Google, fashion and smartphone apps – these are just some of the topics covered in the news this week. Check out our Top Five stories below.
1. Conversant Labs' Quest To Make Smartphone Apps Usable For The Visually Impaired
Imagine what it would be like if one day your doctor told you that your eyesight will soon be functionally gone. That’s what Chris Maury experienced back in 2011, but when he started looking into digital accessibility tools that would enable him to stay productive and keyed into his digital life, he found very few. Maury founded Conversant Labs in 2014. It released its first app for the visually impaired, voice-driven shopping app SayShopping, last July. Next up for Conversant Labs: a software kit that will help app developers make their products accessible to the visually impaired. Conversant Labs will soon release its SayKit software development kit (SDK) for iOS applications, which was built with the knowledge the team acquired while they were making SayShopping. SayShopping was something of a test run to try solving a complex problem for the visually impaired. When Maury and his team spoke to people in the visually impaired community, the most popular request was for a tool to help navigate around the physical world—which was a far more difficult problem than Maury felt his startup-sized team and resources could solve. The second-highest request, a shopping app, was feasible—and important.
Read the full story here: http://www.fastcompany.com/3058436/startup-report/conversant-labs-quest-to-make-smartphone-apps-usable-for-the-visually-impaire
2. Carmen Papalia, blind artist, says museums need to be more accessible
What responsibility do galleries and museums have to make their spaces accessible? It's a question that visually-impaired Portland, Oregon artist Carmen Papalia takes very seriously. "As someone who learns through their non-visual senses, I consider the museum not to be for me, necessarily," said Papalia, speaking with Hallie Cotnam on CBC Ottawa's Ottawa Morning. "But I'm always trying to find my own way in." Papalia is one of two speakers — along with University of Regina artist and professor David Garneau — taking part in a free talk Tuesday evening at the Ottawa Art Gallery on museums and accessibility.
Read the full story here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/art-accessible-carmen-papalia-1.3562614
3. The Fashion Designer Who's Bringing Visual Impairment Into the Fashion Industry
Bianca Von Stempel is a fashion designer motivated towards changing perceptions of visual impairment through her love for fashion design. Raising awareness of sight loss through her creative and dynamic deisgns. Out to prove that sight loss isn't a barrier to achieving your aspirations in life. Stempel, aged 20, is a London based student studying a degree in fashion design. She's currently in the stages of completing her final collection for her degree and her designs have been featured at London Fashion Week.
Read the full story here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/emily-davison/fashion-designer-visual-impairment_b_9827868.html
4. Google’s new smart lens patent is like Google Glass injected in your eyes
Google has recently patented a new smart lens technology with the US Patent and Trademark Office which includes a smart lens that would be injected in to a user’s eyes. This type of contact lens, called intraocular, features existing technology used to treat cataracts and myopia, but has never before been used with accompanying tech components.
Read the full story here: http://mobilesyrup.com/2016/05/04/googles-new-smart-lens-patent-is-like-google-glass-injected-in-your-eyes/
5. Accessible Internet, Communication, and Technology (ICT) - Bottom-line, Accessibility Benefits Everyone
Universal accessibility in the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector holds unparalleled promise and opportunity for people with disabilities never before seen in our history. Many people are surprised to learn just how much of the world’s population is affected by a disability, and how valuable accessible design of ICT is to the global marketplace. It is also important to note that disabilities are a normal part of life. Persons with disabilities are not broken, they just might navigate the world in a different way. We all can add value when given the opportunity to tap into our unique innate abilities. Accessible ICT is an important part of that equalizing equation.
Read the full story here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/debra-ruh/accessible-internet-commu_b_9818454.html