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General Accessibility News
Accessibility Improvements to Microsoft 8
May, 14 2013
Microsoft’s latest Operating Systems just got a whole lot more accessible to the visually impaired thanks to Dolphin Computer Access. The new update, called SuperNova v13.50, seamlessly enlarges text and graphics, changes difficult colors to more comfortable alternatives, highlights the cursor positions more clearly, and has a function in which all text can be orated in natural sounding voices ...
The FCC Releases New Accessibility Requirements for Mobile Internet Browsers
May, 03 2013
Section 718 of the Communications Act, has been implemented by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), updating the 2010 Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)2, an Act instituted to guarantee disabled people have access to emerging and innovative advanced communications technologies. The updated Order will certify that Internet browsers used for advanced...
Smartphones are Getting… SMARTER?
Apr, 30 2013
Sumit Dagar has spent the last three years designing and developing the first Braille-enabled smartphone. If testing is successful, the highly anticipated device could be on the market by the end of the year.
Gloomy Reality about the High Level of Ignorance Concerning Accessibility
Apr, 24 2013
Perusing the comments section of a recent article by the Wall Street Journal titled "Disabled Sue Over Web Shopping"* is reminiscent of the attitude toward women in the late 1800’s. How ridiculous was the feminist notion that they wanted to be treated equally to men and actually have the right to vote? (Full disclosure to those of you just skimming this article and who have already started...
Disabled Australian's Access to Criminal Justice System
Apr, 23 2013
Roundtable discussions about how people with disabilities are not being taken seriously by the Criminal Justice System are being held across Australia over the next several months. Graeme Innes, the country's Disability Discrimination Commissioner, stated that there have been numerous examples in recent years, about how people who have disabilities are not treated equally when dealing with...
Multiple Organizations Collaborate to Increase International Accessibility
Apr, 22 2013
Kharkiv Oblast, a province in Eastern Ukraine, was the site of a conference that aims to launch an initiative called Joint Programme, to implement and promote accessibility and universal design standards for products, environments and processes for people with disabilities. The program is a joint effort between the United Nations Development Program, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF),...
South African Universities Denying Admission Due to Disabilities
Apr, 18 2013
South Africa have been turning down the admission of prospective students simply due to their disabilities. This is against the law, and the country's Deputy Minister of the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, has been visiting many universities since early 2012 in the hopes to ensure their compliance of disability access principles and to promote...
Eyetalk? For the Blind, Spy Gear meets Science Fiction
Apr, 15 2013
Who would have thought that a group of college students at Florida International University (FIU), vying for a chance to compete at the FIU Track of the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, would have potentially reinvented an industry and created a whole new market. That’s in essence what has happened. After being challenged by a faculty member, FIU students Maria Pia Celestino, Viurniel...
Online Tool Validates Would-be Complaints
Apr, 12 2013
The Canadian Human Rights Commission has launched its newly redesigned website that houses a complaint assessment tool that will verify if a grievance is in fact legitimate and goes against the guidelines as determined by the Canadian Human Rights Act. The site wasn’t created strictly to assist the public, but the hope is that it will cut back on some of the 19,000 calls that the Canadian...
Giddyup! Horses can be used as service animals in Arizona.
Apr, 09 2013
Individuals living with disabilities in Arizona now have a new breed of beast that is considered service animals... miniature horses. The Federal Law already recognizes the work of these pint-sized ponies, so Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was simply making it official. Now, according to the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA), trained service animals of many varieties, including miniature...
Clarification of Website Accessibility Guidelines on the Horizon
Apr, 08 2013
State and local governments may soon get more clarification as to how to make their online presence more accessible to people with disabilities. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to take place in July of 2013. This notice will broaden and clarify the guidelines on Website Accessibility as first set forth in the 1990 Americans with Disabilities...
Great Lakes ADA Center is offering online conferences that will provide in-depth information on the ADA
Apr, 07 2013
Confused about Accessible Technology and how to ensure the site you manage complies with the ADA’s requirements? Don’t know how to even go about making technology accessible? Well, you are in luck. The Great Lakes ADA Center is offering online audio conferences that will provide in-depth information on the ADA, and offer guidance on how to make online information created in specific platforms...
People with Disabilities Still Face Challenges with Electronic Recording
Apr, 02 2013
Health Records and tools that have advanced into the digital age have proven to be a hindrance to some people living with disabilities. This is not only an accessibility issue, but also a legal issue. Under requirements outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), all medical practices and health centers must make their communal Internet spaces accessible to the public at large,...
Conference Heightens Awareness of “Assistive Technology” in Europe
Apr, 01 2013
The 12th Annual European AAATE Conference will take place September 19-22 2013 in Vilamoura, Portugal. The Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE), has been improving the quality of life of persons living with disabilities and older persons in Europe, and has been championing the importance of a scientific basis in the area of "Assistive Technology" since the ...
TVs Can Read? They Can Now, With Dragon TV
Mar, 28 2013
Nuance Communications Inc. has created a voice and language interpretation platform that will be integrated into Smart TVs, devices and service operators. The company has announced a partnership with Panasonic, who will be rolling the feature out with its new lineup of SMART VIERA® HDTVs. “Dragon TV enables Smart TV manufacturers like Panasonic to deliver a differentiated and compelling...
Lawsuits against Banks Increase as their ATMs Prove Inaccessible
Mar, 27 2013
Nearly 50% of the 400,000+ ATMs in the US still do not meet accessibility standards...
Make your website accessible or get your checkbook out!
Mar, 26 2013
In the past, large companies, such as Target and Netflix, agreed to settle lawsuits against them when the federal court found that websites fell within the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). What this meant, was that there was significant proof that their websites were not accessible to people with disabilities, and didn't include features such as audio descriptions of a...
Speech Recognition Improvements to Microsoft's Bing Phone App
Mar, 25 2013
Microsoft has been working to enhance its Bing App, most specifically, its speech recognition function. Improvements, such as word error rate reduction, reduction in latency for speech requests and better handling of speech requests in noisy situations, have been announced. In a confidential event held for its employees in early March, Microsoft performed a side-by-side demonstration revealing...
Inaccessible Physician Offices
Mar, 20 2013
A recent survey done of random medical practices in Boston, Dallas, Houston and Portland, Ore., found that 22% of the offices reported that they could not accommodate a patient who used a wheelchair and was unable to transfer independently from the chair to an examination table. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on...
Accessible Websites mean added Revenue and Fewer Lawsuits
Mar, 19 2013
There are over a billion people across the globe who are living with disabilities. This segment of the population’s online shopping habits adds up to a significant chunk of the total ecommerce happening via the Internet every single day. One issue though, is that many websites are still inaccessible and do not comply with the guidelines established by Section 508, enacted to eliminate barriers...
International Conference on Low Vision - Vision 2014
Mar, 18 2013
The 11th Annual International Conference on Low Vision has been announced, and will begin 3/31/14 in Melbourne, Australia
Google+ Hangouts Just Got a Lot More Accessible
Mar, 15 2013
Google has announced 2 new improvements to its Google+ Hangouts Program that should pique the interest of the deaf and hard of hearing. First, for users who prefer to use sign language, there is the launch of the Sign Language Interpreter app. Users can now invite an interpreter to speak/interpret for them by signing along with them while the user is "inside" the hangout area. Second, Google ...
Video Camera + Mathematical Algorithm = Improved Sight for the Visually Impaired?
Mar, 07 2013
It's true. Researchers from the University of Southern California have been working on a way to enhance the vision of people who have been fitted with retinal implants. They hope that transforming images into pixels will aid the visually impaired in everyday tasks. The way it works, is that the patient wears a Head Mounted Display, or HMD. A video camera is then affixed to the HMD, recording...
New Phone Service for Hearing Impaired New Zealanders
Mar, 05 2013
Using a phone in New Zealand just got easier for hearing impaired people. A captioned telephone service is now available, thanks to a Government-funded initiative, in which people can use a specially-designed Captel phone and read captions of what the other person said verbatim. The delay is only about 2 seconds as the transmission is generated over the Internet. “This new service means...
Internet Browser Watch-Dog WaSP disbands
Mar, 04 2013
The Web Standards Project (WaSP), has announced that its closing its doors after 15 years of helping to improve the code of online tools and pushing to ensure Web browser creators, like NetScape and Microsoft, supported the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards. The founders have said that the dream of having an accessible Internet is largely a reality now, and have therefore decided that...
Irish Government Implored to ratify the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Mar, 01 2013
At The European Disability Forum (EDF) held in Dublin, Ireland in late February 2013, delegates from over 70 European Organizations that represent persons living with disabilities, called on the host country to follow suit with most of the other EU member states and ratify the CRPD. Independent living, the right to legal capacity or equal recognition before the law, and the rights to family...
Online Higher Education gets more Accessible
Feb, 27 2013
Courseload Version 2.3 has been released and it's creators are calling it "The first eText platform to provide a single, unified collaborative experience for faculty and students of all abilities".
Advisory Committee being Organized to Update Transportation Vehicles Guidelines
Feb, 25 2013
The United States Access Board is seeking to update the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Transportation Vehicles. To assist in this goal, the Board is currently accepting nominations until April 1st, for membership of people to serve on the Advisory Council that the group is assembling, called The Rail Vehicles Access Advisory Committee. The volunteer, non-paid committee will be updating...
Malta Football Stadium under Fire for its Lack of Accessibility
Feb, 22 2013
The Malta Football Association (MFA) has been accused of failing to provide adequate access to all through the highest traffic entrance of its Ta’ Qali National Stadium. The claim, filed by The Kummissjoni Nazzjonali Persuni b’Di?abilita (KNPD), highlights the fact that while other sections of the stadium, such as the Millennium Stand, are fully accessible, these areas are rarely open during ...
Event in Italy Focuses on Accessibility in Tourism
Feb, 21 2013
The International Conference, "Accessibility in tourism: an ethical value, a business opportunity", brought in representatives from hotels, tourism companies, disabled persons organizations and students from three higher tourism education centers across Italy. The goal of the event was to ensure that tourism facilities and sites meet the needs of persons with disabilities, which would ultimately ...
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