As Higher Education Turns Increasingly Digital, Disability Rights Advocates Turn to Legal Measures
More than two decades after the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 was signed into law, advocacy groups are pushing to clarify how it and other laws that prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities apply to technology that at the time seemed like science fiction but now has become reality.
From Inside Higher Ed, November 11, 2016
University of Maryland team makes app that highlights inaccessible areas in D.C.
A University of Maryland professor and a team of graduate students have developed a web app called Project Sidewalk, which remotely maps the accessibility of cities for people with mobility impairments. The web app allows volunteers to remotely go through the city and mark factors that could limit accessibility for someone with a mobility impairment, such as an absence of curb ramps, narrow or blocked pathways and cracks in sidewalks and roads.
From The Diamond Back, November 10, 2016
Apple's New MacBook Touch Bar Could Hurt Users with Visual Impairments
In the debate over the new MacBook Pro and its many deficiencies in the minds of Apple fans, one subject has barely been broached: accessibility. Macs built-in screenreader VoiceOver, which allows visually impaired people to use the computers, is generally seen favorably by those in the visually impaired community. But part of the design of Apple's new laptop could cause visually impaired users some real difficulty.
From Popular Mechanics, November 09, 2016
Didi’s Uber App Overlooks Users with Visual Impairments
When China’s leading car-hailing company Didi Chuxing merged with rival Uber China in August, stories of generally poor customer service were soon to follow. Now, even people with visual impairments have been forced to find alternative means of transport, as the post-acquisition version of the Uber China app, released in late October, lacks voiceover functionality.
From Sixth Tone, November 08, 2016
New Apple iOS Features to Enhance Accessibility for People with Hearing Impairment
Apple has enhanced its iOS accessibility features for users with hearing impairments. Features like Bluetooth-based AirPod-style streaming, Live Listen, have been enhanced, focusing on conversations in loud environment for hearing impairments. Apple first introduced MFi support for Bluetooth hearing aids in iOS 7 and iPhone 4s. Its latest software expands support for direct streaming of phone calls, FaceTime conversations, movies and other audio to supported hearing aids, without the need for a middleman device known as a "streamer".
From Economic Times, November 07, 2016
GOV.UK Accessibility Survey Identifies Problems with PDFs and Search
The Government Digital Service has started addressing accessibility issues with PDFs on GOV.UK following a survey of assistive technology users. The survey, which received more than 700 responses, aimed to identify the types of assistive technologies people used, as well as allowing respondents to feedback more generally about accessibility on GOV.UK.
From Public Technology, November 06, 2016
New Navigation Tool Improves Campus Accessibility at Michigan State University
A new student-designed app is making it easier for those with disabilities to navigate Michigan State University’s sprawling campus. For blind users, the app works in tandem with a text reader, and it offers a wand feature, which allows people to point their phones in all directions to learn what’s around them.
For those with mobility impairments, the app provides accessible entrance information for buildings.
From MSU Today, November 05, 2016
Unique Microsoft Hiring Program Opens More Doors to People with Autism
This World Autism Day Microsoft announced that it was about to launch a pilot program to hire people with autism. In the months since the program began, Microsoft has hired 11 new employees who have autism and is actively seeking candidates for an ever-expanding list of opportunities, including roles in software engineering, data science, customer service and operations, and for teams like Windows, Xbox and HoloLens.
From Microsoft, November 04, 2016
This Comcast Exec is Turning Accessible Tech into Something for All
Tom Wlodkowski is the head of accessibility at Comcast. After working 25 years to make technology more inclusive for people with disabilities, he is aiming for the day when it's just part of the routine.
From CNET, November 03, 2016
Voters with Disabilities in the United States have New Ways to Cast Ballot
With just under a week left until the election, officials are asking voters with disabilities to look into a new option.This will be the first general election where voters with disabilities can request an electronic ballot. The deadline to request one is November 7 at noon.
From NBC Montana, November 02, 2016