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While Windows Mobile 6.5 had been made accessible to the blind with the help of the Mobile Speak and Talks screen-reading programs, these programs no longer work with Windows Phone 7. Andy Lees, president of Microsoft’s Mobile Business, stated that he was personally committed to ensuring long-term nonvisual access to the Microsoft mobile platform. This commitment was reaffirmed by Rob Sinclair, Microsoft’s chief accessibility officer; Chuck Bilow, Microsoft’s senior program manager responsible for Windows Phone accessibility; and Richard Suplee, a senior product planner in Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business wing.
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Almost one in five of the world’s population lives with some kind of recognized disability. Sooner or later, everyone will develop at least some limitations in vision, hearing, dexterity or learning. To improve usability for those of us with sensory or physical limitations, phones have features for accessibility, which are continually improving and becoming more prevalent as technologies advance. The Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI) project was developed to provide a central information source to learn about accessibility in mobile devices. On their website you can learn about the various features that a phone may have and link through to manufacturers websites for specific information on particular models.

The 2nd ACCESSIBLE project newsletter focuses on the progress of a survey on Accessible Software Implementation practices that was conducted by the project and which will continue to collect data till the end of the project duration.
Accessibility is a paramount issue nowadays. Authorities and experts are putting a lot of effort in pushing forward accessibility of software applications. However, despite this, ICT applications are in most cases not fully accessible yet. The triggering idea behind ACCESSIBLE is to contribute for better accessibility for all citizens, to increase the use of standards, and to develop an assessment simulation environment (including a suite of accessibility analysing tools, as well as developer-aid tools) to assess efficiently, easily and rapidly the accessibility and viability of software applications for all user groups. ACCESSIBLE will exploit the technologies behind the recent expansion of accessibility tools and standardisation methodologies, in order to provide an integrated simulation assessment environment for supporting the production of accessible software applications mobile or not. This will enable organisations and individuals (e.g. developers, designers, etc.) to produce software products of superior accessibility and quality, accompanied with appropriate measures and proposals for best practice. The proposed system will be demonstrated in the four pilots of ACCESSIBLE for the assessment of mobile applications, Web applications, Web services (mainly focusing on info-mobility services), and description languages (e.g. UML, SDL, etc.).