FeelingTalk | Reading and Understanding Facial Expressions


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FeelingTalk:

Helping children with autism recognize and understand emotions

Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) struggle with reading and understanding other people’s facial expressions and underlying emotions, making it very difficult for them to build social competence and have meaningful interactions with others. FeelingTalk seeks to incorporate learning mechanics and game features that directly coincide with autistic brain function to help children with ASD recognize and understand emotions. The FeelingTalk app also provides parents of ASD children a platform and empowers them to play with their child and practice social emotional skills together at home. FeelingTalk incorporates learning mechanics and game features that directly coincide with autistic brain functions to help children with ASD learn to identify and understand emotions. FeelingTalk also provides parents a platform to play and work with their child to build social emotional skills together.
Source: FeelingTalk
Posted in Communication, Special Education Technology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Smartphones & Bluetooth Beacons Make It Easy For Blind People To Catch Buses


http://www.ispeech.org/text.to.speech
BLE Beacon System illustration

BLE Beacon System

The city of Strasbourg is ready to make catching buses much easier for blind people. The buses will be equipped with BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacons that will interact with the transport app on the blind commuter's phone. As a bus approaches  the bus stop, the beacon will "wake up" the phone app and transmit the bus information - route number, direction, arrival time, to the phone which will be immediately vocalized by the phone app so the blind person could hear it. ("Line 19, direction Arago, arrives in five seconds,") This becomes especially important when a bus stop services multiple bus routes going in different directions. The audio notification is translated in the language that's set on the user's phone.This system was tested over a six week period in November 2015 with 12 buses. After a lot of positive feedback from local associations for the disabled, this system is now ready to be deployed for daily use.
man tipping hat animation

Thanks to Assistive Technology Blog for the tip!

Source: Assistive Technology Blog: Smartphones & Bluetooth Beacons Make It Easy For Blind People To Catch Buses
Posted in Blindness, Visual Impairment | Tagged | Leave a comment

Accessibyte Arcade: An accessible computer games suite.


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Accessibyte Arcade: An accessible computer games suite.

What is Accessibyte Arcade?

Accessibyte Arcade is a collection of 9 fun, interactive and accessible games.  Each game is designed from the ground up to be visually, audibly and cognitively accessible to a wide spectrum of players. This is done through simple navigation, clean visuals and complete audio prompting. Accessible and approachable, Accessibyte Arcade is fun for everyone!

What games are included?

Canteen Logo Image
 Manage your own canteen stand at camp! How much money can you make?
Samurai Logo Image
 Hone your patience and reflex to that of a samurai!
Crazy Phrase Logo Image
 User your computer keyboard to make music!
Crazy Phrase Logo Image
 Answer FutureBot’s questions to calculate your wacky future!
Crazy Phrase Logo Image
 An tactical battle game focused on skill and strategy!
Crazy Phrase Logo Image
 Create your own custom stories or choose from many that are provided.
Echo Logo Image
 A timeless test of mental skill with an accessible presentation.
Hangman Logo Image
 The classic game in accessible format!
Radio Logo Image
 Fight back the static before it’s too late!
Accessibility logo image

Accessibility Included

 Accessibyte Arcade is an all-inclusive accessible program. No outside accessibility software is required!
  • Windows operating system.
  • An internet connection for initial installation and registration.
  • Optional: Accessibyte Arcade can use other SAPI TTS voices installed on your computer. Additional voices can be purchased from various vendors online. If you’re unsure about other voices, don’t worry. All modern builds of Windows include default voices which can be used.
Source: Accessibyte Arcade: An accessible computer games suite.
Posted in Recreation and Leisure | Tagged | Leave a comment

Stem cell-based cartilage could fix your broken hip


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Stem Cell Cartilage

3D Scaffold | Stem Cell Cartilage

Doctors want to 3D print transplantable organs from your own stem cells, but now they might be able to replace a bum hip, too. A team of scientists in St. Louis and Durham used stem cells to grow cartilage on a 3D "scaffold" that can be molded into the exact shape of a patient's hip joint. It could then be implanted onto the surface of the bone, replacing the regular cartilage that acts as a "lubricant" for the ball and socket-style joint. Since it would be made from your own stem cells, there's no chance of rejection.
The 3D scaffold is made from a woven material that can bear up to 10 times a patient's weight, letting them to exercise and otherwise live normally. It can even solve the original cause of the program, which is usually osteoarthritis. Using gene therapy, they genetically programmed the joint to release anti-inflammatory molecules on demand to keep the arthritis at bay. "Our hope is to prevent, or at least delay, a standard metal and plastic prosthetic joint replacement," says Washington University Professor Farshid Guilak.
Source: Stem cell-based cartilage could fix your broken hip
Posted in Computers and Related, Fabrication | Tagged | Leave a comment

SuperKeys Assistive Keyboard


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SuperKeys provides a new, accessible keyboard for people with mild to moderate physical challenges and those with low vision. There’s no double-tapping and no scanning – just large, clear target areas to use in your own time. There’s even a shortcuts keyboard where you can enter whole customizable phrases with a single tap.Just seven keys instead of 30+The unique design of SuperKeys gives you just seven large keys to target instead of more than 30 small ones!
Just tap the cluster containing the letter you want, and then tap the letter in the enlarged cluster. There’s no double-tapping, no essential swiping, and no learning required.Intelligent word prediction. You will rarely have to type a complete word because SuperKeys includes our word predictor, developed over 10 years to minimize your key presses. The suggestions are displayed on large buttons to make selection easy, and up to four suggestions are shown.
Source: SuperKeys Assistive Keyboard
Posted in Alternative and Augmentative Communication | Tagged | Leave a comment

This Device Converts Any Manual Wheelchair Into a Power Chair


Text to Speech
The indieGo is an add-on power device built to be compatible with any existing wheelchair and aimed at portability, accessibility and affordability.
And now, thanks to partnerships with the Center’s assistive technologies department and theHurleyville Maker’s Lab, and a $1.125 million grant from Google.org’s Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities, the indieGo is becoming a reality. It’s currently being tested among residents at The Center for Discovery and is slated to be available to the public in late 2017. “Whether the user uses a joystick or access switches, has a folding wheelchair or rigid wheelchair, the indieGo is designed to accommodate as many people as possible,” marketing lead Jason Kean told The Mighty. “We also understand the intricacies of having a device fit into someone’s life; that’s why we are designing indieGo to be highly portable so it can be easily placed in the trunk of a car or carried up a flight of steps.”
Source: This Device Converts Any Manual Wheelchair Into a Power Chair
Posted in Seating and Mobility | Tagged | Leave a comment

Skin into a Touch Screen | Artificial Electronic Skin


Text to Speech
Cell phone interface on a user's arm

Electronic Skin

07Technology can be awkward. Our pockets are weighed down with ever-larger smartphones that are a pain to pull out when we’re in a rush. And attempts to make our devices more easily accessible with smart watches have so far fallen flat. But what if a part of your body could become your computer, with a screen on your arm and maybe even a direct link to your brain?

Circet Bracelet wearable TechCircet Bracelet

Artificial electronic skin (e-skin) could one day make this a possibility. Researchers are developing flexible, bendable and even stretchable electronic circuits that can be applied directly to the skin. As well as turning your skin into a touchscreen, this could also help replace feeling if you’ve suffered burns or problems with your nervous system. The simplest version of this technology is essentially an electronic tattoo. In 2004, researchers in the US and Japan unveiled a pressure sensor circuit made from pre-stretched thinned silicon strips that could be applied to the forearm. But inorganic materials such as silicon are rigid and the skin is flexible and stretchy. So researchers are now looking to electronic circuits made from organic materials (usually special plastics or forms of carbon such as graphene that conduct electricity) as the basis of e-skin.
Source: New technology could turn your skin into a touch screen
Posted in Computers and Related, Health Information Technology, mobile devices | Tagged | Leave a comment

One Switch – iOS: Easier Switch Access


TTS
Guided Access and Switch Recipes
These two features available as standard in iPads and iPhones (iOS9 onwards) can make all kinds of things easier for all types of users. You can try them even if you don't own a switch. This PDF download can help you get set-up straight away: iOS Switch Recipes for Beginners.1. Guided Access: This feature enables you to lock a user within a single app and shield off parts of the screen that may get them lost in menus. It features a timer for shared or controlled use too. Video used with permission by Ian Bean.2. Switch Recipes: Enable you to repeatedly trigger an action on the screen. Really useful for taking timed photos, playing some games, turning pages in an electronic book and so on. Video used with permission from Ian Bean.3.
Accessibility Shortcut
This allows you to stop and start the above modes by triple-clicking the Home button (once set up).4. Apps that are great for one-switch recipes: Looking through photos or the pages of a book (use the default Turn Pages recipe). Taking lots of photos with no need to use complex switch menus (you'll need two custom recipes, one for portrait photos and one for landscape, as the on-screen "take photo" button changes position). Games. Music. Sensory activities and much more....Switch Hardware: Some excellent iOS switch interface and switches can be found at Inclusive Technology, Pretorian Technologies (I've been using their very nice iSwitch) and AbleNet.Creating a Basic One Switch Accessible iOS Game: The absolute basics are to make it compatible with the "Tap Middle of Screen" recipe to start, play and restart. Remember there's no such thing as too easy for some players. Make the difference between pressing the switch and not pressing the switch very clear to distinguish. Make it fun for a broad audience!For more help, see Ian Bean's Switch Recipes in iOS9 and Guided Access guides and AbleNet's Switch Control - The Missing Guide. You may be interested to view this plea to Apple video which they clearly listenend to. Thanks Apple!
Source: One Switch - iOS: Easier Switch Access
Posted in Computers and Related, mobile devices | Tagged | 2 Comments

Accessibility in the workplace – a competitive edge


http://www.ispeech.org
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 | gpii.net


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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 | gpii.net
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