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Newest Kinect Hack: A Grocery Cart That Loyally Follows Disabled Shoppers
Microsoft's Kinect is the gift that keeps on giving for hackers, spawning everything from glasses-free teleconferencing to Tesla coil manipulation to uh, well, Android dance parties. But Luis de Matos's wi-Go project is one of the most socially conscious we've seen: it adds a laptop and (despite its name) a Kinect to a shopping cart, enabling the cart to follow a wheelchair user. Improving on the B.O.S.S. bot we saw a half-decade ago, the wi-Go could allow anyone -- including the disabled or elderly -- to shop independently, regardless of physical capability. De Matos doesn't offer many technical details, but see the video above for a before-and-after demonstration.
From endgadget.com, June 06, 2011

Obama Aide To Take Reins At Disability Group
One of the nation’s largest disability organizations is getting a new CEO and he’s coming straight from the White House. Mark Perriello will take over as head of the American Association of People with Disabilities next week, officials from the organization said Wednesday. He will become only the second president and CEO to serve the 16-year-old organization, a position which has been vacant since last fall when the group’s longtime leader, Andrew Imparato, left to join the staff of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
From disabilityscoop.com, June 06, 2011

Disability Advocates Call Out Facebook Over Offensive Pages
A group of disability advocates is charging that Facebook is turning a blind eye to profiles and pages on the social network that they say are offensive to people with disabilities. In an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, advocates point to profiles and pages on the social network with names like “I am retarded and proud of it” and “Re Tard” that persist even after repeated reports to site administrators. They also claim that profiles critical of individuals with disabilities feature stolen photos of kids with special needs that have been ripped from personal Facebook pages.
From disabilityscoop.com, June 06, 2011

Science: Retina Holds the Key to Better Vision in Deaf People
People who are deaf benefit from better vision due to the fact their retinas develop differently, experts at the University of Sheffield have shown.
From sciencedaily.com, June 06, 2011

Scans Show It's Not Only Sight That Helps Us Get Our Bearings
Our brain's understanding of spatial awareness is not triggered by sight alone, scientists have found, in a development that could help design technology for the visually impaired.
From sciencedaily.com, June 06, 2011

All Government Websites Could Be Scrapped and Replaced by Single Domain
All government websites could be scrapped and replaced with a single domain where people will be able to log on and file their tax returns, apply for housing benefit or monitor their child benefit payments, ministers indicate today.
From Guardian.co.uk, June 03, 2011

U.S. Dept of Ed Requires Accessible New Technologies in Schools
the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) sent out new guidance on the legal obligation to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to enjoy new classroom technologies. The guidance letter and materials were provided to elementary and secondary school principals, school boards, school superintendents and institutions of higher education. This "Dear Colleague" letter and the associated FAQs emphasized new and emerging technologies, such as E-books and online courses and other online content, such as online applications for admission, class assignments, and housing.
From coataccess.org, June 02, 2011

USA: Implants Help Deaf Learn Language from Listening
These children, and others at the Clarke School for Hearing and Speech in Bryn Mawr, Philadelphia, are all deaf or hard of hearing. Yet instead of using American Sign Language, all have learned to speak, in most cases aided by devices called cochlear implants. All are headed to mainstream kindergarten.
From centredaily.com, June 01, 2011

Iceland: Sign Language Legalized as First Language in Iceland
Members of the Icelandic Association of the Deaf celebrated the legislation of Sign Language as their first language. Icelanders are frontrunners in the development of Sign Language and such a conclusive recognition as the government has now given Sign Language has not been made anywhere else in the world, according to Dadi Hreinsson, managing director of the Icelandic Association of the Deaf.
From icelandreview.com, June 01, 2011

SpeechTrans Offers Mobile Translation App for Hearing Impaired
Custom Designed Speech Recognition App Gives Hearing Impaired Unparalleled Freedom to Engage in Personal Multi-Language Conversations.
From prnewswire.com, June 01, 2011

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