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It took some whittling this week to scale back on all of the AT & disability-related tweets we sent out. But I think this is really the best-of-the-best: hearing colors, thought controlled coffee pots (squeal!!!), app-based vision tests and WAY more. AT in the news for the week of 7/25 – 7/29

“Until there is a cure for ALS, technology is the cure.” -Steve Gleason

This phone-powered vision test can replace your doctor

Netflix is the new accessible

OTTO is a communication aid for kids with autism, and an educational tool for their parents.

Blind student works w/Pearson to create a solution allowing students using Braille to interact w/ math online

Perceptions become feelings for Neil Harbisson, who can hear colors invisible to his eyes

BoneyCare app to help with stuttering, and other accessibility presentations at Imagine Cup

[Podcast] Here is an online audio tool for teachers to explore implementation of assistive technology in public schools 

Assisted Walking Device Market to Reach $2 Billion by 2024

Drake Music announces new commission opportunities for musicians with disabilities

Technology: facial recognition to eye scans and thought control

DoD Program Aids Military Members, Civilian Employees With Disabilities

A Collaborative Learning Community to Benefit Youth and Young People with Disabilities

Sniff Test For Alzheimer’s Checks For The Ability To Identify Odors

Zizzy the Robot Uses 3D Printed Artificial Muscles to Assist Those Lacking Mobility

Microsoft Imagine Cup finalist developing technology to help overcome challenges

Tinkering with a mission: weekend inventors create affordable technology

Entertainment That’s Helping Society Gain New Perspective On Disability

A prosthesis called LUKE features motors at the shoulder, elbow & hand & a two-way communication system

Can Automated Web Accessibility Programs Accurately Determine ADA and 508 Compliance?

As a parent of a child with often extreme emotional & behavioral issues, I’m continually searching out the best methods and technologies to support her journey into greater emotional management. Whether it’s to help build conversation skills, manage angry outbursts, or navigate fears, I’m always looking for tidbits of information that I can implement into our routine, or apps that I can make available for her use.

In this ever-constant pursuit of making things better for her (and me), I recently attended a conference on  Positive Behavior Supports. Though tough to summarize much of the complex and thorough information that was provided, I was able to walk away with a few key notes that are definitely worth sharing, regardless of disability, needs, age, or anything else!

  • Challenging behavior happens when the person is not happy. He/she uses behavior to change the current environment. Therefore, it’s vital to ask  (before the problem behaviors start) “what makes you happy?” And it’s vital to figure out how the person shows that she is happy (i.e. smiling, rocking, sounds, or gestures).
  • It’s imperative to offer choices – choices are necessary to help overcome challenging behaviors. And then reinforce the positive redirection of an activity (when a problem behavior is interrupted).
  • Change terms from “bad” to “mad”- when problem behaviors are indicating anger, ask “Do you need something?” or “Do you need to talk?” or “Why are you really mad?”

Stay tuned for updates on apps that have proven helpful!

Testing & Teaching iOS VoiceOver App Accessibility

August 3, 2016

3:00 pm- 4:15 pm

VoiceOver, a feature Apple has built into all iOS devices to enable Braille and speech access for users who are unable to see the screen, has revolutionized the lives of blind people. It works best when apps are deliberately developed in ways that ensure compatibility with VoiceOver and blind people are considered during development and included in all facets of the testing process. If you are a developer who has been asked to ensure the full VoiceOver accessibility of your app, following a step-by-step plan will help you get it right the first time, and keep getting it right through each subsequent update. If you are an educator, following an organized plan will help you determine which iOS apps will best meet your blind students’ needs and effectively teach them how to use each new app they encounter throughout their studies and beyond. If you are a blind person who is new to iOS, or you are an advanced user of many apps, following a coherent plan will help you quickly come up to speed with the built-in capabilities of your device and each new app you install. The purpose of this webinar is to introduce and demonstrate a step-by-step plan that provides a straightforward way for advocates, developers, educators and others to quickly explore, learn and improve the accessibility of all apps in Apple’s iOS ecosystem. After introducing the plan, a critical feature of two iOS apps will be demonstrated. The first demonstration will evaluate an inaccessible feature in an app and provide useful strategies for testing, working around and correcting the issue. The second demonstration will highlight an accessible feature in an app and provide strategies for exploring, evaluating and teaching its effective use. Finally, there will be time for questions, answers and additional resources.

When: Wednesday 3 August 2016, 03:00 PM – 04:15 PM Time Zone: (GMT-07:00) Arizona

To register now, please visit the following link:

https://ihd-azucd.adobeconnect.com/e6lwicrslyd/event/registration.html?campaign-id=080316-VoiceOver-AzTAP

We’re celebrating the 26th Anniversary of the ADA today. Watch (or search) our Facebook and Twitter feeds for updates! #ADA26MD

Every step, every minor change gets us a little closer to a more inclusive society. Whether people are crowdsourcing funding for assistive technology or tech companies are spearheading invention, accessibility & inclusivity are closer than ever before. AT in the news for the week of 7/18 thru 7/22

Social Robots – programmable by everyone – Personal & Service Robots

Facebook creates program enabling blind to ‘see’ photos 

Why a controversial method for autism communication hasn’t disappeared

Research, Technology Aid Effort to Help TBI Patients

Pokémon Go Is Helping This Autistic 6-Year-Old In The Most Amazing Way

Summer Camp Experience for Campers Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired

Amazon expands VoiceView accessibility tool for visually impaired users to the Kindle Paperwhite

Medical harpoon reduces need for open-heart surgery

How we’re applying inclusive design practices to gaming

Human hearing loss could be reversible

Knots is a fun and entertaining game for children or young adults to encourage socialization and turn-taking

Obi robot arm gives disabled diners a helping hand

USAA crafts smartphone app technology for visually impaired customers

Nottingham-made technology to help dementia patients living at home

A Disabilities Tech Company Is Raising Money on Kickstarter

More tech companies focusing on assistive technology with Braille

Google Grant to Create Smartphone Access Device for People Who Can Not Use Their Hands

The Maryland Equipment Link is the place to post assistive technology you no longer need or want, like wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, and more. Now you can finally move those things cluttering your basement & attic, or just help a relative who no longer has use for that medical equipment.

You can buy, sell or search for any type of assistive equipment on the Equipment Link!

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