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Archive for January, 2011

Cambridge University and the AEGIS project are pleased to announce the release of Dasher v2.2 for the Google Android platform. Dasher is a text entry method based on advanced language modelling techniques, suitable for users including those with motor impairments and/or limited dexterity. This release allows efficient text entry with pointing or finger gestures, requiring less accuracy than onscreen or reduced-size keyboards; via tilt or accelerometer control, requiring no screen contact; or using any number from 1 to 9 buttons (physical, onscreen, or external bluetooth), including information conveyed by the timing of button pushes for users capable of such.
Standard installations allow writing in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish; support for other languages is easily achieved by downloading language definition files from the Dasher website. Dasher for Android is immediately available and may be freely downloaded from the Android Market or from the Dasher website. There is also the mobile Dasher website (with further instructions pertaining to Android).

The Accessible Digital Office Document (ADOD) Project has released guidelines on the production of accessible documents for following office suites:

  • OpenOffice.org (also valid for LibreOffice)
  • Microsoft Office 2010
  • Corel WordPerfect X5
  • Google Docs
  • iWork Pages ’09

More information at http://adod.idrc.ocad.ca/.

Source: Christophe Strobbe, dfa-ict-nl: nederlandstalige Yahoo!Group en mailinglijst over toegankelijkheid in ICT.

On 1st of January 2011, the project ViPi (Virtual portal for ImpaiRed Groups Interaction) was launched.
ViPi aims to provide a “one-stop-shop” interactive portal & learning environment that delivers:

  • a comprehensive multilingual portal, with;
  • an embedded multilingual social community (for VET centres, PwD, ICT training centres, etc.), using the latest social media, facilitating interactive information sharing, interoperability, and collaboration, with access to all;
  • an accessible (WCAG 2.0) multilingual Web 2.0 enabled online ICT for learning environment to PwD, their trainers, with an interactive and vast repository of interoperable SCORM compliant learning objects (LOs) that focus on basic ICT literacy to allow PwD to grasp this core skill in order to be able to enter or sustain their employment in the regular labour market, enriched with intuitive mobile Java and Flash Lite based mobile and internet/PC based educational/serious games;
  • The final outcome will be an entire set of applications and services that will be streamlined via a blended educational and pedagogical framework, making full usage of the interaction possibilities offered by web 2.0, and localised, tested, piloted and subsequently fine-tuned with GR, BE, LT, UK and CY end-user communities.

The platform will equally act as a “one-stop-shop” for trainer organizations to find and contribute LOs that they can integrate in existing learning environments and practices. Using Open Source Software, ViPi platform extensions can be easily integrated.
ViPi platform will thus be able to support a fully accessible and Open Source based pan-European learning network and community, bringing together key stakeholders and gatekeepers (VET, target groups, umbrella organizations), while offering a vast set of reusable (PC and Mobile) LOs, supported by Web 2.0 social services.

The ViPi KA3 LLL project (511792-LLP-1-2010-1-GR-KA3-KA3NW) has been partially funded under the Lifelong Learning program, subprogramme KA3 ICT.

Fundación ONCE (ONCE Foundation for cooperation and social inclusion of persons with disabilities) is organising the 4th International Congress on Design, Research Networks, and Technology for All on June, 27 – 29, 2011 at the ONCE facilities, Paseo de la Habana, 208 P.C. 28036 Madrid, Spain.

About DRT4ALL
General development in the Information Society makes Information and Communication Technologies more and more present in most aspects of citizens´ everyday lives. These technologies involve such a wide range of technology and scientific fields that misguided implementations are causing more than one digital divide, by being difficult to use, because of the lack of design criteria and because of incompatibility between devices, among other reasons.
People with functional limitations, caused either by disability or by ageing, are becoming an increasing segment of the population. Lack of awareness of these new technologies and difficulty in using them are also more and more important for these persons.
Another relevant matter is the progressive ageing of population in the technologically developed countries. Medical and scientific advances provide greater expectancy of life, but this is not joined an increase of life free of disability. Technology could provide the necessary supplement to obtain the greatest degree of autonomy for aged people, which is the wish of us all.
It may seem evident that these technologies can and must help everybody, especially those with functional limitations, both to carry out day-to-day tasks, and to be full members of our society, so that they can use their abilities to contribute to social development.
Congress goals
DRT4all International Congress is a window on the future opened today: its main goal is to know about latest advances in ICT supporting independent living of people with functional limitations, and to show how these can work together to give everybody an easier life and improve social integration for the elderly and people with disabilities.
DRT4all is above all a scientific conference where we hope to showcase different aspects of these technologies, with user experience as a key aspect, and a place where industry stakeholders are more than welcome. Public Administration bodies and its representative members, have a crucial role in the development of these technologies. Therefore they will also be part of this congress.

Technical Secretariat
Antonio J. Ingelmo Sierra
+34 91 506 89 37
http://www.drt4all.org/

Following formal ratification, it is the first time in history the EU has become a party to an international human rights treaty – the United Nation’s (UN) Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. The Convention aims to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy their rights on an equal basis with all other citizens. It is the first comprehensive human rights treaty to be ratified by the EU as a whole. It has also been signed by all 27 EU Member States and ratified by 16 of these. The EU becomes the 97th party to this treaty. The Convention sets out minimum standards for protecting and safeguarding a full range of civil, political, social, and economic rights for people with disabilities. It reflects the EU’s broader commitment to building a barrier-free Europe for the estimated 80 million people with disabilities in the EU by 2020, as set out in the European Commission’s disability strategy.
Read the full press release.

Also mentioned in Access Technology Newsletter 10 31: LiterAACy approaches reading and writing skills in a new way that makes critical communication skills more accessible to the disabled. The vocabulary system categorizes words by their first letter so that users with knowledge of the initial sound of a word can quickly access it. On average a user can access up to 3,000 words by just two key presses.