Ordinary Consumer Technology Helps Disabled People
"I felt very excited and relieved at the same time. I finally have a way to talk," Miles says via iPad. "It has improved my life in many ways such as being able to pick out my clothes in the morning and being able to do simple things such as saying 'hi' to a friend." Miles' use of an iPad to help her deal with the challenges caused by her injuries is part of a growing movement. More and more, common consumer technologies such as iPads and their applications are helping people who have injuries or disabilities do a variety of things, such as communicate with family or caregivers, or relearn simple tasks they mastered long ago, such as reading.
From http://www.freep.com, April 11, 2012
Australia: App Increases Access to Theatre for the Hearing Impaired
A new service from Canberra-based The Captioning Studio allows patrons to access theatre captions on their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch in selected venues. The app gives deaf- and hearing-impaired theater-goers the freedom to sit in any seat in the theater to enjoy a captioned performance.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/general/new-app-increases-access-to-theatre-for-the-hearing-impaired, April 11, 2012
GSMA Reveals How Mobile Is Set to Transform Education Worldwide, with the Meducation Market Valued at USD 70 billion by 2020
‘Transforming learning through mEducation’, a new report from the GSMA and McKinsey & Company, reveals how a number of early trials in mEducation across diverse geographies and education segments have successfully improved education outcomes, indicating tremendous potential for mEducation in the future of learning worldwide.
From http://www.gsma.com/articles/gsma-reveals-how-mobile-is-set-to-transform-education-worldwide-with-the-meducation-market-valued-at-us-70-billion-by-2020/23286, April 09, 2012
USA: Gallaudet University Produces DeafSpace Guidelines to Address Urban Environment for Deaf People
Most cities aren’t designed for deaf people. Sidewalks are frequently too narrow or too crowded for deaf persons engaged in a conversation that requires so-called “signing space.” Public benches are often set in rows or squares, limiting the ability of people who are deaf to create the “conversation circles” and open sight lines that they require. Urban landscapes are so visually stimulating that they hinder communication among people who rely on visual cues. And light fixtures may be too dim or shine directly into signers’ eyes.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/03/30/gallaudet-university-produces-deafspace-guidelines-address-urban-environment-for-deaf-people/, April 05, 2012
KU Researchers Develop New Way to Assess Communication of People with Severe Disabilities
A team of researchers led by University of Kansas scientist Nancy Brady has developed a new way to assess the communication capability of individuals with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities who often communicate with gestures, body movements and vocalizations instead of spoken words. The study was published in the February 2012 American Journal of Speech Language Pathology.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/03/29/ku-researchers-develop-new-way-to-assess-communication-of-people-with-severe-disabilities/, April 05, 2012
Thailand to Implement System that Ensures Children with Disabilities have Access to Mainstream Schools
The strict hierarchy of Thai society means the drive for inclusive education needs strong commitment from both politicians and school leaders. In the past decade, there has been significant political progress in moves to implement a system that ensures children with disabilities have access to mainstream schools. However, with cultural barriers and resistance from some headteachers, the journey towards fully inclusive education has only just begun.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/03/29/thailand-to-implement-system-that-ensures-children-with-disabilities-access-to-mainstream-schools/, April 05, 2012
USA: Braille Music Scores Provide Lifeline to Blind Musicians
Isono is one of thousands of visually impaired musicians whose work depends upon the collections of the Music Section of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), a program of the Library of Congress.
From http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2012/03/braille-music-scores-provide-lifeline-to-blind-musicians/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter, April 05, 2012
Philippines: Wireless Service for the Blind Wins at Smart Awards
Visually impaired individuals or the blind are the intended beneficiaries of a wireless application designed by the champion team from the Mapua Institute of Technology, Manila in this year’s 8th SWEEP Innovation and Excellence Awards of Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart). This year’s challenge was to create applications based on the theme “Innovation in the Palm of Your Hand”.
From http://www.smartsweep.ph/news/WirelessServiceForBlindWins.htm, April 04, 2012
Poland Develops “Disability Handbook” Webpage for Euro 2012
Some 2,000 accessible premises for people with disabilities in cities hosting Euro 2012 are included at website coordinating preparations for the football tournament. People with disabilities willing to come to Poland to cheer their football teams may find information about hotels, catering and services outlets adjusted to their need on www.polandnolinits.eu web site. They will also be able to check how to reach a given destination and how to move around in one of four Polish host cities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/03/28/poland-develops-disability-handbook-internet-page-for-euro-2012/, April 04, 2012
USA: Purdue University Students Develop ‘SPEAKall’ App to Help Children with Severe Autism
The app, called SPEAKall!, allows the children to construct sentences by choosing photos and graphic symbols. The app speaks the sentence, which allows a child to communicate a thought and also helps the child learn to talk.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/04/02/purdue-university-students-develop-speakall-app-to-help-children-with-severe-autism/, April 03, 2012