Congratulations to the three incredible winners of this year’s Holman Prize, from LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The Holman Prize for Blind Ambition awards $25,000 to projects that embody a sense of adventure. Three exceptional blind individuals will set off around the world on adventures they never imagined possible. This year, the winners will promote blind empowerment in Mexico, complete a dramatic oceanic triathlon, and develop the first online community for blind travel.
Telemark’s program of upgrading footpaths rolls on! A new 600-metre path has been completed in Drangedal municipality and there are plans to extend further this summer! Users can benefit from the outdoors by following the path of a disused railway line. The program has already seen footpaths improved in 12 of the 18 districts of Telemark, allowing users of various abilities to benefit from using flat, wide, stable footpaths which in many cases connect urban areas to rural areas, allowing locals and tourists to enjoy the great Norwegian outdoors! This multi-stakeholder approach continues at pace and we are very pleased to hear (and see) the progress.
Enable India, one of our Impact Transfer Program Alumni, is looking for partners in Ethiopia and Bangladesh to replicate their Enable Vaani Solution. Do you have any contacts that you can recommend?
Enable Vaani is an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) social media platform for persons with disability in rural areas. Enabling persons with disability and their communities to collaborate through mobile phones (without the need of internet). The system allows users to listen and respond to recorded voice messages from the disability community regarding education and employment opportunities, workplace solutions, enhanced life skills and more.
Daniel Kish, a 2018 Zero Project awardee took part in a workshop in Vienna at the end of June to share his FlashSonar navigation technique which aids navigation for persons with visual impairments. The workshop was organised by Ashoka Austria, following up on their excellent work partnering with Daniel for the Zero Project Impact Transfer – A programme to find innovative disability solutions and copy them to new places around the world – which was unveiled at the 2018 Zero Project Conference.
Daniel Kish continues to make waves everywhere he goes with his energy and passion for sharing his FlashSonar technique. The technique trains persons with visual impairments to use clicking of their tongue to navigate the environment by echolocation, similar to how bats find their way in the dark.
We are very pleased to see Daniel back in Austria and wish him the best for continuing to spread the word.
Sozialhelden, in partnership with Unitymedia and Impact Hub Berlin are looking for innovative technology-based ideas and solutions that enable people with disabilities to actively participate in everyday social life. Solutions may be websites and apps, technical aids or support software.
With €20,000 prize money up for grabs and individual coaching for 3 winning teams, this is an opportunity not to be missed. Get your application in by the 19th July deadline by visiting the website.
At the 11th session of the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Secretary General of the United Nations reaffirmed commitment to the CRPD by outlining details of a new review of how the United Nations addresses disability.
At a speech at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 12th June 2018, António Guterres outlined the new initiative:
“The review will look at all aspects of how the United Nations addresses disability, from accessibility, where there is still a lot to go, and employment to mainstreaming disabilities across all our work, particularly development and humanitarian aid. It will inform a new UN Action Plan and an accountability framework to help us aim higher and live up to our promises”.
The review is aimed to “make sure that the United Nations is leading by example”
Read the full transcript of the speech on the UN website.
The dashboard can be adapted by any country to track, monitor and report data on goals most critical to them. You can explore the tool from many angles – Starting with country or with goal, and present the data in a wide variety of visual formats.
Microsoft has announced it is committing $25million to a new 5-year program that will make artificial intelligence tools available to developers with the goal of creating “accessible and intelligent solutions”. The project has been dubbed “AI for Accessibility” and was unveiled at Microsoft’s annual developer conference in Seattle. Read more about the unveiling from the Disability Scoop website.
Springboard Consulting are once again asking for nominations for the Disability Matters Europe Award. The awards recognise effectiveness and sustainability of organisations’ disability-related initiatives.
Companies selected as a Disability Matters Europe Honoree will be asked to present at Springboard Consulting’s world renowned Disability Matters Conference from the 5th to 7th November in Horgen, Switzerland.
We want to say a huge congratulations to Melissa Malzkuhn of Gallaudet University who has recently been named as an Obama Fellow for 2018. Malzkuhn, 2018 Zero Project Awardee, was selected as one of just 20 fellows, from a pool of over 20,000 applicants from 191 countries.
Melissa Malzkuhn presenting at the Zero Project Impact Transfer
Obama Fellows are selected as powerful examples of the many pathways we can take to improve our communities and Malzkuhn was selected for her exceptional work in designing digital tools to give deaf children equal access to language, literacy, and expression.
Find out more about the fellows themselves by visiting the Obama Fellows website and find out more about the amazing work being done by Malzkuhn and Gallaudet University’s Science of Learning Centre by read the Zero Project factsheet.