TEL AVIV, ISRAEL: The June 2018 Entrepreneurs Conference “From Start-up Nation to Impact Nation” featured a students’ Assistive Technologies competition where Moshe Gaon, Founder and CEO of yoocan technologies was invited to judge and shared his vision about impact investments and the social impact tech world.
“Social investment models have enormous economic potential, but there are still not enough investors who understand this. These are investments in corporate companies and foundations designed to do good through social change and have an economic return.” There is no tax or other benefits like philanthropy, so it’s hard to raise money. There’s also ignorance and a lack of understanding among investors and companies about the business potential. There is almost no government involvement or investment. It’s a hot space, but investors still have a dilemma about whether it’s business or not.”
Gaon emphasized that impact investment is not philanthropic and that start-ups in this space have great business potential. “Entrepreneurs and investors need the courage to invest in assistive technologies.” The online environment is not safe for children in general and for children with disabilities in particular, which is 20% of the world’s population. The market for accessible technologies in the US is estimated at $45 billion and is growing by 6 percent a year, so that’s the next thing and we have to be there. “
So far, the yoocan community has 180,000 members who can upload content. “My goal is to connect manufacturers to users and provide them with solutions by connecting investors to entrepreneurs. We seek great investors to join us in building yoocan as the leader in the community and our focused early stage hub.”
In the 2018 entrepreneurs competition organized by Amal and the Calcalist newspaper in Tel Aviv. Students from the Amal technology school network in Israel presented seven innovative social based startups created by the the high school students themselves:
The winner of the student competition was the bracelet for older people. This is an innovative solution for security and communication.
In the last three years Israel has become a hot ecosystem for social and assistive technologies. Earlier this year yoocan announced its new Hub for accelerating early-stage companies in this area. Moshe explained “As an ecosystem leader, we intend to be at the forefront of helping and identifying the best technologies in this area”.
yoocan was established in July 2016 following the birth of Gaon’s nephew, Erez, who was born with a serious disability. The situation forced Gaon to understand the difficulty of a family coping with disabilities and suffering from loneliness and the difficulty in locating suitable products, services, solutions, and doctors. yoocan is now the leading global collaborative community and early stage hub technology for and by people with disabilities.
Feel free to contact Moshe (email@example.com) & explore the Yoocan website by clicking here.
Posted with permission
AUCKLAND, NZ: Expressions of interest for the upcoming Universal Design Conference is closing on the 31st May.
The conference committee welcomes you to submit expressions of interest in oral, workshop or poster presentations at the Te Ao Tangata Universal Design Conference 2018.
Universal Design Conference
6 – 7 September 2018
Victory Convention Centre, Auckland
Individuals or collaborative groups are invited to submit an expression of interest (EOI) to present for sessions that relate to the themes of the conference.
The themes for the 2018 conference is: Te Ao Tangata – Inclusive by Design
The conference welcomes a range of projects at different stages of their development, from theoretical underpinnings, to conceptual designs, through to completed projects. How projects have collaborated with diverse users during the design process will be explored. This conference aims to inspire and innovate, all are welcome!
To submit your expression of interest, please visit their website to submit your EOI via their online form.
Visit the website www.udc2018.co.nz to keep up to date with new information as it becomes available.
Re-posted with permission
TORONTO, ON, CANADA: Crawford Technologies, provider of innovative document solutions that streamline, improve and manage customer communications, announced March 21st, 2018 that it will be hosting a complementary pre-conference workshop at Xploration® 18, the worldwide electronic document systems association’s annual conference, on the importance of providing accessible documents on:
Monday, April 16 from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.
With upcoming Section 508 changes and new global regulations, most organizations know that they need to make accessible documents available to their blind, partially sighted and cognitively disabled customers, but may not be clear on the best strategy for doing so. This hands-on session will break down the steps an organization needs to take to implement accessible documents across the organization—from transaction to published documents.
The educational workshop will be led by Crawford Technologies experts Dennis Quon, EDP, document accessibility services development manager, Aimée Ubbink, EDP, PMP, document accessibility specialist, and Scott Baker, EVP. Topics will cover the many factors that should be considered in producing accessible documents, what strategies are available to automate the process, and how to ensure an inclusive and positive customer experience. Additionally, the Crawford Technologies team will help participants fine-tune their current strategies while recommending an action plan to help each organization achieve its accessibility goals.
“We are excited to be hosting this educational and informative pre-conference program at Xploration 18,” said Ernie Crawford, president & CEO of Crawford Technologies. “We have designed the format to be an interactive experience full of exercises, demonstrations and discussions intended to help organizations create a plan to achieve the dual goals of maintaining regulatory compliance and meeting their customers’ needs for document accessibility.”
For more information or to register, visit this link.
About Crawford Technologies
Crawford Technologies develops solutions that help enterprises optimize and improve the secure and accessible delivery, storage and presentment of their customer communications. As an award-winning, global provider of products and services with over 1,800 customers on six continents, Crawford Technologies enables some of the world’s largest banks, insurers, healthcare providers, utilities and print services companies to reduce costs, simplify processes and streamline mission-critical communications across all channels and in all formats.
VIENNA, AUSTRIA: From February 21st to the 23rd of February, GAATES was actively engaged in the Zero Project Conference. The Zero Project is an initiative of the ESSL Foundation, with the mission of supporting the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) for a world without barriers. Today, the Zero Project is composed of a network of 4,000 experts that represent over 150 countries.
Since 2010, the Zero Project Conference has brought together an expert Network, which includes representatives of International organizations, multinational companies, leading NGOs, and entrepreneurs — to highlight global innovative policies and practices that actively promote the principles enshrined in the CRPD. During each Conference, an Awards ceremony recognizes different international policies or practices that have improved the lives of persons with disabilities and lead to greater accessibility to the built and digital environment.
One of the policies recognized during this year’s Awards ceremony, was the Dubai Universal Accessibility Strategy and Action Plan (DUASAP)– a project in which GAATES was directly involved in the development of the policy. Stemming from the strategic goal of being full accessible by 2020, the Government of the Emirate of Dubai chose to collaborate with GAATES to develop the DUASAP that addressed the areas of legislation, governance and enforcement, retrofitting, capacity building and awareness-raising in the Emirate.
Dr Salem A. Alshafiei, of the General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai, accepted the award on behalf of the Emirate of Dubai and GAATES. We would like to thank him and the Government of Dubai for their commitment to accessibility, universal design and inclusion.
GAATES additionally organized a Forum on Urban Development, presented the International Certified Accessibility Consultant – Built Environment (ICAC-BE) Program and held our Annual General Meeting (AGM).
We would also like to welcome our newest Board member, Alireza Darvishy, who accepted his nomination formally during the AGM. We are looking forward to collaborating with Alireza and our dynamic members of the Board and Country Representative Program to further our mission and reach in 2018.
The days in Vienna went by fast but it was wonderful to connect with the GAATES family, share laughs, good food and plan our strategic objectives for our dynamic and impactful engagements this year!
Bis nächstes Jahr Zero Project
POKHARA, NEPAL: The upcoming 3-day International Conference on Accessible Adventure (ICAA 2018) to be held on March 29‐31, 2018 at the Shangri‐La Village Resort in Pokhara, Nepal. The conference will focus on international best practices in inclusive tourism for “slow‐walker” seniors and travelers with disabilities relative leading to improved tourism facilities, services, and marketing that will attract a new segment of visitors to Nepal and provide new opportunities for Nepal’s disabled for business, employment, connectivity and experiencing the country’s wonders.
The ICAA 2018 theme – “Inspiration and Perspiration” – relates to the awareness, planning, commitment and collaboration necessary to make Nepal “The Accessible Adventure Capital of Asia.” Our keynote inspirational speaker will be Corporal Hari Budha Magar, Nepal’s famous Gurkha war-hero injured by an IED in Afghanistan. Hari will lead his Conquering Dreams team to scale Mt. Everest the first week of April 2018 “to show the world that any disability, any hardship, can be overcome.” Hari will be the first double-amputee above the knees to scale Mt. Everest bringing worldwide media attention to his climb and Nepal’s accessible adventure opportunities.
Conference Day opens with a “Light the Light” cultural tourism presentation followed by VIP introductory remarks and an insightful discussion of the Nepal accessible adventure mission. As mentioned, Cpl Hari Budha Magar will provide the opening “Conquering Dreams” inspirational keynote, followed by a series of speakers and panels throughout the day:
Day Two the conference participants will inaugurate NEPAL’S FIRST ACCESSIBLE TREKKING TRAIL in the Pokhara /Sarangkot region, a project sponsored by DfID and the Nepal Tourism Bureau. Additional eco and adventure tours are scheduled with the participants engaged in rating their experience and providing solutions for product and service improvement.
Day Three, the ICAA executive committee and invited tourism experts will spend the day compiling the ICAA 2018 findings and recommendations to be presented in Kathmandu the following week. They are expecting about 50 international and 75 domestic participants at the conference.
Why ICAA 2018 Focuses on Accessible Adventure
Accessible adventure is a subset of accessible tourism focused on meeting the needs of “slow walker” seniors and the mobile disabled (this can include prosthetics, deaf, blind, cognitive, families, etc.). At this stage of development, Nepal’s resident and tourism infrastructure has very, very limited wheelchair transportation and general accessibility, so it would be irresponsible to promote to this segment until the necessary product and service improvements are made. IDI’s proposed strategic plan focuses first on assisting Pokhara to become the model accessible adventure destination for Nepal, then expanding this concept to other top Nepal tourism destinations.
The Long-Term Goal – Sustainable Tourism For All
Destinations throughout the world are making major commitments in planning, education and construction of inclusive infrastructure. The UNWTO recommends that accessibility for all to tourist facilities, products, and services should be a central part of any responsible and sustainable tourism policy. The US Forest Service example here for Washington State illustrates their commitment to accessible adventure, which includes statewide trail improvements and a detailed video information program. Through our pre-conference research, network of inclusive tourism experts, call for papers and conference presentations, ICAA 2018 will fine tune the world’s best practices for application to Nepal’s environment. ICAA 2018 will be the catalyst for funding and expertise to develop a practical, actionable and business-centric Nepal Accessible Adventure Strategic Plan.
AUSTRALIA: Australia’s third Universal Design Conference will be held from 4-5 September 2018, in Brisbane at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre and for the first time will officially have exhibition space to enable products and services to be showcased.
On the eve of the call for papers closing – closes 28 February, interested exhibitors are asked to contact Tannia Garces for information on participating.
The theme is “Home and Away: Creating Inclusion Everywhere”. In keeping with the theme we are seeking exhibitors with products relating to housing, home and neighbourhood, travel, tourism, destinations and events. As we are living in a digital world, ICT products are also encouraged, particularly if they relate to the theme. As universal design covers just about anything, all services are welcome including health and wellbeing.
The international conference is expected to attract more than 200 delegates and will be covering the principles and goals of universal design and goes beyond basic access compliance. Topics will include:
• Housing development and design
• Neighbourhood design
• Travel and transportation
• Tourism and destinations
• Inclusive events
• Community involvement in design processes
• Accessible digital communications
Take this opportunity to display your products & services to the leaders in Universal Design. Contact Tannia today on 02 8586 6193 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information phone 1300 789 845 or visitwww.universaldesignconference.
NEW DELHI, INDIA: In a path breaking initiative to empower Persons with Disabilities, 100 Accessible websites of various State Governments/UTs under Accessible India Campaign were launched by the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot on the occasion of ‘National Conference on Improving Accessibility’ here today (January 19th, 2018). Ministers of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Vijay Sampla and Shri Krishna Pal Gurjar were present. Secretary, DEPwD Shri Shakuntala D. Gamlin and the officials from Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development participated in the conference and submitted their valuable inputs on implementation of accessibility in various walks of life.
Accessible Websites are those websites into which Persons with Disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web. The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) initiated a “Website Accessibility Project” for State Government/Union Territories under Accessible India Campaign through ERNET India, an autonomous scientific society under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), to make total 917 websites accessible and providing funds for the same. Now 100 accessible websites are made accessible under the project.
The aim of the conference was to sensitize and bring awareness among different stakeholders including the officials of state government on accessibility in the context of recently enacted Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2016. The Accessible India Campaign has three important components viz Built Environment; Transport and Information and Communication Eco-system accessibility.
In his address, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment said that the Divyangjans are an integral part of our society and we have to play an active role for their welfare. He said that Accessible India Campaign is a nationwide flagship campaign of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The aim of the campaign is to make a barrier free environment for persons with disabilities all over the country for safe, dignified life of Persons with Disabilities. He said that around 5800 ADIP camps had been organised nationwide by his ministry for distribution of assistive device to Divyangjans. He opined that such Accessible websites will play an important role in proper dissemination of Governments policies and schemes for the welfare of Divyangjans.
Shri Vijay Sampla in his address said that today we have moved ahead are more step towards Accessible India campaign by launching 100 Accessible websites of various State Governments/UTs under Accessible India Campaign. He said that DEPwD is doing a commendable job in this regard.
In his address Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar said that during past three and a half years many revolutionary steps have been taken by DEPwD, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment for the welfare of Divyangjans. He said that we need to empower the Divyangjans so that they can lead a normal life.
Addressing the gathering, Mrs. Shakuntala D Gamlin urged the Central and State Government Departments to adopt accessibility standards while providing any service be it physical, infrastructural and IT etc.
Mrs. Dolly Chakrabarty Joint Secretary, DEPwD emphasized on ensuring rural access as there is substantial difference in planning accessibility in rural areas and it is a less talked about topic in the growing era of urbanization.
ERNET India (MEITY) is executing the project which is funded by DEPwD under Accessibility India Campaign so far 917 websites across 27 States & UT have been chosen from the list of websites which have been provided by the State Social Welfare Departments through DEPwD.
Accessible Website Design Principles: – Provide appropriate alternative text, Caption video; Provide transcripts for audio; All documents (e.g., PDFs) to be accessible; Do not rely on color alone to convey meaning; and Make sure content is structured, clearly written and easy to read.
Current Status of Accessible Websites: –Total no. of websites: 917; Under Development: 244; Developed and Internally Audited: 208; and Live: 100
Web content accessibility guidelines –WCAG 2.0 :- Websites are made accessible by complying it as per Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standard organisation for the World Wide Web.
The guideline establish three levels of accessibility on basis of which websites are designed, namely:
The founding principles of the guidelines state information and user interface components must be presentable to user in ways they can perceive, user interface components and navigation must be operable and information and the operation of user interface must be understandable. Moreover, content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.
Reposted with permission.
BANGKOK, THAILAND: Recognizing the importance of energy for sustainable development, the United Nations in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has devoted Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) to energy – the first-ever universal goal on energy, with five targets on access, efficiency, renewables and means of implementation. SDG7 is inextricably interlinked to other SDGs and related targets, including those relating to poverty eradication, food security, clean water and sanitation, health, education, infrastructure, innovation, job creation, and the empowerment of youth and women. Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all is fundamental to realizing the vision of the 2030 Agenda. A shift toward sustainable energy solutions is also essential to the achievement of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The ambition of the 2030 Agenda calls for equally ambitious means of implementation, including enabling environments, effective institutions, technology cooperation, capacity building, scaled-up financing and multi-stakeholder partnerships to achieve sustainable development.
In this context, the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), serving as the central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, will undertake the first global review of SDG7 in July 2018, under the auspices of Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). To help provide a solid substantive foundation for the review of SDG7, a global preparatory meeting in support of the review of SDG7 at the 2018 High-Level Political Forum, jointly organized by United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), will be held on 21-23 February 2018 at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. The global preparatory meeting will help facilitate exchange of lessons, insights and experiences among Member States, UN entities and other international organizations and all stakeholders, and consider challenges and opportunities for accelerating progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. This conference is supported by the Governments of Norway, the Republic of Korea (through DESA’s UN Office on Sustainable Development), the People’s Republic of China (through the UN Peace and Development Fund), Germany, The Netherlands, and the European Commission, among others.
The registration for the Global SDG 7 Conference is now open to participation from all stakeholders.
More information about the conference can be found at https://
Registration to the Conference (deadline: 15th January 2018) https://
Side Event and Exhibits Application (deadline: 31st December 2017) https://
Follow #SDG7Conference for updates on twitter.
We look forward to your participation in the conference and working with all of you in preparing for a successful 2018 meeting of the HLPF, under the auspices of ECOSOC.
Source: Global SDG7 Conference