Canada: AMI-télé, Television That Includes Everyone, Goes on Air
AMI-télé, the world's first French-language network to present its entire schedule with open described video, goes on air today. "It is a big day for the blind or partially sighted, a defining moment in the journey towards media accessibility for all of those who cannot enjoy television in its traditional format," says David Errington, President of Accessible Media Inc.
From http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1464257/ami-tele-television-that-includes-everyone-goes-on-air-today, December 18, 2014
Transforming Your Skin Into A Touchscreen
The booming wearables industry strives to keep users connected while exercising, working, and even eating. One new company wants to pack a number of features into a small, screen-free band that will keep wearers online anywhere — even in the tub. Less than a year old, French start-up Cicret is hoping streamline such functions as phone calls, browsing, and watching videos into a single wristband. As Cicret co-founder Guillaume Pommier told MailOnline, the minimal wearable is a “revolutionary device which could completely change how we access information.”
From http://www.psfk.com/2014/12/transforming-your-skin-into-a-touchscreen.html, December 18, 2014
Visually Impaired South Korean Students Receive 3D Printed Touchable Yearbook by 3D TEK
Not only does the Touchable Yearbook provide visually impaired students with yearbooks, but it also gives them an introduction to the true innovations of 3D printing and how it can benefit them point blank — not to mention many others in the world who have other special needs. It’s a reward in more ways than one as exposure to the technology of 3D printing is invaluable in terms of encouraging and opening kids up to the wonders of STEM (science, technology, education, manufacturing) education, where 3D printing is beginning to play a substantial role.
From http://3dprint.com/31162/3d-print-touchable-yearbook/, December 17, 2014
Skype's Newest App Will Translate Your Speech in Real Time
Microsoft’s Skype software will start translating voice calls between people today. As part of a preview program, Skype Translator makes it possible for English and Spanish speakers to communicate in their native language, without having to learn a new one. It sounds like magic , but it’s the result of years of work from Microsoft’s research team and Skype to provide an early working copy of software that could help change the way the world communicates in the future.
From http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/15/7393665/skype-translator-features, December 17, 2014
USA: Disability Champion Senator Harkin Leaving Congress
After 40 years on Capitol Hill, a U.S. senator who shaped the Americans with Disabilities Act is leaving his post. Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is retiring at the conclusion of the year, after choosing not to seek re-election. The departure will leave disability advocates without their strongest ally in Congress.
From http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2014/12/16/disability-champion-leaving/19924/, December 17, 2014
USA: Books, Blindness and Barriers to Content
For the nearly 8 million people in the US with some degree of vision impairment, the advent of ebooks and e-readers has been both a blessing and a burden. A blessing, because a digital library—everything from academic textbooks, to venerated classics, to romance novels—is never further away than your fingertips. A burden, because the explosion of ebooks has served as a reminder of how inaccessible technology really can be.
From http://www.wired.com/2014/12/e-books-for-the-blind-should-be-legal/, December 16, 2014
Koala Mobile: Designing a Mobile Interface for Older People
Most phones currently on the market have a touch screen. The touch-based interface can be confusing for many people. The only possible way how to interact with the phone is to use virtual on-screen buttons and gestures on the display. These interfaces are mostly not optimized for people with vision or fine motor skills problems.
From https://medium.com/@tomasslavicek/designing-a-mobile-interface-for-older-people-1c9b70fd645c, December 16, 2014
USA: Robots to Assist Persons with Disabilities
New research in robotics might help with stroke rehabilitation, guide wheelchairs, and assist children with Autism. Projects investigating co-robotics are the focus of new funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/15/robots-to-assist-persons-with-disabilities/, December 15, 2014
India: Tata Institute of Social Sciences Campus to be Accessible for Students with Disabilities
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) is all set to make its campus more accessible to its 34 students with disabilities. The institute has sent a proposal to the ministry of social justice to create a barrier-free campus, which will allow these students and visitors to move around without assistance. Vaishali Kolhe, assistant professor, centre for disability studies, TISS, said: “We recently conducted an access audit of the campus and sent a proposal to the ministry of social justice under Scheme for Implementation of Persons with Disability Act (SIPDA). The ministry has agreed to the proposal. The grant will be released in a few months and work will soon begin on the campus.”
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/15/tiss-campus-to-be-accessible-for-students-with-disabilities/, December 15, 2014
India: Delhi University Training Nurses on Use of Sign Language in Hospitals
Delhi University is providing sign language training to nursing staff in hospitals across the national capital to help them deal with patients with hearing disabilities. “The use of sign language is minimal in our country and a survey done by DU students had revealed that even people with vision disabilities are not aware of the proper technical language in place.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/15/delhi-university-training-nurses-on-use-of-sign-language-in-hospitals/, December 15, 2014