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Archive for December, 2013

Amóvil helps you identify mobile devices that accommodate your personal preferences by selecting your profile.

Amóvil will help you identify mobile devices that best suit your needs and preferences. To begin searching, you need to select your profile and the features that best accommodate your specific needs. If a matching device is found, a list of compatible assistive technology and web-based applications will be provided in order to improve your user experience.

The Amóvil website, in collaboration with the Vodafone Spain Foundation, has made available a free online self-training course to help users learn how to test a mobile device for accessibility compliance.

The course provides a set of guidelines that are based on the principles of Universal Accessibility and Design for All. These guidelines describe the requirements mobile devices must comply with in order to be accessible to persons with disabilities. In addition, descriptions of each disability profiles as well as the barriers these users tend to face when dealing with technology are provided.

This course, which is available at Amóvil blog site, aims to be a comprehensive introduction to inclusive mobile design. It is also intended to encourage developers to keep disabled and elderly people in mind when designing mobile devices.

A free-to-use font designed to help people with dyslexia is gaining favour.

A B and C from the OpenDyslexic font - designed to give 'gravity' to letters to prevent the characters rotating in readers' minds

A B and C from the OpenDyslexic font – designed to give ‘gravity’ to letters to prevent the characters rotating in readers’ minds

OpenDyslexic’s characters have been given “heavy-weighted bottoms” to prevent them from flipping and swapping around in the minds of their readers.

A recent update to the popular app Instapaper has adopted the text format as an option for its users.

The font has also been built into a word processor, an ebook reader and has been installed on school computers.

The project was created by Abelardo Gonzalez, a New Hampshire-based mobile app designer, who released his designs onto the web at the end of last year.

Source: BBC

Following are 3 basic approaches to the PwD (People with Disabilities) market.

Customised solutions narrowly targeted to specific PwD types
Companies using this approach are usually smaller, have dedicated product development efforts and use resellers that focus on the PwD market. Assistive technology is their core business that might limit opportunities to the larger market but allows them to achieve their organizational goal of innovating for the PwD market.

Mass-market solutions positioned with side benefits to PwD
Companies using this approach are usually larger, leverage existing features, tweak messaging and use mass-market channels to appeal to disabled individuals and their family and support network. They do not create products for PwD; rather, they embed accessibility features into their products.

Line extensions with redesigned products for PwD
This is a hybrid approach where a mass-market product is modified to PwD, says Gartner. While the approaches to accessibility may be varied, the trend toward IT consumption patterns that place users at the centre will continue to drive consumer and enterprise IT requirements for the foreseeable future. With the trend toward more human-centric design, accessibility and overall usability for the largest percentage will become more important.

Source: Gartner

The Economist released a worldwide study based on interviews with experts on the digital divide, and the findings included some brand new conclusions. Although many are still urging public sector subsidies to roll out more broadband facilities, the real barriers to adoption and use may arise elsewhere — the ‘social divide’. Large proportions of people not using the Internet do not yet see its value (because good relevance arguments have not been made to them) or believe that they lack the skills (because good digital literacy programs are not available to them). Among these are people with disabilities; the report quotes Axel Leblois of the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict): “Among governments, there has been great focuson expanding the infrastructure to all corners of the world, but less so on promoting actual usage among disenfranchised populations.”
Source: Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII)

Actual tests of websites on e-accessibility in all EU member states plus Norway, USA, Canada and Australia took place, and were published.

The report is based on the international guidelines WCAG 2.0. This means that the study mainly concerns the technology and doesn’t cover cognitive aspects, content or on how interfaces work on mobile devices nor the accessibility in documents. The report thus can’t be read as an absolute measure of web-accessibility, but more like a temperature check based on cluster sampling.

The overall result of the survey is a disappointment. Relatively easy things fail in many places, for example marking up the headings properly. More recent requirements, which came with WCAG 2.0 in 2008, are even less implemented.

There are differences between the countries, but, there is no country which can be described as good. We were hoping that the EU member states would learn from each other and be inspired from good examples, but that doesn´t seem to be the case.

One conclusion is that the most successful countries are those who have managed to combine several things:
– Legislation or policy which is not too technically detailed but more focused on individual rights;
– A well developed industry with a high level of accessibility competence, also among end user organizations.