Swiss Scientists Develop Mind-Controlled Robot for People with Disabilities
Using a telepresence system developed at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), 19 people—including nine quadriplegics—were able to remotely control a robot located in one of the university laboratories. This multi-year research project aims to give a measure of independence to people with paralysis or mobility disabilities. This technology has shown that it works well and is easy to use. By virtue of its video camera, screen and wheels, the robot, located in a laboratory of Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland), was able to film as it moved while displaying the face of the remote pilot via Skype.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/06/24/swiss-scientists-develop-mind-controlled-robot-for-people-with-disabilities/, June 30, 2015
USA: Wheel:Life Publishes Accessible Travel Guidebook for Wheelchair Users
Wheel:Life, an online community for wheelchair users worldwide, has published Discovering: An Accessible US Travel Guide for Wheelchair Users as a new e-book on Amazon.com. Wheel:Life publications center on sharing resources and support for people who use wheelchairs.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/06/30/wheellife-publishes-accessible-us-travel-guidebook-for-wheelchair-users/, June 30, 2015
WHO to collect comprehensive information for disabilities in Pakistan
The government of Pakistan and the World Health Organization, as lead agency in Disabilities in the UN system, are conducting the Model Disability Survey (MDS). The survey is being conducted with support from the Canadian High Commission and collaboration from Pakistan-Bait-Ul Mal.
On the occasion, the Canadian High Commissioner, Ms. Heather Cruden said: “we are very pleased to be collaborating with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Pakistan to clarify needs, resources and policies to support the people of Pakistan. This Model Disability Survey is a first step in this process of identifying an important community of valiant citizens of Pakistan who suffer from disabilities”.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/06/30/who-to-collect-comprehensive-information-for-disabilities-in-pakistan/, June 30, 2015
India: NAB to Launch Smartphone App for People with Vision Disabilities
People who are blind or have low vision will soon be able to use touchscreen cellphones thanks to an application called Easy Access. The National Association for the Blind (NAB) is all set to launch the application which will help people with vision disabilities operate their cellphones through its text-to-speech feature. “Users can just tap on the cellphone and follow voice instructions in order to navigate,” NAB chief executive officer Homiyar Mobedji said. Mobedji was in the city to monitor the progress of the application, which is being developed in all Indian languages by city-based software firm Extentia Information Technology. The application can be downloaded on Google Play Store.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/06/26/nab-to-launch-smartphone-app-for-people-with-vision-disabilities/, June 30, 2015
UK: Computer Vision and Mobile Technology Could Help People with Vision Disabilities See
Funded by a Google Faculty Research Award, specialists in computer vision and machine learning based at the University of Lincoln, UK, are aiming to embed a smart vision system in mobile devices to help people with sight problems navigate unfamiliar indoor environments. Based on preliminary work on assistive technologies done by the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems, the team plans to use colour and depth sensor technology inside new smartphones and tablets, like the recent Project Tango by Google, to enable 3D mapping and localisation, navigation and object recognition. The team will then develop the best interface to relay that to users – whether that is vibrations, sounds or the spoken word.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/06/26/computer-vision-and-mobile-technology-could-help-people-with-vision-disabilities-see/, June 30, 2015
Five Innovative Technologies for Older Adults and People with Disabilities
Tech innovators from around the world gathered at M-Enabling Summit this year in Washington, D.C. on June 1 and 2, alongside leaders of the accessibility community. CEA is a sponsor of the annual event, which highlights new advances in accessibility technology for senior citizens and users of all abilities.
From http://www.ce.org/Blog/Articles/2015/June/Five-Innovative-Technologies-for-Older-Adults-and, June 25, 2015
Is Banking Accessible to Persons with Disabilities?
According to WHO and World Bank, about 15.3 percent of the world’s population or one billion persons live with some form of disability. Persons with disabilities tend to be acutely vulnerable to exclusion. Yes! 1 billion in number around the world are a significant percentage of the world’s population.
Unfortunately, many of them are not provided with equal opportunities in financial inclusion, in financial products and services as their peers and are denied their rights of being an integral part of the financial inclusion community.
From http://community.telecentre.org/profiles/blogs/is-banking-accessible-to-persons-with-disabilities, June 25, 2015
IBM on the Importance of Accessibility for All Users
Making technology more accessible for a few makes it easier and more practical for everyone. In an economy increasingly reliant on brain power rather than brawn, being able to harness the potential of workers regardless of their physical impediments is a situation both empowering for those employees and good for the company’s bottom line.
From http://www.rcrwireless.com/20150609/policy/ibm-on-the-importance-of-accessibility, June 25, 2015
IBM Uses Big Data to Help Seniors in Italy
Nicola Palmarini, a technology advocate with IBM Accessibility, helps the technology powerhouse leverage the power of big data. At the 2015 M-Enabling Summit, he sat down with RCR Wireless News to talk about some of the ways IBM has started to leverage big data analytics in smart and effective ways, helping to increase public safety and quality of life while maintaining the delicate balance of privacy.
From http://www.rcrwireless.com/20150611/big-data-analytics/big-data-to-help-seniors-in-italy, June 25, 2015
W3C Prepping Technical Report on Mobile Accessibility
Judy Brewer, director of the Web Accessibility Initiative at W3C, said it's unlikely the organization will publish a standard on mobile accessibility. Instead, the guidance will outline how Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG, 2.0 applies to mobile and best practices for addressing gaps in WCAG standards and the mobile environment, she said at an event earlier this month.
From http://www.fiercemobilegovernment.com/story/w3c-prepping-technical-report-mobile-accessibility/2015-06-24, June 25, 2015