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.”

Interesting Engineering: World’s First Tablet for the Blind Is Here

Interesting Engineering: World’s First Tablet for the Blind Is Here. “If you happen to be reading this and also blind, you might be using a Tactile Pro Braille Tablet by PCT. An Innovation Award Honoree at CES, this sleek tablet allows people with visual deficiencies to utilize technology in a way never before possible. In essence, the device is a keyboard and display for braille that interfaces through Bluetooth with smart devices.”

UN News: World Braille Day marks key communication tool for millions

UN News: World Braille Day marks key communication tool for millions. “Being marked for only the second time ever, World Braille Day on Saturday raises awareness of the importance of the tactile global communication system which helps enable blind and visually impaired people, to realize their full human rights.”

The Next Web: Visual accessibility will be a priority in 2020 — here’s how to adapt your site

The Next Web: Visual accessibility will be a priority in 2020 — here’s how to adapt your site. “It’s no surprise that visually impaired people are demanding better access. Populated with Instagram ‘stories’ and online stores that display 360-degree, high-definition product images and video, the web has become a visual public space. That puts many people at an unnecessary disadvantage.”

KMSP: St. Thomas students develop scanner to create digital archive of tactile images for the blind

KMSP: St. Thomas students develop scanner to create digital archive of tactile images for the blind. “Engineering students from the University of St. Thomas unveiled a scanner they developed to better preserve tactile images created for the blind. When the Minnesota State Services for the Blind transcribes school textbooks into braille, images in textbooks are turned into tactile diagrams, so that a vision impaired reader can feel the image.”

Microsoft: Microsoft Soundscape helps the blind and low vision explore the world in 3D sound with Bing Maps

Microsoft: Microsoft Soundscape helps the blind and low vision explore the world in 3D sound with Bing Maps. “Microsoft Soundscape is an application built by the Enable Group in Microsoft Research. It empowers anyone with a visual impairment to experience a mobile voice-based map that offers the independence to explore the world and the ability to choose how to get from place to another. With a stereo headset, a user can traverse their environment using a map delivered in 3D sound. You can hear where landmarks are around you to orient yourself, build a richer awareness of your surroundings, and have the confidence to discover what’s around the next corner.”