‘Think to Speak’ App Technology Is a Reality for People with Impaired Verbal Communication
Santa Barbara, California-based sensory communication startup Smartstones recently unveiled the first sensorial communication platform allowing any sensory internet of things (iOT) device to become a communication tool — a major breakthrough in the world of assistive communication technology. With Smartstones’ :prose app and an EEG headset, you can send text messages or in-app push messages, simply by thinking them. The technology can benefit people with several disorders, including cerebral palsy.
From http://cerebralpalsynewstoday.com/2016/05/02/think-to-speak-technology-finally-becomes-a-reality-for-people-with-impaired-verbal-communication/, May 09, 2016
Web Accessibility Will Now Be the Law of the Land in Europe
Dita Charanzová MEP (Czech Republic, ALDE), is the rapporteur of the Directive on Web Accessibility for Public Sector Websites. This is a victory not only for persons with disabilities, but all of us, writes Dita Charanzová. Government videos will have to have closed captioning or another accessible alternative, including live streaming within a maximum of 14 days of broadcast. More than 80 million Europeans have disabilities. As we age as a society, this number will only grow (currently at 87 million over 65).
From http://www.euractiv.com/section/digital/opinion/web-accessibility-will-now-be-the-law-of-the-land-in-europe/, May 09, 2016
Accessible Internet, Communication, and Technology (ICT) - Bottom-line, Accessibility Benefits Everyone
Universal accessibility in the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector holds unparalleled promise and opportunity for people with disabilities never before seen in our history. Many people are surprised to learn just how much of the world’s population is affected by a disability, and how valuable accessible design of ICT is to the global marketplace.
From http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/accessible-internet-commu_b_9818454.html?section=india, May 09, 2016
USDOJ Requests Further Comments on Web Accessibility Rules
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is requesting comment on more than 120 questions regarding the proposed web accessibility rule under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Though the Supplemental Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SANPRM) applies to state and local governments, it also provides a critical window into the delays in rulemaking with regard to all businesses, as similar standards may be required under both Titles II and III of the ADA.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/05/04/usdoj-requests-further-comments-on-web-accessibility-rules/, May 06, 2016
Swedish Post and Telecom Authority Announces Web Accessibility Competition
The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) has announced that it is accepting submissions for its thirteenth innovation competition, this time under the topic ‘Best in Branch’. Businesses and other organizations can win up to SEK 1.7 million per project. The aim is to produce accessible and appealing websites. The closing date is 15 June and the winners will be announced in December 2016.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/05/03/swedish-post-and-telecom-authority-announces-web-accessibility-competition/, May 06, 2016
“Zambia Has the Potential to Become a Disability Champion in the African Region”: UN Expert
“There are good opportunities to achieve the realization of rights of persons with disabilities in Zambia,” said United Nations Special Rapporteur Catalina Devandas, while urging the Government to fully implement a number of well-formulated and well-intended policies and strategies. “Zambia has the potential to become a disability champion in the African region, provided that the Government makes it a priority to implement the policy and legal framework on disability,” Ms. Devandas said at the end of her first official visit to the country to assess the level of enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/05/02/zambia-has-the-potential-to-become-a-disability-champion-in-the-african-region-un-expert/, May 06, 2016
Museum of DisABILITY History to Open Exhibit on Down Syndrome
The Museum of disABILITY History will host a grand opening on May 7 from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday for its newest exhibit, 3826 Main St., Eggertsville. “In Celebration of Down Syndrome,” an addition to the Museum of disABILITY History, recognizes individuals who have Down syndrome in a fascinating new exhibit. The exhibit explores medical history, myths and facts, as well as success stories and popular culture.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/05/02/museum-of-disability-history-to-open-exhibit-on-down-syndrome/, May 06, 2016
FCC Approves Real-Time Text Proposal to Aid Persons with Disabilities
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a proposal to utilize real-time text to ensure that people with disabilities who rely on text to communicate have accessible and effective telephone access. As communications networks migrate to IP-based environments, this technology would allow Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech disabled or deaf-blind to use the same wireless communications devices as their friends, relatives and colleagues, and more seamlessly integrate into tomorrow’s communications networks.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/04/29/fcc-approves-real-time-text-proposal-to-aid-persons-with-disabilities/, May 06, 2016
European Commission Welcomes Agreement to Make Public Sector Websites and Apps More Accessible
Negotiators of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed tonight on the first EU-wide rules to make the websites and mobile apps of public sector bodies more accessible, especially for the blind, the deaf and the hard of hearing. The internet has become an essential way to access and provide information and services. It is therefore more important than ever to make sure that everyone can perceive and understand websites and mobile apps, and interact with them properly.
Around 80 million people in the EU are affected by a disability. As the EU population ages, the figure is expected to increase to 120 million by 2020. A common approach to ensure web accessibility will contribute to an inclusive digital society and to unlocking the benefits of the Digital Single Market, for all European citizens.
From http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-1654_en.htm, May 04, 2016
Samsung and IBM Show How Watson has Improved Conversational Speech Recognition
IBM has made a big leap forward in the ability of its Watson artificial intelligence computer to recognize conversational speech. Last year, IBM was able to hold conversations in which the AI recognized English conversational speech with an 8 percent word error rate. Now IBM’s Watson team has been able to knock the word error rate down to 6.9 percent.
From http://venturebeat.com/2016/04/28/samsung-and-ibm-show-how-watson-has-improved-conversational-speech-recognition/?platform=hootsuite, May 04, 2016