SXSW EDU Launch Winner Our Worlds Bringing Native American Culture to Life Through Mobile-Based Immersive Reality — from the74million.org by Tim Newcomb

Excerpt:

Take a stroll along the La Jolla Shores Beach in San Diego, and you might find sand between your toes. But users of the new Our Worlds app, winner of the 2022 SXSW EDU Launch Competition, might also find much more. Through augmented reality, they can look at that same stretch of beach and see handmade tule boats from the local Kumeyaay tribe.

Our Worlds launched to highlight Native American history via modern-day technology, putting what founder and CEO Kilma Lattin calls “code to culture” and pushing Native American civilization forward. Lattin says Our Worlds offers a full suite of technology — virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence — to capture all the components that make a culture.

 

Apple’s first AR/VR headset inches closer to launch — from protocol.com by Nat Rubio-Licht
The company reportedly showed off the device to board members as it makes progress on the headset’s operating system.

Camp K12 Launches Hatch Kids, a Metaverse & AR/VR Creation Platform for Kids — from edtechreview.in by Stephen Soulunii

….

 

 

Opportunities for Education in the Metaverse -- from downes.ca by Stephen Downes

Opportunities for Education in the Metaverse — from downes.ca by Stephen Downes

Excerpt:

This short presentation introduces major elements of the metaverse, outlines some applications for education, discusses how it may be combined with other technologies for advanced applications, and outlines some issues and concerns.

Also relevant/see:

What Should Higher Ed in the Metaverse Look like? – from linkedin.com by Joe Schaefer

Excerpt:

The Metaverse is coming whether we like it or not, and it is time for educators to think critically about how it can benefit students. As higher education continues to evolve, I believe every learning product and platform working with or within the Metaverse should, at least, have these functionalities:


Addendum on 5/23/22:


 

From DSC:
Wow…I hadn’t heard of voice banking before. This was an interesting item from multiple perspectives.

Providing a creative way for people with Motor Neurone Disease to bank their voices, I Will Always Be Me is a dynamic and heartfelt publication — from itsnicethat.com by Olivia Hingley
Speaking to the project’s illustrator and creative director, we discover how the book aims to be a tool for family and loved ones to discuss and come to terms with the diagnosis.

Excerpt:

Whilst voice banking technology is widely available to those suffering from MND, Tal says that the primary problem is “that not enough people are banking their voice because the process is long, boring and solitary. People with MND don’t want to sit in a lonely room to record random phrases and sentences; they already have a lot to deal with.” Therefore, many people only realise or interact with the importance of voice banking when their voice has already deteriorated. “So,” Tal expands, “the brief we got was: turn voice banking into something that people will want to do as soon as they’re diagnosed.”

 

Teacher Kelly VanDyke awarded ‘Educator of the Year’ by the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan — from mlive.com by Skyla Jewell-Hammie

Excerpt:

Grand Rapids elementary teacher Kelly VanDyke was recently recognized as the 2022 Educator of the Year by the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan.

VanDyke, who teaches at Central Elementary in Kenowa Hills Public Schools, was celebrated for her successful, supportive approach to teaching children with Down syndrome…

 

New Accessibility Features Coming to Apple Devices — from .lifewire.com by Cesar Cadenas; fact checked by Jerri Ledford
Helping people with disabilities navigate the world

Excerpt:

Door Detection is a new mode coming to Apple’s Magnifier app. As the name suggests, the feature helps people find the door and how far they are it, and describes various attributes of the door. These attributes include if the door is open or closed as well as how to open it.

 

Addendum on 5/19/22:

Addendums on 5/20/22:

 

From DSC:
I love the parts about seeing instant language translations — including sign language! Very cool indeed!
(With thanks to Ori Inbar out on Twitter for this resource.)

Realtime American Sign Language translation via potential set of AR glasses from Google

Also see:

 

Inside Microsoft’s new Inclusive Tech Lab — from engadget.com by C. Low; with thanks to Nick Floro on Twitter for some of these resources
“An embassy for people with disabilities.”

Increasing our Focus on Inclusive Technology — from mblogs.microsoft.com by Dave Dame

Excerpt:

In recent years, tied to Microsoft’s mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, teams from across Microsoft have launched several products and features to make technology more inclusive and accessible. [On May 10, 2022], as part of the 12th annual Microsoft Ability Summit, we celebrate a new and expanded Inclusive Tech Lab, powerful new software features, and are unveiling Microsoft adaptive accessories designed to give people with disabilities greater access to technology.

Microsoft’s Latest Hardware Is More Accessible and Customizable — from wired.com by Brenda Stolyar
The wireless system—a mouse, a button, and a hub—is designed to increase productivity for those with limited mobility.

Excerpt:

Microsoft if expanding its lineup of accessibility hardware. During its annual Ability Summit—an event dedicated to disability inclusion and accessibility—the company showed attendees some new PC hardware it has developed for users with limited mobility. Available later this year, the wireless system will consist of an adaptive mouse, a programmable button, and a hub to handle the connection to a Windows PC. Users set up the devices to trigger various keystrokes, shortcuts, and sequences. These new input devices can be used with existing accessories, and they can be further customized with 3D-printed add-ons. There are no price details yet.

Along these lines, also see:

  • 14 Equity Considerations for Ed Tech — from campustechnology.com by Reed Dickson
    Is the education technology in your online course equitable and inclusive of all learners? Here are key equity questions to ask when considering the pedagogical experience of an e-learning tool.
 

The Future Is Here: Assistive Technology for Learning Disabilities — from studycorgi.com; with thanks to Alysson Webb for this resource

Excerpt:

Equal learning and personal development opportunities help ensure everyone reaches their highest potential. However, it is important to look at comparable needs. People with learning disabilities can require individual or additional services from a school program. According to the National Center of Educational Statistics, in 2019 – 2020, 14% (7.3 million) of children from 3 to 21 received special education services in the US. One-third of them had various learning disabilities that required specific assistance and tools.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is a Learning Disability?
  2. Assistive Technology (AT) in the Classroom
  3. AT for Learning Disabilities: Benefits & Tools
  4. References
 

New portal connects employers with neurodivergent job seekers — from protocol.com by Sarah Roach
Google, Dell and others are contributing to the Neurodiversity Career Connector.

Excerpt:

Microsoft, Google, Dell and a handful of other tech companies are helping to roll out a career portal for neurodivergent job seekers.

The Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable and Disability:IN introduced the Neurodiversity Career Connector, a platform for neurodivergent job candidates to find employers, the organizations announced today. Almost 50 companies that are part of the Roundtable, including Ford and SAP, are contributing to the portal.

 

College & Career Guide for Students with Disabilities — from study.com by Jamie Julh, Lisa Keith, Nicole Nicholson, Taylor McGillis; with thanks to Alysson Webb for this resource

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Students with disabilities made up 19.4% of enrolled undergraduate students in the U.S. according to the most recent data release from the Department of Education (DoE). However, many of these students may be afraid to or not know how to advocate for themselves and obtain the assistance they need. Data on graduation rates for students with disabilities can be hard to come by, but based on a recent study by the DoE National Center of Education Statistics, only 54.2% had graduated with a bachelor’s degree after six years. One possible reason for this low graduation rate is that only 35% of students with disabilities chose to disclose those disabilities to the college or university they attended, and only 24% chose to utilize accommodations. This guide is intended to help students with disabilities learn about their rights, the laws that protect them, and the resources available to help them see through their goal of obtaining higher education.

Also relevant/see:

 

Do digital distractions justify law professors’ prohibitions on laptops? — from abajournal.com by Stephanie Francis Ward

Excerpt:

If a professor is uncomfortable with laptops in the classroom, he or she might consider allowing a handful of students to use them, as official note takers, says Robert Dinerstein, a former acting dean of American University Washington College of Law, who directs its Disability Rights Law Clinic. The note-taking group should include students who do and do not have accommodations for laptops so no one is stigmatized, he adds. Dinerstein, a former commissioner on the ABA’s Commission on Disability Rights, now serves as its liason from the ABA’s Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice. Additionally, he co-chairs the section’s disability rights committee.

 

What Educators Need to Know About Assistive Tech Tools: Q&A with Texthelp CEO — from thejournal.com by Kristal Kuykendall and Texthelp CEO Martin McKay

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

THE Journal: What are some examples of the types of assistive technology tools now available for K–12 schools?
McKay: There are a broad range of disabilities, and accordingly, a broad range of learning and access difficulties that assistive technology can help with. Just considering students with dyslexia — since that is the largest group among students who can benefit from assistive tech tools — the main problems they have are around reading comprehension and writing. Assistive technology can provide text-to-speech, talking dictionaries, picture dictionaries, and text simplification tools to help with comprehension.

It’s important that these tools need to work everywhere — not just in their word processor. Assistive technology must work in their learning management systems, and must work in their online assessment environment, so that the student can use the assistive tech tools not only in class, but at home as they work on their homework, and perhaps most importantly on test day when they are using a secure assessment environment.

 

Day in the Life: Blind or Visually Impaired Professionals — from inclusionhub.com by Jeffrey Howard
While blind or visually impaired professionals still encounter inaccessibility and exclusionary hiring practices, some companies are adopting more inclusive protocols including remote work options and other accommodations.

Excerpt:

“It’s the same as someone asking for a second or third monitor,” continues Preston-Watson. “I’m asking for a screen reader. You’re asking for these accommodations. I’m just asking for the tools to do my job. People in different roles need different tools to do their jobs. And that’s the same thing for disabled workers.”

 

2021 Year End report ADA Digital Accessibility Lawsuits — from info.usablenet.com (need to complete form to get access to the report)

Excerpts:

The UsableNet data and research team reviews hundreds of website and app accessibility lawsuits in federal courts under ADA and in California state courts for our bi-annual lawsuit reports.

Highlights from the report include:

  • The top-line numbers in 2021
  • The trend of repeat digital lawsuits
  • Where key cases have brought some relief and re-focus on connecting to brick and mortar
  • A break-down of the impact on E-commerce
  • Top plaintiffs and plaintiff firms
  • The increase in lawsuits involving accessibility widgets and overlays

Also relevant/see:

Also relevant/see:

 

Google TalkBack: An Overview of Android’s Free Screen Reader — from boia.org

Excerpt:

TalkBack is Google’s free screen reader for Android devices. The software responds to familiar touch and swipe commands, allowing users to interact with websites and apps. When activated, TalkBack announces where the user’s focus is located, enabling people to control their phones, tablets, and other Android devices without using visual cues. In certain apps, users can input other touch and voice commands.

As part of our series of articles on assistive technologies, we’ll review some of TalkBack’s unique features — and provide tips for using the software to evaluate mobile accessibility.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian