ATU220 – Indias First Assistive Technology Center Samuel Matthew iPhone 6s Rumors

first_imgPodcast: Play in new window | DownloadYour weekly dose of information that keeps you up to date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs.Show Notes:India’s First Assistive Technology National Center with Dr Samuel Mathew | State University – News and Events – News – FSU Launches New Graduate Certificate in Assistive Technology Relay Services (TRS) 6S: Rumors & Specs Roundup Brailler on a Flat Screen | Mechanical Engineering the Hill with Audrey – Audrey Busch——————————Listen 24/7 at www.AssistiveTechnologyRadio.comIf you have an AT question, leave us a voice mail at: 317-721-7124 or email [email protected] out our web site: https://www.eastersealstech.comFollow us on Twitter: @INDATAprojectLike us on Facebook:——-transcript follows ——SAMUEL MATHEW: Hello, my name is Samuel Mathew, Executive Director of National Institute of Speech and Hearing in India, and this is the Assistive Technology Update.WADE WINGLER: Hi, this is Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana with your Assistive Technology Update, a weekly dose of information that keeps you up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs.Welcome to episode number 220 of Assistive Technology Update. It’s scheduled to be released on August 14 of 2015.I’m excited today to have Dr. Samuel Mathew who is founding India’s first national assistive technology center. There is a new grad certificate from Framingham University in assistive technology; rumors about the iPhone 6; and a little quick demo that I do on how to type braille on your iPhone.We also have a segment from Audrey Busch who tells us what’s happening in Washington DC related to assistive technology.We hope you’ll check out our show notes over at, shoot us a note on Twitter @INDATA Project, or call our listener line at 317-721-7124.***Did you know that you can help other people find our show and learn about assistive technology? Head on over to iTunes, write a review, click some stars. We appreciate it. Thank you.***As somebody who teaches assistive technology at the University level, I’m always excited to see when programs are doing more of that. The Framingham State University just outside of Boston is launching a new graduate advocate in assistive technology. It starts with a course on introduction to assistive technology, which is also part of their masters degree program in educational technology and special education, and includes a variety of coursework that includes a visit to the local assistive technology demonstration center and an investment that the university has made IN having assistive technology to demonstrate in the classroom. They are targeting this certificate towards working professionals in K-12 or higher education as well as folks who are working in the area of disability services or the veterans office. I’m going to pop a link in the show notes over to and their press release and you can learn more about this new graduates to get in as technology. Check our show notes.***Many of us have experienced a situation where you get a new cell phone or you move to a new carrier and you want to move your number with you. It’s called porting your phone number. Apparently, and I didn’t know about this, that this is an issue among the deaf community. When you move from one video relay service provider to another, you also have the option to port your 10 digit phone number from one provider to another, but apparently the Disability Rights Office in the Federal Communications Commission has received some complaints and inquiries from people about this whole issue of porting their 10 digit number from service to service.So to help with that, the FCC has created a video that is in ASL and also caption and voiced for those of us who aren’t ASL native speakers. It talks about this whole situation and how you might be able to work around those challenges. I’m going to pop a link in the show notes over to the FCC’s website and you can check out this video and learn about the ins and outs of porting your 10 digit number from one VRS provider to another.***I don’t spend a lot of time churning the Apple rumor mill, but every once in a while something catches my eye. On OS X Daily recently I found an article that talks about the rumors and specs Roundup for the iPhone 6S. It looks like new iPhones may be coming out in the first part of September. The rumor date is September 9, and there will probably be some sort of an event. People are expecting a number of hardware changes in the new iPhones. They are going to call it the 6S. They are expecting it to have almost doubled the ram, so about 2 GB of RAM, a faster A9 processor than before, better LTE connection so it’ll make your battery last a little bit longer and make your Internet run a little bit faster. One of the big changes they’re talking about is a force touch display where the screen actually knows where your finger is and provides haptic feedback to make you feel like it’s pushing down or vibrating or whatever to create a new level of experience with that touch interface. Also talking about a better camera, 12 megapixels this time. No expected changes in terms of the size or shape very much. We will get a new version of iOS, iOS 9 is supposed to come out around the same time. And one of the speculative things as they are talking about a new color of iPhone. I never cared a lot work on my phone is, but now they are saying that you might, in addition to gold and silver and the others, you might have a rose gold color that people are prognosticating about. Anyway, some fun stuff, predictive stuff, rumor stuff about the iPhone 6S that may be coming out here soon. I’ll pop a link in the show notes and you can join me in my speculation over there at OS X Daily. Check our show notes.***I get a lot of good news from RESNA. They have a listserv that I belong to and it’s all about computer access and those sorts of things. Recently I was forwarded an excerpt of an article that was written by Adrian Lou and was part of Stanford’s Mechanical Engineering Journal. It’s interesting because the title is, “A Brailler on a flatscreen.” It’s talking about people who are going to use an iPhone or an Android or tablet or whatever kind of advice as a braille input device. They talk about the age-old issue of, on the flatscreen device, how do you know where the six braille keys would be? In recent years, there have been some development to create an app that would basically let you put your fingers, wherever works for you, figure out that’s what you meant, and then that becomes your braille keyboard. Based on this article, I followed a link over to the App Store, and I downloaded an app called iBrailler Notes. I’ve got it installed here on my iPhone. It’s going to allow me to start a new note here.APP: New note button. You can calibrate your keyboard.WADE WINGLER: And I’m going to put my index and middle finger on both right and left hand on the screen.APP: Calibrated, ready position.WADE WINGLER: And it calibrated it so that now — I’m sighted, so I see visually six dots here on the screen and they are positioned right where I laid my fingers. Now I can type.APP: A, B, C, D, E, F.WADE WINGLER: I’m a horrible braille typist. But it’s very quickly calibrated and ready to go so that I can start typing away right into this iBrailler Note app. Now, I’m using the free version of the app, but I think you can upgrade for $20 and get all the features. It’ll handle Grade 1, Grade 2 braille. It’ll also let you share out to email, Dropbox, and other kinds of services so that once you’ve captured note in braille, then you can do with the stuff with it. Anyway, I’m always fascinated with how braille is going to be fully implemented on tablets and smartphones and those kinds of things, and it’s a pretty interesting way to use your phone to generate text if you’re a braille user. Anyway, I’ll pop a link in the show notes over to both the Stanford article and also a link to the app in the app store so that you can check it out. Works on iOS but isn’t quite ready for Android. Check our show notes.***It’s time for on the Hill with Audrey. Audrey Busch is the Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs. In her update, she lets us know how the power of politics is impacting people with abilities and their use of assistive technology. Learn more about Audrey and her work at BUSCH: This is Audrey Bush, Policy Director for the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs, coming to you with your monthly Washington update. One of the reasons the heat in Washington rose in July was due to Congress’ rapidfire pace. Among many items that Congress worked on, those of importance to the disability community include S.1177, the Every Child Achieves Act, which is the Senate’s reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act. This bill passed the Senate in bipartisan fashion.Additionally, the House passed the Steve Gleason Act which removes speech generating devices from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services capped rental rules for several years, thereby allowing patients to purchase their own devices. The Steve Gleason Act had actually already passed the Senate, so the bill was then passed to the President’s desk and signed into law the right before Congress headed out of town, and it was a great way for Congress to enter into the annual month-long August recess with a bang.One item to note is that there was language in the Senate’s reauthorization of the no Child left behind act which paves the way for students with disabilities to use their own assistive technology when taking mandatory assessments. This was a huge feat and one that many of us in the disability community are excited about moving forward.Given July does mark the last month that Congress is in session before they break for August, and return in September, it is clear that the fiscal year 2016 budget will not be completed by the end of this fiscal year September 30, 2015. Therefore, it’s clear that continuing resolution known as a CR, which provides stopgap funding between the end of the current fiscal year and the time in which a new budget for the next fiscal year is determined. This means ultimately level funding for the federal government until Congress does set these new final budget numbers. Therefore, while this is a short update this month, what we do look forward to Congress completing when they return to Washington is December is to really buckle down and focus on how they are going to fund the federal government in fiscal year 2016. While there will likely be a CR in place for a few weeks to a few months while they do figure out the final funding numbers for fiscal year 2016, it is clear neither party does not want any of these discussions to result in a shutdown of the federal government, given there is a presidential election looming in the near future. In the meantime, enjoy the quiet of August and what remains left of those summer days.***WADE WINGLER: I’m in Indiana, and it is kind of early in the morning in Indiana, and I am speaking via the Internet to a gentleman in India, and it’s evening for him. His name is Dr. Samuel Mathew, and he is the Executive Director of the National Institute of Speech and Hearing in the Kerala area of India.Dr. Mathew, are you there?SAMUEL MATHEW: Yes, I am here, listening to you.WADE WINGLER: Good, excellent. Sam, as we were doing our little intro conversation before we hit the record button, it was interesting because I got up early this morning and I’m very excited to talk about India’s first assistive technology center, and within a few minutes of our conversation, we realize that you and I have actually met face-to-face because you spent some time here in the state of Indiana in the US. Is that right?SAMUEL MATHEW: Yes. I was living in West Lafayette for some years, and before that in South Bend. I did my MS and PhD from Purdue University in West Lafayette.WADE WINGLER: So we were joking around, I had assumed that you and I would never have met before, but we probably, based on the time that you and I were working in Indiana at the same time, we probably works together and met and just didn’t either realize that. Very, very small world.SAMUEL MATHEW: Yes.WADE WINGLER: That’s great. Sam, the reason I reached out to you was I saw some headlines recently about India’s first assistive technology center. I was fascinated by that, so thought I would try to get was somebody to try to talk about it, and you were gracious enough to take some time out of your early evening. I thought I might start by asking you. Tell me a little bit about how you got into the field of assistive technology and what is your current role. And they will talk about the centers your next.SAMUEL MATHEW: To tell about my background, I have actually an engineering degree, and while I was in the US was when I changed over to special education in the field of disabilities. When I came back to India, I actually took charge as the executive director of this institute because of my background, because the industry background and all that. Assistive technology is going to be an integral part of what we do because NISH is being transformed into the first national university for rehabilitation sciences and disability studies. The federal government in India is going to fund that.NISH itself has been in operation since 1997. They were focused on speech and hearing and disabilities related to that, but now we got into the limelight with bigger funding. Now we are going to have two focuses. One is higher education for people with disabilities, which means that we will have students which have speech problems, hearing issues, also those who have cerebral palsy, high functioning students and the autism spectrum disorder, similarly challenge students. So assistive technology is one which will help us help them to go through higher education smoothly.WADE WINGLER: It sounds like you got a whole lot going on there. I’m going to ask some questions about the center, but tell me a little bit about your role as the executive director. Are you teaching? Are you administering only? What does a day in the life look like for you in your current role?SAMUEL MATHEW: Right now, my days are more administrative and some policy involvement in the state government, because the government itself has different agencies, and I sit on boards and committees which shapes the disability policy for the states. I do that, but my primary responsibility is two institutes which I look after. One is NISH where this initiative is going on. And then there is a regional institute for physical medicine and rehabilitation where rehabilitation services for children with multiple disabilities. It is in another town in the same state. I really would like to teach, but really don’t get time to teach regularly. I do take classes sometimes for students.WADE WINGLER: I understand. Sam, you have me at a disadvantage in that you know my geography very well because you lived here, but I haven’t been to India yet. Tell me a little bit about the location of the center.SAMUEL MATHEW: The center will be on the campus of NISH, which is in the city of Trivandrum, or we call it in the local language Thiruvananthapuram, which is the southernmost part of India. Kerala state itself is the southernmost-western state in India, so we are towards the tip, about 15 miles from the southernmost tip of India itself.WADE WINGLER: Excellent. I know that the center is in process. When will it be available? And then once it is available, whom will be available to?SAMUEL MATHEW: How we got into this center is that we know that there is a need, and we wanted to do it, but a bank, called a federal bank — it’s not the federal bank in the United States, but a bank called the federal bank is funding it out of their corporate social responsibility funds, CSR funding, so they have funded about 20 million Indian rupees as the initial grant for the project, assistive technology center, and have promised to come up with more as we go along.WADE WINGLER: When the center is open, what kind of things will be found there? What kind of technology, what kind of services, what kind of things would you find when you visit the center?SAMUEL MATHEW: Our goal is, because we are going to have students with the disabilities attending higher education on campus, our goal is, as the students come in, to assist them, and then provide them the appropriate assistive technology. So it could be software running on a tablet. It could be magnifiers. Some of them could be speech generating devices. It could be a notetaker. Things like that which are appropriate which would help them in the classroom, and give it to them so they are academically competent. And then also understand that we don’t have any government system of support, so we’re going to really give assistance other ways, scholarships, free assistive devices for them, to go through the course.WADE WINGLER: It sounds to me a little bit like what I would know as a United States university’s DSS office or Students with Disabilities Office or Adaptive Educational Office. Is it kind of the same model there?SAMUEL MATHEW: Yes. In fact, I sort of shaped that from what I have seen in Purdue and other places, so it’s basically meant for the students. But we also have a bigger mandate because, as an institution that serves a lot of people around the state and the country, we want to be a place where others can come and try out, even the general public. So we will be acquiring assistive technology which is available around the world, and then will be showcasing it for people to come and try it out, like a trial center or lending center also. So it’s a little bit of a high ambition, but that is something that we try to do. Also, further, we would like to do some research, collaborative research, especially with the Institute of technology or university technology departments, where developing assistive technology which is appropriate for our population, especially when it comes to speech generating devices and things like that, or AAC devices. Language is important. We hope to be involved in some research and development also.WADE WINGLER: It sounds like you’ve got a lot of great ideas and a great vision for the future of the program. Sam, because you spent time in the States and time in India, how has assistive technology been accomplished in India prior to this new project, and how does that compare to how assistive technology is done here in the US?SAMUEL MATHEW: I would say that it is not really very well developed for the common man. In fact, that is where our mandate is, to really bring it to the common man and help him, empower him so he can progress. Historically, not much. In our own classroom, we have deaf students who are attending degree programs. We have a program where only deaf students are admitted. A couple of years back, we introduced tablets where they could browse the Internet or the teacher could use it in the classroom, but it has become universal. This year onwards, we want to do that, especially in the deaf students’ classroom. My answer is historically, not much, but going forward we really would like to bring it to the common man where he can be empowered.WADE WINGLER: As we have this conversation, the kind of illustrates for me the fact that just a few weeks ago as we record this, here in the States we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I suppose it goes without saying, but I’m going to say it: there’s nothing in India that mandates accommodations for people with disabilities at that level, right?SAMUEL MATHEW: There is actually a law which was passed in ’95. It’s called the Persons With Disabilities Law, or PWD Act. But that is being updated this year as the Rights for People with Disabilities Act. But in between, there has not been additions to that law itself. We are making progress, but we got into the game quite a bit later than the United States did.WADE WINGLER: Sam, what do you see as the greatest challenge right now and making the center a reality? What are the challenges? What kinds of hills are you climbing these days?SAMUEL MATHEW: One thing is about the right personnel with the right background. I do have some background, but since I do have to oversee a lot of things, I need some really sharp people I would be able to recruit and make them passionate about this whole things and really take it forward with me. That’s one thing, people with assistive technology certification and that sort of working background.Funding is not a big deal because we do have the government backing and this bank has come on, so I don’t see that as a challenge. But then getting into the common man, making it affordable for them with the type of population we have, with poverty and disability as a higher population, so people without greater funding, how can we really get it out to them so they can afford it, is another challenge I see?WADE WINGLER: Some of the things in my next question you’ve addressed a little bit, but I want to flesh it out a little bit. If you were to describe a smashing success with the center here, a few years out, what does it look like for students with disabilities or the common man that you mentioned a few times? What does it look like when this program has been very successful?SAMUEL MATHEW: When the program is in full swing, our students all should have their appropriate assistive technology with them after an appropriate assessment. To see them succeed through that will be a great accomplishment which I’m looking forward to. Since this is going to be a university for disability studies and rehabilitation sciences, we expect a large population of people with disabilities coming through our doors. If we are able to make them successful, being productive, being integrated into mainstream society as successful graduates, great, that is what I look for. And also, being from across the country. Our universities in India don’t have the disability service department like you have in the United States. A lot of them will look up to us, and if we can be the model who can provide them the guidance and advice and the model to duplicate, that will be a success. That’s what we’re looking at.WADE WINGLER: And I think that’s a great vision. We’re just about out of time for the interview today. Dr. Mathew, if people wanted to learn more about your program, learn more about the university, learn more about the center, what kind of contact information would you like to provide?SAMUEL MATHEW: One would be our website, which is is our website. If people want to write an email at [email protected] I’ll be happy to answer questions, have people visit us, get involved with us. I welcome such initiatives from people.WADE WINGLER: Excellent. Dr. Samuel Mathew is the executive director at the national Institute of speech and hearing and the Kerala area of India and is in the process of building India’s first national assistive technology Center. Sam, thank you so much for being with us.SAMUEL MATHEW: Thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you. Have a great day.WADE WINGLER: Do you have a question about assistive technology? Do you have a suggestion for someone we should interview on Assistive Technology Update? Call our listener line at 317-721-7124. Looking for show notes from today’s show? Head on over to Shoot us a note on Twitter @INDATAProject, or check us out on Facebook. That was your Assistance Technology Update. I’m Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana.Share this…TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedInEmailPrint RelatedATU182 – Roger Voice, KNFB Reader, RESNA’s new Singapore Conference, Legislative Update From Audrey Busch, Drive About Number Neighborhood AppNovember 21, 2014In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU228 – iOS 9 and Its Impact on People with Disabilities | Luis Perez | Free AT Webinars, Insulin and Blood Sugar Monitoring on Your Smart Phone, Robots and AutismOctober 9, 2015In “Assistive Technology Update”ATU171 – Assistive Technology: USA vs AUS (Wendy Stevens from Lifetec in Australia), Free Assistive Technology Webinars, Web a11y Survey Results, AFB’s Family Connect, Mobile Accessibility ChecklistSeptember 5, 2014In “Assistive Technology Update”last_img read more