G3ict Survey of Financial Services Accessibility
The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ICT) is conducting a survey on good practices among banks and financial services institutions interested in implementing accessible services for seniors and persons with disabilities. The aim is designing options for banks to increase their customer base by enabling them to cater to a larger group than is currently able to access services or to promote diversity and inclusion in their communities from a CSR standpoint. We would like to get your valuable feedback for this process. By participating in this financial services survey by September 25, 2013, we would be asking you about the accessibility of services offered by your organization, and would also like you to share if you have any plans, both domestic and international, to improve or enhance accessibility for seniors and persons with disabilities.
From http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1328369/G3ict-Survey-of-Financial-Services-Accessibility-August-2013, August 27, 2013
USA: Final Rules to Improve Employment of Veterans and People with Disabilities
The U.S. Department of Labor today announced two final rules to improve hiring and employment of veterans and for people with disabilities. One rule updates requirements under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974; the other updates those under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For more than 40 years these laws have required federal contractors and subcontractors to affirmatively recruit, hire, train and promote qualified veterans and people with disabilities respectively.
From http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ofccp/OFCCP20131578.htm, August 27, 2013
Accessibility and Usability of UK Banking and Payment Apps
On the iOS platform used by Apple, these apps are broadly accessible, allowing you to do all of the tasks you would expect to be able to do, for example log in, check a range of accounts, get a balance, review transactions and make payments. However, it is worth noting that the focus will not always start at the top of the page and instead the app could begin by reading information half way down the page. In addition, it does not always read out if an amount is a debit or credit and often reads out the value in numbers rather than pounds.
From http://www.rnib.org.uk/livingwithsightloss/yourmoney/banks/Pages/banking_with_apps.aspx, August 26, 2013
"Web Accessibility Must Become an Integral Part of Our Processes"
Leonie Watson is, of course, best known for her work in the sphere of accessibility. “I’m blind, so for me personally, it’s about being able to do stuff,” she says. “If it weren’t for accessibility, I couldn’t do my job, I couldn’t do my shopping, I couldn’t do a whole bunch of stuff. It wouldn’t surprise you that I’m a big technology fan. A lot of my life is spent in and around technology. If accessibility isn’t there, then my life either grinds to a halt or becomes a hell of a lot more difficult.
From http://www.netmagazine.com/interviews/l-onie-watson-giving-damn-about-what-youre-building, August 26, 2013
US: For Some Without Home Broadband, Smartphones Bridge the Gap
Own a smartphone? Then you’re in good company, as 56% of American adults own an iPhone, Android or similar device, according to a June Pew study. That’s up significantly from the same time last year, when approximately 45% of Americans owned a smartphone. Smartphone ownership is also steadily approaching parity with the percentage of Americans who have a home broadband connection, which is currently sitting at 70%, according to Pew’s most recent study published August 26.
From http://techland.time.com/2013/08/26/for-some-without-home-broadband-smartphones-bridge-the-gap/#ixzz2d5RojrVM, August 26, 2013
USA: FCC Generally Affirms IP Closed Captioning Rules
On July 2, 2013 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an Order and Notice of Proposed rulemaking about Internet captioning. The Order on Reconsideration and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking affirmed, modified and clarified certain aspects of its closed captioning rules for Internet Protocol (IP) video that it had previously adopted in January 2012. These are rules resulting from passage of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA).
From http://www.coataccess.org/node/10150, August 26, 2013
For Accessibility and Inclusion, More Focus on Content and Functionality is Needed
On July 16th, 2013 a mini-conference at the FCC highlighted a key approach to ensuring inclusive online design. As part of the FCC’s new Accessibility and Innovation Speaker Series Clayton Lewis, Professor of Computer Science and Fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado, spoke on “The Future of Inclusive Design Online” The presentation is online here (captioned video). The event was attended by about fifty people at FCC HQ, in addition to more attending via the Internet. Attendees included many from government and industry, in addition to consumers with disabilities and other interested persons.
From http://www.coataccess.org/node/10153, August 26, 2013
7 Accessibility Features in Windows 8 for Individuals With Special Needs
The recent release of Windows 8 has brought a great amount of accessibility to computers and tablets. Staples was kind enough to give us a laptop to check out some of these accessibility features.
From http://www.friendshipcircle.org/blog/2013/07/22/7-accessibility-features-in-windows-8-for-individuals-with-special-needs/, August 23, 2013
Facebook Founder Pushes Internet Accessibility Worldwide
The founder of social media giant Facebook is launching an effort to expand internet accessibility for people in previously untapped corners of the world. Despite its nearly global reach, roughly 5 billion people are still without access to the internet, including 19 percent of the US.
From http://www.9wsyr.com/news/local/story/Zuckerberg-pushes-internet-accessibility-worldwide/5v_7cWmff0uveSTGtol4Bg.cspx#!, August 23, 2013
Education for All: Accessibility Innovations
Technology is revolutionizing learning, but not the way we as educators expected that it would. Tablets and smartphones get the press, but the real story is how these tools can enhance the learning experience for students who have disabilities and eliminate accessibility barriers for non-traditional learners.
From http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/21192, August 22, 2013