Venice Launches Accessible Gondolas for Wheelchair Users
In Venice, Gondolas4ALL – accessible gondolas for people with disabilities – will soon be available. The service will be based in the city’s Piazzale Roma, where a platform will help people in wheelchairs to board a gondola and enjoy a more suggestive experience of the lagoon. It’s the brainchild of Alessandro Dalla Pietà and Enrico Greifenberg, two gondolier friends.
From http://www.west-info.eu/venice-launches-accessible-gondolas-for-wheelchair-users/, January 27, 2015
iPad App Brings Braille Keyboard to Blind Users’ Fingertips
iBrailler Notes, which began as a summer project at Stanford University in 2011 and is now available as a stand-alone app for iOS, aims to offer blind and vision-impaired iPad users an easy way to type Braille notes and perform basic word processing on a touchscreen.
From http://www.wired.com/2015/01/ibrailler-ipad-app/, January 23, 2015
Making the Internet Accessible to Everyone
The ways in which we access the internet are expanding, placing hurdles in the way of those with sensory disabilities as they try to get the most out of their online experience. The EU’s CLOUD4ALL project is taking on the challenge of improving accessibility for people with disabilities. Its work will help those concerned get the health and public services they need, along with improving their chances on the job market and preventing social exclusion.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/01/19/making-the-internet-accessible-to-everyone/, January 23, 2015
USAID and UNICEF to Promote Inclusive Education
The U.S. government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed a cooperation agreement with UNICEF to improve learning outcomes and inclusive education with a focus on early grade reading performance in Ghana over the next four years. Jim Beaver the USAID Mission Director in Ghana said, USAID is excited to join in partnership with UNICEF, Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service to bolster basic education priorities of improving reading, good management and accountability,
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/01/23/usaid-and-unicef-to-promote-inclusive-education/, January 23, 2015
India: Top Technology Institute in Country Opens Center to Develop Devices for People with Mobility Disabilities
A center for students to develop devices for people with mobility disabilities was inaugurated at Indian Institutes of Technology Madras (IIT-M) on Monday. The TTK Centre for Rehabilitation Research and Device Development (R2D2) at IIT-M’s department of mechanical engineering will be funded by the TTK Group whose chairman T T Jagannathan is a former student of the institution.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/01/21/iit-m-opens-center-to-develop-devices-for-people-with-mobility-disabilities/, January 23, 2015
Google Adds Screen Reader Support to Docs, Sheets and Slides Apps
Google's Docs, Sheets and Slides apps aren't easy to use on a phone's small screen at all, but this set of updates could make things just a bit more convenient for both iOS and Android users. Documents now come with real-time spell check, spreadsheets are now able to hide rows and columns, and presentations can lump similar shapes together. Even better, they all now work with Android TalkBack and iOS VoiceOver -- screen readers that will make the apps friendlier to the visually impaired -- though those who only need just a bit of help reading on a small screen can use the magnification tool instead.
From http://www.engadget.com/2015/01/22/google-docs-sheets-slides-talkback-voiceover/, January 22, 2015
Stevie Wonder Speaks at CES About Need for Accessible Technology
Musician Stevie Wonder spoke here at CES about the need to make technology more accessible to people with disabilities. "We want to see a time where the issue of technology being accessible to people with disabilities is not an issue that we have to discuss... but it's just a natural, given fact" that everyone has equal access to technology, Wonder said at a panel event Tuesday (Jan. 6).
From http://www.livescience.com/49352-stevie-wonder-ces-technology-disabilities.html, January 22, 2015
Why Your Next Fitness Tracker Will Be Smarter
Fitness trackers that only count steps are so last year. The newest fitness trackers are going beyond just a simple accelerometer to carry a host of new sensors, from devices that measure the electrical properties of your skin to optical sensors that can measure your heartbeat. Most of the new devices still don't go beyond providing raw data for users to interpret, and are still far from making health predictions and prescriptions, said Dan Ledger, who researches wearables and health technologies at Endeavour Partners, a digital technology consulting company in Massachusetts.
From http://www.livescience.com/49524-health-trackers-use-more-sensors.html, January 22, 2015
Microsoft Office Online Gets New Accessibility Enhancements
WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications), a web accessibility standard Microsoft helped create, allows for Office Online to be used in conjunction with a screen reader. Today, and Microsoft has rolled out several new accessibility improvements to give blind and poor-vision users a better Office Online experience. Office Online has added new improvements and features to help the blind and poor-vision users make their way around the application. With Narrator (Windows Key + Enter) enabled, formatting information will be read aloud when you use arrow keys to move around documents. Narrator can announce formatting and location information about headings, tables, graphs, and more.
From http://www.winbeta.org/news/microsoft-office-online-gets-new-accessibility-enhancements, January 22, 2015
W3C Launches Web of Things Initiative
W3C announced today a new Web of Things initiative to develop Web standards for enabling open markets of applications and services based upon connected sensors and actuators (the Internet of Things) and the Web of data. Open standards will be essential to realizing the huge potential. We invite you to join the new Web of Things Interest Group and drive work on use cases, requirements, and best practices. The aim is to build a shared vision and identify specific opportunities for standardization.
From http://www.w3.org/blog/news/archives/4324, January 21, 2015