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
Where Smart Glasses Fit Into a World with Oculus Rift and HoloLens
It's a tough time out there for smart glasses. Far from igniting a robust market for connected headgear, Google Glass did very much the opposite, cementing in the public consciousness the idea that smart glasses are weird, creepy and only worn by uberdorks. Epson, which recently upgraded its Moverio smart glasses with a sleeker, more powerful design, is looking to expand those use cases in two big ways, one very general and one very specific. Today the company is announcing it's sponsoring a startup accelerator program in the San Francisco Bay area, Super Ventures, which focuses on new ways to use and interact with wearables.
From http://mashable.com/2016/05/04/epson-bt-300-smart-glasses/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#qKtXtD95uiqn, May 04, 2016
Digital Inclusion for a Better EU Society
Digital inclusion is the European Commission's effort to ensure that everybody can contribute to and benefit from the digital economy and society. Digital inclusion is being made possible through some of the activities supported by the European Commission such as accessible ICT, assistive technologies, skills and digital skills, and social inclusion.
From https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/node/80890, May 04, 2016
IBM Accessibility and CTA Foundation Release Survey on Aging and Technology
Talking about aging and technology: a survey on ourselves, our parents/grandparents, and our future by IBM Accessibility and CTA Foundation.
From https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/IBMandCTA, May 03, 2016
Zero Project Launches Call for Nominations of Innovative Policies 2017 on Employment
Work is essential for realizing other human rights and it forms an inseparable and inherent part of human dignity. Employment of persons with disabilities is about the opportunity to gain a living by work freely chosen or accepted in a labor market and work environment that is open, inclusive and accessible. Hence, the Zero Project 2017 is focusing on Work, Employment, and Vocational Education and Training, and our call for nominating innovative policies has just been launched.
From http://zeroproject.org/zero-project-2017-call-for-nominations-of-innovative-policies-on-employment/, May 03, 2016
Improving With Age? How City Design is Adapting to Older Populations
As cities experience a demographic shift, the need for age-friendly design is becoming ever more critical. From almshouses to driverless cars, the future of urban housing and mobility may just be shaped for and by the elderly. There is no denying it: like it or not we are all getting older. According to the UN World Population Prospects report, the global population of older people is growing at an unprecedented rate.
From http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/apr/25/improving-with-age-how-city-design-is-adapting-to-older-populations?CMP=share_btn_tw, May 03, 2016
Low-Cost Refreshable Braille Display Set to Revolutionize the Market
A device that could become ‘the world’s most affordable refreshable Braille display’ – costing around 80-90% less than current systems – has been unveiled, and should be available for purchase later this year. The Orbit Reader 20 was announced at the Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference – known as CSUN – in the United States, by the Chair of the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Kevin Carey, in his role as president of the Transforming Braille Group (TBG).
From http://www.headstar.com/eablive/?p=1061, May 02, 2016
USA: SignAloud: Gloves that Translate Sign Language into Text and Speech
Thomas Pryor and Navid Azodi of the University of Washington are the $10,000 Lemelson-MIT “Eat it!” Undergraduate Winners for their invention SignAloud, gloves that translate sign language into text and speech.
From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l01sdzJHCCM, May 02, 2016
Building an Inclusive Classroom With Microsoft
Technology has the power to make lives better. The right technology can help us break down barriers, stay in our homes longer, or tackle health challenges head on. In schools, technology has incredible potential to help build ability, to help every child transcend barriers to education and achieve a bright future. Microsoft Canada is working to help every teacher embrace technology and build an inclusive classroom.
From http://www.thriftymommastips.com/building-an-inclusive-classroom-with-microsoft-2/, May 02, 2016