Headline News

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 »

Prototype Robodog from University of California, Berkeley Helps Persons with Visual Impairment Navigate Using Lasers

Americas, Misc., Transportation, April 14 2021

Person with Visual Impairment using a prototype robodog.

UNITED STATES: It looks like artificial intelligence and robotics might be on the verge of automating yet another job. A team of scientists from the University of California, Berkeley has developed a four-legged robodog to safely guide the visually impaired, a New Scientist report explains. In a study published March 26, the researchers showed that… Continue Reading »

Kazakhstan: Publication on Reproductive Health Published in Braille

Asia-Pacific, Misc., April 6 2021

Cover of a Braille Book in Russian

In a win for inclusion, a reproductive health publication for women with disabilities has been published in Braille for the visually impaired. “A matter of importance: your reproductive health and reproductive rights”, which is also available on audio disc, provides women with disabilities information on sexual and reproductive health, including… Continue Reading »

Barcelona Metro Launches New Accessible Customer Service Centre

Europe, Transportation, March 31 2021

Punt TMB service centre in Sagrada Familia station

SPAIN: As of 15 March, there is a new citizen service centre (Punt TMB) operating in the lobby of the Sagrada Familia station of the Barcelona Metro. TMB, the operator company, described the new office addition as a pioneering in certain aspects. Among other things, it will be the first… Continue Reading »

Handiscover Releases Free Resource on Accessibility Standard for Hotels

Americas, Tourism, March 29 2021

Wheelchair-user sleeping in a hotel room.

United States: Handiscover, a leading accessibility and disability data organization, found that over a third of people with disabilities in America say that hotels have not met their accessibility needs. It is estimated that 60 million people in the United States live with a long-term illness or disability that requires specific… Continue Reading »

Study Reveals Shortage of Educational Technology for Children with Disabilities

Europe, ICT, News, March 26 2021

UNITED KINGDOM: An ‘astonishing’ deficit of data about how the global boom in educational technology could help pupils with disabilities in low and middle-income countries has been highlighted in a new report. Despite widespread optimism that educational technology, or ‘EdTech’, can help to level the playing field for young people… Continue Reading »

India: City Administration Plans to Establish Sensory Park

Asia-Pacific, Built Environment, March 25 2021

The Chandigarh Smart City Limited will be coming up with a first-of-its-kind Sensory Park. In a tender floated by the Chandigarh Smart City Limited, the park will be developed at a cost of Rs 1.74 crore. These are specialised parks for all kinds of visitors, with special emphasis on children with disabilities,… Continue Reading »