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How to DJ Using Only Your Eyes

Jan, 1, 2013

Music allows people around the world to creatively express their thoughts and feelings. For people who share this passion, losing the ability to make music would be a depressing  and scary proposition.  David Anderson is one of these people.  He has a neurological disorder (ALS) that weakens the body’s muscles progressively over time.  ALS typically […]

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Wheelchair-Accessible Taxis Can Be Hailed by Smart Phone in NYC

Jan, 1, 2013

Image courtesy of Aloogasi.com. Wheelchair-accessible taxis have been available for some time in New York City, but they have never been so quickly or easily summoned.  If you have a smart phone, you can now download the Accessible Dispatch WOW Taxi app, summon a wheelchair-accessible taxi to any location in Manhattan, and be transported. The […]

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Captioning Support in Internet Explorer 10: An Accessibility Breakthrough

Jan, 1, 2013

If you frequently watch video content on the web, you may have noticed the recent increase in the availability of captions. Sometimes they are part of the video itself, while other times they are created by voice recognition software during playback. In either scenario, the increased visibility of captioning technology is a result of The […]

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How an Xbox Kinect Can Assist a Stroke Victim

Dec, 12, 2012

Developers and hackers have been using the Xbox Kinect in several ways, some of which demonstrate useful applications for assistive technology.  One such application for the Kinect involves its speech recognition capabilities, as we examined in a previous entry.  A second application involves the Kinect sensor\’s ability to record physical gestures: Users with speech impediments […]

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Magic Arms from a 3D Printer

Dec, 12, 2012

When asked where the plastic parts in a computer come from, most people will answer correctly: large factories.  But factory-made plastic is becoming less universal.  With the advent of 3D printing, companies like Stratasys are building tools that allow us to create plastic parts without leaving our desk.  As 3D printers become more affordable, their […]

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Blind Photographers

Nov, 11, 2012

Visually impaired people have been taking photographs since the advent of cameras, and many have created art that would seem impossible.  We recommend watching the documentary “The Dark Light – The Art of Blind Photographers” for an in-depth exploration. BlindSighted contains a series of descriptions from visually impaired photographers of their individual processes for capturing images. Pete […]

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Good Vibrations – Touching Sound

Nov, 11, 2012

Touch the Sound, a German documentary about deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie, explores and expands our conventional thoughts on sound and hearing.  Most people don’t question how they hear, it’s taken as a given that this occurs through the ears. Glennie’s story illustrates some basic principles of sound, and deepens our understanding of other properties of sound.  […]

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How to Build a Language, Part 1

Oct, 10, 2012

A phoneme is a distinct type of sound that forms a building block of a language. An example in English is the phoneme /k/, which occurs in words such as cow, krill, school, and skid. Each language has its own phonemes, and a unique system of rules to explain how various phonemes are allowed to […]

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It’s How You Say It That Counts

Oct, 10, 2012

Designing good speech recognition software is no easy task. Nuance Communications should know. The company has succeeded in creating a product that amazes most users: Apple’s Siri. But this product, like the human speech it’s programmed to recognize, is imperfect. Most owners of an iPhone can share stories about Siri’s often humorous misunderstandings of their […]

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How Accessibility Makes Your Site Stand Out in a Pixel-Dense Age

Sep, 9, 2012

“What comes after HD?” The most likely answer to this question is something called Quad-XGA, which boasts a resolution of 2560 x 1440. High-definition displays, by comparison, are typically 1920 x 1080. Such a pixel-dense display is exciting for A/V enthusiasts to contemplate. But the rapid proliferation of pixel-dense displays is far less exciting for […]