Welcome to Disability: IN’s monthly round up of digital accessibility news for February.
At Disability:IN we know that digital accessibility impacts all aspects of disability inclusion. If you have questions about our digital accessibility program, please contact Jeff Wissel, our Chief Accessibility Officer.
Disability:IN Happenings
There is an exciting addition to the Disability:IN 2024 Disability Equality Index. Procurement Accessibility is a new category with non-weighted questions for 2024. Advancing accessibility through procurement is a critical component of a mature accessibility program. Is your company advancing accessibility through your procurement process? If so, then consider signing on to the Procure Access Statement. Wherever you are on the journey of establishing or advancing accessibility in your procurement process you can find the information you need in the Procure Access Toolkit.
And be sure to watch the Building Block Series to learn how industry leaders have implemented accessibility requirements into their procurement processes.
Spotlight on Disability:IN Partners using technology to enhance the accessibility of products we use every day.
Microsoft’s Ability Summit is a one-day, free digital event experience on March 7, 2024. It celebrates people with disabilities, allies, and accessibility leaders who will provide learning opportunities at the event.
Are you interested in how you and your organization can imagine and build a more inclusive culture while including voices across the disability spectrum? Register to learn about leading accessible technology, discover real-life stories of empathy and vulnerability, get exclusive access to thought leadership discussions on how accessibility empowers everyone in your organization, and so much more.
Register for the Microsoft Accessibility Summit
Alexa Just Got Three New Generative AI Skills — Here’s How to Try Them | ZDNet.com
With artificial intelligence (AI) a dominant theme at this year’s CES, Amazon has unveiled three new Alexa skills that all come with a hefty helping of AI. Now accessible to all Echo and Alexa users, the three skills are freely available through the Alexa app as well as through the Alexa Skills website.
Unilever Partners With Be My Eyes to Introduce AI-Assisted Cooking for Blind and Low Vision Shoppers | VergeMagazine.co.uk
Unilever has partnered with Be My Eyes to expand their use of AI technology to add powerful new tools to the cooking experience of their products for shoppers who are blind or have low vision. The new partnership builds on the addition of on-pack Accessible QR (AQR), developed by computer vision specialists Zappar, to Unilever’s Persil and Colman’s products in the UK last year and is part of Unilever’s global connected pack strategy, which includes using new digital experiences and technology to evolve and differentiate the way shoppers interact with and use Unilever’s products.
Other Accessibility Highlights for this Month
CES 2024 Introduces New Gadgets to Help People with Disabilities
The dust is now settling after another hectic CES tech expo and having spent last week looking at many of the new gadgets and tech innovations on show, we have highlighted the eleven tech trends coming your way in 2024 – from AI bots to smart rings.
Read the full story.
8 Trip-Planning Tips for Blind or Visually Impaired Travelers | Afar.com
Travel confidently in 2024 with the aid of tour operators and resources for blind and Visually Impaired travelers.
The unemployment rate for disabled workers is increasing- January 9, 2024 Source: Fast Company
When the last jobs report of 2023 was released on Friday, it confirmed that the labor market is still going strong, with 216,000 jobs added in December and the unemployment rate holding steady at 3.7%. That brought the total number of jobs added over 2023 to about 2.7 million—a drop from the record highs of 2021 and 2022, but nevertheless a stronger showing than economists had anticipated. For certain workers, however, the outlook is more complicated. Disabled workers have long faced greater barriers to employment, but much like the rest of the labor force, they have seen significant gains over the past two years…
15 Custom GPTs That Will Change the Way You Work and Play | Aaron Di Blasi | Mind Vault Solutions, Ltd.
This article highlights 15 Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPTS) that are customizing the way you can research information.
 ‘Maybe we should let me go’: Christopher Reeve documentary brings tears to Sundance- January 21, 2024 Source: The Guardian
A powerful new documentary about the life and work of Christopher Reeve has premiered to tears and applause at this year’s Sundance film festival. Met with a rousing standing ovation, Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story traces the career and activism of the Superman actor before and after the 1995 accident that paralyzed him from the neck down. The film, directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, features an intimate collection of home video footage and new interviews with Reeve’s three children and the actors who knew him…
Accessible Subway QR Codes: Colorful QR Codes- January 22, 2024 Source: Trend Hunter
Enhancing accessibility in New York subways, colorful QR codes are set to revolutionize navigation for users with diverse needs. Colorful QR codes will begin appearing in stations throughout the city, catering to individuals with varying mobility, linguistic, or sensory challenges, ensuring a more inclusive and user-friendly public transportation system. To read the QR codes, users can simply download the free NaviLens app, compatible with thirty-four languages, which reads these codes aloud, aiding visually impaired commuters in comprehending signs and obtaining real-time travel information…
White House is ‘doubling down’ on accessibility when it comes to digital experiences- January 23, 2024 Source: FedScoop
As federal agencies check off boxes in the Office of Management and Budget’s digital-first public experience mandate, the White House is “doubling down” on the policy document’s callout for strengthened accessibility across platforms. Jonathan Finch, the White House’s acting director for digital experience, said during a webinar Tuesday that the General Services Administration’s Technology Modernization Fund is staying especially busy with requests of that kind, which are coming in the aftermath of OMB M-23-22, released last September…
How HR can break the bias and get people with disabilities into senior leadership roles- People Management
Helping Cochlear Implant Recipients Improve Their Relationship with Music | The Hearing Review
The article from Hearing Review discusses how cochlear implant recipients can enhance their music experience. It addresses the technical limitations of implants and outlines methods like using specific instruments and tailored rehabilitation plans. The piece is informative for both recipients and healthcare providers, highlighting the role of technology and guidance in improving music appreciation for those with cochlear implants.
Designing for Accessibility: 9 Ways to Improve Digital Experiences for People with Disabilities | Annie St. Cyr | Shutterstock.com
Enhance every digital experience by designing for accessibility. These tips will teach you how to create inclusive designs for people with disabilities.
Digital Accessibility Conferences and Events
February 20-22, 2024
axe-con 2024- Online
March 7, 2024
Microsoft Accessibility Summit
March 8 – 16, 2024
SXSW Conference & Festivals- Austin, TX
March 18 – 22, 2024
July 15 – 18, 2024
Disability:IN Conference