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Tag: Android

The RECALL Stakeholder Event takes place at the Deaf Cultural Centre, Ladywood Road, Birmingham B16 8SZ, on 16th October, 2012 from 9:30am – 12:30pm (lunch included).

Route Mate is an Android application that uses location-based services (e.g. GPS & Google Maps) to help route learning for people with intellectual disabilities and/or additional sensory impairments. The application allows students to plan their own journeys with the help of a trainer. They can plan destination/departure points, points of interest on route, enter the number of an emergency contact and practise walking routes until they become familiar with them.
Route Mate is developed by experts at Nottingham Trent University and tested by people with a range of disabilities across the partner organisations of UK, Greece, Romania & Bulgaria.

Programme

  • 9:30am: Arrival, registration & refreshments
  • 10:00am: Welcome & overview of the project
  • 10:15am – 11am: Demonstration by application developer
  • 11:30am – 12pm: Workshop activities
  • 12:00pm: Lunch & networking

Who should attend?: Are you involved in supporting students to gain independent travel skills? Do you work with students who have always been provided transport and now need extra support before accessing college or employment? This is the event for you.
Why should I attend?: Free route planning software, see a demonstration of the technology, talk to the developers, users and testers.

There is no charge to attend the exhibition, but as places are limited, those wishing to attend should contact Jo Reilly by email at jo.reilly@bid.org.uk for a booking form as soon as possible. Please note there are no walk-ins permitted.

Visit http://recall-project.eu and http://isrg.org.uk for further information about this project.

In May 2012, WebAIM conducted a survey of preferences of screen reader users. We received 1782 valid responses to this survey. This was a follow-up survey to the original WebAIM Screen Reader User Survey of January 2009 and the follow-up surveys from October 2009 and December 2010.

The conclusion identified in the previous screen reader user surveys remains – there is no typical screen reader user. These results highlight significant changes and trends over a span nearly 3.5 years.
A few items of note:
- JAWS is still the primary screen reader, but usage continues to decrease as usage of NVDA and VoiceOver increases.
- The perception of free or low-cost screen readers is improving.
- The perception of accessibility of web content is decreasing.
- 72% of the respondents use a screen reader on a mobile device, up from only 12% three years ago.
- iOS device usage is significantly increasing and well above that of the standard population. Screen reader users represent a notable portion of the iOS device user market. Usage of Android devices is well below that of non-disabled users.
- The use of properly structured headings remains of great importance.
- The items that cause the most difficulty on the web remain largely unchanged over the last 2.5 years, with inaccessible Flash content and CAPTCHA being the most problematic.

Source: WebAIM’s 2012 screen reader users survey

For a second year, the Vodafone Foundation in collaboration with AGE and the European Disability Forum (EDF) will launch the Smart Accessibility Awards. This contest aims to increase understanding of the needs and expectations of ageing and disabled users of smartphones by inviting developers to create innovative applications that are designed for all. Like in 2011 four applications that fill in the criteria of effectiveness, availability and affordability, user-friendliness, usability, accesssibility and design for all, will win a prize of 50.000 Euros each. The competition will be officially launched in Brussels on 30th May.

Date: Wednesday, 30 May
Venue: Hotel Sofitel Brussels Europe, Place Jourdan 1 – 1040 Brussels, Belgium
Time: 14.00hrs-16.00hrs
If you would like to join the launch please mail Cindy De Koninck.

A variety of new features greatly enhance the accessibility of Android 4.0 for blind or visually impaired users. Most important is a new explore-by-touch mode that lets users navigate without having to see the screen. Touching the screen once triggers audible feedback that identifies the UI component below; a second touch in the same component activates it with a full touch event. The new mode is especially important to support users on new devices that use virtual buttons in the System Bar, rather than dedicated hardware buttons or trackballs. Also, standard apps are updated to offer an improved accessibility experience. The Browser supports a script-based screen reader for reading favorite web content and navigating sites. For improved readability, users can also increase the default font size used across the system.

The accessibility experience begins at first setup — a simple touch gesture during setup (clockwise square from upper left) activates all accessibility features and loads a setup tutorial. Once accessibility features are active, everything visible on the screen can be spoken aloud by the standard screen reader.
Source: Android

Vodafone has announced the winners of the inaugural Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards at a ceremony attended by the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes and Vodafone Group Chief Executive Vittorio Colao.
The mobile internet is central to the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world as an increasing number of consumers turn to smartphones for messaging, social networking, access to information and entertainment and many other services.
Smartphones offer significant benefits for the more than 1 billion people who live with some form of disability. Applications targeting the specific challenges faced by disabled and older people – for example, text-to-speech services for the visually impaired – can directly enhance quality of life. However, relatively few mobile application developers focus on the potential that smartphone apps have to help people with disabilities play a more active and independent role in society.
The Vodafone Foundation partnered with AGE Platform Europe and the European Disability Forum (EDF) to devise and deliver the Smart Accessibility Awards: an international competition which rewards developers who have the creativity, vision and social commitment to harness the power of smartphones and the mobile internet in support of disabled and older people’s needs.
The winning smartphone apps whose developers will share the €200,000 prize fund are:

  • Help Talk (Wellbeing category): Help Talk is designed for people who are unable to communicate by speech, whether permanently or temporarily, such as those recovering from strokes. The application presents a set of commands represented by icons which when tapped ‘speak’ the basic need or desire – such as ‘I’m thirsty’ or ‘I feel pain’ – and goes on to allow the user to provide further detail in the same way.
  • Wheelmap (Mobility category): Wheelmap helps people with impaired mobility who may literally face obstacles as they go about their everyday life. Crowdsourcing lets users of the application rate and review the accessibility for wheelchair users of public places including cafes, museums, hotels and shops. In one month 1200 users registered for the app, and 180,000 places were reviewed.
  • Zoom Plus Magnifier (Independent living category): Zoom Plus Magnifier app allows people with visual disabilities including colour blindness and long or short-sightedness, as well as some forms of dyslexia, to easily read text by applying a magnifier, sharpening the focus, or adjusting font and background colours.
  • BIG Launcher (Social participation category): BIG Launcher is an alternative customisable Android homescreen, for elderly or visually impaired users who often struggle to use the small keyboards on most devices. It uses big buttons and large fonts to represent all the basic functions of the phone – telephone, SMS messages, camera, gallery, SOS button and installed apps.

Vittorio Colao, Vodafone Group CEO said, “Vodafone is committed to doing all we can to empower consumers of all ages and abilities: we want to extend the smartphone revolution to as many communities as possible.”
Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Digital Agenda said, “We need relevant smartphone apps for all our communities. I congratulate the winners of the Smart Accessibility Awards and the Vodafone Foundation for helping bring the benefits of smartphones to all Europeans. Everyone can gain from the digital revolution. ”
Rodolfo Cattani, EDF Executive Secretary said, “Accessibility and interoperability of communications devices are vital to making possible the professional and cultural inclusion of people with disabilities. At the same time, when not accessible, the technology can create new obstacles and can lead to new forms of discrimination.”
“Mobile technology has an important role to play in the context of the European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations which aims at supporting older people to be active in all areas of their lives and live independently for longer”, observed Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary-General. “In a society driven by new technologies, it is essential to make sure new applications are accessible to all, in order to avoid increasing the digital divide and the social exclusion of the most vulnerable groups of the population.”
Winning applications will be available to Vodafone customers using Android smartphones.
For more information about the awards or mobile accessibility, visit http://developer.vodafone.com/smartaccess2011 or http://www.guardian.co.uk/smart-accessibility.

EU Smart Accessibility Awards14 June 2011 – Brussels – In the week of the first EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, Vodafone Foundation launched the Smart Accessibility Awards. This is a new competition to promote the development of IT applications designed to improve the lives of people with disabilities and older people to help them become more actively involved in society.
The programme is supported and co-organized by AGE Platform Europe, the European network of around 160 organisations of and for people aged 50+, and the European Disability Forum (EDF), the NGO that represents the interests of 80 million Europeans with disabilities.
Launched in Brussels, the competition will award the best smartphone application across four different categories as follows:

  • Social participation: This refers to applications which help users to participate actively in today’s society and benefit from the facilities that the new technologies can offer, whatever their age, disability and/or capacity (E.g. use the web and social media through mobile devices, contact people using mobile devices to the same extent as everyone, etc).
  • Independent living: This refers to applications which help users to be more autonomous and perform daily tasks independently (E.g. using domestic appliances such as washing machine or refrigerator, opening doors safely, etc).
  • Mobility: This refers to applications which enable users to move around more freely and safely using the whole range of transport modes. It can also refer to the use of mobile devices to be guided in unknown environment (e.g. using GPS option, etc).
  • Wellbeing: This refers to applications which improve the users’ health and as well as overall feeling of wellbeing.

The competition is open from 14 June 2011 to 15 October 2011. All qualifying entries will be evaluated in November by a jury, consisting of representatives from AGE Platform Europe, European Disability Forum and Vodafone Foundation. Twelve finalists will be selected and requested to present their application before the final jury in Brussels in early December 2011 at a live final, where the four overall winners will be chosen. The total prize fund of the €200k will be split equally between the four winners.
Vodafone Foundation Director, Andrew Dunnett said “The Vodafone Foundation is keen to help as many people as possible benefit from new technologies. The Smart Accessibility Awards will help developers create apps that can really make a difference to people’s lives – we are thrilled to be able to support such an important initiative.”
Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Platform Europe Secretary General, said “We are pleased to be involved in a project that supports our efforts towards building a more inclusive society. Digital inclusion is key to ensuring as many people as possible remain actively involved in their communities and we should make sure every citizen is empowered to do so, whatever their age or capacities. We hope this competition will help reach that goal and also contribute to the ‘European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations’ where the objective is to increase older people’s active participation in society and promote independent living in old age. ”
Rodolfo Cattani, EDF Executive Member, said; “Being part of this competition is very important for us. Communication technologies are vital to making possible the inclusion of persons with disabilities. When the mobile applications are not accessible, it can create new obstacles and can lead to new forms of discrimination. We look forward to seeing accessible apps.”
For more information on the contest and submit your entry: http://developer.vodafone.com/smartaccess2011/+