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Design for User Empowerment
As an accessibility researcher, I have noticed that some of the best work comes when there are people with disabilities on the design and development team, contributing to all aspects of the design and implementation, not just as participants in user studies. I call this strong engagement by users design for user empowerment, meaning, in its strongest sense, that the users of the technology are empowered to solve their own accessibility problems. Here, I will try to explain, mostly using examples, why this approach is so powerful.
From http://interactions.acm.org/archive/view/march-april-2015/design-for-user-empowerment, March 20, 2015

Zimbabwe: National ICT Policy Needs Re-Look
The Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services has been directed to have a relook at the National ICT Policy before presenting it to Cabinet. Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira said this while opening the third e-Tech Africa exhibition recently.
From http://allafrica.com/stories/201503190395.html, March 20, 2015

Policymakers Must Support Families Affected by Down Syndrome
For many parents, the realization that their child has Down syndrome is a whirlwind of emotions. Still in some parts of Europe in 2015 a diagnosis of Down syndrome can be a sentence to a life of institutionalization, without hope or possibilities, writes Maureen Clarke.
From http://www.euractiv.com/sections/health-consumers/policy-makers-must-support-families-affected-down-syndrome-313107, March 20, 2015

Australia: Supporting Research Into Social Inclusion for People with a Disability
Vision Australia supports valuable research into the social inclusion of people with a disability. This research is being carried out by Scope Victoria, who provide a range of disability services, including accommodation and respite care, across Victoria.
From http://www.visionaustralia.org/about-us/news-and-media/latest-news/news/2015/03/16/supporting-research-into-social-inclusion-for-people-with-a-disability, March 19, 2015

Nigeria’s ICT Ministry Says it has Linked 1.4 Million University Students to the Internet
Nigeria’s Federal Ministry has connected 1.4 million students across 27 federal universities in the country to internet, according to reports from Vanguard Nigeria. Dr. Omobola Johnson, Nigeria’s Communication and Technology Minister said the development is owed to collaborations between her Ministry, the country’s Ministry of Education and the World Bank’s STEP-B project in the deployment of fibre-optics cables to universities, medical colleges and the Nigerian Research and Education Network, NG-REN.
From http://techcabal.com/2015/03/18/nigerias-ict-ministry-says-it-has-linked-1-4-million-university-students-to-the-internet/, March 19, 2015

Microsoft Announces IT Pro, Developer Preview of Office 2016 for Windows
I’m pleased to announce the IT Pro and Developer Preview of Office 2016 for the Windows desktop. We’ve been in private preview with Office 2016 for several months. Now we’re ready to expand the program to our commercial Office 365 customers, an important milestone that gives IT pros and developers an opportunity to start testing the upcoming release. To be clear, this early build doesn’t yet contain all the features we’re planning to ship in the final product. However, through the course of the preview, customers should expect to see new features delivered through monthly updates.
From http://bit.ly/1Eq4nFv, March 18, 2015

The Intelligent Forklift in the Age of the Industrial Internet of Things
In one definition of the term “Internet of Things,” almost all objects have sensors, connectivity to a broader environment, and intelligence. Sometimes the object has just a sliver of intelligence; but it can be much more substantial. Objects can be products, equipment, containers, or other things as well.
From http://onforb.es/1HZbzMA, March 17, 2015

Focus on Disability: Reaching Patients with Smartphones
About 4.5 billion people worldwide have a mobile phone — about as many as have access to a toilet. No wonder these mobile devices are being put to many new uses, including to collect data in Ebola vaccine trials in West Africa later this year.
From http://africanbrains.net/2015/03/12/focus-on-disability-reaching-patients-with-smartphones/, March 17, 2015

Malta: Almost 9,000 Use Telecare Services
We are delighted to announce that one of the services we supply and manage, Telecareplus already has 2,500 subscribers, totaling the number of local Telecare users to almost 9,000. This is a clear indication that over the past few years the need for assistive technologies for independent living has not only continued to evolve, but also that more people in Malta are taking advantage of such beneficial technologies to feel empowered while leading independent lives.
From http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/business/business_news/50759/almost_9000_use_telecare_services#.VQgku-E7lmP, March 17, 2015

Nigeria: Expert Advocates Compulsory ICT Studies in Schools
The federal government has been called upon to make Information and Communications Technology (ICT) a compulsory study across primary and secondary schools in Nigeria, following the global adoption of ICT studies in schools. A Lagos-based ICT expert, Mr. Temitope Ogunsemo, who gave the advice at a technology workshop in Lagos, said the call became necessary as a result of the impact that ICT is creating in various sectors of global economies.
From http://allafrica.com/stories/201503160600.html, March 16, 2015

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