Smart Cities Council | Making Smart Cities More Accessible for People with Disabilities and the Aging
Concern that the proliferation of smart cites will widen the gap between persons with disabilities, aging communities and the rest of the population, G3ict and World ENABLED announced the global Defining Accessible Smart Cities Initiative last month. The initiative is sponsored by Council Lead Partner Microsoft. The objective is both smart and compassionate: To bring together global industry, government, and civil society experts and practitioners to define how a smart city can also be a digitally inclusive city.
From Smart Cities Council, August 03, 2016
LiveWell RERC's App Factory Call for Proposals
The LiveWell RERC has just released its annual App Factory call for proposals. Each year, the LiveWell RERC’s App Factory invites experienced organizations or individual developers based in the U.S. and Canada to submit proposals for financial support to develop assistive and/or accessibility apps for mobile platforms (e.g., Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows), sensors, home automation, wearables, the Internet of Things (IoT) and/or cloud computing. Through a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Community Living, Health and Function (LiveWellRERC) seeks to enhance the use and usability of wireless technologies for people of all ages and abilities. The LiveWell RERC's mission is to promote ICT access to existing and emerging technologies for all people regardless of ability; and to develop and validate ICT applications to improve the capacity for independent living and community participation. Included in this effort is the RERC’s mobile applications development project, the “App Factory”.
From http://www.livewellrerc.org/2016appfactoryrfp, August 02, 2016
Making Drones Accessible to the Disabled
See how one company is opening up the drone market to previously unconsidered frontiers, and how that decision could impact the quality of life for millions.
From DZone/IOT Zone, August 01, 2016
India: Digital Accessibility and Empowerment of the Disabled
The Roundtable on Information Accessibility for the Disabled brought out many issues relevant for the disabled in this digital era. Javed Abidi, the Honorary Director of the NCPEDP (National Centre for the Promotion of the Empowerment of the Disabled People) spoke to Dr. Archana Verma of Dataquest elaborating on the challenges of information access.
From Dataquest, August 01, 2016
USA: Pennsylvania Libraries Partner With Benetech/Bookshare to Expand Accessible Reading Opportunities for Patrons With Print Disabilities
In a mission to expand more meaningful and accessible reading experiences for Pennsylvania residents who cannot read standard print, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Free Library of Philadelphia have entered into a partnership agreement with Benetech, a Silicon Valley nonprofit that manages Bookshare, the world's largest online accessible library for individuals with qualifying print disabilities.
From EIN News, August 01, 2016
How Apps Can Help People With Disabilities Navigate Cities
37-year-old filmmaker Jason DaSilva recently won an Emmy for When I Walk, a documentary chronicling his life with multiple sclerosis. DaSilva was diagnosed in 2005, and the disease has affected his vision, hearing, and muscle control. “Living in the East Village, I was finding that it could be 9 out of 10 businesses on a city block that would be inaccessible to me,” he tells CityLab. For the estimated 53 million U.S. adults living with disabilities, moving through a city may feel like an obstacle course.
From http://www.citylab.com/navigator/2016/06/how-apps-help-people-with-disabilities-navigate-the-city/489128/, July 18, 2016
Open Data Creates Life-Simplifying Apps
Cities are constantly gathering and producing immense amounts of information. What if all that data were up for grabs for anyone to use? The Helsinki Region Infoshare service has opened the capital region’s data for everyone, and gives rise to apps and services that make everyday life easier. A recipient of multiple international awards, the Helsinki Region Infoshare service (HRI) contains over 1 200 open statistics and datasets.
From http://www.goodnewsfinland.com/feature/open-data-creates-life-simplifying-apps/, July 18, 2016
Thailand: Language Assistance Software Aids Students with Learning Disabilities
Students with learning disabilities are usually unable to write and read Thai words correctly, which hinders their ability to move ahead with their education. In the past, they had to get their teachers to correct their errors for them.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/07/15/language-assistance-software-aids-students-with-learning-disabilities/, July 18, 2016
USA: ManpowerGroup Named “Best Place to Work” by the Disability Equality Index
ManpowerGroup has been recognized as one of the Disability Equality Index (DEI) Best Places to Work, receiving a top score for its commitment to diversity inclusion in the workplace. The DEI is a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN), honoring those organizations with a commitment to driving their organization’s success through full inclusive business practices.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/07/15/manpowergroup-named-best-place-to-work-by-the-disability-equality-index/, July 18, 2016
India: High-tech Devices Aid People with Vision Disabilities
A Class 12 student at a school for the blind in the city had heard about a ‘sensor walker’, but got to hold it only at the first assistive technology devices workshop in the state for people with vision disabilities. The workshop was organized by Karna Vidya Foundation, an NGO for people with disabilities, at Anna University on Saturday. “These kinds of assistive devices will help us live independently. I have heard about the sensor walker, which detects obstacles in front of a person, but got to feel the demo only here at this workshop,” said T Vignesh, a student with visual disability.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2016/07/14/high-tech-devices-aid-people-with-vsion-disabilities/, July 18, 2016