AppleTV 5.2 Update brings Accessibility Changes
Today, Apple released an update for the AppleTV set-top box, bringing the software up to version 5.2. Among the changes are support for Bluetooth keyboards, iTunes in the Cloud, Up Next, and some tweaks to accessibility. When browsing the AppleTV interface with VoiceOver users will find that the grid layout of icons is better represented. VoiceOver navigation will stop at the far left or right ends of a row of icons, clearly delineating between rows. This should eliminate some of the confusion navigating experienced by some users.
From http://maccessibility.net/2013/01/28/appletv-5-2-update-brings-accessibility-changes/, February 07, 2013
USA: Mitsubishi Foundation Calls for Grant Applications for Disability Programs
MEAF provides National Grants for innovative model projects of national scope focused on its mission of empowering youth with disabilities to lead productive lives through increased employment. Nonprofit organizations can review MEAF’s priorities & guidelines and take an eligibility quiz to see if they qualify to apply for a MEAF National Grant. Visit What We Do to learn more about the impact of these grants.
From http://www.meaf.org/how_to_apply/, February 06, 2013
Amara Launches Free Version of its Crowdsourced Subtitling Platform for YouTube Users
Channel owners simply visit Amara.org and connect their YouTube account from the homepage. All of the videos in your account are then added to Amara – along with any existing subtitles – and a link is then added in the video description, inviting viewers to subtitle your work.
Once the subtitles are finished, they’re then automatically sent from Amara back to YouTube, thereby updating the language options on any website where the video is embedded.
From http://thenextweb.com/2013/02/06/amara-launches-a-free-version-of-its-crowdsourced-subtitling-platform-for-youtube-users/, February 06, 2013
Resource: Making Powerpoint Presentations Accessible to Visually Impaired and Dyslexic Users
The DAISY Consortium has been in the front line of accessibility and assistive technology for years, pushing the development and implementation of new formats like DAISY and EPUB3 for ebooks, with the goal of publishing ebooks in a way that is convenient to anyone, independently if the user is a seeing person or a visually impaired, or if the user is suffering from a reading impairments as dyslexia. A truly inclusive concept. SlideTalk is a recent service that makes it easy to add a voiceover to PowerPoint presentations by using text-to-speech, and it can certainly be used to increase accessibility of PowerPoint presentations, very often published without any comment and therefore inaccessible for Visually Impaired and Dyslexic users. Now SlideTalk is being used to give a voice to the presentations made by the Daisy Consortium.
From https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JTbqIr1x1Uw, February 06, 2013
USA: iPhones Help Blind Navigate through GPS, Currency Identifier and other Apps
Every iPhone comes with a factory feature called VoiceOver that tells users what they're tapping. There's one app called Color ID, which works with the camera to recognize whatever color the lens is seeing. Handier, perhaps, are apps for navigation, which speak walking directions. LookTel Money Reader uses the camera to spot currency to save visually impaired people the trouble of asking (and trusting) others. It costs $9.99 in the app store.
From http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/palm-beach/fl-blind-iphone-apps-20130116,0,5455632.story, February 06, 2013
Report from ATIA: Impact of BYOT on Assistive Technology in U.S. Schools
In this session, Chris talked about the growing practice of Bring Your Own Tech (BYOT) in US schools. BYOT has been implemented across all 36 schools in Forsyth County in Georgia, USA. This means that students are encouraged to bring in their own laptops, phones, tablets, ebooks and even portable games consoles! Tech is provided for those students who don’t have their own. The rules are simple – only use your tech for educational purposes, and put it down when you’re asked to. This method is shifting the role of the teacher even further from the “source of all knowledge” to a “facilitator of the learning process”, and is having great success in their county. Chris also discussed the impact of BYOT on the use of assistive technology.
From http://www.lexable.com/blog/2013/02/ATIA-report-BYOT#.URCv4fIhF5s, February 05, 2013
USA: Monster.com to be first fully Accessible Website in its Industry
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) reported today that as a result of an agreement between Monster Worldwide, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and NFB, Monster.com will soon be the first in its industry with a fully accessible website. The NFB reports that this agreement will provide meaningful benefit to individuals nationwide who are blind or visually impaired, including more than 35,000 residents in Massachusetts. As part of the agreement, Monster will contribute $50,000 to the Commonwealth that will be used to fund the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind’s (MCB) job internship program. Monster will also make a $50,000 contribution to the NFB and serve as the title sponsor of the NFB’s annual convention in 2013.
From https://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/2013/01/30/monster-com-to-be-the-1st-fully-accessible-website-in-its-industry/, February 05, 2013
USA: Emergency Access Advisory Committee Meets on March 1, 2013
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that the next meeting of the Emergency Access Advisory Committee (EAAC) will be held on March 1, 2013 at the FCC headquarters in Washington, DC from 10:30am to 3:30pm EST. The agenda includes discussion on reports from select EAAC subcommittees, as they relate to accessibility to 911 services by individuals with disabilities. The EAAC was established by the FCC on December 7, 2010, with the purpose of identifying and recommending the "most effective and efficient technologies and methods by which to enable access to Next Generation 911 (NG 9-1-1) emergency services by individuals with disabilities."
From http://wirelessrerc.org/content/newsroom/upcoming-events/emergency-access-advisory-committee-meets-march-1, February 05, 2013
Innovative Ways the Autism Community Uses iPads
The iPad has proven to be an especially useful communication tool for young people with autism. It provides a way to express themselves through words and images; it can be used to teach them about everyday scenarios and give them more independence. It's also far less bulky than some communication devices of the past.
From http://mashable.com/2013/02/01/innovative-autism-community-ipad/, February 04, 2013
Resource: iOS Apps Developed Specifically for the Blind or People with Low Vision
Listed below are iOS apps that have been developed specifically for the blind or people with low vision. Utilizing the potential of Apple's iDevices, these apps are intended to assist with everyday tasks, increase independence and generally make things easier. The list does not include games, as it is intended to highlight those apps which offer functionality and features that are not available from mainstream apps.
From http://www.applevis.com/apps/ios-apps-for-blind-and-vision-impaired, February 04, 2013