USA: FDA Approves Device to Help People with Vision Disabilities See by Using Their Tongues
The Food and Drug Administration allowed marketing of a new device Thursday that when used along with other assistive devices, like a cane or guide dog, can help orient people who are blind by helping them process visual images with their tongues. The BrainPort V100 is a battery-powered device that includes a video camera mounted on a pair of glasses and a small, flat intra-oral device containing a series of electrodes that the user holds against their tongue.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/06/19/fda-approves-device-to-help-people-with-vision-disabilities-see-by-using-their-tongues/, June 23, 2015
M-Enabling Highlights Forward Thinking Innovation to Benefit All Users
As someone fairly new to the digital accessibility industry, it was a great learning experience to be able to attend the 4th Annual M-Enabling Summit last week. I was amazed to see how forward thinking innovations like Wearables and the Internet of Things are being used by people across all abilities. There’s no surprise why large companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon were in attendance along with progressive disruptive newcomers like Uber. The M-Enabling Summit offers a snapshot in time of where technology is headed for the masses.
From http://www.ssbbartgroup.com/blog/m-enabling-highlights-forward-thinking-innovation-to-benefit-all-users/, June 15, 2015
Q&A with Debra Ruh: Importance of Social Media and Accessibility
Debra Ruh, CEO, Ruh Global Communications and Co-Founder, AXSChat, G3ict EmployAbility and Technology Chair, discusses accessibility and social media. Debra spoke to Media Access Australia ahead of chairing a session on Engaging with Others via Social Media at the M-Enabling conference, being held 1-2 June 2015 in Washington DC.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/qa-social-media-and-accessibility, June 15, 2015
Italy: Milan Airports Launch Guide to Accessible Landmarks
Developed in collaboration with Where, a leading brand in visitor publications, born to facilitate accessible tourism for people with mobility disabilities, one of the core values namely passenger satisfaction at Milan Airports. Milan is also home to the Duomo, La Scala Opera House, Leonardo’s Last Supper, Castello Sforzesco, imposing Romanesque churches, museums brimming over with priceless artworks as well as the recent introduction of some amazing contemporary architecture.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/06/15/milan-airports-launch-guide-to-accessible-landmarks/, June 15, 2015
India: Firm Develops Speech to Tactile Solution for People with Hearing Disabilities
Class 12 student D. Nava Rashika carefully places her hand on a tactile board, which is about the size of her palm with tiny switches. When a word is spoken into the microphone, she carefully feels which lever remains depressed and which springs up. Once the tactile board goes still, she points to the word ‘Amma’ on the chart shown to her. Nava Rashika is one of the students at the CSI School for the Deaf and she is trying out the new ‘Rhema – Speak to Hear Tactile Device,’ developed by Sharon Systems, a Chennai-based company. The system is designed for people with hearing disabilities and will allow them to follow conversations and even help people with a speech disability.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/06/15/firm-develops-speech-to-tactile-solution-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, June 15, 2015
American Foundation for the Blind Announces 2015 Helen Keller Achievement Award Honorees
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) recently announced the names of this year’s recipients of the Helen Keller Achievement Award. Awardees include Apple Inc. for breakthroughs in accessible technology, actor Charlie Cox for his portrayal of a blind superhero, Ward Marston, a musician/recording engineer with vision loss, and Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. for pioneering treatment of a circadian rhythm disorder that can affect blind people. Apple received recognition for VoiceOver, a screen reader program that helps make Apple products accessible to people with vision loss. The AFB's Helen Keller Achievement Awards gala will be held in New York City on June 18, 2015.
From http://www.afb.org/info/about-us/press-room/press-release-archive/afb-announces-2015-helen-keller-achievement-award-honorees-/1245, June 08, 2015
The Accessible Technology Challenges Facing Millennials
Last week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced proposals to move the Commission forward on two important communications access issues for Americans with disabilities. It is a primary objective of the Commission to strive toward better access to information and communication technology for people with disabilities.
From https://www.fcc.gov/blog/accessible-technology-challenges-facing-millennials, June 08, 2015
FCC Chairman Wheeler Honors Innovators in Accessibility Communications
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today announced winners of the fourth annual Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman’s AAA). These awards recognize and honor innovative achievements in communications technology that benefits people with disabilities.
The Chairman’s AAA, a project of the FCC’s Accessibility and Innovation Initiative (A&I), recognizes outstanding private and public sector ventures in communications technology accessibility and innovation. The Chairman’s AAA is part of the A&I Initiative’s goal to facilitate ongoing exchanges among industry, assistive technology companies, app developers, government representatives and consumers to share best practices and solutions for accessible communications technologies.
From https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-chairman-wheeler-honors-innovators-accessibility-communications, June 05, 2015
Thailand: Accessibility Centre Opens at ESCAP to Support Persons with Disabilities
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) today opened a state-of-the-art Accessibility Centre at the ESCAP Conference Centre in Bangkok to support the participation of persons with disabilities in United Nations intergovernmental processes and meetings.
From http://www.unescap.org/news/accessibility-centre-opens-escap-support-persons-disabilities, May 31, 2015
USA: FCC Extends Tech Program for People Who are Deaf-Blind
The Federal Communications Commission voted yesterday to make permanent its program that distributes communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. Known as “iCanConnect,” the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program provides equipment needed to make telecommunications, advanced communications and the Internet accessible to Americans who have significant vision and hearing disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/05/22/fcc-extends-tech-program-for-people-who-are-deaf-blind/, May 28, 2015