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Google Highlights Accessibility Improvements of Product for Disables at CSUN 2012

Google at the 27th annual CSUN International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, revealed that they recently conducted a survey with the American Council of the Blind, to find out more about how people with sight impairment use the web.

Google said, “nearly 1,000 responses from people who are blind or visually impaired, from a wide range of professions in 57 countries: teachers, software developers, social workers, writers, psychologists, musicians and students revealed:”

  • “Almost 90 percent reported regularly using the web to keep in touch with friends and family
  • Over half use a smartphone, and over half own more than one computer
  • Over two-thirds of respondents said they use social media
  • Over 50 percent have completed a baccalaureate degree, and of those, 30 percent have gone on to to postgraduate studies at the masters’ or Ph.D. level
  • Of those who are currently students, over 70 percent have their assistive technology provided for by their school
  • However, for those who have left school and are of working age, 46 percent are unemployed,” informs Google.

The company also highlighted improvements made to the company’s accessibility products including:

  • ChromeVox (in beta) provides a screen reader that’s built for the web, right inside Chrome.
  • Improved accessibility for Google Docs, Sites and Calendar, including keyboard shortcuts and better support in modern screen readers
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich introduces touch exploration and out-of-box accessibility activation (see the videos below)
  • Expanded caption support on YouTube–improving access to broadcast and direct-to-web videos for people who are deaf or hard of hearing

Video: Introducing ChromeVox

Videos showcasing accessibility features in Android 4.0 ICS:

Video: Turning on Accessibility

Video: Exploring the Launcher

Video: Using the On-Screen Keyboard