TechRadar: Half of top websites fail to meet Google usability standards

TechRadar: Half of top websites fail to meet Google usability standards. “Many of the world’s top websites do not provide the ideal user experience (UX), both on desktop and mobile platforms, at least not by Google’s standards, a new report from Searchmetrics has found The company recently analyzed the top 100 most visible websites on Google.com and found that by Google’s benchmarks, 50% don’t deliver a good desktop page experience, while 44% fail to do the same on the mobile platform.”

9to5 Google: Google’s ‘Look to Speak’ accessibility app now works in 17 more languages

9to5 Google: Google’s ‘Look to Speak’ accessibility app now works in 17 more languages. “Google has really expanded and improved the volume of services offering enhanced control schemes and accessibility for those with disabilities and motor impairments. Look to Speak is an app that allows you to control your smartphone with just your eyes – by looking at predetermined and prewritten phrases, which your smartphone will then read aloud.”

Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association: New “Smart Homes Made Simple” Website is Live!

Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association: New “Smart Homes Made Simple” Website is Live!. “We hope this website will serve as a hub of information where members of the disability and aging communities, as well as service providers, housing professionals, and technology consultants, can learn how to integrate smart home technology into the homes of people with disabilities and older adults for greater independence, autonomy, safety, and accessibility.”

MakeUseOf: How to Use VoiceOver Image Descriptions With Your iPhone Photos

MakeUseOf: How to Use VoiceOver Image Descriptions With Your iPhone Photos. “Apple introduced a new feature in iOS 15 that allows users to add image descriptions to their photos that can be read by VoiceOver. VoiceOver is an important accessibility feature that allows blind and low vision users to navigate their iPhones and other Apple devices. Adding image descriptions is a great way to make images more accessible and be able to share your pictures with low vision or blind friends, family members, and colleagues.”

Breaking News Ireland: Irish start-up campaigns to build world’s largest database of accessibility information

Breaking News Ireland: Irish start-up campaigns to build world’s largest database of accessibility information. “Irish start up Access Earth has launched a public investment campaign to build the world’s largest database of accessibility information. The database would include maps of towns and community spaces which would help people with disabilities access the areas more safely and with stronger confidence. It is estimated that 15 per cent of the world’s population is registered as having a disability, with Europe being home to 135 million people with disabilities.”

Europeana Pro: Engaging students with audiovisual heritage through Subtitle-a-thons

Europeana Pro: Engaging students with audiovisual heritage through Subtitle-a-thons. “A Subtitle-a-thon is a crowdsourcing initiative which invites the public to create and add subtitles to archival audiovisual clips from European heritage collections available on the Europeana website. We share how this tool can be used by educators to help students engage with and explore audiovisual heritage.”

NiemanLab: Vox Media has built a visual way to experience podcasts. It’s accessible to deaf audiences — and gorgeous.

NiemanLab: Vox Media has built a visual way to experience podcasts. It’s accessible to deaf audiences — and gorgeous.. “You listen to a podcast. That’s the only option, right? For their new show More Than This, Vox Media set out to create a podcast that could also be seen and felt. The result was an ‘immersive transcript’ that’s accessible to deaf and hard of hearing audiences.”

New York Times: ‘Disability Drives Innovation’

New York Times: ‘Disability Drives Innovation’. “Do you love audiobooks? ‘You have blind people to thank for that,’ said Catherine Kudlick, director of the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University. The godfather of the book being read aloud through your smartphone headphones was Talking Books, the records developed in the 1930s in the United States for people with impaired vision as an alternative to Braille.”

Google Blog: Check out Chromebook’s new accessibility features

Google Blog: Check out Chromebook’s new accessibility features. “With accessibility features on Chromebooks, we want everyone to have a good experience on their computer – so people can get things done, families can play together, students and teachers can learn together, and employees can work productively and efficiently, wherever they are. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, so we wanted to share a few recent and new Chromebook features that help people access information in a way that works for them.”

Website Accessibility & the Law: Why Your Website Must Be Compliant (Search Engine Journal)

Search Engine Journal: Website Accessibility & the Law: Why Your Website Must Be Compliant. “Compliance is a scary term used for intimidation and deflects from the most basic incentives to include persons with disabilities wanting unhindered access to the web. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, also known as WCAG, are provided online for free and are globally available to any web designer or developer.” Extensive; the usual good work from Search Engine Journal.

CNET: The original voice of Siri is now advocating for a more accessible web

CNET: The original voice of Siri is now advocating for a more accessible web. “Even if you’re not familiar with the name Susan Bennett, you’d likely recognize her voice. As the original Siri, Bennett became a dependable presence in many iPhone users’ lives, responding to various inquiries and fulfilling spoken commands. Her voice work has also been helpful to smartphone users with disabilities, she says.”

PC GamesN: A new online tool provides detailed accessibility info for disabled gamers

PC GamesN: A new online tool provides detailed accessibility info for disabled gamers. “A new online tool has launched today that provides detailed accessibility information on a growing list of modern games. The Accessible Games Database, created by games accessibility platform DAGERSystem, allows users to select the accessibility options they need and then view a list of games that include those features.”

Liam O’Dell: YouTube’s Community Captions replacement still isn’t ready – a year after they were axed

Liam O’Dell: YouTube’s Community Captions replacement still isn’t ready – a year after they were axed. “YouTube deprecated its community contributions feature, which allowed viewers to submit captions and translations for videos on a creator’s channel, on 28 September 2020. YouTube’s replacement for its community captions feature is yet to be introduced, Liam O’Dell can reveal, despite the tool being axed exactly a year ago due to spam and low usage.”

TechCrunch: Google powers up assistive tech in Android with facial gesture-powered shortcuts and switches

TechCrunch: Google powers up assistive tech in Android with facial gesture-powered shortcuts and switches. “Making smartphones more accessible is always a good idea, and Google’s latest features bring quick actions and navigation to people whose expressions are their primary means of interacting with the world. Project Activate and Camera Switches let users perform tasks like speaking a custom phrase, or navigating using a switch interface, through facial gestures alone.”