Sony’s Visual Speech Enablement uses cameras and AI to read lips from far distances, no matter the noise. But are its accessibility benefits overshadowed by the potential for privacy violations? By Steven Winkelman
Updated January 13, 2021
Facial-recognition software can identify faces in a crowd, but how about picking up conversations without the help of nearby microphones? Sony’s Visual Speech Enablement does just that, using camera sensors and AI for augmented lip reading in any environment.
Sony’s New Lip-Reading Technology Could Boost Accessibility – or Invade Privacy full article
By Steve Dorsey
June 28, 2019
The federal government, corporations, cities and even medical facilities across the country are looking past the needs of blind Americans by failing to address problems with braille signage.
CBS News has uncovered complaints to the Justice Department’s Disability Rights section about missing or incorrect braille at a number of public facilities, including Albuquerque’s bus system, restaurants in Kansas and Pennsylvania, and hospital and medical buildings in Chicago, among other locations. The records, spanning two years, were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Forty-one-year-old Vencer Cotton, who’s been blind since birth, often encounters bad braille in Washington, D.C. Cotton says he once entered the wrong restroom because of it.
Bad Braille Plagues Buildings Across U.S., CBS News Radio Investigation Finds full article
By Mark Gross
Aug 21, 2017
A part of The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 508 requires that government agencies provide individuals with disabilities equal access to their programs, services and activities. Specifically, Section 508 deals with electronic and services, including web page content, PDF documents and audio and video content and specifies requirements to ensure that all web content is accessible to people with disabilities. The latest update to Section 508, known as “the refresh,” went into effect March 21, 2017.
How Does the Refreshed Section 508 Rule Affect Your Agency? full article
By Liezel Labios, UC San Diego
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
“The Language of Glove”: a smart glove that wirelessly translates the American Sign Language (ASL) alphabet into text and controls a virtual hand to mimic ASL gestures.
Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a smart glove that wirelessly translates the American Sign Language alphabet into text and controls a virtual hand to mimic sign language gestures. The device, which engineers call “The Language of Glove,” was built for less than $100 using stretchable and printable electronics that are inexpensive, commercially available and easy to assemble. The work was published on July 12 in the journal PLOS ONE.
Low-Cost Smart Glove Translates American Sign Language Alphabet full article
By Ile, April 24, 2017
Discovery and recollection.
Discovery and recollection are two necessary elements for travel for our friends who are blind. This presents a difficult task in a city the size of Boston, with its nearly 8,000 bus stops.
It is necessary for all to move from point A to point B, whether home to work, work to play or home to “the necessaries” such as groceries, doctors’ offices, visiting friends or journeys to study. Public transit is a wonderful and beneficial asset. The physical movement of vehicles, coupled with information to support choices for travel, is an important service to the community at large. Still, for a person who is blind, partially-sighted or deafblind the “last few feet” can be a great void.
BlindSquare and BlindWays, Connecting the Dots for Travelers in Boston, Then and Now. full article
American Association of the Deaf-Blind
Deaf-blind people have many different ways of communication.
The methods they use vary, depending on the causes of their combined vision and hearing loss, their backgrounds, and their education.
Below are some of the most common ways that deaf-blind people communicate. These methods described are used primarily in the United States.
Sign Language and Modifications
Some deaf or hard of hearing people with low vision use American Sign Language
or an English-based sign language. In some cases, people may need to sign or fingerspell more slowly than usual so the person with limited vision can see signs more clearly. Sometimes the person with low vision can see the signs better if the signer wears a shirt that contrasts with his or her skin color (e.g., a person with light skin needs to wear a dark-colored shirt).
How Do Deaf-Blind People Communicate? full article
OTTAWA, ONTARIO–Marketwired – June 23, 2016
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Canadians who are visually impaired or print disabled will have better access to books and other copyrighted materials. The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, today announced that the Act to Amend the Copyright Act (access to copyrighted works or other subject-matter for persons with perceptual disabilities) has received royal assent.
The amendments to the Copyright Act enable Canada to be among the first countries in the world to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.
Legislation Will Improve Access to Copyrighted Materials for Visually Impaired and Print-Disabled Canadians full article
10 March 2016
Assistive technology developers need to do more to meet the diverse needs of deafblind By 2030, the UK is likely to have 570,000 people with hearing and sight problems
Assistive technology developers and service providers need to do more to meet the diverse needs of the rising number of older people with both hearing and sight problems, according to a new report launched at the University of Sheffield today (10 March 2016).
medium: The study – Keeping in Touch with Technology was commissioned in 2014 by Sense, the national charity for deafblind people, to explore the experiences of older people using telecare and assistive technology.
Technology is Failing to Meet the Needs of Older People With Hearing and Sight Problems, Report Finds full article
CHATHAM, N.Y., Oct. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire
3DPhotoWorks LLC, with support from the National Federation of the Blind, announces a 3D printing process that allows blind people to “see” fine art, diagrams, and other images. This recently patented process converts any conventional painting, drawing, collage or photograph into a 3D Tactile Fine Art Print. Prints have length, width, depth, and texture and are available in sizes up to 60″ x 120″.
The Company has devoted seven years to the development of this exciting new technology with the goal of making art and photography available to blind people at every museum, science center and institution, first in the United States and then worldwide.
3D Printing Creates Major Breakthrough for Blind People full article
March 7, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fedora Outlier LLC, a nationally recognized firm of all blind and low-vision team
members, announces the iOS Master Series with Access Touch.
Fedora raises the bar for both the blind and deaf-blind with its signature Access
Touch feature for the iOS Master Series. Produced for Fedora Outlier by
iHabilitation Canada, Access Touch is an optional tactile enhancement to the
series that allows users to literally “get a feel” for their iPhone and iPad screens.
This gives users a better understanding of their devices and promotes faster
learning than traditional methods of assistive technology teaching.
Fedora Outlier LLC Blazes a Trail in Assistive Technology Teaching for the Blind and Deaf-Blind with its iOS Master Series full article