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The Call for Papers for RAatE 2011 (Recent Advances in Assistive Technology & Engineering) is now open. You are invited to submit papers, case studies or posters on a range of topics, including:

  • Services – Aspects of Service Delivery
  • Developments & Challenges in Wheelchair Services
  • New Service Demands: Commissioning of Re-ablement & AT Services
  • Emerging Technologies & Recent Advances in AT
  • Case Studies of Innovative AT in Practice

In addition to research papers or new innovations this year RAatE welcomes offers of presentations on how specialist aspects of assistive technology are delivered within services. With an ever expanding range of technology, how do services meet the increasing needs and expectations of their client groups? In particular RAatE welcomes hearing how services provide specialist aspects of assistive technology such as specialist wheelchair controls, integrated access, communication requirements or environmental controls. Challenges and solutions that have worked locally can be presented in the form of case studies or group presentations.
The deadline for the call for papers is 8th July 2011 and submissions can be made via the RAatE website.
RAatE 2011 is being held on Monday 28th November 2011 at the University of Warwick conference centre, and is the only UK conference focused on the latest innovations and developments in assistive technology. This conference will be of interest to everyone who uses, works with, develops or conducts research on assistive technologies.

Produced jointly by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, this publication reviews evidence about the global situation of persons with disabilities, and offers directions for policy and practice to address exclusion. The report will be launched at UN Headquarters on 9 June 2011. In anticipation of the report, WHO will launch a series of promotional videos on the theme “What is Disability to Me?” which can be viewed on YouTube.
The Report explores current evidence about disability, identifies needs, and highlights what works to improve the lives of people with disabilities in areas including health, rehabilitation, support, environments, education and employment. We want to hear from people with disabilities about what can be done to overcome barriers to participation in their communities.
Please note: most film have captions in many languages.

The videos can be found in our YouTube channel.

Registration is open for the International Course on Disability & Development to be held at the VU University Amsterdam on Nov. 28- Dec. 23, 2011. Topics covered include: disability models and stereotypes, International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) conceptual framework, rights of people with disabilities, including the CRPD, and disability-relevant research methods, including survey methods.
Click here for further information.

Technosite published last year (December 2010) an interesting analysis on the “Accessibility of Social Networking Services“. A pity the analysis does not address the actual technicalities (e.g. RIA, Java, etc. usage).

G3ict and E.J. Krause & Associates (EJK) announced a cooperation agreement to convene the first mobile industry event exclusively dedicated to accessibility and assistive applications and services for seniors and persons with disabilities. “M-Enabling 2011 – The Global Forum on Mobile Applications and Services for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities” will be held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C., December 5 and 6, 2011.

Designed to attract a global audience of mobile service providers, telecom regulators, disabled persons organizations, applications developers and accessibility experts, M-Enabling 2011 will also provide governments, community services, health and private sector information and communications professionals with innovative solutions to leverage mobile platforms to better serve seniors and persons with disabilities.

“Mobile devices processing power and networks bandwidth support many innovative solutions for greater accessibility and assistive applications and services for seniors and persons with disabilities. The versatility of handsets and operating systems, cloud-based applications and global economies of scale of the mobile industry all point towards a growing opportunity for developers to bring innovative life-enhancing solutions for hundreds of millions of seniors and persons with disabilities around the world,” said Axel Leblois, Executive Director of G3ict.

While handset manufacturers and third party applications developers are already offering leading edge accessible and assistive applications and services, mobile service providers and their distributors are becoming new and vital participants in promoting and making those applications and services available to seniors and persons with disabilities around the world.

“Bringing the core mobile industry eco-system to adopt and promote accessible and assistive solutions and services for seniors and persons with disabilities is essential to their success,” said Ned Krause, CEO of E.J. Krause & Associates. “We will contribute our many years of experience in the mobile industry to ensure that developers, service providers, handset manufacturers, assistive and accessible technology experts from all horizons can further expand their opportunities by interacting with a global audience of motivated decision makers. We are very pleased that G3ict decided to partner with our firm for this very significant opportunity to promote mobile solutions for seniors and persons with disabilities.”

The first edition of M-Enabling will be organized in cooperation with international organizations of telecom regulators, mobile service providers and organizations of persons with disabilities. It is expected that the first event will attract decision makers participating in the mobile industry from around the world, as well as leading organizations promoting mobile applications and services for seniors and persons with disabilities.

More information.

Vodafone Foundation, AGE Platform Europe (AGE) and the European Disability Forum (EDF) will launch the joint initiative “Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards” on Tuesday, 14 June 2011, 10:00 – 12:00.
They will be asking researchers and developers to create mobile applications to improve the lives of older users and users with disabilities: we want the smartphone revolution to benefit everybody.
During the launch event they will debate how the smartphone platforms can enable low cost and rapid innovation and ensure the widespread distribution of new functionality to users who may otherwise be excluded from the benefice of today’s digital society.

Panel 1
Andrew Dunnet, Foundation Director, Vodafone Group
Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General, AGE
Javier Güemes, Acting Director, EDF

Presentation of the contest
Sanjeet Matharu, Principal Developer Marketing Manager, Vodafone Group
Nena Georgantzi, Research Project Coordinator, AGE
Nadège Riche, Policy Officer, EDF

Q &A

Panel 2
Paul Timmers, ICT addressing Societal Challenges, DG INFSO confirmed
Adam Kosa, MEP, Member of Social and Employment Committee confirmed
Richard Howitt, Member of Social Affairs Committee TBC

Chaired by Eirini Zafeiratou, Head EU Affairs, Vodafone Group

If you would like to join the launch please send a mail to Cindy De Koninck.