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iPads Especially Helpful for Special-Needs Students
Two years after Apple introduced the iPad, the tablet is becoming increasingly popular with educators of students with special needs, especially learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders.
From The Washington Post, April 18, 2012

USA: Boy Designs Video Game for Blind Grandmother
Ten-year-old Dylan Viale and his grandmother, Sherry Nissen, share a very special bond. They go to the movies together and walk dogs together. According to video games blog Kotaku, the pair recently went to a Lego event in San Francisco where they helped build a giant Lego Yoda Santa. All pretty impressive considering that Sherry has been blind for decades.
From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/16/dylan-viale_n_1429112.html, April 17, 2012

Canada: Feds Announce USD113 Million for Disabled Soldiers
The federal government will provide $113 million to prop up benefits to ill and injured veterans. In Halifax on Tuesday, Defence Minister Peter MacKay announced the new benefits would bring the Canadian Forces Long Term Disability program in line with Veterans Affairs' Earning Loss Benefits offered to injured veterans. "We must always ensure they get the support they need every day," MacKay said. That will mean ill and injured veterans will receive a minimum pre-tax income of $40,000.
From http://www.torontosun.com/2012/04/10/feds-announce-113m-for-disabled-soldiers, April 17, 2012

Cooking School for Chefs with Hearing Disabilities Opens in the Gaza Strip
These students are passionate about cooking and are determined to open their own restaurant, which would be the first to be run by deaf chefs in Gaza. For the past two months the students have been receiving stellar training by their teacher who is well versed in sign language, teaching these young aspiring chefs traditional Middle Eastern cuisine. The project is supported by the Atfaluna Society, which is optimistic about the outcomes of this initiative.
From http://www.disabilitynewsasia.com/home-mainmenu-1/1205-cooking-school-for-chefs-with-hearing-disabilities-opens-in-the-gaza-strip.html, April 17, 2012

USA: Implementation Schedule for New Closed Captioning Rules
On January 13, 2012, the FCC released a Report and Order adopting rules for closed captioning of video programming delivered using Internet protocol (the “IP closed captioning rules”). These new closed captioning rules were published in the Federal Register on March 30, 2012, and will generally become effective 30 days later, on April 30, 2012.
From http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0130/FCC-12-9A1.dochttp://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0130/FCC-12-9A1.doc, April 16, 2012

Indian Student Develops Morse-based Texting for Deaf Mobile Phone Users
An Indian graduate student has designed a mobile phone application that enables people with sight and hearing impairments to send and receive text messages. The PocketSMS application was developed for Android smartphones, which are generally cheaper than Apple's iPhones. The application converts text into Morse code vibrations so that users can "feel" the message.
From http://www.scidev.net/en/new-technologies/icts/news/indian-designer-develops-morse-based-texting-for-deaf-phone-users-1.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=en_news, April 16, 2012

India: Now the Blind and Deaf Can ‘Read' and Send SMS
PocketSMS Application helps the visual and audial impaired 'read’ SMS by converting messages into morse code vibrations.
From The Hindu, April 16, 2012

Danish Company Develops Innovative Hearing Aids that Streams Wireless Audio from TVs and Smartphones
Danish company GN ReSound has developed an innovative hearing aid product – the ReSound Alera – that enables users to wirelessly stream audio from common consumer electronics (CE) devices such as TVs and smartphones (the latter via a chest-worn Bluetooth wireless technology microphone clip) directly to their hearing aids over a range of up to 20 meters.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2012/04/05/danish-company-develops-innovative-hearing-aids-that-streams-wireless-audio-from-tvs-and-smartphones/, April 13, 2012

Miracle Worker Glove Helps Deaf and Blind People Communicate
The Mobile Lorm Glove allows people who are deaf and blind to communicate by transmitting tactile signals to their hands. It uses something called the Lorm Alphabet, a hand-touch sign language that assigns characters to different points of the palm, used by deafblind individuals
From http://gizmodo.com/5899774/miracle-worker-glove-helps-deaf-and-blind-people-communicate, April 13, 2012

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

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