Unable to see the
world around him, Amit Patel fitted his guide dog with a camera and set about
recording evidence of the discrimination he faced but could not see. "The
city is a scary place. It's like someone put you in the middle of Trafalgar
Square, turned you in a circle and said 'find your way home'." That is
Amit Patel's new reality after he lost his sight unexpectedly in 2012, six
months after he got married. He now relies on guide dog Kika to get him around
the once familiar streets of London.
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designed to make life a little easier for blind and visually impaired people.
Using a pair of smart glasses or a phone camera, the system allows an Aira
agent to see what the blind person sees in real-time, and then talk them
through whatever situation they're in. Aira promises to make everything from
grocery shopping, calling an Uber or world travel more accessible for blind
people across the globe. Aira doesn't replace existing assistance systems.
Instead, it's designed to enhance them. A blind person navigates the world
using whatever tools they normally do, such as a cane or guide dog, and only
calls the Aira agent when needed. When the agent picks up, he or she sees a
live video feed and the location of the person calling on Google Maps,
alongside general biographical information.
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comes after the Mars brand released three TV ads featuring disabled actors
during the Rio Paralympics in September. The spots won a Channel 4 competition
awarding £1m in airtime to the best creative idea featuring disabled people.
One of those, about a deaf woman whose hearing aid is swallowed by a dog, aired
for the first time using British Sign Language and no subtitles. The new ad is
made of Braille, the tactile writing system used by visually-impaired people,
with the dots formed of model-made Maltesers. The poster marking World Braille
Day will be accessible for everyone through a combination of audio description
and a translation on Maltesers UK’s Facebook page. The Braille translation reads: "Caught a
fast bus once – turns out it was a fire engine.
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startup and EIT Digital Challenge winner Blitab Technology will be one of the
biggest European disruptive innovations to be presented at CES 2017, the global
consumer electronics tradeshow taking place in Las Vegas from 5-8 January.
BLITAB developed the first tablet device that creates tactile Braille and
graphics for blind and visually impaired people. To produce tactile Braille the
tablet uses smart micro fluids to develop small physical bubbles instead of a
screen display. Blitab Technology recently took first first place in the
Digital Wellbeing category of the 2016 EIT Digital Challenge, and aims to
improve the social wellbeing and digital inclusion of people who may have had
difficulty accessing the digital world until now.
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girl from Quebec City has won first prize in a national writing contest. Amélie
Boucher's poem about flowers, titled Les fleurs, snagged her the first prize in
the kindergarten to grade 2 category of the Pan-Canadian Literary Creative
Braille Contest, organized by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.
Amélie was born completely blind in Vietnam. She was adopted by a couple in
Quebec, who are also both partly blind. After her arrival here, Amélie
underwent several surgeries, including a corneal transplant in order to improve
her quality of life.
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