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TOBI is a large European integrated project that will develop practical technology for BCI that will improve the quality of life of disabled people and the effectiveness of rehabilitation. TOBI will design non-invasive BCI prototypes that will be combined with existing ATs and rehabilitation protocols. Users will be able to couple brain interaction with muscle-based interaction or can naturally switch between the different ways of interacting. TOBI will broaden the appropriate use of BCI by incorporating adaptive capabilities that augment other ATs.
TOBI is happy to announce the first workshop on February 3-4, 2010, in Graz, Austria, which will focus on the emerging challenges of integrating BCIs with other ATs and physiological signals. We encourage submissions for posters that describe working systems that ideally combine BCIs and other ATs, present opportunities or concerns, establish guidelines or roadmaps, or otherwise contribute to future possibilities in BCI-AT integration.
Brain-computer interaction (BCI) systems are aimed primarily at providing communication for severely disabled users. Most indications are that the field is booming, with a huge increase in papers, research groups, conferences and workshops, and media attention. However, the number of people that actually need BCIs and rely on them for communication can be counted on two hands. A major reason for this failure to help the main BCI target market is the lack of integration between BCIs and existing assistive technologies (ATs).

RoboBraille is named winner at the BETT Awards in London – the prestigious annual recognition of excellence in educational ICT. The Danish team behind the danish e-mail service RoboBraille won the prize together with the British partner The Royal National College for the Blind (RNBC) who took the prize. Among the nominees were strong combatants such as British BBC.
The RoboBraille service is an email-service capable of translating your documents to and from contracted Braille and to synthetic speech.
You use the RoboBraille email accounts by submitting a document (e.g., a text file, a Word document, a HTML page) as email attachment. The translation is returned to you via email, typically within a matter of minutes. All files are handled confidentially and they are deleted from the server as soon as your translation is done.
The RoboBraille service is available free of charge to all non-commercial users.
The BETT Awards is an annual scheme that highlights exemplar digital products intended for the education marketplace. The event is produced by Emap Connect, the organiser of the largest educational technology show in the world – BETT. The BETT Awards is made possible by working in association with Becta, the Government’s lead agency for ICT in education, and BESA, the trade association representing the educational supply industry.
For more information please visit: http://www.bettawards.com

Some interesting reading:

Assistive technology: from virtuality to reality: AAATE 2005, by Alain Pruski, Harry Knops.

OASIS is an FP7 project which stands for Open architecture for Accessible Services Integration and Standardisation. In this animated video, we are following John and Sue who are using the OASIS services on a daily basis.
The video incorporates following aspects:
– Independent living applications
* Nutritional advisor
* Activity coach
* Brain and skills trainer
* Social communities platform
* Health monitoring
* Environmental control
– Autonomous Mobility and Smart Workplaces Applications
* Transport information services
* Route guidance
* Personal mobility
* Smart workplaces

For more information about the project, please visit our website at: www.oasis-project.eu.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) organises the preparatory meeting for the Joint Programming Initiative “Demographic Change / Health and Ageing – Living independently and actively in old age” to be held in Berlin, Germany, 28th/29th of January 2010.
The conference will bring together national representatives and stakeholders of the Member States of the European Union and experts in the field of ageing and demographic change.
Facing the challenges of an ageing population, many valuable initiatives and programmes at national and European level have already been established during the past years. In order to increase the mutual benefit arising from these actions, the BMBF has proposed to the EU-Member States to further develop these activities within the framework of the EU-Joint Programming Initiative, launched by the Research Ministers in the frame of the Competitiveness Council in December 2008. This upcoming meeting is to set up a joint process to interrelate the existing national programmes and instruments and to address the upcoming demands for Europe. It is the aim of this process to launch the Joint Programming Initiative “Demographic Change / Health and Ageing – Living independently and actively in old age”.
The participants will engage in discussions on Health & Care, Welfare & Social Systems, Education, Learning, Work & Innovativeness, Urban-Rural Development, Housing and Mobility.
Those interested can register online at www.jp-demographic.eu/conference/registration by 15th of January 2010.

“Electronic Markets” has published a call for papers on Ambient Assisted Living for a forthcoming issue of its “focus theme section”. The main objective is to answer various questions from a networked business point of view. It aims at concepts, methods, tools, services, and cases addressing the socio-technical as well as the socio-economic impact of ambient assisted living solutions.
More information at the Electronic Markets website.