According to Disabled World Research, an estimated 650 million people are currently living with a disability. Today, with the rise in new discoveries in technology, accessibility has opened up opportunities for communication, education and equal opportunity. Those who communicate non-verbally can communicate via electronic communication or speech synthesizers, students with learning disorders can master math through computer games developed specifically to coincide with their learning styles. There are new programs, applications, and devices that make it possible for education, communication, and equal opportunity. In the technology industry, it is important that we work collaboratively to insure innovation is bred in such a way that allows equality. Google is sets a great example by offering helpful resources and tools for developers in regards to accessibility.
Google does a great job of placing value on web standards and accessibility. Google has a section of their site dedicated to accessibility; you can read more details at Google Accessibility. Here it states their mission for accessibility: “Google’s mission to make the world’s information more accessible applies to all users, including people with disabilities, such as blindness, visual impairment, color deficiency, deafness, hearing loss and limited dexterity.” Whether it is through developing accessible APIs or mobile applications, Google is dedicated to and places a strong importance on making the world and its information more accessible to every user.
While new products are being released continuously, Google provides product support documentation to end-users or “Section 508 VPAT documents to support compliance” for products or tools such as Google Earth, Google Calendar, Google Documents, Google Presentations, Google Sites, Google Spreadsheets and Gmail. Google encourages developers to build accessibility into their applications and content. The Google Resource for Developers and Publishers provides better information to develop applications and content for government institutions and education. Here are more resources for Android, Chrome, and YouTube:
- Android: Accessibility layer helping blind and low vision users navigate more easily through text to speech, haptic feedback and track ball/D-pad navigation. Read more about Google’s Eyes-Free Documentation.
- Chrome: Screen readers and magnifiers that support standards such as WAI-ARIA – a standard set by the World Wide Consortium under Web Accessibility Initiative. Google provides a list of tools for screen reader support on The Chromium Projects website under Accessibility: Screen Reader Support.
- You Tube Captioning: Supports captioning with written script and editable auto-caption tools. The YouTube Data API allows developers to make it easy to interact with and upload captions.
This week Google will be at the 26th annual CSUN International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference to talk with accessibility experts and explain their current products, tools and resources related to compatibly with accessibility standards. Magic Logix is a GSA Certified Company that develops websites to meet the standards of the World Wide Consortium. All Magic Logix developers are experienced in developing Section 508 compatible websites. As web standards and application development standards improve, Magic Logix is committed to quality of services compatible to meet these standards. With technology is continuously transforming business and communication, Google has done a great job in contributing novelty to the World Wide Web to improve usability.