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NVDA 2017.1 is slated to be available in late February. It will support the enhanced accessibility functionality in the Amazon Kindle for PC version 1.19. In the new version users will be able to:

  • read books in browse mode
  • read with the cursor
  • use continuous reading
  • have pages turn automatically as they read
  • highlight text
  • add notes
  • perform dictionary and Wikipedia lookups
  • copy text to the clipboard

In addition, users will be able to access:

  • links
  • footnotes
  • graphics
  • highlighted text
  • user notes

The beta version of NVDA with Kindle support is available for testing now. You can download Kindle for PC 1.9 and download the beta version of NVDA with Kindle support. Read more about NVDA and Kindle for PC on NNVACCESS

Google has a well-known policy that allows its employees to spend 20% of their time working on projects not related to their main job. Rio Akasaka, a project manager on Google Drive, took advantage of this policy and put in 20% of his time as a project manager to work on accessibility features for Google Maps.

Mr. Akasaka has worked for a year with a small team of contributors to introduce accessibility guidelines to Google Maps. The result is that, in addition to the information the map tool displays about venues and locations, it now displays information helpful to people with access needs.

While this may seem minor it is a major help to those who use a wheelchair. As with much accessibility, the new information will help other people as well including people who use other devices to assist their mobility and parents of small children using strollers.

For more information read the Business Insider India article.

CAPTCHA, googles system for detecting whether or not a user is human, has in the past been a challenge for people with disabilities. However, it may “vanish” completely. That is not to say that it is going to go away, just become invisible. According to a recent CNET Article, Google is working on a new system that would be undetectable by the user called Invisible ReCAPTCHA. Last year CAPTCHA became easier for all users when No CAPTCHA appeared with its simple check box next to “I’m not a robot,” eliminating the need for solving a puzzle or typing a word from a difficult to discern image of text.  Invisible ReCAPTCHA would eliminate human interaction altogether.

If you are interested in Invisible ReCAPTCHA visit the Google ReCAPTCHA website.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, played a video that focused on the accessibility features of Apple’s products. Paulson, a woman with cerebral palsy, starred in the video. But that was just the beginning; using Switch Control to interact with her computer, Paulson edited the entire video, too.

Cook also announced a redesigned accessibility website featuring accessibility needs and how Apple’s devices address these needs. It also includes a section for inclusive education. 

Blappy is a blue tooth Android app that enables people with visual and auditory disabilities to effectively communicate. The app translates voice to text and text to voice and allows for high contrast images that can be viewed via the zoom feature. Because Blappy uses Bluetooth, it is intended for people who are 30 meters apart or less.

Blappy is currently available in four languages:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • English
  • and Portuguese

Conversations can be translated into all four languages.

Developers are currently working on an iOS version. The project was carried out with the support of UC3M's Audiovisual Accessibility Laboratory, which is part of the Center for Technologies for Disability and Dependence in UC3M’s Science Park

Here is more information on Blappy

The annual Disability Awareness and Accessibility Technology Fair from UC Davis will be held on the UC Davis campus on Wednesday, October 12. This year’s theme is “Traumatic Brain Injuries: Myths and Realities.” Three UC Davis physicians will be presenting around this topic:

  • Eric Giza, associate professor of clinical orthopedic surgery and UC Davis Health System official team physician for the Sacrament Republic FC soccer team.  
  • Melita Moore, assistant clinical professor of orthopedics and UCDHS head team physician for Aggie athletics
  • Brandee L. Waite, associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, director of the PMR Sports Medicine Fellowship and UCDHS official team physician for Sacramento Republic FC.

There will be several units from the UC Davis’ campus as well as outside vendors participating in the Accessibility Technology Fair. Free helmets will be offered by representatives of the “Helmet Hair, Don’t Care!” campaign.

Tim Berners-Lee, director of the W3C and inventor of the World Wide Web, thanked and encouraged fellow Web technologists to sustain his original vision of an open, interoperable and decentralized Web for everyone in the world in his keynote speech at the Technical Plenary and Advisory Committee (TPAC) in Lisbon, Portugal last week. Moreover, topping the technical discussions of the groups chartered by W3C regarding advancements to the Open Web Platform and industry requirements for the next generation of the Web was Accessibility.

Currently WCAG 2.0 is the standard for Web sites and has been adopted globally by many governments and organizations. Next steps around expanding features and chartering new work for WCAG 2.1 by 2017 were discussed.   This includes providing and even more robust horizontal review of all W3C standard with the goal of ensuring accesses for everyone. Also, ARIA 1.1 is ready to advance to Candidate Recommendations and is evaluating implementations.

For more on TPAC read GAATES article, “W3C Global Web Experts Plan Technical Roadmap for Future of Web.” 

Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits –is now available for purchase from the American Bar Association in print and accessible digital format. Visit the ABA website to buy the book. Use code LFLEGAL10 for a 10% discount off the purchase price.  For print-disabled readers, the book is available on Bookshare. More information about the book can be found on Lainey Feingold’s website.

"Structured Negotiationis a nuts and bolts guide to resolving claims without lawsuits in the collaborative and cost-effective method that my clients, colleagues and I have used for two decades," said Mrs. Feingold. She continues explaining, "Organizations that have signed agreements in Structured Negotiation (no lawsuits) include Major League Baseball, Walmart, Bank of America, the City and County of San Francisco, CVS, Anthem, Inc. and dozens of others. The book is full of stories about the people in the blind community and the accessible technology and information issues we have worked on (including web and mobile accessibility) in this dispute resolution process."

TheStructured Negotiation book is for lawyers, advocates, corporate, government, and accessibility champions, and clients frustrated with the conflict, procedures, stress, and run-away costs that typically accompany a filed case.  It has much to offer mediators, students of dispute resolution, and colleagues in the disability and accessibility communities.  Early praise includes the following

"As one of America’s leading civil rights lawyers, Lainey Feingold uses Structured Negotiation to obtain far-reaching settlements without litigation. Now she shares her secrets. This book should be required reading for lawyers and law students alike." Samuel R. Bagenstos, Frank G. Millard Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School; Former Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights
"Lainey Feingold’s thoughtful and experienced-based distillation of her new approach to resolving disputes through Structured Negotiation has the potential to make a major impact on how we resolve disputes. Bearing strong similarities to Collaborative Law, and integrating well with mediation, the Structured Negotiation model provides a detailed roadmap for principled peacemaking in complex cases."—David Hoffman, Esq., Founder, Boston Law Collaborative, LLC; John H. Watson, Jr. Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School
"If you are a lawyer, an advocate or a person who would like to learn how to reduce conflict in situations where people share vastly different perspectives, you’ve got to read this book." — Jessie Lorenz, Structured Negotiation participant; Executive Director, Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco
"Structured Negotiation has a reach far beyond the legal world.  Imagine if routine business and design challenges were solved with a process that assumed the win-win outcomes described in this book. Lainey’s focus on cooperation, collaboration, and problem-solving points the way to a world designed for everyone."–Whitney Quesenbery – Director, Center for Civic Design; co-Author, A Web for Everyone | Designing Accessible User Experiences

Litigation plays a crucial role in enforcing rights, and sometimes it is the best or only option. But when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Structured Negotiation offers a different set of tools. It is my hope that this book will teach readers how to use them, motivated by the Structured Negotiation success stories I am honored to share.

Scheduled Book Events:

  • Sunday October 16 (2:00 - 4:00):  Book launch and celebration at Ed Roberts Center, Berkeley CA
  • Tuesday, November 15 (5:30 - 6:30, reception following):  Harvard Program on Negotiation Book Talk, Cambridge, MA

Need more details?  Know an audience interested in having Mrs. Feingold speak about the book (or about digital accessibility that has been the subject of so much Structured Negotiation work)? Please let her know.  You can also visit the speaking page of Lainey Feingold’s website to read about upcoming events.

Read more about the book on Lainey Feingold’s website

Buy the book on the ABA website.  Use code LFLEGAL10 for 10% off the purchase price

Registered with Bookshare? Visit the Bookshare page for the Structured Negotiation book

Lainey Fingold will be speaking at the Harvard Law School campus about her new book — Structured Negotiation:  A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits — on Tuesday, November 15, at 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Paul Parravano, Co-Director, Government and Community Relations in the Office of the President at MIT will also be there to talk about his role as a claimant in two successful Structured Negotiations (with American Express and the nation’s three top credit unions) and the ways in which Structured Negotiation successes have impacted his life as a blind professional. There will be a light reception following the talk.

The talk is part of the speakers series sponsored by the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation. Here is More information about the book.

Read the advanced praise.

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