Posts Tagged ‘assistive technology’

Glendale library upgrades aid visually impaired readers

By Rebekah L. Sanders © The Arizona Republic, Phoenix — John Bolton can surf  web pages, read emails and search the Glendale book catalogue at his job now because city libraries have set up new computer programs to help the visually impaired. The front desk clerk at Glendale Main Library has trouble seeing normal computer screens due to a degenerative eye disease that reduces his field of vision. But the new technology means the struggle to read small text and find elusive mouse cursors is behind him. Bolton and other library users with sight problems are getting help from the recently installed software programs – JAWS, MAGic and ZoomText – that magnify the screen, read text aloud and use keyboard shortcuts instead of a mouse to direct the computer…. READ ARTICLE

Experience the Future of Assistive Technology at Abilities Expo November 6-8

PRNewswire, ATLANTA — The cutting-edge of assistive technology–including both commercially available and next-generation AT products–will be showcased at the Assistive Technology Pavilion at Abilities Expo (www.abilitiesexpo.com/atlanta) on November 6-8, 2009 at the Cobb Galleria Convention Center. Thousands of people with disabilities, their families, caregivers and healthcare professionals are expected to attend this free, three-day expo and conference for a taste of the latest technologies, techniques and tips for improving their physical, technological and social environs. The following products–many of which are still in development–will impact people of all ages with a wide range of physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities…. Auditory Menus and Deaf911 Phone: Exciting demonstrations of experimental technology currently under development for people with visual and manual limitations (Auditory Menus) and hearing loss (Deaf911 Phone; Robotics technology: Displays on robots that retrieve and deliver objects using a laser pointer. Visit www.abilitiesexpo.com/atlanta/pavillions.html for more.

NEW KINDLE MAY ASSIST SOME VISUALLY IMPAIRED

By Karen Meyer © WLS-TV, Chicago — The next wave of textbooks will be downloadable and easy to carry. This summer Kindle DX came out with adaptable textbooks for everyone, including people with visual impairment. From experts in the field of adaptive technology for people who are blind and visually impaired, the reviews of Kindle DX are mixed. They hope improvements are made to accommodate different levels of vision impairments. Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka provides educational services to people who are blind and visually impaired all around the world. Students don’t come to school, they are taught by phone and computers using standard textbooks. A device like Kindle DX would be ideal, says Andre Lukatsky, director of computer services…. READ ARTICLE

Tech advances open doors to visual and hearing impaired students

By Bree Tracey © MedIll Reports, Northwestern University, Chicago — Students who have vision and hearing problems are finding that advances in technology are opening educational opportunities for them that were never before imaginable. Josie Whetstone, the marketing and media specialist at the Hadley School for the Blind in Wilmette, said the school helps students understand the different types of technology available to them and learn how popular computer software programs can help them…. READ ARTICLE

A Burst of Technology, Helping the Blind to See

By Pam Belluck © International Herald Tribune — Blindness first began creeping up on Barbara Campbell when she was a teenager, and by her late 30s, her eye disease had stolen what was left of her sight. Reliant on a talking computer for reading and a cane for navigating New York City, where she lives and works, Ms. Campbell, now 56, would have been thrilled to see something. Anything. Now, as part of a striking experiment, she can. So far, she can detect burners on her stove when making a grilled cheese, her mirror frame, and whether her computer monitor is on…. READ ARTICLE

How Tech for the Disabled Is Going Mainstream

By Reena Jana © Businessweek — Apple is widely celebrated for making devices as easy to use as they are elegantly designed. What customers probably don’t know is that some of these features aren’t exactly new—they evolved from software Apple created to help disabled people use PCs. Among them: the new iPhone’s voice control option, which allows users to speak to their handsets to prompt an action, such as calling Mom, or to get a spoken answer to such questions as “What song is playing?” And “mainstreaming” tools for the disabled is spreading. Software developer Nuance Communications, for instance, invented voice command technology to help people who are unable to type on a computer. Today, the company’s algorithms are used in products ranging from Amazon.com’s latest Kindle e-reader to cars from Ford Motor…. READ ARTICLE