Welcome to Disability: IN’s monthly round up of digital accessibility news for June.
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
Special thanks to Microsoft for sponsoring this year’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day Programming.
Our sponsor Microsoft shared with us some of the accessibility use cases of their new, powerful generative AI tool ‘Copilot.’ Embedded into Microsoft 365 apps like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Teams, Copilot unlocks productivity and creativity. Disabled folks can use an expansive set up prompts to instruct Copilot to summarize large text, build slide decks with accessible best practices built in, or extract information on trends from an Excel document.
GAAD attendees enjoyed clips from Microsoft’s ‘This is my Copilot’ video series on Youtube showcasing demos from disabled Microsoft employees like Jeremy Curry, showing how he uses Copilot as a low vision engineer. Watch Hector Minto, Microsoft’s Lead Accessibility Evangelist, show Priscilla Mensah, Microsoft’s Accessibility NGO Program Manager, some of the many assistive use cases of Copilot here! Give Copilot a try! Try some of Hector’s accessibility prompts, and get in touch with Microsoft’s Enterprise Disability Answer Desk, eDAD, at eDAD@microsoft.com if you have any questions!

Hector’s Demo – Youtube
This is my Copilot by Jeremy Curry – Youtube

Microsoft Accessibility webpage

Microsoft Resources webpage

Microsoft Support for Accessibility webpage

Accessibility Use Cases of Copilot, video series – Youtube

Rewatch Ability Summit 2024

Otis Elevator is the latest leading company to sign onto the Procure Access Statement! Learn how your company can advance accessibility through your procurement process and join over 35 leading brands who have signed onto the Procure Access Statement.
Spotlight on Disability:IN Partners using technology to enhance the accessibility of products we use every day.
iOS 18 iPhone Update Will Harness AI For Crucial New Features, Report Says
The next iPhone software is due to be unveiled on Monday, June 10 at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference for general release this fall. According to Apple Insider, “Apple has been working on AI-powered summarization and greatly enhanced audio transcription for several of its next-gen operating systems. The new features are expected to enable significant improvements in efficiency for users of its staple Notes, Voice Memos, and other apps.”
Comcast NBCUniversal
Comcast NBCUniversal, 2Gether-International Executives Discuss Renewed Partnership, Disability Inclusion in Interview
In a press release, Comcast NBCUniversal and 2Gether-International (2GI) announced on Tuesday the extension of their partnership that sees the former funneling over $1.5 million to the latter to sustain its work into 2025. The money will help “equip disabled startup founders with the tools and resources they need for their companies to be leaders in their respective industries” in addition to “[furthering] 2GI’s efforts to recruit and serve more people specifically with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout all their programs and initiatives.”
Which accessibility features are available on my Fitbit device?
Learn about accessibility options and how to contact the Google Disability Support team.
Google launches Project Gameface: revolutionizing accessibility in gaming
Google has introduced Project Gameface, an open-source, hands-free, AI-powered mouse, designed to enhance accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Developed in collaboration with Incluzza, a Bengaluru-based social enterprise, Gameface allows users to control a cursor on their devices using facial expressions and head movements captured through a webcam.
Project Gameface offers a new way to interact with technology. By raising eyebrows to click and drag or opening their mouth to move the cursor, users can control their devices without traditional input methods, aiming to make digital interfaces more accessible for those with limited mobility.
Other Accessibility Highlights for this Month
The Canadian Bankers Association’s commitment to accessibility
The Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) recognizes the importance of equitable opportunities and strives to improve the accessibility of its operations. Our goal is to proactively identify and eliminate barriers, ensuring that everyone, regardless of ability, can engage fully with our organization.
The widespread use of smartphones implies that intelligent systems must address the negative emotions experienced by a diverse user group when encountering usability difficulties.
Therefore, exploring the relationship between users’ emotions and operational behaviors is crucial for further enhancing the accessibility of intelligent systems. Touch dynamics, as a method of dynamic touch data monitoring, has already provided many models for emotion recognition, which are beneficial in gaining insight into users’ accessibility needs for smartphones and exploring intelligent solutions to design issues.
A new future of work: The race to deploy AI and raise skills in Europe and beyond
Amid tightening labor markets and a slowdown in productivity growth, Europe and the United States face shifts in labor demand, spurred by AI and automation. Our updated modeling of the future of work finds that demand for workers in STEM-related, healthcare, and other high-skill professions would rise, while demand for occupations such as office workers, production workers, and customer service representatives would decline. By 2030, in a midpoint adoption scenario, up to 30 percent of current hours worked could be automated, accelerated by generative AI (gen AI).
Blind and low-vision community gains visual information access with ground-breaking digital tool
Educator and engineer Jenna Gorlewicz was studying medical robotics at Vanderbilt University when she met a sixth grader who would change the course of her career. Kira, a student in a school where Gorlewicz was volunteering, said, “You are an engineer? That’s so cool!” Then Kira said, “I’ll never be one,” citing her blindness as a key barrier.
Disheartened by Kira’s statement, Gorlewicz proceeded to learn more about the barriers that individuals with blindness and low vision face. She would come to learn that poor accessibility standards historically have affected these students, particularly in the STEM fields, where textbooks often contain dense graphical information and diagrams. This content has neither been effectively nor efficiently translated for this group of learners.
Want a future-ready city? Make it accessible
Making cities accessible to all citizens
We need to change the way we think and plan our cities or pay the higher cost of retrofitting for accessibility later. To avoid mistakes of the past, cities must make investments that address both sustainability and accessibility standards.
In doing so, cities will meet the needs of citizens today and intentionally design for the populations of tomorrow.
Ireland Web Accessibility: Everything You Need to Know
Ireland has implemented one of the toughest laws yet to ensure website accessibility, serving as a model for future regulations in Europe. By June 28, 2025, organizations must fully comply with the European Accessibility Act (EAA) or face fines ranging from €5,000 to €60,000, up to 18 months in prison, or both. This is one of the biggest recent moves in the accessibility industry and has gained a lot of attention. Now, let’s seek to understand why.
FTA awards $343 million in funding through All Stations Accessibility Program
The funding will go to eight transit agencies in eight states to make rail stations more accessible and in line with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Accessibility in Game Design: Learn Proper Game Development in College
In the rapidly evolving world of video games, the emphasis on inclusive design has never been more significant. As gaming becomes a universal hobby, transcending age, nationality, and physical ability, the industry faces a critical need to accommodate all players. This inclusivity is not just a matter of ethical game development but is also becoming a crucial factor in the commercial success of games. Colleges and universities around the world have recognized this shift and are increasingly incorporating accessibility into their game design curricula. By educating the next generation of game developers on these principles, educational institutions ensure that future games are enjoyable and playable for everyone.
The future of work is neurodiverse
Are there any workplace accommodations that will help you succeed in this role?
This question, which may seem like one of many that a job seeker would come across, had a significant impact on neurodivergent individual David Thomason. David was participating in the onboarding process for Mentra, a hiring platform that uses AI to match neurodivergent job candidates with fulfilling careers, and the question made him feel seen and heard as he looked for his next role. He used Mentra to get matched with a great opportunity—which happened to be a position at Mentra as a software engineer. Now David brings his authentic self to work every day,
XR’s AWE 2024 conference introduces live artificial intelligence translation in over 75 languages
Augmented World Expo (AWE) is partnering with XRAI to add captioning and transcription to all stages of the 15th anniversary AWE USA 2024 event to improve accessibility. The AR and VR technology conference aims to make all of its conference content accessible to everyone for the first time.
The XRAI platform will provide AI-powered captioning in more than 75 languages for all nine conference stages. Attendees will be able to use the XRAI Glass app on their smartphones (iOS and Android) or compatible smart glasses to read an AI-transcribed broadcast from the stage in real time and have it translated into over 75 languages. Online viewers of the main stage sessions will be able to access these AI transcriptions and translations through the conference’s YouTube channel.
Statement on Disability Awareness Week and accessibility legislation
The proposed legislation is an important and long-awaited step towards creating a more accessible and inclusive society for the significant number of New Brunswickers with a disability. According to Statistics Canada, more than one-third of us are now living with a disability, and, at 35.3 percent, it is the second-highest rate in Canada, well above the national average of 27 percent. New Brunswick’s disability rate is also rising faster than any other province’s. The need for this legislation has never been greater.
How Hoteliers Can Adapt to the Evolving Needs of Website Accessibility
HOUSTON — As places of public accommodation, hotels in the U.S. and their websites need to meet certain accessibility requirements.
Speaking during the Hospitality Law Conference, attorney Jordan Schwartz explained those accommodations could be physical, such as adding a ramp or installing grab bars, or digital, such as written descriptions of pictures or captioning for videos. Accessibility also includes having online descriptions of the accessibility features at hotels.
ADHD diagnoses are rising. 1 in 9 U.S. kids have gotten one, new study
Approximately 1 in 9 U.S. children have ever received an ADHD diagnosis (11.4%, 7.1 million children) and 10.5% (6.5 million) had current ADHD. Among children with current ADHD, 58.1% had moderate or severe ADHD, 77.9% had at least one co-occurring disorder, approximately half of children with current ADHD (53.6%) received ADHD medication, and 44.4% had received behavioral treatment for ADHD in the past year; nearly one third (30.1%) did not receive any ADHD-specific treatment.
15 Awesome iPhone Shortcuts to Try Out
Whether you’re a productivity enthusiast or just looking to add some ease to your iPhone use, these 15 shortcuts span from simple alarm adjustments to sophisticated automation for the Apple Watch and iPhone. Let’s dive into how these can transform your interaction with your device.
Digital Accessibility Conferences and Events
Open Source North- Saint Paul, MN
Date: June 5, 2024
XR Access Symposium New York
Date: June 6-7, 2024
Accessibility Club Summit 2024- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Date: June 8-9, 2024
2024 Worldwide Developer Conference- Online
Date: June 10-14, 2024
UI/UX Global Summit ’24- Online
Date: June 11-12, 2024
Pixel Pioneers 2024- Bristol, England
Date: June 14, 2024
UX London 2024- London, England
Date: June 18-20, 2024
Web Directions Code- Melbourne, Australia
Date: June 20-21, 2024
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)- Denver, CO
Date: June 23-26, 2024
National Federation of the Blind National Convention- Orlando, FL
Date: July 3-8, 2024
Disability:IN 2024 Annual Conference- Las Vegas, NV
Date: July 15-18, 2024
M-Enabling Summit in Washington, DC
Date: October 15 – 17, 2024
Accessing Higher Ground- Accessible Media, Web, and Technology Conference- Denver, CO
Date: November 11-15, 2024