The Old Thing!
I was reading Henny Swan's site and she mentioned an interview (from 2009) with Jamie Knight, an autistic web developer and I found it interesting how he deals with websites (and relies on his iPhone). http://www.iheni.com/an-interview-with-jamie-knight-autism-and-accessible-web-design/
This sentence struck me:
This is why I think web developers have maybe more responsibility when building things: it's a lot harder (and thus easier to shrug and say "people will just have to deal with it") to add wheelchair ramps to buildings or get expensive translators (foreign language or sign), but plenty of cheap and simple things on the web can be the difference between "I paid my city council tax online and it got done!" and "I tried to pay my taxes but the site was broken and confuzling and now I'm late trying to get the forms so I can do it by mail".
The two links at the bottom of the interview are nice general interest.
The New Thing!
I thought I already posted something about this here but I was looking for it and couldn't find it.
http://www.gatech.edu/newsroom/release.html?nid=110051 The BrailleTouch app for touchscreen phones apparently makes it easier to text... for everyone!
One of the researchers demos it in a (youtube) video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIEO1bUFHsI
This news video talks more about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_-dwAvb42c but what's more awesome is the transcript in the description so you can also just read it.
This is for ios and android and is to be released "in the next few weeks". That was in February so not sure what the status is now. Still... seems awesome.
I'm not sure which Braille grade it is... I assume grade 1 which is just direct letter-to-letter translation. Then again, texting is famous for its contractions and txt sp33ch so maybe something new will develop out of this.