USA: Microsoft Hires 13-Year-Old Boy for Braille Printer
A 13-year-old Indian-origin boy, who invented a low-cost portable Braille printer, is now working with technology giant Microsoft to integrate it with Windows. This move is to make it easily accessible to people with vision disabilities and Microsoft plans to launch it commercially in November. Shubham Banerjee, an eighth-grade student in Santa Clara, California was invited by Microsoft to showcase his Braigo 2.0 printer at a tech fair organized by the company. Our relationship with Microsoft will help Braigo achieve a seamless experience for a people with vision disabilities who wants to use a computer at home or at the office to print documents for offline reading, Banerjee said in Microsoft blog post, PTI reported.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/18/microsoft-hires-13-year-old-boy-for-braille-printer/, May 18, 2015
Singapore: NTU Hosts Global ICT Conference Highlighting Innovations that Advance Open Inclusive Development
An assistive smart technology that helps seniors cope with degenerative changes and independent living by simply pointing a device or smartphone camera at an object to send a text message or activate a phone call. A haze analytics tool that provides users with the latest health advisories during haze episodes, and that can be integrated with wearable devices such as smart watches and smart bands to objectively measure a user’s heart rate and other health parameters.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/18/ntu-hosts-global-ict-conference-highlighting-innovations-that-advance-open-inclusive-development/, May 18, 2015
Apple VoiceOver Accessibility Receives Award from American Foundation for the Blind
The American Foundation for the Blind announced Apple among its four honorees to receive a Helen Keller Achievement Award later this June, recognizing the company's contribution to accessibility with VoiceOver.
From http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/05/06/apple-voiceover-accessibility-receives-award-from-american-foundation-for-the-blind, May 14, 2015
Abu Dhabi Police Introduce Initiative to Support Staff Members with Disabilities
The Abu Dhabi Police, represented by the Selection and Recruitment Department, launched the “Hand in Hand” initiative to support staff members with disabilities at the Police General Headquarters. The one-year initiative will be launched in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior’s Centers for Rehabilitation and Employment of people with disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/14/abu-dhabi-police-introduce-initiative-to-support-staff-members-with-disabilities/, May 14, 2015
USA: Hawaii Makes Cinema Access Compulsory
The US state of Hawaii has brought in state legislation to mandate the provision of captions and audio description (described as “descriptive narration” in the Bill) in all cinemas where the cinema operator has more than two locations (that is three or more separate cinemas or cinema complexes).
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/news/hawaii-makes-cinema-access-compulsory, May 12, 2015
Australia: Municipal Association of Victoria Unlocks Power of Digital Accessibility
The peak body representing local councils in the Australian state of Victoria partners with Media Access Australia to deliver upskilling, training and best practice on digital accessibility enabling its members to boost inclusion and community engagement. One particularly pressing compliance issue for the MAV’s members, and an area in which a clear skill and knowledge gap existed, is the councils’ ability to meet the legislative requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act. The Australian Human Rights Commission, which enforces the act, has advised that all websites should be compliant to Level AA of the global web accessibility standard, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/professional-services/case-study-municipal-association-of-victoria-unlocks-power-of-digital-accessibility, May 12, 2015
Norway: Lessons from Skandia Bank's Accessibility Journey
Norwegian bank Skandiabanken’s Snorre Kim discusses why a major national bank decided to put digital accessibility at the front and centre of its recent website redesign and move to a new banking platform.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/news/lessons-from-skandia-bank%E2%80%99s-accessibility-journey, May 12, 2015
USA: Students Create Tactile 3D Campus Map to Assist Students with Vision Disabilities
For Holly Carneal, a social work major at the University of Central Missouri, college life presents the daily challenges faced by many college students. However, as a blind student, Carneal and her guide dog, Stella, face the additional challenge of learning to navigate campus without the benefit of being able to read a traditional printed campus map. Intrigued by the possibility of creating such a map of the main UCM campus, Loch contacted the UCM Office of Accessibility Services. Services coordinator Cathy Seeley in turn contacted Kyle Palmer, professor of drafting and design in the UCM School of Technology, about taking on such a project using the three-dimensional printing technology available in the school’s Design and Drafting Technology CADD program.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/12/students-create-tactile-3d-campus-map-to-assist-students-with-vision-disabilities/, May 12, 2015
India: Students Develop ‘Gesture Vocaliser’ to Help People with Hearing Disabilities
A group of girl students of BTech final year Electronics & Communication Engineering of Holy Grace Academy of Engineering, Mala, has developed a ‘Gesture Vocaliser’ to help people with speech disabilities communicate through sound. S. Deepthi, Delna Domini, Minu Varghese and Nimya Varghese say their system enables people who are deaf and mute to talk with others. “The device-based body positioning technique (mainly hand gestures) is used here. The aim of this system is to make a simple prototype by taking the gestures and converting it into audio and visual form so that it can be understood by everyone,” said Minu Varghese.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/04/students-develop-gesture-vocaliser-to-help-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, May 08, 2015
South Korean Firm Develops Graphic Tactile Display for People with Vision Disabilities
Tactisplay Corp. located in South Korea has developed a prototype of graphic tactile display for people who are blind. This device has individually actuated 3,072 cells configured in 64 column with 48 rows. With this configuration, it can show graphic information in raised tactile dots.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/04/south-korean-firm-develops-graphic-tactile-display-for-people-with-vision-disabilities/, May 08, 2015