Experts Begin Compilation of Sign Language Dictionary in Rwanda
he National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) in partnership with the Rwanda National Union of the Deaf (RNUD) are working on a comprehensive sign language dictionary expected to be ready before the end of next year. The project, sponsored by Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), started in November last year with training of the project team on the essence of sign language dictionary and how it will benefit people with hearing disabilities. The field work consisting of research on the sign language in Rwanda started on Monday in Huye District, Southern Province and is expected to cover the rest of the country.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/03/12/experts-begin-compilation-of-sign-language-dictionary-in-rwanda/, March 13, 2015
CEA’s Gary Shapiro to Keynote 2015 M-Enabling Summit on Smarter Living for All
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the M-Enabling Summit are pleased to announce Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), will keynote the fourth annual M-Enabling Summit scheduled to take place June 1 and 2, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia.
From http://bit.ly/1Eq5B3D, March 13, 2015
Sachin Dev Pavithran Elected Chair of the U.S. Access Board
The U.S. Access Board unanimously elected Sachin Dev Pavithran as its new Chair on March 11. Pavithran of Logan, Utah is Program Director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program at Utah State University's Center for Persons with Disabilities. He was named to the Access Board by President Barack Obama in 2012.
From http://www.access-board.gov/news/1724-sachin-dev-pavithran-elected-chair-of-the-access-board, March 12, 2015
Google: IoT Can Help Persons with Disabilities
It was the last panel session of the Mobile World Congress, and the topic was business models for "connected" consumer packaging in the world of the Internet of Things. The moderator threw the floor open for questions, and one woman in the audience asks how this explosion of connected products could help people with disabilities?
From http://www.informationweek.com/mobile/mobile-devices/google-iot-can-help-the-disabled/a/d-id/1319404, March 11, 2015
Philippines: Persons with Disabilities Rights in Post-2015 UN Agenda Backed by NCDA
The National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) says it fully supports the international call to firmly include the human rights of persons with disabilities in the post-2015 development agenda. This comes after a team of United Nations (UN) experts last month appealed to UN negotiators and member states to ensure that no one gets left behind in defining the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). "The inclusion of persons with disabilities in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a very good strategy to ensure that everybody benefits from development work as a fundamental right,” the NCDA told VERA Files.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/03/11/persons-with-disabilities-rights-in-post-2015-un-agenda-backed/, March 11, 2015
USA: MIT Researchers Build Finger-Mounted Reading Device for the Blind
Researchers at the MIT Media Laboratory have built a prototype of a finger-mounted device with a built-in camera that converts written text into audio for visually impaired users. The device provides feedback — either tactile or audible — that guides the user’s finger along a line of text, and the system generates the corresponding audio in real time.
From http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/finger-mounted-reading-device-blind-0310#.VQBitLb9Mmc.twitter, March 11, 2015
How Apps are Changing the Face of Accessibility
Tap to Talk is a free alternative that is available for iOS, Android, Windows 8, Nook, and more. Other options are Touch Voice (Android and iOS, $19.99), iCommunicate for iPad ($49.99), iComm (iPhone, free), and TouchChat HD (iOS, $149.99). Whether it is worth paying so much for Proloquo2Go, compared to lower-cost and even free alternatives, is hotly debated. The app’s developers point to how much less expensive it is when compared to the equivalent devices before Proloquo2Go’s development, as well as the research, technology and ongoing updates that go into the app. Looking at the suitability of each option is advised, and the Special Apps for Special Needs site recommends seeking advice from a Speech and Language Therapist.
From http://www.dailydot.com/technology/accessibility-apps-disability-tools, March 10, 2015
Accessibility, the Journey and the Destination
In this "Simply Accessible" blog post, Derek Featherstone talks about the long journey of creating accessible web content. He discusses how at first, he thought his websites were accessible because they included alt text and correctly labeled forms. But he quickly realized that this was just a first step in creating an accessible website that is also user-friendly.
From http://simplyaccessible.com/article/accessibility-journey-destination/, March 10, 2015
USA: CU-Boulder Appoints Chief Digital Accessibility Officer
The University of Colorado-Boulder is one of the latest organizations to announce its appointment of a chief accessibility officer. CU-Boulder announced in February that Dan Jones will take on the role of Chief Digital Accessibility Officer, heading up the university’s ICT Services and Applications Accessibility Project. In its announcement, the university also listed an update on the progress of this project.
From http://www.colorado.edu/news/features/jones-appointed-chief-digital-accessibility-officer, March 10, 2015
What My Hearing Aid Taught Me About the Future of Wearables
In my current role at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, I’m lucky to be able to study something I care deeply about: technology’s impact on our lives. I’m sure my interest partly arises from how I’ve depended on technology for as long as I can remember. I don’t know with certainty how consumer wearables will develop, but what I do know is how much hearing aids have changed over the last 30 years. And I have some insight into what sensory-enhancing wearables—like hearing aids, and unlike data-recording wearables like pedometers—could someday become. Over the next few years, I expect that we will see four trends, rich in both opportunity and peril, shape the evolution of these wearables from toys into tools.
From http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/02/what-my-hearing-aid-taught-me-about-the-future-of-wearables/385145/, March 10, 2015