The Aging-Disability Information Disconnect
You may know about the World Health Organization’s Age Friendly Cities initiative, announced in 2007. And perhaps you know all about Age-Friendly New York, launched in 2009 as a result of the WHO. Lots of folks like to say how age-friendly NYC is – which I have always thought was odd, if not downright laughable – having battled across streets in NYC with a wide range of pedestrian walk times, deep puddles masking ramp cut-outs, and a subway system map that favors insider knowledge. Senior Planet in NYC has some more info on what makes a city age-friendly: “New York has an amazing public transportation system going for it. Even though it’s not perfect and could be improved upon, we know that aging people use subways and buses regularly.”
From http://www.ageinplacetech.com/blog/aging-disability-information-disconnect, March 30, 2015
13th Session of the CRPD Committee Opens
The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities opened its 13th session (25 March – 17 April 2015) during which it will review Germany, Croatia, Czech Republic, Turkmenistan, Dominican Republic, Mongolia and the Cook Islands, as well as adopt the list of issues on the European Union.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/03/26/13th-session-of-the-crpd-committee/, March 28, 2015
USA: Developing University Wide Technology Accessibility
Temple University has broadened the reach of technology accessibility university wide to be more inclusive of all members of the university community. In just four years, this increased focus on technology accessibility has resulted in a new Accessible Technology Initiative, which has had a positive impact on students, faculty, staff, and visitors with a disability, as noted in a recent Campus Technology story.
From http://news.temple.edu/news/2015-03-19/building-universitywide-it-accessibility, March 27, 2015
Ghana: Accessibility Standards for Public Buildings in the Offing
The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) is in the process of defining accessibility standards of public buildings and walkways. Mr Max Vardon, a Disability Rights Activist, said this at a seminar for selected Planning Officers of District Assemblies in the Volta Region on mainstreaming disability interest into development plans.
From http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/regional/artikel.php?ID=352169, March 27, 2015
USA: Wearable Device Helps People with Vision Disabilities Avoid Collision
Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Schepens Eye Research Institute used an obstacle course to evaluate a wearable collision warning device they developed for patients with peripheral vision disability. They found the device may help patients with a wide range of vision disability avoid collisions with high-level obstacles. Their findings are featured on Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (IOVS).
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/03/27/wearable-device-helps-people-with-vision-disabilities-avoid-collision/, March 27, 2015
Verizon Announces VelaSense: A Mobile App Suite to Aid People with Vision Disabilities
For the millions of Americans who are blind or have low vision, everyday interactions can be challenging and require dependence on others. The new VelaSense mobile application turns a smartphone into a talking companion, an electronic BFF that can understand surroundings, process text, deliver voice commands through a headset and more. It can even provide outside navigation. It will use Verizon’s 4G LTE network and smartphones with advanced cameras and sensors to deliver real-time information to Verizon customers with vision disabilities. The app helps people understand printed words, enjoy articles, determine colors, interpret barcodes and more.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/03/25/verizon-announces-velasense-a-mobile-app-suite-to-aid-people-with-vision-disabilities/, March 27, 2015
Adobe Acrobat DC and Reader DC Accessibility Update
Last week, Adobe announced the upcoming release of Adobe Acrobat DC and Adobe Reader DC. We have a few big new accessibility features that we want to let you know about in advance. First, the upcoming release of Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader will contain support for reading tagged PDF content with assistive technology on both Windows and Mac OS X. For the first time, Mac users will be able to use VoiceOver to create, edit and read accessible PDF documents. The new user interface in Acrobat and Reader is also improved, and includes features that will help both readers and producers of PDF content. The whole UI now responds to high-contrast modes, with new icons customized for light or dark backgrounds.
From https://blogs.adobe.com/accessibility/2015/03/acrobat-dc-accessibility-update.html, March 26, 2015
Ultrahaptics: Bringing the Sensation of Touch to Virtual Reality
A UK startup has developed tactile technology that allows users to \"feel in mid air\", which it hopes will have profound implications on the emerging field of virtual reality (VR). Bristol-based Ultrahaptics intends to overcome one of the biggest obstacles to creating a truly immersive experience by integrating the sensation of touch to the technology.
From http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ultrahaptics-bringing-sensation-touch-virtual-reality-1489289, March 26, 2015
Hyundai Blue Link App Now Offers Wrist-based Car Controls
Hyundai has updated its Blue Link app to include support for Android Wear, meaning smartwatch wearers can start their car from their wrists.
Android Wearers, who have a Hyundai Blue Link enabled car, can also lock and unlock their vehicle and activate the lights. You can even sound the horn remotely - which sounds like a YouTube prank video in the making.
From http://www.wareable.com/android-wear/start-the-carwith-your-android-wear-smartwatch-914, March 26, 2015
Intel: How Augmented Reality Can Help the Blind to See
Augmented Reality focuses on designing meaningful experiences that leverage technology to extend our human capacity, including bringing sight to those who can’t see. Rajiv Mongia, director of the Intel RealSense Interaction Design Group, is making this a reality. Mongia and his team developed a prototype that has the potential to help blind and vision-impaired people gain a better sense of their surroundings.
From http://iq.intel.com/augmented-reality-can-help-blind-see/, March 26, 2015