Raising the Floor News

US Department of Justice to Propose New Rules on Web Accessibility

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 8:18 am in Highlights

Google Ponders Better Online Security Solution

Google has proposed a path beyond the password -- a new way to authenticate yourself to your online services and applications. The prototype uses a tiny chip you insert into a USB port, but the same functionality may eventually live in your smartphone or even jewelry. Google wants to help develop an independent protocol for browsers that supports this new login standard, but also prevents websites from using it to track users.

Posted on January 22, 2013 at 5:48 am in Highlights

Swype Crowdsources Corrections

Readers may be familiar with Swype, the Android app that lets you enter text by simply sliding from one on-screen keyboard character to another without lifting your finger (or stylus, mouthstick, headstick,...). It always autocorrected errors; now Swype's Living Language uses the cloud and the crowd to find the best, most likely new terms and regular words you were trying to spell.

Posted on January 8, 2013 at 7:39 am in Highlights

Talking Radio Wins FCC Award

Best Buy's Insignia Narrator HD Radio recently won an accessibility award from the Chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission. The mainstream radio, sold at Best Buy stores and online, has a full talking control interface.

Posted on December 20, 2012 at 8:21 am in Highlights

Cloud-based Service Simplifies Online Articles

News In Levels is a new service that takes online articles in English text and renders them in 3 distinct language levels. News in Levels is aimed at people learning English, but could easily be used by native English speakers with cognitive disabilities. Partners include many language learning organizations, and they are actively seeking language instruction experts for suggesting articles as well as writing and editing.

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 5:49 am in Highlights

European Commission Proposes Sweeping Web Accessibility Legislation

The European Commission has moved to improve web accessibility throughout the European public sector, proposing a new law to require member states to enact or harmonize their laws by the end of 2015. Accessibility would be mandatory for income taxes, job search services, social benefits, health-related services, personal documents, car registration, building applications, public security, public libraries, and enrollment in higher education.

Posted on December 3, 2012 at 9:13 am in Highlights

New Study Shows the Value of Backlighting

A new study led by ophthalmologist Dr. Daniel Ross found that using a tablet device with backlighting increased reading speed for users with moderate vision loss more than one without backlighting -- 30 words per minute faster. 100 users with low vision tried both an iPad™ and Kindle™ with the print size set to 18 point on both devices.

Educational Platform Adds Key Accessibility Features

Desire2Learn, a popular learning management system, has partnered with Readspeaker and AST to provide text-to-speech and captioning capabilities for educational content and communications. Readspeaker's online speech tools will allow learners to hear the text of assigned lessons and collaborative chats, while AST's CaptionSync service will provide text for the spoken content in educational video and audio materials.

Posted on November 9, 2012 at 1:06 pm in Highlights

AssistMeLive Launches Study on Real-time Accessibility Services

GPII partner AssistMeLive is beginning a study of live assistance services on demand for people with disabilities. Over the next few months they will be interviewing people who provide such services as remote sign language interpreting and captioning, text and video relay, and navigation assistance, in order to understand how the services are organized, what the underlying technology needs are, and how to reach more users.

Posted on October 26, 2012 at 12:16 pm in Highlights

Qualcomm Announces Eyes-Free Smartphone

Qualcomm and its partner Project RAY have announced a new smartphone for people with vision loss. It will use standard hardware and a modified Android operating system to deliver a user interface that includes "touch screen, haptics, sensors, text-to-speech and audio feedback" for all the usual smartphone functions such as browsing, social networks, and online reading. Its current trial in Israel includes integration with a library service for access to books and periodicals.

Posted on October 23, 2012 at 6:19 am in Highlights