IBM: Inclusive Design Can’t Be An Afterthought
Guest post from Sara Mansell, Design Research Lead for Hybrid Integration, IBM Cloud. “It was so refreshing to hear a person outside of the accessibility department talking about accessibility,” said Gerry Ellis, an Accessibility and Usability Consultant at Feel the BenefIT, after I presented on accessible design at G3ict‘s International Briefing on Financial Services Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities. The event, held in Paris in April, hosted an international mix of financial services, accessibility and technology experts, and the European Commission. As a Design Researcher and User Experience Practitioner, I know that accessible design is something that should be considered from concept to creation, not as an afterthought during the testing phase.
From http://ageandability.com/2016/05/12/inclusive-design-cant-be-an-afterthought/?platform=hootsuite, May 19, 2016
Dubai Aiming to Be One of World’s Most Disabled-Friendly Cities by 2020
Dubai is embarking on Dh10 million study that will steer it towards becoming one of the world’s most disabled-friendly cities by 2020. Schools, hospitals, parks and transport are among the targets for change in the research, which was launched on Wednesday. By the end of the year, four pilot projects to improve access will be chosen as models to be replicated across the city by 2020.
From http://www.thenational.ae/uae/health/20160413/dubai-aiming-to-be-one-of-worlds-most-disabled-friendly-cities-by-2020, May 19, 2016
Joint Statement from NFB and MPAA in Support of the Marrakesh VIP Treaty for Blind
National Federation of the Blind President Mark Riccobono and Motion Picture Association of America Chairman and CEO Senator Chris Dodd today released the following joint statement calling for the quick ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (MVT): This treaty strikes a meaningful balance that came about through collective action by a wide range of parties and the WIPO countries themselves. We hope that the Senate will act swiftly and faithfully to implement this treaty.
From https://nfb.org/joint-statement-national-federation-blind-and-mpaa-support-marrakesh-treaty-facilitate-access, May 19, 2016
Microsoft: Inclusive Hiring for People with Disabilities
We are on a journey to leverage the strength of our diverse workforce through greater inclusion. Being inclusive is not something we simply do, but rather, it stands for who we are. In other words, where we are along our journey determines who we are as a company and gives meaning to the culture we are building at Microsoft. The diversity of our workforce and inclusion of talented people from different backgrounds is the fuel that keeps the engines of innovation and growth running.
From https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/diversity/inside-microsoft/cross-disability/hiring.aspx?platform=hootsuite, May 19, 2016
USA: DOJ Clicks “Refresh” on Proposed Title II Website Accessibility Regulations
Website owners and operators have been eagerly awaiting the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) expected pronouncement of disability access rules for websites under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). DOJ’s unexpected announcement further delays the much-anticipated rules regarding accessibility of government/public (and later private) websites, but indicates an open-mindedness to consider further public comment on the government’s direction and accessibility issues, and provides a new public comment period.
From http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/doj-clicks-refresh-on-proposed-title-ii-74539/, May 16, 2016
What’s Next for Smartphones?
It’s fair to say that smartphones have changed the way people live and work, but perhaps the most burning question the industry is pondering is what comes next? In many western markets smartphone sales have almost reached saturation point, forcing companies like Samsung and Apple to come up with new ways to tempt customers with their hardware, software and ecosystems. Some pundits claim sales of smartphones are following the same trajectory as tablets and PCs, in other words plateauing before a fall. Bob O’ Donnell, founder and chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research certainly seems to think so: “We are clearly entering a new era where growth of traditional devices has ended and you have to think differently”.
From http://www.mobileindustryreview.com/2016/05/whats-next-smartphones.html, May 16, 2016
Australia: ACCAN Calls on Networks to Use Windfall to Improve Accessibility
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) has called on the free-to-air networks to use some of the windfall from a 25% cut in licence fees announced in this year’s budget to increase captioning levels and introduce audio description. “This funding could be used to improve captioning on free-to-air TV for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing and to put in place technology that would allow the networks to introduce audio description for people who are blind or vision impaired,” said ACCAN Disability Policy Advisor, Wayne Hawkins.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/news/accan-calls-on-networks-to-use-windfall-to-improve-accessibility, May 10, 2016
USA: Federal Social Media Accessibility Toolkit Hackpad
The following contains the shared document for the development of the Social Media Policy Toolkit, a shared service of the Federal Social Media Community of Practice lead by The Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy. The toolkit is intended to help agencies evaluate the accessibility of their social media programs for persons with disabilities, identify areas that need improving, and share their own ideas and recommendations for helping ensuring our modernization programs are easily accessed by all who need them. In this shared document, collaborators are encouraged to identify best practices in improving the accessibility of social media for public services, or create a new and better way (though copy and pasting the content in, or linking directly to pre-existing content).
From http://www.digitalgov.gov/resources/federal-social-media-accessibility-toolkit-hackpad/, May 10, 2016
Uber's New Accessibility Features Creates Job Opportunities for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Impaired Drivers
Uber has recently improved its app’s accessibility for drivers who are Deaf or hearing impaired, removing communication barriers so that they can have an equal opportunity to become an Uber driver.
From http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/latest_news/digital-technology/ubers-new-accessibility-features-create-job-opportunities-for-deaf-and-hearing-impaired-drivers, May 10, 2016
How Intelligent Image Recognition Will Change Life for Visually Impaired People
More than 500 hours of YouTube footage is uploaded every minute, but almost every second is impossible for me and millions of other visually impaired people (and Google) to understand. The good news is that we're entering a new era for intelligent image recognition. We're seeing new innovations coming on-stream from some of the biggest names in tech and I predict that by the end of the decade we'll see the kinds of advances that make a real difference to the experience of millions of users worldwide.
From https://www.abilitynet.org.uk/news-blogs/how-intelligent-image-recognition-will-change-lives-visually-impaired-people, May 10, 2016