The Federal Communications Commission today proposed rules to bring Americans
the ability to send text messages to 911 more rapidly and uniformly, and to inform consumers about the
availability and appropriate use of text-to-911. The Commission’s proposed action builds on prior
Commission initiatives and the recent voluntary commitment by the nation’s four largest wireless carriers,
with support of leading public safety organizations, to make text-to-911 available to their customers by May
15, 2014, with significant deployments expected in 2013. The Commission’s proposed action also seeks to
accelerate the nation’s transition to a Next-Generation 911 system that will use cutting-edge
communications technology to assist first responders in keeping our communities safe.
One the best research articles on the meaning and importance of web accessibility. Well worth a read.
For nearly 20 years Australian and international legal requirements have existed around the development of accessible websites. This paper briefly reviews the history of legislation against web disability discrimination, along with the current legal requirements for website development as indicated by current international accessibility specifications, and reports on a manual examination of the accessibility of 40 Australian private and governmental websites. Not one of the 20 largest Australian companies, nor the Australian 20 Federal Government portfolios, were found to have produced a legally accessible website as per Australian standards.
From: Website accessibility: An Australian view. From the Proceedings of the Thirteenth Australasian User Interface Conference (AUIC2012), Melbourne, Australia.
Chris Hofstader answers the question of why the NFB would pursue those that push the boundaries while letting others of the hook.
At the NFB convention in 2010, they gave Apple one of their accessibility awards. In 2011, Apple decided that because of its upcoming Lion operating system release that they would not attend any of what we in the blindness biz call “the summer shows” – including the national NFB convention, the ACB convention, Sight Village in UK and various smaller conferences. Apple representatives explained to NFB that they needed to focus on the accessibility of their new OS release and of numerous smaller initiatives they were preparing for autumn 2011.
Curtis Chong, head of NFB in Computer Science, the portion of NFB responsible for computing issues decided to threaten people at Apple with a resolution of condemnation if they didn’t attend the convention. Then, at the convention, he pushed through a resolution deploring the company that has provided an excellent out-of-box experience that is years ahead of their competition. It seems that Curtis did this because his feelings were hurt or some other completely childish motivation for biting the hand that feeds us best.
Joe Clark throws down the gauntlet:
How many hot-hot-hot! new iOS apps have impressed legions of fans while demonstrating their developers are too irresponsible or incompetent to make them accessible under VoiceOver?
Shall we start a list?
Joe hits out at some great apps that just ignore some of the best accesibility API’s in any development environment.
Yahoo! Accessibility has an insightful video about accessible street crossings.
Tommy Edison shows us how someone who is blind or visually impaired crosses the street alone. This video features a crosswalk in Connecticut that is accessible and a crosswalk in New York City that’s not accessible.
Oregon was first in the nation to have all residents vote by mail. Now it’s pioneering another idea: vote by iPad.
Oregon officials decided to try iPads because their other equipment for helping disabled people vote is nearing the end of its life. The old tools, including laptops with various accessibility modifications, were hauled around in two suitcases and were difficult for election workers to set up.About 800 voters used it in 2010, according to the secretary of states office.Officials hope the iPads portability, simplicity and relatively low cost will make it easier to deploy to more places and reach more voters. People with their own accessibility tools like joysticks and paddles can connect them using Bluetooth wireless technology.”Some people want to vote independently, and theyre the ones that were talking to,” said Steve Trout, state elections director. “Others just want someone to help them, and thats fine too.”
Search is a critical functionality of the modern web. Being able to find what ones looking for is an essential measure of using the internet successfully. This Yahoo Interface blog post delves into the Yahoo’s excellent approach to accessibility.
Tim Creagan of the Access Board said in a letter to Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee members yesterday that the “Access Board voted to release a second draft of the ICT rule near the end of September 2011.”
Sections 255 and 508 regulate accessibility standards for electronic and information technologies, created by the U.S. Access Board.
The current regulations can be found here and to read more about the subject read Peter Korn’s blog post: The next step in the Section 508/255 Refresh, and Oracle’s public comments.
W3C publishes a draft standard for touch based interaction for web applications. The draft specifications are intended to provide a standards driven approach to web application awareness of touch based events, such as hover which is currently not supported. The draft is primarily driven by web-kit based strategies given the dominant position held by web-kit based browsers in the touch screen market. Such specifications and approaches should also serve as a basis for assuring the development of accessibility methods for touch based web applications.