universal access

Memo Touch

Introducing Memo Touch, a tablet designed for elders with short-term memory loss

While the implementation may not be the best, this is a killer good idea and it allows family members to log into the account and set up reminders.

Of course, someone might write an app like this for iOS and then one could have all the benefits of an iPad plus a custom reminder system.

The problem with any idea like this is it has to be made fully accessible to people who can’t see, hear, or use the tablet’s UI well.

I think this is a job for my friend David Niemeijer at AssistiveWare.

Maine laptop in schools program ten years later

Would a Laptop for Every Student Help? In Maine It Certainly Did

One of the many reasons Angus King and others in Maine chose Macs was the more mature “universal access” features on Macs. What Maine did with laptops remains one of the best implementations of computers in schools to date.

Given that writing is a large component of what these laptops are used for and a high percentage of students learn to touch type, iPads probably won’t be folded into the mix any time soon.

Behind the scenes on accessible voting

WIRED News has a fascinating and depressing story: Diebold and the Disabled about disability groups being in bed with Diebold (the controversial voting machine company) initially to push their agenda of making voting more accessible (electronic voting is generally more accessible than paper or mechanical voting) but now it has come out that Diebold has given a lot of money to numerous disability groups in exchange for lobbying. Bad news for the credibility of these groups and it sure looks like a conflict of interests to me.

Disability rights and accessible voting do not trump the rights of all Americans to have fair voting with a process that is transparent and open to scrutiny. Current Diebold machines produce no paper trail (metaphoric or otherwise) and this is unacceptable, especially after the 2000 election fiasco in this country.