Headline News

Australia: Human Rights and Technology Final Report Released

Asia-Pacific, News, June 4 2021

A new report by the Australian Human Rights Commission calls for far-reaching changes to ensure governments, companies and others safeguard human rights in the design, development and use of new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI). The Human Rights and Technology final report, released today, makes 38 recommendations to ensure human rights… Continue Reading »

Coventry University and Motability Announce Research Studentship in Accessible Transport

Europe, Transportation, May 27 2021

UK: Coventry University has collaborated with national disability charity Motability to recruit and sponsor a number of doctoral candidates to undertake research into accessible transport at the university’s National Transport Design Centre (NTDC). The collaboration combines Coventry University’s strong tradition of design transport teaching and Motability’s objective to support and develop… Continue Reading »

South Africa: Process to Make Sign Language 12th Official Language Begins

Africa, ICT, May 26 2021

South Africa's Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa speaking

South Africa: The long-awaited process to amend the Constitution so that the 12th official language can be included has finally got under way. This was revealed by Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa during his response to parliamentary questions by IFP MP Siphosethu Ngcobo. Ngcobo asked about plans to include… Continue Reading »

Aalto University Research Project Assesses Accessibility Legislation And Policy Needs In The Built Environment

Built Environment, Europe, May 25 2021

A Person in a wheelchair. This picture is illustrative.

FINLAND: The Finnish Prime Minister’s Office has commissioned a study on the status and needs of accessibility legislation in Finland. Finland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2016. The agreement mandates non-discrimination and defines accessibility from a human rights perspective as a prerequisite for independent… Continue Reading »

Ghana: Government Provides Over 20,000 Wheelchairs to Persons With Disabilities

Africa, Built Environment, May 19 2021

Persons from the Ministry of Ghana standing for a photo with Persons in a wheelchair

GHANA: Government, in partnership with the World Bank, has handed over twenty thousand (20,000) wheelchairs to the Ghana Federation of Disabilities Organisations as part of ongoing interventions to improve their livelihoods and wellbeing. The manual and powered wheelchairs, to be distributed by the Ministry of Health through the various District Health… Continue Reading »

Smart Shoes with Embedded Sensors Enable Better Safety

Assistive Technology, Europe, Universal Design, May 18 2021

Persons with visual impairment walking on the street with their canes.

AUSTRIA: Shoes with sensors embedded in them have been created to alert blind and visually impaired people to obstacles in their path. Developed by Austria’s Tec-Innovation company in collaboration with the Graz University of Technology, the intelligent shoes can increase the safety of visually impaired and blind people in their everyday… Continue Reading »

IBM Researchers Develop Smartphone App to Enable Social Distancing

ICT, May 11 2021

LineChaser - Smart Phone Based assistance for Blind People to Stand in Lines written against a photo of a person with visual impairment standing in a line.

During the pandemic, everyone is expected to stay socially distanced, with at least six feet between them and the person in front of them. For those with normal vision, standing in line while remaining at a safe distance from the person in front of you isn’t a problem. However, for… Continue Reading »

Australia: Minimum Accessibility Standards for Residential Housing & Apartments to be Introduced in the National Construction Code from 2022

Asia-Pacific, Built Environment, May 4 2021

Photo of ACT Sustainable Building and Construction Minister Rebecca Vassarotti

Australia: A national reform to the construction code would require new houses and apartments to meet minimum accessibility standards, following a push from the ACT government. Most of Australia’s building ministers agreed to the accessibility standards at a national meeting on Friday. ACT Sustainable Building and Construction Minister Rebecca Vassarotti advocated… Continue Reading »

India: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and V-shesh Learning Services Undertake Study to Understand the “Impact of Covid-19 on Persons with Disabilities” in India

Asia-Pacific, Events, News, May 3 2021

Text global accessibility News

India: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and V-shesh Learning Services Private Limited have undertaken a pan-India study to comprehend the “Impact of Covid-19 on people with disabilities” in India in the first quarter of the current year 2021. The focus of this study was to determine and assess the medium to… Continue Reading »

Portugal to Approve Strategy to Boost Inclusion

Built Environment, Europe, News, April 29 2021

photo of Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa wearing a mask and going over some official documents

PORTUGAL: At the opening session of the second day of the high-level videoconference on the European Strategy for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021-2030, under the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union, Costa considered the adoption of this instrument as “a milestone in the construction of Europe”.… Continue Reading »

Egypt: New Incubator for Enterprises in Assistive Technology 

Assistive Technology, Middle East, News, April 26 2021

UNDP logo

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Egypt’s National Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (NIGSD) launched in April an incubator for enterprises producing technologies for the disabled. Executive Director of NIGSD Sherifa El-Sherif stated that the Assistive Technology Incubation Program was launched by opening the door for licensed Egyptian… Continue Reading »

Report Makes Policy Suggestions for Persons with Disabilities in UK

Europe, News, April 26 2021

Two persons seated in a wheelchair looking out into a water body

The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Disability Commission has published a new report that makes important recommendations to transform the lives of disabled people ahead of the publication of the UK Government’s Strategy for Disabled People. Entitled ‘Now is the Time’, the report makes transformative policy suggestions across employment, education,… Continue Reading »

Jamaica: Move to Increase Access to Copyright Works 

Africa, ICT, April 25 2021

The Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO) is looking to further amend the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2015 to increase access to copyright works by members of the disabled community. The objective is to bring the law into alignment with the provisions of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)-administered Marrakesh Treaty, which… Continue Reading »

UNESCO and Vulog Partner to Develop Smart and Inclusive Cities Tool

Built Environment, Global, Transportation, April 23 2021

Vulog and UNESCO have announced their partnership to develop a “Smart and Inclusive Cities Tool,” a project that will focus on the impact that mobility and technology have on fostering inclusivity for vulnerable populations in cities across the world. Transportation and mobility at the forefront of conversations around smart, inclusive… Continue Reading »

Intel and AI Developer Create Backpack That Helps Navigate Persons with Visual Impairment

Americas, Assistive Technology, April 22 2021

Front, side and back view of the ai enabled backpack with the front view showing the GPS unit placed on the top front of the backpack.

US: What differentiates an animal from a machine are its mirror neurons, a set of neurons in an organism’s brain that is fired to perform a task based on the performance of self or others. Discovered in 1991, the research on mirror neurons is still going on, and the Giacomo Rizzolatti research… Continue Reading »

US: Study Reveals 42% of Older Persons Have Unmet Need for Assistive Bathing and Toileting Devices

Americas, Assistive Technology, Built Environment, April 22 2021

42% of older adults have unmet need for assistive bathing, toileting devices.

US: “In an older population, the evidence for non-pharmacological interventions like home modification, occupational therapy and physical therapy is robust. They prevent falls, improve quality of life, and reduce hospitalization — with effects that are more meaningful than things like vitamin D or aspirin, even though that’s what we are typically… Continue Reading »

Spain: Accessibility Study to Make Cities More Inclusive and Sustainable 

Built Environment, Europe, April 21 2021

Two persons signing an agreement on a table

The Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona (CZFB) and COCEMFE Barcelona have signed a collaboration agreement this morning whereby the NGO will carry out an accessibility study in the Zona Franca de Barcelona. In line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal number 11, which seeks to make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable,… Continue Reading »

Spain: Government Report Explores Accessibility of Cultural Spaces in Madrid

Built Environment, Europe, April 21 2021

Theatre hall with red seats

The Office of Attention to Disability (Oadis), dependent on the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030, has found in a report the lack of accessibility in theaters and other cultural spaces in Madrid, and that causes many people with disabilities to see their limited access to culture. “We are… Continue Reading »

Latvia: Study by Ministry of Welfare Suggests only 8% of Buildings in Latvia are Accessible to Persons with Disabilities

Built Environment, Europe, April 21 2021

A Person in a wheelchair. This picture is illustrative.

LATVIA: The study “Analysis of the Self-Assessment of Environment Accessibility in State and Local Government Institutions” compiled a self-assessment of a total of 2,249 buildings. In 8% of the buildings, space is fully accessible, in 26% it is partially accessible and in 67% it is not accessible. Most commonly accessibility is ensured in buildings… Continue Reading »

UN Disability Rights Committee Issues Findings On Estonia

Europe, Misc., April 16 2021

The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has published its findings on Estonia, which it examined during its latest session. The Committee recognised steps taken by Estonia to implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which it ratified in 2012. It noted the State party’s important… Continue Reading »