Registration is Now Open for the 2020 M-Enabling Summit

The 2020 M-Enabling Summit will take place in Washington, DC, June 22-24. The event will be hosted at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

The M-Enabling Summit is a 3- day event with opportunities to hear from leaders and innovators in accessibility, attend breakout sessions, explore the Exhibitor Showcase, and network with accessibility professionals from around the world.

A complete agenda for all 3 days of the Summit can be found on the M-Enabling Agenda webpage.

At the conclusion of the conference, IAAP will also be offering the Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) and Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) exams on-site. The exams will start at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, June 24. Registration and application information is now available on the IAAP's Certification Application page.

IAAP members in the private sector can take advantage of a $50 savings off the private sector registration rate using an IAAP discount code. IAAP members in the Government, Non-Profit, and Educational sectors are already eligible for special discount pricing.

Conference registration includes admission to the exhibit floor and all conference sessions, luncheons, coffee breaks, keynote presentations, and networking events, as well as the M-Enabling Summit cocktail reception on Tuesday night.

Early Bird registration ends April 30th.

Blindfold Games Creator Marty Schultz brings Gamified Learning to Visually Impaired Students with ObjectiveEd

Marty Schultz is best known for developing the Blindfold series of iOS games for people with vision loss, which includes dozens of titles from air hockey to hearts. Recently, he co-founded a company called ObjectiveEd, which produces educational games for students with low vision. A "gamified" learning tool is one that uses some aspect of a game in the methods it uses to teach. For example, for finishing quiz questions, a program may award coins that can be used to purchase real in-classroom benefits. The goal of ObjectiveEd is to bring this sort of learning to students who are blind or visually impaired.

In collaboration with researchers and educators in the blindness education field, ObjectiveEd has created games that target skills that students will need in the future. For example, one game awards students points for properly performing VoiceOver gestures.

What makes this platform unique is that there is a teacher's portal where educators can see various statistics regarding their students' use of the games, such as play frequency and success rate. In addition, the teacher can adjust the difficulty of games to keep in sync with a student's learning rate.

The company is in the process of developing new games and features so check back for further news. More information is available on the ObjectiveEd website.

HIMS Releases New, and Final, Firmware Release for its U2 Line of Braille Notetakers

HIMS recently announced the latest firmware release for the U2 lineup of braille notetakers. Please note, as the U2 lineup continues to get older the devices will lose functionality due to the operating system. As a result, this firmware release will be the last one for the U2 products.

If you own a U2 notetaker, HIMS asks that you consider taking advantage of their trade-in promotions, running now through the end of March 2020.

As part of the latest firmware, the U2 Notetakers will now include a Wiki Search, Quick Start Guide, and a Podcast Search. YouTube, Twitter, and Google Talk have been removed, and improvements have not been made to the Web browser. Microsoft email accounts cannot be accessed via IMAP.

For more information, including how to upgrade the firmware and the complete release notes, please visit the HIMS website.

Envision and Wichita State University (WSU) Announce Partnership

Envision and Wichita State University announced today that they have entered into a Collaborative Research Agreement that will guide joint projects geared toward improving the quality of life of individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The agreement covers initiatives and programs related to research grants or funding, new studies and the development of technologies or techniques that can help individuals with vision loss achieve greater independence at home and in the community.

“This is a major milestone in the ongoing relationship between Envision and WSU that will add to our community’s image of being an incubator for innovation,” said Ron Schuchard, Ph.D., FARVO, executive director of the Gigi & Carl Allen Envision Research Institute. “Coming together in this way to share resources and expertise related to blindness and visual impairment sets the stage for significant advancements in vision rehabilitation research, patient care and assistive technology with worldwide implications.”

Through the Collaborative Research Agreement, WSU personnel will have access to Envision’s experts, facilities specifically designed with the challenges of vision loss in mind and an abundant on-site population of youth and adults who are blind or visually impaired. Such access will give them a real-life perspective on the impact their projects will have on people who are blind or visually impaired Envision will benefit from utilization of WSU’s academic and research experts, student body and supporters, and its facilities to advance work conducted by: postdoctoral research fellows and scientists at the Envision Research Institute; Cathy G. Hudson Envision Child Development Center; William L. Hudson BVI Workforce Innovation Center; Bicknell Envision Vision Rehabilitation Center; and leaders of Envision Arts, support programs and public/professional education initiatives. 

“Having a resource as dynamic as Envision nearby represents a fantastic opportunity to explore factual applications of concepts and theories produced in our classrooms and labs, and provides a clear channel through which the university’s vast resources can assist Envision in its ongoing mission,” said Dennis Livesay, dean of WSU’s College of Engineering.

March 2020 Table of Contents

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AccessWorld News