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With the ADA marking its 25th anniversary and President Obama signing the Steve Gleason Act into law, it’s been quite a week for the nation. Let this week’s AT news articles reflect how far we’ve come in 25 years of this landmark civil rights legislation. AT in the news for 7/25 thru 7/31.

New Tactile Braille Tablet on PC Platform

Real-life R2-D2 to help disabled people

Scope and Virgin Media announce £1m technology partnership

Tech’s Next Frontier: Removing Barriers for Disabled People

Amplifying the Power of the Elderly with 3D Printed Assistive Technologies

President signs Steve Gleason Act into law

Accessible IT, assistive technology and working with a disability in tech

BizzBook Unveils New Tech at SXSW that Allows Deaf People to Talk Directly with Local Businesses

In 25 years, ADA broke down barriers for the disabled, but the workplace is the next frontier

How A Simple Apple Feature Called Switch Control Is Changing Lives

Lego Makes Everything Better—Even a Prosthetic for Kids

IBM Announces New Accessibility Compliance System; Collaboration with Freedom Scientific

A Smartwatch With Braille For The Visually Impaired

Windows 10 Rises

A New Symbol of Accessibility

New $10 3D printed foot prosthetics improve stability and gait as children grow

Stratasys Collaborates with the VA’s Innovation Creation Series Event

Key Fund investment to develop app for disabled

How the Americans With Disabilities Act Helps the Able-Bodied

The man who hears color

25 years on, celebrating ADA’s advances while facing stubborn barriers

From Canes To Closures, Designing With Style For People With Disabilities

Silicon Valley vows to improve tech for people with disabilities

AT&T awards $100K for tech to help people with disabilities

3 lessons from developers who have embraced assistive technology

Summer Heat

Contributed by Provi Sharpe, Director of Emergency Management and Equipment Reuse, MDTAP 

Maryland summers tend to bring occasionally dangerous heat and Code Red Days. People with medical conditions, infants, children and seniors are more prone to extreme heat stress. Did you know that heat related illness and death are preventable? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offer Extreme Heat: A Prevention Guide to Promote Your Personal Health and Safety – a guide of important safety tips. You can also get information to help you recognize the warning signs of heat related illness. Know what to do to help people with medical conditions, infants and children and seniors stay safe from the effects of extreme heat stress.

Did you know that there are cooling centers where you can go to get out of the heat? Find out where your local cooling center is located by checking the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (DHMH) contact information list of cooling centers throughout the state. And don’t forget about your service animals and pets. They are also susceptible to heat related illness. Check out these hot weather tips from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to help you keep your pets and service animals safe from extreme heat.

The National Federation of the Blind Center of Excellence and the Maryland Technology Assistance Program present

Web Accessibility Training Day on November 4, 2015

Location:

National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute
200 E. Wells Street
at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, Maryland 21230

Event:

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access to Commerce, Public Information, and Education (CENA) and the Maryland Technology Assistance Program are proud to announce that we will be hosting another Web Accessibility Training Day on November 4, 2015.

This year, we are expanding both the technical and the policy tracks to pack more content that fits your needs into the day. Whether you are wondering how to implement accessibility in education, curious about the Section 508 update, or wanting to learn more about how to test for web accessibility, we’ve got you covered.

Come learn with us!

The event will be conducted as part of the NFB Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access to Education, Public Information, and Commerce, as part of its training initiative. The Center of Excellence serves to share the considerable knowledge that the NFB and its partners have of web accessibility in order to bring about greater accessibility in government, education, and business; to promote best practices nationally; and to build Maryland’s status as leader in the field.

Further information and registration coming soon.

NVDA Remote has landed!

Contributed by Joel Zimba, Special Projects Coordinator, MDTAP

Remote access to another computer has been commonplace for years–that is if a screen reader is not required. In an office environment, this means trouble shooting another machine or system administration duties are impossible if assistive technology is required.

Now there is a simple, reliable, and free solution to this significant accessibility barrier. The fine developers of open-source screen reader NVDA have coordinated a crowd-funding campaign to develop NVVDA Remote. This add-on to NVDA has now been released and it delivers on its promise.

After obtaining the NVDA Remote package from nvdaremote.com, I quickly installed the software and restarted NVDA. A new option under the “Tools” menu called “Remote”, is now available. The simple directions accompanying the NVDA Remote plug-in had me connected to another computer in just about 3 minutes. I was startled when the synthetic speech on both machines started responding to my keystrokes–it was just slightly out of sync, which produced a spine-tingling chill. That’s an undocumented feature.

A few additional features are also available, like the ability to “push” the contents of the clipboard to the remote machine or issue a “Ctrl-Alt-Del” key sequence remotely. As the code is freely available, I expect many future improvements.

Editors Note: A previous version of this post attributed the development of this product to NVAccess; however, this is an independent project, separate from NVAccess.

Contributed by Guest Blogger Thomas Jepsen, SplitLevel

If a fire breaks out, it can be a really dangerous thing. In fact, more than 3,400 people are killed by fires every single year and more than 16,000 people are injured. When it comes to fires, kids and people living with disabilities are especially at risk as there are often circumstances that may make it hard to flee the place. A person in a wheelchair whose mobility is limited will have a tough time getting out of a building if it requires him or her taking the stairs in the event of a fire. On the other hand, people with significant cognitive impairment may not be conscious about how to best handle the situation and may not know what to do in case the fire alarm goes off. To help spread awareness, SplitLevel has published an infographic for people with disabilities and their caregivers that explains how to prevent fire, how to stay prepared and what to do afterwards. This infographic easily explains the steps needed to be taken if you know of someone with any kind of disability.

 

We’re just two days away from the 25th anniversary of the ADA! Celebrations abound all over the place, including Washington DC and right here in Baltimore. The below articles are testament to the strides that have been made and documentation on all that still needs to be achieved…AT in the news for the week of 7/20 thru 7/24

A Second Life for Unused Wearable Activity Trackers

In Helping Those With Disabilities, ADA Improves Access For All

25 years after the ADA

AbleGamers Celebrates Advances in Gaming Assistive Technology with the Smithsonian

She Couldn’t Find a Toy That Looked Like Her Daughter, So She Made Her Own

Diabetes Monitoring App Also Enables Patients to Call for Help  

This Exoskeleton Allows Paralyzed People To Walk

Vets to test innovative ideas during VA make-a-thon

ADA rules for websites still under review

Disabled patients direct concert with brainwave signals in world first

Making things easier for disabled consumers

Nike’s ingenious new zipper helps people with disabilities

Why Web accessibility for the disabled actually benefits everyone

Honda Walking Assist Device Going on Sale – Robotics Trends

Woman in wheelchair who fought for Disabilities Act can’t use tour bus

National Federation of the Blind and Verifone Collaborate to Make Taxicab Terminals Accessible

ABLE Accounts and Projected Usage Survey

Obama: ADA ‘Fight Is Not Over’

Bionic eye implant world first

 

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