Microsoft Office for Mac 2016: A First Look at Accessibility
For millions around the world, Microsoft Office is a must-have productivity suite. It's used by most workplaces--it is, after all, called Office--and by students everywhere. There are many alternatives, from Open Office to the iWork suite for Mac, but if you are working with a document which uses advanced Office features, or is highly formatted, it may not look the same if you import it into a different productivity suite, or export and save your work into a MS Office compatible format.
From http://www.afb.org/afbpress/pub.asp?DocID=aw160902, September 03, 2015
Google Docs Gets Voice Typing, Templates, Smart Sheets And More
The company says that its Google Apps for Education platform sports 40M active teachers and students. The program was introduced in 2007 and just nabbed the 10th-largest school district (Fairfax, Virginia) in the company as a client. In preparation for students and teachers going back to schools, Google Apps has unleashed a few features that surprisingly haven’t been put into the product until now.
From http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/02/can-you-tell-me-how-to-get-to-google-street/, September 03, 2015
USA: Architecture Students Explore Design Solutions During Accessibility Awareness Day
Several students of the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture will experience firsthand the challenges confronting people with disabilities in daily campus life, during the University’s eighth Accessibility Awareness Day on Friday (Sept. 4).
From http://news.nd.edu/news/60346-architecture-students-explore-design-solutions-during-accessibility-awareness-day/#.VefV0zSYeTU.twitter, September 03, 2015
Screen Readers on Touchscreen Devices
People who are blind or have low vision must rely on their memory and on a rich vocabulary of gestures to interact with touchscreen phones and tablets. Designers should strive to minimize the cognitive load for users of screen readers. For people who have low vision, using a touchscreen typically consists of listening to text read aloud by a screen reader and interacting with the elements on screen via a lexicon of multi-finger gestures.
From http://www.nngroup.com/articles/touchscreen-screen-readers/, September 03, 2015
Australia: AA Compliance: Why WCAG 2.0 is Important
The Australian Government has recently endorsed the second version of the WCAG Guidelines (Web Content Accessibility) for all government websites. This new standard replaces the previous WCAG 1.0 compliance mandate, and this standard is being upheld by businesses and non-government organizations as well. The full scope of the change as well as advice for meeting the standard is discussed on the Department of Finance website in a Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy (NTS) document.
From http://www.elcomcms.com/en-au/resources/elcom-blog/posts/aa-compliance--why-wcag-2-0-is-important, September 03, 2015
EU: Database of Digital Services for Carers of the Elderly Launched
The European Commission's Joint Research Center (JRC) has partnered with EUROCARERS to launch a new online database of digital services for carers of older people. This new tool offers access to 78 good practices of digital services for older care at home, which the JRC gathered and that EUROCARERS, the European network representing informal carers and their organisations, helped make available to all.
From https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/database-digital-services-carers-elderly-launched, September 02, 2015
Accessibility Beyond the Screen Reader: Designing for Impaired Vision Users
For most people, Web accessibility means making content compatible with screen readers. As a designer, what first comes to mind might be providing alt text for images. As a developer, it might be adding WAI-ARIA roles and properties to the source code. As a content strategist, it might be unambiguous link text that makes sense on its own. All of these are good starting points, but ultimately, who truly benefits from these things? Blind people using screen readers, but who else?
From http://www.creativebloq.com/web-design/accessibility-beyond-screen-reader-91516540, September 02, 2015
PROSPERITY4ALL: Access to Technology for Everyone
EU researchers are developing a new, broad-ranging, cloud-based infrastructure that makes the Internet more accessible for users with special needs. The new ‘ecosystem’ enables people previously excluded from ICT to get help using technology and aims to use their feedback to develop new apps and services. PROSPERITY4ALL, a four-year project running until 2018, builds on the earlier CLOUD4ALL, which developed preference management tools for people with special needs to auto-configure their computers, tablets and smartphones, making them easier to use.
From https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/prosperity4all-access-technology-everyone, September 02, 2015
India: Bangalore to Feature in Government's Accessible India Program
City to be featured in Center's 'Accessible India' program. If not a smart city, Bengaluru can at least aim to be an accessible city for those with disabilities. With hundreds of government buildings imposing a challenge for those with physical disabilities, the city will be featured in the 'Accessible India' programme envisioned by the Center. Lov Verma, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, said around 50 cities would be chosen for the scheme, and Bengaluru would be featured as an 'A' city.
From http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/improving-accessibility-to-the-disabled-in-bengaluru/article7593348.ece, August 31, 2015
IBM Becoming Internet of Things Powerhouse
IBM has solidified its position as a preeminent player and driving force in mainstream Internet of Things adoption. That’s according to analyst firm Strategy Analytics, who says IBM’s decision to invest three billion dollars and hire 2,000 workers to staff its new Internet of Things Business Unit has made the company an IoT powerhouse. “Big Blue is also ensuring close collaboration among its many business groups: Analytics; Systems and Technology (STG); the Watson Business Unit and its Cloud and Services groups to ease the transition,” she says.
From http://channellife.co.nz/story/ibm-becoming-internet-things-powerhouse/, August 31, 2015