Monday, August 31, 2009

Handcontrols for an Airplane

Wired has a good article on a guy whose rigged an airplane to fly using hand controls entitled "New Hand Controls Allow the Disabled to Fly"

"Flying an airplane, like driving a car, requires using your hands and your feet. While cars can be modified so the disabled can drive, there have been few options for people who can’t use their legs but still wish to fly. Scott Johnson wants to change that.

Most people are familiar with the stick or yoke used to make the airplane pitch up and down or bank left and right. But airplanes also have two pedals that direct the rudder, which is critical in controlling the aircraft in turns or a tricky crosswind. The Minneapolis flight instructor said he’d received phone calls from people who dreamed of becoming pilots but were told they couldn’t because of their disability, so he decided to find a way to open the sky to them."

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Braille Fail

I'm all for awareness of Braille, but on a billboard? Does this go along the lines of Braille Tattoos?

Via Fail Blog.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Grants for families living with autism

ACT Today Logo
ACT Today is accepting grant applications for families living with autism.
Families must provide documentation of diagnosis and demonstrate need, but looks like an opportunity to get some assistance with funding for items or services not covered by insurance or other services for individuals with autism. Applications must be postmarked by October 26.

Application packet (pdf)

Via Wheelie Catholic

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

2009 NDEAM Poster Available

National Disability Employment Awareness Month poster 2009

The 2009 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) poster is now available to order online at no cost. The theme for this October's NDEAM is Expectation + Opportunity = Full Participation. The poster can also be downloaded in PDF format in English and Spanish. For more information about employing people with disabilities read the publication Diversifying Your Workforce--A Four-Step Reference Guide to Recruiting, Hiring, & Retaining Employees with Disabilities.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Labelmaker for the blind

Danni Luo's labelmaker for the blind: "

hand held braille printer concept design

Interesting design concept for an Embossing Braille Printer for the blind and visually impaired. It uses voice recognition to input information in to the device.
"Most of the time, the blind can distinguish items by touch alone, but when they encounter items with similar shapes, they may have difficulties. The blind can also identify some items by smell or taste, but sometimes that can be risky.
Embossing braille printer is a handheld Braille printing device, which can help the blind to distinguish items with similar characteristics by using special embossed labels. With similar items such as pill bottles, CDs, or files, the blind can input concise external information through a voice-recognition recorder.
Interesting device, but I'm not sure of the overall utility of it. There are already Braille labelers out there, though not as easy to use as voice recognition. The other concern I would have is the accuracy of the recognition. At this point, this device is a concept design, however as voice recognition becomes better, and costs for technology come down, it may be a product whose time has yet to come. Either way, I'm glad to see the design community thinking about the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Get more information @ Core77"

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Accessing Pdf with Screen Readers- Guide from Adobe

I love the irony that Adobe puts out a guide called "Accessing PDF documents with assistive technology: A Screen Reader Users Guide (PDF, 368K) "

One would think, if you can't access pdf documents with your screen reader than you're not going to be able to access the guide which tells you how to do it, which is in pdf format.

Adobe Accessibility Resource Center

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Helen Keller Video

"An intriguing historical artifact found floating on YouTube like driftwood. Helen Keller — inspiration to generations and inspiration for an entire genre of schoolyard humor — and her teacher and friend Anne Sullivan in a clip from 1930 in which they describe the way in which Helen learned how to speak."

Via BoingBoing and Colihouse

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Too Shocking Disability Advertisement?

See what you think for yourself before I give my 2 pence.
"It is the advertisement deemed too shocking for you to see. At any age, any one of us could be struck down with motor neurone disease – a fatal condition that robs its victims of their mobility, leaving healthy minds trapped within wasted bodies. But witness its ravaging effect on a real-life sufferer? That, the television censors have decided, is too graphic for viewers to handle."- Telegraph (UK)

Firstly, I'm against censorship, and my objections to this are not to say it should be banned from anywhere.
I'm all for a good shock job and getting people's attention, but this isn't a good use of shock on a couple of levels. Firstly, its disturbing not because of the disability aspects of it, but because it has overtones of abuse, rape and kidnapping. I debated putting it on this site because of this, but feel it raises some important issues (though not the one's intended).
On the disability side, it feeds the idea that disability is a horrific thing to be feared, and is a sentence. It's praying on people's fears to solicit money and equating disability to the imagery in this ad, is wrong and does a disservice to individuals with disabilities. Pity and fear are not emotions to build independence and civil rights for individuals with disabilities on.

What are your thoughts?

Sarah's Story site

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Two Athletes and Friends with Disabilities

From ESPN (via) Wheelie Catholic:

High School Teammates Carry On

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Chalkbot Message for Katie

Chalkbot came through for us. My message for Katie was printed by Chalkbot, see below or Click here for a larger version.
What you can't see in the image below but can on the larger one is that it provides the date, time and location where the message was printed.

Don't forget 5K for Cancer, I need sponsors, less than two months to go.

Chalkbot message

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Braille Tattoos

I've seen a variety of Braille Tattoos around, both conceptual and have now see a design for a haptic tattoo. The idea is to implant beads of a material under the skin which would be tactile.

"the implant could be placed on the hand - between thumb and forefinger, so that it could be read when shaking (or holding) hands"
concept by Klara Jirkova
Via Universitat der Kunste Berlin

Below are other "Braille" tattoos, which are not haptic.
""LOVE" in braille to symbolize that Love is Blind."
From by shewhophotographs

From Smushed Cow

From Flora Fleempaard

"Get busy living" from Bluekarzo

From the_girl

From Karli Brooke

From reason_and_nature

From juan () fonzo

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