Spain: Researchers Develop Sonification Prototype to Assist Persons with Vision Disabilities
Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have developed an assistive technology system that works by sounds which contributes to the autonomy of persons with vision disabilities. The commercial systems that exist today in Spain for the mobility of persons with vision disabilities are insufficient, according to these UC3M researchers, because they are costly and too bulky. The assistive technology, conceived as a sound guide that gives information as to the user’s environment, precisely aims to make this ingenious complement to the classic cane or guide dog more economical.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/01/14/researchers-develop-sonification-prototype-to-assist-persons-with-vision-disabilities/, January 16, 2014
UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Pledges Support to People with Vision Disabilities
The UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) announced its support to the Emirates Association of the Visually Impaired. The move comes as part of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority’s corporate social responsibility program that seeks to raise awareness and support people with disabilities in the Emirates. The regulator’s support will cover a number of initiatives, including scientific seminars, training courses, educational competitions, audio books, guidance leaflets and Braille publications. The Emirates Association of the Visually Impaired organizes the international Exhibition and Conference of Visual Disability Technology Middle East (SightME), held every two years in February at Expo in Sharjah.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/01/14/uae-telecommunications-regulatory-authority-pledges-support-to-people-with-vision-disabilities/, January 16, 2014
Wearable Technology Like Google Glass Can Drastically Improve Lives of People with Disabilities
Although people with disabilities are not usually the target audience when new technology hits the market—think smartphones and home automation—they have certainly reaped the benefits. “As with any new technology, it is always hard to predict how it will be used and what impact it will have on people’s lives,” said Kai Gradert, a UX/Product Designer. Aside from enhancing independence and making it easier to accomplish daily activities, “technology can level the playing field even by improving communication between those with and without disabilities,” said Dana Marlowe, a principal partner at Accessibility Partners LLC.
From http://www.themobilityresource.com/wearable-technology-and-how-it-affects-people-with-disabilities/, January 14, 2014
Samsung to Offer Smartphone with Accessibility Options for Persons with Disabilities
South Korean smartphone maker Samsung has announced a mid-range Android smartphone with several accessibility options for the visually impaired. The Galaxy Core Advance features several physical keys offering easy access to frequently used features such as the voice recorder, camera, volume, menu, home and power functions, Samsung said on its official blog.
From http://www.upi.com/Science_News/Technology/2013/12/16/Samsung-to-offer-smartphone-with-accessibility-options-for-disabled/UPI-23871387242389/, January 14, 2014
Wearable Technology Guide: What's New in 2014
Welcome to the era of wearing technology. Whether it’s through watches that link to your smartphone or sweaters that tell others your mood, the next five years or so will personalize our relationship with technology more than ever before. No longer will the vast majority of individualized gadgets be designed to only exist in our pockets and purses. Rather, entrepreneurs and developers will find exciting ways to seamlessly integrate electronic experiences with our entire bodies, not just our fingertips.
From http://www.thestar.com/life/technology/2014/01/10/wearable_technology_2014_a_headtotoe_guide.html, January 14, 2014
Google Glass is Transforming Wearable Technology
It’s estimated that one million wearable devices will ship by the beginning of 2014, and it’s also estimated that there will be 300 million shipped by 2018. Of course, these are what I call “soft trends,” meaning they’re not solid numbers; they’re projections. But it does indicate how rapidly wearable devices will impact us.
From http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140102180855-48342529-google-glass-is-transforming-wearable-technology, January 14, 2014
Saudi Sign Language Dictionary Launched
The Saudi Association for Hearing Impairment has launched the first Saudi Sign Language Dictionary on occasion of the first anniversary of establishing a center for sign language translation and training. The center was opened upon the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
This directive includes all the association’s branches and has received considerable support from the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Higher Education, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/01/13/saudi-sign-language-dictionary-launched/, January 13, 2014
Argentina Mobile Phone Operators to Sell Equipment for People With Hearing Disabilities
Argentina’s Parliament has enacted a law to force mobile telephony providers to market equipment compatible with hearing aids for people with hearing disabilities. The rule, which was approved in November 2013, has now been published in the Official Gazette. The legislation provides that the equipment prepared for people with hearing disabilities does not generate interference with hearing devices and it cannot be marketed at higher prices than equipment from the same range without this technology.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/01/13/argentina-mobile-phone-operators-to-sell-equipment-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, January 13, 2014
What is Assistive Technology? Q&A With Shilpi Kapoor, BarrierBreak Technologies
Assistive technology includes special hardware, software and devices, that can help break the barriers that people, especially those with cognitive disabilities face. We can use communications devices to speak to them and interact with them at the press of a button. Even in the case of the blind, technology can be of tremendous help. Visually challenged people can use screen readers that can read out what they are typing. They can also “read” a book, by scanning it, OCR-ing it and having the words spoken out to them.
From http://www.microsoft.com/india/msindia/perspective/q-and-a-with-shilpi-kapoor.aspx, January 10, 2014
Microsoft Will Help Launch a New Association for Accessibility Professionals
Last month, I joined the founding members of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) in a meeting where we discussed the next steps to create an association and transform accessibility into a globally recognized and respected profession. In March, we will take one of our biggest steps by formally launching the Association. So far, accessibility has developed at a grassroots level, hindered by an inconsistent approach to training as well as the absence of certifications and an established career path for engineers to follow from higher education into the workplace.
From http://blogs.msdn.com/b/accessibility/archive/2013/12/17/microsoft-will-help-launch-a-new-association-for-accessibility-professionals.aspx, January 10, 2014