Tag Archives: innovation

How Design for Accessibility Drives Innovation for All

Comcast recently made a big splash in the world of assistive technology by launching the industry’s first voice-enabled television user interface, or “talking TV guide,” which gives blind and visually impaired customers the ability to independently explore and navigate thousands of shows and movies.

Comcast’s vice president of accessibility Tom Wlodkowski, who is blind, said the new interface “is as much about usability as it is about accessibility.”

Eminently more usable than navigating a complicated channel grid, voice command also comes in handy for people with sight.

Think about the multitaskers who don’t have their hands free to manipulate a remote control – the laundry folders, the moms who’re nursing babies, the social media surfers.

Aging populations also benefit greatly from voice user interfaces.

What Accessibility Has To Do With Usability

Realizing that products designed for accessibility end up making life better for everyone else, Comcast launched an accessibility lab to drive research and development. I heard Wlodkowski give an inspiring presentation about accessibility and innovation at the 2016 Forge Conference and it got me thinking about how the desire to address disability drives innovation forward.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: How Design for Accessibility Drives Innovation for All | Bresslergroup

When it comes to accessibility, Apple continues to lead in awareness and innovation

…a strong argument can be made that Apple has also led a software revolution equally as transformative but without nearly the bang in terms of press coverage. With iOS, Apple has created a rich and diverse set of tools for people with disabilities that enable them to use an iPhone with as much ease and delight as their non-disabled peers.

It’s for this reason the accessibility features on iOS are widely regarded as the best in the industry. This is no small feat, one that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially if you remember what cell phones were like before the iPhone came along.

Consider someone with low vision. He or she may have struggled to use a “dumbphone” with a display the size of a postage stamp, and a Multi-tap keyboard. But then they buy an iPhone, and their whole world changes. They now have a phone with a touchscreen and tech like Zoom, features which make it easier to use the device.

Suddenly, they’re texting with family and friends, looking up directions, and more with a fluidity like never before. Thus, it isn’t hyperbole to say iOS’s accessibility features have been every bit as game-changing for the disabled as the iPhone was to the mass phone market.

The company’s investment in this area is emblematic of its ethos to make products for everyone; it’s also a prime example of Tim Cook’s oft-repeated mantra that Apple strives to create products that “enrich people’s lives.”

The accessibility software on all of Apple’s platforms empower those with disabilities, myself included, to partake in the experience Apple intends for all users. Put another way, Apple products are inclusive by design.

“We see accessibility as a basic human right,” said Sarah Herrlinger, Senior Manager for Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives at Apple.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source:
When it comes to accessibility, Apple continues to lead in awareness and innovation

Australia’s first disability-focused tech accelerator launched | Media Access Australia

Australia’s first disability-focused impact accelerator, Remarkable, held its official launch event on 31 March at the University of Sydney. The Remarkable Accelerator program aims to work with inclusive start-up companies by using technology in innovative ways to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Remarkable, a division of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and powered by the Telstra Foundation and Department of Family and Community Services, began its first accelerator on 6 April with initial participants receiving a $20,000 grant towards masterclass training, access to an extensive mentor network and user testing support. Over the course of 16 weeks, participants are working towards creating and releasing their innovative technology solutions for people living with a disability.

Regarding the rapid advancement of technology and its importance for people with disabilities, Remarkable has stated:“Now is the perfect time to see innovation in the disability sector – the advent of NDIS, access to cheaper technologies and a burgeoning impact investment scene.

Source: Australia’s first disability-focused tech accelerator launched | Media Access Australia

The Future of Accessibility Innovation | Foreign Policy

The 2015 FP Global Demographics Student Essay Contest, underwritten by AARP, invited college and graduates students from around the world to participate in an intergenerational discussion about the opportunities presented by a rapidly aging world. Dozens of students from nearly every continent shared their ideas with FP. The winning essay is presented below.

The development of accessibility innovation products and services is the greatest opportunity presented by the aging trend to the global community. Not only is the market opportunity tremendously attractive, but the resources available to entrepreneurs and innovators — ranging from start-ups to small- and mid-size enterprises to multinational corporations — to develop products and services aimed at people with disabilities have never been better.

Age directly correlates with disability: As overall personal health declines with the development of acute and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory problems, disability rates increase. Seniors with a mobility disability may have difficulty walking up and down stairs, standing in one spot for prolonged periods, or moving from one room to another. Agility disabilities include difficulty bending down, dressing or undressing, getting in and out of bed, or grasping small objects.

The primary goal and benefit of accessibility innovation products is to allow the aging global population to continue participating in the social and cultural life of their local community.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: The Future of Accessibility Innovation | Foreign Policy

Chieko Asakawa: How new technology helps blind people explore the world | TED Talk | TED.com


How can technology help improve our quality of life? How can we navigate the world without using the sense of vision? Inventor and IBM Fellow Chieko Asakawa, who’s been blind since the age of fourteen, is working on answering these questions. In a charming demo, she shows off some new technology that’s helping blind people explore the world ever more independently … because, she suggests, when we design for greater accessibility, everyone benefits.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
via Ted