Accessibility Now

Website    Forward    View in browser
IAAP International Association of Accessibility Professionals
  1. This Device Translates Sign Language In Real Time
  2. Over 90% of People with Disabilities Would Revisit Venues with Good Accessibility
  3. Communications Technology Opens Doors for Everyone, Not Only People with Disabilities
  4. User Acceptance Testing Versus Usability Testing … What’s the Dif?
  5. New Google Glass App Provides Real-Time Closed Captioning
  6. BT Launches Next Generation Text Service
  7. U.S. Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy Announces Launch of Web Portal on Accessible Workplace Technology
  8. New App Makes Buses More Accessible
  9. New Voice in the C-Suite: The Chief Accessibility Officer
  10. Hello Firefox! Mozilla’s Browser Gets Built-in WebRTC Video Chat Through Telefónica Partnership


1

This Device Translates Sign Language in Real Time


In this Good magazine article, the author writes about KinTrans, a computer system that translates sign language in real time. The article tells the story of Mohamed Elwazer, a computer engineer who invented the device. Elwazer came up with the idea after watching a group of kids play with an Xbox 360. He used the same Microsoft Kinect software integrated into the gaming system to build KinTrans. The system uses motion sensor technology to read the sign language, immediately translating it into voice and text.

Read the complete article on the device that translates sign language in real time
2

Over 90% of People with Disabilities Would Revisit Venues with Good Accessibility 

This Hearing Times article discusses a new survey created by the organizers of Disabled Access Day in the United Kingdom, which found that 93 percent of persons with disabilities would revisit a venue if it has good accessibility. The survey also showed that over 90 percent of respondents said they would check on a venue’s accessibility before visiting the establishment. According to the Department of Work and Pensions, there are over 11.6 million people in the UK with a combined spending power of £80 billion. 

Read the complete Hearing Times article about the accessibility survey

3

Communications Technology Opens Doors for Everyone, Not Only People with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 brought many changes that now seem commonplace, such as sidewalk ramps and automatic door openers. In this blog post, the authors discuss the need for the virtual world to become just as accessible. They explain that accessible information and communications technology (ICT) is still an evolving process. Access to communications technologies has enabled the world to become more connected, but we need to make sure everyone can contribute and that all voices can be heard. And, the authors argue, while this is the socially responsible thing to do, it also helps improve business by allowing more customers access.

Read the complete blog post about the need to make ICT accessible to all.  

4

User Acceptance Testing Versus Usability Testing … What’s the Dif?

This DigitalGov article looks at the difference between user acceptance testing and usability testing. These terms are also sometimes used in conjunction with accessibility testing. There is sometimes confusion surrounding these terms, which can create problems.  

As this article explains, user acceptance testing deals with functionality and can show critical errors that are not hardwired into what is being tested, and usability testing deals with user behavior. While the two are similar, the goal of each is very different. The article highlights the importance of testing a product as much as possible before deciding it is user-ready. Having a satisfied user experience is easily achieved if different aspects of testing are considered.
 
Read the complete DigitalGov article on user acceptance testing and usability testing

5

New Google Glass App Provides
Real-Time Closed Captioning

Global Accessibility News reports that a team of Georgia Institute of Technology researchers has created speech-to-text software for the new Google Glass. The app will help users who are hard of hearing with everyday conversations. When a person who is hard of hearing wears Google Glass, they will be able to have text of the audio conversation presented to them via the glasses. The speech is converted into text that is then displayed on the glasses through the “heads up” display. The tool allows a person with a hearing impairment to view the conversation via textual output in their field of vision.

Read the complete article on Google Glass closed captioning

6

BT Launches Next Generation Text Service

BT recently announced the launch of its new Next Generation Text (NGT) service. The service aims to make it easier for persons with hearing and speech disabilities to make phone calls. It utilizes a relay assistant to act as an intermediary to convert speech to text and vice versa during the conversation. 
NGT allows a user to have a conversation that flows more naturally. Also, if a user has some hearing, they can have a voice conversation but use back-up text in case they miss part of the conversation. If a person has impaired speech, they will be able to use the app to type responses via the text relay but use the phone to listen to the conversation. 
 
Read the press release announcing the launch of the Next Generation Text service

7

U.S. Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy Announces Launch of Web Portal on Accessible Workplace Technology

In October, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) announced the launch of PEATworks.org, the central hub for the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT). The website was spearheaded by ODEP's Partnership on Employment and Technology as a way to help employers adopt accessible technology.

PEAT aims to improve the employment, retention and career advancement of people with disabilities. PEAT conducts outreach with workplaces, facilitates collaboration and provides a mix of resources to inform policy development and innovation as it relates to accessibility in the workplace.

Read the PEATworks.org launch announcement.

8

New App Makes Buses More Accessible

Global Accessibility News reports that computer scientists from the University of Washington have developed a program that integrates with OneBusAway, a transit app for people in the Puget Sound area, to provide information that helps make the bus more accessible to people with disabilities. The program provides such information as the exact location of the bus stop and if there is a shelter or bench at the bus stop. The program collects and shares information that people who are blind have identified as important to them when they ride the bus.

Read the complete article on the new app that makes buses more accessible

9

New Voice in the C-Suite: The Chief Accessibility Officer

In this The Productivity Blog article, the author discusses IBM’s recent appointment of Frances West as its first chief accessibility officer (CAO). Many feel that IBM has reinforced that accessibility is one of its core missions by announcing the creation of this C-level role. 

The article also mentions Microsoft, which ensures disability inclusion is an integral part of its commitment to diversity. Rob Sinclair, Microsoft's CAO, is responsible for the company's worldwide strategy to develop software and services that make it easier for people of all ages and abilities to see, hear and use their computers. 

Read the complete article on the addition of the chief accessibility officer to the C-suite

10

Hello Firefox! Mozilla’s Browser Gets Built-in WebRTC Video Chat Through Telefónica Partnership

This Gigaom article discusses how Mozilla and Telefónica, a Spanish carrier group, partnered to build voice and video-chat capabilities into the Firefox browser. The companies will begin with a beta version on the desktop, and will later launch the open-source Firefox Hello feature for users of the first beta of Firefox 34. These efforts will allow Mozilla’s browser to create competition for Microsoft Skype and Google Hangouts. Firefox Hello will not be an add-on and will not require a plugin. It will also support anonymous video-chat sessions.

Read the complete Gigaom article on the Mozilla Firefox Hello feature

IAAP WEBSITE
IAAP - International Association of Accessibility Professionals