Microsoft Offers Free Webinar: Game Your Way With Xbox

In The Accessibility Learning Webinar Series, Microsoft aims to share the latest technology and accessibility features across Microsoft products and help answer common accessibility questions.

The next webinar is on Xbox Accessibility on August 21st, 2019, from noon to 1 pm, Pacific Time (8:00 PM GMT), and is available to everyone including international audiences. The Xbox team will share the latest in accessible gaming and perform demos on Xbox Adaptive Controller, Co-pilot and more. Register for Game Your Way With Xbox .

You can review the schedule and register for your favorite topic by visiting the Accessibility Webinars Sway. Microsoft will continue to update the Sway with more topics every quarter. Once Microsoft receives your registration, the company will send you an email with a link to join the webinar.

Mike May Joins Access Explorer Team as Chief Evangelist

The Access Explorer team (an incorporated company owned by American Printing House for the Blind), is excited to welcome Mike May, a pioneer in accessible navigation.

"Mike has more than 25 years of experience in accessible indoor wayfinding and literally originated this effort in the US. There is nobody with more experience or passion for accessible indoor navigation than Mike," says Access Explorer CEO Jose Gaztambide. "He's an incredible leader and human being, and everybody at Access Explorer and the indoor navigation industry will benefit from his commitment and presence."

Mike will help the Access Explorer company develop partnerships, identify resources to help expand its mission, and ensure Access Explorer's work meets the highest standard of accessibility.

"I've been learning how to navigate since I was blinded from an explosion at age 3, and have worked on accessible navigation as a profession since the mid-90s," explains May. "The timing for indoor navigation to be adopted by the public is now. it's the newest frontier. I believe the Access Explorer company is poised to make sure accessibility is part of that breakthrough, and I look forward to being part of this important mission."

The Nearby Explorer app was created by the non-profit, American Printing House for the Blind (APH). As the popularity of Nearby Explorer grew, APH saw the need to take the app and concept to the next level. In March of this year, after a period of studying the business need and feasibility, and developing approaches to solving the obstacles to indoor navigation, APH formed the new for-profit corporation: Access Explorer, Inc.

Neuroplasticity and Development Lab at Johns Hopkins University seeking study participants

The Neuroplasticity and Development Lab at Johns Hopkins University is seeking participants for an MRI research study on cognition and brain plasticity. The goal of this research is to investigate how the brain adapts to the absence of vision. For this particular study, we are seeking research participants who were born with normal vision and lost their sight during adulthood. Participating in this study involves traveling to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and doing an MRI scan. The scan session lasts one to three hours. During the scans, participants listen to stories and sounds, and then answer questions about what they hear. Participants are compensated $30 per hour for their time with a pre-paid bank card after the scan session. All travel and lodging costs to and from Baltimore are covered by the laboratory. To qualify for the study you must be a healthy blind adult between 18 and 65 years-of-age who experienced permanent vision loss at the age of 18 or older. Before taking part in the study, participants are asked to complete a 30-minute pre-screening interview over the phone to see whether they qualify. Those who complete the pre-screening interview receive a $15 Amazon gift card. To learn more about participating, please contact the lab either by calling 410-870-9895 or sending an e-mail.

Viscardi Center to launch National Center for Disability Entrepreneurship

This fall, The Viscardi Center, a not-for-profit that provides a lifespan of programs and services that educate, employ and empower children and adults with disabilities, will launch the National Center for Disability Entrepreneurship (NCDE) as a strategic pathway to help combat the many barriers people with disabilities face in the traditional employment model. The program is broken into separate phases and the center describes them as “…90-minute weekly sessions over a 14-to-20 week period. Each session is followed by a Q&A, corresponding assignments with deadlines, tutoring as needed and access to the NCDE’s expert Mentor Team and E-Advisory Council within program guidelines.”

Announcing the Release of Version 3.7 of Aira's iPhone GPS Apps

Aira announced an update to its recently acquired GPS mobile apps. These apps are as follows:

  • Seeing Eye GPS (subscription in North America),
  • RNIB Navigator (subscription in the UK, Ireland, France and Germany),
  • Guide Dogs NSW/ACT (subscription in Australia),
  • Seeing Eye GPS XT (no subscription)

Warning: Before you install the update, share your user points of interest with your email; otherwise, they will be deleted from the app. You can then click on the attachment of the email on your phone to import them into the new version.

This version of the apps brings the following changes and updates:

  1. Added a Call Aira Agent button on the location and active route screens. The Aira app can connect you with a trained professional agent to provide instant access to visual information.
  2. Added POI category: Aira Access Points. You can search nearby POIs that have Aira's free service Access Points.
  3. Aira Access Point automatic detection and notification. Now when you approach one of Aira's free Access Points, you will receive a notification. If you already have the Aira app installed on your phone and activate that notification, it will automatically load so that you can call an Aira agent. If you do not have the Aira app installed, you will be redirected to the App Store to download the Aira app. After creating a guest account, you will enjoy free assistance from the Aira agents at locations with Aira Access Points. If you find that you do not want these notifications, you can turn this off in General Settings under the heading Notifications.
  4. Fixed issues with User POI keyboard and headset button controls.
  5. Updated Google Maps SDK

The following countries and regions are available as of 2019: USA, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Canada, UK, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Lithuania, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Argentina and Israel.

If you would like to learn more about Aira’s acquisition of the Sendero GPS apps, see this page. To learn about the Sendero GPS apps, visit the Sendero website

Article Topic
AccessWorld News