Monthly Archives: August 2015

Two New Smartwatch Apps Aim to Help the Visually Impaired

A new pair of watch apps from pharmaceutical company Novartis has been launched with the intent of helping the visually impaired. The first app, Via Opta Nav, provides turn-by-turn navigation in the manner of Google Maps or Waze, but directions are provided with both voice directions and with haptic feedback. The second app, only available for smartphones (because it relies on camera feedback that smartwatches can’t provide just yet), allows the user to identify objects and places just by pointing the camera at them.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Two New Smartwatch Apps Aim to Help the Visually Impaired

Designing for Non-Native Speakers

Some curious facts emerge when you compare the languages most sites use, versus the languages most internet users speak. While around half of all web pages are in English, only about 28 percent of the people using the internet speak English as a first language. Interesting, right? There are billions of people who use and browse the English web, but are not native speakers.

Asking for fully translated and localized sites is a mammoth task, one only large international conglomerates can afford. Instead, we can take some other simple steps to make our sites accessible for non-native speakers. We can focus on clear language, interfaces, and prompts, to help users as they navigate a largely English-speaking web.

Readability

…In order to get an objective idea of how complex our copy was, we ran it through the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test. The test measures how difficult a passage in English is to understand, and assigns a score or US-reading level. You can do this with the “Show readability statistics” tool in Word, or by copy and pasting your content into an online tool. Our marketing copy was topping out around the 13th grade level, meaning you needed at least a year of college to understand what we were saying about our product! We should have been sticking to a level of 6th-8th grade to make sure our content was clear and accessible to our customers. No one wants to stumble through dense text just to get info on a new product!…

Standardized interface language

…So how can we do this? I have found that creating a spreadsheet or list of all your interface language and sharing that with your design team is a great way to maintain a sitewide standard….

Support tools

Sometimes though, simplified language is not enough. When we pair icons and text, we increase the speed at which recognition happens. It is an attempt to build a common language, one that is less dependent on English comprehension. But this is easier said than done. Look at these icons in Chinese mobile apps, and try to figure out how many you recognize.

 

Non-native speakers of English often need a little extra help to get through English web interfaces. That is OK. If they are a significant part of your customer base, these are some simple ways to support them, making a more powerful online experience possible. Aligning your readability level with your users’ reading comprehension level, standardizing your interface, and expanding the range of help options available to users are all things you can do now—you don’t need to wait until the future when you have the time and money for a complete overhaul of your content. By planning and delivering these discrete steps, you can do a lot right now to help all your users, whether they are native speakers or not.

(curated by Lifekludger)
Complete story at source: A List Apart: The Full Feed

IBM Research: Inclusive Technology is the New “IT”

IBM is collaborating with Freedom Scientific to offer organizations a complete portfolio of enterprise accessibility training and eLearning to ensure that all employees – designers, developers, testers, quality assurance, and program managers – are following best practices in accessibility and are educated on current regulations and industry standards.

For more information on the IBM AbilityLab Compliance System and other technologies, visit IBM Accessibility.

(Curated by Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: IBM Research: Inclusive Technology is the New “IT”

Making Word, PowerPoint, Excel & PDF Documents Accessible

Web accessibility means committing to making your website accessible to all users, regardless of their physical or sensory ability. But inclusive design extends beyond your website. To be truly accessible, any documents provided as links to download must also be accessible.

This is often overlooked on university websites and online courses, which must comply with certain legal accessibility standards for education.

It’s very important to make sure that all of the documents that people can download from your site are indeed accessible

….

Below are some of her recommendations….

Universal Tips for Creating Accessible Documents

These accessibility tips apply to just about any document (PDF, HTML, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc). They are best practices for making documents accessible to people who use screen-readers or keyboard navigation. Make sure you’ve taken these steps before posting your documents online….

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Making Word, PowerPoint, Excel & PDF Documents Accessible

Accessibility and Apple Watch apps | Macworld

From an accessibility standpoint, the Apple Watch’s screen is just too small for me to get a lot from apps. As someone with low vision, I try to minimize my interaction with the watch; I don’t want to spend much time looking at the screen for fear of increased eye strain and fatigue.

The bottom line is that I want only the essentials on my wrist. I want to be informed, but more to the point, I want to save my eyes from undue stress. Quick glances, with minimal squinting (and scrolling).

Source: Accessibility and Apple Watch apps | Macworld

3 lessons from developers who have embraced assistive technology

Today, we have apps that can help the blind see, give words to those who can’t speak and enable independence for people who would otherwise be forced to rely on others. To celebrate these advancements, Apple debuted a new collection in iTunes Thursday, highlighting apps that take advantage of accessibility features on iOS devices. The selection includes apps that help people with hearing and visual impairments interact with the world around them, those that enable communication for people with autism and apps that encourage learning at all levels.

Curated by (Lifekludger)

Read full article at Source: 3 lessons from developers who have embraced assistive technology

10 Guidelines for High-Quality Alt Text

According to many sets of accessibility regulations and guidelines, including the US Section 508, and the W3C’s WCAG 2.0, image elements on web pages must have text equivalents to be considered accessible. This is accomplished by specifying alt text for the image.

(curated by Lifekludger from 10 Guidelines for High-Quality Alt Text)
Complete article at source: http://www.katherinelynch.org/content/10-guidelines-high-quality-alt-text

Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo And Others Push For Accessibility Development – ReadWrite

 


ReadWrite
Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo And Others Push For Accessibility Development
ReadWrite
As the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) approaches, a new group has formed to champion the cause of development for accessibility. Several educators and tech companies have joined forces in an effort dubbed Teaching …

(curated by Lifekludger)
Complete story at source: http://readwrite.com/2015/07/25/teaching-accessibility-disabilities-technology

Apple Watch: Invisible feature helps woman who is deaf and registered blind to navigate – News – Gadgets and Tech – The Independent

A woman who is deaf and registered blind has described the way that the Apple Watch has been able to help her navigate and communicate with friends.

Molly Watt, an activist and blogger, lives with Usher Syndrome and is deaf and registered blind. Apple products are “more than just up market gadgets”

One of the main — though invisible — features of the Apple Watch is its “taptic engine”, which uses soft vibrations to alert its wearer to certain events. As well as working for notifications, the technology also allows people to navigate without actually looking at the screen, giving different nudges for left and right.

Source: Apple Watch: Invisible feature helps woman who is deaf and registered blind to navigate – News – Gadgets and Tech – The Independent