Gizmodo: How to Make Any Smartphone More Accessible and Easier to Use. “We’re not all blessed with 20/20 vision, super-sharp hearing and the dexterity to easily operate a touchscreen—and even for those of us who are, it’s unlikely to last. Whether you’re adapting a phone for yourself or a friend or family member, these are all the ways you can adapt Android and iOS to make them more accessible.”
MuckRock: Release Notes: Introducing Civc Pulse, a new tool for monitoring government websites. “Last week, we saw a lot of progress on our new tool for monitoring government agency websites. Building off data from the MuckRock API, it checks and grades agency web pages on criteria such as privacy, accessibility, and speed.”
How-To Geek: How to Add Accessibility Features to Google Chrome. “If you have trouble reading text on websites, seeing specific colors, or have dyslexia, Google Chrome has accessibility features that can help. You manage them individually through various Chrome extensions available in the Web Store.”
Australian Network on Disability: How to write more accessible social media posts. “In this article, we’ll focus on how you can make your posts more accessible on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We haven’t focused on the accessibility of the platforms themselves; we know that all these platforms are actively working to make the experience more accessible for people with disability. We’ve focused on the steps you can take to ensure people experiencing ongoing, temporary or situational impairment or disability can read your posts and engage with you on their social media platform of choice.” Fairly in-depth, with lots of resources listed. Well done.
Forbes: Hey Siri! Could Virtual Assistants Be The Missing Link In Internet Accessibility?. “How many people start their day by saying ‘Alexa, what’s the weather outside today?’ and end it by saying, ‘Hey Siri! Set an alarm for 6:30 in the morning.’? It is predicted that by 2020, almost half of all internet searches will be done by voice. While Voice User Interface (VUI) is simply more convenient for the majority of its users, it could be absolutely game-changing for the millions of illiterate people across Sub-Saharan Africa and around the world.”
University of Washington (also a PDF file): Project Sidewalk: A Web-based Crowdsourcing Tool for Collecting Sidewalk Accessibility Data at Scale. “We introduce Project Sidewalk, a new web-based tool that enables online crowd workers to remotely label pedestrian related accessibility problems by virtually walking through city streets in Google Street View. To train, engage, and sustain users, we apply basic game design principles such as interactive onboarding, mission-based tasks, and progress dashboards. In an 18-month deployment study, 797 online users contributed 205,385 labels and audited 2,941 miles of Washington DC streets. “
BBC: Facebook’s hidden battle against ad-blockers. “The methods Facebook uses to thwart ad-blocking technology have been criticised by web developers. The social network injects dozens of lines of code in every page to make it harder for ad blockers to detect and hide sponsored posts. But that makes the website less efficient and stops software such as screen readers used by visually impaired users from working properly.”