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Archive for July, 2010

The 2nd Pan-European Workshop/User Forum and the 1st International ÆGIS Conference entitled “Access for All in the desktop, web and mobile field: an end-user and developer perspective” will take place in Seville, Spain on 6 and 7-8 October 2010 respectively. All events are organised by the ÆGIS IP initiative (Open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards –, partially funded under FP7 (Theme: ICT‐2007.7.1; ICT & Ageing).
Detailed info and registration about the 1st International AEGIS Conference is available through Registration is now open.

The Kessler Foundation and the National Organization on Disabilities commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct the 2010 Survey of Americans with Disabilities. Among the findings they identified that employment represents the largest gap between the two groups. Of all working-age people with disabilities, only 21% say that they are employed, compared to 59% of people without disabilities – a gap of 38 percentage points. People with disabilities are still much more likely to be living in poverty. People with disabilities are less likely than those without disabilities to socialize with friends, relatives or neighbors, once again suggesting that there are significant barriers to participation in leisure activities for this population. The second-largest gap between people with and without disabilities is regarding Internet access. 85% of adults without disabilities access the Internet, whereas only 54% of adults with disabilities report the same – a gap of 31 percentage points.
Source: Kessler Foundation

On 3-4 November 2010, the WSC will organize an international workshop in the premises of the World Meteorological Organization, in Geneva, Switzerland, on “Accessibility and the contribution of International Standards”.
Accessibility is the degree to which a product, device, service, environment or facility is usable by as many people as possible, including by persons with disabilities. Its importance is signified by the fact that the number of persons with disabilities, either congenital, acquired or as a result of age is estimated to be around 650 million worldwide.
International standardization can be a powerful tool for strengthening accessibility in all these areas by setting the same standards around the world for accessible products, devices, services, environments and facilities.
The World Standards Cooperation (WSC) brings together the three leading international standards bodies, namely the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The workshop takes up the topic of the 2010 World Standards Day, celebrated each year on 14 October, which is “Accessibility”.
Workshop structure and expected outcome
The workshop will address three key subject areas:

  • accessibility in the field of everyday products
  • accessibility and buildings
  • eAccessibility and eInclusion (in Information and Communication Technologies)

In a combination of plenary and break-out group meetings these three subject areas will be discussed and the potential of standardization – and in particular international standardization – to contribute to strengthening accessibility aspects in the design of products, services, environments and facilities will be addressed.
Key stakeholder groups participating in the workshop will include disability organizations, governments and regulators, product designers and manufacturers faced with accessibility requirements, consumers and standards developers from around the world. Under discussion will be the current and future needs in the field of accessibility as well as the possible contributions international standardization can make in facilitating the development of accessible solutions around the world.
The expected outcome of the workshop is a better understanding of both the work on accessibility issues in standardization in the various areas and the needs of those most concerned. It is hoped that the groundwork will be laid and a road map drawn up for future standardization initiatives with the involvement of the key stakeholders.

More information at the event website.


Contact: Steve Jacobs
Phone: (614) 777-0660

Accessible Android E-Mail and Barcode Reader Available

Open Source, Android Applications Released in Support of Raising the Floor, Reducing the Cost, and Leveling the Playing Field for Individuals with Disabilities

HILLIARD, OH July 6, 2010 – IDEAL Group Apps4Android, Inc. announced today the release of the first Android e-mail reader for the blind. The IDEAL K9 E-Mail® reader is accessible using Google’s Talkback and other Android screenreaders. Also announced was the release of IDEAL Item Identifier®, an Android-based barcode reader. The barcode reader makes it possible to quickly, easily, and accurately identify products by using Android smartphones to read barcodes on standard products. Both applications have been open-sourced in support of the Raising the Floor Initiative.

According to Steve Jacobs the President of IDEAL Group, “Given the efforts Google has put into Android, especially the work of their Eyes-Free Project team, we are convinced that Google is committed to making Android a world-class fully accessible platform and we want to help Google get there faster.”

IDEAL is also developing an open source Android web browser for the blind. In addition, IDEAL is developing an open source video magnification application that enables individuals with low vision to turn their Android smartphones into hand-held video magnifiers.

Given the high cost of dedicated devices that serve these purposes today, Jacobs hopes these free, high-quality open source Android applications will be Raising the Floor of opportunities for individuals with print disabilities.

Jacobs further stated, “While we plan to develop accessible applications for other platforms in the future, we love the openness of Android. It makes it easy for developers to figure out how programs function and has enabled us to innovate much more rapidly and easily than on any other platform.”

About IDEAL Group Apps4Android:
Apps4Android, Inc. is dedicated to developing low/no-cost, high-quality, Android applications that enhance the quality-of-life, independence, quality of education, and employability of individuals with disabilities… and everyone else! Apps4Android is the world’s largest developer of speech-enabled Android applications in the world with 750,000+ active users in 47 countries. For more information:

About Raising the Floor (RtF):
Raising the Floor is an international consortium of organizations and individuals focused on ensuring that people experiencing disabilities, literacy problems, or the effects of aging are able to access and use all of the information, resources, services, and communities available on or through the Web. Of particular concern are those with limited or no resources. For more information:

This work is supported in part with funds from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education, grant number H133E080022 to the University of Wisconsin Trace R&D Center. Users of IDEAL K9 E-Mail® and IDEAL Item Identifier® should not assume endorsement by either the Department of Education or the federal government.