Leading Edge Resources: Leaps in Technology and Access to Information

On the Horizon:

  • Improvements in natural language technology that will permit sending video over the Internet that can be signed for people with hearing disabilities.
  • Natural language technology will permit people to seek out information, regardless of their level of technical expertise. Inquiries can be made using nearly any communications method (email, SMS, voice, instant messaging, etc.) or device (landline or mobile phone, PDA, laptop, PC, etc.).
  • Improvement in converting spoken word to text with 95% accuracy.
  • Using the Internet to integrate email, paging and real time TTY; and voice-to-text messaging.

MAPSExploiting Mobile Technology. The use of PDAs and cell phones in increasingly interesting ways is opening new doors. For instance, the MAPS PDA prompter uses words and pictures to prompt individuals through daily tasks (shopping, taking the bus to visit a friend). http://www.colemaninstitute.org/images/documents/conferences/2001/Posters/maps.pdf The "script" for the prompts is developed on a home based computer, then downloaded on to the person's PALM or Blackberry or other Personal Digital Assistant. With web access available through cell phones, coupled with high definition display screens on phones, individuals could call up their own scripts in a variety of situations. Friends and family could help them develop the steps they need to take in a task.

Similarly, were people with disabilities armed with their own cell phones/PDAs they could carry identifying information with them, call to a central number to ask for advice, get public transit directions while out and about, and so forth.

Can someone who's quadriplegic or hearing impaired play a video game? QUEST TV takes you to the international Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, where a group of gamers used colorful tactics to convince mainstream developers to make video games accessible for everyone.