Technology

Vision-Focused Technology

Vision-Focused Technology

Technology is changing the daily lives of people with disabilities to create a more accessible and inclusive human experience.  In particular, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and other companies have the potential to fundamentally change the mobility, employment and lifestyle of people who are blind and vision-impaired, says an article on MacRumours.  The same can be said for artificial intelligence software like Amazon's Echo, Microsoft's Seeing AI app, and Apple's Siri.

Accessibility of Learning Materials

Accessibility of Learning Materials

Digital tools are providing more insight into the accessibility of learning materials, and even automating some steps in making more accessible alternatives available. "We have been fighting this uphill battle of content accessibility for years, and we have been fighting it without knowing what is actually out there," said Jeremy Olguin, accessible technology manager at California State University Chico, also called Chico State (https://www.csuchico.edu/).

Digitally Inclusive Event Registration Platform

Digitally Inclusive Event Registration Platform

An Australian event planner who is visually impaired has launched a “web accessibility health check tool” for event organizers.  In a first-person piece on Spice News, an online magazine for the Australian events industry, Luli Adeyemo describes how she came to launch the online tool.

Making Curriculum Accessible

Making Curriculum Accessible

Apple has announced that its Everyone Can Code course materials are now accessible to students who are blind and deaf. Everyone Can Code teaches coding in Swift, a programing language. The simple, fun coding lessons can be modified to suit students from kindergarten to college. It’s also fun to use, because it lets you see what you’re creating with code as you write it - as the user types on the left, he or she immediately see the result on the right. 

Redefining Accessible Software

Redefining Accessible Software

On MacStories.net, tech writer Steven Aquino presents an interesting analysis on the impact of Apple technology on the lives of people with disabilities. “I have disabilities myself, so I'm part of the group who uses assistive technology to access their Apple devices,” says Mr. Aquino on his personal blog.   

Reimagining Accessibility in Canada

Reimagining Accessibility in Canada

“Accessibility isn’t just a moment in time for Microsoft,” says Kevin Peesker, President of Microsoft Canada. “One in seven Canadians has a disability. This is a sobering statistic, and according to the federal government we can only expect this number to grow given our aging population.”

New Technology Enables Inclusive Workplaces

New Technology Enables Inclusive Workplaces

“There is still a prevailing stereotype that equates disability with difficulty and cost. In fact, our research for the last ten years shows that, in 60 percent of cases, there is no additional cost to employing someone with a disability,” says the Executive Director of the Association of Higher Education and Disability, or AHEAD.

Harnessing Technology to Create an Inclusive Workplace

Harnessing Technology to Create an Inclusive Workplace

Technology, says this article on Real Business (https://realbusiness.co.uk) is the solution to creating a “transparent and equal global enterprise environment.” The opinion piece from a communications technology company argues Artificial Intelligence (AI), for example, can go beyond booking meeting rooms and turning on lights on command.

Embrace Technology for an Inclusive Future

Embrace Technology for an Inclusive Future

“The future is already here and businesses must embrace technology so that changes include rather than exclude.” Employers heard this message last April at an event hosted by Business Disability Forum (https://businessdisabilityforum.org.uk) in London, England.

Assistive Technology and Smartphones Promoting Accessibility

Assistive Technology and Smartphones Promoting Accessibility

“Companies are often held back by a perception that recruiting people with disabilities is too difficult and costly,” says Jill Miller, in a special report in the Financial Times. Jill Miller is the Diversity and inclusion adviser at the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. “However, a lot of the ‘reasonable adjustments’ are low-cost and relatively easy to implement.”

How Can Airlines Improve their Websites for Passengers with Disabilities?

How Can Airlines Improve their Websites for Passengers with Disabilities?

In 2015 North American travelers with disabilities spent $17.3 billion on travel, significantly more than $13.6 billion in 2002. At the same time, complaints about airlines made by passengers with disabilities have doubled to more than 30,000 per year. Amadeus, a travel industry technology company, released a report on barriers to accessibility across stages of the passenger journey that may hold some answers as to why.

Creating Accessible Technology for All to Easily Utilize

Creating Accessible Technology for All to Easily Utilize

In South Korea, consumer electronics manufacturer Samsung is looking at ways that technology, including artificial intelligence, can help people with disabilities. Samsung says its developers are “listening closely to the feedback of those with disabilities, and developing tests so they can directly experience the inconveniences themselves.” Samsung says it is developing a number of technologies with an eye to ensuring accessibility for anyone and everyone, that have the potential to dramatically help those with disabilities, the elderly, and many others.

Introducing the Accessibility Inspector for Firefox

Introducing the Accessibility Inspector for Firefox

On “Marco’s Accessibility Blog,” Mozilla blogger Marco Zehe gets into deep detail about Firefox’s new web site accessibility inspection tool. The Firefox Accessibility Inspector allows web developers to review how well a website works with assistive technologies.

Windows 10 Accessibility: What to Expect in the year ahead

Windows 10 Accessibility: What to Expect in the year ahead

If you use the accessibility tools and features within the Windows 10 Operating System, Microsoft’s recent blog is full of good news. The tech giant says it has been collaborating with assistive technology partners to bring more assistive technology to the Microsoft Store.

Skype Plans Accessibility Improvements

Skype Plans Accessibility Improvements

Skype has several improvements to its accessibility on the way, as part of Microsoft’s mission to “make technology more accessible and empower people to achieve more.” According to an article on Microsoft’s news site ON-MSFT, the Skype development team has been using user feedback and comments to address “accessibility issues.”

Video Games and Accessibility

Video Games and Accessibility

Video game developers are taking changes to accessibility rules into consideration. At the spring 2018 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, game developers from Owlchemy gave a presentation called “Accessibility in VR: How It Can Be Better.” The developers shared their own research on the subject gathered from a total of 82 virtual reality games. For each of those games, they attempted to play both sitting and standing, examined the availability of options and what they offered, gauged the reliance on audio, and recorded how much bending or reaching was required to play. 

Accessibility, Audio Texts, and the Persistence of Print

Accessibility, Audio Texts, and the Persistence of Print

On The Chronicle of Higher Education, Assistant Director of Educational Technology at Yale University Michelle Morgan asks education professionals to consider the historical bias toward printed text, and to look for opportunities to consider alternative methods of delivering course materials. This will be of benefit not just for the students who need it, but all students, because in doing so professors and teachers can flesh out the learning experience.