Watson Mobile Challenge to Usher in New Era of Development
In February at Mobile World Congress, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty launched the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, a first of its kind, global competition to encourage software developers to create mobile consumer and business apps powered by Watson. The IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge encourages the millions of mobile developers around the world to build sophisticated cognitive apps that can change the way consumers and businesses interact with data using mobile devices. For more insight on the challenge and app development trends in general, the Smarter Planet blog turned to Matt Gross, founder of Mobile Monday Boston, a community of nearly 8,000 professionals interested in mobile, and Mobile First Software, a mobile strategy consultancy.
From http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2014/03/watson-mobile-challenge-help-usher-new-era-development.html, March 25, 2014
USA: Advancing Accessibility and Inclusion in Social Media – The User Experience
The National Council on Disability (NCD) and the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) want to hear from you! You are invited to participate in a national online dialogue running through April 4 that aims to explore the value of social media in the lives of people with disabilities, particularly around work, and to identify accessibility issues and creative approaches to making social media tools more accessible and usable for everyone. The information gathered from this dialogue will then help NCD and ODEP further collaborate with the social media industry to implement solutions and improve the accessibility of these online tools.
From http://NCD-ODEP.SocialMedia.ePolicyWorks.org, March 25, 2014
G3ict Releases Report on Copyrights and Third Party Captioning
G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies, announced today the publication of a seminal report to inform the discussion of copyright issues in relation to third party captioning, highlighting conflicts between U.S. copyrights and disability legislation in an increasingly critical domain of accessibility.
From http://g3ict.org/press/press_releases/press_release/p/id_77#sthash.k2Fncmrf.dpuf, March 24, 2014
How Accessibility Impacts Responsive Design
Sure the focus of responsive design is on the ability of the layout to adapt to the user’s screen. Such optimization makes it easier to read and navigate the content on different screen sizes by making the content “bend and move”. But there’s another critical aspect that must be considered in this design process: how are semantics and information relationships exposed to individuals employing assistive technology on different platforms? On touchscreen devices for instance, one cannot navigate down a column in a data tables like one does on a desktop. Differences in support for HTML / ARIA on different platforms devices also need to be taken into account during design and development.
From http://www.deque.com/blog/accessibility-impacts-responsive-design/, March 24, 2014
“More Than 80 Percent of People with Disabilities Use Wireless Everyday”
CITA, The Wireless Association representing the international wireless telecommunications industry, has a strong record in promoting mobile accessibility. We talked to Matthew Gerst, Director for State Regulatory & External Affairs at CTIA, about what they have achieved so far, how they see mobile accessibility evolving over the coming years and how GARI fits into it.
From http://blog.mobileaccessibility.info/2014/03/more-than-80-percent-of-people-with.html, March 21, 2014
The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) Launches This Week
The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) announced the official launch of their organization today in conjunction with the CSUN 29th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference in San Diego, California.
From http://www.financialpost.com/markets/news/International+Association+Accessibility+Professionals+IAAP+Launches+This/9637400/story.html, March 21, 2014
FCC Accepting Nominations for Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility; Deadline: April 15
To that end, the Accessibility and Innovation (A&I) Initiative was created to promote collaborative problem-solving on accessibility among academic, industry, consumer and government sectors. A signature project of the A&I Initiative is the Chairman's Awards for Advancement in Accessibility (Chairman's AAA) to recognize innovators for contributions to accessible technology.
From http://www.fcc.gov/blog/fcc-accepting-nominations-chairman-s-awards-advancement-accessibility-deadline-march-31, March 21, 2014
Samsung Phone Accessories Cater to the Visually Impaired
Samsung added some software features for the visually-impaired to its Galaxy Core Advance late last year, and now it’s gone ahead and released some physical ones as well. The Ultrasonic Cover, Optical Scan Stand, and Voice Labels, all make it easier for those with difficulty seeing to navigate, access information and engage with the world around us. The Ultrasonic Cover is a case that can be used to detect objects in the surrounding environment. It vibrates, or sends a Text-to-Speech alert, when an object is near, and can detect items up to 2 meters away.
From http://www.psfk.com/2014/03/samsung-phone-accessories-cater-to-the-visually-impaired.html#!Aqimy, March 18, 2014
A Wearable PC That Could Benefit the Disabled
Wearable computers seem to be the next big thing and researchers in Japan have created one that may benefit those who don't have use of their hands: a PC that clips onto your ear and can be controlled by facial expressions.
From http://www.itworld.com/mobile-wireless/408648/wearable-pc-could-benefit-disabled, March 17, 2014
The Value of Involving People with Disabilities in User Research
I am a huge fan of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as a means to measure progress toward accessibility. They are thorough and well considered. They are flexible. I have used them to evaluate desktop applications, mobile apps, mobile sites, websites, and web applications. They go far in removing subjectivity from the assessment process—a control either is or is not operable using the keyboard; a text input either has or does not have a programmatically associated label.
From http://www.usertesting.com/blog/2014/03/04/the-value-of-involving-people-with-disabilities-in-user-research/, March 17, 2014