Microsoft Wins a National TDI Award for Its Commitment to Making Technology Accessible
TDI is recognizing Microsoft for adopting a worldwide strategy over the years to develop software that makes it easier for people of all ages and abilities to see, hear, and use their computers. It has created technology that is accessible to everyone, and its Windows operating system now drives the computers of about 400 million people worldwide,” the organization said.
From http://blogs.msdn.com/b/accessibility/archive/2013/10/18/microsoft-wins-a-national-tdi-award-for-its-commitment-to-making-technology-accessible.aspx, October 25, 2013
It’s Time to Update the U.S. Public Accessibility Procurement Standard
Public procurement policies have been powerful tools in efforts to make information technology more accessible, helping to leverage the tremendous purchasing power of governments to encourage accessibility development. For more than a decade Section 508, a policy that requires the U.S. government to consider accessibility when buying any information technology, has been the de facto accessibility standard around the world. While Section 508 has been responsible for a lot of progress, the twelve-year-old standard has become hopelessly outdated in the digital age. To address this, the U.S. Access Board created the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC) in 2006 and charged it with developing ways to update the policy. Two years later, TEITAC issued its recommendations and the federal government followed with two proposed rules, or advance notices of proposed rulemaking. But, we are still waiting for a new standard.
From http://blogs.msdn.com/b/accessibility/archive/2013/10/23/it-s-time-to-update-the-u-s-public-accessibility-procurement-standard.aspx, October 25, 2013
RNIB Works with Amazon to Deliver Mainstream Breakthrough for Blind and Partially Sighted People
The UK's leading sight loss charity Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), has collaborated with global technology giant Amazon to ensure that people with sight loss can enjoy the features in the latest range of tablet devices. Blind and partially sighted people will be able to enjoy improved access to the UK's largest source of e-books thanks to new accessibility features which have been incorporated into the new Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets.
From http://www.daisy.org/news-detail/1298, October 25, 2013
A Global Challenge: Can We Achieve Financial Inclusion by 2020?
The issue of financial inclusion seems to be everywhere – from the World Bank Annual Meetings to the new UN post-2015 development goals. It’s got buzz in the private sector, public sector and development organizations big and small. Policymakers are increasingly making financial inclusion a priority through specific financial inclusion targets and commitments, such as the Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s Maya Declaration. In fact, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim recently launched an initiative “to provide universal financial access to all working-age adults by 2020.”
From http://cfi-blog.org/2013/10/23/a-global-challenge-can-we-achieve-financial-inclusion-by-2020/, October 25, 2013
San Francisco International Airport: New Disability Awareness Training
A new disability awareness programme for airport, airline and security employees has been launched at San Francisco International Airport. Created in partnership with the San Francisco Chapters of The Arc San Francisco (@and the LightHouse (@lighthouse_sf) for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the video-based training includes information about the experiences of disabled passengers and is focused on providing a consistent level of sensitivity and respect for passengers with disabilities. The program has been developed to include a participant handout, and a manual, also published in Braille. SFO previously had forms of disability training, but the thorough new programme now involves employees getting trained throughout the customer’s journey from curbside, to security checkpoints, to the gate.
From http://www.accesstourismnz.org.nz/2013/10/san-francico-international-airport-new-disability-awareness-training/, October 24, 2013
Special Education: Numbers Down, Inclusion Up
Early and aggressive efforts by teachers to help young children with learning problems have led to a significant drop in the number of Palo Alto students who later need special education, officials said this week. In Palo Alto, about 9 percent — 1,115 students — officially qualify for special education — less than the national average of 10 percent.
From http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2013/10/12/special-education-numbers-down-inclusion-up, October 24, 2013
WHO Calls for Global Disability Action Plan
Not enough is being done to address the rights and ensure inclusion of people with disabilities in society. This was one of the conclusions of the sixty-fourth session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, held in Manila on 21–25 October. WHO believes that a global disability action plan aimed at improving the health of people with disabilities is an important step in addressing this issue.
From http://www.wpro.who.int/mediacentre/releases/2013/20131024dis/en/index.html, October 24, 2013
Apple Raise the Accessibility Bar with OS X Switch Control
One of the least promoted features in the Mavericks release of OS X, but in my view one of the most important, is the built-in switch access. Why? Well, one of the least supported group of people are those who rely on simple switch devices operated with limited gestures in order to interact with technology. Connecting switches is less of a problem than it was has with USB becoming the standard, (previously hardware mods were required invalidating warranty, if at all possible).
From http://opendirective.net/blog/2013/10/apple-again-raise-the-accessibility-bar-with-os-x-switch-control, October 24, 2013
4th International Conference On Information and Communication Technology and Accessibility
On 24-26 October, 2013, the 4th International Conference on ICT & Accessibility is organized in Hammamet, TUNISIA by the Research Laboratory of Technologies of Information and Communication & Electrical engineering (LaTICE) of the University of Tunis in collaboration with the Computing Center EL KHAWARIZMI (CCK), with the Co-sponsorship of IEEE Tunisian Section and with the support of: University of Tunis, Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Tunisian association of e-accessibility and ENSI.
From http://includ-ed.eu/newsandevents/4th-international-conference-information-and-communication-technology-and-accessibilit, October 24, 2013
VIDEO: Li-Fi Technology Uses LEDs to Transmit Data Wirelessly
The future of wireless broadband is here, and it may or may not give you a headache. The flicker in your office lighting may someday soon be caused by data transmissions and not faulty fluorescent bulbs. Professional Engineering reports that researchers at the University of Edinburgh have developed a wireless networking system that can handle up to 130 megabits per second of data transfer using light instead of radio waves. The system, dubbed "Li-Fi," uses LEDs to transmit data to photo-sensor receivers by making changes in the intensity of light that researchers claim are so fast they are imperceptible to the human eye.
From http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bbTTF857G8, October 23, 2013