Million Dollar Boost for Low Cost Braille Display
An international project to build a low-cost refreshable braille display for computers is reaching fruition, with new plans announced for a technology retailing at less than 20% of current prices. Refreshable braille devices are formed of plastic “cells”, small grids of holes through which rods rise and fall, triggered by an electric current using a technology known as “piezoelectric”. A line of Braille forms as a computer reads across text.
From http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=1061, October 10, 2014
Mapping Mobility Access Across Europe
An open source map that plots information on accessibility of public spaces is being enhanced by a European Commission-funded research project. An open source map that plots information on accessibility of public spaces is being enhanced by a European Commission-funded research project.
From http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=1059, October 10, 2014
Lack of Skills and Awareness Fuel Web Inaccessibility: Survey
Lack of skills or knowledge and lack of awareness of web accessibility are responsible for the great majority of website accessibility problems, according to a US survey of web accessibility practitioners. Almost four in 10 respondents (36.6%) rated lack of skills and knowledge as the primary reason behind web site accessibility; and only slightly fewer (36.2%) lack of awareness. Other factors cited were Fear that accessibility will hinder the look, feel, or functionality of a website (13.2%); and lack of budget or resources to make it accessible (13.9%).
From http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=1057, October 10, 2014
India: New Smartphone App for People with Vision Disabilities Launched
An application equipped with Braille typing feature that promises to assist people with vision disabilities in using all features of a smartphone was launched here Thursday on World Sight Day. SimplEye, a custom-designed application developed by Kriyate, a Delhi-based enterprise, is available for all android-based devices and was launched by Minister of State for Rural Development Upendra Kushwaha at the Jawaharlal Nehru University here. It can be downloaded for free from Google play store.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/10/new-smartphone-app-for-people-with-vision-disabilities-launched/, October 10, 2014
USA: Box at Penn State Delivers Accessible E-textbooks to Students with Disabilities
With the binding and cover already removed from a course psychology book, Mike Farley carefully feeds each of the 240 pages through a high-resolution flatbed scanner. He converts the paper into electronic text files using specialized software and is able to view the newly scanned chapters of the book on his computer. Collecting the pages from the scanner, he shuffles them into order and compares the printed version to the digital text. After fixing some minor errors and making slight adjustments to the dimensions of the digital book, he saves the file as a PDF and uploads it onto Box at Penn State — a cloud-based file storage, sharing and collaboration service from Box.com.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/02/box-at-penn-state-delivers-accessible-e-textbooks-to-students-with-disabilities/, October 10, 2014
USA: Talkitt Helps People with Speech Disabilities to Speak Freely
Currently there is no solution on the market which enables a person with a speech impairment to speak and be understood using their own voice. This is the gap that Voiceitt is trying to fill. Voiceitt is developing TalkItt, an innovative speech technology which is able to recognize unintelligible language and translate it into understandable speech. The app will recognize that based on the user’s own personalized, pre-recorded dictionary, says Danny Weissberg, the cofounder and CEO of Voiceitt.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/08/talkitt-helps-people-with-speech-disabilities-to-speak-freely/, October 08, 2014
British Telecom Launches ‘Next Generation Text’ Service
British Telecomm (BT) has today launched its new Next Generation Text (NGT) service, which will make it much easier for people with hearing and speech disabilities to make phone calls. NGT enables people who need to use text, to communicate with others over the phone either directly or through a relay assistant. The relay assistant acts as an intermediary to convert speech to text and vice versa for the two people in conversation.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/07/british-telecom-launches-next-generation-text-service/, October 07, 2014
Nigeria: Keystone Bank Launches ATM for Customers with Disabilities
Keystone Bank Limited has commissioned an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) gallery that was specifically built to accommodate customers with mobility disabilities. Speaking at the commissioning ceremony in Lagos, Executive Director, Operations and Technology, Keystone Bank,Mrs. Yvonne Isichei, said the bank decided to locate the ATM gallery at its Maryland branch because it is a very busy metropolitan area.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/07/keystone-bank-launches-atm-for-customers-with-disabilities/, October 07, 2014
New Google Glass App Provides Real-Time Closed Captioning
A team of Georgia Institute of Technology researchers has created speech-to-text software for Google Glass that helps users with hard-of-hearing with everyday conversations. A person with hard-of-hearing wears Glass while a second person speaks directly into a smartphone. The speech is converted to text, sent to Glass and displayed on its heads-up display.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/06/new-google-glass-app-provides-real-time-closed-captioning/, October 06, 2014
New Mobile App Makes Audio Streaming of Newspapers and Magazines Available to Persons with Print Disabilities
CRIS (Connecticut Radio Information System, Inc.) today announced the release of an Android smartphone app that makes it easy for people who are blind, and those with other print disabilities to access human narrated versions of newspapers and magazines from Android smartphones.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/10/03/new-mobile-app-makes-audio-streaming-of-newspapers-and-magazines-available-to-persons-with-print-disabilities/, October 03, 2014