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Accessibility at Google IO 2011

So I attended the first day of Google I/O 2011, my first time at a Google event. I was glad to hear a fair amount of talk about accessibility. There were at least 3 sessions focusing on the topic (see below) and a breakout area where you can talk with developers.

There was even an accessibility “Developer Sandbox” area which was great. I tried out the ChromeVox screen reader on a Chromebook with help from Google’s Rachel Shearer. I got a quick demo of the built-in TalkBack screen reader on an Android mobile device. Mika Pyyhkala and I were shown the LevelStar braille device running Android. The University of Washington showed off their mobile ASL Android project which used video chat technology.

Some tips for Android development from the sessions are:

  • In Android code, ensure images, especially ImageButtons, are labeled with contentDescription.
  • Use standard controls.
  • Stick with standard or modified views; custom very complex to make accessible.
  • Ensure all controls reachable with D-pad and Trackball.
  • Test with screen reader using D-Pad. To turn on, enable accessibility under Settings/Accessibility, then enable Talkback.
  • Take advantage of device’s “many eyes and ears” for alternative input/output (microphone, speaker, touch screen, camera, GPS)

The sessions specific to accessibility were:

More resources:

Tim Credo, Charles Chen, and T.V. Raman on stage at Google I/O.

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Even More Web Accessibility Jobs

Great to list even more accessibility jobs!

Web Accessibility Specialist at Modis in Wilmington, DE (long-term contract). Modis is seeking aWeb Accessibility Specialistfor a long term contract position with their industry leading client.The Accessibility Specialist will be responsible for identifying and suggesting potential solutions for accessibility violations based on W3C WCAG 2.0 standards.

Web Accessibility Specialist at DeVry University, Wood Dale, Illinois. The primary purpose of this position is to consult with course developers on the guidelines and application of web accessibility to online courses created in Kinect. This includes researching section 508 and determining enhancements needed to course structure and media.

Accessibility Product Manager at RIM (BlackBerry) in Canada (Waterloo, Toronto, Ottawa). The Accessibility team is responsible for ensuring BlackBerry products and services are usable and accessible by the widest possible audience. This includes researching, specifying, designing and driving through to implementation various internal and external accessibility solutions. The successful candidate will be the voice of the customer and responsible for driving, from concept to implementation, emergency access BlackBerry solutions that meet the needs of persons with disabilities, wireless carrier partners and applicable legislation.

Accessibility Practice Lead, Atlanta, GA, 6-month contract. Collaborate with the User Experience and Development teams in planning, documenting and testing usable accessibility compliant interfaces. Proactively determine process, efficiencies, patterns, training and communication opportunities to improve our online experience for all users. Present and conduct training sessions for various teams on web accessibility process, planning, documentation and testing. Complete audits and test current and new products for compliance. Draft and maintain standards documents and remain abreast of trends and developments in the area of web and software accessibility.

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Web Accessibility News

Latest goings-on in the web accessibility community. Found all on a valuable resource, Twitter!