National Federation of the Blind Indoor Navigation Challenge

The National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute is the premier research and training institute that applies the collective knowledge and life experience of the blind to the development of innovative solutions to the barriers faced by blind people. We are designing the National Federation of the Blind Indoor Navigation Challenge to combine our expertise and experience with that of other technology and research professionals to partner in the development of universally designed access tools and strategies that enhance independent travel for the blind. Blind people effectively use tools and strategies like white canes, guide dogs, mental mapping, echolocation, and problem-solving skills to acquire and use environmental information to travel safely and independently outdoors and indoors.

Time for the White House to Upload the Internet Regs

Earlier this week I was honored to attend a White House reception and ceremony to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). President Obama spoke with passion and sincerity about the progress made since the signing of the ADA and some of the very significant executive orders he has made to raise expectations for people with disabilities. While I am proud of what the President has done to raise the bar for employment of and payment of fair wages to workers with disabilities, I left the White House in complete frustration after the President failed to mention anything about meaningful regulatory action that will ensure our full participation in the twenty-first century where the internet is critical to success.

Braille Literacy through Technology

As a summer intern for the Jernigan Institute, I have come to realize that there are many areas in which I must improve in order to gain more confidence and independence. It has been about ten years since I became blind and I have to credit the National Federation of the Blind for pulling me out of the dark path that I was going down. The Federation shed light on the importance of receiving training and as a graduate of the Colorado Center for the Blind I can state that I can confidently use the majority of the blindness skills taught there. My pride and stubbornness allowed me to leave the center with the perception that it was acceptable to barely read and write Braille.

Apple Watch Review - Part Two

Following Amy’s time with the Apple Watch, I put it through its paces. Overall, for an initial release product, it does what it does very well. Before I get into my thoughts, here are some further words from Amy on her second experience with the watch.

Apple Watch Review – Your Mileage May Vary Edition

The biggest news in the Access Technology community of late has been the Apple Watch. Everyone has had their say.  People have complained about the availability of the devices, crowed about their watch shipping, reviewed, tweeted and blogged. With all the hype surrounding the device,  it only seemed reasonable that the Access Technology team should give it a spin, and give you, our loyal readers, our opinions so that all three of you who haven’t already made up your mind about whether or not you need one, can make that decision with the benefit of our experience.  

Global Accessibility Awareness Day Post Four: … But We Just Got Started

Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and as Global Accessibility Awareness Day draws to a close, we will leave you, with our:

Design Considerations

Document accessibility involves a number of different factors. Choices made to improve the visual appearance of a project may hinder or enhance readability for all users. Furthermore, access to documents encompasses word choice and sentence structure. Finally, it comes down to checking your work to ensure that the document you have created is meeting the needs it was created to fulfill. The below guidelines are a sample of the types of things that should be considered when creating a document, that were not covered in other sections of this article.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day Post Three: Describe It Well to Help Your Users Get the Picture

Blind users are reliant on textual description of most electronic content. Whether they are using a Braille display or a speech synthesizer, the content they review from documents and websites comes in the form of text.  As we all know, the web and many documents are built with a great amount of graphical material.  With the following tips, however, you can ensure that your content can be enjoyed by blind visitors as well.  

Global Accessibility Awareness Day Post Two: Accessibility is a Matter of Style

Without some simple but thoughtful styling, your document is little more than a disorganized mess of text. The careful application of headings, paragraphs, tables, and lists provides your document with much needed structure, so that it can be easily reviewed and understood.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day Post One: The Quick and Dirty Guide to Accessible Document Creation

It’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day! This means it is time to celebrate accessibility. All over the world today, people with disabilities and their allies including disability rights advocates, web accessibility specialists, teachers, corporations, and all sorts of others are discussing the importance of ensuring that websites, storefronts, education, travel, books, and all manner of content and public spaces are available and accessible to the widest selection of the population. The other topic up for discussion discussion is how we can share the importance of this message with those who don’t yet know how important and how easy it can be to make the world more accessible for everyone.


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