Agents of change, not recipients of change

Decorative partial screenshot of It's Our Story website

Accessibility isn't about accommodations, its about being able to participate in shaping our society. It's Our Story champions that notion: In using the IOS content to develop media accessibility tutorials and best practices, two critical milestones are met. A people’s history is archived by incorporating 21st Century workforce readiness skills in making the Internet “Accessible to …

First bilingual voice for AAC

iPad user with proloquo2go

AssistiveWare released version 1.1 of their Proloquo4Text AAC app for iOS which adds the first ever bilingual American Spanish voices. The same voice is used in speaking both languages, allowing bilingual users to maintain voice identity. Voice identity is important developmentally for younger users and Proloquo4Text's two child voices (Emilio and Valeria) are particularly welcome. …

CSUN 2013

More than a third of the sessions are focused on accessibility on the web. Clearly people and institutions are waking up to this important need. In a session on 3rd party apps and VoiceOver. The bug issue is that developers are not doing the minimal accessibility steps as they develop the apps. Pity.

It’s not just Assistive it is Appropriate Technology

The NATRC has championed the idea that AT users need to have access to the appropriate technology not the cheapest. This idea has been embraced by more and more people, especially by the modern workplace. Appropriate Technology gets people involved and active in the modern world, socially and economically. The unemployment rate last year was …

White House Announces Audio Descriptions for Public Tours

Great move. However, I wonder if it would be better if the tours were made available online for individual's to use on their own devices. Many visually impaired users are using smart devices (especially the iPhone with its built-in screen reader). This would also make it great for self guided tour for people with out …

Skill Building Apps

composit of app screenshots

The NATRC has recently added three new iPad apps from BinaryLabs, Inc. that help children and adults with fine motor skills, letter reversing, and spatial reasoning. 1. Dexteria - Fine Motor Skill Development Dexteria is a set of therapeutic hand exercises (not games) that improve fine motor skills and handwriting readiness in children and adults. Dexteria’s …

Guided Access: The Basics

With Apple's recent update to iOS 6, Guided Access is one of the new features for accessibility and learning on iDevices. iOS 6 comes with even more features to make it easier for people with vision, hearing, learning, and mobility disabilities to get the most from their iOS devices. Guided Access helps students with disabilities …

The impact of assistive technology on young children with disabilities

Assistive technology can be a great resource for young children with disabilities who are developing language and literacy skills. The Center for Early Literacy Learning recently published this study to demonstrate just how beneficial assistive technology can be:. The effectiveness of different types of assistive technology for promoting the early communication and literacy abilities of …

Networked lightbulb

Aside from bad jokes about "how many networks does it take to change a light tbulb?", the implications of networking and comodifying devices, like lightblulbs has important implications for accessibility and Assistive technology. World's first networked dimmable light bulb Energy-saving, 8W LED bulb shines as brightly as a 60W incandescent bulb Software configurable: link to …

Using Siri to select words and start a car

As in an ear lie post, Getting Siri to work with a radio thermostat, this article highlights the potential applications, such as searching and choosing a word. The ability to open locked doors, close the binds and control heating and cooling (environmental controls) will enable more individuals to operate independently. The consumerization of these technologies will …

How medical apps are changing diagnoses and treatments

Striking a balance between the issues of professional experience and immediate needs is an increasingly important issue in the adoption/delivery of Assistive Technology. I’m excited about the potential of new health apps like Bant and Proloquo2go. Tools that improve doctor patient communication and empower patients are fantastic. But I’m a little wary of the robo-doc …