The importance of technology designs that benefit all

I started using my first tablet PC computer in 2003. Mine was a Motion slate tablet and full of all the wonderful bells and whistles that allowed me to use my voice to write, write with digital ink and transform the technology into handwritten text, and record audio and video within my files. A wonderful tool and we saw so much for how this could be used by faculty in the classrooms or students. Today we see multiple devices with multiple uses. I carry a laptop, an iTouch, and iPad and a sm...
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A win for accessibility!

This is always encouraging to see and recently forwarded to me by a colleague "Department of Ed Lays Down Law on Kindle E-Reader Usage The United States Department of Education and Department of Justice have just issued a reminder calling for colleges and universities--as well as K-12 school districts--to make sure devices such as e-readers that are required in the classroom comply with accessibility laws. The federal action came on the heels of a settlement agreement made by Justice with five ...
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An inspiring message from a technology innovator

It is always comforting when a seasoned technology innovator predicts that a technology of 20+ years is still in its infancy. That was the case last night on the 60 minutes show and the discussion from the inventor of the cell phone. I was pleased to hear this inventor discuss the importance of having cellphones that offered features that provided important functions---those that really addressed the needs of the user. In fact, I was amazed to hear that this inventor is also responsible for deve...
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Universal designs are inclusive in nature

I recently had the opportunity to visit some foreign countries. One of these was Paris, France and I was pleasantly impressed with some of the architectural elements that were in place. Apparently, as a city limited in real estate and surrounded by centuries of old buildings, city developers are trying to maximize designs and modifications that are more inclusive. One was the design built into the Louvre museum that provides an elevator that opens at floor level sitting adjacent to an escalator-...
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The ongoing growth of e-Textbooks

Last week I read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, "Textbooks offered for iPod, iPhones". It is encouraging to see the groundswell of resources evolving from print to digital form. This article discussed that conversation as it relates to textbooks -- certainly an important conversation. For instance, increasingly, students are using handheld devices to view/organize most of their information. Of course, these are the net generation! For others, having access to the sam...
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The ongoing debate about e-books

A very interesting article appeared in my issue of the Wall Street Journal yesterday, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203577304574277041750084938.html As these authors contend, debates continue around the evolving growth of e-book readers, the interest in expanded access to e-books, and the limited access of many formats. But this is a step in the right direction! As students gain access to digital texts, they have much more opportunity to access the material. Many text aloud reade...
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The new and evolving “universal design” features of the iPhone/ iTouch

It is always a good thing when a senior IT staff member sends one an email to share cutting edge technology developments that address assistive technology. That was how my day evolved yesterday. Then, as I reviewed my Wall Street Journal, I found yet another article addressing these evolving new features in the new iPhone/ iTouch release this week. Bravo! As this review notes, the new 3Gs offers a number of tools such as voice over tools that can be controlled through the touch display. So, f...
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A website that models what we mean about universal design

I'm addicted to the website TED Talks. These folks offer such a comprehensive array of informative discussions on topics across technology, entertainment and design. But, I love them even more as I appreciate their design and functionality...offering the clickable ease to turn on/off subtitles in a range of languages.
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The buzz about the E-book

It's interesting to read all the recent press about the growing "E-book Revolution". For example, in today's Wall Street Journal, the authors discuss the pros and cons of what this might mean for the future of reading (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123980920727621353.html). While I'm not a proponent of shifting all our reading to digital platforms, I do see the value in these resources. Text in digital forms provides additional flexibility for many readers to adjust font size (for low/limited...
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