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Accessibility News International
Accessibility News International will strive to bring you as much information as possible from around the Globe regarding issues of accessibility for the Disability Community.
People With Disabilities and the Promise of ICTs
Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 @ 09:14 UTC
by John Liebhardt
The Future of ICT for Development
This post is part of a series commissioned by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) on the future of ICTs and development.
“I MAY be 100% blind but the internet has taken away 50% of my disability,” Silatul Rahim Dahman
told Cindy Tham of the Nut Graph, an independent Malaysian news site.
The Paciello Group and Riverdocs Announce Accessibility Services for Legacy PDF Documents
The Paciello Group (TPG), pioneers in the field of accessible interface design, and Riverdocs, a leading document conversion solutions provider, today announced a partnership that will provide the ability to take existing PDF documents and deliver structured, accessible HTML content in conformance with existing governmental guidelines. These guidelines include adhering to the
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2 (WCAG 2.0), the DDA and Section 508 requirements.
Guest Commentary: Accessibility, a Short Definition
By Anna Taylor
A Person in a Wheelchair
Since the advent of the Americans with Disabilities Act, commercial establishments have been trying to comply with the laws with varying success. As for what is accessible and what is not, a simple rule to follow is that if some arrangement is accessible for the less ambulatory, it will be accessible for anyone. Lowering a light switch to a height that can be used by a person in a wheelchair does not make it difficult for an ambulatory person. And in fact,
it might be easier to turn on light switches that are belt level than one that is 5 feet up the wall! The ADA actually makes the world easier to operate
for all people. (Sometime watch how many ambulatory people use the ramps at a ball park as opposed to those using the stairs.)
The Deadly Silence of the Electric Car
Automakers Propose Vroom-Vroom Substitutes to Alert Pedestrians
By: Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post, 23, 2009
After years of trying to make cars sound as if they were riding on air,
engineers are considering how they might bring back some noise. They’re trying to make some of them — those silent hybrids — more audible.
Pentictonites joins anti-HST rallies across B.C.
By Steve Kidd – Penticton Western News
Published: September 22, 2009 6:00 PM
Regina Parker was one of about 40 people gathered downtown Saturday to protest the Harmonized Sales Tax. On a fixed income, the disabled woman says the tax will eat away at the small amount of money she gets to live on.
Experts Gather to Discuss Invisible Addictions
By Misty Harris, Canwest News ServiceSeptember 22, 2009
Chronic dependence on things such as shopping is being treated across North America, despite the fact that not one of these so-called “addictions” is officially recognized as a disorder.
Grandma collected one too many cookie jars? She may need rehab.
Chronic dependence on things such as hoarding, shopping, playing video games and even using Twitter is being treated in Betty Ford-style clinics across North America, despite the fact not one of these so-called “new addictions” is officially recognized as a disorder — at least, not yet.
Lyme Disease Patients Rally for Better Diagnostic Tests
Updated Sun. Sep. 20 2009 10:00 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
Canadian Lyme disease patients are calling for better doctor training and more accurate tests so sufferers can be diagnosed and treated quickly before their side effects become crippling and chronic.
At rallies across Canada this week, patients called for greater awareness of the disease within the medical community, and asked provincial governments to train doctors to recognize the disease.
“We have people on crutches, we have people that couldn’t come today because they are bedridden,” Lyme disease patient Gwen Barlee told CTV News at a rally in Vancouver. “Most people I know who have Lyme disease don’t have jobs anymore.”
Disabilities Do Not Have to Broaden the Digital Divide
Last Updated: September 21. 2009
Frequently my choice of which restaurant, mall, or friend to visit is based on my knowledge of the prospects for finding parking. Am I alone in this? Consider then the infinitely greater issues and constraints faced by people with physical disabilities.
The issue of accessibility is not only limited to the physical world. In recent years there has been a growing appreciation of accessibility’s implications in cyber space. Anyone who has tried to access a website mistakenly rendered inaccessible by an Etisalat firewall might have experienced some mild frustration.
Consider then the visually impaired individual attempting to access information on the web. Time and again the desired information is available, but rendered inaccessible by the thoughtless design of websites.
Guest Commentary: What Would You Want?
By Ana Taylor
September 21, 2009
Have you ever wondered what it is like for someone else to go about their living? I’m sure at some point in all of our lives someone has said, “Try to think what it’s like in my shoes.” People today are caught up in their own lives, problems, and health concerns. It appears to me as if they think they’re the only ones who should be accommodated. Whether you are disabled or just experiencing old age, everyone should have equal access to commercial business,
even if it’s a little more “leg work” for the owner.
Canada Games Success Takes Censorship And Disability Discrimination
PRLog (Press Release) – Sep 17, 2009 -
The Canada Games 2009 Host Committee reported their happiness with the Games success in the Charlottetown Guardian.
“Why does a national sporting event funded with taxpayers money feel it has
the right to infringe our freedom of speech and trample disability rights?” said Stephen Pate, director of PEI Disability Alert. “We don’t believe taxpayer money should fund organizations that didn’t appreciate the values
in a liberal democracy.”
“Why did Canada Games tolerate the disability discrimination at the UPEI Canada Games site?”
Canadian group vows to fight Tanzania albino murders
By George Obulutsa, ReutersSeptember 14, 2009
DAR ES SALAAM – A Canadian rights group says it will not rest until there is an end to the murder of albinos in Tanzania — a minority often hunted down for their body parts to be used in witchcraft.
Since 2007 at least 53 albinos have been killed in various parts of the east African nation, with most incidents occurring in the remote northwest regions of Shinyanga and Mwanza, where superstition is deep-seated.
When Disability is No Barrier
ICT applications should consider handicapped users from the start,
Writer: Sasiwimon Boonruang
Published: 16/09/2009 at 12:00 AM
Kamollak Deeyai, or Nong Kob, has difficulty controlling her movements and speech, as she was born with athetoid cerebral palsy.
Nong Oay and Nong Note enjoy taking photos for visitors and editing them with the Photoshop program.
The Mattayom 1 student cannot articulate, but she is able to communicate with teachers and friends with a picture notebook and the Talking Switch speech assistive equipment, which helps her to partake in activities in the classroom.
Beside Nong Kob, at the United Nation building recently, was fellow wheelchair user Nong Oay, who has weak bones due to the inherited disorder of collagen synthesis, and Nong Note, who suffers muscle weakness.
All are students at Srisangwal School who today enjoy using not only the assistive technology, developed by the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec), but also computer programs such as Photoshop.
BlindAid: Virtual Maps For The Blind
Medical News Today
11 Sep 2009
The blind and visually impaired often rely on others to provide cues and
information on navigating through their environments. The problem with this
method is that it doesn’t give them the tools to venture out on their own,
says Dr. Orly Lahav of Tel Aviv University’s School of Education and Porter
School for Environmental Studies.
To give navigational “sight” to the blind, Dr. Lahav has invented a new
software tool to help the blind navigate through unfamiliar places. It is
connected to an existing joystick, a 3-D haptic device, that interfaces
with the user through the sense of touch. People can feel tension beneath
their fingertips as a physical sensation through the joystick as they
navigate around a virtual environment which they cannot see, only feel: the
joystick stiffens when the user meets a virtual wall or barrier.
Role of Disabilities Ignored for Tens of Millions Experiencing Income PovertyNearly half of all working age adults experiencing poverty have a disability.
Nearly half of all working age adults experiencing poverty have a disability.
For Immediate Release: September 9, 2009
Contact: Alan Barber, (202) 293-5380 x115
Washington, D.C.- When the Census Bureau releases its yearly data on income
poverty this Thursday, there will likely be little focus on disability as a
cause and consequence of poverty. Yet, as a new report from the Center for
Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) shows, the share of people experiencing income poverty who have
disabilities is far larger than conventionally understood. Nearly half of
all working-age adults experiencing poverty on an annual basis have a
disability, and more than half of household heads will experience a period
of disability by their
Suit: Ban on Service Animals Violates Fair Housing Act
September 10, 2009 By JOHN RILEY
A Lindenhurst apartment complex has violated the Fair Housing Act by
excluding disabled people with service animals from renting, the federal
government charged in a lawsuit released Thursday.
Guest Editorial: Rural vs. Urban
By Victor Schwartzman
September 14, 2009
A recent article from The Sudbury Star noted the lack of certain health programming in rural Ontario—for example, mental health programmes. A member of
the Ontario Legislature, France Gelinas, is currently leading a Legislative committee touring rural Ontario communities (i.e. not Toronto), gathering information
about the current situation. It appears obvious that when it comes to ‘services’, good luck if you do not live in Toronto.
High-Tech Glasses Help the Nearly Blind See
Last Updated: Friday, September 11, 2009 | 2:19 PM ET
Anne Lewis, who is legally blind, has been testing the glasses. Unlike other products she has tried, they work while she is moving.
An Ottawa company is developing computerized glasses that help people with severe visual impairments see — as well as zoom in on and replay what they saw with the press of a button.
IBM and Chinese Deaf Association Launch Real-time, Online Sign Language Interpretation Service
Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:00pm EDT
First-of-a-kind Internet Service Supports Organization of 2009 Deaflympics
TAIPEI, Taiwan, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the
Chinese Deaf Association announced the launch of an online sign language
interpretation service in Taiwan, aimed to provide video and audio instant
messaging services to the deaf. The service, initially used to support the
organization of the 21st Summer Deaflympics held in Taipei city from September
5 to 15, will benefit over 200,000 deaf and hearing impaired people in Taiwan.
19 Abuse Cases Found by Investigators at N.S. Residence for Mentally Disabled
By Michael Tutton (CP) –
September 9, 2009
HALIFAX, N.S. — Residents of an aging centre in Nova Scotia for mentally handicapped and mentally ill adults suffered 19 cases of physical, emotional or sexual abuse over the past two years, say government documents obtained by The Canadian Press under provincial access to information legislation.
Quiet Hybrid Cars a Risk for the Blind
Japanese panel considers ring-tones for hybrids and electric cars
CBC News, September 8, 2009 | 9:25 AM ET
One appeal of a hybrid or electric car is its super-quiet drive. But worries are growing that blind people may be endangered by that silence.
The Japanese government has set up a panel with automakers, organizations for the blind, and consumers groups to come up with a solution that could have such vehicles emitting what sounds like engine noise, or musical sounds like a cellphone ringtone, officials said Tuesday.
ADD & ADHD Drugs War For Children
Pills for ChildrenShould we really be giving ADD & ADHD hyperactivity drugs like Ritalin to our growing boys and girls? Are we willing to take the risks of short term and unknown long term side effects or rather, are the kids willing? Have we stopped to care what emotional impact forcing these decisions on our children will have on their psyche?
Lawyer: Push forE-Reader Could Violate Blind Students’ Rights
By Megha Satyanarayana Free Press Staff Writer
September 02, 2009 20:29 PM
Efforts to bring some of the most cutting-edge technologies to Wayne State University classrooms could violate the rights of blind students, lawyer and Board of Governors Chairman Richard Bernstein said today.
Mobility Cup 2009 Toronto – The wrap up of a great regatta
Sun, 6 Sep 2009
The inaugural Mobility Cup in 1991 kicked off the annual Canadian-hosted international regatta for sailors with a disability. In 1999, The Mobility Cup came to Toronto and left in its wake the Disabled Sailing Association of Ontario – what has become the country’s largest sailing program of its type.
Published 31 August 2009
Why bog standard should be a fully accessible standard
There is one final taboo in our culture. These days we have become used to people talking and writing about the most personal of subjects such as sex, mental illness and death. Yet there remains an aspect of our lives which is rarely discussed openly – the whole business of going to the loo.
Wheelchair users are perhaps the exception. We are forced by our circumstances to talk about it – with our family, our carers, our work colleagues and with medical professionals. I’d hazard a guess that I’m the first person to write an article about it for this website.
Into the Mainstream
After decades of virtually no access to education, children with special needs are getting a shot at the regular school system
By Passa nt Rabie
on the vast compound belonging to the Ministry of Education (MOE), beyond the garden and the massive, white villa, there lies a decrepit building on the margins of the property. On its fourth floor, in a small section behind a nondescript door, is the Department of Special Education, isolated and until now, mostly ignored.
Eight-year-old Abdel Rahman walks in, grasping his mother’s hand for guidance. Born with a defect of the optic nerve, the young boy has suffered from poor vision all his life. He missed a year of school as it became increasingly difficult for him to see what was written on the blackboard. Today, his mother has come to request her son be transferred from public school to a specialized school for students with visual impairments.
Shining a Light Into a Dark World
By Gemma Handy
READING a newspaper or sitting down with a good book is something most of us take for granted.
But for 22-year-old Stephen Stubbs it’s a skill that required much dedication and mastery of a host of hi-tech equipment.
Born totally blind, Stephen demonstrated an aptitude for the cutting edge computer software which has revolutionised his life and stunned his teachers in the process.
Digital TV software provides talking menus for the visually impaired, deaf and elderly
NY Disability Examiner, September 2, 2009
Bristol/Hong Kong-based Ocean Blue Software, a specialist digital TV
software house, has developed “talking” digital TV technology for set top
boxes and televisions that could potentially benefit millions of people who
are blind, visually impaired, deaf, severely dyslexic, and elderly.
Round Table: ‘Accessibility and Reasonable Accommodation”
Published on: 2009-09-03
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro urged Member States this morning to without delay sign, ratify and implement the Convention on
the Rights of Persons with Disabilities — a landmark document that provided a solid norm for advancing the human rights of the 650 million people worldwide
with disabilities — as well as its Optional Protocol.
New York A.G. Announces Comprehensive Web Access Settlement
Congratulations to New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo’s office for its announcement this week of a comprehensive accessibility settlement with HSBC Card Services.
The settlement, negotiated by attorney Jeffrey Powell in the Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection, addresses web accessibility, alternative formats for visually impaired customers, relay service for deaf and hearing impaired customers, and other important accessibility issues. Under the Agreement, the HSBC web site will satisfy Conformance Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, promulgated by the Web Accessibility Initiative
(WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (w3c) no later than May 31, 2010.
Canadians with arthritis are urged to get moving during Arthritis Awareness Month
TORONTO, ONTARIO, NEWS RELEASE–(Marketwire – Sept. 1, 2009) – Almost two-thirds of Canadians struggling with arthritis believe that physical activity poses the risk of aggravating their symptoms, according to a recent poll commissioned by The Arthritis Society. This percentage was considerably higher than
the general population who responded at 46 per cent, as indicated by the Ipsos Reid survey.
Drawing From Adversity: Disabled Artists Support Themselves Despite Tough Economic Conditions
Mouth and Foot Painting Artists of Canada helps disabled artists foster a
TORONTO, Sept. 1 /CNW/ – Every artist dreams of being able to live off of
their artwork, but few are fortunate enough to be able to sustain themselves
through their creativity alone. Despite the current state of the global
economy and the limited options available to disabled people in the Canadian
workforce, the members of the Mouth and Foot painting Artists of Canada (MFPA)
have been fortunate to be able to work within an organization that provides
them with independence, fulfilment and job security.