Mobile Apps Giving Disabled Students More Academic Independence
While the U.S. Department of Education reported that, in 2009, 88% of postsecondary institutions enrolled students with disabilities, the National Center for Special Education Research reported in 2011 that just 19% of young adults with disabilities enroll in a four-year college or university.
From http://college.usatoday.com/2015/02/13/mobile-apps-giving-disabled-students-more-academic-independence/, February 17, 2015
USA: 508 Refresh May Have Passed Final Hurdle
I have good news to share with you about the update of the Access Board’s Section 508 standards and Section 255 guidelines. Yesterday (2/13/15), the Office of Management and Budget cleared our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM); it will now be sent to the Federal Register for publication. We will make the NPRM and supporting documents available on our website (www.access-board.gov) on Wednesday, February 18. It should be published in the Federal Register shortly after that.
From http://jebswebs.net/blog/2015/02/508-refresh-may-passsed-final-hurdle/, February 16, 2015
Australia: ICT Innovation Set to be the Panacea for the Aged Care Industry
It is estimated that 1.6 million Australians will require some sort of aged service by 2023 and ICT is being viewed as the panacea to reboot aged care services and help deliver high quality and accessible care.
From http://www.whatech.com/iptv/news/42328-cbt508-ict-innovation-set-to-be-the-panacea-for-the-aged-care-industry, February 16, 2015
India: Express Technology Sabha Dwells on Role of ICT in Healthcare Delivery
The government has proposed to create a UID-like mission and integrate the data with Aadhaar for generation of electronic health records, Neena Pahuja, director general, Education and Research Network (ERNET) India, said during a panel discussion at the Express Technology Sabha. The importance lies in unification of the database to drive the health department better along with improved skill services, she said.
From http://indianexpress.com/article/business/business-others/express-technology-sabha-dwells-on-role-of-ict-in-healthcare-delivery/, February 16, 2015
Contact Lenses with Zoom Prototype Offers Hope for Elderly
Swiss researchers are developing contact lenses that contain tiny telescopes to boost vision and zoom in and out with the wink of an eye. The new, 1.55 mm-thick contact lens contains an extremely thin, reflective telescope, which is activated by winks. Released in 2013 and fine-tuned since then, the prototype was unveiled by Eric Tremblay from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in California.
From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11402435, February 16, 2015
Microsoft Is Betting That Bluetooth Will Change the Lives of the Visually Impaired
Even with perfect vision, the knot of packed traffic lanes, busy sidewalks, and road works around London's Victoria Station is a hot mess. For people with impaired sight, it must be a navigational and sensory nightmare. Microsoft is looking to solve that problem. Recently, I visited the company's London offices to test out an ambitious new navigation system for the sight-impaired. Still under development, this new system uses Bluetooth beacons to relay navigational information to users wearing headsets. This can both guide users in the right direction and provide them with local information to make their forays outdoors richer. The way it works is ingenious—but before I tried it, I was invited to experience what a busy city feels like for someone with no vision.
From http://www.citylab.com/tech/2015/02/microsoft-betting-bluetooth-change-lives-visually-impaired/385477/, February 14, 2015
DATA – Connecting Lives Through the Cloud
Increasingly, every action in our digital lives has a reaction, and leaves a data trail. But this rising tide of data must be harnessed if the information it reveals is to be of lasting value. New cloud-computing platform OpenStack provides smarter ways to handle ‘big data’. Companies like Chinese tech firm Huawei are using it to revolutionize the digital landscape so our data can be used to improve services and transform lives.
From http://www.bbc.com/future/specials/connected-world/huawei-dataconnectivity, February 12, 2015
USA: Researchers are Working on New Smart Cameras to Help the Visually Impaired
To help make shopping easier for the visually impaired, Jack Carroll—a distinguished professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) at Penn State—has completed a study that explored how smart cameras could eventually guide visually impaired shoppers to find the items they need. Carroll worked on the study with Mary Beth Rosson, interim dean of the College of IST, as well as graduate student Jake Weidman as part of a $10 million National Science Foundation-funded project that's seeking to replicate the human vision system using information technology (IT).
From http://m.phys.org/news/2015-02-smart-cameras-visually-impaired.html, February 12, 2015
USA: FCC Announced First Meeting Date of the Disability Advisory Committee
By this Public Notice, the Federal Communications Commission announces the first meeting date for, and appointment of members to, the Disability Advisory Committee. The DAC will provide advice and recommendations to the Commission on a wide array of disability matters within the jurisdiction of the Commission and facilitate the participation of people with disabilities in proceedings before the Commission.
From http://www.fcc.gov/document/disability-advisory-committee, February 12, 2015
Canada: New Accessibility Standard for Self-service Kiosks in Air, Ferry and Train Terminals
From December 31, 2016, any newly installed automated self-service kiosks used for such things as check in, printing of boarding passes and baggage tags at Canadian air, ferry and train terminals should be accessible to travelers with disabilities, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that 25% of kiosks are accessible by December 31, 2022. This is the expectation of the Canadian Transportation Agency’s (CTA) recently amended Code of Practice: Removing Communication Barriers for Travelers with Disabilities. The standard is harmonized with the new United States Department of Transportation (DOT) rule published late last year, providing greater predictability and consistency across North America for travelers with disabilities.
From http://www.accesstourismnz.org.nz/2015/02/canada-new-accessibility-standard-for-self-service-kiosks-in-air-ferry-and-train-terminals/, February 12, 2015