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Archive for May, 2013

Logo UnicefToday, 30 May, UNICEF launched this year’s edition of its flagship publication, State of the World’s Children. The focus is Children with Disabilities. The report focuses on the position of children with disabilities in a varying worldwide landscape: how do they fare at home, in school, or at health care centres? What happens to children with disabilities in emergencies or conflict? How do these situations fluctuate around the world? The report asks readers to consider the lost opportunities in denying the full potential of these children. The State of the World’s Children 2013 argues for inclusive and equitable approaches in such areas as early childhood development, education, health, nutrition, humanitarian response and protection.

Source: Unicef

‘Mobile for Good Europe Awards’
VODAFONE FOUNDATION LAUNCHES SEARCH FOR TRANSFORMATIONAL APPS

Vodafone Foundation today announces the launch of the first Mobile for Good Europe Awards to search for iOS and Android apps designed to improve people’s lives and deliver substantial public benefit.
Creators of the winning apps, in categories including accessibility, mobilising public services, health and education, will receive a shared prize fund of €200,000 to be used for the development of their innovations. Mobilising Public Services will focus on how local and national governments can leverage mobile technology to improve the delivery of public services. The closing date for entries is 15 October and an awards ceremony will be held in Brussels on 5 December 2013.
The awards build on the success of the Vodafone Foundation’s Smart Accessibility Awards, held in 2011 and 2012 with the cooperation with AGE Platform Europe and the European Disability Forum, which was a competition to find Android apps which improve the lives of older people or people with disabilities. Last year’s winners included Juan Carlos Gonzalez Montesino, who designed Ablah, an app to help his autistic son communicate.
Judges of the Health category will be searching for innovative solutions to overcome challenges in areas such as real-time patient monitoring and the collection and distribution of health-related data. For the Accessibility category, which follows on from last year’s Smart Accessibility Awards, judges will look for apps which can improve the quality of life for people with disabilities or older people. The Education category judges will look for mobile apps which provide simple and effective teaching tools. In each of the four categories, the winner will receive €30,000, second place wins €15,000 and third place receives €5,000. There will be local workshops organised for the developers in Berlin, Amsterdam and Madrid. The Mobile for Good Europe Awards is again a partnership with AGE Platform Europe and the European Disability Forum, representing the users’ perspective.
Vodafone Group Sustainability Director and Director of the Vodafone Foundation Andrew Dunnett
said: “Mobile technology has the potential to educate, liberate and empower hundreds of millions of people. We hope the Mobile for Good Europe Awards will inspire innovators to invest in new and creative ways to use mobile to enhance individual daily lives and deliver substantial public benefits.”

For further information:
Vodafone Group: Media Relations – Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 664444

To enter the Mobile for Good Europe Awards, please visit www.mobileforgoodeuropeawards.com

The ITAG conference, held annually in partnership with GameCity, aims to bring together academics and practitioners working with interactive technologies to explore and innovate within the areas of Education, Health and Disability.

The opportunity to take part in ITAG13 is still available. Submit an abstract for any of the following strands of the conference before Friday 28 June.

  • Academic conference: We have a particular focus on the use of gaming hardware and software to implement accessible solutions, interaction design using new input/output devices and the increasing impact of ubiquitous computing on our everyday well-being. We especially want to bring together practitioners with technical experts, for their mutual benefit; you don’t have to be a technical whizz kid to benefit from this conference! The conference provides an excellent opportunity to showcase practice and to mainstream research ideas and outcomes. It introduces a wider audience to key findings and products from research and illustrates how practice feeds back into and informs research. The conference also creates a forum for two-way communication between the academic and practitioner communities.
  • Practical workshops: every afternoon, parallel workshops will be organised addressing following topics: interactive street gaming using mobile gaming applications, robotics in a gaming environment, mobile gaming, immersive gaming and rehabilitation gaming. These workshops will involve the participants in exploring the various games, and creating an interactive experience with the originators/developers.
  • - Gaming hackathon: several teams consisting of developers, designers and special education trainers will compete with each other to use various technologies (Android based games, Flash Games, Games Mods, XNA) and create an educational game in just 2 days. The winner will take home a £250 prize award.
  • Exhibition: An exhibition space will be available for demonstrations and posters, and will be embedded in the conference and workshops area.

We particularly welcome user led presentations and workshops.

The deadline for submissions has been extended to Friday 28 June 2013 and should be sent to Claire.addison@ntu.ac.uk.

Want to attend ITAG13? Online booking is now available.

When?: Thursday 17 – Friday 18 October 2013
Where?: The Council House, Nottingham

www.itag.gamecity.org

The Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI) is a project designed to help people identify those features on mobile phones and other devices that may be able to assist them with their unique needs related to vision, hearing, speech, dexterity, or cognition.
The project website is at www.mobileaccessibility.info and the GARI database has information on more than 500 models of mobile phones. GARI has recently added a section on tablet devices.
While the devices have a range of accessibility-related features, smartphones have the ability to extend their usefulness even further through the use of applications. Therefore, GARI is now adding information on apps to the database, and they invite app developers to participate in the project by registering their accessibility-related apps with GARI.

The review examined four major LMSes: Blackboard Learn version 9.1 Service Pack 6 and 8, Desire2Learn version 10, Moodle version 2.3, and Sakai version 2.8. Each of these organizations runs an interest group to guide improvements in accessibility of their products. They were also part of previous evaluations done by the same group in 2010 and 2012.

The disabilities tested for encompassed visual, mobility, learning, and cognitive. Testing and evaluation categories covered functional accessibility in nine broad areas:

  • Testing and evaluation;
  • Login, configuration, and compatibility testing;
  • Personalization and customization;
  • Navigation;
  • Forms;
  • Help and documentation;
  • Common student-facing modules and tools such as announcements and discussions;
  • Authoring tools and content creation, such as the gradebook and multimedia content handling; and
  • Features unique to each LMS that affect accessibility.

Final symposium of the ViPi (Basic ICT skills training for people with disabilities) and ATLEC (ICT-based Assistive Technology Learning Through A Unified Curriculum) projects.

Date: 4 December 2013
Venue: VLEVA (Vlaams-Europees verbindingsagentschap vzw), Kortenberglaan 71, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Participants: 100-120
Duration: 9:00 hours – 18:00 hours

Two European lifelong learning projects (ViPi and ATLEC project) will come to an end and the final Symposium will present their outcomes within a wider framework of learning, employment and independent living for people with disabilities.

The two projects are complementary as VIPI focuses on the development of skills in ICT for (young) adults with disabilities and ATLEC on skills and competences in ICT based Assistive Technologies.

The Symposium has a twofold aim: raising awareness among gatekeepers and policy makers on the need for ICT and ICT_AT training and on the other hand providing concrete curricula, methods and tools produced in the project. Highlighting needs and showing material to tackle those needs, is considered a valuable contribution to further equal opportunities and the participation of people with disabilities in learning and employment.

The symposium therefore presents academic and experience-based contributions, while interactivity, dialogue and information exchange is sought in parallel sessions and in the exhibition.

Other relevant projects and experiences are therefore invited to contribute with a paper, a poster or by sending leaflets to enrich the exhibition.

The participation of people with disabilities is incentivised by an accessible venue and by accessible presentations.

Please consult http://www.vipi-project.eu & http://www.atlec-project.eu for more information on the projects and for programme updates.

Registration is now available via http://tinyurl.com/ViPi-ATLEC.

Note that participation is only confirmed after receiving a formal confirmation email from us.

Language of event: English
Target audience: People with disabilities, teachers, trainers, tutors, carers, policy makers, academics, ICT and AT experts and their organisations.

See you there and then!

ViPi and ATLEC project team

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You can find us at:

http://www.vipi-project.eu
http://twitter.com/ViPi_project
http://www.facebook.com/vipiproject

http://atlec-project.eu/
http://twitter.com/ATLEC_project/
http://www.facebook.com/ATLECproject