USA: Wearable Tech Translates Sign Language Into Text
A smart device that translates sign language while being worn on the wrist could bridge the communications gap between people who are deaf and those who don’t know sign language, says a Texas A&M University biomedical engineering researcher who is developing the technology. The wearable technology combines motion sensors and the measurement of electrical activity generated by muscles to interpret hand gestures, says Roozbeh Jafari, associate professor in the university’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and researcher at the Center for Remote Health Technologies and Systems. Although the device is still in its prototype stage, it can already recognize 40 American Sign Language words with nearly 96 percent accuracy, notes Jafari who presented his research at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 12th Annual Body Sensor Networks Conference this past June. The technology was among the top award winners in the Texas Instruments Innovation Challenge this past summer.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/30/wearable-tech-translates-sign-language-into-text/, November 30, 2015
Qatar National Bank Organizes Sign Language Training Course
As part of its ongoing activities to better serve people with special needs and the elderly, Qatar National Bank (QNB) organised a sign language training course titled ‘Methods of Communicating With the Hearing Impaired – Sign Language, the Mother Tongue’ at QNB’s Mathaf tower. The course, which was organised by QNB’s Service Quality Department and delivered by Qatar Society for Rehabilitation of Special Needs, comprised eight modules targeted towards serving customers with hearing disabilities. It was attended by Customer Service and Service Quality heads, officers and staff.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/30/qatar-national-bank-organizes-sign-language-training-course/, November 30, 2015
Fiji: Education Plans for Persons with Disabilities
Persons with disabilities now have the opportunity to pursue higher education through the Government’s Tertiary Education Loan and Scholarship scheme. This was revealed by Acting Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Speaking at the Lautoka Special School last Saturday, he said this would increase access for persons with disabilities who were not able to finance their higher education aspirations because of limited resources or financial difficulties. “You would have heard through the budget, we now also through the Tertiary Education Loan and Scholarship scheme will fund a persons with disabilities who wants to go to university,” he said.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/30/education-plans-for-persons-with-disabilities/, November 30, 2015
India: Sign Language Gets Status of Separate Language in Central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh
Sign language will be recognized as a separate language in Madhya Pradesh and 10 industrial training institutes will be set up at divisional headquarters to give vocational training to people with hearing disabilities in the next one year. These and other announcements were made by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday to mark the completion of his 10 years in office. Besides imparting education in sign language to those pursuing diplomas in education (D. Ed) and bachelor of education (B. Ed), the state will bear the fee of students with hearing disabilities in professional courses, Chouhan said.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/30/sign-language-gets-status-of-separate-language-in-mp/, November 30, 2015
India: Prime Minister to Launch Accessible India Campaign on December 3
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan (Accessible India Campaign), on December 3, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot announced on November 26. The Minister was addressing a program on the launching of new / revised schemes of National Trust for the welfare of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities. The Accessible India Campaign (Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan), as a nationwide flagship campaign for achieving universal accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and to create an enabling and barrier free environment, with a focus on three verticals: Built Environment; Public Transportation and Information and Communication Technologies.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/27/pm-to-launch-accessible-india-campaign-on-december-3/, November 27, 2015
Turkey: AFAD Launches Emergency Database for People with Disabilities
The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority’s (Turkish: Afet ve Acil Durum Yönetimi Başkanlığı, AFAD) Kütahya office launched Z-EVET, a project seeking to collect personal information about people with disabilities to meet their special needs in cases of emergency. The initiative aims to expedite the authorities’ response to disasters and emergencies by ensuring that people with disabilities can be reached with greater ease.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/25/afad-launches-emergency-database-for-people-with-disabilities/, November 27, 2015
USA: Campus Group Works to Enhance Statewide Instructional Accessibility Goals
The University of Tennessee (UT) System recently adopted a policy that reiterates its commitment to providing and supporting a teaching and learning environment that is accessible to all. The policy requires that all campuses and institutes provide information, materials, and technology that are accessible to individuals with disabilities, including those who use assistive technologies. The Accessibility Policy went into effect on October 16.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/25/campus-group-works-to-enhance-statewide-instructional-accessibility-goals/, November 27, 2015
Armenia: Braille Guides Developed for Voters with Vision Disabilities in Armenia
“We attach importance to awareness of each citizen, each voter of the voting procedure. As before, the issue of providing people with disabilities with the opportunity to fully exercise their voting right is currently at the center of our attention,” Head of Armenia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) Tigran Mukuchyan said today at a meeting at the Union of the Blind of Armenia when presenting the information guides developed for people with vision disabilities. Deputy Head of the Union of the Blind of Armenia NGO Martin Sargsyan said that guides will be distributed to 3,000 citizens with vision problems. Another 700 people will receive guides with Braille text.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/11/25/braille-guides-developed-for-voters-with-vision-disabilities-in-armenia/, November 27, 2015
USA: Innovations Shine at the mHealth Summit
This year’s mHealth Summit in Washington D.C. has turned into a connected health innovation showcase. I can feel the influence from Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), which bought the event earlier this year. The event not only has the traditional focus on mobile health technologies and applications, but also adds the population health track that broadens the agenda and potentially draws in more attendees from the healthcare industry.
From http://www.computerworld.com/article/3003891/healthcare-it/innovations-shine-at-the-mhealth-summit.html, November 24, 2015
UK Town Deploys Public Wi-Fi Underground
A big challenge to deploying telecom infrastructure is access to fiber optic cabling – sometimes cables just aren’t available where infrastructure needs to be in order to provide end users the value to justify the capital expenditure. The United Kingdom town of Chesham took a novel approach to solving the fiber access issue by installing Wi-Fi access points on city manhole covers, which already served as access points to the existing fiber network.
From http://www.rcrwireless.com/20151123/network-infrastructure/wi-fi/wi-fi-deployed-underground-by-virgin-media-tag17, November 24, 2015