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Accessibility: The Missing Essential in Cloud Services
Independent access expert Media Access Australia has released a research paper on the need for commercial services and governments to incorporate accessibility for people with disabilities into their cloud services. The research finds that improving the useability of cloud services is an essential criterion in organizations efforts to maximize their customer engagement opportunities and ensure that they are not left behind by their competitors, some of whom have already discovered the commercial potential of access.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/online-media/accessibility-the-missing-essential-in-cloud-services, August 25, 2014

Talkitt Voice Software Helps the Speech-Impaired Communicate in any Language
Over the years we've seen companies big and small introduce products to aid users with speech impediments, but many of these solutions ignore the fact that disabled users still have a voice. Talkitt, a new application currently up for crowdfunding on Indiegogo, translates users' pronunciation into understandable speech and plays back their words on a smartphone or tablet. Danny Weissberg, co-founder and CEO of VoiceItt, the company behind the product, said he began developing Talkitt after his grandmother had a stroke and experienced difficulties in communicating. For people with other conditions such as Lou Gehrig's, Cerebral Palsy, Brain Damage, Autism and Parkinson's Disease, this tech could make everyday tasks, such as ordering lunch and communicating with friends, more manageable.
From http://www.engadget.com/2014/08/04/talkitt-software-for-speech-impaired/, August 22, 2014

ACMA Releases Free-to-Air TV Captioning Compliance Reports
Most Australian broadcasters exceeded their captioning targets in 2012-2013, according to compliance reports released today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), although there were some breaches related to individual programs.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/news/acma-releases-free-to-air-tv-captioning-compliance-reports, August 21, 2014

Survey: Defining Current Practices in Teaching Universal Design
Georgia Tech is interested in learning more about the presentation of Universal Design in university-level design courses. We are currently surveying instructors who teach design-related courses. If you are an instructor in a design-related discipline such as human-computer interaction, biomedical engineering, industrial design, human factors, or rehabilitation engineering please complete the survey.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.gatech.edu/content/newsroom/survey-defining-current-practices-teaching-universal-design#sthash.zva8rvaA.dpuf, August 20, 2014

India: Ensuring Economic Independence for the Visually Challenged: Financial Access
Whilst access to education and employment are slowly but surely opening doors to equal employment opportunities for the visually challenged, pre held myths and erroneous rules and regulations have kept financial and economic independence of gainfully employed persons with blindness and low vision out of reach. As part of its financial access initiative, the XRCVC has actively worked towards equitable rules and regulations for availing banking and other financial services as also for practical ground-level technology solutions to create access.
From http://www.xrcvc.org/advocacy/financial-access.htm, August 18, 2014

Accessibility and the Cloud: Current & Future Trends - Western Australia Accessibility Camp 2014
Dr Scott Hollier's presentation at the WA Accessibility Camp 2014 is now available to download via SlideShare. Presented at the WA Accessibility Camp 2014, Dr Scott Hollier provides an analysis of the features, benefits & issues regarding accessibility of cloud services, including outcomes and risks of implementing cloud technology in business vs. consumer settings. Access recommendations are provided for government, industry and consumers with disabilities.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/online-media/accessibility-the-cloud-current-future-trends-wa-accessibility-camp-2014, August 18, 2014

Samsung Acquires Smart Home Developer SmartThings
Samsung has acquired the maker of smart home gadgets SmartThings. The California-based company will continue to operate independently under founder and CEO Alex Hawkinson, from within Samsung's Open Innovation Center group, while moving its headquarters from Washington, DC to Samsung's base in Palo Alto, California.
From http://www.telecompaper.com/news/samsung-acquires-smart-home-developer-smartthings--1031354?utm_source=headlines_-_english&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=15-08-2014&utm_content=textlink, August 15, 2014

Japan Eyes Robotic Future for Aged Care
Robots could deliver a higher standard of care than poorly skilled care workers, according to one of Japan’s leading providers of aged care. Hitoshi Fukomoto, the executive director of Kinoshita Care, said his organization was looking to cutting-edge robotic technology to deliver greater efficiencies in care and to help plug the gap in chronic labor shortages.
From http://www.australianageingagenda.com.au/2014/08/06/japan-eyes-robotic-future-aged-care/, August 14, 2014

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Reveals Grand Prize Winner of Oneweek Hackathon: Ability Eye Gaze
The Eye Gaze team had set out to do a project to help Steve Gleason, a former pro football player who is living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Gleason’s foundation aims to raise awareness about ALS, as well as to give others living with it the “leading edge technology, equipment and services” they need. The project united two dozen researchers, engineers, designers, program managers and media pros from across Microsoft, and was one of the 3,000-plus teams that participated in Microsoft’s first-ever global Hackathon. The team aimed to use Surface 3, Kinect and other Microsoft technologies to give independence to people with disabilities.
From http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/08/13/microsoft-ceo-satya-nadella-reveals-oneweek-hackathons-grand-prize-winner-ability-eye-gaze/, August 14, 2014

Driverless Cars Could Change Lives for Disabled People
With testing already happening in the US and trials given the green light in the UK, the autonomous car seems like more of a possibility than ever. Aside from the early adopters who want to be part of the newest technology trend, the autonomous car has enormous potential to help those who, for whatever reason, can’t drive themselves.
From http://theconversation.com/driverless-cars-could-change-lives-for-disabled-people-if-we-let-them-30286, August 13, 2014

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