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Podcast: Play in new window Download. Your weekly dose of information that keeps you up to date on the latest developments in the field of technology deed to assist people with disabilities and special needs. App: Dragon Go!
If you have an AT question, leave us a voice mail at: or tech eastersealscrossro. Like us on Facebook: www. Welcome to episode of Assistive Technology Update. We have a story about a service called if I need help and also a cool new cane for someone who is blind or visually impaired the promises to do facial recognition. We have an app called Dragon Go from BridgingApps and more. Call our listener line, give us some feedback. That is Only have a minute? Head on over to one of our other shows, Accessibility Minute. Every week, 60 seconds, really cool accessibility information.
Check it out. At mygaming. Apparently a gentleman named Ben Coleman institute game is sort of famous on YouTube for modding videogame controllers or kind of changing them and adapting them for different purposes. He talks about the fact that some of the controllers from organizations like Microsoft and Sony really do require the use of both hands out of the box.
So on his YouTube channel, Ben takes and goes step-by-step through what it takes to turn a two-handed controller into a one-handed control. They talk about how he solders. They talk about how he makes changes to the circuit boards and also how he uses some 3-D printed parts to re-create some of the buttons and things that need to be used in that situation.
Pretty cool stuff there happening in the gaming world and check our show notes. You can learn more about it. RJ Cooper is fairly well known in the world of assistive technology, and recently in one his newsletters, I became familiar with a new organization and service called If I Need Help. The idea behind this is there are coleman institute game and adults who have autism or other kinds of disabilities which mean that they may wander. So If I Need Help is a nonprofit organization that sells stuff, ID cards, dogtags, and things that go on your shoelaces.
It has coleman institute game QR code. It has a photograph so you can verify that you have the right person, and then it tells you who to call and what to do to get the person help. This is new to me. I thought it was fascinating and interesting. Basically it looks and acts a lot like a traditional white cane used by somebody who is blind or visually impaired to navigate, but it has facial recognition and GPS built in. Based on this article, it seems to me that the cane is going to be smart enough to know about where you are and then continually scan the environment for known faces, people that you know and probably have taken their pictures.
Those pictures are stored on an SD card right there in the cane, and then it will tell you as you approach people, do you know this person or not, and maybe a little bit of information like on your left is your friend Bob or something like that. But it seems pretty interesting and really, kind of makes sense that a cane would be used to do something like that. Promising, interesting stuff. Check our show notes. Dragon Go gives users one-app access to everything they want on the mobile web using their voice. Just say what you want and Dragon Go not only hears what you say, it also understands what you want, delivering excellent mobile search within seconds.
Smart, accurate, and fun, Dragon go is a must-have app for users who have difficulty using a keyboard or spelling is a challenge. You can also share your Dragon Go via an easy to use pop up toolbar featuring link share options acrosstext messages, Facebook, and Twitter. Dragon Go voice detection is fairly accurate, reducing frustration. The app is easy to use with a variety of search engines, making it a great addition to any mobile device.
Dragon Go is free in the iTunes store and is compatible with iOS devices. For more information on this app and others like it, visit BridgingApps. He is currently a partner at Allsop Louis which is a venture capital firm. And I have to get my nerd on when I realize he was involved in the original development of VisiCalc, which was the first computerized spreheet that kind of hit the computer industry back in the late 70s and early 80s era.
I am flattered and thrilled to have Bill Coleman on the line today. Bill, are you there? It was a useful tool. Well, first, my professional background, as you already said, is 40 years in the technology field, which has really been exciting me all along. But I have a personal interest in cognitive disabilities because I believe that one technology can make a fundamental difference. That really brought it all together for us.
My talk at the conference is going to be around those trends. So tell me why assistive technology and making technology accessible coleman institute game is so important. BILL COLEMAN: Well, as I said, when we envisioned the institute 15 years ago, the fundamental feeling was that communication computing technology going forward was going coleman institute game actually allow our physical and virtual lives in many ways to converge.
Coleman institute game felt that this could actually lead to the ability — the software systems and communities to support people with cognitive disabilities really evolved. Literally this could become a prosthesis for life that could enhance our abilities and overcome our disabilities. So that vision is really applying technology to help. It can help connect us by connecting, measuring, monitoring, reporting and appropriately controlling our environments with the Internet of Things as it emerges, and things like big data analytics and machine learning that would allow the systems to adapt to our abilities and support our disabilities.
This is something that will help everybody. Talk to me a little bit about the differences between assistive and mainstream technology. Is that stuff kind of coming together? Is it moving apart? What do you think? There are so many exciting things dawning in technology. You hear a lot about that on advertisements and companies, etc. As the world becomes more and more instrumented, sensors, devices everywhere, the world can and will adapt to you as an individual. Think about what that can do with people with cognitive disabilities.
If the systems really can — they really can overcome our limitations and, as I said, become a prosthesis for life. Low vision is much more involved in our culture these days. Are you saying that the line that divides people with disabilities and without is also moving? When we founded the institute, we specifically made it for cognitive disabilities. Right now, there are systems and software that have actually been proven — and you can go online.
That is just one example. Tell me, you gave us some idea about the why it was founded, but tell me some of the things that go on there, maybe some of the success stories that have come out of the Coleman Institute. David Braddock to become the director, he really helped us broaden our vision. We do scientific research. We do public advocacy. We have a PhD program. We hold an annual symposium that really is the center of bringing together the academic, the practitioners, the researchers, the government, and corporations.
We have about five or folks come. We team with a couple of other disability organizations. One of the things we are really proud of is the government has a program through Niter which is part of the Department of Education called the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center. But untilthere were none for any cognitive disabilities. It was all done on physical disabilities. We spent two years working with Niter, and then we competed, working with Kathy Boudin who will be my co-speaker at the plenary session on Saturday of the conference. For the first time ever, a center devoted to cognitive disabilities.
These are five-year activities, so we just won the second renewal of it. Last year, we formed a partnership to create another center for cognitive disabilities related to health and wellness for people with cognitive disabilities. We also publish annually the State of the States coleman institute game Developmental Disabilities report.
You see dramatic changes when people find out that their state is 47th, as Colorado did when we published the first time, in services in this case for Down syndrome. All of a sudden, the whole state legislature was flooded, and that changed very quickly.
But the primary objective right now, something we focused on for a long time, took about five years to get started, is we and many of the cognitive disabilities organizations have teamed together to create a Declaration of Rights for People with Cognitive Disabilities to Technology, Information, and Access. We believe that this is a fundamental right for people in our society. We hope anybody who is listening to this that has interest will go to our website, ColemanInstitute.
The support from the community has been phenomenal. Now we are moving from the community to starting to work with governments. The state of Colorado not only passed it in both houses, but every legislature on both sides of the houses voted to cosponsor it.
We want to move through the states. We are starting to engage businesses. And then ultimately we want to go to the U. I love it when the rubber hits the road like that. I want to shift gears a little bit, and I want to ask you a question about what has been, whether assistive technology or just mainstream technology, what has been your favorite dream come true.
And I just wonder if you can give me any perspective on your favorite technology dream come true. I mean, you know, I remember when I was a kid growing up in the 60s, all the Dick Tracy phone watch and all that kind of stuff. The smartphone is the most amazing thing that has ever been developed.
I call it my Swiss Army knife. Now, just a little glimpse of the Internet of things, they are connecting with things like the Apple Watch and into your healthcare application and can monitor all sorts of stuff. This is just the beginning. It brings the technology in a really usable and from the way to everybody. It really is important. Bill, thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to day. Give us the website for the Coleman Institute again, and any other contact information that you would like to provide where people can learn coleman institute game by you and your work.
I really encourage people to go there. Once again, while you are there, please look at the declaration and endorse it. Bill, thank you so much for spending some coleman institute game with us today. Do you have a suggestion for someone we should interview on Assistive Technology Update? Call our listener line at Head on over to EasterSealstech. That was your Assistance Technology Update.
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ATU – Bill Coleman of the Coleman Institute and RESNA speaker, Modding Game Controllers, If I Need Help, Face Recognizing Cane for the Blind, Dragon Go, Bridging Apps