USA: Upcoming New ADA Rules will Prompt ATM Overhauls
On March 12, the Americans with Disabilities Act’s new standards will become law. One section of the standards calls for new technical requirements for ATMs, including Braille instructions, speech output capabilities and specifications pertaining to keypad layout, display screen visibility and character size and font. While all credit unions must ensure their ATMs comply with the new ADA mandates, some are going a step further by upgrading to image-enabled ATMs, increasing convenience for all members, not just those with disabilities.
From http://www.cutimes.com/2012/01/09/upcoming-new-ada-rules-will-prompt-atm-overhauls, January 12, 2012
India: Hired Despite Disability, and Fired for Same
Twenty-eight-year-old K M Kempesh holds a first-class diploma (with distinction) in computer science. His struggle to get to this level is inspiring, considering that he was born with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic condition that renders the sufferer almost blind. But he says software company picked him up in campus recruitment fully aware of his disability, yet, in less than six months, he has been handed his termination letter because of his medical condition.
From http://www.bangaloremirror.com/index.aspx?page=article§id=1&contentid=2012011120120111001625421af269375, January 12, 2012
USA: Blind Center in Nevada Works to Process 'E-Waste'
A hot topic at this year's Consumer Electronics Show is the emerging e-waste industry: the safe and green disposal of used electronics. The federal government is one of the largest technology consumers and is concerned about where its own e-waste winds up when it's time to trade it in. People may be surprised to learn that the Blind Center of Nevada handles the majority of federal electronic waste locally.
From http://downtown.8newsnow.com/photo-gallery/business/120301-blind-center-works-process-e-waste, January 12, 2012
UK Charity Scope's New Campaign Focuses on Access for Disabled Persons to Places of Worship
Imagine not being able to visit the places that are important to you. Imagine the frustration of trying to go somewhere and finding that you can't get in while other people can, where the people who work there have no interest in helping you and end up leaving you out in the cold. That's what happened to me when I went to visit St Paul's Cathedral in December 2011.
From http://www.scope.org.uk/news/blogs/campaigns-network/access-places-worship, January 11, 2012
Indian Government Orders Software for Blind People
In a step that would bring relief to scores of blind persons aspiring for clerical jobs across the country, the government has decided to provide them a special keyboard and screen reading software while appearing for recruitment tests. The order of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will be applicable for the recruitment tests scheduled in the first fortnight of this month. “Candidates with visual disabilities be allowed the choice of the key board layout that is compatible with Mangal font for taking the skill tests.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/01/09/indian-government-orders-software-for-blind-people/, January 11, 2012
USA: Readers with Visual Disabilities in Des Plaines Benefit from Library’s Assistive Technology
A scanner, magnifiers and specialized software are among the resources available to Des Plaines library customers. Seeing well enough to read may be a challenge for some people with visual disabilities. Des Plaines Public Library, however, has special technology to help them continue to enjoy the printed word. A scanning and reading appliance, also known as SARA, located in the fourth-floor computer lab, scans print material and reads it out loud. An attached computer monitor simultaneously shows the words SARA is reading. It is primarily used by patrons with limited vision, but the machine also may benefit people with dyslexia or reading disabilities and those learning a new language.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/01/09/readers-with-visual-disabilities-benefit-from-library%E2%80%99s-assistive-technology/, January 11, 2012
USA: Kinect for Windows is Arriving on Feb 1st
During Steve Ballmer’s CES keynote, he announced that the Kinect for Windows hardware and software would become available on February 1st. It’s set to unleash what we’ve coined the Kinect Effect even further beyond the 18 million Kinect sensors that have been sold to date. With Kinect for Windows, commercial applications can be built that take Kinect far beyond the living room. During the keynote, Steve announced that Citi, Boeing, American Express, Unilever, United Health Group, Mattel and Toyota are just some of the companies we’re already working with to bring their Kinect ideas to life in revolutionary new ways.
From http://www.theverge.com/2012/1/9/2695734/kinect-for-windows-official-availability, January 11, 2012
W3C HTML5 Accessibility Task Force Collates Accessibility Requirements for Audio and Video on Web of Users with Disabilities
The document aggregates the accessibility requirements of users with disabilities that the W3C HTML5 Accessibility Task Force has collected with respect to audio and video on the Web. It first provides an introduction to the needs of users with disabilities in relation to audio and video. Then it explains what alternative content technologies have been developed to help such users gain access to the content of audio and video.
A third section explains how these content technologies fit in the larger picture of accessibility, both technically within a Web user agent and from a production process point of view.
From http://www.w3.org/TR/media-accessibility-reqs/, January 10, 2012
Panasonic Introduces Bluetooth-enabled Hearing Aid Device, Connects to Mobile Phones, TVs
Panasonic launches a new Bluetooth hearing aid for people with hearing disabilities. Panasonic’s Healthcare Group introduces the R1-W Series of hearing aid device that feature Bluetooth connectivity.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/01/09/panasonic-introduces-bluetooth-enabled-hearing-aid-connects-to-mobile-phones-tvs/, January 10, 2012
Ghanaian with Disabilities Ask Parliament to Ratify UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Ghana Society for the Physically Disabled has called on Parliament to ratify without further delay the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Mr Benjamin Amofa, national vice president of the Society, who made the call, noted that the delay in the ratification of the UN Convention had resulted in people’s continued disregard for members’ plight. He was speaking at an annual get-together organized for members of the Dormaa branch of the Society at Dormaa Ahenkro.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/01/06/ghanaian-with-disabilities-ask-parliament-to-ratify-un-convention/, January 10, 2012