Accessibility to Google’s Products


This resolution calls upon Google to integrate accessibility into the design phase of its product development. It further calls upon Google to create detailed plans for accessibility for each new product as well as create plans for achieving access for its existing set of products. The resolution further directs ACB’s directors, officers, and staff to take steps to achieve these results while making the services of the Information Access Committee available for these purposes.

WHEREAS, people who are blind or visually impaired have a right to equal access to hardware, software, and other products and services provided by entities who conduct business on the Internet; and

WHEREAS, Google is a company that conducts a large and increasingly diverse variety of research and development activities that include the development and maintenance of a plethora of online software and services; and

WHEREAS, products developed by Google are used in many settings that people who are blind or visually impaired encounter in their daily lives including (but not limited to) employment, shopping, education, healthcare, business, and mobile computing; and

WHEREAS, no initial product releases from Google are designed with accessibility to people who are blind or visually impaired, relegating product accessibility to months or years after the launch; and

WHEREAS, for people who are blind or visually impaired, this model of delivering accessibility has a severe impact on their opportunities to obtain and maintain gainful employment, achieve success in education, and obtain entertainment content;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind, in convention assembled at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel in Phoenix, Ariz., on the 16th day of July, 2010, that this organization call upon Google to take immediate steps to integrate design for accessibility within the design phase of each product's development and implement accessibility from the beginning of each product cycle; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization call upon Google to immediately develop, publicize, and implement the strategy that would make existing products accessible; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the officers, directors, and staff of this organization take all appropriate steps to work with Google's management to implement the outcomes of this resolution; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization make available to Google the assistance of the ACB Information Access Committee.


Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary