People with disabilities will find it harder to get jobs due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new report says.

This is expected to further exacerbate pre-existing employment barriers.

For many disabled people, there is a higher of risk of catching the virus, making employers reluctant to hire them because of safety concerns. 

The Zero Project – a non-governmental organisation advocating disability-inclusiveness – says that Covid-19 is speeding up the transition to a digital economy. As people with disabilities generally experience lower levels of education and training, it is essential that the necessary skills are provided to ensure equal access to new digital jobs.  

Caroline Casey, moderator of the Zero Project Conference, also spoke about the opportunities presented by the pandemic.

“In the last year we have seen the business system flex, adapt and change because it had the intention and willingness to do so.

“Companies that thrived in the pandemic are those that equally included people with disabilities and so we no longer need to make the case for employing that innovative talent”.

Adopting systems such as remote working, flexibility and adaptability in the workplace have long been sought by the disabled community. The Zero Project hopes to lead the way in creating a digitally inclusive workplace that will benefit all.

At least 18 people have died in Myanmar as violence from security forces intensifies on day two of an aggressive crackdown.

Shots were fired into crowds of anti-coup protesters in several cities including Yangon, Dawei and Mandalay. Tear gas was also used in several locations.

Over 1000 individuals have been arrested for opposing the military coup d’état that overthrew the National League for Democracy Party on 1 February.

Protests had remained largely peaceful until now.

In a statement released today, Ravina Shamdasani of the United Nations Human Rights Office said: “We strongly condemn the escalating violence against protests in Myanmar and call on the military to immediately halt the use of force against peaceful protestors.

“We reiterate our call for the immediate release of all those arbitrarily detained, including members of the democratically elected government”.

Live reports from the Wearable Technology Show in London. 

ZACHARY ZHOU  4.58pmreporter zach

BikeHud is the world’s only augmented reality head-up display motorcycle helmet. It can display speed, distance and route and was created using 3D printing technology. Inventor Jon Samwell claims: “It’s the safest helmet worldwide.” Samwell is also developing a smart wristband, which can show heart rate and blood pressure to monitor health on a long journey.

JOSE PEDRO ABREU  4.03pmreporter pedro

Patient Voice is an online platform for users of health services to give easy and immediate feedback. Dr Waheed Hussain explained that users can send anonymous opinions through Patient Voice, which collects the data and sends it to the organization concerned. “The main objective is to improve whatever complaints the users have and there are already some cases where the complaints were addressed”, Hussain said. In the last sixth months Patient Voice has expanded to 16000 public and private companies. “This is just a way to make it easy as possible for both the organizations and the users”, says Hussain.


MATTIE JAMES  3.19pmreporter mattie

Smart watches can help retailers sell a third more, according to intelligence company Inovretail. Sales VP Laszlo Csibi says “smarter technology” has been found to improve customer service and organisation in retail companies. "People who are attending to customers with a smart watch sometimes sell 30% more than their peers,” Csibi said. Inovretail also found that if stock control used smart watches, it encouraged store assistants to use them. “We didn’t have to encourage the shop assistants to use the technology,” Csibi said. “When our CTO was sent the result and they reviewed it with the client, they said that 'There must have been a mistake'”. Inovretail has yet to expand beyond Europe but Csibi insisted that the company seeks to expand globally. “We’re looking at a global takeover,” he joked.


ZACHARY ZHOU  2.14pmreporter zach

Students from Hong Kong have designed a virtual reality game that encourages people to use fewer plastic bags. The presents a virtual underwater world and shows how rubbish can harm turtles in the sea. The team had to design the interaction between the different objects to make the game feel real. "We want students to learn about environmental problems," said Evan C. W. Chu, the senior teacher of students’ team. "We have to protect sea turtles, which are very important to the whole world, as well as other species." The teacher said many kids did not care much about global environmental issues because they were to complex and seemed too remote. "But they presented their care and love about other species and our planet – it’s quite significant." The students won first runner-up prize in the VR Game Design Competition in 2018.


LUYU CHEN  1.47pmreporter hazel

VR is aiding city planning in Russia, says Ivan Puzyrev, head of AR/VR department at Strelka KB. Stakeholders can view a virtual scene and use buttons to show what they like (green) or hate (red) to provide feedback to developers. The future plan is to provide more services for citizens so they can participate in city construction.


JOSE PEDRO ABREU  1.30pmreporter pedro

The Lancet Digital Health Online Journal will go live in April. The open access journal from the publishers of the medical journal The Lancet is dedicated to publishing original research, comments and correspondence . The main aim will be to promote digital techonologies in health practice worldwide. Some of the subjects covered will be research on digital technology in clinical medicine, public health and global health. The monthly publication will help build and strenghten the relationships between health professionals and researchers.


A million people from across the UK demonstrated in London calling for a second referendum or "People's Vote" on Brexit.

Alex Gander, a manager at Boots in Kings Cross said, “We weren’t given enough information in 2016 but now after three years, I realised that I was completely wrong to vote for leave and this is time to correct my decision.”

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said on TwitterL “The British people didn't vote for a bad Brexit deal. The British people didn't vote for a no-deal Brexit. It's time to give us - the British people the final say.” He added, “Enough is enough - it's time to give the British public the final say on Brexit.”

Laura Gs, marketing officer at Costa in Birmingham, held a placard with words written “voice of Remainers”. She said: “People are really in mental disturbance since this referendum has been done with the ambiguous situation of a country. We are not sure about jobs and especially the NHS if no deal Brexit happens.”

John Buckley, a mental health researcher from Glasgow, said: “People want to get out from the uncertain situation on Brexit and the Government needs to put a vote for people and let them decide rather than a group of elites.”

The Labour MP, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, said: “We are not asking the elites to decide, we want the decision to be put back to the people.”