event is of great importance for the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, as ITU Member States will approve a Strategic Plan which ITU will implement over the next four years with the aim of achieving further progress towards a fully connected global society.
From http://itu4u.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/the-importance-of-information-and-communication-technologies-in-building-an-inclusive-society/, October 20, 2014

India: Mobile Technology Could Open New Possibilities for People with Disabilities
On Monday, the School of Information hosted Dr. Samuel N. Mathew, executive director of the National Institute of Speech & Hearing and director of the Regional Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Kerala, India, who delivered a lecture on access to technology for people with disabilities. During the talk, Mathew highlighted the necessity of mobile technology platforms for improving the quality of life for people with disabilities in India. He said these platforms can be especially beneficial for the visually challenged, speech-impaired, hearing-impaired, those with limited cognition and agility impairment and people on the autism spectrum.
From http://www.michigandaily.com/news/technology-access-people-disabilties, October 20, 2014

USA: SSB BART Group CEO Recognized by White House
On Tuesday, October 14, one of SSB’s own, Tim Springer will be honored by the White House as a Disability Employment Champion of Change. The White House Champions of Change program recognizes every day Americans who are making positive changes in their communities, and this event will honor those doing extraordinary work to make workplaces more accessible and create employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
From https://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/2014/10/13/ssb-bart-group-ceo-recognized-at-white-house-event/, October 14, 2014

Million Dollar Boost for Low Cost Braille Display
An international project to build a low-cost refreshable braille display for computers is reaching fruition, with new plans announced for a technology retailing at less than 20% of current prices. Refreshable braille devices are formed of plastic “cells”, small grids of holes through which rods rise and fall, triggered by an electric current using a technology known as “piezoelectric”. A line of Braille forms as a computer reads across text.
From http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=1061, October 10, 2014

Mapping Mobility Access Across Europe
An open source map that plots information on accessibility of public spaces is being enhanced by a European Commission-funded research project. An open source map that plots information on accessibility of public spaces is being enhanced by a European Commission-funded research project.
From http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=1059, October 10, 2014

Lack of Skills and Awareness Fuel Web Inaccessibility: Survey
Lack of skills or knowledge and lack of awareness of web accessibility are responsible for the great majority of website accessibility problems, according to a US survey of web accessibility practitioners. Almost four in 10 respondents (36.6%) rated lack of skills and knowledge as the primary reason behind web site accessibility; and only slightly fewer (36.2%) lack of awareness. Other factors cited were Fear that accessibility will hinder the look, feel, or functionality of a website (13.2%); and lack of budget or resources to make it accessible (13.9%).
From http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=1057, October 10, 2014

India: New Smartphone App for People with Vision Disabilities Launched
An application equipped with Braille typing feature that promises to assist people with vision disabilities in using all features of a smartphone was launched here Thursday on World Sight Day. SimplEye, a custom-designed application developed by Kriyate, a Delhi-based enterprise, is available for all android-based devices and was launched by Minister of State for Rural Development Upendra Kushwaha at the Jawaharlal Nehru University here. It can be downloaded for free from Google play store.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/10/new-smartphone-app-for-people-with-vision-disabilities-launched/, October 10, 2014

USA: Box at Penn State Delivers Accessible E-textbooks to Students with Disabilities
With the binding and cover already removed from a course psychology book, Mike Farley carefully feeds each of the 240 pages through a high-resolution flatbed scanner. He converts the paper into electronic text files using specialized software and is able to view the newly scanned chapters of the book on his computer. Collecting the pages from the scanner, he shuffles them into order and compares the printed version to the digital text. After fixing some minor errors and making slight adjustments to the dimensions of the digital book, he saves the file as a PDF and uploads it onto Box at Penn State — a cloud-based file storage, sharing and collaboration service from Box.com.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/02/box-at-penn-state-delivers-accessible-e-textbooks-to-students-with-disabilities/, October 10, 2014

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