Accessibility Upgrade: EPUB, Libraries, and Ebook Accessibility
During a visit to Egypt two years ago, George Kerscher, Secretary General of the Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) Consortium, found that the country’s major libraries had only a very small collection of books available for print-disabled patrons. And while staff and volunteers were working to make more books accessible, output was limited to only a handful of titles each year.
From http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/04/technology/ebook-accessbility/, April 24, 2013
USA: Promoting Accessible Technologies in the Workplace
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) released the report ODEP Accomplishments 2009—2012, highlighting ODEP’s progress in ensuring that individuals with disabilities are considered and included when improving the job opportunities for American workers.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.org/content/newsroom/promoting-accessible-technologies-workplace, April 24, 2013
Samsung Demonstrates Tablet That Can Be Controlled By Brain
Samsung has taken the mobile industry by storm in the last couple of years with its very successful Galaxy S III phone and the Galaxy Tab/ Note tablets. Competitive pricing and an easy to use UI (besides the world famous brand) are what set them apart from the rest. It is now planning to take regular tablets into a different realm by allowing a new way of communicating with its tablet devices - brainwaves (mind control!), a feature that people with impaired mobility will definitely appreciate.
From http://www.assistivetechnologyblog.com/2013/04/samsung-demonstrates-tablet-that-can-be.html, April 24, 2013
European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing at eHealth Week
eHealth Week 2013 will bring together two main events: the High Level eHealth Conference co-organised by the European Commission and the Irish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and WoHIT (World of Health IT Conference & Exhibition). The Partnership will be present in a specific track in the programme that will bring an overview of the six Action Plans and their links to ICT.
From http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/european-innovation-partnership-active-and-healthy-ageing-ehealth-week-13-15-may, April 22, 2013
UNESCO Report: ICTs Open New Avenues for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities
The new UNESCO Global Report highlights 18 recommendations to all stakeholders – from decision-makers to educators, civil society and industry – on how concretely to advance the rights of people with disabilities to access information and knowledge using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Assistive Technologies (ATs). It is built on the notion of Knowledge Societies which are inclusive, pluralistic, equitable, open and participatory to all members of society, including persons with disabilities.
From http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002197/219767e.pdf, April 19, 2013
Making Television Accessible for People with Sight Loss
The prize given by the AFB honors RNIB and Panasonic for working together to develop Voice Guidance. We have been awarded in recognition of 'an exceptional and innovative effort that has improved the lives of people with vision loss by enhancing access to information, the environment, technology, education, or employment, including making mainstream products and services accessible'.
From http://www.rnib.org.uk/livingwithsightloss/tvradiofilm/tvradiofilmnews/Pages/video_accessible_tv.aspx, April 19, 2013
Making Emergency Information via Video Programming Accessible
The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) released a Report and Order and a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) (FCC 13-45) related to the accessibility of emergency information provided in video programming. The Report and Order requires that emergency information communicated via video programming is accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. This includes the requirement of an aural presentation of the emergency information on a secondary audio stream that must be conveyed at least twice in full. The use of text-to-speech (TTS) technologies is permitted for providing the aural presentation. In addition, the Report and Order also establishes apparatus requirements for the transmission of emergency information and video description to individuals with disabilities. Specifically, the apparatus is required to “receive, play back, or record video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound.” TTS capability is permitted, but not required.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.gatech.edu/content/newsroom/making-emergency-information-video-programming-accessible, April 18, 2013
Latest Samsung Smartphone Adds Health Functions
Samsung put a health tracker in its phone! Which is actually a great idea. S Health is an app that will track your steps, stairs climbed, and the ambient temperature and humidity, plus track your food intake and estimate calories consumed/burned. You can even track sleep with an optional accessory. This makes Samsung the first manufacturer to fully embrace the integrated value of health sensors and applications – in a single smartphone device – with accessories that are supportive and not stand-alone or separate.
From http://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2013/03/14/latest-samsung-smartphone-adds-health-functions/, April 17, 2013
AARP and StartUp Health Announce 50-Plus Innovation Curriculum and Industry Insight Reports
AARP and StartUp Health, a long-term academy and network for digital health and wellness entrepreneurs, are developing a customized curriculum designed to educate and inspire health tech entrepreneurs to deliver technologies that will address the needs of the aging community.
From http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/4/prweb10636939.htm?sf11763877=1, April 17, 2013
Video: Head-Mounted Laser Beam Allows Persons with Disabilities to Control Computer
asers are now being used to help people with disabilities communicate. CNN got a firsthand look at how this assistive technology works when Sandy Hanebrink, executive director of Touch the Future, gave us a demonstration of the Lucy 4 keyboard at the Abilities Expo in Atlanta.
From http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/12/tech/innovation/orig-ideas-laser-keyboard/index.html, April 12, 2013