Accessibility Now

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IAAP International Association of Accessibility Professionals
  1. An Introduction to Accessible QuickBooks by Intuit and My Blind Spot
  2. Think Your Mobile App Can Avoid the ADA? Well, Think Again …
  3. 10 New Accessibility Features in iOS 8
  4. Seven Resources That Will Improve Your Training Program’s Accessibility
  5. Captioning Video to Enhance Accessibility
  6. Tablet App That Understands Sign Language
  7. Core Accessibility API Mappings 1.1
  8. Discovering Accessible Learning Resources with Benetech
  9. Walgreens Helps Visually Impaired with Talking Prescriptions
  10. Why Hackers Should Care About Accessibility
  11. The Advent of the Personal Swiss Army “Device”


1

An Introduction to Accessible QuickBooks by Intuit and My Blind Spot 

This two-part article, highlighted in the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) newsletter, examines how My Blind Spot worked with Intuit to make QuickBooks accounting software accessible to people with vision loss and to those who have print disabilities. Interviewing Albert Rizzi of My Blind Spot and Lori Samuels of Intuit, the author evaluates QuickBooks Pro 2014 and shows how accessibility has been blended into the QuickBooks using process, testing and scripts. My Blind Spot supplements internal QuickBooks accessibility by working with JAWS to test and add accessibility through scripting. 

Read part 1 of 2 of the article on making QuickBooks more accessible.

Read part 2 of 2 of the article on making QuickBooks more accessible.
 

2

Think Your Mobile App Can Avoid the ADA? Well, Think Again …

This article discusses the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) aggressive pursuit in ensuring websites are accessible to persons with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The article explains the lawsuit that DOJ settled in early June 2014 – the first enforcement action requiring the settling party to make their mobile applications compliant with the ADA. The DOJ alleged that the Florida State University police department online application form asked questions about a past or present disability and other medical conditions in violation of the ADA. The article outlines the settlement agreement.

Read the complete article on the DOJ’s efforts to make mobile apps accessible

3

10 New Accessibility Features in iOS 8

This blog post covers the new accessibility features in Apple’s iOS8. During Apple’s annual developer conference, the company presented an overview of new and existing accessibility features. Some of the enhanced and new features include grayscale, improved zoom, Spotlight, a braille keyboard, QuickType, multidevice support for MFi, Touch ID, Alex voiceover, “in case of emergency” cards and Wi-Fi calls.  This article discusses each feature, one at a time.
 
Read the complete blog post on the new accessibility features in Apple’s iOS8

4

Seven Resources That Will Improve Your Training Program’s Accessibility

This article comes from Talance, an e-learning and web development firm that builds accessibility standards in its courses and website projects. The article addresses e-learning developers about the need for accessible electronic courses. It also offers seven resources – including educational programs, checklists and resource links – that cover accessible e-learning.

Read the complete article on resources for improving the accessibility of training programs.  

5

Captioning Video to Enhance Accessibility

This article explains how captioning can make videos accessible to more people while also helping to engage students. It discusses the different types of open and closed captioning, video description, real-time captions and subtitles. It also explains how to add captions to videos using Windows Movie Maker, Adobe Premiere Pro and YouTube.
 
Read the complete article on video captioning

6

Tablet App That Understands Sign Language

This TechCrunch article explains how a company called MotionSavvy is building a tablet case that leverages the power of the Leap Motion controller in order to translate American Sign Language (ASL) into English, and vice versa. What makes this table case unique is that all six members of the development team are deaf. The tablet app can detect when a person is using ASL and covert it to text or voice. It also includes voice recognition via the tablet’s mic, which allows a person who can hear to respond with voice to the person who is signing, and then the software converts their voice to text.

Read the entire article on a tablet app that understands sign language

7

Core Accessibility API Mappings 1.1

W3C released its First Public Working Draft on June 12, 2014.  It is the first public draft of the Core Accessibility API Mappings 1.1 by the Protocols & Formats Working Group of the Web Accessibility Initiative. The core mappings is technology neutral and includes core WAI-ARIA features, which can be applied to multiple languages. It details additional user agent behavior, beyond accessibility API mapping, to support accessibility of language features. Feedback is encouraged. 

View the W3C First Public Working Draft.

8

Discovering Accessible Learning Resources with Benetech

This is the second part of a two-part blog about a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to catalog accessible digital content. The author explains in the first installment of this two-part blog series that part of the difficulty in uncovering accessible digital content and applications has been the lack of information about the accessibility features of these digital resources (image descriptions, tactile images, video captioning, support for screen readers and more). The second part highlights the Accessibility Metadata Project’s efforts to develop standards for accessibility metadata.

Read more about discovering accessible learning resources

9

Walgreens Helps Visually Impaired with Talking Prescriptions

Walgreens recently introduced a new service – a device that attaches to a prescription bottle and reads the prescription information to the user. The company believes this will help many customers, including people who are aging and those with visual impairments. The project was a collaboration between Walgreens and The American Council of the Blind (ACB). 

Read more about Walgreen’s new “talking prescriptions” service.  

10

Why Hackers Should Care About Accessibility

This article discusses the so-called hackathon focused on accessibility – called Hack4Access – that was recently held in Philadelphia. The article notes that many people think accessibility is only for people with disabilities; however, good accessible design makes a piece of technology useful to all and allows more people to use the product, including people across age brackets and cultural boundaries.

Hack4Access encouraged knowledge experts with disabilities to sit side-by-side with hackers to develop design decisions at the conception of each project. “As a quadriplegic, I know that I could not do the work that I do without technology,” said German Parodi, a grassroots disability activist and student. “Collaborating from the bottom up, we’re respecting each other and trying to build a future collectively.”

Read more about the Hack4Access accessibility hackathon
 

11

The Advent of the Personal Swiss Army “Device”

This blog discusses the importance of a mobile-first strategy and how the definition of mobile is changing, especially among millennials. The author notes that a mobile device is “customized for your lifestyle, habits, preferences, needs, and physical or cognitive abilities,” which is why it is critical to blend accessibility into new mobile apps, services or websites. Accessibility has to be included from the outset for everyone, including people with disabilities, the growing elderly population and those with no or low literacy. Also, using mobile devices creates “situational disabilities,” such as small screens in bright light, the ability to hear streaming video in noisy environments, and interacting with the phone safely while driving.

Read more about the advent of the Swiss Army “device." 

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