Headline News

Japanese healthcare robot RIBA II lifts patients from bed to wheelchair

Asia-Pacific, August 18 2011

RIBA-II, the next generation Japanese healthcare robot developed by researchers at RIKEN and Tokai Rubber Industries (TRI), a Japanese government-run research body that surveyed nursing homes to find that lifting patients was the most tiring thing for workers, carried out an average of 40 times every day. RIBA II robot… Continue Reading »

Marvel launches DAREDEVIL audiobook with visually impaired fans in mind

Americas, August 18 2011

Marvel has just announced that its superhero Daredevil – aka blind attorney Matt Murdock, is coming to fans in audio form. The Man Without Fear is now also The Man With an Audiobook. Daredevil #1 Audio Edition was the braindchild of Marvel senior editor Steve Wacker, who says he and… Continue Reading »

Odeon cinema in Aylesbury wins praise for disability access

Europe, August 17 2011

Aylesbury, UK: The Odeon cinema in Aylesbury has been praised by disability campaigners for offering easy access by wheelchair and good, comfortable views. Twins Judith and Laura Merry, from Worminghall, are members of the young disabled campaigners’ group Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s Trailblazers, which visited 125 cinemas to report on issues… Continue Reading »

ACB and Google conduct survey to better understand computer usage and assistive technology patterns in blind community

Americas, August 17 2011

Arlington, Va.: The American Council of the Blind (ACB) announced it will be working with Google Inc. to survey blind, and deaf-blind people to better understand how they use computers and assistive technology to access information. “Having access to information through the use of accessible technology is paramount in this day… Continue Reading »

Saipan Governor creates new office for accessible public transportation

Americas, August 17 2011

Saipan: Gov. Benigno R. Fitial established last week a new office within the Office of the Governor to develop a viable public transportation system as mandated by a law he signed in May-a move which will also result in the abolition of the Office of Disability Policy and Programs by… Continue Reading »

Young people in Ghana advocate for improved education, accessibility for disabled people

Africa, August 17 2011

Accra, Ghana: Young people in Ghana are advocating for more rights for disabled people.  Local youths gathered at the Fifth African Forum on Blindness in Ghana last month and also attended the African Youth with Disabilities Convening in Kenya earlier this year. The government and nongovernmental organizations here have implemented… Continue Reading »

Livescribe SmartPen helps students with physical and learning disabilities

Americas, August 17 2011

When the UC Berkeley Disabled Students Program started a pilot test providing Livescribe computerized pens to students with learning disabilities, I School students volunteered to evaluate whether the pens could improve student learning and substitute for companion notetakers. “Initially, the DSP was hoping that the use of the pen would lessen… Continue Reading »

Auckland theatres provide accessible services for people with disabilities

Asia-Pacific, August 17 2011

Auckland, NZ: Through technology and some more traditional techniques, the world of live theatre is opening up to a whole new audience. The Edge, who run the Aotea Centre, Auckland Town Hall, The Civic and Aotea Square, are making it possible for blind  and deaf people, to enjoy live performances… Continue Reading »

Abu Dhabi police urged motorists not to use parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities

Middle East, August 16 2011

Abu Dhabi, UAE: The total number of traffic violations issued by the Abu Dhabi Police for the wrong parking such as in front of  the fire hoses and ambulance vehicles reached 2,302 violations in the the first half of this year. The Traffic and Patrol Directorate of Abu Dhabi Police,… Continue Reading »

Marsh-Access Program model for parks with enhanced accessibility for people with disabilities

Americas, August 16 2011

Lyndhurst, NJ, US: The Marsh-Access Program at the Meadow­lands Environment Center has a novel mission: Meet the needs of all learners, particularly people with disabilities. And its Marsh Discovery Trail allows people with disabilities to engage all five senses in exploring the Meadowlands on an obstacle­free path laden with aids.… Continue Reading »

Irish firm creates navigation app for blind people

Europe, August 16 2011

John Ryan, founder and director of Point the Way, talks about accessibility on smartphones and its new app for blind people, LookAround. Last year, Point the Way pitched its start-up to siliconrepublic.com. Back then, they were in LaunchPad, an incubator programme for start-ups at NDRC, working on their advanced GPS… Continue Reading »

AbleNet announced TalkTrac communication device for children with autism

Americas, August 16 2011

AbleNet announced the reintroduction of TalkTrac to its extensive line of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. AbleNet is an international company in providing educational and technical solutions to help children and adults with disabilities lead productive and fulfilled lives. TalkTrac wearable communicator device is featuring four messages and two… Continue Reading »

RAFT partners with Stanford to create math kit designed for students with disabilities

Americas, August 15 2011

Palo Alto, CA: A joint initiative between Resource Area For Teaching (RAFT) and students in Stanford’s “Perspectives in Assistive Technology ” class has resulted in a prototype for a math kit designed for students with disabilities. The class explores in depth the process of creating technology that benefits people with disabilities.… Continue Reading »

Policies to improve accessibility for disabled people ‘not implemented properly’ in Malaysia

Asia-Pacific, August 15 2011

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: The federal government has all the laws and policies in place to increase the accessibility to public facilities for disabled people but these are not being implemented properly. “We are not happy with this, but are pushing very hard for these amenities to be provided for the… Continue Reading »

People with disabilities call for better access to city public transport

Asia-Pacific, August 14 2011

Beijing, China: The departure station on the ticket reads “full price” and the destination “half price”. The 1-meter-long handmade ticket was displayed in front of the Ministry of Railways by a disabled man to highlight the fact that Beijing lags well behind many other Chinese cities that have introduced favorable… Continue Reading »

U.S. Department of Education awards $1.2 m to small businesses to develop technology for people with disabilities

Americas, August 13 2011

The U.S. Department of Education announced that the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) has awarded 16 grants of $75,000 each to 11 small businesses to conduct research and develop technology that makes life and learning easier for people with disabilities. For instance, one grantee will develop a… Continue Reading »

6dot launches braille labeler machine for blind people

Americas, August 12 2011

Palo Alto, Calif.: 6dot Innovations is launching a portable Braille labeler machine for blind people today. The gadget can quickly print out labels in Braille so that blind people can put labels on prescription drug bottles and other critical things they don’t want to get confused. A number of Braille… Continue Reading »

New iPhone bus app brings real-time data to disabled riders

Americas, August 12 2011

A new free iPhone app from Carnegie Mellon University promises to let riders know when to expect their buses to arrive. Although arrival time apps are available for well funded bus systems around the country,Tiramisu relies on crowd sourcing input from riders to generate updates about the current location and fullness… Continue Reading »

W3C Project targets accessible web content authoring tools

Americas, August 12 2011

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has been busy making the web a more accessible place. In focus today is a project dubbed the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) — it aims to help software vendors make better web content authoring and management tools, including WYSIWYG editors, word processors and web… Continue Reading »

Raleigh cab drivers worry about new accessible transportation contract

Americas, August 11 2011

Raleigh, NC: A contract with MV Transportation for services for people with disabilities is on hold after some raised questions about its effect on local cab drivers. The $1.7 million contract, which was up for approval at the council’s Aug. 2 meeting, was referred to committee after Councilor Eugene Weeks… Continue Reading »