Accessibility Now

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IAAP International Association of Accessibility Professionals
  1. Maynooth Students Win Tech Prize for Accessibility App
  2. How to Use Accessibility for iPhone and iPad: The Ultimate Guide 
  3. Gap Analyses for Cognitive Web Accessibility (W3C Task Force)
  4. The Overlap of SEO and Accessibility
  5. Apple Leads in Accessibility, But Can Third-Party Developers Follow?
  6. Dragon Naturally Speaking and ARIA
  7. Why Game Accessibility Matters
  8. Live Subtitles: How Smart Technology Could Help Deaf People
  9. NCPEDP-Mphasis Awards Presented
  10. Tech City Types Developing “Google Glass for the Blind” App
  11. 30 Days with Android – It’s All in the Dots
  12. The Internet of Things Could Empower People with Disabilities


1

Maynooth Students Win Tech Prize for Accessibility App

A team of students from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth took third place in the world citizenship category at the Microsoft Imagine Cup with their AccessEarth app, which helps people with impaired mobility. The app provides up-to-date, reliable data on the accessibility of buildings all over the world. The Imagine Cup encourages students from across the globe to showcase how technology can improve the lives of others.  One of the team members, Matthew McCann, was born with cerebral palsy and believes the app will benefit all people with limited mobility.

Read the complete article about the students who won a tech prize for their accessibility app

2

How to Use Accessibility for iPhone and iPad: The Ultimate Guide

This series discusses the many ways in which users can enable the accessibility options on an iPhone and iPad. For example, the author notes that "with iOS, Apple has added features to specifically help those with visual impairments, including blindness, color blindness and low vision; with auditory impairments, including deafness in one or both ears; physical or motor skill impairments, including limited coordination or range of motion; and learning challenges, including autism and dyslexia." 

Read the complete series on using accessibility features for the iPhone and iPad.

3

Gap Analyses for Cognitive Web Accessibility (W3C Task Force)

The W3C has created a Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Task Force to identify gaps and remove barriers to accessibility for persons with intellectual, cognitive and learning disabilities. The task force has been working on gap analysis for W3C since January 2014. The gap analysis is a global effort to identify the gap between where the state of Web accessibility is for people with cognitive, intellectual and learning disabilities and where we want it to be.

Read the blog bost about the gap analyses for cognitive Web accessibility
 

4

The Overlap of SEO and Accessibility

This AbilityNet blog post discusses how many businesses don’t realize that SEO and accessibility overlap. Search engines allow users to browse the Internet, and SEO rankings are top of the online agenda for businesses across the world. Many businesses are aware of the benefits of having their website rank on the first page of Google in terms of the amount of extra customers it can bring to their site. But businesses do not always understand that they are missing business opportunities if their website has not been optimized for accessibility. Google’s algorithm changes are geared toward serving its users with the best content to answer their queries. Accessibility optimization allows users with accessibility requirements to fully access content on websites and increase the chances of retaining them as a customer.
 
Read the complete AbilityNet blog post about SEO and accessibility
 

5

Apple Leads in Accessibility, But Can Third-Party Developers Follow?

This TechCrunch article discusses how, with Apple leading the way in device accessibility, the pressure is on for third-party developers to make their apps more accessible. Developers are also challenged to figure out creative and new advances in accessibility. Users with disabilities represent an important market that Apple has made a priority to serve. This move is causing apps developed by third parties to consider access of use on Apple devices.

Read the TechCrunch article on third-party developers and accessibility.

6

Dragon Naturally Speaking and ARIA

In this Simply Accessible blog post, author Derek Featherstone shares that Nuance released its new version of Dragon Naturally Speaking this year. According to Featherstone, this is the company’s lucky 13th version. Featherstone notes that he has been criticizing Dragon for years for its lack of support for ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications), but this version is different. He did some preliminary testing and found what Dragon 13 supports (so far) in terms of ARIA. This blog post also lists the results of his testing.

Read the Simply Accessible blog post on Dragon Naturally Speaking and ARIA.

7

Why Game Accessibility Matters

In this Polygon article, Richard Moss tells the story of Carlos Vasquez, who has been a huge Mortal Kombat fan since its 1992 release. Since then, Vasquez has lost his eyesight due to closed-angle glaucoma. When he realized that he was able to play the game by only using his hearing, he became an instrumental developer for the new accessibility modes being added to games such as Injustice: Gods Among Us, which was released earlier this year. This story, along with others, highlights an emerging group of disabled gamers who are calling for more accessibility in video games and are making games accessible to the public with and without disabilities.
 
Read the Polygon article on game accessibility

8

Live Subtitles: How Smart Technology Could Help Deaf People

In this article, the author points out that there are many new technologies that can help people with disabilities, including live subtitling, available 24/7, for people who are deaf or have other hearing problems. The author goes on to explore how well these tools work. For example, he was excited when he first learned about Google Glass, which can be used for live subtitling and calling up an in-vision interpreter at the touch of a button. The author notes that 121 Captions and Microlink have been working to make Google Glass a reality for deaf people, and he was able to test their headset for a day.

Read the BBC article on how smart technology could help deaf people

9

NCPEDP-Mphasis Awards Presented

The National Center for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People in India recently announced if Mphasis Universal Design and ICT Accessibility award winners. This year's award winners include Prashant Madhukar Naik for creating accessible technologies and financial inclusion for blind people, Arun C. Rao for developing the Indian Sign Language, and Professor Kavita Murugkar for incorporating universal design into university curricula. CHILDLINE, Wipro and Kickstart Cab were also honored for making their services accessible for people with disabilities.

Read the full list of NCPEDP-Mphasis award winners

10

Tech City Types Developing “Google Glass for the Blind” App

This article discusses a service named Eyebridge, which was created by Guy Curlewis and Andrew Law, who believe that a smartphone camera linked to a call center could help people who are blind or have low vision. Versions of Eyebridge are being developed for iPhone and Android, and there are plans for a Google Glass version. The Eyebridge app is free, but users are charged by the minute for support.

Read the full article on the “Google Glass for the blind” app

11

30 Days with Android – It’s All in the Dots

This blog covers blogger Marco Zehe’s conversion to Android, including how well accessibility features work on this new device. Marco recently switched to Android and tested Brailleback, an accessibility service that must be installed in order to receive Braille support in Android. In this post, Marco discusses the pros and cons of Brailleback.

Read the complete blog post on Android accessibility tools.

12

The Internet of Things Could Empower People with Disabilities

The Internet of Things has spawned instant access to technology and helps everyone simplify their lives at home and in the office. This CMSWire article points out that this same technology can be applied to empowering those with disabilities. The article notes that more than a billion people, including children (or about 15 percent of the world's population), are estimated to be living with some form of disability, according to statistics from the G3ict M-Enabling Global Summit in Washington, D.C., earlier this year. This means there is room for technology to empower people with disabilities and offer greater insight or context for our activities. 

Read the complete article on how the Internet of Things can empower people with disabilities

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