Kindle Accessibility Improvements: NVDA Screen Reader

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Last year, we brought our VoiceView screen reader to Kindle E-readers. This week, I’m excited to announce our update to the Kindle for PC app, making it easier for visually impaired customers to find and read millions of Kindle books. Customers can now use the popular, open source NVDA screen reader to find and open Kindle books on a Windows PC. Using NVDA, customers can read books by character, word, line, page, and continuously (with pages turning automatically). Customers can highlight text, add notes, perform dictionary and Wikipedia lookups, and copy text to the clipboard. Additionally, readers will experience improved discoverability of various book highlights and notes while reading—these types of annotations will now be spoken in the context of the story versus at the end via one list. NVDA users with an attached braille display can also enjoy Kindle books in braille. Additionally, whenever publishers provide “ALT text” descriptions of images in their books, Kindle for PC now supports them in the screen reader.
Source: About Amazon Blog - Kindle Accessibility Improvements Continue
Posted in Blindness, Learning, Cognition, and Developmental, mobile devices, Visual Impairment | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Liftware Level: A Utensil For for People With Motion-Related Disorders – Assistive Technology Blog

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Liftware Level Spoon

Liftware Level

By now, you must have seen or heard about this new steady spoon/ utensil that lets people with hand tremors eat without spilling and dropping their food. Liftware Level, a new motorized spoon, is designed for people who have limited hand and arm mobility because of Cerebral Palsy, Huntington’s Disease, spinal cord injuries, or post stroke deficits. Thanks to built in sensors, motors and an onboard computer, Level monitors hand tremors and makes sure that the spoon is held at the correct angle, and is steady even when someone’s hand is shaking.

How Does It Work?

Liftware Level has sensors inside of it that monitor hand movement. Whenever changes in the intended hand movement are detected, the sensors direct two built in motors in the handle to bend the flexible grey part of the utensil, thus keeping the attachment, that holds the food at the right angle. urce: Liftware Level: A Utensil For for People With Motion-Related Disorders - Assistive Technology Blog
Posted in Aids for Daily Living | Tagged | Leave a comment blog: Electronic Soup Podcast: Audio Games and How far we’ve come….

Text to Voice
Above I've uploaded the 2010 SpecialEffect electronic soup podcast's to YouTube. The four-parts include audio games and playing with a visual impairment.These were put together by Dark of and myself for the much missed SpecialEffect Accessible GameBase and the Dave Banes Access Collective podcast. There's been some heartening progress since those podcasts, with audio games making it to more platforms, especially so iOS devices. Sony and Microsoft have added some good features to the PS4 and Xbox One. Microsoft have also just announced some helpful software development tools for live text to speech and vice versa for in game communications. Would love to see that expanded to emoticon use too and translated to whatever language you're using. A basic form of Bliss and Esperanto to help people of all kinds communicate.
Source: blog: Electronic Soup Podcast: Audio Games and How far we've come....
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TellMe TV and BluEvo Partner to Launch Worlds First Subscription Video Streaming Service for the Blind – – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – |
TellMe TV Logo

TellMe TV Logo

TellMe TV and BluEvo have launched the world’s first fully described video on-demand service (VOD), delivering an unprecedented selection of rich audio description entertainment experiences to the American vision-loss community. Founded by media connoisseur and accessibility advocate Kevin Shaw, who lost his vision at the age of 19, TellMe TV is an exciting new destination that includes a diverse portfolio of movies, television shows and documentaries where 100 per cent of the on-demand programming features audio description. Partnered with BluEvo, a digital media services and licensing & distribution company, both have worked together to bring the visually impaired community a single location to access movies, documentaries, TV series, and more.
BluEvo  Logo


"We are extremely excited to work with TellMe TV and bring this wonderful service to a community that has not been focused on enough,” says Paulette Pantoja, President of BluEvo. “Our goals for TellMe TV in the next year will be global so that we can further provide compelling experiences for the visually impaired community”.
Source: TellMe TV and BluEvo Partner to Launch Worlds First Subscription Video Streaming Service for the Blind - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |
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VEST vibratory vest  
Can sensory data be fed through unusual sensory channels?  And can the brain learn to extract the meaning of such information streams?
VEST vibratory vest

VEST vibratory vest

Yes and yes. Sensory substitution is a non-invasive technique for circumventing the loss of one sense by feeding its information through another channel. We are leveraging this technique to develop a non-invasive, low-cost vibratory vest to allow those with deafness or severe hearing impairments to perceive auditory information through small vibrations on their torso. The long term goal of our work is to better understand how sensory streams can be re-packaged into atypical sensory channels to restore perception or give new perceptions. Beyond applications for hearing, this research will contribute to a generalized framework for designing devices to send any kinds of information to the brain for sensory processing via atypical sensory modalities. Such a framework will feed both rehabilitative and assistive technologies. Source: Englemanlab
Posted in Blindness, Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment | Tagged | Leave a comment

Eye-Music Concert at the Opera House
Eye-Music Concert at the Opera House: Psykinetic, Jess Irwin and the APQSeptember 4, 2016|PsykineticA true collaboration between Dr Jordan Nguyen with his social business Psykinetic, the Australia Piano Quartet, and new musician Jess Irwin. This innovation was created to allow Jess to play music with her eyes, and even learn to play classical music alongside the Australia Piano Quartet at a sold out Opera House concert. Proudly sponsored by Telstra Foundation and the University of Technology Sydney. Music tool technology by Psykinetic - Dr Jordan Nguyen, Nick Temple, Louise Samios Filming and editing by Minh Nguyen
Source: Eye-Music Concert at the Opera House: Psykinetic, Jess Irwin and the APQ | drjordannguyen
Posted in Recreation and Leisure | Tagged , | Leave a comment

ElBraille: Portable device designed for users who are blind or deaf-blind.
ElBraille computer


The ElBraille is a portable device designed for users who are blind or deaf-blind and want to stay connected at school, work, or home as well as on the go. The twenty-first century, take anywhere replacement for the dedicated notetaker, ElBraille combines the power and flexibility of a modern mainstream computer running the Windows 10 operating system with JAWS and a braille display with a full braille keyboard to offer a fully accessible compact computer. JAWS provides the best screen reader experience with either Eloquence speech output or the highly responsive and life-like Vocalizer Expressive Compact voices as well as full braille output. Type text into documents or perform JAWS and Windows commands right from the braille display’s keyboard using the JAWS BrailleIn feature. Run any Windows application such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Outlook. Use FSReader to read DAISY books from sources such as or browse the internet with microsoft internet explorer or mozilla firefox. elbraille also includes a set of specially designed apps for performing popular actions such as the creation of voice or text notes, listening to audio content, and more.).
Source: ElBraille
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Superflex: Soft Exoskeleton For Elderly That Can Be Worn Like Underwear – Assistive Technology Blog
Superflex Exoskeleton

Superflex Exoskeleton

One third of adults over 65 report difficulty walking three blocks. Mobility is a serious concern for the aging population which stems from the fact that other physical ailments and issues force them to stay at home, leading to loss of freedom, increased depression, and risks of getting other diseases like diabetes.To cater to that population, SRI International is designing an exoskeleton that can be worn like an undergarment.
Penguin tipping his hat

Thanks to the Assistive Technology Blog for the Tip!

This soft exoskeleton, weighing four pounds, wraps around the user’s core, and provides another set of mechanical muscles that can help elderly sit, stand, and even walk. An in built computer makes sure that the flexing happens along with the real muscles to supplement the energy generated by them. The first version of this suit may require it to be charged once a day.
Source: Superflex: Soft Exoskeleton For Elderly That Can Be Worn Like Underwear - Assistive Technology Blog
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BrainPort: Technology That Lets Blind People See With Their Tongue – Assistive Technology Blog


What is the extent assistive technology can go to in order to provide solutions? Emily Gossiaux was hit by a truck (18 wheeler) a few years ago because of which she lost her vision. Being a visual artist, she had to come with new ways to draw, and continue to be an artist. One day, she received a phone call from the Lighthouse School in New York. Someone called Ed wanted her to try a new experimental technology called BrainPort that the school had been working on, that would help her see again…with her tongue. Basically, BrainPort consists of sunglasses with a front camera, and a wire that is attached to a postage sized piece made of titanium. This little piece, consisting of several electrodes is placed on the tongue. The images captured by the camera are sent to this little piece where they are converted to electric signals, and ultimately sent to the brain so the person could see!

Radiolab Podcast

Source: BrainPort: Technology That Lets Blind People See With Their Tongue - Assistive Technology Blog
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TippyTalk – Tippy Talk
The TippyTalk is an enhanced AAC (communication) platform that removes the person living with the verbal disability from the frustration. Isolation and limitation of same room communication and opens the door to the world around them. How it works Our solution allows a person living with a verbal disability to communicate by translating customized pictures into personalized text messages, which are then sent to a family member or care givers phone or tablet. TippyTalk allows you the parent or caregiver to capture images that are uniquely identifiable and familiar to the person living with the verbal disability. You simply take a picture of an object, place, or person and apply the appropriate text. You can also reinforce language development by recording your voice over each picture insuring the person living with the disability will recognize and understand the message. This communication is not restricted by distance the person living with the verbal disability can communicate with whomever they chose no matter where they may be in the world. TippyTalk is unique in that it removes the person with the verbal disability from the limitations of same room communication and by doing so increases and promotes Communication, Independent choice, and provides a platform for Social inclusion, while also reducing the frustration for the person and the entire support network. No two TippyTalkers will be the same, each unit is extremely user friendly and simply to program. Putting the control back into the hands of the parent/caregiver, after all no one knows their loved ones better than you do.
Source: TippyTalk - Tippy Talk
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