Skip to content


Category: Technology

As mentioned in Access Technology Newsletter 10 31: Google have launched, a “tech support care package” that’s meant to help kids teach parents about computer basics.
According to a Google blog post, the site allows users to select more than 50 basic how-to videos they could send to parents — or frankly, anyone else who might need a little tech help. The videos cover topics from copying and pasting to sharing large files. The recipient will receive a message from the sender, along with a link to the selected videos.

Odt2braille is a Braille extension to Writer and will enable authors to print documents to a Braille embosser and to export documents as Braille files. The Braille output is well-formatted and highly customizable. The odt2daisy extension is a direct outcome of the AEGIS project. More information on the Odt2braille website.

Odt2braille is now also available on the extensions site.It should also work in LibreOffice.

Odt2daisy is an Writer extension, enabling to export in DAISY 3 format, including support of Mathematical content conforming to the MathML standard. DAISY is an NISO Z39.86 standard for blind, visual impaired, print-disabled, and learning-disabled people. The odt2daisy extension is also a direct outcome of the AEGIS project. More information on the Odt2Daisy website.

Odt2daisy is now also available on the extensions site.

A call for up to 9 experts for an ETSI Specialist Task Force (STF) VH to perform Phase 2 of Mandate 376 on European accessibility requirements for public procurement of product and services in the ICT domain has been launched. Deadline is 6 January 2011.
More information at the CEN website.

Following presentation was given at the 1st International AEGIS conference in Seville, Spain on 7-8 October 2010.

AEGIS project just launched its project video:

As received from EC:

The European Commission is seeking the views of public and private organisations, companies and individual citizens on how Europe could scale up innovation to meet the challenges of the ageing population in Europe, and in particular on a pilot European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on active and healthy ageing, as set out in the Innovation Union Flagship Initiative, presented on 6 October by Maire Geoghegan Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science and Antonio Tajani, Vice-President for Industry and Entrepreneurship. Between 2010 and 2030, the number of Europeans aged over 65 will rise by nearly 40%, posing huge challenges but also offering great opportunities for Europe’s society and economy. The EIP, which the Commission has proposed should be launched in 2011, would seek to meet three goals: to improve the health and quality of life of older people, enabling them to live active and independent lives; to contribute to the sustainability and efficiency of health and social care systems; and to foster competitiveness and business opportunities . The online consultation runs until 28 January 2011.
John Dalli, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy said: “Europe needs to prepare for the future ageing of its society and the use of innovation shall be one of the tools at our disposal. This is why I am very pleased that the very first of the Partnerships is on Active and Healthy Ageing: it will imply a close cooperation across different policies covering public health, research, digital and industrial policy.”
Neelie Kroes, Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda said: “People are living for longer – and should be able to do so as actively and independently as possible, with the help of innovative solutions such as fall-detection and prevention devices, easy to use social interaction services to overcome loneliness, and smart use of ICT in the home. We need input from stakeholders to make sure the future Innovation Partnership can help to make these ideas a reality for Europe’s senior citizens.”
The consultation invites interested stakeholders, such as organisations representing the elderly and patients, hospitals and care service providers, health and care professionals, insurers, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and health companies, public authorities and individual citizens, to help identifying current barriers to innovation and opportunities in the field of active and healthy ageing. Contributors can also share existing and future initiatives which could be undertaken at European level and advanced in a collaborative way. These should focus on how innovative solutions can bring promising and tangible outcomes to benefit the elderly.
The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, as a headline target, aims to increase the average healthy lifespan in the EU by two years by 2020. It seeks to improve older people’s quality of life and to lead to more efficient care solutions. It will focus on applying innovation on a larger scale than today in areas such as health promotion, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment, integrated and collaborative health and social care systems, independent living and assistive technologies for older people.
The Commission will analyse the responses to the consultation, in order to obtain a clear view of the innovation potential and capacity in the multiple areas that affect ageing today. The responses will help the Commission to plan the next steps for the EIP.
The online consultation runs in parallel to a Conference on the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, which is taking place in Brussels today. More than 150 stakeholder representatives are due to discuss their ideas for the partnership to convert into concrete actions.
The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing is part of the EU’s “Innovation Union” strategy, one of the Europe 2020 flagship initiatives, to turn ideas into jobs, green growth and social progress (IP/10/1288). The Innovation Union has a three-fold goal: making Europe into a world-class science performer; revolutionising the way public and private sectors work together, notably through Innovation Partnerships, and removing bottlenecks – like expensive patenting, market fragmentation, slow standard setting and skill shortages – that currently prevent ideas getting quickly to market.
This corresponds to the Digital Agenda for Europe’s objective to harness the potential of ICT to boost prosperity and improve people’s quality of life (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200). The Digital Agenda seeks inter alia to ensure that ICT allows a more independence for people who are frail or suffer from chronic conditions and for persons with disabilities. It aims to double the take-up of independent living arrangements for the elderly by 2015.
Similarly, “fostering good health in an ageing Europe” was identified as one of the three main objectives of the EU’s Healthy Strategy “Together for Health”.
The consultation document is available here.