Finding Opportunity and Equal Access for Americans Who Are Blind with Diabetes
Join ACB on November 9th at 12pm EDT on YouTube Live as we recognize National Diabetes Awareness Month. This live event will be the first part of a ten-part series, Diabetes: Where We Are and Where We’re Going. Diabetes has rapidly become one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Learn about the challenges to health management and opportunities on the horizon as several members of ACB’s Diabetics in Action affiliate share their stories and discuss what barriers stand in the way of independence. To access the live video, visit: https://youtu.be/U2QSRTZsqyg.
Send ACB Your Voting Stories
ACB and our state affiliates, are eager to collect as much information as possible concerning your voting experience surrounding the 2020 General Election. We want to know your entire experience from when you registered to vote, to when you received an absentee ballot in the mail, to when you went to the polling site. Ideally, we hope that your experience is seamless and you can vote easily and accessibly. But unfortunately, we have heard many stories surrounding accessibility challenges for blind and visually impaired voters this year. As a result, we want to collect as many stories as we can to develop a repository of declarations we can use in the future when doing further advocacy work. These stories should be emailed to email@example.com. Please let us know if you would like your story to be included in the ACB Voices blog. ACB’s advocacy team, Claire Stanley and Clark Rachfal, shared their voting experiences on YouTube Live on Election Day. Access the video by visiting: https://youtu.be/JNUuJnCoSKg.
ACB Advocacy Update: Audio Description Update
On this week’s episode of the ACB Advocacy Update, Claire and Clark discuss the recent updates in the audio description marketplace. They speak with Sam Joehl, President, ACB of Virginia, about the work of the Federal Communications Commission and their Disability Advisory Committee, and they speak with Dr. Joel Snyder, Director, ACB’s Audio Description Project about ACB’s ongoing work to increase audio description availability. Listen online at: https://acb-advocacy-update.pinecast.co/episode/b39dbb12e86a4234/audio-description-update. To learn more about audio description innovations and to know what content is audio described, visit www.acb.org/adp.
Access and Engagement Survey
In Spring 2020, the American Foundation for the Blind’s (AFB) first Access and Engagement survey examined how COVID-19 was impacting the education of U.S. and Canadian children and youth with visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities and deafblindness. We know that the impact of COVID-19 is continuing in the 2020-2021 school year. Through a collaborative effort the authors of the original survey have updated the questions so we can identify the successes and challenges being experienced by students and professionals. We want all family members, guardians, teachers of students with visual impairments (TVIs), and orientation & mobility (O&M) specialists in the U.S. and Canada to have the opportunity to share their experiences about education this fall. The survey takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. You can access the survey by visiting: https://www.afb.org/research-and-initiatives/education/access-engagement-two.
Apple’s New People Detection Feature
The purpose of Apple's new accessibility feature, People Detection, is to aid blind and low vision users in navigation. The goal is to help the visually impaired understand their surroundings—examples include knowing how many people there are in the checkout line at the grocery store, how close one is standing to the end of the platform at the subway station, and finding an empty seat at a table. Another use case is in this era of social distancing; the software can tell you if you’re within six feet of another person in order to maintain courtesy and safety. Users can set a minimum distance for alerts—say, six feet for the aforementioned social distancing—as well as having an option to use haptic feedback to deliver those notifications. There also is audible feedback; if a person is wearing one AirPod, they will be notified when they’re in close proximity of a person or whatnot. People Detection is fully compatible with VoiceOver, Apple’s screen-reader technology. Learn more by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/y4ot64ot.
PlayStation5 Accessibility Features
PlayStation 5 will offer a voice dictation feature to quickly input text without the use of a virtual keyboard. Simply speak the words and they’ll appear on-screen. The Screen Reader provides blind and low vision users with options to hear on-screen text, while deaf and hard of hearing users can type text messages, which will be spoken out loud to other party members. These features will now support multiple languages on PS5 globally. Along with Accessibility Settings for Button Assignments and Closed Captions that were also available on PS4, PS5 additionally supports color correction which allows users to adjust color, and in supported games, game presets will allow users to customize their common settings in advance. Learn more by visiting: https://www.sie.com/en/blog/empowering-all-abilities-of-gamers.