Do We Need Specialized Hardware for the Deaf?
A company called Purple Communications this week unveiled a product called SmartVP. It’s a videophone with applications and features to help deaf people communicate. Purple says it’s the first videophone to feature “true HD quality.” How do deaf people use the telephone? In the past, most used a typing system called TTY. Paging devices soon followed; the term became so fixed that the deaf community is said to still call all wireless devices, including iPhones, “pagers.”
From http://www.technologyreview.com/view/513336/do-we-need-specialized-hardware-for-the-deaf/, April 09, 2013
mHealth 2.0: To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before
We now have evidence that mobile phones in the hands of a health worker can lead to more accurate diagnosis and treatment of acute problems such as pneumonia and dehydration. Diagnostic tests linked to a phone can improve identification of malaria. Reminders and alerts can help patients remember take their drugs at home. We can reduce the number of stock outs of drugs in a health facility. Community health workers (CHW) can do more with mobile phone support and supervisors can know what they are doing.
From http://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/mhealth-2-0-to-boldly-go-where-no-one-has-gone-before, April 09, 2013
Accessible Online Courses: Techniques and Tips
How can you create online course content that is more accessible to students, even (or especially) to those with permanent or temporary physical or sensory challenges? It is most important that learners can access the material, so understanding the learners and thinking about potential barriers is key. Making this your focus will change your thought processes and allow you to avoid potential accessibility issues from the start, saving time and improving the quality of your work.
From http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/1145/, April 09, 2013
Egypt to Create ICT Centers for Persons with Disabilities
Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has signed a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Education on supporting ICT centres for the disabled at Public Universities. The agreement was signed at the second Annual Conference and Exhibition on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for People with Disabilities at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) headquarters in Smart Village.
From http://pctechmag.com/2013/04/egypt-to-create-ict-centres-for-the-disabled/, April 08, 2013
Guide: Making Accessible Icon Buttons
In the beginning, there <input type="image">. Many seem to have forgotten this part of HTML. Early on, web developers wanted to use images as submit buttons rather than the plain submit button and <input type="image"> allowed you to create an image that actually works like a button. Further, this type of image actually announces itself as a button in screen readers. Anytime you want the user to click on something and not navigate to another page, you’re looking for a button, and <input type="image"> gives you a nice compact way of doing that while supporting the same attributes as <img>.
From http://www.nczonline.net/blog/2013/04/01/making-accessible-icon-buttons/, April 08, 2013
New Zealand: CapTel Call Center Provides Captioned Telephone Service for People with Hearing Disabilities
Sprint, a leader in wireless accessibility, announced another milestone in the company’s effort to enable telecommunications for all. Sprint opened the first CapTel call center outside of the United States in Auckland, New Zealand. CapTel service provides captioned conversations for people with hearing disabilities. Sprint marked the opening of the call center with a ceremonial call from Amy Adams, New Zealand communications and information technology minister, to Louise Carol, a New Zealand resident with hearing disabilities for the past 20 years.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2013/04/06/captel-call-center-provides-captioned-telephone-service-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities-in-new-zealand/, April 08, 2013
USA: Legislation Proposed to make Movies more Accessible for People with Disabilities
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced two new bills to make movies more accessible for people who are deaf and hard of hearing and for people who are blind. Both the Harkin bills mandate captioning -- one in movie theaters and the other on airplanes. The first bill, S. 555, is entitled the “Captioning and Image Narration to Enhance Movie Accessibility Act” or the CINEMA Act. CINEMA would amend Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to mandate that every movie theater with two or more screens provide both open and closed captioning as well as video description.
From http://www.coataccess.org/node/10138, April 03, 2013
Bringing Multitouch to the Blind
Multitouch has changed computing, being the first new user interaction paradigm since the mouse and keyboard. After exploding on mobile phones in 2007, multitouch has penetrated other technologies like tablets and laptops. Flicks, swipes, and pinches have become the new click and drag. Consumers now expect this interaction with their computing devices and it has become the natural user interface for those just starting with computers. Despite being a tactile experience between fingers and a glass display, Multitouch is heavily dependent on being able to see what the screen is displaying and the tap targets on it. Because of this, work is being done to bring multitouch to blind users, allowing them to enjoy and benefit from the new technology just like someone with the ability to see.
From http://www.retrieverweekly.com/technology/bringing-multitouch-to-the-blind-1.3018554#.UVwvtqJkPoJ, April 03, 2013
USA: Ensuring the Accessibility of College Websites
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights entered into an agreement [OCR Compliance Review No. 11-11-6002] with the South Carolina Technical College System (SCTCS) that requires the websites of the SCTCS and its 16-member colleges be accessible to all individuals, specifically those with visual disabilities. This agreement is in response to an evaluation of the accessibility of SCTCS websites and two of its college’s websites that found the sites were not fully accessible to individuals with visual or print-related disabilities and therefore were not in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the agreement, the SCTCS will develop and share a resource guide on web accessibility requirements, direct accessibility changes to the SCTCS and member college websites, and perform annual reviews of websites to monitor continued compliance with accessibility requirements.
From http://www.wirelessrerc.org/content/newsroom/ensuring-accessibility-college-websites, April 02, 2013
Three Things to make your App stand out when Building for Accessibility
While accessibility modes and rough guidelines exist for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry, the responsibility lies with the developer to evaluate and determine if their work has resulted in a truly useful product. Quite a few parties have put together their own best practices on designing for accessibility. The Web Accessibility Movement started the conversation around mobile accessibility, and Accessible Tech also offers some considerations, but both have yet to define ground rules for mobile applications. Developer Matt Gemmell has also proposed some best practices for iOS and encourages fellow developers to reference Apple’s Accessibility Programming Guide.
From http://www.wired.com/insights/2013/03/three-things-to-make-your-app-stand-out-when-building-for-accessibility, April 02, 2013