Headline News

Portugal First to Win Accessible Tourism Award

Europe, Tourism, September 13 2019

A person in a wheelchair in portugal

 PORTUGAL: Portugal is the first country to receive the “Accessible Tourism Destination” award from the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), which recognises the effort in promoting accessibility. “Portugal is the only country to have received this distinction, which is awarded for the first time this year by WTO in partnership with… Continue Reading »

3D Printed Wheelchairs Project Brings Assistive Tech to Developing Countries

Assistive Technology, Europe, September 13 2019

A wheelchair component in the process of being 3D printed (via Motivation)

UNITED KINGDOM: Run by charity Motivation in partnership with 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker, the project is called Motivation InnovATe. It is designed to establish the technologies, infrastructure and skills within developing countries to enable custom 3D printed wheelchairs to produced where and when they are needed. Initially starting in Kenya through local… Continue Reading »

NGO Launches Country’s First Assistive Tech

Asia-Pacific, Assistive Technology, September 12 2019

INDIA: Samarthanam, a 22-year-old disability-focused NGO, has launched the country’s first assistive technology accelerator. Assistive Technology Accelerator (ATA) has been working relentlessly towards creating more awareness about disability. Last month, ATA caught the attention of one of the top podcasters, Neil Patel, who featured it in the Indian Startup Show,… Continue Reading »

How Gaming Technology is Helping Design More Accessible Homes

Asia-Pacific, Built Environment, Universal Design, September 10 2019

A computer model of one of the accessible homes.

AUSTRALIA: A group of Perth university students and real estate agents have teamed up to design an accessible home using construction software inspired by the gaming industry, with the goal of raising awareness of the importance of creating universal affordable accommodation. Created for a Town of Victoria Park-owned site on Boundary… Continue Reading »

Government of Canada Announces New Accessible Technology Program Funding Recipients

Americas, Assistive Technology, September 9 2019

CANADA: Canadians with disabilities deserve the same opportunities to find good jobs, contribute to their communities, and build a better life for themselves and their families. Yet many Canadians with disabilities still face barriers to full participation in the digital economy. Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and… Continue Reading »

Blue Badge Applications Open for Persons with Invisible Disabilities

Europe, Transportation, September 6 2019

Blue Badge parking symbol in a parking lot

UNITED KINGDOM: People with hidden disabilities, such as anxiety disorders or brain injuries, can now apply for the Blue Badge disabled parking permits. The move to extend the eligibility for the passes, which allow holders to park in on-street spaces for free and use disabled bays, has been made to include people who… Continue Reading »

New Inclusive Public Buses Raise Optimism Among Persons with Disabilities

Africa, Transportation, September 5 2019

Persons in wheelchairs boarding a bus in Rwanda

RWANDA: For Jean Bosco Nzaramba, a person living with disability who loves to travel, using public transportation used to be a hustle. “It was difficult to find comfortable seats. Sometimes the last seat on the bus would be in between people. I had to seat and bare the discomfort until I… Continue Reading »

Makeathon to Build Tech for Persons with Disabilities in Kazakhstan

Asia-Pacific, Events, September 4 2019

Nur-Sultan Makeathon to build tech for people with disabilities. Photo credit: nu.edu.kz.

KAZAKHSTAN: Creative innovators will attempt to solve challenges set by people with disabilities in just 72 hours at the capital’s Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM): Nur-Sultan Makeathon Oct. 25-28, reports the Nazarbayev University press office. TOM Makeathon is a 72-hour marathon that unites makers, such as engineers, programmers, craftspeople and doctors, to… Continue Reading »

Film Partnership Focuses on Accessible Tourism in Scotland

Europe, Tourism, September 3 2019

ZDF has filmed at many venues, including Edinburgh Castle

SCOTLAND: A Glasgow-based manufacturer of accessible vehicles has been working with a leading German broadcaster and a tour operator on an initiative that supports disabled tourism in Scotland. Allied Vehicles Group teamed up with TV company ZDF and Schottland fuer Alle (Scotland for All) to showcase how accessible Scotland is for people… Continue Reading »

Myanmar Opens First Cafe Accessible for Persons with Hearing Impairment

Asia-Pacific, Built Environment, News, August 26 2019

MYANMAR: A first-ever private eatery run by staff with hearing impairment was opened in Myanmar’s Yangon earlier this month, creating a deaf-friendly environment. “The Able,” a sign language book cafe, is entirely staffed by six hearing-impaired persons from service staff to chef, to encourage disabled yet differently abled people to… Continue Reading »

New Universal Design Guide Aims to make Public Spaces Pleasant for All

Americas, Universal Design, August 23 2019

Screen Shot 2019-08-26 at 9.00.18 AM

UNITED STATES: When the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in 1990, it set forth expectations around how buildings and public spaces should be designed to accommodate limited mobility. Over the years, the guidelines helped create more accessible parks, buildings, schools, and neighborhoods, but for many architects, the rules stop short of… Continue Reading »

WHO: 8.5 Million Nigerians Experiencing Hearing Impairment

Africa, News, August 19 2019

World Health Organization logo

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has disclosed that 8.5 million Nigerians have a disabling hearing loss. In the same vein, an audiologist, at the King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, Prof. Dele Owolawi, has revealed that most Nigerians are losing their hearing abilities gradually due to noise from power generating set.… Continue Reading »

Greater Push to Accelerate Implementation of Accessible India Campaign

Asia-Pacific, Built Environment, Universal Design, August 16 2019

three persons on wheelchairs photo taken from behind

INDIA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked for introduction of a mobile application to help the disabled facing difficulty in accessing means of transport and government buildings upload pictures of their experiences. He has also asked officials to be “compassionate” towards the cause and to accelerate the implementation of the… Continue Reading »

Disability Network Announces Nominees For Annual Ability Award

Europe, Events, August 15 2019

Disability inclusion logo

HOLLAND: Disability Network/Lakeshore (DNL) will present its ninth annual Ability Award, recognizing an individual within the Lakeshore region who promotes a spirit of inclusion and a community without barriers. All nominees will be recognized at the 2019 Ability Award celebration on October 28, 2019 at the Civic Center in Holland, Mich.   Disability Network/Lakeshore works in Allegan… Continue Reading »

Disability Organization Encourages Companies to Improve Accessible Travel Services

Europe, Tourism, August 14 2019

UNITED KINGDOM: A call to action has been issued to travel companies to support disabled clients and improve their service and sales through a public pledge. We Are Purple, a company set up to drive more companies to service the needs of disabled people, is urging travel businesses, including agents… Continue Reading »

Gyms for Persons with Mobility Impairment Gain Traction

Asia-Pacific, Built Environment, Universal Design, August 13 2019

person in a wheelchair in a gym

TOKYO, JAPAN: A little more than a year remains before the start of the Tokyo Paralympics, and sports facilities for the disabled are being built across Japan and competitions being held for para athletes. The Paralympics are expected to enhance the visibility of sports for the disabled and help improve… Continue Reading »

European Commission Provides 20 Cities with Funding for Innovative Projects on Inclusion 

Built Environment, Europe, ICT, Universal Design, August 12 2019

Persons speaking on a podium

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will finance 20 urban projects with €82 million. These projects were put forward by cities under the 4th call for proposals of the Urban Innovative Actions which is implemented by French region Hauts-de-France. In particular, Piraeus (Greece), Tampere (Finland) and Turin (Italy) will receive grants for projects that will… Continue Reading »

India: Assistive Technology for All 2030 Conference Focuses in Infrastructure, Assistive Devices

Asia-Pacific, Assistive Technology, Transportation, Universal Design, August 9 2019

KARNATAKA, INDIA: Suggestions, including a university, for solutions such as assistive technologies and creating zones for the people with disabilities were made at the national conference on ‘Assistive Technology for All-2030’ which began here on Friday. At the inaugural event of a two-day conference by Mobility India to celebrate its… Continue Reading »

University Students Design Wheelchair Hand Warmer for Persons with Muscular Dystrophy

Americas, Assistive Technology, Universal Design, August 8 2019

Person on a wheelchair using a hand-warmer blanket

MANITOBA, CANADA: Aiming to enhance patients’ lives, a team of University of Manitoba biomedical students has produced autonomous designs — including a wheelchair hand warmer for those living with muscular dystrophy (MD). The overarching goal during the University of Manitoba Biomedical Engineering Design (BMED) Team’s first year was to give students experience in design, public speaking, and device building,… Continue Reading »

National Federation of the Blind Applauds Introduction of Greater Access and Independence through Nonvisual Access Technology (GAIN) Act

Americas, Built Environment, Universal Design, August 7 2019

MARYLAND, US: The National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, today applauded the introduction of the Greater Access and Independence through Nonvisual Access Technology (GAIN) Act of 2019 (H.R. 3929) in the House of Representatives. The bill was introduced by Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Lisa… Continue Reading »