Accessibility Related Sessions & Events at SXSW 2013
Amaze is an accessibility overlay that allows an organization to make a website accessible twice as fast, less expensive, and more comprehensive than traditional approaches to digital accessibility. If you are a developer, you won’t want to miss this exciting new tool!
From http://www.deque.com/web-accessibility-sxsw-2013, March 12, 2013
USA: Nursing Home in Pennsylvania Gifts iPods to Elderly Residents to Help Connect Memories with Music
The time it takes to reload the miniature iPod pales in comparison to the hours Crossley and her recreation team have spent amassing an audio library of 5,381 tracks and developing playlists. Before a resident gets an iPod, the staff devotes an average of two and a half hours talking to the individual and his or her family. The goal? Precisely defining what music the resident likes. In Crossley’s opinion, this output of time and energy is the key to the program’s success.
From http://www.spiritmag.com/features/article/how_sweet_the_sound/, March 11, 2013
"Cold, Getting Warmer, Hot": New App Helps Blind People Find Each Other
People Finder has a very basic but accessible interface. Like mainstream products with similar aims, such as Grindr for the gay community and Spotme for networking at conferences, you have to have the app running if you want to meet up with people in your circle. It alerts a user, via a vibration and a noise, when someone else with the app comes within 50 feet. It uses Bluetooth to detect people. As you search for your friend, the app will let you know how close you are, by saying "near" or "cold" as you walk around.
From http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ouch/2013/03/people_finder_helps_blind_frie.html, March 11, 2013
Building Research Capacity in Wireless Accessibility and Usability
On February 15, 2013 James Mueller, a Wireless RERC scientist, presented “Getting Wireless: An Introduction to Universal Design and Wireless Technology” to 32 sophomore industrial design students at Virginia Tech. This is part of the Wireless RERC’s initiative to educate the next generation of wireless technology designers on universal design as a core practice for innovative and future design of products and applications.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.org/content/building-research-capacity-t3, March 11, 2013
Mobile Apps for People with Disabilities at ATIA Conference
John Morris, a Wireless RERC research scientist attended the Assistive Technology Industry Association’s 2013 Conference where he participated in the panel “Mobile Apps for People with Disabilities” at the Research Symposium on IDevices, Apps & the Cloud. The conference provided a forum for professional practitioners serving those with disabilities to communicate and participate in educational sessions. There were over 2,000 attendees for the more than 200 educational sessions at the conference, held in Orlando, Florida from January 30 to February 2, 2013.
From http://atia.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=4299, March 11, 2013
Silverline: Smartphones for Seniors
Silverline is a new project that creates apps specifically designed for seniors. We have spent the last 18 months working with underserved seniors, providing them with donated second-hand smartphones and building apps to address their needs. It’s been amazing to see how this new technology has improved the quality of their lives. But we’re just scratching the surface. Now we want to bring this concept to all seniors - to our parents and grandparents - so they too can benefit from the smartphone revolution.
From http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/silverline-smartphones-for-seniors--6, March 08, 2013
Fujitsu’s Senior-Focused Smartphone
Japanese electronics company Fujitsu has taken its time pushing beyond its home smartphone market. The company is best known for slick, slender high end smartphones in Japan but earlier this month it announced a European play — eschewing the crowded top tier of devices in favour of a niche in the seniors space, with a custom skinned Android-based smartphone. The Stylistic S-01 is designed to be easier for older people to use. Fujitsu is bringing the device to France in partnership with France Telecom/Orange in June but was showing it off at Mobile World Congress, where we went hands on.
From http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/28/fujitsus-senior-focused-smartphone-is-a-thoughtful-use-of-android-that-tucks-away-complexity/, March 08, 2013
EU Funded Project Helps Senior Citizens Access the Internet
The European Union’s Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) Programme has a brief to help close the digital divide and increase market acceptance of products and services designed to help older people to live independently and improve their quality of life. Amongst the projects funded by AAL is GoldUI, which aims to help 70 – 85 year-olds link up to the Internet. Rather than needing a computer, the project is providing access through more familiar and less support-intensive devices such as bedside radios, televisions and telephones. These are adapted with simple, clear buttons and built-in communications capabilities “What we are doing is providing new ways to interact with these devices,” said Laurence Pearce of XIM Ltd, an artificial intelligence and interface design specialist that is one of the partners in GoldUI.
From http://www.sciencebusiness.net/news/76067/Help-older-people-access-the-Internet, March 08, 2013
Signing Avatar App Prototype Wins Global Mobile Accessibility Award
A Brazilian mobile app that translates Portuguese speech, digital text and photographs of text into sign language, all using an animated avatar, has been recognized at a global apps awards ceremony. The Hand Talk app – due to be publicly released later this year – was developed by Ronaldo Tenório, Carlos Wanderlan and Thadeu Luz to convert written or spoken Portuguese text into LIBRAS, the official sign language of Brazil. The app won the category for ‘mInclusion and Empowerment’ at the World Summit Award – Mobile for its potential as a communication aid for hearing-impaired people and others who want to learn LIBRAS.
From http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=823, March 06, 2013
New Zealand Introduces Telephone Captioning Service for People with Hearing Disabilities
Hundreds of people with hearing disabilities are set to benefit from a new Government-funded telephone service, Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams says. From tomorrow, for the first time in New Zealand, a person with hearing disability will be able to use a captioned telephone service. With the help of a specially-designed Captel phone, people with hearing disabilities will be able to talk to someone, and then be able to read word-for-word captions of the other person’s response.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/03/01/new-zealand-introduces-new-telephone-captioning-service-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, March 06, 2013