New Zealand: CapTel Call Center Provides Captioned Telephone Service for People with Hearing Disabilities
Sprint, a leader in wireless accessibility, announced another milestone in the company’s effort to enable telecommunications for all. Sprint opened the first CapTel call center outside of the United States in Auckland, New Zealand. CapTel service provides captioned conversations for people with hearing disabilities. Sprint marked the opening of the call center with a ceremonial call from Amy Adams, New Zealand communications and information technology minister, to Louise Carol, a New Zealand resident with hearing disabilities for the past 20 years.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/04/06/captel-call-center-provides-captioned-telephone-service-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities-in-new-zealand/, April 08, 2013
USA: Legislation Proposed to make Movies more Accessible for People with Disabilities
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced two new bills to make movies more accessible for people who are deaf and hard of hearing and for people who are blind. Both the Harkin bills mandate captioning -- one in movie theaters and the other on airplanes. The first bill, S. 555, is entitled the “Captioning and Image Narration to Enhance Movie Accessibility Act” or the CINEMA Act. CINEMA would amend Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to mandate that every movie theater with two or more screens provide both open and closed captioning as well as video description.
From http://www.coataccess.org/node/10138, April 03, 2013
Bringing Multitouch to the Blind
Multitouch has changed computing, being the first new user interaction paradigm since the mouse and keyboard. After exploding on mobile phones in 2007, multitouch has penetrated other technologies like tablets and laptops. Flicks, swipes, and pinches have become the new click and drag. Consumers now expect this interaction with their computing devices and it has become the natural user interface for those just starting with computers. Despite being a tactile experience between fingers and a glass display, Multitouch is heavily dependent on being able to see what the screen is displaying and the tap targets on it. Because of this, work is being done to bring multitouch to blind users, allowing them to enjoy and benefit from the new technology just like someone with the ability to see.
From http://www.retrieverweekly.com/technology/bringing-multitouch-to-the-blind-1.3018554#.UVwvtqJkPoJ, April 03, 2013
USA: Ensuring the Accessibility of College Websites
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights entered into an agreement [OCR Compliance Review No. 11-11-6002] with the South Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS) that requires the websites of the SCTCS and its 16-member colleges be accessible to all individuals, specifically those with visual disabilities. This agreement is in response to an evaluation of the accessibility of SCTCS websites and two of its college’s websites that found the sites were not fully accessible to individuals with visual or print-related disabilities and therefore were not in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the agreement, the SCTCS will develop and share a resource guide on web accessibility requirements, direct accessibility changes to the SCTCS and member college websites, and perform annual reviews of websites to monitor continued compliance with accessibility requirements.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.org/content/newsroom/ensuring-accessibility-college-websites, April 02, 2013
Three Things to make your App stand out when Building for Accessibility
While accessibility modes and rough guidelines exist for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry, the responsibility lies with the developer to evaluate and determine if their work has resulted in a truly useful product. Quite a few parties have put together their own best practices on designing for accessibility. The Web Accessibility Movement started the conversation around mobile accessibility, and Accessible Tech also offers some considerations, but both have yet to define ground rules for mobile applications. Developer Matt Gemmell has also proposed some best practices for iOS and encourages fellow developers to reference Apple’s Accessibility Programming Guide.
From http://www.wired.com/insights/2013/03/three-things-to-make-your-app-stand-out-when-building-for-accessibility, April 02, 2013
Sprint Receives U.S. Disability Matters Awards
On April 16, 2013, Sprint will be honored as the Marketplace winner at the Seventh Annual U.S. Disability Matters Awards Banquet and Conference for innovative accessibility solutions. Sprint will receive the award for the Sprint Relay ID pack and four accessibility-themed Sprint ID packs. The packs were funded and developed through Apps4Android and the Apps Factory project of the Wireless RERC.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.org/content/newsroom/sprint-receives-us-disability-matters-awards, April 02, 2013
Report: Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
From what we have seen in companies that hire people with disabilities—and from our own experiences as friends or family members of someone with a disability—we know that they can contribute greatly to business and to society. Yet despite an aging population and a looming labour skills shortage, this significant talent pool is being overlooked.
From http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/consultations/reports/disabilities/rdsp.shtml, April 02, 2013
USA: Technology as a Tool of Inclusion
Technology is a powerful thing. When applied to how we work and play, it has the ability to optimize, accelerate and transform. Innovations that come to the market universally designed allow all of us to benefit immediately. But when those same tools − such as software, computers, online applications and mobile devices − are not accessible, they exclude key segments of the population, negatively impacting some people’s employability and opportunities for career advancement.
From http://social.dol.gov/blog/technology-as-a-tool-of-inclusion/, April 02, 2013
How Telecommute Benefits Employees with Disabilities
Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to ban telecommuting for all Yahoo employees drew a firestorm of criticism. Some framed it as a setback for working women and mothers in particular.
From http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/technology/Articles/Pages/Telecommuting-Cuts-Across-Genders.aspx, April 02, 2013
Singapore’s Accessibility Code to be Reviewed for more Accessible Buildings
The Accessibility Code Review Committee convened by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has drafted a revised version of the Code on Accessibility for the Built Environment (“the Code”). The draft Code, which is in its fourth review, will be opened for public consultation from 1 April 2013 to 30 April 2013, in BCA’s website (www.bca.gov.sg). BCA will also consult other bodies such as other government agencies, voluntary welfare organizations, industry players and groups with interests in accessibility and Universal Design.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/04/01/bcas-accessibility-code-to-be-reviewed-for-more-accessible-and-friendlier-buildings-in-singapore/, April 01, 2013