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IAAP International Association of Accessibility Professionals
  1. Designing Mobile Apps for Use By People with Cognitive Disabilities
  2. Assistive Technology Helps Foster Independence in Special Needs People
  3. There’s an App for That: How Assistive Tech Changes the Lives of People with Autism
  4. New Facility to Help Those with Disabilities
  5. Dubai Inclusive Development Forum Begins
  6. How One Paris Startup is Becoming an Uber for People with Disabilities
  7. Why Your Links Need a Hover Effect
  8. The Simple Guide to Web Accessibility Testing

1

Designing Mobile Apps for Use By People with Cognitive Disabilities

Currently there is a group of people working at the W3C on issues regarding mobile app design and users with cognitive disabilities. A Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force (Cognitive A11y TF) was created as a part of the Protocols and Formats Working Group, in addition to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group. Mobile accessibility issues are the aim of SSB’s chief accessibility officer, Jonathan Avila, who wrote this article on designing mobile apps for uses with cognitive disabilities.

Avila covers researching gaps in current guidelines and how to fill these. He is on the Mobile Accessibility Task Force, which looks at issues related to mobile accessibility. He says identifying possible solutions and offering support for those with disabilities is key to designing for all users.

Read the complete article on designing accessible mobile apps

2

Assistive Technology Helps Foster Independence in Special Needs People
 

This “Khaleej Times” article starts with the story of Zahra Abdul Nasar, who was born with hereditary spastic paraparesis. Zahra cannot speak, but thanks to assistive technology she now has a voice. Zahra is one of more than 270 students at Dubai’s Al Noor Training Centre. Assistive technology is not a new concept. In the Middle East, though, the use of assistive technology in the classroom and at home is still burgeoning.

Struggling to communicate with those around you is frustrating. Now with the use of an iPad those who were unable to communicate, such as Zahra, can speak what is on their mind. This is referred to as an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) approach. Zahra uses the tools to pick and choose from a picture menu on the screen before her. Allowing communication for those who are unable to speak aloud allows for their independence. 

Read the complete article on how one facility is bringing assistive technology to the Middle East

3

There’s an App for That: How Assistive Tech Changes the Lives of People with Autism

This “Guardian” article discusses the new array of assistive technology for those who have autism. Persons with autism are considered to be neurodiverse due to unique ways of thinking and perceiving the world. At times, those living with autism still need assistance for independence. New groundbreaking technologies are being highlighted at a conference in Manchester, England.  

There is a lot of new, exciting assistive technology now available, from biometric wristbands to robots that can help with interaction. A cloud-based app called Brain In Hand helps children with autism plan day-to-day activities. Sixteen-year-old Bethan Jones is transitioning from school to college and uses Brain In Hand to log and keep up with everyday events. With contact to support at the Wirral Autistic Society, she can get immediate advice or support anytime.

Read the complete article on assistive technology for persons with autism

4

New Facility to Help Those with Disabilities

“Channel NewsAsia” reports on the development of Tech Able, a newly constructed facility in Lengkok Bahru, Singapore, which is the first facility designed to help people with disabilities to work and live independently. The facility houses the Singtel Enabling Innovation Centre and the ST Engineering Enabling Technology Centre.

The Innovation Centre offers those with disabilities training and employment opportunities. Customized training in communications and technology will also be offered, including in the areas of contact center operations and online social marketing. The Technology Centre will be focused on assistive technology. Tech Able is changing the way people with disabilities of Singapore approach employment. 

Read the complete article about the first-of-its-kind facility in Singapore to help persons with disabilities

5

Dubai Inclusive Development Forum Begins

This “Emirates 24/7” article highlights the Dubai Inclusive Development Forum 2015, which aims to open discussions on turning Dubai into a disability-friendly city by 2020. The Forum, held at Madinat Jumeirah on October 11-12, addressed challenges and alternatives that contribute to turning Dubai into a disability-friendly city.

The General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai was responsible for organizing the Forum. The initiative “My Community … A City For Everyone” was mandated for the city. This initiative hopes to spread and exchange knowledge of various topics about the rights of people with disabilities, and to discuss methods of support for societal inclusion. Experts from all over the world, in addition to academics, practitioners and local specialists, participated in the Forum.

Read the complete article about the Dubai Inclusive Development Forum

6

How One Paris Startup is Becoming an Uber for People with Disabilities

This “Mashable” article tells the story of Parisian Charlotte de Vilmorin, a lifelong wheelchair user, who, when visiting Florida this year found it tough to find a car that she could use. In response, she cofounded Wheeliz. This French car-sharing service easily connects people with disabilities with owners of cars that are adapted. The program allows those with adapted vehicles to list their car for use when it is available, allowing access to a vehicle for the customer and gaining extra money on the side. Wheeliz is inclusive and competitively priced and plans to spread through France and internationally.  

Read the complete article on Wheeliz, a Paris start-up that connects people with disabilities with accessible transportation

7

Why Your Links Need a Hover Effect

This “UX Movement” posts talks about the importance of hover effects for colorblind users. While links contain text, they should never look like text. Distinguishing between what is clickable and what is not is crucial for webpage readability. Too little contrast can make links on the web get lost. Most sites combat this with making links a different color from text. This is not enough for colorblind users, who may not see the color difference.

A hover effect is when the cursor changes from an arrow to a hand. This denotes a clickable link. A hover effect gives a clear signal to notice a color change or shape, telling colorblind users to click and keeping them from missing out on links on your website.  

Read the complete article on how hover effects make links accessible to colorblind users

8

The Simple Guide to Web Accessibility Testing

This “Software Testing Help” post provides a simple guide to web accessibility testing, which is a specialized and dedicated branch of testing. These testers ensure that websites are indeed effective in the area of accessibility. Common challenges or difficulties that accessibility guidelines try to address are also covered.   

Read the complete article on web accessibility testing

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