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Archive for March, 2011

Introducing Inclusive Technology’s Switch Progression Road Map is written by Inclusive technology’s Special Projects Manager Ian Bean.
This booklet draws together over ten years of best practice research and classroom observations from around the world into a comprehensive teaching and assessment document you can use every day. Detailing every stage of switch skills acquisition from cause and effect to confident scanning, this document will help you plan meaningful and motivating routes to success for your learners using switches to access communication, learning and leisure.
Packed with practical advice and tons of tried and tested teaching examples, the Switch Progression Road Map will help you assess a learner’s baseline, set achievable learning milestones and provide you with all the help you need to teach these important skills in a way which is both meaningful and motivating for your students. At every stage along the way the booklet provides advice on which software and hardware works best and how to set them up to personalise the learning experience.

You can download it for free.

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Communication Enhancement (AAC-RERC) offers a white paper as a means for raising issues related to mobile technologies and AAC Apps and to encourage discussion and collaboration among AAC stakeholders. In order to gather information in a timely manner, they interviewed more than 25 AAC “thought leaders” between January and March, 2011, representing multiple stakeholder groups. Interviews were conducted by phone, e-mail and Skype.
This white paper is available as a downloadable pdf.

The 2nd Workshop on Speech Language Processing for Assistive Technology will be held in conjunction with the 2011 ACL Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (SIGDAT – EMNLP) which will take place on 30 July 2011 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
This 1-day workshop will bring together researchers from all areas of speech and language technology with a common interest in making everyday life more accessible for people with physical, cognitive, sensory, emotional or developmental disabilities. This workshop will build on the first such workshop (co-located with NAACL HLT 2010); it will provide an opportunity for individuals from both research communities, and the individuals with whom they are working, to assist to share research findings, and to discuss present and future challenges and the potential for collaboration and progress. In addition to academic papers, we are planning a short demo/exhibition session as part of this workshop. Commercial exhibitors should indicate in their proposal that their systems are commercial products rather than research systems.
More information at the workshop website.

Equal access to public information and services for all is an essential part of the United Nations (UN) Declaration of Human Rights. Today, the Web plays an important role in providing information and services to citizens. Unfortunately, many government Web sites are poorly designed and have accessibility barriers that prevent people with disabilities from using them.
The article Global Web Accessibility Analysis of National Government Portals and Ministry Web Sites (Morten Goodwin; Deniz Susar; Annika Nietzio; Mikael Snaprud; Christian S. Jensen) combines current Web accessibility benchmarking methodologies with a sound strategy for comparing Web accessibility among countries and continents. Furthermore, the article presents the first global analysis of the Web accessibility of 192 United Nation Member States made publicly available.
The article also identifies common properties of Member States that have accessible and inaccessible Web sites and shows that implementing antidisability discrimination laws is highly beneficial for the accessibility of Web sites, while signing the UN Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities has had no such effect yet. The article demonstrates that, despite the commonly held assumption to the contrary, mature, high-quality Web sites are more accessible than lower quality ones. Moreover, Web accessibility conformance claims by Web site owners are generally exaggerated.

Global Web Accessibility Analysis of National Government Portals and Ministry Web Sites
Morten Goodwin; Deniz Susar; Annika Nietzio; Mikael Snaprud; Christian S. Jensen
Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 1933-169X, Volume 8, Issue 1, 2011, Pages 41 – 67

The Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE) organises a conference on the World Report on Disability, which is being released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank on 9 June, 2011. The two-day symposium on September 12 & 13, 2011 at the DoubleTree Hotel Crystal City, Arlington, VA (USA) will be conducted in cooperation with WHO, the Pan American Health Organization, the World Bank, the Interagency Committee on Disability Research, and the United States International Council on Disabilities. For more information, please see the conference’s website.

A call for papers for the “Engineering Technology & Applied Science Research” (ETASR) international journal has been launched. ETASR is a wide scope, peer-reviewed open access journal which aims to provide fast publication to scientists, researchers and engineers from both academia and industry, that wish to communicate recent developments, applications and parts of on-going research in their field.
Authors are invited to submit their work using the journal website, following the instructions and the live template provided.
A standard research article published in ETASR consists of six pages but no page limit is set. Colour figures and pictures are accepted providing that they are of good quality.
The ETASR journal is published bimonthly with the first issue of every year published in February. Final decision about each submitted paper will be reached within 4 weeks from submission.
ETASR is oriented towards publishing articles that communicate advances, interesting implementations and parts of on-going research in fields of interest. In addition, it offers a medium to authors for fast publishing individual parts of their work that are used as basis for diverse further research (e.g. a new software, a modification or an original measuring apparatus/technique), specific aspects of their research that are important but not closely linked with the rest of the work (e.g. a study for the economical aspect of a technical implementation) and individual parts of their work that can be later used as citations, allowing authors to comply with page limits set by other journals.
An added aim for ETASR is to offer a medium to authors for publishing and permanent referring papers that have been presented to international conferences that do not publish their proceedings, providing that the author still owns the copyrights of his paper.
Further, unlike most journals, ETASR accepts papers that describe negative findings and research failures, since it feels that publishing negative results is valuable and saves considerable time and effort for other scientists around the world. ETASR is fully committed to Open Access policy and will provide free access to all articles as soon as they are published. Open access provides a worldwide audience, increases the visibility of published work, enhances indexing, retrieval power and eliminates the need for permissions to reproduce and distribute content.