USA: Helping Seniors Learn New Technology
Several years ago Garrison Phillips, a retired actor, bought himself a Dell computer. He soon recognized that he didn’t know what to do with it. “I needed instruction,” he told me in an interview conducted — perhaps surprisingly — by e-mail. “The technology of the Internet, cell and iPhones was like a foreign language.”
From http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/helping-seniors-learn-new-technology/, May 07, 2013
USA: Gesture Reader Lets Blind Decipher Documents
If computer interfaces aren’t equipped with gesture-based technologies or screen readers, and documents don’t include Braille, a blind person can be limited in what material they can access. That’s why researchers from the University of Maryland have designed a new interaction system called “Access Lens,” a new form of technology that could potentially assist blind people with a more autonomous lifestyle. The system utilizes computer vision-based tracking that enables the blind to use gestures to access paper documents and other objects, such as bills, product packages, ATM interfaces, restaurant menus, charts and maps that don’t cater to the visually impaired.
From http://news.discovery.com/tech/gear-and-gadgets/gesture-reader-lets-blind-decipher-documents-130501.htm, May 07, 2013
Kindle iOS App Gets a Slew of New Features for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The latest upgrade to the iPhone and iPad version of Amazon's Kindle reading app brings a bunch of new features aimed at blind and visually impaired users. At the top of the list is the ability to read aloud 1.8 million Kindle Store titles, with help from Apple's VoiceOver technology. The update also brings better library and book navigation and search, as well as features like notes, highlights, bookmarks, font size, background color and brightness. Standard Kindle features like X-Ray, End Actions and sharing via Facebook and Twitter are also made more accessible through the update. Amazon's promised a similar update for non-iOS versions of the app at some point in the future -- in the meantime, a full list of new features can be found in a press release after the break.
From http://engt.co/130skUE, May 07, 2013
Study: Fibre most Future-Proof to Meet Bandwidth Demand
Although FTTH is seen as the most future-proof fixed access technology, DSL and Docsis will be able to fulfill expected consumer bandwidth demand for the next 3-5 years for selected market segments, according to a new study by Telecompaper and its partner XS Insight. The report 'Need for Speed: how to keep up with consumer bandwidth requirements' investigates the possibilities of new access technologies to fulfill future consumer demand until 2016.
From http://www.telecompaper.com/news/fibre-most-future-proof-to-meet-bandwidth-demand-study--941336, May 03, 2013
United Celebral Palsy Report: The Case for Inclusion Report 2013
UCP's annual report, The Case for Inclusion, ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) on outcomes for Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). Despite economic strains, many states have made real improvements in the quality of services being provided.
From http://www.ucp.org/the-case-for-inclusion/2013/, May 03, 2013
Sri Lanka: Big Dial Phone for Older people
Sri Lanka's largest mobile telephony service provider Dialog Axiata PLC is trying to change that. By launching the Big Dial Phone, Sri Lanka will for the first time have a phone tailor-made for older people.
From http://www.helpage.org/blogs/mayur-paul-16/i-just-called-to-say-i-love-you-550/, May 03, 2013
Amazon Adds New Features For Blind And Visually Impaired Users To Kindle For iOS App
Today’s update, Amazon says, will make it easier for these users to use features like “X-Ray, End Actions, sharing, highlighting and bookmarking.” Amazon says these new features are available on iOS today, but it plans to make them available on additional platforms in the future. These new features, the company says in today’s announcement, will give visually impaired users easier access to the more than 1.8 million titles in its catalog that feature its text-to-voice VoiceOver narration. The iOS app also allows users to read character-by-character, word-by-word and line-by-line and supports the usual iOS accessibility features like zoom, assistive touch and support for peripheral braille displays.
From http://techcrunch.com/2013/05/01/amazon-adds-new-features-for-blind-and-visually-impaired-users-to-kindle-for-ios-app-coming-to-other-platforms-soon/, May 02, 2013
USA: May 2013 is Older Americans Month
The theme of this year’s celebration, “Never Too Old To Play!” puts a spotlight on the important role older adults play in sharing their experience, wisdom, and understanding, and passing on that knowledge to other generations in a variety of significant ways. International travel is increasingly one of the more popular ways that older Americans “play” as they visit new places and learn about new cultures. The experiences older Americans share with their families and friends upon return further enrich all generations in our communities.
From http://travel.state.gov/news/news_5448.html, May 02, 2013
USA: Bringing People with Hearing Assistance Needs into the 'Loop'
The University of Iowa's first hearing loop system was installed in B111 Medical Laboratories, an 84-seat lecture hall, in February and the university has plans to install systems in five other classroom, research, and performance spaces over the next several years, including the new Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building and Hancher. An estimated one in five Americans 12 years and older—about 25 million people all together—have hearing loss profound enough to affect their ability to communicate effectively.
From http://now.uiowa.edu/2013/04/bringing-people-hearing-assistance-needs-loop, April 30, 2013
UK: Computer Game Could Improve Sight of Visually Impaired Children
Visually impaired children could benefit from a revolutionary new computer game being developed by a team of neuroscientists and game designers. Academics from the University of Lincoln, UK, are working with WESC, one of the UK's most respected specialist schools for visually impaired children, to create and evaluate a new 'visual search rehabilitation game'.
From http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/2013/04/682.asp, April 30, 2013