Assistive Technology News – July 2022 round up

Assistive technology news, policy and events. 

Clive, smiling at the cameraDispATches is written by Clive Gilbert, freelance research consultant and specialist writer in public policy, social affairs and technology. He also recently spoke to the House of Lords Adult Social Care Committee about technology and independent living.

Born with cerebral palsy, Clive is an extensive user of assistive technology and has first-hand experience of the transformative potential that technology can bring to the lives of disabled people. 

Policy and Campaigns  

  • An evaluation of a government-backed assistive technology training programme for teachers concludes that the scheme was successful in boosting their confidence supporting children using AT.
  • The Department for Health and Social Care's new Data Strategy has pledged to invest an extra £25 million on digital technology in 2022 to 2023, including technology for independent living. 
  • The World Bank and Microsoft are to launch an online disability data hub to inform government policy and inspire innovation in industries such as technology, health care and education.
  • Mastercard’s new white paper explores how mobile banking apps, chatbots, contactless payments and other technologies are improving disabled people's financial inclusion around the world. 

Tech Developments and Innovations  

  • Man using smartphone to take picture of his mealBrailleDoodle is a laptop sized device that allows blind people to learn to write and draw tactile pictures by pulling hundreds of smooth metal pins to the surface using a magnetic stylus.
  • The smart clothing garment Neural Sleeve helps people with multiple sclerosis and similar conditions to walk by stimulating muscles in the wearer's legs. 
  • ReBokeh is a new smart phone app that allows people with low vision to add filters and other adjustments to their phone's camera display to help them to see their environment more clearly. 
  • Innovator Jeffrey Ebin has shared a video of a prototype smart phone app* that enables disabled people to use face gestures and eye gaze to control devices like robots, Xbox, computers, and more.

*Please note: the video does not have audio description. The video features people using the face filter as they blink, wink and move their jaws to turn off smart lights, close gates and pause the television. 

Training, Events and Professional Development 

Accessible translation and localisation, 4 August 2022

  • Understand the challenges and pitfalls associated with translating websites and apps.

Assistive Technology (AT) for Android Vs. Apple iOS, 9 August 2022

  • An online session exploring the accessibility features on Android and Apple products. 

How to get started building voice experiences for Amazon Alexa, 25 August 2022

  • A talk about the latest trends in voice-activated technology.
Training discount for dispATches readers 

Use the code Dispatches10 to get 10% off AbilityNet's Accessibility and Inclusive Design training, including 'PDF accessibility', 'Accessible social media', and more. 
If you're booking training for your team you can buy 10 tickets for the price of 8.


Tech Tip

Add a trail to your mouse pointer in Windows 10

  • If you visited my office, you'd see the three monitors that I have linked up to my computer to expand my digital workspace. The downside of my enlarged desktop is that I'm always losing track of the mouse pointer. Windows lets you add a trail to the pointer to help make it a more visible as glides across your different screens, files and apps. 

Get in touch

  • Email Clive if you have a comment about the stories in this newsletter - or to suggest a contribution for next month.

Further resources 

AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help disabled people and older people. If you can afford it, please donate to help us support older and disabled people through technology