HumanWare: the introduction of HumanWare’s new intelligent braille displays

For nearly 35 years, HumanWare has been at the forefront of developing unique solutions that allow for braille readers to interact with the world around them. Join us at the HumanWare breakout session where Peter Tucic and Louis-Philippe Massé will help participants better understand the benefits of a refreshable braille device for screen reader users, and showcase how we have continuously furthered expectations of what these devices can do to increase productivity amongst all users through innovation. The main takeaway for attendees will be to best grasp what a refreshable braille device is, why someone would use one, and how the introduction of HumanWare’s new intelligent braille displays strives to push the envelope moving forward in this space.

Presenters

  • Louis-Philippe Massé, Vice-president of Product Innovation and Technologies, HumanWare
  • Peter Tucic, Director of Strategic Partnerships, HumanWare

Fable: The Future of Screen Readers: Key Ideas That Will Not Serve Us Well

In this session, Sam Proulx, Accessibility Evangelist at Fable and 30-year screen reader user, will challenge attendees to think about what the future of screen readers might be like in a rapidly changing technology landscape. In conversation with Lynette Frison, Fable’s Community Manager, many of our core ideas about what screen readers are, what they do, how they work, and how we interact with them will be explored and challenged. What is a screen reader without a screen to read, a text to speech voice for output, or a keyboard or touch screen to control it? How can a screen reader work with 3D and other non-linear information? What is the place of AI in screen readers? Surely, it’s about more than just recognizing images and OCRing text! Over the past 30 years, we have lived through the change from text-based DOS interfaces to graphical ones, from keyboard only interfaces, to control schemes that use touch screens, controllers, and mice, and from hardware text to speech to having everything done in software. However, most of these changes have been incremental improvements. If accessibility is to thrive in a world of augmented reality, wearable technology, and haptic interfaces, the entire framework of the screen reader may need to be rethought from the ground up. But it can’t happen without people with disabilities and assistive technology users. In this interactive and conversational zoom panel, your thoughts, questions, and ideas will be welcome as we explore the future together.

Presenters

WordPress.com: Accessibility on WordPress.com

A brief look at the features built into WordPress.com that can help site builders with accessibility, as well as how the platform itself is built accessibly. Includes a short demo of editing a site using screen reader software and a Q&A.

Presenter

Vispero: The Next Generation of Assistive Technology User Feedback is Here

Join Mark Miller as he hosts David O’Neill and Matt Ater to discuss how Vispero brands Freedom Scientific and TPGi collaborated to empower JAWS Screen Reader users to have voice in surfacing the issues they face navigating websites. Learn how organizations can now easily integrate JAWS Screen Reader user testing directly into their accessibility programs to improve user experiences.

Presenters

  • Mark Miller, Director of Sales, Emerging Accounts, Vispero
  • David O’Neill, General Manager & VP, Enterprise Compliance, Vispero
  • Matt Ater, VP, Business Development, Vispero

W3C ARIA-AT: Screen readers, Interoperability, and a new era of Web accessibility

Who knew that screen readers, unlike Web browsers, are not interoperable. Web site developers don’t worry about whether their code will work on Safari, Chrome or any other browser, but if they take accessibility seriously they have to test for JAWS, VoiceOver, NVDA and the rest. That’s about to change, thanks to the W3C ARIA-AT project. This session is a breakout follow-up to the main stage session on the same topic held yesterday.

Presenters

APH: The “Holy Braille”—The development of a new tactile display combining Braille and graphics in one experience

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH), and HumanWare have teamed to develop a device capable of rendering multiple lines of braille and tactile graphics on the same tactile surface. Currently referred to as the Dynamic Tactile Device (DTD), this tool aims to provide blind users with a multi-line book reader, tactile graphics viewer and so much more. Yesterday on the main stage, APH’s Greg Stilson discussed the new device with Will Butler. In this live breakout session, Stilson returns to discuss the DTD’s product development with Andrew Flatres at Humanware, which is collaborating with APH on the project.

Presenters

Perkins Access: Using AI to remove digital barriers for math students

In the world of accessibility, mathematical studies have been a long standing challenge. For students, online math instruction and assessment can pose barriers. More specifically, there is not a sufficient, two-way method for getting math and science information, like charts, graphs, tables, or code for equations, to and from a refreshable braille display, which poses a challenge for online assessment. Thanks to innovation, research, and advancements in technology, some of these challenges are being addressed. This session will discuss the work NWEA is leading, in collaboration with the Perkins Access digital accessibility consulting team, to make middle school mathematics assessments more accessible for students with visual disabilities using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. NWEA accessibility research manager, Dr. Elizabeth Barker, was awarded a generous AI for Accessibility grant from Microsoft to help further these efforts.

Presenters

  • Geoff Freed, Director of Perkins Access Consulting, Perkins Access
  • Elizabeth RG Barker, Ph.D., Accessibility Research Manager, NWEA
  • Dr. Sarah McManus, Digital Learning Director for the Education Services, Governor Morehead School for the Blind

Getting around: Autonomous Vehicles, Ride-Sharing and Those Last Few Feet

Summoning a ride from a smart phone is a dream come true for many, but when you have difficulty finding that ride, even when it’s a few feet away, the experience can be a nightmare, not to mention dangerous. How are ride-share and autonomous taxi companies working to make those last few feet from rider-to-car safer and better for blind and low vision riders?

For Most Mobile Phone Users, Accessibility Is Spelled Android

Nearly three quarters of mobile phone users in the world use phones built on Google’s Android operating system, not Apple’s iOS on the iPhone. For people who are blind or have low vision the key app is Google’s Lookout, which draws on the vast resources of Google’s AI infrastructure, including its computer vision database and Google maps. How is Google approaching the huge accessibility opportunity Lookout represents?