India: Delhi University Installs Technology for Students with Vision Disabilities in Libraries
Delhi University is in the process of installing a special technology which can scan books and transcribe text to speech in all its libraries, a move which the varsity claims is a first-of-its-kind initiative for students with vision disabilities by an Indian university. The technology called ‘Inclusive Print Access Project’ is a combination of software which has been imported from abroad to suit the needs of students with vision disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/11/17/delhi-university-installs-technology-for-students-with-vision-disabilities-in-libraries/, November 18, 2014
India: Delhi to Host Global Film Fest on Disability
An international festival showcasing films and documentaries made on disability issues will be held in the capital from November 24-26. The 12th edition of We Care Film Festival, which has already traveled to 113 countries, is being organized by UNESCO in collaboration with Brotherhood, an Indian NGO working for people with special needs. “Disability is still a hushed affair in India. We are trying to bring the issue to the forefront with the strong medium of cinema,” says Kiran Mehra Kerpelman, Director of United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/11/15/delhi-to-host-global-film-fest-on-disability/, November 18, 2014
This Device Translates Sign Language in Real Time
In this Good magazine article, the author writes about KinTrans, a computer system that translates sign language in real time. The article tells the story of Mohamed Elwazer, a computer engineer who invented the device. Elwazer came up with the idea after watching a group of kids play with an Xbox 360. He used the same Microsoft Kinect software integrated into the gaming system to build KinTrans. The system uses motion sensor technology to read the sign language, immediately translating it into voice and text.
From http://magazine.good.is/articles/kintrans-sign-language-technology, November 17, 2014
UK: Over 90% of Disabled People Would Revisit Venues with Good Accessibility
An overwhelming 93% of disabled people would revisit a venue that has good accessibility, according to a new survey carried out by the organizers of Disabled Access Day. Over 90% of people surveyed also said that they try to find out information about a venue’s accessibility in advance of their visit, further highlighting the importance of venues having good disabled access provision if they are to attract disabled customers.
From http://bit.ly/1o8REWg, November 17, 2014
Communications Technology Opens Doors for Everyone, Not Only People with Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 brought many changes that now seem commonplace, such as sidewalk ramps and automatic door openers. In this blog post, the authors discuss the need for the virtual world to become just as accessible. They explain that accessible information and communications technology (ICT) is still an evolving process. Access to communications technologies has enabled the world to become more connected, but we need to make sure everyone can contribute and that all voices can be heard. And, the authors argue, while this is the socially responsible thing to do, it also helps improve business by allowing more customers access.
From http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/technology/220415-communication-technology-opens-doors-for-everyone-not-only, November 17, 2014
U.S. Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy Announces Launch of Web Portal on Accessible Workplace Technology
In October, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) announced the launch of PEATworks.org, the central hub for the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT). The website was spearheaded by ODEP's Partnership on Employment and Technology as a way to help employers adopt accessible technology. PEAT aims to improve the employment, retention and career advancement of people with disabilities. PEAT conducts outreach with workplaces, facilitates collaboration and provides a mix of resources to inform policy development and innovation as it relates to accessibility in the workplace.
From http://peatworks.org/news/2014/oct/us-labor-department%E2%80%99s-office-disability-employment-policy-announces-launch, November 17, 2014
USA: Metro Unveils New App for Visually Impaired
Getting around is about to get a little easier for people in the D.C. area who are visually impaired. On Friday, Metro unveiled a new smartphone app and website designed to help passengers navigate through Metrorail stations.
From http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/11/metro-unveils-new-app-for-visually-impaired-108863.html, November 12, 2014
New Voice in the C-Suite: The Chief Accessibility Officer
Meet Frances West, IBM's first Chief Accessibility Officer. West was named to the position this past summer--she previously served as global director of the Human Ability & Accessibility Center at IBM Research. In her role as CAO, West addresses IBM's policies and practices on accessibility.
From http://www.i4cp.com/productivity-blog/2014/10/08/new-voice-in-the-c-suite-the-chief-accessibility-officer, November 12, 2014
Microsoft Develops Navigation System for People with Vision Disabilities
Microsoft has developed the prototype wearable device, with the help of the charity Guide Dogs UK and urban design firm Future Cities Catapult to launch a headset to help people who are blind or have low vision navigate around a city. When the headset is paired with a Windows Phone, the application uses GPS and cloud based location alongside a network of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals placed along the route. After setting the route, the user will hear a continuous clicking noise designed to sound like it’s coming from a meter or two ahead, guiding him or her along the correct route. The application will also provide information on shops, points of interest and additional journey details to help the user navigate.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/11/10/microsoft-develops-navigation-system-for-people-with-vision-disabilities/, November 11, 2014
USA: Teenager Gets Intel Funding for Braille Printer
A 13-year-old Indian-origin boy has received a huge investment from Intel for developing a low-cost printer for people who are blind, making him the youngest tech entrepreneur funded by a venture capital firm. Shubham Banerjee, CEO of the Braille printer maker Braigo Labs, had closed an early round funding with Intel Capital, the company’s venture capital arm, last month to develop a prototype of low-cost Braille printer. Till last year, California-based Shubham had no idea what Braille was and it was only when he came across a fundraising flyer for people with vision disabilities that he started to wonder how people who are blind read.Intel Capital
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/11/10/teenager-gets-intel-funding-for-braille-printer/, November 11, 2014