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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.

The purpose of this study (Analysis of e-Inclusion impact resulting from advanced R&D based on economic modelling in relation to innovation capacity, capital formation, productivity, and empowerment) is to assess how investments in inclusive information society technologies and services have the potential to deliver sustainable and cohesive growth.
In order to achieve this objective, the study will look at, and improve on, existing macro-economic models and datasets to capture the impact of inclusive ICT on employability, productivity growth and human capital as factors of economic growth.
The study will also assess –within current e-Inclusion policies- which implementation measures have the potential to best deliver economic growth and social cohesion. It will also examine the associated costs for pursuing investments for e-Inclusion at EU and national level and assess their macro-economic outcomes.
The study will be completed in the first half of 2010.
The first report presents a brief summary of the first part of the research (completed by December 2009) which was dedicated to provide a quantitative evaluation of the e-Inclusion in Europe. In order to define and measure e-Inclusion, the study moves beyond the traditional distinction between “haves” and “have-nots” in terms of access only and proposes a multi-focal approach to this complex concept in continual evolution. More specifically, it adopts a multi-perspective (households/individual and enterprises) and multi-dimensional approach (access, usage, impact of quality of life). Throughout this approach, the research is expected to provide a quantitative evaluation, indicators and a dataset to monitor e-Inclusion for all 27 EU Member States.
Download the first report.

The results and major findings of the Exploratory Workshop held on 19 October 2009 are now available.
An initial set of possible common indicators stemming from the ongoing projects and pilots work was analysed; ground-rules for constructing statistically significant impact measurement methodologies in this field were discussed and initial recommendations and guidelines for comparable future impact measurements arose from an interactive brainstorming and discussion amongst the participants.
The results are to be further taken up by a follow-up work in a form of a repository of existing relevant documents to serve as background for further discussions and intensified and structured best practice exchange. The purpose is to develop a common framework for arriving at solid and comparable evidence to facilitate policy decisions and further investment for wide deployment and uptake of solutions.
Read the report of the workshop for the full results.