This Month's Roundup Powered by: Otis.

Welcome to Disability: IN’s monthly round-up of digital accessibility news for December.

At Disability:IN we know that digital accessibility impacts all aspects of disability inclusion. If you have questions about our digital accessibility program, please contact Jeff Wissel, our Chief Accessibility Officer.

Disability:IN Happenings

Newly Released: The Disability Imperative

Disability:IN and Accenture announced the release of our new report: The Disability Inclusion Imperative. Building on the 2018 landmark report on disability inclusion at work in the United States, the 2023 update to the business case is enlightening.

Read the Accenture Report (PDF)

Register for the Disability Equality Index

Registration for the 2024 Disability Equality Index (DEI) is live. There is an exciting addition to this year’s survey. Procurement Accessibility is a new category with non-weighted questions for 2024. Advancing accessibility through procurement is a critical component of a mature accessibility program. Is your company advancing accessibility through your procurement process? If so, then consider signing on to the Procure Access Statement. Wherever you are on the journey of establishing or advancing accessibility in your procurement process you can find the information you need in the Procure Access Toolkit.

And be sure to watch the Building Block Series to learn how industry leaders have implemented accessibility requirements into their procurement processes.

Spotlight on Disability:IN Partners using technology to enhance the accessibility of products we use every day.

Partner Article: Disability is a parent of invention

“Proverb holds that ‘necessity is the mother of all invention.’  This International Day of People with Disabilities #IDPWD, I invite you to join me in recognizing disability as another parent of invention.” Read the full article from Otis’ Christy Vanek on LinkedIn.

Small Changes, Big Impact: Sensory-Friendly Hours Return at Walmart

Creating a more inclusive shopping experience for all. Belonging looks different for each person, but when we listen and value everyone’s perspectives, thoughtful change can happen. 

Learn more about Walmart’s Sensory Friendly Shopping Hours.

Disney Releases New Dr. Who With Audio Description in the United States

Walt Disney Company has released the new season of Doctor Who with audio description in the United States on the same day as its global release. This is a significant milestone for blind and visually impaired viewers, who have long been advocating for access to audio description for all television programming:

LinkedIn adds Accessibility Features with the Help of Microsoft’s Immersive Reader

The platform will support text-to-speech and real-time translations in articles and newsletters.

Learn more about LinkedIn’s added Accessibility Features. 

Seeing AI Advances | Ophthalmic Edge

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a dominant force in technology, and it’s encouraging to note that people with vision loss are benefiting. In August 2017, we first reported the new Seeing AI app from Microsoft, an intelligent camera that translates images into words for people with low vision or blindness. The app is part of an ongoing research project, founded and led by software engineer Saqib Shaikh, who also worked on the development of Bing search and the Cortana voice assistant. He well understands the needs of people with vision loss, having lost his own sight at the age of seven. It was a labor of love for Saqib, and it appeared to be an incredibly magnanimous gesture on the part of Microsoft. They created the app (so far exclusively) for Apple iOS. The app was, and remains, free on the App Store. As Seeing AI launched, they promised the “best was yet to come,” and we’d have to say, that is true:

Adobe’s AI-powered Project Sound Lift

Sound Lift can separate background noise from the sound of someone’s voice.

Learn more about the new audio tool. 

How Your Smartphone Can Help If You Have Hearing Loss | Kami Funk |

Eighty-five percent of people now own a smartphone. Smartphones are ubiquitous tools nowadays. But did you know they can also be accessibility tools for people with hearing loss or hearing-related disabilities?

Explore the features that make your smartphone an excellent accessibility tool for hearing-related disabilities.

You Can Control Your iPhone Without Using Your Hands. Here’s How | CNBC

There is an accessibility feature on your iPhone called Voice Control that allows you to control the device with no hands. You can use it to pay credit card bills, scroll on apps and browse the internet. You can also use Voice Control in combination with Siri to get the most benefit out of the features.

Learn more about Voice Control. 

CVS Expands Availability of OTC Hearing Aids | The Hearing Review

CVS Pharmacy recently expanded their availability of three over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids to over 1,000 locations across 39 states, with five also available for purchase through the CVS website

43 Microsoft Edge Keyboard Shortcuts To Remember For Stylish And Speedy Web Surfing |

Scrolling through the list of Microsoft Edge keyboard shortcuts can be daunting, but this guide has you covered. In the fast-paced world of web browsing, efficiency is key. Microsoft Edge offers a plethora of keyboard shortcuts that can significantly enhance your browsing experience.

Explore these Microsoft Edge keyboard shortcuts categorized for your convenience and make navigating the digital realm a breeze.

Other Accessibility Highlights for this Month

Digital Accessibility Podcasts | Ricky Onsman | TPGi

You’ve subscribed to the newsletters and RSS feeds, you’ve expanded your library, but what about digital accessibility podcasts?

AI Suitcase Tested Outdoors To Guide Visually Impaired People

During an experiment in September, the smart suitcase guided Chieko Asakawa, director of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), to the nearest station from her workplace in Tokyo’s Koto Ward.

Screen Recording on iOS: Tips and Tricks for Beginners | AppleVis

To activate screen recording on iOS, follow these steps:

‘No One Is Doing That’: Louisville Museum Under Construction Aims To Be 100% Accessible

The American Printing House for the Blind broke ground about six months ago on the Dot Experience, a museum it hopes will be unlike any other.

New PAC 2021 Checker

Some great news for the accessibility community. PAC 2021 (The Free PDF Accessibility Checker and Validator) is now back under its original creators, Axes software. It is no longer affiliated with The PDF/UA Foundation. Download the free checker from the PAC web page. 

This High-Tech Shirt Helps Deaf And Hard-Of-Hearing People Enjoy Opera | The Washington Post: Subscription Required

A pilot program at the Lyric Opera of Chicago is trying on a new approach for deaf and hard-of-hearing people to experience opera: the SoundShirt, a jacketlike garment equipped with 16 haptic actuators that transmit sound from the orchestra and stage into pulses, vibrations and other forms of haptic feedback in the shirt itself.

Digital Accessibility Conferences and Events

December 1- 2, 2023 | Blind Health Expo 2023 |

December 6- 7, 2023 | Sight Tech Global

January 9 – 12, 2024 CES- LAS VEGAS, NV

CES Tech Trade Show Las Vegas

January 25-27, 2024

Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) – Online and Orlando, FL

February 20-22, 2024

axe-con 2024- Online