First accessible U.S. currency note should debut in 2020


http://www.ispeech.org/text.to.speech
Individual evaluating Accessible-Currency-Blog-Photo

Accessible Currency

Americans with visual impairments who are waiting for accessible U.S. currency will have to wait a little longer, reports Perkins Library Director Kim Charlson. It will be another five years before the Treasury Department is ready to distribute the first currency note with tactile features, said Charlson after returning from the annual conference of the American Council of the Blind (ACB).“They’re on a timeline for a rollout in 2020,” she said. “The $10 bill is going to be the first bill that comes out with a tactile feature, and as they redesign the other currency notes, they’ll roll them out one at a time.”
Source: First accessible U.S. currency note should debut in 2020 | Perkins.org
Posted in Blindness, Visual Impairment | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Dot Braille Device for Smartphones


http://www.ispeech.org
The Dot Braille Device

The Dot Braille Device

Until now, visually impaired smartphone users have had to rely on Siri and other readers to find their way around the Internet and digital world, but a new device in development in South Korea may change their experience completely by instantly turning text messages and other information into braille.The Dot, a device that straps around the wrist like a watch, uses magnets and a grid of pins to create four braille characters at a time that change at adjustable speeds, allowing users to read text messages and use apps on any device via Bluetooth.Eric Ju Yoon Kim, co-founder and CEO of startup Dot, told Tech in Asia he hopes his company’s innovation will free blind people to interact with their devices on their own terms. “Until now, if you got a message on iOS from your girlfriend, for example, you had to listen to Siri read it to you in that voice, which is impersonal,” he said. “Wouldn’t you rather read it yourself and hear your girlfriend’s voice saying it in your head?”That kind of technology is not groundbreaking, but transferring it to a mobile device certainly is — just like the price: computers using so-called “active Braille technology” can cost $3,000, while Kim says that when the watch arrives in the U.S. this December it will sell for less than $300.
Source: This New Watch Lets Blind People Read Real-Time Smartphone Data in Braille | TIME
Posted in Blindness, Uncategorized, Visual Impairment | Tagged | Leave a comment

KeyMouse | Gaming Device or an Ergonomics Solution


Convert Text to Speech
Gaming Device or an ergonomics solution? You decide. KeyMouse Well my personal gaming experience is about to jump to a whole new level! High Speed Bluetooth 3.0 for wireless.  Additional USB interface also for lower latency and battery charging. High Resolution Laser Mouse Sensor under both the left and right KeyMouse. Resolution up to 3,200 cpi. Mechanical key switches (Cherry MX brown). Backlit keys. The KeyMouse® also includes software with lots of cool features to enhance the user experience even further. The software is fully customizable and can be set up with many different profiles to easily switch between saved key layouts.
Source: KeyMouse
Posted in Computers and Related | Leave a comment

Increasing Wheelchair Accessible Taxis in DC


http://www.ispeech.org
A taxi reform law that the D.C. Council passed in 2012 set new goals to boost the number of wheelchair accessible taxis in the city, where 20 percent, or approximately 130,000 people have a disability,  according to the DC Office of Disability Rights. Under the regulations, taxi companies with 20 or more taxicabs in their fleet were required to dedicate a portion of their fleet to wheelchair accessible taxis: 6 percent by Dec. 31, 2014; 12 percent by Dec. 31, 2016; and 20 percent by Dec. 31, 2018. The D.C. Taxicab Commission is offering grants of up to 7, 500 to offset costs associated with the purchase of a new accessible taxi.
Source: What D.C. is doing to grow the number of wheelchair-accessible cabs
Posted in Vehicle Modification | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Glove Solution | Virginia Dept. for Aging and Rehab Services


http://www.ispeech.org/text.to.speech
Tom Rybak, a Rehabilitation Engineer from the Virginia Dept. for Aging & Rehab Services in Richmond, Virginia, shared this glove solution with NCATP.
This is an elegant design with no moving parts. It is an open wire loop mounted to vertical posts & a stable base, which may need to be clamped or heavily weighted.
wire glove jig with weighted base

Glove Solution | VA | Part 1

The user needs to be able to take a glove & stretch the cuff over the loop. It can be done all at once if you have the finger strength, or can be done in three steps, fold the cuff over each of the 2 corners where the loop wire is bent down & attaches to the vertical posts & then finally stretch the cuff over the closed part of the loop. It also may require some practice depending on the user.
Glove stretched over wire - side view

Glove Solution | VA | Part 2

Since I made this jig, I have been working on some refinements to improve consistency. We found that it requires a little practice to make sure the glove thumb faces the open side of the loop & sometimes if you put the cuff on too deep the glove can get a bit tangled. I am working on adding some plastic guides that help reduce that problem.
Glove stretch over wire - top view

Glove Solution | VA | Part 3

The smaller the user’s hand & larger gloves make it much easier. The size of the loop is important. Too large & it is hard to get the glove onto it. Too small & it is harder to get your hand into it.
hand in glove solution

Glove Solution | VA | Part 4

Of course, having dry hands in helpful. Some gloves come out of the box tightly squashed together making it harder to get your hand into it. Shaking the glove before putting it on the loop sometimes helps. Blowing into them can be helpful but can also introduce moisture from one’s breath making the rubber stick to your hands. You are welcome to use or share this design. It was developed here by John Allen staff OT, Ronnie Childs fabricator, & myself in Richmond, Va at DARS Rehab Engineering. I am also working with 2 VCU students, seniors in Bio Medical Engineering to build a dynamic glove jig that will assist the user by stretching the glove cuff open to make placing the glove on the jig faster & easier as well as getting your hand in since it can stretch the opening wider than most users could do with one hand. For additional information on this fabrication contact Tom Rybak via email -  Tom.Rybak@dars.virginia.gov. Virginia Dept for Aging and Rehabilitation Services
Posted in workplace | Tagged | 2 Comments

Portable Safety Pendant – VTech® Cordless Phones


http://www.ispeech.org
Portable Safety Pendant Phone - SN6197

Portable Safety Pendant Phone

Portable Safety Pendant Everyday conversations and emergency calls are just a speed-dial button away. Wear it around your neck or clipped to your waistband for the most mobility at home. No monthly monitoring fees No monthly monitoring fees, installation costs or contracts. Call for helpOne-botton or voice-activated dialing—no third parties required. Caller ID Announce1Always know who's calling, even when you're in the other room. All devices announce the names of your callers through the speakerphones. Audio AssistNeed more help hearing what's being said? Use Audio Assist to temporarily boost up the volume while you're on a call or listening to your messages. Photo DialNever forget whose number is whose. Program four frequently dialed phone numbers and attach a photo to each one for convenient speed dialing.
Source: SN6197 - VTech® Cordless Phones
Posted in Telephone Communication | Tagged | Leave a comment

OpenAIR 2015 | Web Accessibility Challenge


TTS Demo
OpenAir Cartoon Heros

OpenAir Heros

REAL HEROES SOLVE REAL CHALLENGES KNOWBILITY’S 18th ANNUAL OPENAIR COMPETITION OpenAIR is a global web accessibility challenge that pairs teams of web developers and designers with non-profits looking to create a new website. OpenAIR increases awareness of the tools and techniques that make the Internet accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities, by training the developers and designers in […]
Source: OpenAIR 2015 - Open AIR
Posted in Computers and Related, Web Accessibility | Tagged | Leave a comment

Smart Ear for Deaf People | Detecting a Wide Range of Sounds


http://www.ispeech.org
Braci has developed a solution which is capable of detecting a wide range of sounds (both indoor and outdoor) such as smoke alarms, doorbells, babies crying, car horns and more. These sounds are then pushed as easily understood notifications through a smart device and vibration bracelet. Elevator Pitch:Unique algorithm for smartphones, which detects a wide range of sounds such as smoke alarms, doorbells, baby crying, car horns and more. The App is connected with the Pebble Watch and Android Wear to get better alerts. Product/Service description:Braci contains of two main parts: The software, which is on smartphone, and the wearable device (Pebble Watch & Android Wear). The core part is the algorithm on smart phone which listens and recognizes the sounds in the environment. The Braci App comes with 1000 pre-installed sounds of emergencies and thus allows deaf people to live safer and easier.
Source: Braci
Posted in Deafness, Hearing Impairment | Tagged | Leave a comment

Super Braille Keyboard


Text to Speech
The Super Braille Keyboard is the most advanced keyboard of its kind. What allows it to be so exceptional is it’s implementation of Ergonomic Motion Detection© technology. EMD© provides invisible, cutting-edge motion detection as well as an easy to use interface. It's ability to process multi-gesture based commands, makes the Super Braille Keyboard a pioneer application. In order to type, the user simply uses their fingertips, typing Braille as they normally would. By selecting the text input field they wish to use, red circles called “Hot Zones” will appear under each individual fingertip of the user. These “Hot Zones” are continuously calibrating the keyboard to the user’s fingertips according to the user’s on-screen movements.  Now a Braille typist never has to worry about finding their place or making typing errors ever again.
 
Cricket tipping his hat

Congrats to a winner of the AT&T NYU Connect Ability Challenge

  Source: Super Braille Keyboard in the Google Play Store
Posted in Blindness, Computers and Related, Visual Impairment | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Sixth Digit Worn Like a Ring | For Those with Limited or No Use of Fingers


TTS
Sixth Digit Stylus

Sixth Digit Stylus

One of the impairments of being a quadriplegic is limited or no use of our fingers. This presents a challenge when typing on the computer, using a touchscreen enabled device, or simply pressing a button on a microwave, stove, etc. The Sixth Digit is unique as it is stylish and sleek and gives the user freedom to perform other tasks while wearing it. It is designed to also allow the user to push their manual wheelchair without removing it. In some ways the Sixth Digit is a better finger because it’s made of steel (hey, you can’t burn that). It doesn’t move, granted, but it’s little, short and worn on the outside of the hand, helping with tasks like typing, answering the phone, hitting dials on the microwave or stove and anything else you can dream of. You can also wear it while pushing your manual chair as it doesn’t get in the way because it’s not that long. https://d2pq0u4uni88oo.cloudfront.net/assets/003/450/807/736f7f5a3598ddbaadfb4b6d8ac54c22_h264_high.mp4
Source: Handizap
Posted in Computers and Related, Telephone Communication | Tagged | Leave a comment