USA: MIT Researchers Build Finger-Mounted Reading Device for the Blind
Researchers at the MIT Media Laboratory have built a prototype of a finger-mounted device with a built-in camera that converts written text into audio for visually impaired users. The device provides feedback — either tactile or audible — that guides the user’s finger along a line of text, and the system generates the corresponding audio in real time.
From http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/finger-mounted-reading-device-blind-0310#.VQBitLb9Mmc.twitter, March 11, 2015
How Apps are Changing the Face of Accessibility
Tap to Talk is a free alternative that is available for iOS, Android, Windows 8, Nook, and more. Other options are Touch Voice (Android and iOS, $19.99), iCommunicate for iPad ($49.99), iComm (iPhone, free), and TouchChat HD (iOS, $149.99). Whether it is worth paying so much for Proloquo2Go, compared to lower-cost and even free alternatives, is hotly debated. The app’s developers point to how much less expensive it is when compared to the equivalent devices before Proloquo2Go’s development, as well as the research, technology and ongoing updates that go into the app. Looking at the suitability of each option is advised, and the Special Apps for Special Needs site recommends seeking advice from a Speech and Language Therapist.
From http://www.dailydot.com/technology/accessibility-apps-disability-tools, March 10, 2015
Accessibility, the Journey and the Destination
In this "Simply Accessible" blog post, Derek Featherstone talks about the long journey of creating accessible web content. He discusses how at first, he thought his websites were accessible because they included alt text and correctly labeled forms. But he quickly realized that this was just a first step in creating an accessible website that is also user-friendly.
From http://simplyaccessible.com/article/accessibility-journey-destination/, March 10, 2015
USA: CU-Boulder Appoints Chief Digital Accessibility Officer
The University of Colorado-Boulder is one of the latest organizations to announce its appointment of a chief accessibility officer. CU-Boulder announced in February that Dan Jones will take on the role of Chief Digital Accessibility Officer, heading up the university’s ICT Services and Applications Accessibility Project. In its announcement, the university also listed an update on the progress of this project.
From http://www.colorado.edu/news/features/jones-appointed-chief-digital-accessibility-officer, March 10, 2015
What My Hearing Aid Taught Me About the Future of Wearables
In my current role at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, I’m lucky to be able to study something I care deeply about: technology’s impact on our lives. I’m sure my interest partly arises from how I’ve depended on technology for as long as I can remember. I don’t know with certainty how consumer wearables will develop, but what I do know is how much hearing aids have changed over the last 30 years. And I have some insight into what sensory-enhancing wearables—like hearing aids, and unlike data-recording wearables like pedometers—could someday become. Over the next few years, I expect that we will see four trends, rich in both opportunity and peril, shape the evolution of these wearables from toys into tools.
From http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/02/what-my-hearing-aid-taught-me-about-the-future-of-wearables/385145/, March 10, 2015
Digital Inclusion: The Benefits of Better Web Accessibility
In an era when the web is becoming ubiquitous, the implications of being on the wrong side of the digital divide seem graver than ever. Website accessibility expert Professor Jonathan Hassell’s new book on digital inclusion, launched this month, calls for a shift in the thinking of organizations over what has often been regarded as a somewhat burdensome and thorny issue.
From http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2014/nov/20/companies-benefits-digital-inclusion-accessibility, March 10, 2015
USA: FCC Extends Deadline for Nominations to the Fourth Chairman's Awards for Advancement in Accessibility
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is extending the deadline for the submission of nominations for the Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman’s AAA) to March 20, 2015. In addition, the Commission is issuing this public notice to encourage parties to submit additional information with their nominations to assist the Commission in its review process. Parties making nominations now have the option of including references to consumer reviews of products and services, and links to videos on a website that demonstrate their innovations. If parties have already submitted a nomination, parties may resubmit their nomination to include this additional information.
From http://www.fcc.gov/document/nomination-chairmans-aaa, March 10, 2015
Top Five Takeaways from Mobile World Congress 2015
The event has morphed from a mobile industry congress to a broader ICT–TMT–mobility fair at which telecoms meets digital media, IT, and entertainment. The focus of mobile operators – in terms of opportunities for growth – is shifting to the enterprise market.
From http://www.reseller.co.nz/article/569835/insight-top-5-takeaways-from-mwc-2015/, March 09, 2015
Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2015
To compile this list, the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies, a panel of 18 experts, draws on the collective expertise of the Forum’s communities to identify the most important recent technological trends. By doing so, the Meta-Council aims to raise awareness of their potential and contribute to closing the gaps in investment, regulation and public understanding that so often thwart progress.
From https://medium.com/world-economic-forum-agenda/top-10-emerging-technologies-of-2015-1feb204aaf5c, March 09, 2015
Samsung Releases New Advertisement Highlighting Video Call Center for Hearing Impaired People
Samsung released an advertisement this weekend for a new service intended to help people with hearing disabilities. In the ad, a person with a hearing disability encounters only people who know sign language as he walks through the town
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/03/09/samsung-releases-new-ad-hearing-hands/, March 09, 2015