What is a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)? How is it used?
A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT), is a document that allows companies or organizations to provide a comprehensive analysis of their conformance to accessibility standards set by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Created by the Information Technology Industry Council so that contracting officials and other buyers can more easily make preliminary assessments on information technology products and service offerings, it can be a critical component of the RFP process for any organization (private or government) where accessibility (and by extension Section 508 compliance) is a key concern.
From Bureau of Internet Accessibility, August 21, 2017
Nepal: Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Technology Launched for Persons with Visual Disabilities
A Nepali Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software was recently launched by two IT experts at the Kathmandu University (KU). The software, released with the aim to ensure persons with visual disabilities have access to information and technology, can scan printed text and then speak it back in synthetic speech or save it to a computer in aid of the speech synthesis application called Text to Speech (TTS).
From My Republica, August 21, 2017
Project Aslan- The 3D-Printed Robotic Arm for Sign Language Translation
Engineering students from University of Antwerp have developed a 3D printed sign language robot. The arm can form the gestures that make up the letters and numbers of basic sign language so when the user types text into the software, the robotic hand translates the text into sign language.
From Tech Xplore, August 21, 2017
Understanding the WCAG 2.1 Working Draft
WCAG 2.1 extends Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 [WCAG20], which was published as a W3C Recommendation December 2008. The Working Draft of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 by the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group includes four new success criteria and two new terms that have been formally accepted by the Working Group. There are now 15 new Success Criteria in WCAG 2.1, which have come from task forces focusing on mobile, cognitive, and low vision user requirements.
From Can Adapt, August 21, 2017
CBM UK HHOT App Helps Persons with Disabilities Access Services During Emergencies
CBM has launched a vital and innovative new mobile app that will help ensure that people with disabilities can access life-saving relief services during emergencies.The "Humanitarian Hands-on Tool" (HHOT) is a custom accessible mobile app that provides practical, step-by-step guidance that emergency workers can access freely and easily to ensure that the help they provide, such as emergency shelters or food and water points are accessible to people with disabilities.
From Business Insider, August 19, 2017
Uber’s Wheelchair-accessible Service Launches in UK
The Uber ridesharing service is available in virtually every major city in UK and enjoys immense popularity. Earlier this year, Uber extended its wheelchair accessibility service to three new UK markets, including Manchester, Birmingham, and Wolverhampton. Now, it also includes Liverpool, Leeds, Bradford, and Newcastle.
From The Next Web, August 16, 2017
How Developers can Build Accessibility into e-Learning
The development of eLearning has created opportunities for a highly diverse population of learners. Today, instructional designers and course developers can use a variety of interactive multimedia to help students reach learning objectives, eliminating the need for rote memorization and repetitive courses consisting only of text and images. But all of these options come at a price: accessibility.
From E Learning Inside, August 15, 2017
Romania: Smartphone App using Beacon Technology to Assist Persons with Visual Disabilities Navigate Bucharest Metro
A smartphone app will now assist persons with visual disabilities safely navigate the metro unaccompanied in Bucharest. The app uses beacon technology and bluetooth beacons have been installed in the 53 metro stations, at locations that could pose a hazard. The beacons give off an audible beep and communicate with the smartphone through the application that sends guidance messages to the owner.
From Nine o Clock Romania, August 14, 2017
Queensland:Government funded Assistive Devices Hackathon sees Innovations for Independent Living of Persons with Disabilities
The Queensland Government-funded second Queensland Assistive Devices Hackathon at TAFE Queensland South West was developed to coincide with the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Teams were given a challenge from a person with a disability and had to work around the criteria of innovation, scalability and affordability. The life-enhancing devices designed were innovations developed for independent living of persons with disabilities.
From The Chronicle, August 13, 2017
Lithuania: Banking Company Aims to Improve ATM Access for Blind in Eastern Europe
A Lithunian banking company is working to improve ATM access for the blind in Eastern Europe. The BS/2 solution allows a blind ATM user to plug a headset into the machine and hear step-by-step instructions on how to use the device, voiced in the national language. Inscriptions on the ATM and keypad use Braille and tactile universal symbols.
From ATM Marketplace, August 13, 2017