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ACCESSIBLE APP: Seeing AI – Talking Camera for the Blind

Microsoft Seeing AI Logo

Seeing AI from Microsoft is a free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the blind and low vision community, this ongoing research project harnesses the power of AI to open up the visual world and describe nearby people, text and objects.

Optimized for use with VoiceOver, the app enables you to recognize:

  • Short Text – Speaks text as soon as it appears in front of the camera.
  • Documents – Provides audio guidance to capture a printed page, and recognizes the text, along with its original formatting.
  • Products – Scans barcodes, using audio beeps to guide you; hear the name, and package information when available. (works with iPhone 6 and later)
  • People – Saves people’s faces so you can recognize them, and get an estimate of their age, gender, and emotions.
  • Scenes (early preview) – Hear an overall description of the scene captured.
  • Currency – Recognizes currency notes. (Requires iOS 11)
  • Color – Identifies color.
  • Handwriting – Reads handwritten text like in greeting cards
  • Light – Generates an audible tone corresponding to the brightness in the surroundings.
  • Images in other apps – Just tap “Share” and “Recognize with Seeing AI” to describe images from Mail, Photos, Twitter, and more.
  • Photo browsing experience – Describes photos on your phone

Seeing AI is built to help you achieve more by leveraging the power of the cloud and artificial intelligence. As the research progresses, more channels may be added.

Check out tutorials with this YouTube playlist: http://aka.ms/SeeingAIPlaylist

Visit http://SeeingAI.com for more details.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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ACCESSIBLE EDUCATION: 20 Tips for Teaching an Accessible Online Course

Button with graduation cap icon on a modern computer keyboard. Online education concept.

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D. of the University of Washington has created twenty basic guidelines she follows as she develops her own online courses. Although these tips do not cover every potential accessibility issue, they provide a good start.

Read now: 20 Tips for Teaching an Accessible Online Course.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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TOOL: Easy Way to Test Color Contrast Results Right Now

Accessible Color Contrast Tool Result

Use the free online Accessible Colors Tool to evaluate your color combination using the WCAG 2.0 guidelines for contrast accessibility.

If your combination does not meet the guidelines, the tool suggests the closest accessible combination by modifying the color lightness.

Try the Accessible Color Tool now.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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ACCESSIBLE BUTTON CODE: Check Out the Button Pal

Different Color Buttons

Want to use simple, standard accessible button functionality on your website? Andy Bell provides all the HTML, CSS and JavaScript you need to reset the default button styles for all browsers. It’s a great head start for styling accessible buttons.

Check out Andy Bell’s CodePen for a great start when creating accessible button code.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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TOOL: TapTapSee – Assistive Tech for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Hispanic blind man with disability. Visually impaired man using Digital Assistant and Ease of Access functions on mobile phone, voice typing to smartphone

TapTapSee is a mobile camera application designed specifically for blind and visually impaired users, powered by the CloudSight Image Recognition API. TapTapSee utilizes your device’s camera and VoiceOver functions to take a picture or video of anything and identify it out loud for you.

Red Ceramic Cup viewed through mobile phone camera

Double-tap the right side of the screen to take a picture or double-tap the left side of the screen to take a video. TapTapSee can accurately analyze and identify any two or three dimensional object at any angle within seconds. The device’s VoiceOver then speaks the identification aloud.

Features include:

– Picture recognition
– Up to 10 seconds of video recognition
– Ability to repeat the last identification
– Upload pictures or videos from the camera roll
– Save pictures or videos to the camera roll with the attached identification
– Share results via social media, text, or email
– Rotor reader
– Flash toggle

TapTapSee is available through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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TOOL: Use the Colorblind Web Page Filter

Types of color blindness. Eye color perception. Vector illustration on isolated background.

Use the Colorblind Web Page Filter tool to select safe colors early in the design process.

Type in your URL, then select one of four color filters from the select menu.

EXAMPLE: Here is a screenshot of the Accessible Website Services Home Page (seen in full color in the left pane) and, in the right pane, how an individual with protanopia (the most common form of color blindness) sees the page:

Comparison test of home page for protanopia color blindness
[Left pane]: Accessible Website Services Home Page
[Right pane]: How an individual with protanopia (red-green color blindness) sees the page

If you only use one filter, use the grey scale filter which will not only point out potential problem areas, but will also let you see more clearly which areas the filter is unable to process.

Use the Color Blind Web Page Filter tool now.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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TOOL: Free IBM Watson Speech to Text Service

Four color squares each containing a white speech bubble

The IBM Watson Speech to Text service uses speech recognition capabilities to convert Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, German, and Mandarin speech into text.

Upload your pre-recorded audio (.mp3, .mpeg, .wav, .flac, or .opus only). The returned result includes the recognized text, word alternatives, and spotted keywords.

Use the IBM Watson Speech to Text service now.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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QUESTION: How Accessible is Your On-Hold Messaging?

On Hold 3d words for waiting for assistance, help or service with great frustration

Frank Pival puts people on hold for a living.

And he is concerned that an important part of the population is being left out: those who are deaf and use assistive technology to make phone calls.

His company, Never Alone on Hold, writes and records customized messages for companies to play while their customers are waiting for a “live” voice to take the call.

“Even a small company handles a significant volume of calls, and a majority of those incoming calls experience on-hold time. If you are simply using music to entertain your prospects and customers while they are on hold, then you are missing a major opportunity to educate folks about your business and everything you can do to help,” Pival says.

Is your business really inclusive, providing the same info for all?

“You are also missing out on the chance to engage deaf or hearing-impaired individuals who can’t hear music, but can read the on-hold messages via their assistive technology apps,” said Pival. “Last time I heard, everybody’s money spends the same. You are missing out on new or increased business if you are excluding folks with hearing disabilities.”

Example: Dental practices

Because a dental practice is usually a busy place, many patients and prospects are placed on hold every business day. Pival’s own father was a successful Seattle-based dentist for over 40 years. The dentist who bought his father’s practice eventually learned about NAOH services and now employs on-hold messaging as part of a marketing tool and an educational program that is inclusive for all.

Listen to some of Frank Pival’s NAOH dental practice education oh-hold message samples. You can also read the text transcripts that match the audio.

“All your customers are the best resource for new business, so you should make the most of their on-hold time by educating them about your products and services…everything you can do to help,” said Pival.

It’s all about intention

“A well-crafted on-hold messaging program enhances your professionalism and shows your intention to provide the same information to all who call,” said Pival. “Every phone call with your customers is an opportunity to market your business. You can drive traffic to your website and social media channels. You can also promote additional products and services that everyone understands.”

Need to make your on-hold messaging accessible to all? Visit Frank’s Never Alone on Hold website to find out more.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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ACCESSIBLE CSS: Beware the Use of float:right

Illustration of text layout aligned to the right

Careful when using float:right.

Why?

Used to place content on the right side of a Web page layout, it can be an accessibility mistake!

It can leave screen readers in the dust.

When text is floated to the right, the code is often placed BEFORE other text to its left in the HTML code. The visual order may look correct left to right (with the floated item second) while a screen reader will read the floated item first. Screen readers read files in code order, not in layout order.

Exceptions

You can use float:right if the text is still understandable in the HTML order. Or if you are positioning a decorative image to the right of the text in the layout.

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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ACCESSIBLE WEBSITE CONTENT: Use Human Face Photos to Improve Contact Call-to-Action Results

Acronym CTA as Call To Action

Your Contact Us call-to-action (CTA) conversions can improve if you use photos of human faces rather than illustrations.

Contact Mary Using Illustration Icon versus using a photo of Mary as the Contact Image

Reason: the human eye is drawn to images of other people.

REMEMBER:

Associate ALT descriptions with the human face photos so screen readers can identify the contact person by name!

EXAMPLE:

<img src=”images/contact-mary-gillen.jpg” alt=”Contact Mary Gillen at 508-768-8418″>

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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