Category Archives: services

What Does Inclusive Design Mean?

Why is accessibilty seen as an after-thought, or at worst an expense to help a handful of disadvantaged people?

Have you ever tried using a website or app on your smartphone whilst riding a bus when the sun is streaming through the window? You probably have. How did that work out for you?

…the internet was no longer being consumed solely on a desktop, viewing through a large monitor perched on a desk whilst in a comfortable chair. The iPhone broke a barrier. The web would start – and continues – to push its way into every moment of our day, regardless of what environment (surroundings or situation) you happen to be in.

microsoft inclusive design impairments

It’s lunch time at the Accessibility Scotland Conference and I take a stroll up the road to grab a soda. I find a shop and low and behold a 10cm step. With the challenges that wheelchairs users have fresh in my mind, I looked down, shook my head and walked on in.

The 10cm step

accessibility ramp at shop

On my way out a ramp appears! “Well that solves that”. I am then greeted by a delivery man with a trolley full of supplies for the shop. The ramp belonged to him. He finished his delivery, threw the ramp in the back of his truck and drove away. Leaving me with the 10cm step. So not only would consideration help those we would often think to require the support (those in wheelchairs, those with limited visibility or even those with prams) but it would help the main function of the shop – getting supplies in both quicker and easier – but also be less intrusive to all users.

So, what’s the digital equivalent of the 10cm step?

There’s a few. For example, the contrast between text and background. Dark colours on a light background work well for users with visual impairments but also work well for “able-bodied” users reading a phone with bright sunlight glaring off the screen.

What about the move towards ‘smart homes’ and the invisible interfaces such as Alexa and Siri? How accessible are they? Users that are mute (permanent impairment) or users with laryngitis (temporary impairment) will struggle to communicate with them. But also those, like myself, with a strong accent (situational impairment) that will struggle with these new technologies.

How do we take this forward?

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: What Does Inclusive Design Mean? – Storm ID Blog

Accessibility | Improvements to the next udpate are already planned

In both the Windows Anniversary and Creators Update, Microsoft has added many new enhancements to features across the operating system to improve accessibility for its customers who have low vision, are blind, have a partial hearing loss or deafness in either or both ears, live with physical disabilities, or need assistance reading text on their computer screen.

All of these efforts and their future focus are based on the companies guiding principles and goals to make all of their products and services more accessible.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Accessibility | Improvements to the next udpate are already planned | Windows 10 content from SuperSite for Windows

Microsoft Hosts Its First Accessibility Summit to Better Tech Access For Disabled

Microsoft India today hosted its first-ever Accessibility Summit in the country to enhance technology access for people with disabilities. The summit aimed at demonstrating the business value of accessible technology for organizations, the need for a collaborative effort as well as assessing policy’s role in creating an accessible India.Through a series of constructive sessions, the conference focused on the role of technology in creating accessible businesses, scalable and sustainable models for skilling youth with disability. It also examined how assistive technologies can help in treating Autism Spectrum Disorders and Special Learning Disabilities (SLD).

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Microsoft Hosts Its First Accessibility Summit to Better Tech Access For Disabled

The Potential of IoT Technologies for People with Disabilities

The Potential of IoT Technologies for People with DisabilitiesWhile being able to dim your lights, lock your doors, and adjust the thermostat using voice commands or a simple interface on your smartphone may seem like convenient novelties to some, for disabled individuals these can be essential to maintaining a safe, healthy, enjoyable home life. For example, a quadriplegic who cannot physically open their front door could speak into their smartphone and the door would automatically open. They could also create a variety of profiles that change the lighting and turn on specific devices once they’ve entered the house, making possible what otherwise would have required a caregiver’s constant assistance.

As another example, a person with little to no vision could use appliances throughout their home with greater ease, and a deaf person could receive security alerts about disturbances they might not have noticed on their own. And while these are helpful for people who are disabled, there is no need to be completely cut off from outside assistance as these devices can also be used to alert caregivers and family members of any issues that may need their attention.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: The Potential of IoT Technologies for People with Disabilities

New Vision-Impaired User Interface – Virgin Australia

 

Image of ‘Welcome Aboard’ main menu

Virgin Australia has become the first airline in the Asia Pacific region, and the second airline in the world, to introduce an in-flight entertainment (IFE) user interface for passengers who are blind or have low vision.

The new interface increases accessibility to IFE content through simplified screen layouts, larger icons and voice prompts. It will be available soon on Virgin Australia’s entire fleet of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which feature a seatback entertainment system, and is being rolled-out on the Airbus A330 fleet in May and June 2017.

The airline’s wireless IFE system is available on its Boeing 737-800 and Embraer E190 fleets, and is accessible to vision impaired passengers via screen reader software available on their own devices.

Virgin Australia General Manager, In Flight Experience, Tash Tobias, said in the launch announcement on 19 April 2017 that “we are determined to ensure travel with Virgin Australia is enjoyable for all of our guests and we are delighted to introduce this new user interface for guests who are blind or have low vision.”

Curated by lifekludger

Read full article at source

New Guide for Affordable and Accessible Technology Now Available Online

A new guide from ACCAN and Media Access Australia was launched this year at the annual ACCAN conference. The Affordable Access project addresses two of the key pillars of digital inclusion – affordability and accessibility of technology.

The Affordable Access project is an online guide which provides information on low-cost technology with useful accessibility features. The online resource also highlights what technology may be suitable for specific scenarios. These scenarios were created in collaboration with people with disabilities to identify commonly used products for various needs. This peer advice is a great approach to the guides as people accessing them can be confident that others are also using the technology.

Affordability and accessibility are essential if all Australians are to participate in an increasingly digitally-dependant society. However, the recent Digital Inclusion Index noted that people with a disability are some of the most digital excluded people groups in Australia. Helping people find the right technology is also a large part of the challenge, especially in specific cases such as the ones listed on the Affordable Access website.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: New Guide for Affordable and Accessible Technology Now Available Online | Go Digi

Apple brings AirPod-style streaming, Live Listen accessibility to MFi hearing aids

 

Apple has enhanced its iOS accessibility features for users with hearing impairments, adapting its enhanced Bluetooth-based streaming to Made For iPhone hearing aids while introducing Live Listen, a feature that uses an iPhone’s mic to focus on conversations in loud environments.

 

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Apple brings AirPod-style streaming, Live Listen accessibility to MFi hearing aids

New accessible purchasing rules for Australian government – Information Access Group

In great news for people with disability, last month the Australian Government announced that all levels of government will adopt an internationally aligned standard for purchasing websites, software and digital devices.

This means that, when governments buy products and services, they must be accessible. …

So, this is a great step forward for inclusion in our country.Of course, we’ll be keen to learn how it stacks up in practice, and it will be the feedback of people with disability that will tell the real story.

The standard that Australia will follow is called ‘Accessibility requirements suitable for public procurement of ICT products and services’ and it is mandated in Europe. You can read the full standard here.

And you can read the government media release here.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: New accessible purchasing rules for government – Information Access Group