USA: Bringing People with Hearing Assistance Needs into the 'Loop'
The University of Iowa's first hearing loop system was installed in B111 Medical Laboratories, an 84-seat lecture hall, in February and the university has plans to install systems in five other classroom, research, and performance spaces over the next several years, including the new Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building and Hancher. An estimated one in five Americans 12 years and older—about 25 million people all together—have hearing loss profound enough to affect their ability to communicate effectively.
From http://now.uiowa.edu/2013/04/bringing-people-hearing-assistance-needs-loop, April 30, 2013
UK: Computer Game Could Improve Sight of Visually Impaired Children
Visually impaired children could benefit from a revolutionary new computer game being developed by a team of neuroscientists and game designers. Academics from the University of Lincoln, UK, are working with WESC, one of the UK's most respected specialist schools for visually impaired children, to create and evaluate a new 'visual search rehabilitation game'.
From http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/2013/04/682.asp, April 30, 2013
WIPO Members Send Draft Treaty for the Blind to Marrakesh
Members of the World Intellectual Property Organization have completed work on a draft treaty on copyright exceptions for the blind and visually impaired and agreed to move to a diplomatic conference in Morocco in June. But the text contains many areas displaying the difficulty in easing cross-border access to materials for blind people while protecting copyright holders’ interests.
From http://www.ip-watch.org/2013/04/22/wipo-members-send-draft-treaty-for-the-blind-to-marrakesh/, April 30, 2013
USA: FCC Announces Accessibility Requirements for Internet Browsers on Mobile
Section 718 requires
mobile phone manufacturers and mobile service providers that include or arrange for the inclusion of an
Internet browser on mobile phones to ensure that the functions of the included browser are accessible to
and usable by individuals who are blind or have a visual impairment, unless doing so is not achievable.
From http://www.fcc.gov/document/section-718-accessibility-requirements-internet-browsers-mobile-0, April 30, 2013
U.K.: Government Service Design Manual
From April 2014, digital services from the government must meet the new Digital by Default Service Standard. The Government Digital Strategy set an ambitious target for teams building government services: make them so good that people prefer to use them.
From https://www.gov.uk/service-manual, April 29, 2013
U.K. Government Guide on Accessibility: How to make Services that Everyone can Use
The services we provide are for the benefit of all citizens of the United Kingdom. No user should be excluded on the basis of disability. To do so would breach the Equality Act 2010. Your services must also comply with any other legal requirements, including providing services in accordance with your Welsh Language Scheme, if you have one.
From https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/design-and-content/accessibility.html, April 29, 2013
U.K Government: Accessibility Testing - Testing to See if Your Service is Inclusive
Accessibility testing is very similar to usability testing, in that it is about ensuring that a product or service is easy to use for its intended audience. That audience includes users who access the service via a range of assistive technologies, such as screen readers, voice recognition software, trackball devices and so on.
From https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/making-software/accessibility-testing.html, April 29, 2013
U.K. Government Digital Strategy: Accessibility Strategy
Accessibility is everyone’s responsibility. Provide training and resources to help your team build accessibility into everything they do. That includes planning, designing, building and managing.
From https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/the-team/accessibility.html, April 29, 2013
Project Ray: Mobile Accessibility for the Visually Impaired
RAY is an integrated portable device designed to assist the community of visually impaired people and their families in their daily life. RAY leverages latest mobility technologies to increase independence, enrich social life and improve accessibility of essential services for the visually impaired.
From http://www.project-ray.com/default.aspx, April 29, 2013
Japan to Introduce Smartphone App for People with Vision Disabilities to Read Currency
Japan will be releasing a free smartphone app that can read the denomination of money for people who are blind and low vision. The new app can help people with vision disabilities to identify Japanese currency. After taking a photograph of a bank note, the app will inform the holder via sound whether it is a ¥5,000 or a ¥10,000 bill. The National Printing Bureau will develop the app for Apple’s iPhone, but one for Google’s Android smartphones is also under consideration, ministry and Bank of Japan officials said.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/04/29/japan-to-introduce-smartphone-app-for-people-with-vision-disabilities-to-read-currency/, April 29, 2013