Skype's Newest App Will Translate Your Speech in Real Time
Microsoft’s Skype software will start translating voice calls between people today. As part of a preview program, Skype Translator makes it possible for English and Spanish speakers to communicate in their native language, without having to learn a new one. It sounds like magic , but it’s the result of years of work from Microsoft’s research team and Skype to provide an early working copy of software that could help change the way the world communicates in the future.
From http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/15/7393665/skype-translator-features, December 17, 2014
USA: Disability Champion Senator Harkin Leaving Congress
After 40 years on Capitol Hill, a U.S. senator who shaped the Americans with Disabilities Act is leaving his post. Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is retiring at the conclusion of the year, after choosing not to seek re-election. The departure will leave disability advocates without their strongest ally in Congress.
From http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2014/12/16/disability-champion-leaving/19924/, December 17, 2014
USA: Books, Blindness and Barriers to Content
For the nearly 8 million people in the US with some degree of vision impairment, the advent of ebooks and e-readers has been both a blessing and a burden. A blessing, because a digital library—everything from academic textbooks, to venerated classics, to romance novels—is never further away than your fingertips. A burden, because the explosion of ebooks has served as a reminder of how inaccessible technology really can be.
From http://www.wired.com/2014/12/e-books-for-the-blind-should-be-legal/, December 16, 2014
Koala Mobile: Designing a Mobile Interface for Older People
Most phones currently on the market have a touch screen. The touch-based interface can be confusing for many people. The only possible way how to interact with the phone is to use virtual on-screen buttons and gestures on the display. These interfaces are mostly not optimized for people with vision or fine motor skills problems.
From https://medium.com/@tomasslavicek/designing-a-mobile-interface-for-older-people-1c9b70fd645c, December 16, 2014
G3ict Joins IDPP Partnership Network
The IDPP welcomes the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) as its two newest outreach partners and the newest members of the IDPP partnership network across the ASEAN region and around the world. Both join the IDPP's unparalleled network of 19 renowned universities and two prominent outreach partners Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD) and International Council for Education of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI).
From http://aseanidpp.org/seameo-joins-partnership-network, December 16, 2014
USA: Robots to Assist Persons with Disabilities
New research in robotics might help with stroke rehabilitation, guide wheelchairs, and assist children with Autism. Projects investigating co-robotics are the focus of new funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/15/robots-to-assist-persons-with-disabilities/, December 15, 2014
India: Tata Institute of Social Sciences Campus to be Accessible for Students with Disabilities
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) is all set to make its campus more accessible to its 34 students with disabilities. The institute has sent a proposal to the ministry of social justice to create a barrier-free campus, which will allow these students and visitors to move around without assistance. Vaishali Kolhe, assistant professor, centre for disability studies, TISS, said: “We recently conducted an access audit of the campus and sent a proposal to the ministry of social justice under Scheme for Implementation of Persons with Disability Act (SIPDA). The ministry has agreed to the proposal. The grant will be released in a few months and work will soon begin on the campus.”
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/15/tiss-campus-to-be-accessible-for-students-with-disabilities/, December 15, 2014
India: Delhi University Training Nurses on Use of Sign Language in Hospitals
Delhi University is providing sign language training to nursing staff in hospitals across the national capital to help them deal with patients with hearing disabilities. “The use of sign language is minimal in our country and a survey done by DU students had revealed that even people with vision disabilities are not aware of the proper technical language in place.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/15/delhi-university-training-nurses-on-use-of-sign-language-in-hospitals/, December 15, 2014
India: Children Learn Better with Inclusive Education
Inclusive education is the need of the hour. It helps build friendships and inculcate mutual respect and understanding. Patricia Mascarenhas investigates why inclusive education is not successful in India and what is the way forward.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/14/children-learn-better-with-inclusive-education/, December 15, 2014
USA: Students Develop Devices for People with Disabilities
Penn State Berks University students demonstrated a kayak that would make it easier for anyone with one arm to have fun on the water. Students majoring in Engineering and Occupational Therapy have collaborated to create devices to meet the needs of people with physical disabilities as part of the Pfreimer Adaptive Equipment Project (PADEP).
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/12/13/students-develop-devices-for-people-with-disabilities/, December 13, 2014