Publications and resources
Welcome back to the 34th episode of the EBU Access Cast where, as always, we provide you with the news around assistive technology and accessibility. This episode, hosted by Paweł and co-hosted by Tanja, Mario and Hlynur contains big amounts of news from the Big companies out there, impressions of technology we have ourselves tested and a nice demo at the end so tune in and enjoy! You can always review the transcript of the podcast if that form suits you better.
For any lovers of movies and TV Series, Paweł has tested Teleparty, a browser extension that allows a group of friends to watch a movie together with everyone keeping their individual audio and subtitle settings intact.
We then head of to find out what Microsoft has in store. The announcement of the Surface Adaptive Kit has made rounds all over the Internet. We discuss possible use cases for the blind helped by Tanja who has recently tested one of the Surface laptops. Of course we did not forget that Windows 11 has recently been released. WE start off the discussion on that particular topic by diving into running Android apps on Windows 11 and how accessible and usable that is going to be. Those of us who have had a chance to run windows 11 share their first impressions. But Microsoft doesn’t just stop there. They also organize a handful of webinars addressing all that changed in Windows 11 in regards to accessibility. Speaking of events, this year’s editions of the NVDACon and Sighttech Global are taking place soon.
On a more negative note, Apple has recently made itself a bit of a bad name with the blind community. Firstly, the developer of the Flicktype keyboard has had problems publishing into the App Store then he discovered his app was turned into an Apple Watch feature. Next, a blind developer has had issues updating one of his games. Finally, a rain of headlines fell upon the Internet as many blind users discovered that Siri features such as checking the call log or sending E-mails were gone. These examples show how lack of awareness on accessibility issues appearing in some departments of even the biggest companies, coupled with the politics behind technology can severely affect our access to solutions we use every day.
On the Google front, a new version of the Android Accessibility Suite was released with a surprisingly huge jump in the version numbering. Are the changes significant enough to justify such a change? We also congratulate the users in Slovenia and Belgium, as Slovenian and Belgian French join the family of Vocalizer voices on Android. Further down the Google line, Youtube is rolling out a slew of new features that should make audio more accessible. Can you hear that audiodescription coming? Come and find out!
We also had a last-minute, surprising news from Mastercard who have announced their brand-new accessible card design.
We also discussed the appearance of Susan Bennett, the voice actress behind the original Siri voice, in the latest campaign by UserWay. Can the gap in accessibility be bridged by a single line of code and how does the marketing in the accessibility space look like today?
To top the whole show off, Hlynur introduces us to Isak, an Icelandic developer behind Retinaid, a way to revolutionize playing tabletop games by blind people. Feel free to contact Isak to find out how you can get involved in testing and check out the list of currently supported games (PDF).