USA: Capti Narrator Receives FCC Chairman’s Award
Stony Brook tech startup Charmtech Labs LLC, which last week received an award from the Federal Communications Commission for making the Internet more accessible to disabled people, announced Tuesday the first major expansion of its free text-to-speech iPhone and iPad application, Capti Narrator. Capti allows users to listen to a variety of text documents across Web sources, including news sites, Google Drive and Dropbox. Tuesday's update expands the app's functionality from one language -- English -- to 26, and adds more than 125 voice options to its original roster of 25.
From http://www.newsday.com/business/li-startup-charmtech-gets-fcc-award-rolls-out-expansion-1.8474143, June 19, 2014
AT&T: Working to Make Accessibility Universal
AT&T’s Corporate Accessibility Technology Office was launched in December 2012 to lead AT&T’s efforts to meet the needs of customers with disabilities. This team serves as AT&T’s hub for accessibility-related issues, working throughout the company to assess accessibility implications and provide counsel on the design and development of products and services. While the team’s primary responsibility is to ensure compliance with accessibility regulations for all of AT&T’s products and services, it also has a bonus effect of raising awareness of disability-related issues and creating a culture of accessibility throughout AT&T.
From http://3blmedia.com/News/ATT-Working-Make-Accessibility-Universal, June 10, 2014
M-Enabling Summit: A Conversation with Organizer Axel Leblois on Biometrics for Persons with Disabiltiies at the M-Enabling Summit 2014
Biometric authentication is a far-reaching technology, and the organizers of the M-enabling Summit 2014 are excited to see the accessible and assistive properties of recognition systems making their way to the forefront through new mobile devices. “The ability to automate the recognition of users is becoming central to everything,” Axel Leblois, the Executive Director of G3ict, an organizer of the M-Enabling Summit said in an interview with BiometricUpdate.com.
From http://www.biometricupdate.com/201406/m-enabling-summit-a-conversation-with-organizer-axel-leblois, June 10, 2014
Maintaining Momentum Through Efficient Mobile Design
When interacting with mobile devices, users have little patience for confusing interfaces or unnecessary steps that impede their progress. As designers, we must understand the role of momentum in effective user interface design and create experiences that keep our users moving forward.
From http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/06/10/maintaining-momentum-through-efficient-mobile-design/, June 10, 2014
World's First Braille Mobile Phone Goes on Sale in the UK
Touchscreens may have kicked-off a mobile computing revolution, but they didn't do much for the visually impaired. OwnFone, which launched a customizable mobile phone for kids and the elderly back in 2012, is now offering its stripped-down handset with braille or raised text contact buttons. The 3D-printed hardware lets you select up to four contacts that can be assigned to the device, making it ideal for emergencies and people who need to stay in touch with family or carers on a regular basis. It's available right now for a base price of GBP 60, plus an additional monthly charge of between GBP 7.50 and GBP 15 per month - depending on how much call time you want or need.
From http://www.engadget.com/2014/05/19/ownfone-braille-mobile-phone/, May 20, 2014
Making Websites Accessible Without Sacrificing Aesthetics
Fifteen years after the Web Accessibility Initiative was launched, which aimed to improve web usability for those with disabilities, online accessibility is still widely ignored. Far too often there is a belief that a compromise must be made between accessibility and an attractive design. As a result, a myriad of misconceptions have emerged, often preventing people from making a determined effort to integrate accessibility into their websites.
From http://www.nomensa.com/blog/2013/making-websites-accessible-without-sacrificing-aesthetics/, May 20, 2014
AT&T and IBM Make it to the DiversityInc Top 10 List of Companies for People With Disabilities
Both in the United States and globally, companies increasingly are recognizing the value of hiring and promoting people with disabilities. The 2014 DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for People With Disabilities include EY, Procter & Gamble, Boehringer Ingelheim, IBM, General Motors, Wyndham Worldwide, WellPoint, The Hartford Financial Services Group, BASF, and AT&T.
From http://www.diversityinc.com/top-10-companies-people-with-disabilities/, May 01, 2014
UK: Live TV Subtitling 'Too Slow', Ofcom Says
On-screen subtitling lags too far behind speech on live TV programmes, UK media watchdog Ofcom has said. The average delay between speech being heard and the corresponding subtitles appearing on screen is 5.6 seconds, according to an Ofcom report. That is almost double the recommended maximum of three seconds.
From http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-27218471, May 01, 2014
M-Enabling Summit to Host FCC Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility
The M-Enabling Summit Conference and Showcase is pleased to announce that it will host the Award Ceremony for the 2014 FCC Chairman’s Awards for Advancement in Accessibility, the world’s leading award promoting innovation in information technology accessibility for persons with disabilities. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has made accessible communications technologies one if its most valued missions. As people with disabilities constitute the nation’s largest minority group, the advancements made in accessible communications enhance the lives of millions.
From http://g3ict.org/press/press_releases/press_release/p/id_79, April 28, 2014
Singapore: Grey Launches Free Mobile Applications for People with Hearing Disabilities
Grey Group Singapore announced that the agency has developed two innovative mobile applications aimed at improving the quality of life of people with hearing disabilities. Developed with inputs and full support from the Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf), the proprietary apps transform smart phones into intelligent devices that help the lives of people who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing easier and safer.
From http://globalaccessibilitynews.com/2014/04/25/grey-launches-free-mobile-applications-for-people-with-hearing-disabilities/, April 25, 2014