What's New and Noteworthy from Apple’s 2024 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)

On Monday, June 10, 2024, Apple held its annual Worldwide Developers Conference keynote address. Leading up to this event, there was considerable speculation regarding Apple’s potential foray into Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as anticipated updates to Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant. This article does not cover every update. For the complete keynote address, visit the Apple WWDC 2024 Keynote on YouTube. Catch up on Accessibility in SwiftUI Before we discuss the Apple Keynote, lets…
Author Janet Ingber
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Balancing Accessibility and Cutting-Edge Technology: a Possible Approach to Software and OS Updates

Recently, in the blindness and low vision community, there has been discussion about Sonos, a popular manufacturer of smart speakers, releasing an update to their mobile app that significantly affected its accessibility for VoiceOver users on iOS. If you would like to learn more about this situation, or discover where things stand currently with Sonos accessibility, see this excellent blog post by Jonathan Mosen. Fortunately, it seems that Sonos is making an effort to improve VoiceOver…

Reflecting Upon Our Successes on Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Today marks the 13th anniversary of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). In celebration of GAAD, I want to highlight the direct impacts on digital inclusion and accessibility that we at the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) have achieved over the past year. As an organization focused on improving accessibility, we produce a wealth of knowledge content. This includes our Talent Lab accessibility learning modules, our AccessWorld technology magazine and podcast, the peer-reviewed…

AFB Research Uncovers Staggering Time Lost from Barriers to Digital Inclusion

Researchers at the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Public Policy and Research Institute just released results from the second Barriers to Digital Inclusion study, which show how often commercial websites and apps continue to exclude blind and low-vision customers. In November 2023, 20 participants kept diaries for 10 days, documenting how often they encountered digital accessibility barriers and what happened when they encountered such roadblocks. We found that each participant…
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Final Rule on Website Accessibility Will Mean Greater Access to State and Local Governments

We at AFB are thrilled that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) published its final rule on website and mobile application accessibility this week. This rule is the culmination of decades of advocacy and rulemaking and marks a significant step in ensuring that the digital environment is fully accessible to people who are blind, have low vision, or are deafblind. Getting this rule on the books has been one of AFB’s top policy priorities over the past several years, and in October 2023 we…

Interconnected content with AccessWorld

As part of our refocusing of AccessWorld in the spring of 2023, we have expanded AccessWorld beyond the magazine format. If you are not familiar with the changes that have come to the AccessWorld publication itself, we have now expanded AccessWorld to focus more directly on digital inclusion. This means that we now include content of interest to web and software developers, employers, and other changemakers in the digital inclusion space. With this change, we have also expanded into new spaces…

Highlights from the 2024 CSUN Assistive Technology Conference

Editor's Note: Each year, AccessWorld writers who attend the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference detail the most cutting edge or noteworthy pieces of technology they encounter. This year, Judy Dixon brings us details on new developments in mobility technology, AI Vision, and braille displays. Gliding along Safely with Glide: A Revolutionary Mobility Assistant One of the most crowded and talked about booths in the exhibit hall at CSUN this year was Glidance. This new startup founded by blind…

Create Helpful Image Descriptions with the W3C's Alt Text Decision Tree

When making digital technology accessible for people using screen readers, the implementation may be of varying levels of complexity, but the task is, in most situations, relatively straightforward: "Is this element labeled and viewable to the screen reader or not?" When we discuss accessibility, we generally are referring to websites, but this holds true for the vast majority of other modern digital interfaces including apps, desktop software, even operating system UIs. Images tend to be a…

Spring Letter of Appeal

“Tomorrow! What possibilities are in that word.” - Helen Keller Give Today Dear Friend, Dreams do come true – and thanks to your support, we’ve been able to turn many of our dreams into reality in recent years. Tomorrow presents plenty of possibilities, and you can help us maximize them. At the American Foundation for the Blind, we’re ready to take on what’s next, and your continued support will bolster our efforts. The world is changing fast, and AFB is always working to address…
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Why Join a Digital Accessibility Program?

As time passes, technology becomes more commonplace and increasingly crucial for most aspects of life, be it work, school, or leisure. As we integrate and evolve with digital spaces, equal access to technology and digital resources is essential for people with disabilities to ensure they can fully participate and engage with the world. That is our mission– to create a world of endless possibilities for people who are blind or have low vision. To make that possible, we need to provide our…