LiveWell RERC Releases Amazon Echo Skill That Reads TechWatch and LiveWell News Blogs

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Information and Communications Technology Access (LiveWell RERC) development staff recently released an Amazon Echo Skill that will read aloud the latest posts from our two blogs, TechWatch and LiveWell News.  The new skill can be installed on the Amazon Alexa app and then utilized on any Amazon Echo product.  The skill taps into the RSS feeds from our blogs and is called the LiveWell News Skill.    Once enabled, saying the command “Alexa, what’s the news”, or “Alexa, what’s my flash briefing,” will allow your Echo to read aloud the latest LiveWell RERC news feeds.  A user will only get information if it has been updated within the past week.  The LiveWell RERC developer of the new skill from Duke University, Leighanne Davis, says “The new skill will make the news feeds more accessible and convenient to a variety of users by providing speech output.”

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2017-18 App Factory Proposal Submissions Extended to September 15, 2017

The App Factory has extended it's proposal submission date to September 15, 2017.  Interested developers may visit the App Factory page to view our RFP.  Each year we help fund 4-5 qualified software and hardware developers in developing and releasing their proposals for assistive and accessibility apps.  Developers keep their IP and we assist in marketing your app through our social media assets, website and extensive contacts in the disability consumer advocacy community.  

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Google I/O 2017 Updates on Disability, Accessibility, Assistive Technology (AT), and Emerging Technologies

An experience to be remembered and referred to throughout the year, Google I/O 2017 lived up to its hype. Sessions, sandbox demonstrations, Code Labs, and Google expert office hours boasted topics on Android, machine learning, Internet of Things, the Google Assistant, Accessibility, and others. By giving accessibility the center stage for a variety of sessions, sandbox demonstrations, and expert office hours, Google has again shown the AT community its dedication to closing the gap in accessibility and usefulness of technology for people with disabilities. Google’s many technologies and products also show big implications for the disabled community to leverage throughout life.

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Nurse Hackathon 2017 Results!

Nurses have plenty of ideas about making meaningful impact on the complex tangle of healthcare policies, procedures, and treatments that affect their patients. Nurse Hackathon 2017 proved that to be true! With over 150 people in attendance the 3 day event, March 24th-26th was a tremendous success!See below for our winning teams, pictures and upcoming events!

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Knowledge Translation (KT) Casebook - BreatheWell Wear Smartwatch App for Managing Stress: A Context-Based Model of Technology Development and Implementation

The research and development team used a context-based knowledge translation strategy for developing and disseminating the BreatheWell Wear App. This approach, similar to the Ottawa Model of Research Use (Sudsawad, 2007), emphasized three key components of the development cycle: (1) evidence-based innovation; (2) identifying needs, desires, and constraints of potential adopters; and (3) understanding the practice or use environment.

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Please take the 2017 Survey of Mobile Health Technology (mHealth) & Apps!

The focus of our 2017 mHealth Survey is on how people with disabilities use or would like to use mobile communication technology to monitor and manage their health.  The information collected from this survey will be used to help researchers, designers, and engineers create new mHealth solutions to meet the needs of people with disabilities. 

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Final Rule: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board or Board), is revising and updating, in a single rulemaking, the standards for electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by Federal agencies covered by section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as the guidelines for telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment covered by Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934. The revisions and updates to the section 508-based standards and section 255-based guidelines are intended to ensure that information and communication technology covered by the respective statutes is accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

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The NIDILRR is seeking comments and will be hosting several listening sessions across the country to help inform future funding priorities and strategic direction.

Public meetings will be held in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver and San Francisco. The meetings can also be listened to by phone. Visit the website for more information and registration.  Attendees/participants should come prepared to answer the following questions:

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Need financial support to develop assistive and/or accessibility apps on mobile platforms?

The LiveWell RERC has just released its annual App Factory call for proposals.  Each year, the LiveWell RERC’s App Factory invites experienced organizations or individual developers based in the U.S. and Canada to submit proposals for financial support to develop assistive and/or accessibility apps for mobile platforms (e.g., Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows), sensors, home automation, wearables, the Internet of Things (IoT) and/or cloud computing.

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Duke University, Shepherd Center and Northeastern University Awarded $4.625 Million for New Center on Technologies for People with Disabilities

Duke University Medical Center, Shepherd Center and Northeastern University are launching a partnership to conduct research and develop new technology solutions to promote independent living and community participation by people with disabilities.

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