The Evolution of Accessibility

Title: The Evolution of Accessibility
Date: September 26, 2022
Duration: 1 HR

Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft

Eve Andersson, Senior Director, Accessibility, Google


Accessibility for Everyone (Free Book for ACM Members)
Approachable Accessibility—Planning for Success (Free Book for ACM Members)
Inclusive Design for a Digital World: Designing with Accessibility in Mind (Free Book for ACM Members)
Introduction to disability and accessibility (Free course for ACM Members)
Equity at Work (Free video for ACM Members)

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would like to see, Google coalaberate with their peers, in making accessibility on google mobile hardware, like android mobile hardware, both phones, and watchs with accessibility with screenreaders like talk back on google hardware with mobile phones and wachs, compared to their competition like appel with apple phones and watchs . In apple case, all aspects of accessibility are clearly thought out and considered before being implementted in the hardware and software development phases. where as with google its sometimes an afte thought an thing ahveo t aadadapted or modified afte thet produc thas been designed or development has doneand thign have been relese to hte pubic for furhter feedback. hoping that google and apple can coalaberate like they do with samsung to have better accessible producs on mobile with phones, tablet, and watchs in mind.

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As the world population is ageing, and mobile technology is rapidly advancing, should there be any dedicated accessibility solutions for older people to bring better user experience while accessing smartphone applications (specifically stock apps) considering their accessibility challenges? Should there be a dedicated smartphone for people with accessibility challenges?

Question to Jenny and Eve - What sort of challenges you both face while making decisions where you have to put the logic of ‘Universal Design’ on top of business needs? What advise would you like to give to the design community to implement the Universal Design as a discipline than just a practise?

I am a retired engineer working as a volunteer researcher at the Perkins School for the blind. I have come up with a new approach for blind users to access web pages. It uses artificial intelligence to overcome the problems encountered by these users with conventional browsers and screen readers, particularly on an unfamiliar web site. Finding the location of key features, when accessing Internet web sites, is difficult and time consuming. This approach provides a method for finding active controls, and tracking and managing the results from invoking these controls. For a given vertical domain, e.g. shopping, travel, banking, etc., a set of keyboard commands is created that allow the user to perform the essential functions in that domain. The browser then uses a model generated from machine learning to convert each command into the appropriate actions for a learned web site. It filters the results of page updates to present the screen reader with only the essential portion of rendered page that is responsive to the command, eliminating excess clutter.
Work performed to date indicates that machine learning techniques will allow this approach to work on a significant number of web sites. User testing demonstrates that it provides an appreciable improvement in the speed with which blind users can accomplish desired tasks. I am now looking to engage a company to take this concept from research to product development. Companies that already have developed browsers or screen readers would be ideal candidates. If you interested in further discussion, please contact me. I have a much more detailed summary as well as a couple of white papers describing the design approach. I am not seeking any compensation, just looking for an organization that is willing to make this available to the blind community.

How do Microsoft and Google decide on whether it is worthwhile to do a significant project aimed at improving life for people with disabilities? Soundscape and Seeing AI are examples of the kinds of things I am talking about.