Accessibility in the workplace – a competitive edge
Various consumer at computers People across Europe increasingly rely on technology to get their jobs done. But if you have a disability, this can be a challenge. Almost half (48%) of all EU citizens living with disabilities are unemployed. This means over 38 million people are missing out on the opportunity to participate fully and equally in society. Improving this state of affairs by creating workplaces adapted to the needs of those with disabilities is essential in order to empower individuals to make the most of their potential. But it also makes good business sense.A new study by Forrester Research examines how organizations across Europe have integrated accessible technologies and strategies within their organizations, and the tangible benefits this has delivered. Over 80% of organizations surveyed from across both the private and public sectors agree that their accessibility strategies have helped them build a more diverse workforce from a broader talent pool, or retain employees who have become disabled.Even more strikingly, the benefits of rolling-out accessible technologies across an entire organization were found to stretch well beyond the immediate value for employees with disabilities. 80% of private sector and 75% of public sector organizations highlighted  that in doing so, they were able to increase productivity and efficiency among their entire workforce.
About the Author
Adina Braha-Honciuc leads Microsoft’s Accessibility, Sustainability and Environment Policy for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Source: Accessibility in the workplace – a competitive edge | EU Policy Blog
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Home |
The purpose of the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) is to ensure that everyone who faces accessibility barriers due to disability, literacy, digital literacy, or aging, regardless of economic resources, can access and use the Internet and all its information, communities, and services for education, employment, daily living, civic participation, health, and safety.As our countries build out their broadband infrastructures to ensure that broadband reaches everyone, it is important that 'everyone' includes people with disability, literacy and aging related barriers to Internet use. We need to be sure that we don't stop at just connecting people to the Internet - but that we also see to it that they can actually use it, and benefit from all that it has to offer.The GPII would not create new access technologies or services, but would create the infrastructure for making their development, identification, delivery, and use easier, less expensive, and more effective. Like building a road system does not provide transportation but greatly enhances the ability of car companies and others to do so -- and provides an infrastructure that car companies themselves cannot do. The Internet is the infrastructure for general information and commerce. The GPII enhancements to the Internet would provide the infrastructure to enable the Internet to be truly inclusive for the first time.
Source: Home |
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Accessible Grills & Firerings – YouTube
This video shows examples of Pilot Rock brand wheelchair accessible charcoal grills and campfire rings manufactured by R. J. Thomas Mfg. Co. and how they meet the ADA guidelines for accessibility.

Model ASW-20 park grill is ADA Compliant  


The cooking grate on this grill requires less than 5 lbs. of force to move, and requires only one hand to operate (ADA-ABA 309.4: Draft Final-Outdoor 1011.3).  The cooking surface is less than 34” high (ADA-ABA 902.3; Draft Final-Outdoor 1011.5).


The grill firebox can also rotate 360 degrees in either direction on a theft proof swivel attachment. Standard 3-1/2” OD x 40” long base post for embedded installation (B2). The firebox is 6” high on the swivel side, and 10” high on the other side to provide wind protection above the cooking grate. This charcoal grill includes all welded firebox construction: 3/16” (7 ga.) thick steel, plus integral die-formed flanges to retain ashes and reinforce the firebox from heat. Plus all welded cooking grate fabrication: ½” diameter solid steel bars, mounted on steel tube allowing it to swivel 180 degrees.  The operator handle includes a 1/8” x ½” flat bar coiled spring grip.  All grate bars are welded on both sides. All components of this charcoal grill are finished with high temp, non toxic black enamel paint. Model B18 Surface Mount Base Post for ASW-20 Grill OPTIONAL: Model B18 surface mount base post (instead of standard embedded post). Surface anchor bolts are not included - use Model ANC1-4 Concrete Anchor Kit.  Becomes Model ASW-20 B18. Source: Pilot Rock Wheelchair Accessible Products
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Flip A Grip – Home

Folding Grab Bar

The Flip A Grip is a must have for folks with difficulty walking and transferring. Consider the benefits and features of this patent pending invention: + Promotes independence! It is a big deal for people to be able to safely get in/out of their homes all by themselves. + Designed by a Physical Therapist to prevent falls
flip and grip grab bar attached to door frame

Flip  A  Grip

+ Non-Slip grip that glows in the dark! + Simple to install and folds easily out of the way. + Made in the USA of sturdy materials that will last in interior or exterior applications. The Flip A Grip meets the ADA strength standards for grab bars and meets ASTM specification 446-85. + The Flip A Grip allows you to push down and pull unlike grab bars which only provide something to pull on. + The Flip A Grip is small enough to fit in spaces where a large grab bar will not work- like doorways. It fits perfectly between your exterior door and screen door.
Source: Flip A Grip - Home
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Doormatic Automatic Door Opener | Drive Medical

Text to Speech Demo

Automatic Door Opener

The Doormatic revolutionizes opening doors. No drilling, no tools, no structural changes to door or door frame Automatically opens and closes internal doors. Easy "tool-free" installation with hook and loop fastener. Battery operated. Simple "push" or "pull" activates the automatic door opener.Easy-to-read menu.Waiting time and speed can be preset.Operates on many different surfaces.Comes with obstacle
automatic door opener attached to base of door

Automatic Door Opener

detection for added safety. Add optional remote control  for those who cannot push or pull door. Add an optional motion sensor  for those who cannot push or pull door and cannot operate remote control. Door opens by breaking the beam. (Can be preset) Source: Doormatic Automatic Door Opener | Drive Medical
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Mini IN Ring | Fully Wearable Electronic Travel Aid
Mini IN Sensor and Haptic Feedback Device

Mini IN

The Mini IN is the only fully wearable ETA (Electronic Travel Aid) that allows you to simply swipe your hand in the air to know in an instant about your environment. Spot obstacles and walk much faster. Range Mini IN is wearable 'Ring' that allows you to sense above the knee obstacles in 3.5 Meters range around you with a single swype in the air by the sense of touch.  The Ring uses Immersion 2200 compliant high definition Haptics to convey Direction, Distance and Speed of the object in the direction the user points the ring.  The very high sensing speeds allow users to literally run freely*.


The Mini IN is true 50Hz. What that means is that the device senses the objects staggering 50 times a second. That helps track the fastest objects including fast moving cars.

Source: Mini IN
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DIY iPad Mini Tripod Mount

Text to Speech

DIY PVC iPad Mini Tripod Mount

Make it yourself tripod mount for an iPod Mini.

Use 4" pvc sewer pipe to create a great iPad Mini tripod mount. Learn to flatten this material , create patterns/templates and heat and shape the stand. Some filing is required.  Does require a T Nut for connecting the base of the stand. iPad mini slides into place.  Fits on a standard tripod or stand that accepts a .25 screw. Source: You2CanDIY
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The Apple Watch will soon track fitness for wheelchair users
Apple Watch and the Wheelchair Exercise Tracker

Apple Watch and the Wheelchair Fitness  Tracker

NEW YORK (AP) — Fitness trackers routinely measure physical activity such as running and cycling and encourage people to stand up and walk around throughout the day. But if you're in a wheelchair, you're out of luck. Apple wants to change that with an upcoming Apple Watch feature announced Monday. Instead of standing breaks, people in wheelchairs will be prompted to wheel or spin their chairs around regularly. Apple will also start tracking distance, speed and calories burned during wheelchair use, just as it does for walking or running. The efforts could give Apple's smartwatch an image boost over stand-alone fitness trackers such as Fitbit, though the target market isn't likely large enough to significantly lift sales. In the first three months of the year, three Fitbits shipped worldwide for every Apple Watch, according to research group IDC. Apple hasn't released sales figures for its watch.
Source: The Apple Watch will soon track fitness for wheelchair users
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Apple TV Accessibility window on iOS tV

Apple TV Accessibility

The new Apple TV was designed with built-in assistive technologies that allow people with disabilities to fully experience television. These powerful yet easy-to-use accessibility features help you spend less time adjusting to your TV and more time enjoying it. For those who are blind or have low vision, the new Apple TV supports a range of features such as VoiceOver, Zoom, and Siri to help you take full advantage of all the entertainment your TV has to offer. VoiceOver The new Apple TV supports VoiceOver, Apple’s screen reader. Available in over 30 languages, VoiceOver tells you exactly what’s on your TV screen and helps you choose commands. The tvOS version incorporates many VoiceOver gestures you’re already familiar with — including flicks, taps, and the rotor — so using it is easy and intuitive. To activate VoiceOver right out of the box, simply triple-click the Menu button and let Apple TV guide you through the initial setup. Zoom Zoom is a built-in magnifier that works anywhere in the new Apple TV. With magnification adjustable up to 15 times the native size, Zoom can help users with a range of vision challenges. Use the Siri Remote to turn on Zoom and navigate through magnified content on the screen. Double-click the Siri button to have the focused content spoken to you while Zoom is on. Bold Text Choose Bold Text to make the text easier to read across elements of the Apple TV interface. Increase Contrast Increase contrast on the screen by reducing the transparency of background elements on Movie and TV Show pages, menu tabs, and more. You can also turn on a high-contrast cursor to better delineate the focused content. Audio Descriptions Watch movies with audio descriptions on Apple TV. Movies that are available to rent or buy with audio descriptions are displayed with the AD icon in the iTunes Store. Also.....
  • Accessibility Shortcut
  • Closed caption and SDH support
  • Touch surface sensitivity
  • Remote app for Switch Control
  • Reduce Motion
  • Siri and Dictation
  • Bluetooth keyboard
Source:  Apple Accessibility for iOSTV
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Microsoft OneNote | New Add-On
Microsoft OneNote with Add-in Text Reader

Microsoft OneNote with Add-in Text Reader

Microsoft recently made a new add-on available for its OneNote software which aims to help students with dyslexia. The add-on works within Microsoft's note taking software and is currently available to download as a beta. Once installed, a new tab appears which gives users the option to read content using text-to-speech or dictate using speech-to-text. While both of the features have been available before it is nice to have a free option that can be used directly within OneNote: an application that many schools and parents already have installed as part of the Microsoft Office suite. The text-to-speech reader mode is called "immersive reading mode" and includes some handy features. When activated the reader fills the entire screen with text from your OneNote notebook. While reading text is highlighted as it is read aloud. Users have the option to change the background color and text size in order to create a more comfortable reading experience. The add-on also includes the ability to highlight nouns, verbs, and adjectives in different colors; a feature that could be helpful for younger students. Microsoft even includes the ability for users to break words up into syllables.
Source: Assistive Technology Blog
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