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Technology Geared to Making Life Easier for Elderly, Disabled and Caregivers
With a looming shortage of caregivers in the future to help with the growing population of older Americans -- especially in Pennsylvania -- the technology industry is stepping up to help both groups. University of Pittsburgh graduate student Hervens Jeannis talks about the "Strong Arm", seen in foreground, a prototype that is in design at the university's Human Rehabilitation Engineering Laboratories in Bakery Square. The "Strong Arm" is designed to help people who use wheelchairs to move to and from their chairs with more ease. It is still a few years away from commercial release.
From http://www.post-gazette.com/healthypgh/2014/11/16/Technology-geared-to-making-life-easier-for-elderly-seniors-disabled-and-caregivers-1/stories/201411160226, December 05, 2014

Making Dropbox for iOS more accessible
We’ve been focused since day one on building products that are simple and convenient to use. As part of that mission, we’re working hard to improve the Dropbox experience for those of you who rely on accessibility technologies. Whether you’re using Dropbox to backup your photos or fixing up a spreadsheet for work, we’ve made significant new accessibility improvements to our iOS app to make sure it’s simple and easy to get stuff done.
From https://blog.dropbox.com/2014/11/making-dropbox-for-ios-more-accessible/, December 05, 2014

Understanding the Experience of Gamers with Disabilities
Gamers with disabilities often face challenges due to accessibility issues found in games, despite some good resources for developers who want to ensure that people with disabilities can effectively engage in a gaming environment.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/digital-technology/understanding-the-experience-of-gamers-with-disabilities, December 05, 2014

Apple Releases iOS 8.1.1 with Fixes for Blind and Low Vision Users
iOS 8.1.1 is now available for download, and - just as with iOS 8.1 - it includes a number of bug fixes for blind and low vision users. The screen now correctly scrolls to follow the movement of VoiceOver focus. Siri now functions correctly when used with VoiceOver, and all commands/responses appear to be spoken fully.
From http://www.applevis.com/blog/apple-releases-ios-811-fixes-blind-and-low-vision-users, December 05, 2014

Promise of Technology for Persons with Disabilities
Technology advances have changed the way people live. But not all people have benefited equally, due to limited accessibility, social and economic barriers. To discuss the promises of new technology for persons with disabilities and other topics related to the upcoming International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, DESA News met with Daniela Bas, Director of UN DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development.
From http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/newsletter/desanews/feature/2014/12/index.html#13191, December 04, 2014

CEA Publishes Accessibility Resource Center
The Consumer Electronics Association has announced that it has published a new Accessibility Resource Center, which is a resource guide available to members of CEA to help them understand and meet the new federal accessibility requirements.
From http://www.bsminfo.com/doc/cea-publishes-accessibility-resource-center-0001, December 04, 2014

User Experience Impossible: The Line Between Accessibility and Usability
People often argue whether accessibility is related to usability. I’d say that they are close. In fact, they should be married, because they complement one another, but they’re not the same thing. Some people might even say that accessibility is usability for people with disabilities, but it’s oh, so much more. According to the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C-WAI), accessibility is the means through which “… people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and they can contribute to the Web.” And the International Standards Organization’s standard ISO9241 defines usability as the “… effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which specified users achieve specified goals in particular environments.”
From http://www.digitalgov.gov/2014/11/17/user-experience-impossible-the-line-between-accessibility-and-usability/, December 04, 2014

In Self-Driving Cars, a Potential Lifeline for the Disabled
The self-driving car, embraced as a stress-reducing convenience for harried drivers and a potential advance in road safety, could also prove to be a life-changing breakthrough for many people with disabilities, granting them a new measure of independence.
From http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/09/automobiles/in-self-driving-cars-a-potential-lifeline-for-the-disabled.html?_r=4, December 04, 2014

A Simple Accessibility App Can Make the Visual World Audible
Pharmaceutical giant Novartis has created an app to make visually impaired people's lives a little easier. ViaOptaDaily is available for iOS and Android phones, offering a suite of functions that aim to translate the visual world into audible cues. It's essentially six apps in one: there's a weather element, which reads the current conditions aloud; a tool that uses your phone's camera to determine the color of an object; a money identifier that detects and reads aloud the value of bills, and a simple contacts manager, timer and magnifier.
From http://www.engadget.com/2014/12/02/simple-accessibility-app-makes-the-visual-world-audible, December 03, 2014

Canada: Accessible Media Inc Appoints Accessibility Officer
Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) announced today the appointment of Robert Pearson as the organization's Accessibility Officer. Robert will be based out of AMI's Toronto office and will report to David Errington, AMI's President and CEO. Robert joined AMI in April, 2011 as Director, Accessible Digital Media responsible for leading AMI's efforts to improve the accessibility of digital media, develop and manage AMI's relationships with like minded and accessibility focused organizations and to liaise with the CRTC on various initiatives.
From http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1456625/media-advisory-ami-appoints-accessibility-officer, December 03, 2014

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