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LinkedIn Adds Accessibility Features

LinkedIn Adds Accessibility Features

By Chris Crum May 9, 2013

In honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, LinkedIn announced a few things it’s been doing to make the social network more accessible. These include improved site navigation, improvements to interaction with the service, and the addition of image descriptions. “What …

Apple Announces More Accessibility For iOS Apple Announces More Accessibility For iOS

The new iOS 6 was announced this afternoon at Apple’s Worldwide Developers conference, and the updated operating system looks to have gotten tons of new integrated features. One new feature that might be overlooked, but certainly deserves some attention, is …

Google Self-Driving Car Takes Blind Man To Taco Bell Google Self-Driving Car Takes Blind Man To Taco Bell
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Google uploaded a video of a self-driving car test, showing Steve Mahan, a legally blind man behind the wheel, and stopping at Taco Bell for a burrito. Google says in the video description, “We announced our self-driving car project in …

Google+ Hangouts Made More Accessible For The Blind Google+ Hangouts Made More Accessible For The Blind

Mohamed Mansour, who’s actually a software engineer for RIM, has created a Chrome extension to make Google+ hangouts more accessible to blind people. It uses text to speech technology, reading content from the chat box to the user. “Today I …

Google Continues to Improve Accessibility Google Continues to Improve Accessibility
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Earlier this week, we looked at some improvements Google made to its Hangouts feature in Google+, specifically in terms of accessibility and sign language. They improved video quality and made it so it’s easier to see signing. Google has also …

Google+ Hangouts  Improve for Sign Language Google+ Hangouts Improve for Sign Language

Google has made some improvements to Hangouts, specifically around sign language. Google engineering director Chee Chew said in a Google+ post that Google has been “aggressively improving video quality and stability.” “It’s still a huge challenge to transmit 10 video …

IBM Looks Into Accessible Mobile Interfaces, Google Giving up on Wave?
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IBM has partnered with the Industrial Design Centre at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay on mobile web research. The initiative will focus on development of new designs of mobile device interfaces that can be used by people who are semiliterate or illiterate, as well as individuals who have limited or no access to information technology.

Google Improves Chrome’s Accessibility
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Unless you count the time Ford arranged for a blind man to drive a Mustang on the company’s proving grounds, speed and special nods to accessibility don’t often go together.  Today, however, Google made its speedy browser, Chrome, more accessible by introducing a new category of featured extensions.

Amazon Working on Accessibility Features for Kindle
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Amazon is making some enhancements to its Kindle electronic reader, aimed at improving the reading experience for people who are blind, visually impaired, or dyslexic.

"Kindle is for anyone who loves to read—in fact, we’ve heard from thousands of vision-impaired customers and customers with learning disabilities over the past two years who have been helped tremendously by Kindle," said Amazon Kindle Vice President Ian Freed, Vice President.

YouTube Launching Automatic Video Captions
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YouTube is readying the launch of an automatic captions feature for the site’s videos. This and a new automatic caption timing feature will make it easier for anyone to add captions to their videos, and will enable anyone to read captions on more videos.

Google Centralizes Accessibility Efforts

Google announced the launch of a new accessibility site for the company late on Friday. The site serves as a central location where users of Google products can find information about the company’s efforts on the accessibility front.

The site includes links to official blog posts that discuss the topic and a place to leave feedback. The site also contains accessibility resources for Google products like:

Facebook Works with the Blind on Accessibility
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Have you ever tried to imagine what it would be like to use Facebook as a blind person? If not, try to do so. It’s not the easiest thing in the world is it?

Well, Facebook has been working with the American Foundation for the Blind to make it easier. A couple years ago, the AFB approached Facebook about making the social network more accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

Accessibility Information Webmasters Can Use
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Web Accessibility organization WebAIM has posted results from an interesting survey on the use of screen readers. Webmasters should pay attention to this, as accessibility is an important part of your online presence, but is often ignored or overlooked. Just ask Target, who settled an accessibility lawsuit last year for $6 million.

eCommerce Gets a Wake Up Call
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All the way back in 2006, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that Target could be sued over their site not being accessible to the blind. Now over half way through 2008, Target has reached a settlement with regards to the class action lawsuit that ensued.

YouTube Now Allowing For Captions
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Here are a few quick observations: not everyone speaks the same language.  Not everyone has perfect hearing.  And some people like to goof off at work without alerting the rest of the office.  To address all these issues, YouTube has introduced a new captioning feature.

Google Research Scientist Stresses Accessibility
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At some point, you may find yourself spending hours agonizing over a site’s color scheme and fonts.  This is fine, but a post from Google’s T.V. Raman should remind everyone of the more basic need for accessibility.

Google Scholar Put To The Test

Companies always claim to be leading in this or pioneering in that.  Google Scholar is less boastful, but still says it “provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature.”  And so Marilyn Christianson, a librarian at Auburn University, put that assertion to the test.