VentureBeat: Google’s Project Guideline uses AI to help low-vision users navigate running courses

VentureBeat: Google’s Project Guideline uses AI to help low-vision users navigate running courses. “In collaboration with nonprofit organization Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Google today piloted an AI system called Project Guideline, designed to help blind and low-vision people run races independently with just a smartphone. Using an app that tracked the virtual race via GPS and a Google-designed harness that delivered audio prompts to indicate the location of a prepainted line, Guiding Eyes for the Blind CEO Thomas Panek attempted to run New York Road Runners’ Virtual Run for Thanks 5K in Central Park.”

PR Newswire: American Foundation for the Blind Announces Access and Engagement Report, Illustrating Impact of COVID-19 on Students with Visual Impairments and Their Educators (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: American Foundation for the Blind Announces Access and Engagement Report, Illustrating Impact of COVID-19 on Students with Visual Impairments and Their Educators (PRESS RELEASE). “The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced the release of the Access and Engagement research report, based on the Spring 2020 survey that investigated the early impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education of 455 students with visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities and deafblindness, and their families. The study also examined the experiences of 1,028 teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs), orientation and mobility (O&M) specialists, and dually certified professionals.”

PR Newswire: American Foundation for the Blind Announces Flatten Inaccessibility Report, Illustrating Impact of COVID-19 on Blind or Visually Impaired Adults (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: American Foundation for the Blind Announces Flatten Inaccessibility Report, Illustrating Impact of COVID-19 on Blind or Visually Impaired Adults (PRESS RELEASE). “The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) today announced the release of the Flatten Inaccessibility research report, the culmination of survey findings from 1,921 U.S. participants who are blind (65%) or have low vision (35%). The survey investigated the experiences of these participants during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to determine how they were affected in areas including access to transportation, healthcare, access to food and supplies, employment, education, and voting.”

Centennial Citizen: Preserving blind Coloradans’ history

Centennial Citizen: Preserving blind Coloradans’ history. “More than a century’s worth of records now packed into boxes and storage containers in the basement of the Colorado Center for the Blind will soon be transformed into a comprehensive, digital history and made available to the public. Members of the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado are in year two of a five-year project to digitally preserve records of the state’s blind community — before the documents deteriorate or are lost. Most importantly, project leaders said, the history will finally be accessible to the very community it’s written about.”

Make Tech Easier: Google Docs Update Includes Improved Braille Integration

Make Tech Easier: Google Docs Update Includes Improved Braille Integration. “If you have never had to use the accessibility features on your computer or your device, you may not know how visually-impaired users read information on their computer or how they navigate around the screen. If you are someone who needs that assistance, Google Docs has just stepped it up with an update that brings improved braille integration.”

Concordia University: Concordia postdoc builds a database to study the factors behind age-related sight loss

Concordia University: Concordia postdoc builds a database to study the factors behind age-related sight loss . “Caitlin Murphy (GrDip 08, MSc 10) is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Concordia Vision Lab. Her research investigates the physiology of the retina in individuals with visual impairment using optical coherence tomography. She is currently building a database of images of individuals with visual impairment, which will allow researchers to pursue interdisciplinary projects on vision and aging. She also hopes it will help clinicians to better understand how vision loss impacts other areas of health.”

Niagara Gazette: Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service goes online

Niagara Gazette: Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service goes online. “In 1987, Bob Sikorkski founded the Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service. It’s designed to give people who are blind, have low vision or have other print disabilities, the ability to hear books as well as local publications. On July 31, they took, their service online for streaming and podcasting. Previously, listeners would have to get a special radio to be able to listen in.” I checked in on the stream. It is not location-restricted and is free to listen to.

Washington Post: World’s fastest blind athlete and his running partner try to stay in sync as they remain apart

Washington Post: World’s fastest blind athlete and his running partner try to stay in sync as they remain apart. “The relationship between David Brown and Jerome Avery is as unique as they come in the sports world. Avery has been by Brown’s side for all of his most successful moments. They have been literally tethered together as they have sprinted down the track, legs pumping and arms swinging in perfect rhythm. Brown, 27, is the fastest blind sprinter on the planet and the first to run 100 meters in under 11 seconds. Avery, 41, serves as his eyes on the track. As Brown’s running guide, Avery sprints right next to him in training and competitions, escorting him from the starting blocks to the finish line…. Over the past four years, the two have been preparing for the Tokyo Paralympics, but their training has been upended by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing guidelines recommend they remain at least six feet apart, which is difficult when the string that connects them on the track is less than a foot long.”

CNET: Google debuts a braille keyboard for vision-impaired Android users

CNET: Google debuts a braille keyboard for vision-impaired Android users . “Braille has been helping the blind and vision-impaired to read and communicate for more than 150 years. Now Google wants to help blind and vision-impaired Android users put braille to work on their smartphones.”

Daily Mail: Software developer creates a simplified website of coronavirus statistics to make them accessible for the blind or visually impaired

Daily Mail: Software developer creates a simplified website of coronavirus statistics to make them accessible for the blind or visually impaired. “Tyler Littlefield, a software developer based in Boston, has created a database of COVID-19 statistics meant to be accessible to the visually impaired. …the site organizes up-to-date COVID-19 data in simple charts specifically designed to be legible to a range of aid devices the visually impaired use to access websites.”

WTSP: New GPS app could help people who are visually impaired find their way

WTSP: New GPS app could help people who are visually impaired find their way . “Carlos Montas has been blind since he was a child. He often relies on others to help him get around or navigate unfamiliar places. But Montas, who also happens to work at Pinellas Lighthouse for the Blind, is one of the first to be trying out a new app being developed here in the Bay Area called Lazarillo – a step-by-step audio assistant that describes what’s around him.”

Wired UK: Online Altruists Are Making Reddit More Accessible

Wired UK: Online Altruists Are Making Reddit More Accessible. “These volunteers are from a little subreddit called r/TranscribersOfReddit, who voluntarily type out extremely detailed descriptions of various content so that visually impaired people can access it. The band of noble souls have the goal of making Reddit, and the internet as a whole, a more accessible place. If you travel to one of r/TranscribersOfReddit’s 72 partner subreddits, like r/thatHappened or r/me_irl, there’s a chance you could stumble upon one of the group’s elaborate transcriptions.”

Mashable: Twitter knows GIFs dominate the platform. A new accessibility feature will allow more people to enjoy them.

Mashable: Twitter knows GIFs dominate the platform. A new accessibility feature will allow more people to enjoy them.. “If you’ve ever looked at Twitter while sports were happening, you’ve probably seen countless GIFs posted as reactions to big plays. Twitter made that slightly more accessible on Friday, adding the ability to add text descriptions to GIFs. It’s an extension of the same feature that has existed for still images for a while.”

Northern Illinois University: With the help of a federal grant, NIU is revolutionizing the way braille is taught

Northern Illinois University: With the help of a federal grant, NIU is revolutionizing the way braille is taught. “More than 5,000 teachers of students with visual impairments from across the country have completed an online course developed and hosted at NIU with support from a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The course, known as UEBOT-1 (Unified English Braille Online Training), was designed to train teachers already familiar with the braille code formerly used in the U.S. (English Braille American Edition) in the new braille code, Unified English Braille (UEB), which is now used in English-speaking countries throughout the world.”