<![CDATA[Each Wednesday, we will be bringing you an article of interest as it pertains to the topic of accessibility and we hope you can use it to become more familiar with this particular area. This has become a rapidly growing and very important area and why? Because the number of consumers in this market is growing and will continue to do so for the forseeable future. Governments, corporations, and individuals are paying more attention. Please read on. The Sterling Creations team +++++++++++++++ Free Magnifier Among First Smart Accessibility Awards. A smartphone app which allows people to magnify text and adjust fonts and background colours was among the winners of the inaugural Smart Accessibility Awards for smartphone applications aimed at supporting disabled and older people http://developer.vodafone.com/smartaccess2011 Zoom Plus Magnifier, developed by a UK partnership of 232 Studios, Ian Hamilton and Digital Accessibility Centre, offers functionality for free that has previously largely only been available in software and camera products costing hundreds of pounds. Four international awards of 50,000 Euros each were presented by the Vodafone Foundation - a charitable arm of mobile communications provider Vodafone -in partnership with AGE Platform Europe, a network of organisations working with older people, and the campaign group European Disability Forum. The other winners were Help Talk ( http://www.1000empresas.com ), an app developed in Portugal allowing people who are unable to speak, such as those recovering from strokes, to communicate by tapping on icons; Wheelmap (http://wheelmap.org/en ), an app developed in Germany which lets users rate the accessibility for wheelchair users of public places; and BIG Launcher ( http://biglauncher.com/), an alternative customisable Android home screen for elderly or visually impaired users who often struggle to use the small keyboards on most devices, developed in the Czech Republic. BIG Launcher uses big buttons and large fonts to represent all the basic functions of a phone such as voice calls, text messages and cameras. Jan Husak, the app's co-developer, says a typical smartphone home screen is not very accessible for elderly and blind people, being often crowded with all sorts of icons and widgets. "On Android, due to its openness, you can choose from dozens of launchers, but they mostly offer functions which are only appealing to geeks - even more icons, special graphical effects and so on. "BIG Launcher makes using the phone easy, even for users who are scared of new technologies. It allows its users to use the phone quickly in any situation, without pulling out their glasses or getting lost in the menus." Wheelmap is an app that builds on top of Google maps, overlaying information about wheelchair accessibility of any location such as a restaurant or railway station sourced from users. In its first month 1,200 users registered for the app, posting information about 180,000 places. Andrew Dunnett, director of the Vodafone Group Foundation, told E-Access Bulletin the type of crowdsourcing used by Wheelmap held huge promise for disabled people. "The potential for that to change people's lives is very impressive. The maps are there, the handsets are available - the key is the user groups, and how they engage with it." In all some 67 applications were received by the awards, with 12 shortlisted before the four prizes were award, Dunnett said. He confirmed that the foundation would be rerunning the awards next year.]]>
- When customer reps redeem the images of their companies
- When customer reps redeem the images of their companies
- Artificial or attitude? I am still trying to figure this one out and I have to admit that I may never be able to do so. This so-called artificial/attitude barrier has been around much longer than I and this is what it is. Too often, whenever someone with a disability is accompanied by either a friend or family member, they are asked if the accompanying person is a care giver. Recently, I was asked this same question when my friend accompanied me to a lab to have some tests done. The lab technician could not seem to stop herself in asking this question and she was very surprised when both my friend and I said in unison that we were friends. Why should she have been surprised? Was it that she along with so many others around us really do not expect us to have friends who accompany us to appointments? Or is it that they think we need care givers to escort us? Or is it simply that they just do not know what to ask? I do my best to be patient but sometimes I become frustrated and simply tell them that I do not need a care giver. Or I may just turn the question back to them and ask why do they think that my escort is my care giver? 99% of the time there is no response. One of my favourite memories is the day when my mom accompanied me to a pre op appointment and the medical assistant asked if mom was my nurse! On this occasion I could not help but burst into peals of laughter. My mom was speechless! After taking a-hold of myself I gently told the medical assistant that she was my mom; not my nurse. And very recently my friend and I accompanied my mom to the dentist and lo and behold! They thought my friend was a care giver and asked me for her phone number. When I told the staff that she was not our care giver but our friend they were shocked but at least had the manners to apologize. Just my two cents for today. Image: Five blue accessibility logos, hearing impaired, sign language, wheelchair, restroom with wheelchair and guide dog. To learn more about me as a sight loss coach visit www.donnajodhan.com
- Who is the Person on the Street?
- A Review of the Taco-Bell Restaurant