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Microsoft and MADA Assistive Technology Centre Join Up to Provide Technology To The Disabled
Microsoft and Mada Assistive Technology Centre have together formed "Imkaan", a programme that brings the benefits of information technology to disabled people in Qatar.
From ameinfo.com, May 25, 2011

New Math-to-Speech Technologies to Help Blind Students Master Mathematics
Educational Testing Service (ETS) and Design Science have announced they are working jointly to modify MathType™ and MathPlayer™, so that classroom materials, tests and other documents containing mathematical content may be clearly spoken by computers. This new math-to-speech technology will provide students who are blind or have other visual impairments the tools they need to learn, practice, and take math and science tests on a more equal footing with their classroom peers.
From newsblaze.com, May 25, 2011

Microsoft to Showcase Next Generation Cloud-Based Enterprise at QITCOM 2011
Microsoft Qatar, located at the Qatar Science and Technology Park, is set to have a major presence at QITCOM 2011 as a Platinum sponsor, with the brand showcasing both enterprise solutions and consumer offerings at this event which is poised to become the leading platform for Information and Communication Technology in Qatar.
From zawya.com, May 20, 2011

Smoke Alarm Designed for Hearing-Impaired
A deaf woman died in a house fire last month because she couldn't hear her smoke alarm. Now thousands of hearing impaired people in the community are signing up to get emergency help. A standard smoke alarm detects smoke in the home, sends out its alert and the device detects the sound. It sends out a low tone and a vibration through this device most people keep under their pillow. Most people wake up from the vibration, and the effects are life-saving.
From wsmv.com, May 19, 2011

Use of ICTs for Inclusive Education: Costs and Benefits
Inclusive education aims at reducing obstacles related to education of disabled populations (but not only). ICT are an important way to promote inclusive education through compensation, didactical methods renewal and communication means and strategies improvement.
From inova.snv, May 19, 2011

USA: Senate Backs Classroom Captioning
The Senate this week came out in support of funding for new technologies that will benefit students who are Deaf and hearing impaired as well as students in general. Senator Mitch Fifield co-sponsored the motion to fund a National Schools Pilot Program of Ai-Media’s technology program Ai-Live. This is a program that allows for real-time captioning in the classroom to assist deaf and hearing impaired students to participate more fully in learning.
From mediaaccess.org, May 18, 2011

Robotic Wheelchair 'Sees' for Visually Impaired Users
You may not be able to control it with your mind, but this robotic wheelchair from Sweden's Luleå University of Technology can still offer something that only a few others can -- "sight." The chair uses a laser sensor to generate a 3D map of its surroundings, which is then transferred to an on-board haptic robot, allowing the bot to pick up on and navigate its way around any obstacles.
From engadget.com, May 18, 2011

Speech Technology Moves From Recognition to Understanding
I recently had the chance to talk with Larry Heck, Chief Scientist for the Speech at Microsoft group, which delivers Microsoft Tellme speech technologies across Microsoft products. Larry has been working on various aspects of speech technology since the late 80’s, and throughout his career he’s played a critical role in breaking new ground. Today he’s focused on the role speech can play in the emergence of more natural user interfaces (NUI).
From technet.com, May 18, 2011

UK: More Than Half of Non-Internet Users Are Disabled
Almost a half (48.3 per cent) of people who have never used the Internet are disabled, according to data published for the first time by ONS today. Over a third (35.9 per cent) of disabled people have never been online. This compares to only 11.9 per cent for people with no disability. Across the country as a whole, just over 8.7 million people (17.5 per cent) have never used the internet. More women than men have never used the internet, with just over 5 million women never having been online, compared with only 3.6 million men. Two thirds of those who have never used the Internet were aged 65 or over, while just under one per cent of those aged 16 to 24 had never been online.
From statistics.gov.uk, May 18, 2011

iSense Concept Makes iPad Accessible for Blind Users
The iSense is a cover that when placed on an iPad screen transforms text and apps into braille – allowing the blind to use an iPad. The iSense is made out of a light responsive material that contains molecules which transform into Braille when exposed to the light from the screen. The iPad would automatically switch to Braille when the iSense cover is placed upon the iPad’s screen.
From mactrast.com, May 18, 2011

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