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G3ict Launches Digital Accessibility Rights Evaulation Index

The DARE Index, in its first edition, features 121 individual country report cards, rankings and analysis aimed at providing global benchmarks for disability advocates, governments and private sector organizations to assess their progress and identify opportunities in implementing digital accessibility for persons with disabilities.

Find out more about the Index, including how it is put together and how you can use it by visiting the G3ict website.

Event banner featuring the UN in Vienna with the river Danube in front.

Who’s coming to the Accessible Europe: ICT for All Forum?

Join ITU, the European Commission and more at the Forum on ICT for All. The Forum will discuss how digital innovation can help remove accessibility barriers for persons with disabilities.

The event will discuss accessibility, affordability and skills development for all to ensure digital inclusion in sustainable development. It focuses on on further promoting the development of accessibility in countries and institutions, through the effort and cooperation of stakeholders and sharing successful outcomes of projects and initiatives already implemented, in order to interchange resources and solutions and make Europe region a more inclusive society.

The Forum takes place between 12th and 14th December 2018 at the United Nations in Vienna, Austria.

Find out more about how you can get involved, including registration and applying for a booth in the exhibition by visiting the event page of the ITU website.

Innovative Competition banner. The United Nations Vienna with the river Danube in front. ITU competition for an Accessible Europe

Last call for applications – Innovative Digital Solutions for an Accessible Europe

ITU and the European Commission have joined efforts to hold the first edition of “Accessible Europe: ICT for All”, ITU-EU Forum for Europe which will take place from 12-14 December 2018 in Vienna, Austria. As an integral part of this Forum a Regional Competition on Innovation Solutions for an Accessible Europe is being organised.

Submissions are being requested to the competition,  in the form of available solutions – by 29th November 2018!

The competition is primarily focused on developing innovative and creative solutions to benefit persons with disability, bringing more social inclusion and interaction, comfort and quality of life to their daily routine through assistive technologies.

Don’t miss your chance to have your solution presenting during the ITU-EC Forum. For more details about the forum and the competition, visit the ITU website.

The SozialMarie logo

SozialMarie call for nominations is open!

The 15th annual call for SozialMarie is open! Prizes are awarded for projects that design and implement socially innovative solutions to societal problems. Calls are welcome from Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Solvenia.

15 projects will be awarded, with the top three projects receiving prize money of €15,000, €10,000 and €5,000 and an additional twelve receiving €2,000 each.

The application process closes on 22nd January 2019. Find out more by visiting the SozialMarie website.

Kahane Foundation Logo

Funding application process for the Kahane Foundation is open!

The Kahane Foundation was founded in 1991 by the late Karl Kahane as an independent, privately funded, non-political and non-religious charitable foundation. Karl Kahane considered it his duty to be on the side of the weak and to dedicate part of the proceeds from the family companies to non-for-profit organizations.

The application period for funding in 2019 is now underway and applications are being welcomed on the topics of Accessibility, Social Mobility and Migration/Integration. Applications are being sought for projects in Europe and MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Turkey).

The deadline for First-Step applications is on 14th December 2018. For more information on eligibility, topics and timescales visit the Kahane Foundation website.

Disability:IN logo

Apply for the 2019 Disability:IN Inclusion Awards!

Nominations for the 2019 Disability:IN Inclusion Awards are now open!

Each year, Disability:In recognises companies dedicated to advancing disability inclusion in the workplace. Nominations are now open for Employer of the Year, Employer Resource/Business Resource Group of the Year, Supplier of the Year along with other awards. If you believe your company is truly inclusive, submit a nomination!

Deadline is Friday 30th November 2018. Visit the Disability:IN website for more information.

Disability:IN logo

Apply Now – Become a Nextgen Leader

Applications now Open for the Mentorship Exchange and Talent Accelerator

The Disability:IN Mentorship Exchange is a six-month career mentoring opportunity for college students and recent graduates with disabilities, including veterans. Through the Mentoring Program, mentees benefit from a network of business connections.

The benefits include meeting with corporate executive mentor at least twice a month to review your resume and set career goals. You would also have the opportunity to attend monthly webinars to learn more about the transition from school to work.

The Disability:IN Talent Accelerator is an intensive career development opportunity that takes place during the Disability:IN Annual Conference. During the Talent Accelerator, accepted candidates, or NextGen Leader participate in interview and skill building activities.

The benefits of the accelerator include pre-academy prep calls, matchmaking events with over 100 corporate representatives, the possibility to interview on-site with recruiters from top corporations and to connect with NextGen Leaders, NextGen Alumni and representatives from Fortune 500 companies.

Find out more by going to the Mentorship Exchange and Talent Accelerator flyers.

Zero Project Logo

How Assistive Tech is Breaking Communication Barriers for Children with Cerebral Palsy

How Assistive Tech is Breaking Communication Barriers for Children with Cerebral Palsy

It is important to recognize the health and wellness disparities that some children with disabilities face. Cerebral palsy is one of the most common of all childhood disabilities and malpractice birth injuries, and it can cause a number of complications. Among these, an important one is difficulty communicating. This can prevent a child from getting good healthcare, from socializing with peers, and from learning. Assistive technology is changing how these children communicate to help them live happier, healthier lives.

Assistive Technology for Cerebral Palsy

Assistive technology is any device, equipment, or software that helps someone perform an activity. For instance, a wheelchair or walker is an example of simple assistive technology that can help a child with cerebral palsy get from one place to another. Technology that helps with eating, breathing, using pens and pencils, reading, writing, and communicating with others is considered assistive technology and has the potential to improve communication, academic performance, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, and overall health.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Also known as AAC, augmentative and alternative communication refers to any way of communicating other than verbally speaking. AAC can be low-tech, including sign language or using pictures, but newer technologies are making AAC more practical, faster, and easier for children with physical disabilities like cerebral palsy communicate their needs and emotions:

  • Electronic communication boards and tablets help children with limited fine motor skills or speech use pictures, letters, and words on a screen to communicate.
  • Speech-generating devices use the same types of cues as communication boards but also translate them into verbal speech that other people can easily understand.
  • Eye-tracking devices help even the most severely disabled children communicate. Using just eye movements a child can select images, letters, and words to speak with others.
  • Hearing aids are always advancing technologically and can help children with cerebral palsy that have resulting hearing impairments. A cochlear implant can even bypass damaged components of the ear, improving hearing.

Benefits of Communication and Assistive Technologies

A child with cerebral palsy may have a whole range of complications, from mobility limitations to difficulty eating and breathing, to behavioral disorders. Communication aids are essential for many of these children to maintain good health as well as overall well-being. At the most basic level if they cannot communicate pain, symptoms, hunger, difficulty breathing, or thirst, their health suffers. Better communication means better health.

Beyond their basic health needs, being able to communicate allows children to participate more fully in all areas of life from school and sports to family conversations. Improving communication increases self-confidence, independence, opportunities, social skills, and so much more. Assistive technology is always evolving, and it has become an important part of the lives of nearly all children with cerebral palsy.

Thanks to our friends around the world for providing the text for this this blog.

WITSA Logo and title of paper

ICT Leadership in Inclusive Employment of Persons with Disabilities

SourceAmerica and the World Information Technology Services Alliance have announced the release of their joint paper ‘ICT Leadership in Inclusive Employment of Persons with Disabilities: An Economic and Social Imperative‘.

As Information and Communications Technology touches nearly all aspects of human life, the technology sector can play a vital role in addressing the persistent unemployment of persons with disabilities. The paper and accompanying policy recommendations address the social and economic imperatives of employment of persons with disabilities and lay out a roadmap for the ICT sector to grow as leaders in supporting the employment of persons with disabilities.

Please share this paper and the accompanying press release with your networks and partners.

WACA certificate

Website Accessibility Certificate Austria announced

The first independent quality seal in Austria for barrier-free websites has been announced. From now on, the  Österreichische Computer Gesellschaft (OCG) (Austrian Computer Society) can award a seal to organisations that comply with detailed accessibility requirements.

The “WACA” certificate was developed by the OCG in cooperation with an expert consortium consisting of scientists from the University of Linz, employees of the Hilfsgemeinschaft der Blinden und Sehschwachen Austrian, myAbility and the Vereins Accessible Media (Accessible Media Association), as well as experts from digital agencies.

Advisory board smiling and holding the certificate

Advisory board members: from left to right: Wolfgang Leitner (Zensations), Michael Aumann (GF myAbility), Rhea Göschl (auditor, myAbility), Werner Rosenberger ( OCG, project manager WACA), Jo Spelbrink and Wolfram Huber (both Accessible Media).

The initiative has been launched following a pilot project carried out with the food company REWE International AG.

After a successful audit, the WACA certificate will be awarded by the OCG in three grades – Gold, silver or bronze for two years, after which re-certification is necessary. WACA approved websites are visually awarded by the WACA label.

FInd out more by reading the full press release (German language only).