Russian Prime Minister pledges $1.8 billion in aid to improve accessibility for people with disabilities

By 2015, the Russian government will allocate 50 billion rubles (more than $1.5 billion) to finance the accessible environment program, the goal of which is to provide comfortable access for people with disabilities to the main facilities of the social sector, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Friday. Speaking at a meeting with the coordination council… Continue Reading »

New version of NVDA screen reader released

NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) 2011.2 has been released by NV Access, the free and open source screen reader for Microsoft Windows is now available for download. It enables blind people to access computers running Microsoft Windows for no cost. Major features include support for over 20 languages and the ability to run entirely from a… Continue Reading »

Call for Nominations: 2011 International da Vinci Awards® Recognizing Adaptive and Assistive Technology Innovations

International awards program seeking entries from individuals, organizations and corporations whose innovations enable people to participate and contribute to all aspects of society, regardless of ability ( The 2011 da Vinci Awards® is seeking nominations from around the world for its 10th anniversary awards program recognizing and celebrating the most innovative adaptive and assistive technologies that enable equal… Continue Reading »

Educators want more access to public schools in Jamaica for children with disabilities

Jamaica: A group of educators is calling on the Ministry of Education to urgently address the lack of access in public institutions for students who are living with disability. The recommendation from the group is part of a long needs list the educators compiled during a two-week summer institute sponsored by the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) and the… Continue Reading »

Moscow plans better disability access by 2018

Moscow is determined to be more disabled-friendly by 2018 – but it is attracting tourists rather than helping residents that is driving plans forward. Russia’s capital has a bad reputation for accessibility issues, with public transport and homes coming under fire in recent weeks. But a meeting of city bosses on Wednesday focused more on… Continue Reading »

WIPO copyright body agreed on instrument for visually impaired persons

The World Intellectual Property Organisation’s (WIPO) copyright negotiating body agreed last week to move forward on an instrument that would facilitate access to copyrighted works by visually impaired persons and others with print or reading disabilities. A vast cross-regional coalition of members, including Argentina, Brazil, the EU, and the US, came forward in support of… Continue Reading »

Panasonic launched cordless telephone for people with hearing disabilities and low vision

Panasonic, the leading brand of cordless home telephones worldwide, introduced a new DECT 6.0 plus technology cordless telephone to enable consumers with hearing and visual disabilities The Talking Caller ID announces caller ID information between rings using text-to-speech technology. Any-key Answer allows any handset key to be pressed to answer a call, and the ergonomically… Continue Reading »

Wheelchair users face metro 'ban' in St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Petersburg, Russia: Wheelchair users have been banned from the St. Petersburg metro – and the scandal is throwing more attention on to the state of Moscow’s accessibility. In the northern capital there was fury when a young woman was stopped at the turnstiles and the network’s managers praised staff for “improving their work”. While… Continue Reading »

Sochi 2014 to create Russian Accessibility Map

In anticipation of the all-Russian celebration marking 1,000 days to go until the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee has announced the launch of an innovative “Accessibility Map” project. The main objective is to help people with a disability to find easily accessible locations where they can engage in Paralympic sports.… Continue Reading »

UI professor creates crosswalk system that helps blind people

MOSCOW, Idaho — A University of Idaho (UI) professor has developed a system being installed in cities around the country that helps visually impaired pedestrians safely cross intersections. Professor Richard Wall tells KLEW-TV that the Advanced Accessible Pedestrian System provides audible signals as well as raised arrows that tell visually impaired walkers when and in… Continue Reading »