Earlier this year, Future Tense asked experts: “Will technology put an end to disability?” This video captures a wide-ranging discussion on advances in robotics and neurotechnology which could challenge the world’s definition of “disabled.”
In this Wired blog, Paul Kotler points out that technology improvements aren’t always improvements for those with disabilities. That may be changing as more companies take an interest in designing for people living with disabilities. Read more.
AT&T’s latest app challenge, done in partnership with NYU’s Assistive Technology and Ability Lab, offers $100,000 to developers who create new apps or devices specifically aimed at aiding those with disabilities. Submissions will be due at the beginning of July, and AT&T will announce the winner on July 26, the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Read more.
Deaf culture is unique in that it is not usually inherited– it is shared and passed down. Though implants have been lauded for their technological achievements, by helping deaf children hear, parents are essentially cutting them off from experiencing this vibrant culture. Read more on Medium.
One thing Apple likely didn’t expect when it released its iPhone technology is how it positively impacts people with autism. Plusnet, a British internet service provider, describes how Siri, the ultimate virtual personal assistant, presents information from queries in such a digestible way that can help people with autism process that material more easily. Read more.
A new app uses real-time captioning on a phone to make group conversations between deaf and hearing possible. Using speech recognition technology, Transcence gives deaf people a chance to “hear” again by translating speech into written words while multiple people are talking at once. Read more
Researchers at the University of Queensland are using computer modeling to simulate and predict the most effective ways to improve cerebral palsy patients’ muscle function and help them walk and move more easily. Read more
The best web sites for vision-, hearing- and motion-impaired users have been announced by 7-123 Software. The Salem, Mass. software company released its seventh annual winners list on March 31. The web sites were reviewed to recognize noteworthy contributions to the accessible gaming community. Read the list here.
With more and more people turning to their computers instead of television to watch video, Congress has acted to require closed captions on Internet videos for the millions of Americans with hearing impairments.
Closed captioning has long been required for feature films and broadcast television, but such laws did not account for the digital revolution. That has meant spotty accessibility on the Web for the estimated 38 million Americans – 12 percent of the population – who are hearing impaired.
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 requires any video that is closed captioned for television to also be captioned when made available online. The Federal Communications Commission also has issued a series of deadlines for archived TV footage already edited for the Internet to be captioned. The first deadline is March 30, 2014.
To help those companies and individuals seeking to comply with the new FCC rules, the National Center on Disability and Journalism surveyed the various services available and compiled a list of resources on Web video captioning as well as a summary of the rules and deadlines for compliance.
A team of researchers and scientists in Japan took a different approach to creating a new prosthesis. The “Trans-Radial Prosthesis With Three Opposed Fingers” does not resemble a human hand as many other prosthetics attempt to do. Instead it only has three digits, which the creators say will make it easier for the user to wear and cuts down on cost. Read more.