Apple's upcoming iOS 6 software update for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch will include a new accessibility feature called Guided Access, which will allow teachers and parents to lock app controls such as settings. Apple says "It allows a parent, teacher, or administrator to limit an iOS device to one app by disabling the Home button, as well as restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen." This will ensure that children and people with autism can not change settings or use distracting features. Guided Access will also allow teachers to give tests on the iPad or iPhone and ensure that the students will not be able to search for the answers or exit the test app. Guided Access will allow museums to use iPads as displays without worrying about people changing to another app.
EnableTalk is creating gloves with embedded sensors that will allow a person using sign language to communicate via a computer-mediated voice.
Legislation has been introduced in Congress to provide appropriate recognition and coverage of Complex Rehab Technology by creating a Separate Benefit Category within the Medicare program. The bill is H.R. 4378, the "Ensuring Access to Quality Complex Rehabilitation Technology Act of 2012" The position of NCART, the National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology, is that a separate Medicare category is needed for specialized wheelchairs.
According to the Eyes-Free Android blog, "All Android phones that have Android version 1.6 or later have built-in support for speech output and accessibility, completely free. While not all applications are accessible, Android is quite customizable. By downloading the right software and configuring the phone properly, a visually-impaired user can access just about any function, including making phone calls, text messaging, email, web browsing, and downloading and using many of the thousands of apps on the Android market." The site has a great overview of Android access including which phone to pick.