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the becdot is a toy that helps teach vision impaired kids to read braille - Search

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the becdot is a toy that helps teach vision-impaired kids to read braille


advertisement learning braille is a skill that, like most, is best learned at an early age by those who need it. but toddlers with vision impairment often have few or no options to do so, leaving them behind their peers academically and socially. the becdot is a toy created by parents facing that challenge that teaches kids braille in a fun, simple way, and is both robust and affordable.beth and jake lacourse’s daughter rebecca (that’s her up top playing with the prototype) was born with usher syndrome, a common cause of blindness and deafness. after finding existing braille toys and teaching tools either too basic, too complex, or too expensive, they decided to take matters into their own hands.jake happens to have a background in product design, having worked for years at a company that






dot, a smartwatch for the blind, could help visually impaired stay connected


why it matters to you if you or someone you love is visually impaired, the dot could be a great way for them to stay more connected and independent in the age of smart electronics.a smartwatch with a unique interface is able to translate basic notifications for blind users by dynamically reproducing braille on its specialized surface. the dot has been in development for the past couple of years, but mass production has finally begun, with the first orders set to ship out in april.although braille has been a useful tool for those with limited vision for close to 200 years, in an age of touchscreens and smart devices, many of the world’s millions of visually impaired can be left out of the loop. among a few other pioneering devices, the dot is designed to fix that with a clever interface tha






inmates learn braille in hopes of getting work after prison


concord, n.h. (ap) — inside a prison workshop, several inmates tap away at what look like old typewriters.the devices are actually perkins braillers, which are used to write the code relied upon by many visually impaired people. in a first for new hampshire’s prison system, 14 female inmates are spending much of the year learning braille, so they can convert restaurant menus, textbooks and novels into braille.“to know i could actually do something good for somebody, that is good to know,” said molly martel, who is in the fifth year of a 20- to 40-year sentence for stabbing a friend to death.the decision to bring braille translation to the prison comes as the state readies to move to a larger women’s facility at the end of the year. as part of the planned move, officials began looking for n






students from around the country compete in the national braille competition at


fingers whirred, swiftly pressing down keys that would translate spoken words into lines of braille.for 45 minutes on saturday morning, 10 visually impaired high school students tapped furiously on perkins braillers — machines similar to typewriters that imprint the code on paper — while transcribing passages read aloud. this was the first exam of the daylong braille challenge finals, a national competition for low-vision and blind students 6 to 19, held this year at usc.cricket bidleman of morro bay was among the 50 finalists from across the country and canada to participate in the finals. the 18-year-old has grown up with the braille challenge — she started competing in 2006 when she was 7 and has won the finals four times. this was her last competition, and she has “loved every year i’v






students from around the country compete in the national braille competition at


fingers whirred, swiftly pressing down keys that would translate spoken words into lines of braille.for 45 minutes on saturday morning, 10 visually impaired high school students tapped furiously on perkins braillers — machines similar to typewriters that imprint the code on paper — while transcribing passages read aloud. this was the first exam of the daylong braille challenge finals, a national competition for low-vision and blind students 6 to 19, held this year at usc.cricket bidleman of morro bay was among the 50 finalists from across the country and canada to participate in the finals. the 18-year-old has grown up with the braille challenge — she started competing in 2006 when she was 7 and has won the finals four times. this was her last competition, and she has “loved every year i’v






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download download welcome to braille for beginners, a simple interactive app to help you learn and understand the written language of the blind. this app is an invaluable aid if you are learning, or if you are just plain curious (like me). braille is a system of reading and writing for the blind. it was invented around 1824 by louis braille who was born in coupvray, france in 1809. louis braille became blind as a result of a childhood accident and the system he invented was an adaptation of military night writing which was not a success. after you have looked at the signs a few times, why not try the quiz and see how much you have learned.






helping asia's disabled move forward with cognitive technology


chieko asakawa (photo credit: ibm)cognitive technology and machine-learning capabilities are essential to help the disabled stand on their own, but further advancements are needed to help them beyond the basics.the visually impaired now were able to perform more tasks than they did decades before the internet and mobile technology surfaced, said chieko asakawa, who was the first female japanese to be named ibm fellow back in 2009. she lost her sight at the age of 14 after an accident in a swimming pool damaged her optic nerve and had to abandon her dream of becoming an olympic athletic. asakawa, who joined ibm as a researcher in 1985, currently works with the carnegie mellon university in pittsburgh, usa, to identify ways accessibility technologies can help more people participate in socie






blindpad’s tablet makes visual information tactile for the vision-impaired


it’s truly amazing, the wealth of information we all have at our fingertips — that is, of course, unless your fingertips are how you have to access that information. an innovative new tablet that uses magnetically configurable bumps may prove to be a powerful tool for translating information like maps and other imagery to a modality more easily accessed by the visually impaired.the tablet, unnamed as yet, has evolved and improved over the past few years as part of europe’s blindpad project, which aims to create a cheap, portable alternative to touchscreen devices. it’s developed by researchers at the école polytechnique fédérale de lausanne.app lets visually impaired in india hear books in their native languagewriting aid for the blind provides a case study for "compassionate engineering"






blindpad’s tablet makes visual information tactile for the vision-impaired


it’s truly amazing, the wealth of information we all have at our fingertips — that is, of course, unless your fingertips are how you have to access that information. an innovative new tablet that uses magnetically configurable bumps may prove to be a powerful tool for translating information like maps and other imagery to a modality more easily accessed by the visually impaired.the tablet, unnamed as yet, has evolved and improved over the past few years as part of europe’s blindpad project, which aims to create a cheap, portable alternative to touchscreen devices. it’s developed by researchers at the école polytechnique fédérale de lausanne.app lets visually impaired in india hear books in their native languagewriting aid for the blind provides a case study for "compassionate engineering"






y combinator’s summer 2017 health care startups to watch


the vision-impaired frequently hurt themselves, with one blind person going to the hospital every 5 seconds due to head injury. but their options are limited to a low-tech $30 cane or a pricey $30,000 guide dog. sunu is a sonar bracelet that vibrates to let the vision-impaired know that they’re approaching an object. its six-month beta test saw users reduce accidents by 90 percent.sunu has sold $25,000-worth of its bracelets, which will ship in october. now that the product has been built and patented, it’s seeking to sell one to all 10 million blind people in the us. people are willing to pay a premium for safety, so even if cheaper devices emerge, sunu could win by becoming a trusted brand.






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microsoft's new ai app to assist the blind could be a 'game changer' in accessib


when those who are blind encounter text, an object, or a landmark, how do they determine what is in front of them? personal assistants, seeing-eye dogs, and canes traditionally have served this purpose. now, microsoft's new ai-based app called seeing ai presents another aid to overcoming this obstacle for the visually impaired. on wednesday, microsoft unveiled the app as part of its overall ai strategy—which also includes using ai to uncover bias and address global challenges. the ios app, previously available only on smart glasses, is now available for free on other devices—so anyone with an iphone or ipad can download it. microsoft has not yet revealed whether the app will become available on android. the app uses a camera plus an ai-powered vision recognition system to look at an object






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braille guide gives users a feel for 2017 solar eclipse


a new tactile guide lets everyone learn more about the upcoming 2017 total solar eclipse — even people who won't be able see it. the braille book, called "getting a feel for eclipses," features graphics that teach users about the interaction and alignment of the sun with the moon and earth. along with the guide, associated activities clarify the nature of solar eclipses.  "these tactile books bring the theory and context to life for me. as a student who is blind, i never quite understood the beauty and vastness of space," said mariah williams, a senior at the college of charleston in south carolina, who has been blind since birth. "now i understand what will be happening during the total solar eclipse on august 21st!" [total solar eclipse 2017: when, where and how to see it (safely)]at the






braille trail signs stolen from genesee park


jefferson county sheriff's officethe man seen in this video image is a person of interest. he was caught on camera at 8 a.m. on may 14 stealing a laminated paper sign being used as a replacement for one of the stolen signs.someone is stealing trail signs — braille interpretive signs — used by sight-impaired people on mountain park trails, and investigators are asking for the public’s help to identify the thief.the thefts happened approximately april 22 and may 6 in genesee park, according to the jefferson county sheriff’s office.signs were stolen from the beaver brook trailhead area in the 27500 block of stapleton drive and from the chavez and braille trails.thirty-seven signs, worth more than $18,000, have been stolen.on wednesday, investigators released several images, taken about 8 a.m.






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winners of the holman prize from the lighthouse for the blind and visually impai


okello geoffrey., the washington postojok simon will use his prize money to teach other blind people to raise honeybees.in rural uganda, people who are blind or visually impaired often go to the city to look for work. but jobs are hard to find, and many end up as street beggars.instead, ojok simon wants them to know about a way they can earn money without leaving home: beekeeping. simon, 36, became visually impaired after he was severely beaten by rebels who came to his village when he was a child. he has been a beekeeper for 15 years, and in 2013 he co-founded hive uganda, an organization that teaches advocates for visually impaired people and teaches them to make a living raising honeybees.this year, his organization will receive a boost: simon is one of three winners of the first-ever h






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traducir texto impreso a braille en tiempo real es lo que promete este pequeño d


el sistema braille está atravesando por un momento complicado donde, al menos en los estados unidos, poco menos del 10% de los ciegos saben leer braille. esto se debe principiante a que la tecnología ha ayudado a este segmento de la población con dispositivos y aplicaciones móviles basados en voz, las cuales se han vuelto la mejor opción en el día a día. además, la creación de textos en braille es costosa, lo que limita las opciones hacia invidentes y débiles visuales.es así como surge 'tactile', un dispositivo que cabe en la mano que es capaz de traducir texto impreso a braille de forma imediata, el cual es una creación del autodenominado 'team tactile', que es un grupo de seis mujeres estudiantes de ingeniería en el mit que ganaron el concurso #makewhat'snext de microsoft para hacer su p






google to teach school kids about online safety, etiquette


mountain view, calif. (ap) — google is spearheading an educational campaign to teach pre-teen children how to protect themselves from scams, predators and other trouble.the program announced tuesday is called “be internet aware.” google coordinated the curriculum with several online safety groups, including the family online safety institute , the internet keep safe coalition and connect safely .the lessons are tailored for kids ranging from eight to 12 years old, a time when many of today’s children are getting their own smartphones and other devices that connect to the internet. to make the experience more fun, google and its partners developed a game called “interland” to help teach children about the ins and outs of online safety.google is encouraging teachers to use elements of its pr






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sharp vision: new glasses help the legally blind see


san francisco (ap) — jeff regan was born with underdeveloped optic nerves and had spent most of his life in a blur. then four years ago, he donned an unwieldy headset made by a toronto company called esight.suddenly, regan could read a newspaper while eating breakfast and make out the faces of his co-workers from across the room. he’s been able to attend plays and watch what’s happening on stage, without having to guess why people around him were laughing.“these glasses have made my life so much better,” said regan, 48, a canadian engineer who lives in london, ontario.the headsets from esight transmit images from a forward-facing camera to small internal screens — one for each eye — in a way that beams the video into the wearer’s peripheral vision. that turns out to be all that some people






sharp vision: new glasses help the legally blind see


san francisco (ap) — jeff regan was born with underdeveloped optic nerves and had spent most of his life in a blur. then four years ago, he donned an unwieldy headset made by a toronto company called esight.suddenly, regan could read a newspaper while eating breakfast and make out the faces of his co-workers from across the room. he’s been able to attend plays and watch what’s happening on stage, without having to guess why people around him were laughing.“these glasses have made my life so much better,” said regan, 48, a canadian engineer who lives in london, ontario.the headsets from esight transmit images from a forward-facing camera to small internal screens — one for each eye — in a way that beams the video into the wearer’s peripheral vision. that turns out to be all that some people






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denver tech school helps blind and visually impaired prepare for high-demand job


students like ethan holliger may be blind or visually impaired, but they still sense the physical reaction from prospective employers when they walk into an interview room.it’s then they know, their chances of getting hired have gone from slim to none.“i hear their facial expressions change,” said the 25-year-old holliger. “we may be blind but we are not dead.”that’s why  mike hess is helping lead a public-private partnership for a new vocational school for blind and visually impaired people to prepare them for high-demand jobs. hess, founder and executive director of the blind institute of technology, said the effort is to head off a nearly 80 percent unemployment rate among the visually impaired and blind and to get otherwise smart and qualified people into the american workforce.“we are






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blackberry and nokia phones are coming back — with a twist


the 2017 smartphone cycle is about to kick off in earnest, and there are some familiar names fighting to come back into the fold.blackberry mobile announced this week that a new phone — complete with a physical keyboard and dubbed the "mercury" — will debut feb. 25 at the annual mobile world congress trade show. that follows hard on the heels of an announcement from nokia, which teased the chinese launch of its new nokia 6 phone ahead of a larger feb. 26 launch event.nokia? blackberry? what's next, the return of baby-g watches? it may all feel a bit 2002 seeing these phone brands come back into the spotlight, but here's the thing: these are not the phone brands that you think they are. both of the new smartphones are made by different companies as a result of complicated licensing agreemen