TeslaTouch: Electrovibration for Touch Surfaces
TeslaTouch is a new technology for enhancing touch interfaces with tactile sensations. It is based on the electrovibration principle, which can programmatically vary the friction between sliding fingers and a touch panel. The TeslaTouch technology requires no moving parts and therefore is inexpensive, lightweight and requires little power. Our technology provides a wide range of tactile sensations to fingers sliding across touch-screens of any shape or size, from small mobile displays to curved or wall-sized screens. TeslaTouch can be easily combined with a wide range of touch sensing technologies, including capacitive, optical and resistive touch screens. When combined with an interactive display and touch input, our tactile technology enables the design of interfaces that allow the user to feel virtual elements through touch. It can be used to enhance a wide range of applications with rich tactile feedback, such as feeling the properties of interface elements in graphical user interfaces, maps and characters in video games, textures and colors in graphical painting applications, and many more.
From http://www.olivierbau.com/teslatouch.php, April 01, 2013
Fujitsu Enters Europe’s Smartphone Market with a Senior-Focused Android Device with France Telecom
The Stylistic S-01, a senior-focused, Android 4.0 device comes with big icons, enhanced audio and a desensitized touchscreen aimed at elderly users. The device will sell first in France, starting in June 2013 and in partnership with France Telecom/Orange. The first devices will be shown at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. While targeting elderly users first may seem like a strange tactic for a smartphone market debut, it actually makes sense for a number of reasons.
From http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/18/fujitsu-finally-enters-europes-smartphone-market-with-a-senior-focused-android-device-with-france-telecom-starting-in-june/, April 01, 2013
USA: Department of Labor Official Blogs About Technology as a Tool of Inclusion
Kathy Martinez, the assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, recently blogged about the link between accessible technology and employment. She writes: Technology is a powerful thing. When applied to how we work and play, it has the ability to optimize, accelerate and transform. Innovations that come to the market universally designed allow all of us to benefit immediately. But when those same tools − such as software, computers, online applications and mobile devices − are not accessible, they exclude key segments of the population, negatively impacting some people’s employability and opportunities for career advancement. She also noted: "As a long time user of assistive technology, I’ve watched this conundrum play out time and time again. I’ve experienced the frustration of technology that is not accessible; but, on the flip side, I’ve seen how accessible technology can empower all of us to excel and fully participate – at work and in life."
From http://www.coataccess.org/node/10133, March 27, 2013
USA: Disability Point of View Included in FCC Technology Transitions Workshop
On March 18, 2013, the FCC held a public meeting with three expert panels on technology transitions. The panels focused on the technology-based transitions in the overall technology ecosystem such as from narrow band to broadband Internet using new technologies or updating older ones. COAT co-founder Jenifer Simpson – and now the project director for the Accessible Technology Action Center (ATAC) – was a panelist on the second panel that looked at “Usage and Adoption.” In her remarks, she mentioned the trends toward “bring your own device (BYOD)”, greater use of wireless by people with vision disabilities as there are now more accessible devices in the marketplace, the growing use of apps, and the growth of IP-enabled devices, including household appliances and health care devices.
From http://www.coataccess.org/node/10134?goback=%2Egmr_3080152%2Egde_3080152_member_226112584, March 27, 2013
USA: First ADA ATM Accessibility Class Action Lawsuit is Filed in Atlanta
The first of what is likely to be many Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ATM accessibility class action lawsuits against Atlanta-area banks was filed in federal district court in Atlanta last week. The lawsuit was filed by the same Pittsburgh-based law firm, Carlson Lynch, responsible for the filing of over 100 nearly identical ADA ATM class action lawsuits in federal district courts in Pennsylvania and Texas since March 2012.
From http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=89484d78-382c-4230-823b-282e1f607ada, March 27, 2013
Video: Unlocking the Power of the iPad for the Blind
On this week's "Innovators," Bloomberg's Jon Erlichman takes us inside a workshop that instructs teachers on how to unlock the power of the iPad for the visually impaired.
From http://www.bloomberg.com/video/unlocking-the-power-of-the-ipad-for-the-blind-~cj884a7S92Nn5qTInjfBg.html, March 26, 2013
Australia: Accessibility in Social Media
For some time we’ve been talking about Accessibility in Social Media and have provided lots of tips on how to make the Government’s use of Social Media more accessible for people who may be using adaptive strategies or assistive technologies. To add to the growing compendium of advice in this area, the US Government recently released some tips on Improving the Accessibility of Social media in Government, a series of ‘How to’ guides. It includes great information and smart tips for making Facebook and Twitter posts as well as YouTube videos more accessible.
From http://agimo.gov.au/2013/03/21/accessibility-in-social-media/, March 26, 2013
PEOPLECERT Group Launches Global Hotel Accessibility Certification Scheme
Accessibility Pass is a global hotel certification scheme that classifies hotels’ accessibility level based on their infrastructure, services and personnel skills. The scheme is the only global scheme that offers uniform assessment and classification while taking into consideration current national accessibility requirements. It is applicable to Hotels of any size, category and type and to Conference Centers. The Scheme verifies that a hotel or a conference center offers people with disabilities an equal service experience as to any other client. It does not guarantee the overall quality of services offered.
From http://www.accessibilitypass.org/en/Pages/AccessibilityPass.aspx, March 25, 2013
Government of Canada Supports Assistive Technology Development in Ottawa
The Honourable Gordon O’Connor, Member of Parliament for Carleton – Mississippi Mills, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), today announced Government of Canada investments of up to $3.67 million to support sixstart-up technology development companies in the Ottawa area. “Our government continues to support the drivers of growth and job creation – innovation, investment, education, skills and communities,” said Minister O’Connor. “Investments like the ones announced today will help start-up businesses increase their international market share and create jobs in the Ottawa area.”
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/03/21/government-of-canada-supports-assistive-technology-development-in-ottawa/, March 25, 2013
Internet Technology to Make it More Accessible for the Disabled
WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative- Accessible Rich Internet Applications), are planning to make life on the internet significantly easier for the able body challenged! As it currently stands, it is very difficult to negotiate a web site if you can’t use a mouse and limited to keyboard operations. Imagine that for a moment, remove your mouse and use the keyboard only. Not much fun I can assure you, and darn frustrating. The able bodied don’t think about this much, unless of course you’re involved in the industry of helping those who need support in this area. Also, imagine how difficult it would be to create web content if you were limited to a screen reader. Even the able bodied use them to enable multitasking! But, they’re fairly limiting. Imagine having to tab through every single option on a website, before you get to the one at the bottom of the page. We able bodied use a mouse to maneuver this. Imagine trying to drag and drop without the use of a mouse.
From http://guardianlv.com/2013/03/internet-technology-to-make-it-more-accessible-for-the-disabled/, March 25, 2013