New Report from the NCD in the U.S. – “Self-Driving Cars: Mapping Access to a Technology Revolution,”

A new report from the National Council on Disability (NCD) in the U.S. is entitled: “Self-Driving Cars: Mapping Access to a Technology Revolution,”
You can read more on their website at
http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2015/self-driving-cars-mapping-access-technology-revolution
There is no way to know how long it will be before this technology might be available around the world, but, apart from the practical aspects, there will no doubt be some legal and legislative issues to be considered, perhaps first in the U.S., but also internationally.
Here is a quick introduction to the report, followed by a short paragraph on the history of the NCD.

“Autonomous vehicles have enormous potential to alleviate the challenges people with a variety of disabilities face when they cannot obtain a driver’s license, and to promote their independence.
However, the needs of this population must be taken into account throughout the development of these emerging technologies and the regulatory schemes that will govern their production, testing and use. 

In this report, the National Council on Disability (NCD) examines the challenges and advances associated with this revolution in transportation technology and proposes directions in research and development that will most benefit people with disabilities who are the most transportation disadvantaged because their disabilities prevent them from driving even a modified conventional vehicle.
In the report, NCD also identifies changes to infrastructure that will be necessary to make fully autonomous vehicles a safe, viable technology.
Additionally, the report examines how policymakers can support these efforts by crafting policies that recognize the potential of this technology and maximize its utility for people with disabilities and improve the safety of the nation’s roads for generations to come.  
Finally, NCD proposes model federal legislation that would ensure that autonomous vehicle technology addresses the needs of people with disabilities from the beginning of this technological revolution.”

“First established as a small advisory Council within the Department of Education in 1978, NCD was transformed into an independent agency in 1984 and charged with reviewing all federal disability programs and policies.
In 1986, NCD recommended enactment of an Americans with Disabilities Act, and then drafted the first version of the bill introduced in the House and Senate in 1988.
Since enactment of the ADA in 1990, NCD has continued to play a leading role in analyzing the needs of people with disabilities, crafting policy solutions, and advising the President and Congress.”

New Lists and Groups for Blind and Visually Impaired People Worldwide

Please find information below if you would like to join some new groups and lists of interest to blind and visually impaired users.
If the mail addresses do not show up as links, please copy and paste them into your email program.

List for blind penpals:
to subscribe, send a blank email to:
blind-penpals+subscribe@groups.io

List for blind singles:
to subscribe, send a blank email to:
blind-singles+subscribe@groups.io

For Facebook lists, you can look them up by searching for the following terms:
“blind penpals”
“group for visually impaired singles”
“jobs for the blind”
“blind international travelers”
“give and get blindness items”
“blind teachers”
“group for blind Christians”

For any further information, please contact Adrijana Prokopenko at
adrijana.prokopenko@gmail.com

3D-printed ultrasound lets blind woman ‘see’ her unborn baby

3D printing has been around for a while and it would seem that the technology has been used in some interesting and innovative ways.
For more information, go to
3d-printed-ultrasound-lets-blind-woman-see-her-unborn-baby
I am wondering if there may be some other uses for 3D printing that could be of help to blind and visually impaired people …

Shared Article – How to use your iPhone EarPods like a pro

I found the information shared in this article from IDownloadBlog.com not only informative, but I sure learnt a few things I’d love to try out soon.
Here is the introduction so you can decide for yourself …

“Those funky headphones that came with your iPhone—EarPods with Remote and Mic they’re called—only have 3 buttons but boy do they perform a surprising number of functions beyond volume control. And with built-in mic, your EarPods can make and receive phone calls and control media playback.
Moreover, you can use them for recording voice memos, interacting with Siri hands-free, VoIP calling in apps like Skype and more, all with a pinch of the cord. Wait, I need this article to tell me how to plug my EarPods and listen to music?
We’re not saying you’re not familiar with your EarPods. But as with other things in life, there are always new tricks to be learned. This post will hopefully help you master your EarPods like a pro.
In this article, we’ll tell you all the cool things your EarPods can do, from rich playback control and controlling Siri to switching calls on the fly, using VoiceOver and so forth. We’ll also discuss EarPods compatibility, talk about keeping your headset in pristine condition and lay out sound advice for using your headset responsibly.
Your Apple headset, or any other Bluetooth headset or headphones,can be used to listen to music, videos, audiobooks, podcasts and games. But the EarPods go much further than that.”

For the full article, go to
http://www.idownloadblog.com/2015/10/16/earpods-tips/