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Archive for January, 2010

i-CREATe 2010 4th premier convention will be held in Shanghai, China on 21-23 July 2010. The convention is dedicated to promote assistive technologies to improve the lives of the elderly and people with disabilities and provide a platform to address current and future development in these areas. The highlights of i-CREATe 2010 are “Travel, Employment, Education, Leisure and Sports”, all aiming to integrate people with special needs into the society. In this premier event, you will meet leaders from various fields of assistive technology, service delivery, R & D funding agencies and policymakers, researchers, therapists, practitioners and more.
More information at the conference website.

JISC TechDis has launched a new internet browser tool that will make information on the web more accessible for everyone, especially disabled users.
The JISC TechDis toolbar has been created in partnership with the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science. The free application, released as a beta version, provides a range of editing and speech tools to enable internet users to better access information and interact with web pages.
JISC Techdis Toolbar has been created as an open-source, cross-browser toolbar to help aid students customise their browser in a manner to aid learning.
The concept behind JISC Techdis Toolbar is simple: One toolbar to provide all of the functionality you would usually get in many different products, and which will run in any desktop web browser. There are two versions of JISC Techdis Toolbar available, depending on what you want to do with it. If you are a user, you have two choices – either install the Full version, or grab the quick install Lite version.
More information on the JISC website. A JISC Techdis Toolbar Demonstration is also available.

Click here to use the JISC Techdis Toolbar Lite on Access For All website.

Kindle DX

Kindle DX

Four U.S. universities have agreed not to promote the use of Amazon’s Kindle DX electronic reader in the classroom until the device can be used by students who are blind or have poor vision. Any e-reader adopted by the universities must allow all students to access and acquire the same materials and information, to engage in the same interactions, and to enjoy the same services.
The Kindle DX, which has nearly a 10-inch digital paper display, is designed for viewing professional documents, textbooks, and other content where a large screen is desirable. Amazon also sells the Kindle, which has a six-inch screen that’s best-suited for reading e-books.
The Kindle DX has a text-to-speech feature to make content accessible to the visually impaired. However, the device does not include a similar function for the menu and navigational controls, making it impossible for blind students to find content or access the device’s other functions.
On a sidenote, Forrester Research estimates 3 million e-book readers by various manufacturers were sold in 2009 in the United States and expects sales this year to reach 10 million units.
Source: InformationWeek

AbleNet announces the launch of the 2010 ‘Remarkable Idea’ program in celebration of its 25th anniversary. Throughout the year the company is requesting worldwide submissions of innovative applications of assistive technology (AT) and special education tools from educators, parents, users, therapists and other professionals.
More information on their website.

This Consultation meeting will bring together experts from all over Europe. The objective of the 2-day meeting is to provide strategic guidance for future research under the AAL Joint Programme and possible future topics for the ICT Policy Support Programme in the field of ICT & Ageing for 2011 and beyond. The outcome will be used as input for the preparation of future calls for proposals.
More info on the EC website.

This FP7 Consultation meeting brought together experts from all over Europe. The objective of the workshop was to review current trends in research and applications and provide strategic guidance for drafting the ICT Work Programme 2011/2012.
The workshop was focused on the topic of service and social robotics for Ageing Well and should result in possible future orientations for application driven research in this field, in particular with a view to practical deployment in real-life situations and industrial exploitation.
You can read the report here.