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General Accessibility News
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 ...
Accessibility Law Being Enforced in the Philippines
Feb, 18 2013
The Philippines is enforcing its Accessibility Laws, known locally as Batas Pambansa 344. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Cordillera, is requiring that all construction permits, as well as new plans and designs of public buildings be compliant with this law. District Engineers are expected to submit their plans for compliance along with any budgetary requirements. Batas...
Perkins International Collaborates with National Association for the Blind, India
Feb, 14 2013
According to http://www.perkinsinternational.org, “Perkins International is committed to helping marginalized populations who are blind, deaf-blind, or blind with additional disabilities unlock their potential and realize their unique value as members of their communities.” Director Dr. W. A
Blind Train Passenger Helps to Make Changes in NSW
Feb, 13 2013
Imagine riding a train. Now imagine being blind and riding a train. Now try to envision yourself blind, riding a train, and having to guess which stop you are approaching because there has not been an announcement. This is the scenario being played out daily for blind riders of RailCorp trains in Sydney, Australia. In an article written for The Sydney Morning Herald by Graeme Innes,...
Inspirational Skateboarder Advocates for Safety
Feb, 11 2013
Tommy Carroll has been skateboarding since he was ten years old. He has become somewhat of a YouTube celebrity, with his inspirational video about wearing safety gear being viewed over 250,000 times. He has even caught the eye of Tony Hawk, professional skateboarder and entrepreneur. What makes Carroll so special? He has been blind since the age of two due to cancer of the...
The United Arab Emirates Launches Initiative for Hearing Impaired Drivers
Jan, 29 2013
Using the car’s horn has become somewhat of a problem in Emirates, with drivers using the sound it makes in lieu of activating visual indicators. To help inform road users to deaf drivers and alert motorists to vehicles driven by people with hearing disabilities, The Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has launched the ‘Deaf Driver’ initiative. The goal of the initiative is to educate people...
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...
Discrimination and Harrassment settlement reached with London Olympic Games
Jan, 15 2013
London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Locog) has settled a lawsuit with Tracy Part, a volunteer who worked with the catering, cleaning and waste team during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Part had originally been seeking £5,000 in damages. Because volunteers do not have the same rights as employees under the ...
Petition to get the White House to Recognize American Sign Language (ASL) as an Official Language
Jan, 08 2013
Did you know that American Sign Language (ASL) is not officially identified as a language in schools? Emerging in 1817 at the American School for the Deaf (ASD), ASL is now the predominant sign language used by deaf and hearing impaired people in English-speaking North America, as well as many other countries across the globe. The creator of a petition, as found on the whitehouse.gov...
Increase in New Orleans ADA Lawsuits
Dec, 31 2012
Lawyers in New Orleans have been suing large corporations at an increasingly frequent rate over their non-compliance with the standards set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, the reasons behind the lawsuits seem to be more motivated by monetary gain rather than that of morality. Lawyers here seem to be taking advantage of a bit of a loophole – they automatically...
Government Websites Incompliant with UN Guidelines
Dec, 20 2012
In 2003, the United Nations set forth guidelines under it’s Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities to ensure accessibility of all government websites. A New Zealand monitoring group has recently released a report that is astounding: not one government website is fully compliant with it’s own standards. The monitoring group, comprised of the Human Rights Commission, the...
Mumbai police department to launch new accessible website
Dec, 18 2012
Police in Mumbai, India are close to launching a new website that will comply with international accessibility guidelines. The new interactive site is said to be easily accessible for those with disabilities who may need to contact local authorities, and is aimed to help this population understand their region and police jurisdiction. The website’s upgrade was supported by two entities, the...
New Device Helps Children With Limited Mobility
Dec, 17 2012
A Georgia Tech Professor and Graduate Student have created Access4Kids, a wireless input tool that uses a sensor system to translate physical movements into fine-motor gestures to control touchscreen devices such as Smartphones and tablets. When used in congruency with supporting open-source apps and software developed at Georgia Tech, children with fine motor impairments are able to access...
San Francisco’s Plan for Small Business Accessibility Compliance
Dec, 13 2012
San Francisco has launched the Americans with Disabilities Act Small Business Assessment Program as part of their overall Invest in Neighborhoods pilot initiative. S.F. Mayor Edwin M. Lee, along with District 4 Supervisor Carmen Chu, set out to help small businesses become compliant under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). By launching this program, their goal is to supply each business ...
Lowering the Unemployment Rate of the Disabled Population
Dec, 06 2012
Not only is Tom Ridge a former politician, an advisor for several large companies, served on the board of quite a few "Big Box" corporations, and Founder/CEO of a security consulting firm, he also chairs the National Organization on Disability, an organization that promotes the full participation of America's 54 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life - most notably, employment....
Another Blow for Advocates of Equal Rights in the USA as Senate Rejects UN Treaty
Dec, 05 2012
Dozens of Senate Republicans voted against the new UN treaty created to ban discrimination, stating that the treaty as it stands would create new rights for abortion and negatively affect people who choose to homeschool their disabled children. Adversely, the advocates of the treaty believe that the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) would be globally standardizing the...
European Commission to Standardize Accessibility of Online Services
Dec, 04 2012
The European Commission has proposed a Directive that would mandate the standardization of online accessibility guidelines, affecting essential government services such as (but not limited to) social security, job searches and submission for personal certificates and documents. These standards would ultimately ensure that the 80 million European citizens who are living with a disability, as well ...
Hotels in Spain are called to task on reporting illegitimate accounts of their facilities’ accessibility
Nov, 30 2012
Hotels in Spain will now think twice about reporting illegitimate accounts of their facilities’ accessibility. The Instituto de Biomecánica in Valencia’s website, turacces.ibv.org, has been bestowed the Ulysses Award for Innovation in Research and Technology at the World Tourism Organization. Historically, many hotels, restaurants, and attractions have tended to embellish their accessibility...
Parents with disabilities are being stripped of their custody
Nov, 29 2012
Imagine you and your spouse just went through the amazing experience of having a baby. Everyone is healthy and happy, and excited to get home and begin your lives together. The nursery is new and clean, the extended family is over the moon to meet the new addition, and then two days after returning home from the hospital, your newborn is removed from your custody and put into the foster care...
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