USA: Webinar on Emergency Management for People with Disabilities
In the past 12 months, Illinois residents have endured flooding, tornadoes, snow storms, a Polar Vortex and other public safety emergencies. While these and other disasters can’t be prevented, their impact can be reduced when people, businesses, schools and others in a community are properly prepared. With that in mind, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will focus on ‘Preparedness for the Whole Community’ throughout April as part of its 2014 preparedness campaign.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/04/07/webinar-on-emergency-management-for-people-with-disabilities/, April 07, 2014
India: Technology Changing Lives for People with Vision Disabilities in Developing Countries
The study shows that assistive technology-screen readers and other communication software-can boost the economic and social aspirations of people with vision disabilities, enabling them to pursue work they once thought was impossible. The technology also makes them less marginalized in low- and middle-income countries, where they are often stuck at home or limited to low-skilled jobs.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/04/07/technology-changing-lives-for-people-with-vision-disabilities-in-developing-countries/, April 07, 2014
Five Ways Web Designers Can Build Accessible Websites
In a blog post for Toronto-based New Design Group Inc., Alexandra Tanasa writes about how website designers can ensure they’re compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). As more and more of the world is coming online, the act recognizes people with disabilities should also be able to access the Internet with ease, so AODA recommends website designers follow the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
From http://www.itbusiness.ca/article/5-ways-web-designers-can-build-accessible-websites, April 07, 2014
USA: Pew Research on Older Adults and Technology Use
America’s seniors have historically been late adopters to the world of technology compared to their younger compatriots, but their movement into digital life continues to deepen, according to newly released data from the Pew Research Center. In this report, we take advantage of a particularly large survey to conduct a unique exploration not only of technology use between Americans ages 65 or older and the rest of the population, but within the senior population as well.
From http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/04/03/older-adults-and-technology-use/, April 03, 2014
USA: Microsoft Unveils Cortana Virtual Assistant for Windows Phone
The voice-controlled app, named Cortana, uses both the firm's search engine Bing and data stored on the handsets to make personalized recommendations and carry out tasks. Apple and Google already offer comparable facilities on their iOS and Android platforms. But one artificial intelligence expert said Microsoft's decision to wait until now to launch could prove wise.
From http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26855113, April 02, 2014
Three New Samsung Smartphone Accessories Show the Universal Appeal of Accessibility
Accessibility is increasingly a mainstream issue, as companies, developers and consumers recognize that accessibility is about giving all people, including people with disabilities, new tools and ways to interact with the world. Samsung is one of the latest to expand the universe of accessibility by creating three new products for its Galaxy Core Advance smartphone, according to a new story. The new Optical Scan Stand starts a program that reads text placed in front of the smartphone out loud, Engadget reports. With new Voice Labels, users can record audio notes about devices in their homes, the story adds.
From http://blogs.msdn.com/b/accessibility/archive/2014/04/01/three-new-samsung-smartphone-accessories-show-the-universal-appeal-of-accessibility.aspx, April 01, 2014
Power of Technology is Expanding the Use of Memory-Assisting Tools
The following blog post was written by Erin Beneteau, a senior learning and development strategist for accessibility at Microsoft. Apps that help me manage my daily life can also assist people with memory impairments. The key is to ensure these apps have interfaces that are easy to use, navigate, and access. Then these apps can truly change lives.
From http://blogs.msdn.com/b/accessibility/archive/2014/03/13/the-power-of-technology-is-expanding-the-use-of-memory-assisting-tools.aspx, March 31, 2014
S.C. Charters Agree to Accessibility Changes After Federal Investigation
The U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights has entered into an agreement with the South Carolina Public Charter District to make the district's Internet-based schools accessible to students and parents with disabilities, particularly those with visual impairments.
From http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/speced/2014/03/sc_charters_agree_to_accessibi.html, March 26, 2014
Demand Jumps for Mobile Biometrics in Consumer Electronics
Based on the findings of a new report from a leading global research firm, the global mobile biometrics market is exploding, with a CAGR of 156% from 2014-2018. Curiously, TechNavio reports that there are a few significant factors behind this projected growth, but use of mobile devices for financial transactions and the related demand for increased security is one of the most significant market trends.
From http://www.mobilemarketingwatch.com/demand-jumps-for-mobile-biometrics-in-consumer-electronics-40405/, March 26, 2014
Google Reveals Android Wear, Operating System for Smartwatches
Google is officially getting into wearables. The company has announced Android Wear, a version of the operating system designed specifically for wearable devices. To start with, the system is made for smartwatches, and Google is moving aggressively to make itself the key name in wearables.
From http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/18/5522226/google-reveals-android-wear-an-operating-system-designed-for, March 26, 2014