WEBINAR: Livestream | LinkedIn Speaker Series with @HabenGirma

Screenshot-2017-12-9 Livestream LinkedIn Speaker Series

Upcoming Speaker Series: Haben Girma
Tuesday, December 12 at 10:30AM PT

As the the first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben Girma advocates for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. Haben travels the world consulting and public speaking, teaching clients the benefits of fully accessible products and services. Haben has been working with LinkedIn to make our workplace and products more inclusive, and we are so excited to introduce her to the rest of the company – and the world! Come listen to Haben’s inspiring story, and learn how disability is driving innovation….

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Smart communities need smart governance – The Globe and Mail

Smart communities need smart governance – The Globe and Mail

The nascent plans for a smart neighbourhood on Toronto’s eastern waterfront may sound exciting from an urban-planning perspective, but the high-tech project poses fundamental governance problems that we need to solve now.

Smart cities are largely an invention of the private sector – an effort to create a market within government. They offer tech companies opportunities to generate profits by assuming functions traditionally carried out by the public sector and by selling cities technologies they may or may not need. The business opportunities are clear. The risks inherent to residents, less so….

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A Comprehensive Approach to Equitable Procurement in Smart City Government

A Comprehensive Approach to Equitable Procurement in Government

Continuous improvement in the delivery of government services requires not just new approaches from existing players but new participants as well. One way to stimulate that change in government processes is through equitability initiatives, and the work of the Minnesota Office of State Procurement to promote greater access to public procurement processes represents an innovative effort toward inclusive government…..

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Infrastructure Advancement of the Year | @LinkNYC

Infrastructure Advancement of the Year: LinkNYC | Smart Cities Dive

The “digital divide” — economic or social inequality in regards to technology — is a stubborn challenge in today’s smartest cities. Offering all citizens affordable access to broadband and other common connective infrastructure is not a simple feat, and will often create hostility between governments and their constituents.

CityBridge, a group of tech and connectivity companies including Intersection, Qualcomm and CIVIQ Smartscapes, is working to bridge this digital divide in the nation’s largest city with an advanced, scalable and aesthetically appealing Wi-Fi kiosk network: LinkNYC.

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Why is Singapore smarter? Hong Kong left trailing after rival ranked 2nd in global smart cities index

Why is Singapore smarter? Hong Kong left trailing after rival ranked 2nd in global smart cities index, Business Insider – Business Insider Singapore

Despite HK$1 billion in government cash to improve smart technology, Hong Kong scores lower than several other Asian cities including Tokyo, Seoul, Osaka and Taipei

Hong Kong has been ranked 68th in a global smart city index – way behind its main rival Singapore, which came in second.

Despite recent efforts by the government to make the city smarter, Hong Kong scored poorly in several factors including transport and mobility, sustainability, innovative economy, digitisation, and experts’ perception….

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Centre for Universal Design Australia @UDAustralia

Screenshot-2017-12-8 December 2017 – Centre for Universal Design Australia

Front cover of the guide. It is blue with white text. It has outlines of pedestrians trees, buildings and transportThe Global Street Design Guide aims to set a global baseline for designing streets and public spaces as our world becomes increasingly urbanised. The Guide broadens the scope of how to measure the success of urban streets. It includes access, safety and mobility for all users, environmental quality, economic benefit, public health and overall quality of life. It is free to download from the Global Designing Cities Initiative. Each section can be downloaded separately and this is where technical details can be found.

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This Braille Smartwatch is Bringing Smart City Innovation into Focus!

This Braille smartwatch is bringing the world closer to the blind : Newz Hook – Changing Attitudes towards Disability

South Korea-based startup specialises in innovative solutions for the blind.
It has created products that are low cost, small and easy to carry.

The Dot Smartwatch, which claims to be the world’s first Braille smartwatch,
lets the blind receive real time information from their phone, such as
notifications, text messages, and Facebook messages in braille.

The smartwatch vibrates when there is a notification on the phone and the
user cans elect and read the messages in Braille. This way the blind are
connected, like everyone else….

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New tech accessibility requirements are coming to government in 2018

Screenshot-2017-12-8 New tech accessibility requirements are coming to government in 2018

With 2018 approaching, federal agencies are preparing for a major update to the government’s digital accessibility requirements — standards that are designed to modernize and widen access for disabled users.

The specifications, that take effect in January, establish new guidelines to help seeing- and hearing-impaired residents access information on government websites, apps and from other digital media. The rules target federal agencies, but are intended to be a reference point for states and cities.

The changes come through an update to Section 508, a 2001 amendment of the Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The U.S. Access Board, an independent federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities, announced in an overview of the update that one of the most significant revisions is a wider application of the rules…..

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Empowering the Transformation to a More Inclusive and Accessible World

Empowering the Transformation to a More Inclusive and Accessible World

United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (UN IDPD) serves as an important reminder that globally there are over a billion people with a disability. This year’s theme, “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all” is especially relevant to our accessibility efforts here at Microsoft. This is a fact reinforced by the World Health Organization in which they shared that only 1 in 10 have access to the assistive technology they need: technology that can empower functioning, well-being and independence. This is a statistic that needs to change.

Disability is something that can affect any of us at any time, and technology has the power to change lives and help transform society on multiple levels. There have been many advances in assistive technology, especially in the last couple of years, and it’s both exciting and humbling to see the progress. There’s a lot more to do (and trust me, we’re on that!) but in the meantime, let’s talk about some of the steps we’re making at Microsoft to make accessibility easier to find, use, and become a master at….

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Building Smart City Austin for Human Diversity and Social inclusion

Screenshot-2017-12-8 Austin’s CodeNEXT – Austin Startups

Urbanization is one of the most important global trends of the 21st century. It has the potential to contribute to the “re-design” of our world supporting the creation of sustainable, accessible, and inclusive cities for all. About 6.25 billion people, 15% of them with disabilities, are predicted to be living in urban centers by 2050.

We are at a historic moment in inclusive social and economic development, fueled by technological advances. The City of Austin, TX is searching for ways to create a vibrant, accessible, and disability inclusive culture that attracts jobs, fosters economic development, and is an attractive place for all people to live, work, and play.

Like many municipalities across the country, Austin discovered that it’s current land development codes and ordinances often get in the way of achieving these goals — hence the creation of CodeNEXT. Austin is banking on its new Land Development Codes, AKA “CodeNEXT” to help remove system barriers and other problems that have stalled Austin’s progress in becoming the most livable, accessible and inclusive city in the nation…..

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Smart Cities Built for Everyone : Innovations in Accessible & Inclusive Urban Design

Screenshot-2017-12-8 Smart Cities Built for Everyone – Austin Startups

These days, our cities are smarter than ever — still works in progress. With estimates suggesting that 15% of the world’s population live with disabilities (upwards of one billion people), redesigning our urban environments to be as welcoming as possible has never been more important.

That’s why I’m celebrating the innovations that are making Smart Cities more accessible. From clever apps and crowdsourced resources to revamped public transit and cultural programming, our urban spaces are best when they can be shared by all.

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Disability – An Upside for Everyone in Unifying Smart City Design

Screenshot-2017-12-8 Disability An Upside for Everyone in Unifying Smart City Design

Disabilities have a lot in common with the many of the technology markets I have analyzed for the last 20 years: each was developed and considered in isolation, solutions were specific to each area, and the cost was excessive. Nothing united the disability segments just like nothing united the different streams of technology. Until now….

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Adding Accessibility and Inclusion into Austin’s #SmartCities Strategic Roadmap


Like many other fast-growing urban centers, my hometown of Austin, TX has reached a historic tipping point triggered by Austin’s rapid urbanization. Austin City Leadership recognizes it must engage in vastly new approaches to adjust and calibrate to social and economic challenges amplified by the lightning speed of technical and industrial advances. To address these challenges, Austin is taking a big leap into the Smart City pond….

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Austin is Fast Becoming The Most Livable, Accessible & Inclusive “Smart City” In the U.S.

Screenshot-2017-12-8 Austin is Fast Becoming The Most Livable, Accessible Inclusive City In the U S

Austin is Fast Becoming The Most Livable, Accessible & Inclusive Smart City In the U.S.
Building cities and societies for human diversity and social inclusion is becoming a global mandate and Austin is about to do it all.

Austin Skyline and Lady Bird Lake from the Hyatt Panorama View

Date Feb. 8, 2017
Author: Darren Bates

AUSTIN, TX — We are at a historic moment in inclusive social and economic development, fueled by technological advances. Like so many municipalities across our nation, the City of Austin seeks to improve livability, workability, and sustainability.

However, Austin has work to do. For far too long Austin has failed to consider the unique ways physical and social barriers limit the participation of persons with disabilities and other historically underserved populations from accessing and enjoying city benefits, services, and products.

As well, the lack of participation of persons with disabilities, people of color and other equity groups in Austin’s urban affairs is one of the biggest challenges facing our central Texas city….

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