Raising the Floor News

Neurotone Offers Cloud-based Auditory Training

Listening And Communication Enhancement (LACE) has long been offered to audiology professionals to use with their clients. It's now available online to hard of hearing people themselves, at a reduced price. 11 days of training help new hearing aid users improve their performance in typical hearing situations that are often challenging: noisy settings, multiple speakers, rapid speech, etc.

Posted on June 12, 2012 at 8:51 am in Highlights

Family Ribbon Simplifies Key Online Applications

Family Ribbon is a new service that takes popular online applications like email, Facebook, Skype, and Flickr and integrates them into a simple interface that emphasizes usability and family connectedness. There's a free version, and one for $US5 per month. Easy, illustrated user guides can be printed for reference. Remote administration allows a family member to make sure everything is working properly. Native for iPad, there's a Windows 7 beta version.

Posted on June 10, 2012 at 6:21 am in Highlights

Canadian Telecom Regulators Review Services for People with Disabilities

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is investigating how well connected people with hearing and speech disabilities are. CRTC is launching a study to understand the need for video relay service and related features. Two recent studies by Telus and Bell Canada had different results about usage and cost, and different recommendations. The new study will seek to reconcile the two reports, look at international initiatives, and examine the prospects of new technologies.

Posted on May 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm in Highlights

Benton Foundation and Connected Living Host "Getting Seniors Online"

The Benton Foundation and Connected Living hosted a meeting on May 22, 2012, in Washington DC on how to attract seniors to broadband ICT. Many of the attendees were programs funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP).

Posted on May 23, 2012 at 7:03 am in Highlights

SpokenLayer Adds Voice to Online Content

A new iOS app, SpokenLayer allows users to hear published content via speech synthesis or human narration. Unlike other cloud-based text-to-speech services, SpokenLayer is aimed at online publishers such as The Atlantic, National Journal, Engadget, and TechCrunch, rather than consumers looking for access to web pages. As such, SpokenLayer offers professional voice talent, and encourages authors to record their own pieces. Another piece in the cloud-based text-to-speech service puzzle!

Posted on May 21, 2012 at 7:52 am in Highlights

Needs & Numbers Group Is Launched

Raising the Floor's new Needs & Numbers Group was launched April 18 with an online kickoff meeting across 4 countries and 6 time zones. Members shared resources, projects, and plans for understanding how to quantify and explore the ICT use of people with disabilities and others who, for one reason or another experience some sort of functional disadvantage.

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 5:19 am in Highlights

Raising the Floor Prepares for World Summit on the Information Society

Next month will mark a new level of activity for Raising the Floor as we participate in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva, May 14-18. Our activities will feature dramatic demonstrations of Cloud4All/GPII technologies, automatic personalization of computers, tablets, and phones for a wide range of users with disabilities. RtF leaders will also make 3 presentations on ICT and disability.

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 4:52 am in Highlights

Qatar Telecom Supports Accessibility

QTel, the major telecom company in Qatar, is supporting a number of local accessibility programs as well as its own. Its customers with disabilities are eligible for special services such as:

Posted on March 26, 2012 at 3:18 pm in Highlights

India Launches Online Braille Library

According to the Times of India, braille users can now access tens of thousands of books online, wherever they are. The service, establsihed by India's National Institute for Visually Handicapped (NIVH), has been in operation since this past January. Users can download online books, and can also find where paper braille copies are stored.

Posted on March 19, 2012 at 3:12 am in Highlights

GPII Hackathon Forges Ahead

A small team of developers from Switzerland, Bulgaria, Canada, and the US converged on the Coleman Institute in Boulder, Colorado for 4 days last week to work out the architecture of the GPII personalization framework and to implement a working prototype on Linux and Windows. The primary goal for the Hackathon was to define the APIs and components that make up the overall desktop architecture.

Posted on March 10, 2012 at 11:00 am in Highlights