Accessibility in Mainstream Mobile and Tablets for Persons with Disabilities
In 2013 people with disability have been offered more choice in smartphones and tablet computers. While Apple still dominates this market, this year saw its competitors offer affordable and accessible alternatives. Here, Media Access Australia looks at a selection of mainstream electronic devices and how they have been improved for accessibility.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/affordable/highlights-of-2013-accessibility-in-mainstream-devices, December 04, 2013
New Technology to Give Voice to People with Severe Speech Impairment
The first speech recognition aid to give a voice to people with severe speech impairment is the flagship technology on display today at the launch of the University of Sheffield’s new Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare (CATCH). The voice input voice output communication aid, VIVOCA, is the only technology able to interpret the sounds made by people with speech impairment and translate them into clear, synthesized speech – enabling users to communicate beyond their close family and friends for the first time.
From http://www.news-medical.net/news/20131119/New-technology-to-give-voice-to-people-with-severe-speech-impairment.aspx#!, December 04, 2013
Making Disability Visible: Inclusive Reconstruction in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States
Policy makers, researchers and activists may be skeptical about including disability in discussions about fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS). There are so many urgent and competing priorities for development initiatives in these states—how can we possibly add one more? Yet disability is an integral aspect of social vulnerability in FCAS. Continuing to accept the invisibility of disability has negative consequences for development policies and practices in FCAS.
From http://cips.uottawa.ca/making-disability-visible-inclusive-reconstruction-in-fragile-and-conflict-affected-states/, December 04, 2013
Japan: Novel Jewelry Creation Can 'Translate Sign Language into Words'
Designers from Japan have developed a novel concept that could help aid the communication of millions of people worldwide who suffer from hearing impairments, alongside those who do not understand sign language. And it is in the form of jewelry. The Sign Language Ring is a set of jewelry that has been created by designers from Asia University in Tokyo, Japan. It is a system that can translate sign language into either voice or text.
From http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269253.php, December 03, 2013
USA: Tongue Piercing Lets the Paralyzed Drive Wheelchairs
An experimental device is letting paralyzed people drive wheelchairs simply by flicking their tongue in the right direction. Key to this wireless system: Users get their tongue pierced with a magnetic stud that resembles jewelry and acts like a joystick, in hopes of offering them more mobility and independence. Researchers reported Wednesday that 11 people paralyzed from the neck down rapidly learned to use the tongue device to pilot their wheelchairs through an obstacle course full of twists and turns, and to operate a computer, too.
From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/27/tongue-piercing-paralyzed-wheelchairs-drive_n_4351528.html, December 03, 2013
USA: FCC Announces Speakers, Agenda for M-Health Innovation Expo
The innovative use of mobile communications devices to improve health care will be the subject of a public event hosted by the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) on December 6. The FCC mHealth Innovation Expo will bring together innovators and federal agencies to showcase mobile health products and solutions and provide resources for mobile health pioneers and entrepreneurs.
The FCC is committed to accelerating the adoption of mobile healthcare technologies to improve health outcomes, lower healthcare costs, and improve health and healthcare for all Americans.
From http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2013/db1126/DOC-324410A1.pdf, December 03, 2013
Access to Assistive Technology in Resource Limited Environments
Special Issue of the journal Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology calls for papers on Access to Assistive Technology in Resource Limited Environments. This special issue focuses on the different components of the AT ecosystem in RLEs, and seeks an understanding of the systemic and structural challenges to providing AT in RLEs, as well as examples of good practices and methods to successfully promote access to and acquisition of appropriate assistive technology.
From http://idtr.uwctds.washington.edu/welcome/Special_Issue, December 02, 2013
Sign Language Ring Detects Sign Language Motions and Translates Them to Voice
Sign Language Ring is a set of rings and a bracelet that detects sign language motions and translates them to voice. It also translates voice to text. When worn on the fingers of the person using sign language, the rings detect and track the signing motions. These are translated to voice, which is emitted by the bracelet. The user can pre-record their signing movements and assign the appropriate words, which allows the system to be customised to the user’s particular gestures.
From http://www.red-dot.sg/en/online-exhibition/concept/?code=1033&y=2013&c=16&a=0, December 02, 2013
Saudi Arabia: Banking Awareness Forum for People with Vision Disabilities
An awareness seminar on banking fraud was held recently for people with vision disabilities in Jeddah. The Media and Banking Awareness Committee of Saudi Banks, in cooperation with the Society for Rehabilitation and Service of Visual Impairment (Ibsar), organized the event at the auditorium of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/11/29/banking-awareness-forum-for-people-with-vision-disabilities-held-in-jeddah/, November 29, 2013
UK: Brighton University Students Design Website for People with Hearing Disabilities
Two students have designed a new website to enable people who are deaf or hard of hearing to find trusted traders who can communicate with them. Contacting the likes of plumbers, flower arrangers and decorators, is difficult enough for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but this is made harder when trades people come to their home and cannot communicate with them. DeafCOG (Deaf Cultural Outreach Group) is a social enterprise that creates resources to support the lives of people who are deaf who use British Sign Language (BSL). One of its projects aims to create a trader-search website, where people who are deaf or hard of hearing alike can find traders who can communicate with deaf people, from using clear English to signing in BSL.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/11/28/brighton-university-students-design-website-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, November 29, 2013