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
University of California, Merced Launches AudioEye’s Accessibility Technology
AudioEye Inc. creator of the Audio Internet patented audio browsing and automated publishing technology platform, today announced that the Company has launched its accessibility technology solution for the University of California, Merced (UC Merced). The solution provides compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requirements and expands the reach and convenience of UC Merced websites.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/11/07/university-of-california-merced-launches-audioeyes-accessibility-technology/, November 11, 2014
Singapore Universal Design Week: Barrier-free Accessibility
As part of our outreach program to raise awareness of Universal Design, the BCA organized the inaugural Singapore Universal Design Week to highlight the growing importance of barrier-free accessibility and Universal Design for buildings and public spaces in Singapore. The Singapore Universal Design Week promotes the importance of Universal Design in creating inclusive living environment to enable people – regardless of age or physical ability – to live, work and play without barriers.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/11/06/singapore-universal-design-week/, November 11, 2014
Charmtech Labs LLC Releases Capti Narrator Version 1.7 for iOS
Capti enables anyone with a Pocket and Bookshare accounts to import content and listen to it with Capti on the go or while relaxing. Capti is the most comprehensive productivity tool for listening to digital content such as news, blogs, DRM-free e-books, and documents from a variety of sources such as the Browser, Dropbox, Google Drive, Instapaper, Clipboard, etc. Capti is available in 10 languages. Bookshare is the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities.
From https://www.captivoice.com/capti-site/public/entry/about_us, November 08, 2014
Communication Technology Opens 'Doors' for Everyone - Not Only Persons with Disabilities
Today, most Americans overlook improvements made since the dawn of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. Sidewalk ramps…automatic door openers…adjustable vanity mirrors…and automatic lighting and fixture controls were all designed to help make the “physical” world more accessible for and useable by all people, including individuals with disabilities. Now, isn’t it time we opened doors to the virtual world, and information and communication technology (ICT)? Accessible ICT is an evolving process, evidenced by the United States Access Board, which monitors Section 508 compliance, updating its standards, as well as other telecommunications accessibility guidelines. The House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman, Darrell Issa, has introduced legislation calling for the designation of the Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in all federal Departments, including significant changes to the management of information technology. This legislation passed the House of Representatives by voice vote, with similar legislation pending in the Senate.
From http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/technology/220415-communication-technology-opens-doors-for-everyone-not-only, November 04, 2014
Smart Earrings, Unloseable Sunglasses and Safety Jewelry - Three Wearables To Know Now
There are two pretty simple rules for wearable tech to be successful in my mind, 1) does it look good, and 2) does it do something the intended user actually cares about. For quite some time, the majority of solutions out there frequently fell down on one of those two points, if not both. Fortunately, that’s beginning to change. As the industry becomes more fragmented, the products getting released are seeming ever more appealing.
From www.forbes.com/sites/rachelarthur/2014/11/03/smart-earrings-unloseable-sunglasses-and-safety-jewelry-3-wearables-to-know-now/, November 04, 2014