[indiana-l] Fw: PCB smart phone software for people with disabilities
hoosierrita at comcast.net
Fri Mar 19 23:46:28 GMT 2010
----- Original Message -----
From: Tammy Cantrell
Sent: Friday, March 19, 2010 3:21 PM
Subject: PCB smart phone software for people with disabilities
Here's a link to the projects mentioned in the story below
For those with a disability, a little help can go a long way.
They have a new source of help at their fingertips, thanks to
University of Washington computer and engineering students.
The students created five different phone applications to help the
disabled with real-world tasks.
Professor Richard Ladner said the students worked in teams to develop
five different applications. This was not a competition, so throughout
the process, the students collaborated with each other and even shared
Bottom line: their assignment was to produce accessibility tools.
"Nearly 90 percent of America's blind children are not learning to
read and write," said UW student Janet Hollier.
So Hollier and her team created "BrailleLearn," a mobile application
that makes it fun to learn braille. It's a virtual pet game.
The player uses the touch pad and vibrations in the phone to learn
braille symbols. You earn tokens for correct answers to keep your pet
happy and fed.
"They get to feed it they get to exercise it. They get to play with
it," said Hollier.
Jason Behmer and his team used Google Maps to create an application
that helps determine your location, what direction you are going, and
what points of interest or businesses lie ahead if you are blind,
low-vision or deaf-blind.
"This is just consumer technology," Behmer said. "You know I walk down
the street and say, 'Oh, there's a Starbucks. I want a coffee.' But
maybe a blind user who hasn't been here before doesn't see the
Starbucks or doesn't know, so hopefully with this they can explore new
areas and try new things and that."
So out on the street, this application can help you find a cup of
coffee. And the best part about getting this application on your
phone? It will cost you far less than that cup of coffee.
"Well, it's free. It's open-source," Behmer said.
Similar applications cost $1,000 or more, according to Behmer.
The students also developed a daily task trainer and scheduler for
people with cognitive disabilities, an application that uses the
phone's camera to read characters for the blind. The last program -
"Where am I?" - helps people who are blind or have low vision find
nearby people and places.
For more information:
Mobile Accessibility Close
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