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Proposed US Law Would Force Product Accessibility

Manufacturers and suppliers of consumer technology devices in the US could be forced to make all their products accessible to blind consumers, if proposed legislation is passed by Congress.

Introduced by Jan Schakowsky, a Democratic House of Representatives member from Illinois, the Technology Bill of Rights for the Blind Act 2010 ( www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h4533/text ) is based around creating accessible alternatives to what it calls “increasingly complex user interfaces” found in consumer electronics.
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Global Accessibility Policy – Technology Changes, Civil Rights Do Not

By Cynthia Waddell

The UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities addresses the rights of 650 million persons with disabilities and impacts two billion persons worldwide, including family members of persons with disabilities.

Six years in the making, the treaty opened for signatures in March 2007, receiving the highest number of signatories for any UN treaty on its opening day; and entered into legal force in May 2008.
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Call For Compliance With UN Convention Covering ICT Rights

Disability rights groups, organisations working with people with disabilities and all other interested parties must carefully monitor their home nations’ compliance with the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities to ensure moves towards more accessible information and communications technologies (ICT) do not fall by the wayside, one of the world’s leading accessibility analysts writes in this month’s E-Access Bulletin.

Cynthia Waddell, Executive Director of The International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI – www.icdri.org ), says the Convention entered into legal force in May 2008 and starting next year, 2010, all states that have ratified it will be required to report to the UN Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities on measures taken to meet its accessible ICT obligations.
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Vision-Impaired IT Worker Wins Discrimination Case.

A vision impaired IT professional has been has been awarded 12,000 Euros compensation by an industrial tribunal in Ireland after it was accepted that a recruitment process used by multinational company Siemens discriminated against job applicants with disabilities.

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Campaign For Accessible Mobile Phones Launched In US.

A campaign has been launched to support vision impaired Americans who have problems accessing mobile phone services. The campaign, co-ordinated by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), will raise awareness of Section 255, a part of the Federal Communications Act that requires all phones to be made usable by people with disabilities.

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e-learning accessibility apeal upholds in favour of Sam Latif

The appeal by PMI reported here in the posting E-Learning Company Appeals Against Inaccessibility Ruling.we have case law.

Making accessible software, rising to the challenging

Nice to see one or two reports of this event which we ran for 70 industry representatives making it into the Bloggosphere. You can get the guides for yourself in pdf, Word, or hardcopy (for free from our Website just search for Making software accessible, a guide for Schools, or Making accessible software, a guide for developers and providers. You can access the supplementary rresources which accompany the guides as follows:

Making software accessible a guide for Schools, resources, select the ‘accessibility and access to learning’ link.
and the Making accessible software, a guide for developers and providers resources. tell all your friends.

technology and reasonable adjustments, boundaries blur

Have just read this post on the hotels.com case and comment on what might constitute a reasonable adjustment when a company offers both a highstreet and online service. The message that lawyers are shying away from bringing Web access cases under the ADA is worrying.

E-Learning Company Appeals Against Inaccessibility Ruling.

A landmark legal ruling on how UK anti-discrimination law applies to online content is in doubt after Project Management International (PMI), a professional body that offers membership through distance learning programmes, launched an appeal to overturn an earlier decision that it discriminated against a blind IT manager in the UK.
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