CIP Information Day Workshop on Health, Ageing Well and Inclusion
On 15 January 2013 the European Commission will hold an information day on Call 7 of the Competitiveness & Innovation Programme ICT Policy Support Programme (CIP ICT PSP). The morning session will provide participants with important information on the funding instruments as well as Themes 1, 3 and 4. To ensure that participants interested in ICT for Health, Ageing Well and Inclusion make the most of their time in Brussels, we are organizing an information and networking workshop dedicated to Objectives 3.1 – 3.3 of the CIP ICT PSP on the afternoon of January 15.
From http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/cip-information-day-specific-workshop-health-ageing-well-and-inclusion-objectives-31-33, January 08, 2013
Oman’s Telecom Sector to be Accessible for Persons with Disabilities
The Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) has developed a set of guidelines stating the services required to be provided by telecom service providers to minimize access barriers for persons with disabilities. As per the new guidelines, telecom operators are expected to provide services like access to an emergency directory through call centre or SMS; a directory in Braille or an electronic version of it for people with vision disabilities, special packages and tariff schemes for those with disabilities, and billing services in Braille or a suitable electronic format, besides others. According to TRA officials, the provisions of the guidelines have been designed to be practical and achievable without placing undue financial burden on service providers.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/01/08/omans-telecom-sector-to-be-accessible-for-persons-with-disabilities/, January 08, 2013
Accessibile Cinema Proves a Hit in Australia
More Australians with disabilities will soon be able to enjoy the Boxing Day tradition of going to the movies. The Federal Government says new technology to aid cinema-goers who are deaf and blind is proving successful. Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Senator Jan McLucas, says 146 special movie screens have come online under the Government’s joint initiative with the Accessible Cinema Advisory Group. Senator McLucas says there will be more than 240 across the country by the end of 2014.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/01/02/accessible-cinema-proves-a-hit-in-australiaith-disabilities-proves-a-hit-in-australia/, January 07, 2013
Singapore: New Smartphone App for People with Vision Disabilities
A team of Ngee Ann Polytechnic lecturers and students have designed a mobile application for people who are blind or low vision to help them navigate their way to their destination. The app, called the Travel Assistant for the Visually Impaired, or TAVI is thought to be the first of its kind in mapping specific locations into an app. TAVI was created early last year, by lecturers and students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of InfoComm and Technology. There are other apps in the market that use GPS technology to help people with vision disabilities get around, but these have some limitations.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/01/07/new-smartphone-navigation-app-for-people-with-vision-disabilities/, January 07, 2013
USA: Legislation Promotes Mobile Health Technologies
Representative Michael Honda (D-CA) introduced the Health Care Innovation and Marketplace Technologies Act of 2012 [H.R. 6626]. The bill focuses on promoting the adoption of mobile health (mHealth) technologies. Representative Honda noted that there is a “lack of an established marketplace for new technologies and a lack of trained workers to handle the implementation and use of these technologies.” To support further development of such technologies, the bill requires the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish an Office of Wireless Health Technology.
From http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr6626, January 07, 2013
USA: Creation of the FCC Technology Transitions Policy Task Force
Julius Genachowski, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman, announced the creation of the Technology Transitions Policy Task Force that will work to answer the following policy question: “In a broadband world, how can we best ensure that our nation’s communications policies continue to drive a virtuous cycle of innovation and investment, promote competition, and protect consumers?” Areas that the Task Force will focus on include: IP interconnection, 21st century communications networks, business broadband competition, and voice services. The goal of the recommendations to be made in each of these areas is “to modernize the Commission’s policies in a process that encourages the technological transition, empowers and protects consumers, promotes competition, and ensures network resiliency and reliability.” The Task Force will be led by Sean Lev, the Commission’s General Counsel, who will function as the Interim Director, and Rebekah Goodheart, Associate Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau, who will serve as the Deputy Director.
From http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-317837A1.pdf, January 07, 2013
Electrical Stimulation Components are Unlocking Future of Hearing
Cochlear implant systems convert everyday sounds into coded electrical pulses. These electrical pulses stimulate the auditory nerve, and the brain interprets the pulses as sound.
From http://ow.ly/gwrBX, January 04, 2013
World's First Eye-Tracking PC Accessory to Launch in 2013
Eye-tracking technology has been slowly emerging as a viable technology the last couple of years, and it comes in real handy when you want to know which parts of a Facebook profile people actually look at. One of the leaders in the space, Tobii, is set to bring the tech to consumers in 2013 with a peripheral that works with any Windows 8 PC.
From http://mashable.com/2013/01/02/tobii-rex/, January 04, 2013
USA Access Board Asks for Comments on Proposed Online Complaint Form for Barrier Removal
To make consumer concerns and complaints easier to process and enforce, the United States Access Board recently proposed a new Online Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Complaint Form and asks the public to comment on this by Feb 15, 2013. The ABA, a law passed in 1968 and among the first laws passed to ensure accessibility, requires that federally funded facilities be accessible according to established standards. The law applies to facilities designed, built or altered with federal dollars or leased by federal agencies. E.g., government buildings such as post offices, social security offices, and federal office buildings. It also applies to non-federal buildings that are federally funded, such as schools, transit stations, local courthouses and jails, and public housing.
From http://www.coataccess.org/node/10127?goback=.gmr_3080152.gde_3080152_member_199224005, January 03, 2013
USA: Fewer than Two Percent of new York's Taxis are Wheelchair Accessible
Linton is a plaintiff in a suit against the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission to make its taxi system fully accessible, like the system she'd seen years before in London, which started converting its fleet to be completely accessible in 1989. But she and her class action suit co-plaintiffs (Christopher Noel and United Spinal Association) had antagonists at City Hall. Linton is also one of a growing number of outspoken disability rights activists who expect and demand Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance rather than quietly hope that able-bodied people will abide by the law. Across the country, they are pushing back against threats from politicians toward its enforcement.
From http://truth-out.org/news/item/13499-great-expectations, January 03, 2013