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Russia’s Treatment of Disabled Kids ‘Deplorable’ : Study

A 93-page report from Human Rights Watch describes the violence, educational deprivation and neglect faced by children with disabilities who are placed in state orphanages. By: Olivia Ward Foreign Affairs Reporter, Published on Mon Sep 15 2014

“The staff used to hit me and drag me by the hair,” says Nastia Y., a 19-year-old woman who spent most of her life in a Russian orphanage. “They gave me pills to calm me down.”

Nastia was one of an estimated 30 per cent of disabled Russian children who are confined to state orphanages, where their futures are often blighted.

Uber Sued for Allegedly Refusing Rides to the Blind and Putting a Dog in the Trunk

By Gail Sullivan, September 10

An advocacy group for the blind is suing the app-based ride-sharing service Uber, alleging the company discriminates against passengers with service dogs.

The federal civil rights suit filed Tuesday by the California chapter of the National Federation of the Blind cites instances in California and elsewhere when blind Uber customers summoned a car only to be refused a ride once the driver saw them with a service dog. In some cases, drivers allegedly abandoned blind travelers in extreme weather and charged cancellation fees after denying them rides, the complaint said.

New iBooks® Textbook Helps Visually Impaired Visit the Stars Through Touch, Sound

SAS, Space Telescope Science Institute Inspire Passion for Science in Students CARY, NC–(Marketwired – September 04, 2014)

A free, multitouch iBooks Textbook for iPad® is now available to inspire students of all abilities to pursue futures in science. Reach for the Stars: Touch, Look, Listen, Learn (opens in new window/tab) incorporates new, assistive technologies so children with visual disabilities, too, can experience striking deep-space images like never before.

Free for download from Apple’s iBookstore(SM), Reach for the Stars (opens in new window/tab) was created for iPad by analytics provider SAS and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).

For blind bus riders, a new app boosts independence

By Madeline Ken
NEW YORK, Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The app, called StopInfo, is integrated into a popular existing app called OneBusAway that gives real time information on the location of city buses.

StopInfo adds details that help blind riders find the bus stop.

“When a user wants detailed information about a transit stop, he or she touches a button and the system displays details, such as where the stop is in relation to street intersections, whether there is a bench and trash can, what the shape of the sign pole is . . . This information can be read out loud for blind users of the phone, using VoiceOver mode,” explained Alan Borning in email to Reuters Health.

Auckland Disability Community Unite on First Feedback to UN

August 31, 2014 By aqureshi

NEW ZEALAND: A group of 25 Disabled People’s Organizations, interest groups and service providers, along with countless disabled people and family members have released their first assessment on New Zealand’s disability rights record to the United Nations. And the verdict is; it’s time to turn agreements into action.

The 52 page shadow report, which was made public by the United Nations today, is disabled Aucklander’s first official opportunity to update the UN Committee on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) on how well government is progressing on the commitments it signed up to in 2008.

KNFB Reader: Access to Print Text on the Go for Blind and Visually Impaired

Posted August 29, 2014
Fast, Accurate, Efficient

The wait is finally over. The highly anticipated KNFB Reader iOS app that provides access to print text on the go, was presented at the 74th Annual Convention of the National Federation of the Blind to enthusiastic cheers and applause.

KNFB Reader

Introducing the KNFB Reader iOS

Elections Canada Announces Accessibility Improvements

GUELPH, Ontario, Thursday August 28, 2014

As part of Elections Canada’s commitment to accessibility to all Canadian voters, Elections Canada and Matthew Wozenilek, a Guelph accessibility advocate,
are pleased to announce that in the next federal election all polling sites in Canada will feature either power assisted door openers or dedicated staff to assist door openings.

“We are building on our previous commitments with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and the Hughes case to ensure that all Canadians can access our voting
sites in a barrier-free manner,” says Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, Marc Mayrand. “This will be a great step forward for all persons with disabilities in Canada,” added Mr. Wozenilek.

Purple Communications Introduces Next-Generation SmartVP 2.0 Videophone

Deaf Telecommunications Company Announces the Relaunch of SmartVP 2.0, Supported by a New, State-of-the-Art Video Platform for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

ROCKLIN, CA–(Marketwired – Aug 26, 2014)

Purple Communications, Inc. today announced the availability of the SmartVP 2.0 videophone specifically designed for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. The next generation of SmartVP features upgraded hardware and software, supported by new and powerful video platform to provide a seamless communication experience.

Initially launched in 2013, SmartVP is an Android-based HD videophone that connects to a television, allowing deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to communicate with each other and with people who don’t know sign language through the use of Video Relay Service (VRS).

Cloud Computing: Potential, Pitfalls for People with Disabilities

New research argues that cloud can be an important platform for increasing the independence of people with disabilities but industry and government need a conscious approach to accessibility Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) on 22 August, 2014 08:00

Cloud computing can help empower people with disabilities by offering increased independence and opportunities to participate in the workforce, according to a new report.

However, without a conscious approach to building services that support accessibility standards, vendors and IT departments risk limiting people’s ability to use software-as-a-service applications and other cloud services.

The report, produced by Media Access Australia and sponsored by the Australian Web Industry Association, was released this morning.

Baltimore Required to Improve Hiring Policies and Practices to Comply with Disabilities Act

City settles discrimination complaint for $65,000

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s administration settled a discrimination complaint brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, agreeing to ensure that hiring follows rules that forbid asking most job candidates to take medical exams.

The Justice Department had accused the city of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act after the Fire Department refused to hire a candidate for a dispatcher position when a medical exam revealed that she had a disability.

The city agreed to pay the woman $65,000 and to ensure its hiring policies and practices follow the law, according to a consent decree filed with a complaint in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

5 Shocking Ways the Modern World Screws Blind People

By J.F. Sargent, T.L. Swedensky
August 19, 2014

Due to a rare genetic disorder, my father and three of my uncles are blind. So even though I’ve had sight my whole life, I know that most people’s definition of blindness (“Uh … their eyes don’t work, right?”) misses a huge chunk of what going through life without vision is really like. So while you’ve probably already figured out that blind folks aren’t all ninja warriors like Daredevil and the guy from The Book of Eli, you may not know that …

#5. People Are Constantly Accusing You of Faking

UK CAA Tighten Information Rules For Disabled Passengers

Monday, 18 August 2014 15:23
Written by George Sensalis

The UK CAA has set tougher requirements on airports and airlines concerning information they must provide disabled passengers.

The Civil Aviation Authority has issued a new set of rules on information UK airports and airlines operating flights to and from the United Kingdom must make available to passengers with disabilities.

Requirements concern making essential information available to consumers in an accessible format. Information should be provided on a single web page one click away from the home page of the operator’s website or on webpages directly accessible from a single ‘landing’ webpage one click away from the home page.

Groundbreaking Report: The Cost of Exclusion

July 11th, 2014

A new report commissioned by CBM in partnership with the International Centre for Evidence in Disability shows for the first time the economic cost of excluding people with disability not only to the individual, but also to their family, carers and society at large.

Focused on low and middle-income countries, this groundbreaking report shows the economic potential of people with disability, and how efforts to include people with disability can be hugely beneficial not only to individuals but to entire nations. Some of the findings show:

  • In China, each additional year of school completed by people with disability leads to a wage increase of between 5-8%;

Using Technology To Mitigate Cognitive Disabilities


A 2013 ruling by the Department of Labor established a baseline for federal contractors to have 7% of their workforce be individuals with disabilities. Additionally, passage by the U.S. House and Senate of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)demonstrates a growing emphasis on hiring more individuals with disabilities. However, for this trend to be successful for businesses, they must improve their recruitment and retention of these individuals.

Within the disabled community, one of the largest sectors is made up of individuals with a cognitive challenge of some type. Although people may think that a cognitive disability indicates an inability to perform complex work, most cognitive disabilities are related to processing issues such as difficulty tracking rapid speech or cognitive fatigue.

Scientists Link Environment, Inclusion in Adults with Disabilities

August 11, 2014
Kessler Foundation


An association between the built environment and disability-related outcomes for adults with physical impairments has been made by researchers. These findings focus attention on the environment as an important factor in disability-related outcomes.

Kessler Foundation researchers have identified an association between the built environment and disability-related outcomes for adults with physical impairments. The article, Disability and the built environment: an investigation of community and neighborhood land uses and participation for physically impaired adults, was published in the July issue of Annals of Epidemiology. The authors are Amanda Botticello, PhD, MPH, and Nicole Cobbold, BS, of Kessler Foundation, and Tanya Rohrbach, MS, of Raritan Valley Community College, Branchburg, NJ.

Redbox and Lighthouse for the Blind, DRA Announces Settlement Agreement

BERKELEY, CA August 4, 2014

San Francisco-based Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually-Impaired, Disability Rights Advocates, and the Law Offices of Jay Koslofsky entered into a settlement agreement with Redbox Automated Retail, LLC (Redbox) that is expected to significantly improve access for blind individuals to Redboxs® self-service, touchscreen video-rental kiosks in California.

Redbox has agreed to modify all its interactive, touchscreen video-rental kiosks in California by adding nonvisual accessibility features

Redbox offers the nations most popular video-rental service for DVDs, Blu-ray® discs, and video games and operates thousands of video rental kiosks in California.

National Federation of the Blind Endorses Online Ballot Marking

Accessible Online Ballot Marking Provided by Everyone Counts Gives Visually Impaired Voters Ability to Cast Secure, Secret Ballot San Diego, CA (PRWEB) August 05, 2014

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) issued a resolution urging states that have UOCAVA online ballot-marking systems to make those systems accessible and to extend their use to voters with disabilities, and for all remaining states and territories to implement these same systems.

Government Supports Accessible Transportation

August 1, 2014 10:18 AM

Nova Scotians in rural communities will have more accessible transportation after a government investment announced today, Aug. 1.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey, on behalf of Municipal Affairs Minister Mark Furey, announced the funding for new accessible vehicles for eight community transportation organizations.

“The province is committed to helping Nova Scotians in rural communities to get where they need to go,” said Ms. Casey. “We want to ensure that safe and affordable, accessible transportation is available to Nova Scotians.”

Government is investing $412,990 under the Accessible Transportation Assistance Program.

Deaf-Blind woman Tests Canada’s Equality Guarantee: Goar

Jasmin Simpson, who is deaf and blind, says it’s unfair that she had to pay 60 per cent more than non-disabled university students for the same education.

Jasmin Simpson, 39, overcame her deafness, her blindness and her lupus, to earn a master’s degree in social work. By: Carol Goar Star Columnist, Published on Tue Jul 29 2014

The government of Canada can outmuscle, outspend and outlast Jasmin Simpson. But it can’t deflect her from her goal.

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Updating New York’s Accessibility Signage and Logos

Enacted alongside 24th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act Albany, NY (July 25, 2014)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation that will further advance New York State as an advocate of rights for people with disabilities. It amends existing law to require the removal of the word handicapped from new or replaced state signage, as well as update and destigmatize the accessibility logo. Just enacted, this legislation comes during the 24th anniversary of the national Americans with Disabilities Act, which was the first major step to prohibit discrimination on the basis of a disability.

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