Good publicity for Google who are rolling out machine-generated captions on 13 of their channels including YouTube. Key phrases such as ‘The software engineer behind the technology, Ken Harrenstien, is deaf’ and ‘Vint Cerf, vice president at Google, is ….hard of hearing’ emphasise how there’s no one better to create an accessible internet than those who encounter the most barriers. Example Victor Tsaran, Yahoo accessibility engineer, seen on this video explaining how he screen reads his computer Still no captions though.
On the subject of accessibility I’ve been reminded this week of two code checkers which offer comprehensive overhauls of your html. The FAE web accessibility checker and HERA . Also this week I’ve been helped out again by the British Computer Association for the Blind. Incidently, if you haven’t come across the BCAB Guide Cats for the Blind cd series based on the musings of Les Barker, and if traditional humour is your thing, then give them a try.
I posted earlier this week about the ‘blindingly good’ WordPress site created by a VI blogger; an example of the opportunities the Internet provides for communication and access to information especially when your life gets limited by lack of sight. Digital data can, in the words of the BBC charter, inform, educate and entertain and has the potential do so much more. Equity of access should be a prime motivator to ensure no one gets left behind. If the big-name-players with online presence like Google can start making alternative versions appear as second nature that’s a giant step forward. Amazon, Tesco, M&S and the rest take note.