Seven Things Every Designer Needs to Know about Accessibility
Accessibility enables people with disabilities to perceive, understand, navigate, interact with, and contribute to the web. Imagine a world where developers know everything there is to know about accessibility. You design it and they build it… perfectly. In this world, only the design itself can cause people with disabilities to have trouble using a product. These guidelines will cover the major things you need to know in order for your products to be “design-ready” to meet the minimum of standards in Section 508 and the Web Consortium Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. The rest will be up to development and quality testing.
From https://medium.com/salesforce-ux/7-things-every-designer-needs-to-know-about-accessibility-64f105f0881b, April 16, 2015
Microsoft Office Mix Adds Slide Notes and Closed Captioning
The PowerPoint Team announced two new features in Office Mix Tuesday, Slide Notes and closed captioning. When you’re recording a mix, Slide Notes is like a teleprompter that helps you focus on your audience instead of worrying about memorizing your delivery. Just click the MIX tab in the PowerPoint ribbon and then the Record button. A translucent text box now appears at the top of the recording view.
From http://blogs.microsoft.com/firehose/2015/04/14/office-mix-adds-slide-notes-and-closed-captioning/, April 15, 2015
Canada: OPP Launches Text911 for People with Hearing and Speech Disabilities
Ontarians with hearing and speech disabilities living in areas policed by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will be able to text calls to 911 starting Wednesday, April 15. The OPP will be equipped to receive emergency calls for service via Text with 911 (T9-1-1) from people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabilities and for which the OPP is the Primary Public Safety Answering Point (P-PSAP).
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/04/15/opp-launches-text911-for-people-with-hearing-and-speech-disabilities/, April 15, 2015
Ireland: University of Limerick Researchers Developing Assistive Exoskeletons for Older People
Researchers at the Design Factors Research Group at the University of Limerick have been awarded EUR 250,000 funding to develop an exoskeleton to assist older people. The research will be carried out as part of the AXO-SUIT project, which will run for 3 years with a total budget of almost EUR 3 million. UL will partner with Cork based company MTD Ltd in the design and manufacture of the concept. The combined project value to the Irish partners is EUR 650,000.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/04/11/university-of-limerick-researchers-developing-assistive-exoskeletons-for-older-people/, April 15, 2015
UK Subtitle Regulations for Higher Education and Online Learning
Transcription and captioning for online video has become a hot-button issue in American higher education, given the pattern of anti-discrimination lawsuits brought against universities for insufficient accommodation of deaf and hard of hearing students. While there are looser subtitling requirements in the United Kingdom, some British universities are taking a proactive approach to web accessibility and adding subtitles to their videos.
From http://www.3playmedia.com/2015/04/13/uk-subtitle-regulations-for-higher-education-and-online-learning/?, April 15, 2015
Accessibility Functionality is a Lifeline for Those with Differing Abilities
Both OS X and iOS include an accessibility technology called VoiceOver, which is a screen-reader for people with impaired vision. Accessibility functionality is a lifeline for those with differing abilities. You can find out more about the rich set of assistive features offered by OS X, iOS, and Watch OS.
From http://mattgemmell.com/small-changes/, April 15, 2015
Fujitsu Introduces “LiveTalk,” a Participatory Communications Tool for People with Hearing Disabilities
Fujitsu Limited and Fujitsu Social Science Laboratory Limited today announced that, starting in mid-May, they will begin sales of FUJITSU Software LiveTalk, a participatory communications tool for people with hearing disabilities, to companies and schools in Japan.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/04/14/fujitsu-introduces-livetalk-a-participatory-communications-tool-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, April 14, 2015
USA: Perkins Voices Add Momentum to UN’s Push to Ratify Accessible Book Treaty
In keeping with its education and advocacy work for people who are blind all around the world, Perkins has joined with other global leaders to pave the way for expanded access to books for readers who are blind or have low vision. In March, Perkins President and CEO Dave Power took part in a panel discussion at the U.N. titled, “Innovative Technologies: Making the world of books accessible to people who are print disabled.”
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2015/04/14/perkins-voices-add-momentum-to-uns-push-to-ratify-accessible-book-treaty/, April 14, 2015
Examining Tech Solutions To Natural Disasters
When Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu, it struck a very vulnerable target. The Pacific nation is considered one of the world’s poorest and is ranked by the United Nations’ WorldRiskIndex as the most disaster-prone country.
From http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/09/low-and-high-tech-solutions-to-natural-disasters/, April 13, 2015
How a Smartphone for the Blind May Save Drivers’ Lives
An Israeli-developed smartphone for the blind is providing technology that will now help the fully sighted to drive more safely. RayGo is the first eyes-free patented smartphone system that lets drivers interact with their smartphones without taking their eyes off the road.
From http://www.timesofisrael.com/how-a-smartphone-for-the-blind-may-save-drivers-lives/, April 13, 2015