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Using Cortana and Speech Recognition Together on Windows 10

Oct 1, 2015

Using Windows 10 Cortana and Speech Recognition Together One of the holy grails of computing is to one day be able to have machines perform perfect speech recognition. The ability to control computers with speech benefits everyone, but can be specifically powerful for people with disabilities. Many people are unable to use a mouse or […]

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Global Accessibility Awareness: USA

Sep 30, 2015

[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr5mTNBhWow[/embedyt] At Brigham Young University, five undergraduate mechanical engineering students have constructed an inexpensive, lightweight motorized wheelchair. The chair, made with a PVC frame, is strong enough to carry up 50 pounds, or a child of roughly 6 years old. Motorized wheelchairs can cost as much as 15,000 dollars. The student-produced chair, on the other […]

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Global Accessibility Awareness: Spain

Sep 23, 2015

In Spain, The National Organization of Spanish Blind People, commonly known as ONCE, was founded in 1938 to raise funds and provide services for people with visual impairments. ONCE employs 136,000 staff, of whom 88.5% are people with disabilities. ONCE sells a charity lottery ticket known throughout Spain as the Cupón. With over 2 billion […]

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Global Accessibility Awareness: Korea

Sep 16, 2015

Roughly 75% of the visually impaired are unemployed worldwide. Did you know that for 100 years, South Korea has designated Masseurs as an occupation solely for the blind? The law has not been without controversy. But as long as this law remains in place, visually impaired masseurs will continue to have secure employment. Make your […]

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Interview with Jonathan Avila, Chief Accessibility Officer

Sep 9, 2015

The third installment of our Accessibility Activists column is an interview with Jonathan Avila, Chief Accessibility Officer for SSB Bart Group. Avila is also a participant in the WCAG Working Group, and the mobile accessibility task force at the WAI. When did you first get started in accessibility? I worked at a summer family vacation retreat/camp […]

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Tactile Features on Currency Notes are a Worldwide Trend

Aug 26, 2015

Tactile features on currency notes are used in many countries around the world, which allows citizens with visual impairments to handle money more easily. Canada’s currency notes are printed with a tactile feature in the corner so that visually impaired citizens can easily tell what denomination they’re holding. So are the currency notes in Bahrain, Thailand, Malawi, and […]

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NVDA: A Free Open-Source Screen Reader that Anyone Can Use

Aug 18, 2015

In 2006, two Australian programmers — Michael Curran and James Teh — released a free open-source screen reader called NVDA. This was a huge win for accessibility, because at the time, screen readers could cost more than the computers on which they ran. (Many screen readers remain very expensive.) The high cost of screen readers made […]

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People with Disabilities Still an Afterthought in Tech Design

Aug 7, 2015

Voice of America recently published a great article by Aida Akl on digital accessibility. In the article, Akl addresses the ways in which people with disabilities are ignored during the design process of new technologies, in spite of the progress made in accessible computing. She also discusses the difficulty in getting older systems and static […]

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New Yorkers Celebrate First Disability Pride Parade

Jul 16, 2015

On Sunday, July 12th, New York City hosted its first annual Disability Pride Parade. Over 3,000 members of the disability community took over Broadway to champion equal access, and to mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Crowds cheered enthusiastically as participants passed by. Mayor Bill de Blasio was in attendance, telling reporters he […]

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Interview with Mirabai Knight, Realtime Captioner

Jul 1, 2015

The second installment of our Accessibility Activists column is an interview with Mirabai Knight, a realtime captioner. Knight is also a contributor to the StenoSpeak for Android project. When did you first get started in accessibility? You could argue that my first entry into accessibility was in third grade, when we were given the assignment to invent something […]