Sunday, November 13, 2011

Inclusive technology

I’m feeling guilty because I set my digital marketing students a blogging assignment this week, yet my own blog badly needed updating… so I thought I would mention some of the lovely stuff that I am enjoying teaching for the “inclusive communications” module of UCC’s HigherDiploma in Facilitating Inclusion (Disability Studies).

You can use the iPad2 with a projector using a simple connector costing €29. so I’ve been showing the students apps like Dexteria, which has been designed with input from occupational therapists to help improve fine motor skills and costs €3.99. 

Something I like about a lot of the assistive technology apps is they show the ways that tablet computers can be used to overcome literacy issues, which affect nearly 25% of the Irish population in their use of technology. It’s a valid criticism that iPad apps can only help a tiny minority of affluent westerners. Some 25 million have been sold, so that’s about 0.003% of the world population. 

But up until recently, communication apps for those with speech difficulties cost about $8000. Now an iPad plus something like ProLoQuo  comes in at well under $1000 and there are programmes to collect old mobile phones and recycle them to reduce costs further. This very short YouTube clip shows what a change that $1000 could make to a child’s life.

Oh, and one more thing… How about this StanfordUniversity summer project where engineers figured out that blind people could type Braille on an iPad because you could get the keys to seek out the fingers, not the other way around? 

Next task: Fix the 22 accessibility errors on this blog spotted by 

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