The Importance of Information and Communication Technologies in Building an Inclusive Society
Over the coming weeks, ITU’s 193 Member States will be meeting in Busan, Republic of Korea for the 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference. This event is of great importance for the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, as ITU Member States will approve a Strategic Plan which ITU will implement over the next four years with the aim of achieving further progress towards a fully connected global society.
From http://itu4u.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/the-importance-of-information-and-communication-technologies-in-building-an-inclusive-society/, October 20, 2014
India: Mobile Technology Could Open New Possibilities for People with Disabilities
On Monday, the School of Information hosted Dr. Samuel N. Mathew, executive director of the National Institute of Speech & Hearing and director of the Regional Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Kerala, India, who delivered a lecture on access to technology for people with disabilities. During the talk, Mathew highlighted the necessity of mobile technology platforms for improving the quality of life for people with disabilities in India. He said these platforms can be especially beneficial for the visually challenged, speech-impaired, hearing-impaired, those with limited cognition and agility impairment and people on the autism spectrum.
From http://www.michigandaily.com/news/technology-access-people-disabilties, October 20, 2014
USA: SSB BART Group CEO Recognized by White House
On Tuesday, October 14, one of SSB’s own, Tim Springer will be honored by the White House as a Disability Employment Champion of Change. The White House Champions of Change program recognizes every day Americans who are making positive changes in their communities, and this event will honor those doing extraordinary work to make workplaces more accessible and create employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
From https://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/2014/10/13/ssb-bart-group-ceo-recognized-at-white-house-event/, October 14, 2014
Million Dollar Boost for Low Cost Braille Display
An international project to build a low-cost refreshable braille display for computers is reaching fruition, with new plans announced for a technology retailing at less than 20% of current prices. Refreshable braille devices are formed of plastic “cells”, small grids of holes through which rods rise and fall, triggered by an electric current using a technology known as “piezoelectric”. A line of Braille forms as a computer reads across text.
From http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=1061, October 10, 2014
Mapping Mobility Access Across Europe
An open source map that plots information on accessibility of public spaces is being enhanced by a European Commission-funded research project. An open source map that plots information on accessibility of public spaces is being enhanced by a European Commission-funded research project.
From http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=1059, October 10, 2014
Lack of Skills and Awareness Fuel Web Inaccessibility: Survey
Lack of skills or knowledge and lack of awareness of web accessibility are responsible for the great majority of website accessibility problems, according to a US survey of web accessibility practitioners. Almost four in 10 respondents (36.6%) rated lack of skills and knowledge as the primary reason behind web site accessibility; and only slightly fewer (36.2%) lack of awareness. Other factors cited were Fear that accessibility will hinder the look, feel, or functionality of a website (13.2%); and lack of budget or resources to make it accessible (13.9%).
From http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=1057, October 10, 2014
India: New Smartphone App for People with Vision Disabilities Launched
An application equipped with Braille typing feature that promises to assist people with vision disabilities in using all features of a smartphone was launched here Thursday on World Sight Day. SimplEye, a custom-designed application developed by Kriyate, a Delhi-based enterprise, is available for all android-based devices and was launched by Minister of State for Rural Development Upendra Kushwaha at the Jawaharlal Nehru University here. It can be downloaded for free from Google play store.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/10/new-smartphone-app-for-people-with-vision-disabilities-launched/, October 10, 2014
USA: Box at Penn State Delivers Accessible E-textbooks to Students with Disabilities
With the binding and cover already removed from a course psychology book, Mike Farley carefully feeds each of the 240 pages through a high-resolution flatbed scanner. He converts the paper into electronic text files using specialized software and is able to view the newly scanned chapters of the book on his computer. Collecting the pages from the scanner, he shuffles them into order and compares the printed version to the digital text. After fixing some minor errors and making slight adjustments to the dimensions of the digital book, he saves the file as a PDF and uploads it onto Box at Penn State — a cloud-based file storage, sharing and collaboration service from Box.com.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/02/box-at-penn-state-delivers-accessible-e-textbooks-to-students-with-disabilities/, October 10, 2014
USA: Talkitt Helps People with Speech Disabilities to Speak Freely
Having trouble expressing yourself is an everyday reality for millions of people around the world (1.5% of the world’s population). Currently there is no solution on the market which enables a person with a speech impairment to speak and be understood using their own voice. This is the gap that Voiceitt is trying to fill. Voiceitt is developing TalkItt, an innovative speech technology which is able to recognize unintelligible language and translate it into understandable speech.
Global Accessibility News
Talkitt helps people with speech disabilities to speak freely
Americas Oct 8, 2014
BOSTON: Have you ever wondered what it is like to not be able to communicate your thoughts and needs? Perhaps you know someone with Autism who has invented their own language or have had a loved one after a stroke or CP unable to utter understandable sentences. Maybe you have witnessed someone with a degenerative disease like Lou Gehrig’s or Parkinson’s struggle to order a pizza, buy a bus ticket, or simply ask for directions from a stranger?
Having trouble expressing yourself is an everyday reality for millions of people around the world (1.5% of the world’s population). Currently there is no solution on the market which enables a person with a speech impairment to speak and be understood using their own voice. This is the gap that Voiceitt is trying to fill. Voiceitt is developing TalkItt, an innovative speech technology which is able to recognize unintelligible language and translate it into understandable speech. The app will recognize that based on the user’s own personalized, pre-recorded dictionary, says Danny Weissberg, the cofounder and CEO of Voiceitt.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/08/talkitt-helps-people-with-speech-disabilities-to-speak-freely/, October 08, 2014
British Telecom Launches ‘Next Generation Text’ Service
British Telecomm (BT) has today launched its new Next Generation Text (NGT) service, which will make it much easier for people with hearing and speech disabilities to make phone calls. NGT enables people who need to use text, to communicate with others over the phone either directly or through a relay assistant. The relay assistant acts as an intermediary to convert speech to text and vice versa for the two people in conversation.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/07/british-telecom-launches-next-generation-text-service/, October 07, 2014