USA: Tongue Piercing Lets the Paralyzed Drive Wheelchairs
An experimental device is letting paralyzed people drive wheelchairs simply by flicking their tongue in the right direction. Key to this wireless system: Users get their tongue pierced with a magnetic stud that resembles jewelry and acts like a joystick, in hopes of offering them more mobility and independence. Researchers reported Wednesday that 11 people paralyzed from the neck down rapidly learned to use the tongue device to pilot their wheelchairs through an obstacle course full of twists and turns, and to operate a computer, too.
From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/27/tongue-piercing-paralyzed-wheelchairs-drive_n_4351528.html, December 03, 2013
USA: FCC Announces Speakers, Agenda for M-Health Innovation Expo
The innovative use of mobile communications devices to improve health care will be the subject of a public event hosted by the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) on December 6. The FCC mHealth Innovation Expo will bring together innovators and federal agencies to showcase mobile health products and solutions and provide resources for mobile health pioneers and entrepreneurs.
The FCC is committed to accelerating the adoption of mobile healthcare technologies to improve health outcomes, lower healthcare costs, and improve health and healthcare for all Americans.
From http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2013/db1126/DOC-324410A1.pdf, December 03, 2013
Access to Assistive Technology in Resource Limited Environments
Special Issue of the journal Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology calls for papers on Access to Assistive Technology in Resource Limited Environments. This special issue focuses on the different components of the AT ecosystem in RLEs, and seeks an understanding of the systemic and structural challenges to providing AT in RLEs, as well as examples of good practices and methods to successfully promote access to and acquisition of appropriate assistive technology.
From http://idtr.uwctds.washington.edu/welcome/Special_Issue, December 02, 2013
Sign Language Ring Detects Sign Language Motions and Translates Them to Voice
Sign Language Ring is a set of rings and a bracelet that detects sign language motions and translates them to voice. It also translates voice to text. When worn on the fingers of the person using sign language, the rings detect and track the signing motions. These are translated to voice, which is emitted by the bracelet. The user can pre-record their signing movements and assign the appropriate words, which allows the system to be customised to the user’s particular gestures.
From http://www.red-dot.sg/en/online-exhibition/concept/?code=1033&y=2013&c=16&a=0, December 02, 2013
Saudi Arabia: Banking Awareness Forum for People with Vision Disabilities
An awareness seminar on banking fraud was held recently for people with vision disabilities in Jeddah. The Media and Banking Awareness Committee of Saudi Banks, in cooperation with the Society for Rehabilitation and Service of Visual Impairment (Ibsar), organized the event at the auditorium of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/11/29/banking-awareness-forum-for-people-with-vision-disabilities-held-in-jeddah/, November 29, 2013
UK: Brighton University Students Design Website for People with Hearing Disabilities
Two students have designed a new website to enable people who are deaf or hard of hearing to find trusted traders who can communicate with them. Contacting the likes of plumbers, flower arrangers and decorators, is difficult enough for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but this is made harder when trades people come to their home and cannot communicate with them. DeafCOG (Deaf Cultural Outreach Group) is a social enterprise that creates resources to support the lives of people who are deaf who use British Sign Language (BSL). One of its projects aims to create a trader-search website, where people who are deaf or hard of hearing alike can find traders who can communicate with deaf people, from using clear English to signing in BSL.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/11/28/brighton-university-students-design-website-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, November 29, 2013
Ghana: Board for the National Council for Persons With Disability Inaugurated in Ghana
A 14-member Board of the Council of Persons with Disability was, yesterday, inaugurated in Accra. This is to broaden the mandate of the ministry to include promoting and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups including persons with disabilities. In her remarks, Hon. Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, noted that the National Council on Persons with Disability (NCPD) was mandated under the Persons with Disability Act 2006, (Act 715), to pursue and promote a better Ghana experience for the estimated 20% of the population with disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/11/27/board-for-the-national-council-for-persons-with-disability-inaugurated-in-ghana/, November 29, 2013
Fewer Than One in Three Africans has a Mobile Phone
Fewer than one in three Africans has a mobile phone and recent rapid growth in subscribers will slow if governments don't improve access to spectrum and rein in taxes on the industry, a lobby group representing mobile networks said on Monday. There were 502 million mobile connections in sub-Saharan Africa as of June, industry body GSMA said. But with most people owning about two SIM cards, the number of unique subscribers falls to 253 million - around 31 percent of the population, it added.
From http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/11/africa-telecoms-idUSL5N0IW0HD20131111, November 29, 2013
China's Huawei to Roll Out 4G Service in Ethiopian Capital
Ethiopia's state-run Ethio Telecom said on Thursday it had picked Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's second largest telecom equipment maker, to roll out a high-speed 4G network across the capital Addis Ababa. The introduction of the service is part of a $1.6 billion deal signed in July and August between the Ethiopian firm, Huawei and ZTE, China's second-biggest telecoms equipment maker, to expand mobile phone infrastructure throughout the Horn of Africa country.
From http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/28/us-ethiopia-telecoms-idUSBRE9AR0JO20131128, November 29, 2013
Australia: Outstanding Achievements Recognised at National Disability Awards
Twelve individuals and organizations were tonight recognized for their outstanding work to improve the lives of people with disability at this year’s National Disability Awards. Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield, congratulated the winners at a ceremony at Parliament House. “This year’s field was exemplary, with many committed recipients whose work has helped improve the lives of Australians with disability and their families,” Senator Fifield said.
From http://mitchfifield.dss.gov.au/media-releases/42, November 28, 2013