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
Designing for Everyone: The Role of Accessibility in Service Design
Apple recently unveiled its impressive new iOS 6 and showcased a truly important new feature: Guided Access, which is a set of accessibility settings that allow users to limit the availability of navigational controls and keep the device locked within a single app. Apple showcased several uses for Guided Access, including scenarios that give teachers and parents more control, and expand the potential of the iPad to be used in the classroom for activities like test taking.
From http://uxmag.com/articles/designing-for-everyone, March 06, 2013
USA: Toolkit to Improve the Accessibility of Social Media in Government
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy launched the new Federal Social Media Accessibility Working Group whose initiative is to evaluate and provide solutions for overcoming the challenges of accessibility of social media platforms and the content posted on same. The first resource developed and released by the working group is an evolving toolkit that provides guidance and baseline standards for agencies and companies to ensure their social content is accessible to all individuals, including those with disabilities. An initial list of accessibility and usability tips has been developed but this is an evolving document. Therefore, the Social Media Accessibility Working Group encourages agencies, organizations and citizens to provide feedback and comments in order to “collectively advance towards better accessibility to public services and programs for citizens.”
From http://www.wirelessrerc.org/content/newsroom/toolkit-improve-accessibility-social-media-government, March 06, 2013
Accessibility for iPhone and iPad Apps
Ensuring that your iPhone or iPad app is accessible (in this case, to visually impaired users) is the right thing to do, and thankfully it’s very easy - in many cases, there’s no work to do at all. This article for iOS developers describes how to implement accessibility support.
From http://mattgemmell.com/2010/12/19/accessibility-for-iphone-and-ipad-apps/, March 05, 2013
Google Chrome, Drive, Gmail Get New Accessibility Features
Google announced new accessibility features for Chrome, Chrome OS, Gmail and Google Drive, as well as a new sign language interpreter app for Google+ Hangouts. The new accessibility features aim to make it easier for blind and low-vision users to use the Google suite of Web apps, while the new sign language interpreter app and keyboard shortcuts for Hangouts target the deaf and hard of hearing community, as well as those who cannot or do not want to use a mouse while using Hangouts.
From http://www.mobilenapps.com/articles/7716/20130303/google-chrome-drive-gmail-accessibility-hangouts-asl.htm, March 04, 2013
Find Accessible Businesses with AbleRoad iOS App
AbleRoad is an app and website that enables persons with disabilities to find, rate, and review local shops, restaurants, theaters and other businesses based on their accessibility to persons with mobility, sight, hearing, or cognitive impairments.
From http://assistivetechnology.about.com/od/ATCAT4/a/Find-Accessible-Businesses-With-Ableroad-Ios-App.htm, March 04, 2013
USA: ADA Compliance Guidance for Private Sector Websites
As with all things web and ADA related it is important to note that there are no specific published technical requirements that define how the ADA is applied to the Internet. This introduces a level of risk to any organization – public or private – since the target compliance requirements may not conform to final U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) issued policy. However, a variety of public and private sector organizations have been sued for the inaccessibility of their websites under the ADA making conformance of the ADA a priority. So what’s a site to do?
From https://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/?p=2009, March 01, 2013
Mobile Health: Small Gadgets That Make You Healthier
Asthmapolis emerged from co-founder David Van Sickle's frustration with government asthma data, a feeling that burgeoned after he received his Ph.D. and while he was serving as a disease detective in the National Asthma Control Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Despite all that we know about asthma and how to treat it, the majority of individual patients actually have uncontrolled disease,” he says. “Their physicians can't course-correct, because patients don't report how poorly they're doing, and so they end up at higher risk of ER visits, hospitalizations, missed days of school and work—and that's all below public health's radar.”
From http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=small-gadgets-that-make-you-healthier, March 01, 2013
Prize-Winning App Helps Users Spot Accessible Places
A new app designed to help people with disabilities locate accessible restaurants, stores and other venues in their communities is getting a boost after being named a winner in a national contest. The software called “Access Together” is a Foursquare-style app that allows users to check-in from various locations and answer simple questions about accessibility. The crowd-sourced information is then publicly searchable.
From http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2012/01/03/prize-winning-app/14704/, March 01, 2013