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Access and Inclusion through Technology

Access Technology - Today and Tomorrow

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Working with Delegates at ATIA 2017

February 2, 2017

I had the good fortune to spend much of the ATIA conference this year in the company of international delegates in my role as International ambassador. For those who have never been ATIA is a major US conference devoted to the AT industry with over 300 seminars, a major exhibition and over 2000 dele…

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Supporting AAC Users in Pakistan

February 2, 2017

I was very fortunate to be invited to visit both Pakistan and parts of the Middle East in the last year. Looking back it is interesting to consider the common challenges and opportunities faced in providing services and assistive technologies that we encountered. In this blog, I reflect upon my time…

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World Autism Awareness Week - After awareness what can you do ?

April 6, 2016

This week marked World Autism Awareness Day – it’s become a major global initiative that has been hugely successful in increasing awareness of Autism. I have some mixed feelings about how autism is portrayed in the campaigns having spent much of my early career working with young people with very de…

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Personal Mobility, “One day we will look back and this will all seem funny.”

February 24, 2016

Personal Mobility is changing, and we are approaching a period where our current concept of wheelchairs will feel as outdated as crossing the Atlantic by sailboat.

Two significant trends are emerging that will see the business of the provision of powered mobility aids being one that will be subje…

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ATIA 2016

January 22, 2016

So this time next week I will be on a plane bound for Florida and ATIA 2016 - I do often get asked for recommendations for those who can only get to one conference a year, and this is usually my number one choice.

First it covers the broadest spectrum of needs, autism, physical, sensory needs are a…

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Social Media Use in the Middle East - implications for inclusion

January 21, 2016

This is a really interesting piece by my friend Damien Radcliffe on Social media use within the Middle East - it tells an interesting story which deserves some time to think about. Fundamentally we see a significant growth in social media based upon visual content (images/video), growth in social me…

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Using Switches for Communication

January 20, 2016

Its interesting to see how the advent of touch devices has changed some of the world of Assistive Technology. One of the areas which has felt that impact has been the use of switch technology for people with physical disabilities, as there has been the growth of an assumption that touch screens are …

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Train Siri to Hear Better

January 20, 2016

Over the past few months years I've seen very mixed success at using the built in voice recognition on Apple and android devices - often variations in accent and pronunciation cause significant barriers to users - So I was really pleased to see this update that you can now provide a degree of traini…

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The Kindle Fire, changing the gameplan for access ?

September 30, 2011

The new Kindle Fire was released this week to a fascinating mixture of responses, pundits thought it was great, apple Fanboyz derided it and the blind community attacked its lack of access for the visually impaired with righteous indignation and anger, this following the same community lauding Steve…

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Access for All? It’s a never ending story,

April 18, 2011

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to travel to Orlando in the American state of Florida for a major assistive technology conference. The conference was a success despite the hotel catching fire and a tornado touching down in town whilst I was there: never a dull moment in the world of access t…

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Happy Birthday Twitter

April 8, 2011

Mirrored from Digital Qatar

People all around the world will be celebrating the 5th birthday of Twitter this week. Here in Qatar, tweeps (term used to describe Twitter users) will be getting together at Aspire Park for the Doha Twestival. Like many others I can’t remember how exactly I worked prior …

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Tasbo 3 - Noisemaking Ads

December 5, 2010

Ok so ive been busy and its been a littlew whil since I have written a blog. But I want you all to get as mad as hell, stand up and shout - "I hate web ads with annoying sound effects" Im going to give this Tasbo to two in particular, the first is to the ubiquitous IMVU, I can live with the vaguely …

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Tasbo 2 - www.sketch.com.uk

July 25, 2010

For those who haven’t come across the concept a while ago I proposed an “Anti award” I guess with a view to naming and shaming, not simply for products or services that were in accessible (there would be too many) but for those vendors, developers, manufacturers etc who seemed to take a deliberate e…

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Apple - My Cheri Amour - I hate you

July 2, 2010

Ok I have to confess Im a little Bi-Polar about Apple, maybe schizophrenic is a better term. They have some great technology and have made great advances in builidng in access technologies that work really well out of the box. Voiceover on the iPhone is all that one Blind Friend needs - no extra cos…

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Kill Accessibility - Another Response

May 29, 2010
I read with great interest a recent post by Gary Barber on his Blog entitled Kill Accessibility. Its the sort of nicely provocative Blog piece that appeals to me - and unusually for me with my ongoing attention defict, I read it all the way to the end.

Gary's piece makes the point that most developer…

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Workshop on Expanding Disability Access with Wireless Technologies

May 19, 2010
Ok now this is worth a watch - its an important event as the FCC recognised the importance of wireless and mobile technologies for people with a disability. It reflects my own experience in both the UK, europe and the Middle East which suggests that the key battle ground for accessibility is…

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and so the time is near and so I face the final curtain .......A personal review of the last 10 years

April 30, 2010
As I leave AbilityNet in two weeks I thought this was a good time to look back at what weve done and the things that im most proud of from that period. Im going to look ahead to the potential of the next stage of my career in another Blog.

One of the things in which I take most pride is in the develo…

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The ethics of pirating ebooks you already own - a continuation

April 10, 2010
I read with interest the article by Randy Cohen on Gizmodo (see link above). In which he argues that whilst it may be illegal to download an ebook without paying for it, it isnt unethical, as long as you own a copy that you have purchased from a bookstore with money going to author and publisher. In…

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Enabling Technology - Time to stir things up

March 27, 2010
Now hear me out, but let's be honest, quite often accessibility is a bit boring. We are  all well meaning people and committed to social change and all that stuff. But when it gets down to it, when you really get down to it, we are all just a little bit geeky. Im sure that when the creators of "Big …

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Things that make you go hmmmmm - Paying through the nose for AT

March 16, 2010
As anyone who reads my blog knows, I get irate about stuff. At the moment my pet rant is the cost of hardware. Its not just the cost that riles me, its the comparitive price from specialist suppliers versus mainstream. Disabled users trust the specialists, trust them to understand their needs and re…

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20 blog posts