This Month's Roundup Powered by Lenovo

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

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

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM)

In October, Americans observe Disability Employment Awareness Month by paying tribute to the accomplishments of people with disabilities in the workplace. 

Learn about the value of people with disabilities in the workforce.

Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage

Seven Reasons Why Hiring People With Disabilities Is Good for Business (Forbes)

Accommodations Cost Less Than You Think and Have a High, Positive Impact (Job Accommodation Network)

Join ServiceNow and the other 32 companies who have signed onto the Procure Access Statement!

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

What is Adobe PDF Accessibility Auto-Tag API?

PDF Accessibility Auto-Tag API is a powerful tool that may be used as part of the process of improving accessibility in individual PDFs and can be applied at scale for large backlogs of PDFs. Part of the Adobe PDF Services API offering, it is available as a REST-powered SDK with underlying Sensei AI and is easily called by automated workflows.

Adobe Auto Tag API Overview

Salesforce  Dreamforce  2023

Once again, Dreamforce was a massive, groundbreaking success. Catch any of the innovation, inspiration, or magic moments you might have missed. Check out 120+ episodes, plus highlights tailored just for you by topic, role, or industry. It’s all here, and it’s all free.

The episode below is just one of the many examples of the importance of why accessibility is integral to inclusion.

Play episode – Mike Hess Is a Trailblazer

Mike Hess has dedicated his career to promoting inclusivity and accessibility in tech for the disability community. Learn why diversity in your workforce will drive stronger technology solutions.

Adaptive at Walmart

Walmart is making a new push to better serve people with disabilities with a variety of adaptive products ranging from clothing to technology. Chek out the list of accessible products ranging from clothing, technology, hearing aids, sensory toys and more.    

Adaptive At Walmart

What Is Microsoft Copilot? Here’s Everything You Need to Know | ZDNet

Microsoft Copilot refers to Microsoft’s AI companion that will span across all of Microsoft’s applications and experiences, including Microsoft 365, Windows 11, Edge, and Bing. With Copilot, users will be able to get AI assistance in virtually every aspect of their workflows across the different Microsoft applications:
CNET Article on Microsoft Copilot

Other Accessibility Highlights for this Month

Announcing ‘Be My AI,’ Soon Available for Hundreds of Thousands of Be My Eyes Users 

Be My Eyes’ AI assistant, powered by GPT-4, is rolling out to hundreds of thousands of iOS users over the next several weeks:

What’s New In iOS 17 Accessibility for Blind and Deaf-Blind Users | Scott Davert | AppleVis.

It’s difficult to believe that iOS will be turning into a legal adult next fall, though the iOS 17 upgrade is far from being minor. Many new features and functions will be available for everyone. To check out some of the mainstream changes, Apple’s official iOS 17 preview page may help. Alternatively, our main post announcing iOS 17 offers a large list of mainstream enhancements as well as a list of changes in accessibility. Not all devices which supported iOS 16 will support iOS 17; for a list of devices which will, check out this CNET article.

The goal of this article is not to repeat the information widely available from other sources, but to look at it in a bit more detail where new accessibility features are concerned.

The Best and Weirdest Gadgets Coming To Homes Soon | Tim Biggs | The Sydney Morning Herald

From robot helpers to smart home sensors, all the latest connected tech was present last week at IFA, the world’s largest consumer electronics show in Berlin. We sat through the livestreams and pored through the press releases, and here are some of the smartest and weirdest innovations potentially coming soon to a home near you:

The secret ‘language’ only blind people can understand – and it’s not Braille.

To the ordinary ear, the sounds are usually an unintelligible form of gobbledygook. 

Most people are shocked when they’re told it’s English – just sped up to approximately 4-6 times the average speed of human speech.–and-its-not-braille/667eca67-a032-497e-a8fe-2bfd0d57e1c7

A transparent look into Seattle’s digital accessibility practices  

The website is the gateway to digital interactions with the City of Seattle. The Digital Engagement Team developed the website’s About Our Digital Properties section to provide transparency into City practices. We display analytics about the website and explain the City’s approach to all public-facing web applications. The goal of inclusivity is broken down into user experience, accessibility, digital equity, and privacy topics.

Tech Talk

Digital Accessibility Conferences and Events

October 10-12, M-Enabling Summit, Washington DC, @mEnablingSummit

October 19-20, Accessibility Toronto Conference, @a11yTO #a11yTOConf

November 6-10, 26th Annual Accessing Higher Ground in Denver, CO, hybrid

December 1-3 Abilities Expo, Dallas Market Hall, Dallas TX

January 9-12, 2024 CES- Las Vegas, NV