Devices help the blind cross tech divide

From CNET News.com:

Business is really booming these days, Swerdlick said, as more and more manufacturers are building so-called assistive technology gadgets to address a wide range of special needs groups.

Microsoft, for one, has been taking a hard look at the issue. In addition to numerous studies, the software giant recently released a royalty-free software license called the Microsoft Windows User Interface Automation, which helps modify Microsoft Word, Excel, or third-party applications with screen readers, screen enlargers and other alternative inputs.

Besides Microsoft, other well-known tech companies are also working on assistive technology. Apple Computer, Adobe and IBM have been working on speech recognition and screen enlargement software for their various applications. Apple, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Dell have offered technical support to third-party companies working on assistive technology hardware. The computer makers have also adapted their PCs, laptops and PDAs to include large, recognizable keys and plug-and-play USB ports that support various peripherals.

930Keysusee500X182
.

Posted by rshah on October 05, 2005| Comments (0)


Public procurement contracts should stipulate eAccessibility

From the EU:

Requirements to make information and communication technology (ICT) goods and services accessible to elderly and disabled people should be laid down in public procurement contracts. So say 90% of the 500 respondents (public agencies, ICT goods and service suppliers, universities, business associations and user groups) to the Commission’s January 2005 public consultation on the need for “eAccessiblity” measures (see IP/05/14). Stakeholders also say that EU institutions should take the lead in proposing these measures (88%), that ICT goods and services need to be made more fully interoperable (74%), and that technical requirements should be harmonised within and beyond the EU for this purpose (84%). It is less clear how these requirements should be enforced. Although there is clear support for some form of product certification or a “labelling” scheme (72%), stakeholders are fairly evenly divided on whether this scheme should be voluntary, mandatory, and/or rely on self-certification with checks. Commission proposals will be set out in a Communication scheduled for September 2005.

Posted by rshah on April 25, 2005| Comments (0)


Web design hampers mobile Internet, Berners-Lee says Web design hampers mobile Internet, Berners-Lee says Web design hampers mobile Internet, Berners-Lee says

ComputerWorld:

While a mass market exists for the mobile Internet, it will remain untapped until designers make simpler Web pages that can be viewed properly on handsets, the inventor of the World Wide Web said today.

"Web designers have learned to design for the visually impaired and for other people. They will learn in a few years how to make Web sites available for people with mobile devices, too," Tim Berners-Lee said today at a seminar on the future of the Web. The mobile Internet "will be a huge enabler for the industry ... and for big profits."

Posted by rshah on March 19, 2005| Comments (0)


A New Cellphone Nods to the Needs of the Disabled

A New Cellphone Nods to the Needs of the Disabled
The first of those models, the Toshiba VM4050, became available last week at Sprint PCS retailers. (Toshiba owns part of Audiovox's wireless subsidiary.) One of its tricks is the ability to talk: when this feature is turned on, it tells users in a recorded voice that, say, the battery is low or the phone is in roaming mode.

Posted by rshah on February 14, 2004| Comments (0)


Site has the vision-impaired in mind

Site has the vision-impaired in mind
VisionConnection.org is aiming to become the Yahoo for the 40 million people worldwide who are blind and 140 million who have only partial sight. VisionConnection features large type, legible fonts, reverse contrast and text-only pages for people with partial sight. It is designed specifically so screen readers and magnification software work with it, and it provides links to many sites that are easy to use for those who are vision-impaired or blind.

Posted by rshah on October 20, 2003| Comments (0)


Technology opens books for teenager

Technology opens books for teenager
One way ETTAC helps people with disabilities is by loaning them assistive technology devices. This allows people to try out devices before purchasing and provides them with devices while they are trying to save money to buy their own.

Posted by rshah on October 20, 2003| Comments (0)


National Council on Disability Says Americans with Disabilities Act Applies to Commercial and Other Private Web Sites

National Council on Disability Says Americans with Disabilities Act Applies to Commercial and Other Private Web Sites
But based on all the authorities, the paper reaches the conclusion that the law does clearly contemplate the coverage of the Internet by Title III of the ADA. Finally, the paper explains the practical and economic arguments that should guide those who may be called upon to apply the law, suggesting strategies by which the accessibility principle can be broadly implemented without disruption and with benefit to consumers and business alike.

Posted by rshah on October 06, 2003| Comments (0)


Xerox unveils software for the blind

Xerox unveils software for the blind
Xerox launched digital copier software for the visually impaired and the blind Thursday, a move that expands the company's offerings to people with disabilities and increases its ability to sell into government agencies.

Posted by rshah on March 21, 2003| Comments (0)


Net Widens Phone Options for Deaf

Net Widens Phone Options for Deaf
AT&T recently announced its Video Relay Service, which provides another option for deaf and hearing-impaired people to communicate with those who can hear.Using a PC, webcam and high-speed Internet connection, a deaf person signs in American Sign Language to an interpreter. The interpreter then speaks to the hearing person on the other end of the line.

Posted by rshah on February 04, 2003| Comments (0)


Web consortium captures captioning

Web consortium captures captioning
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) chartered the Timed Text Working Group (TTWG) to come up with a streaming text specification, based on XML (Extensible Markup Language), that will synchronize text with video or audio streamed over the Internet. "Simply put, this is to have a broad standard for captioning on the Web"

Posted by rshah on January 25, 2003| Comments (0)


Text messaging for the blind

Text messaging for the blind
Teenager Mesad Hameed told BT Manager Adam Oliver that not being able to receive text messages left him feeling socially excluded. BTexact has come up with technology that allows users to send text messages to a handheld computer which in turn reads the message to them.

Posted by rshah on January 12, 2003| Comments (0)


Disabilities Act doesn't cover Web

Disabilities Act doesn't cover Web
A federal judge ruled Friday that Southwest Airlines does not have to revamp its Web site to make it more accessible to the blind.

Posted by rshah on October 22, 2002| Comments (0)


'Talking' Tax Forms For Blind Developed

'Talking' Tax Forms For Blind Developed
When blind people complain about their tax return, it is not for the usual reasons. Until now, most federal forms and many reports posted on the Internet -- a growing line of communication between the government and its citizens -- have been out of bounds to the country's 14 million visually impaired.

Posted by rshah on September 12, 2002| Comments (0)


Convention Showcases Devices for Deaf

Convention Showcases Devices for Deaf
Deaf Way II, a largely cultural event that focuses on the experiences of deaf and hearing-impaired people, is also showcasing products such as computer programs for children and implantable medical devices that stimulate hearing nerves.

Posted by rshah on July 24, 2002| Comments (0)


Flash News Flash: It's Accessible

Flash News Flash: It's Accessible
Macromedia Flash designers have a reputation for creating websites that are, well, flashy –- but not friendly to all users. "Most Flash designers are thinking about how to make things cool, not how to make things accessible (to the disabled). That's because in the past, Flash was not good for accessibility," said Chris MacGregor, editor of Flash portal and e-zine Flazoom.

Posted by rshah on April 25, 2002| Comments (0)


Giving Disabled a Voice

Giving Disabled a Voice
Small firms make most of the devices that enable people to speak and use a computer.

Posted by rshah on April 12, 2002| Comments (0)


For Those With a Disability, the Word Made Digital

For Those With a Disability, the Word Made Digital
A Napster-like file sharing site for electronic books has opened online, but it is unlikely to anger the publishing industry the way Napster did music companies. The site, Bookshare.org, already includes scanned copies of "A Beautiful Mind," the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and more than 7,500 other books. Volunteers are scanning hundreds more each month and adding them to the site's database. And it's all designed to be perfectly legal.

Posted by rshah on March 01, 2002| Comments (0)


A More Accessible Web

A More Accessible Web
Companies Assist Agencies in Making Sites Disability-Friendly

Posted by rshah on August 21, 2001| Comments (0)


Questions and Answers About the U.S. Disability Standards for Web Sites

Questions and Answers About the U.S. Disability Standards for Web Sites
This list of questions and answers about the standards is based on an interview of GigaLaw.com founder Doug Isenberg by Andy King, newsletter editor of WebReference.com.

Posted by rshah on June 25, 2001| Comments (0)


Web site accessibility goes mainstream

Web site accessibility goes mainstream
A federal government initiative aimed at making Web sites accessible to people with disabilities is raising awareness of accessibility issues among corporate Web developers and spawning software that helps fix accessibility problems.

Posted by rshah on June 17, 2001| Comments (0)


MAKING FEDERAL WEB SITES FRIENDLY TO DISABLED USERS

MAKING FEDERAL WEB SITES FRIENDLY TO DISABLED USERS
from NY Times

Posted by rshah on June 12, 2001| Comments (0)


Feds Raise Bar for Disabled

Feds Raise Bar for Disabled
A federal law, Section 508, taking effect June 21, 2001 promises to make major commercial hardware and software products, as well as federal government websites, more accessible to users with disabilities. Disability advocates, industry representatives and government officials agree that the law and its approaching deadline have rapidly boosted awareness of accessibility in both the public and private sectors.

Posted by rshah on May 30, 2001| Comments (0)


Collected Works of Cynthia Waddell

Collected Works of Cynthia Waddell
Cynthia Waddell is a well known advocate for fair and equal treatment of people with disabilities under the law. The site includes a collection of papers and resources. Of particular interest is the seminal paper "The Growing Digital Divide in Access for People with Disabilities: Overcoming Barriers to Participation" which was commissioned by the U.S. government for the first national conference on the impact of the digital economy in May 1999.

Posted by rshah on May 30, 2001| Comments (0)


Radiophony

Radiophony
We are piloting a project to make a new speech synthesizer for people challenged by the current computer interfaces, and who are thereby unable to fully leverage the opportunities presented by Internet-type computing and communications.

Posted by rshah on May 29, 2001| Comments (0)


Keep the Disabled in Mind When Building Systems

Keep the Disabled in Mind When Building Systems
There may be no one in your IT shop who is blind, in a wheelchair or otherwise obviously disabled. In fact, if your company isn't very big, there may be no one there with a severe disability. So the whole notion of making IT accessible to people with disabilities may be one you never consider. But you should.

Posted by rshah on May 02, 2001| Comments (0)


Web Sites Slowly Accessible to Disabled

Web Sites Slowly Accessible to Disabled
While the Americans With Disabilities Act compels physical stores to make themselves reasonably accessible to disabled people, courts have not said conclusively whether the law applies to online stores. In the meantime, many e-commerce executives say they have only recently become aware of the needs of the disabled, and have begun to address the situation in a way that will not heap even more economic stress on their companies.

Posted by rshah on January 02, 2001| Comments (0)


New federal rules mandate that virtually all government websites be fully accessible to disabled people

New federal rules mandate that virtually all government websites be fully accessible to disabled people

Posted by rshah on December 22, 2000| Comments (0)


What Internet Companies Must Know about the Americans with Disabilities Act

What Internet Companies Must Know about the Americans with Disabilities Act
Internet companies should be familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) not only to create physical offices that accommodate their disabled employees, but also, perhaps, to create Internet products that accommodate their customers.

Posted by rshah on December 20, 2000| Comments (0)


Bluetooth may help disabled people use printers

Bluetooth may help disabled people use printers

Posted by rshah on December 11, 2000| Comments (0)


Web Closed Captioning Simplified

Web Closed Captioning Simplified
Media Access Generator, nicknamed MAGpie by the National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH-TV in Boston.

Posted by rshah on December 02, 2000| Comments (0)


IBM updates Web software for the visually impaired

IBM updates Web software for the visually impaired
IBM is upgrading its Web browsing software for the blind and visually impaired. The software costs $150.

Posted by rshah on November 03, 2000| Comments (0)


How users with disabilities have pushed high-tech companies to change

How users with disabilities have pushed high-tech companies to change

Posted by rshah on September 13, 2000| Comments (0)


Giving the Disabled Increased E-Access

Giving the Disabled Increased E-Access
Making the Web easier to navigate for people with disabilities has always been a mission for the true believers--a small band of volunteers, motivated by empathy or personal experience rather than business acumen.

Posted by rshah on September 11, 2000| Comments (0)


Locking out the Disabled; web accessability

Locking out the Disabled; web accessability

Posted by rshah on September 08, 2000| Comments (0)


Problems with Australia's Olympic Web Site for the Blind

Problems with Australia's Olympic Web Site for the Blind
See also Slashdot

Posted by rshah on August 28, 2000| Comments (0)


FCC Mandates for deaf phone users and TV services for the blind and deaf

FCC Mandates for deaf phone users and TV services for the blind and deaf

Posted by rshah on August 01, 2000| Comments (0)


AOL Avoids Lawsuit From Blind Users

AOL Avoids Lawsuit From Blind Users
The online giant agrees to make upcoming software accessible to screen-reading programs.

Posted by rshah on July 30, 2000| Comments (0)


Building Curb Cuts on the Information Highway

Building Curb Cuts on the Information Highway
Making the Internet accessible for people with disabilities

Posted by rshah on July 06, 2000| Comments (0)


AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT: LESSONS FOR THE VIRTUAL WORLD

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT: LESSONS FOR THE VIRTUAL WORLD
Speech by FCC Chairman Kennard

Posted by rshah on June 26, 2000| Comments (0)


AOL

AOL
Lawsuit filed against AOL, Slashdot

Posted by rshah on June 24, 2000| Comments (0)


Archimedes Project

Archimedes Project
Stanford's University's research on how to design access for the disabled in computer systems

Posted by rshah on June 24, 2000| Comments (0)


Web Pages

Web Pages
Accessibility Issues in Designing Web Pages

Posted by rshah on June 24, 2000| Comments (0)


Syndicate this site (XML)
rajivshah.com