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General Accessibility News
General Accessibility News
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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),...
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...
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 ...
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...
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 ...
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...
Websites targeted for accessibility lawsuits
Feb, 12 2013
Lawsuits against websites that do not comply with Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are on the rise. What is Section 508? In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. This amended Act became known as Section 508. What this means, is that...
Company Found Guilty of Illegal Employee Firing
Feb, 05 2013
Christopher Vely, along with the help of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), has won a lawsuit against his former employer for not abiding by guidelines set forth under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and providing accommodations he repeatedly requested that would have assisted him in completing the tasks of his job’s requirement. Levy, who has unilateral...
New Proposal to Make "Inclusive Cloud and Web Computing" a Priority
Feb, 04 2013
Disabled persons in the US use the Internet about 23% less than the rest of the population. There are many reasons why this disparity is so high, including the fact that Web infrastructures are not set up to accommodate different disabilities, smartphones and tablets are often inaccessible for people with disabilities, and the cost of additional hardware and/or software that assists people with...
The US Government Creates Plan for a More Comprehensive Approach to Complying with Section 508
Jan, 30 2013
The Whitehouse has released a strategic plan to improve the compliance of Section 508 among its agencies. As outlined in the memo, Strategic Plan for Improving Management of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act signed by both Joseph G. Jordan, Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, and Steven VonRoekel, Chief Information Officer, the goal of the initiative is to enable the agencies to...
Crackdown on State & Government Website Accessibility Imminent
Jan, 24 2013
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced its plan for a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that will amend the current Title II Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations in July of 2013 which will require state/government websites to be fully accessible to all persons with disabilities. The required amendment for websites doing business with the public is purportedly going to be...
Ontario Considering a Merge of Welfare and Disability Services
Jan, 21 2013
The leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative (PC) Party, Tim Hudak, has suggested that the party will soon be submitting a policy entitled Welfare to Work, a system that would combine the welfare and disability support programs to create one unified entity that would be more efficient and less rule-based. This is a drastic change in Hudak's views from 1997, when he was a member of the Tory...
New App Allows OSU Drivers to Easily Find Accessible Parking
Jan, 18 2013
Disabled visitors, students and staff members of Oregon State University (OSU) can now use their smartphones to check the availability of accessible parking spots. A sensor-based system, designed by Streetline, Inc, has been installed in accessible parking spots around campus. The system sends real-time information to users of an application called Parker, informing them of open parking spaces...
eBay dodged a bullet in accessibility lawsuit.
Jan, 16 2013
Unlike Netflix, who was found guilty in a class-action lawsuit for not subtitling all of its videos, eBay has recently come out on top when a lawsuit filed against the company was dismissed for insufficient evidence. Melissa Earll, a 47 year old deaf woman, filed suit against the Internet giant when she wasn’t able to verify her identity via an audible telephonic pass code when setting up her...
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