Missouri State University
Access Technology Center

Back to School

Check out this article from Access World: Back to School
“Pursuing an education can be difficult under the best of circumstances, and doing so as a person with vision loss can increase the challenge.

For the students in our readership, you must take personal responsibility for your education, and you must be your own advocate. It is very important to prepare in advance, speak to instructors, and tell those you’ll be working with exactly what types of accommodations will best meet your needs. Your education will have a tremendous impact on every aspect of the rest of your life, so it’s crucial that you do everything you can to get the most out of your studies…”

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Bear Connect Meeting

The Bear Connect meetings for this semester will be as follows: 

Friday, January 17th in PSU 309 from 3:00 – 4:30

Friday, January 24th in PSU 311 from 3:00 – 4:30

Friday, January 31st in PSU 309 from 3:00 – 4:30

Friday, February 7th in PSU 309 from 3:00 – 4:30

Friday, February 14th in PSU 309 from 3:00 – 4:30

Friday, February 21st in PSU 309 from 3:00 – 4:30

Friday, February 28th in PSU 309 from 3:00 – 4:30

Friday, March 7th in PSU 309 from 3:00 – 4:30

Friday, March 21st in PSU 309 from 3:00 – 4:30

Friday, March 28th in PSU 309 from 3:00 – 4:30

Friday, April 4th in PSU 309 from 3:00 – 4:30

Friday, April 11th in PSU 309 from 3:00 – 4:30

Friday, May 2nd in PSU 309 from 3:00 – 4:30

Friday, May 9th in PSU 309 from 3:00 – 4:30

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Big News!

Press Release:

GW Micro Announces Global Window-Eyes Initiative for users of Microsoft Office






Fort Wayne, Indiana (January 14, 2014) – GW Micro, Inc. (www.gwmicro.com) is proud to make a revolutionary announcement. GW Micro and Microsoft Corp. have partnered to make Window-Eyes available to users of Microsoft Office at no cost. Window-Eyes is a screen reader that enables people who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled to have full access to Windows PCs and makes the computer accessible via speech and/or Braille.

To better deliver Window-Eyes to the people who need it most, GW Micro and Microsoft have collaborated on this global initiative, available in over 15 languages, to enable anyone using Microsoft Office 2010 or later to also use Window-Eyes for free. Access to technology is critical to people who are blind or visually impaired in order to have the same opportunity to compete in the workplace. As such, this initiative between GW Micro and Microsoft has the potential to reduce barriers for millions of people who are blind or visually impaired around the world.

As the population ages, technologies like Window-Eyes will become more and more important as the number of people with age-related macular degeneration and other retinal degenerative diseases increases. “This significant change in the way we are doing business reflects the changing perception of accessibility and also technology in general. Rather than wait for the world to change, Microsoft and GW Micro are leading the way,” said Dan Weirich, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for GW Micro. Weirich believes this technology can help millions of people gain access to their PC, and that providing it free of charge will open a whole new world of assistive technology to many people.

In light of the rapidly changing face of technology and specifically, the changing face of assistive technology, the combined efforts of GW Micro and Microsoft have the goal of providing accessibility to people who are blind and visually impaired for the long term.

Microsoft continues to take accessibility seriously. “By partnering with GW Micro in this endeavor we are demonstrating Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to provide all of our customers with the technology and tools to help each person be productive in both their work and personal lives.” said Rob Sinclair, Chief Accessibility Officer for Microsoft.

Eligible customers, using Microsoft Office 2010 or higher, will be able to download a full version of Window-Eyes starting today at www.WindowEyesForOffice.com. The website provides download instructions as well as additional details about this offer.

GW Micro, Inc. (www.gwmicro.com) has been a trusted pioneer in the adaptive technology industry since 1990, and continues to lead with innovative, customer driven solutions.


Dan Weirich, VP of Sales and Marketing
(260) 489-3671

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Google Glass

Google’s Latest and Greatest “Enables” Disabled

Researchers are working hard to harness the hands-free nature of Google Glass to improve the lives of those with compromised mobility, vision and hearing.

Tammie Lou Van Sant of Santa Cruz, CA is a quadriplegic. She wanted to take pictures for years and now is able to do it independently using Google Glass with a nod, swipe, or verbal command.

Read the article and view a video (3:18) at:


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Rules Adopted Today By The FCC Will Make Watching Video More Accessible

“There is more descriptive video programming on television than ever before, but accessing that content is still a challenge for the blind.  With the new rules that the FCC has adopted today, the challenges may soon become a thing of the past.  Comcast has already announced a move to make a talking program guide and to enable a single button on the remote to turn on descriptive video or closed captioning.  Now all other cable and satellite providers as well as makers of external devices such as the Roku Box will have to do the same…”

Read more at http://www.blindbargains.com/bargains.php?m=9814

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New Haptic Tech Promises Feeling and texture for Touch Screens and Gestures

Disney Research presented a new algorithm that’s able to translate 3D information in an image or video directly into tactile sensations on a special haptic display. The display itself stays perfectly smooth (unlike, say, a Tactus keyboard), and instead modulates the friction at your fingertips to trick you into feeling like there’s texture under them.

The display creates the illusion of friction using another Disney Research technology from several years ago called TeslaTouch, which uses oscillating electric charges to dynamically adjust the friction between your finger and the touch panel.

[This rechnology has potential applications for individuals with low vision or blindness]

Read the entire article and view three videos (2:19, 2:48 & 3:41) at:



Tactile Rendering of 3D Features on Touch Surfaces http://www.disneyresearch.com/project/3d-touch-surfaces/



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“All Technology is Assistive Technology” Article

All Technology is Assistive Technology

From: Thoughtful Design – 09/20/2013

By: Sara Hendren

Six dispositions for designers on disability

All technology is assistive technology. Honestly – what technology are you using that’s not assistive? Your smartphone? Your eyeglasses? Headphones? And those three examples alone are assisting you in multiple registers: They’re enabling or augmenting a sensory experience, say, or providing navigational information.

“Assistive technology” implies a separate species of tools designed exclusively for those people with a rather narrow set of diagnostic “impairments” – impairments, in other words, that have been culturally designated as needing special attention, as being particularly, grossly abnormal. But are you sure your phone isn’t a crutch, as it were, for a whole lot of unexamined needs? If the metrics were expansive enough, I think the lines around what’s designated as assistive would start to get blurry pretty quickly.

Read the entire article at: https://medium.com/thoughtful-design/a8b9a581eb62

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