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FCC Announces Awards for Innovations in Accessibility Communications

in Broadband's Impact/Education/FCC/Health by

ARLINGTON, Virginia, June 9, 2014 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler presented the third annual awards for advances in accessibility to innovators of communications technology for disabled people. The awards were presented at the M-Enabling Summit at the Renaissance Arlington Capitol View Hotel here.

The awards ceremony and initiative seeks to make possible exchange among “industry, assistive technology companies, app developers, government representatives and consumers to share best practices and solutions for accessible communications technologies,” according to the agency.

“The potential of broadband-enabled technology to improve the lives of Americans living with disabilities is almost limitless – but only if that technology is accessible,” Wheeler said in a statement.  “I’m glad that these awards can help spark the development of new and creative technologies that furthers the important goal of making communications accessible for all Americans.”

The awards were presented in seven categories, with the winners each listed below:

Advanced Communication Services (ACS)

Braille Plus 18

Braille Plus 18, developed by the American Printing House for the Blind, is a portable tablet/communication device with an 18-cell Braille display that is the world’s first Android device designed specifically for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Closed Captions

Adobe Primetime

Adobe Primetime, developed by Adobe Systems, is a set of tools for online video distribution, playback, and analysis that are used to support the provision of closed captions on multiple online platforms and devices, including TVs, PCs, set top boxes, tablets, phones and other video devices and players.

Employment Opportunities

Texas Multi-Agency Office 2010 Training Collaboration

“Creating Accessible Microsoft Office 2010 Documents,” developed by the Texas Multi-Agency Office 2010 Training Collaboration, and hosted by the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, is a free, Web-based set of accessible training modules offering step-by-step instructions for creating captioned videos, MP-3 voice recordings and transcripts in Word and PDF formats. The collaborative effort takes advantage of social media and low-cost technology to teach accessible design of popular electronic document formats in the workplace.

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Game Accessibility Guidelines

Game Accessibility Guidelines is a straightforward developer-friendly set of free guidelines to foster access by people with disabilities across the full spectrum of gaming products and ensure the quality-of-life benefits of interactive entertainment are open to as wide a range of people as possible. The guidelines have a strong emphasis on intellectual and learning disabilities, including techniques for enhancing in-game communication ranging from dyslexia-friendly typography to symbol based chat and visual map-based messaging.

Mobile Web Browsers

Capti Narrator

Capti Narrator, developed by Charmtech Labs LLC, simplifies mobile Web browsing and makes iOS devices more accessible by enabling people with disabilities to listen to news, e-books and other documents anywhere and at any time.

Social Media

EasyChirp

Easy Chirp, developed by Dennis Lembree, is a free Web app that facilitates communicating via Twitter and is optimized for users with disabilities. Optimization examples include: proper coding for screen reader use by people who are blind, high contrast; large text and zoom support for people with low vision; and other aspects to better enable access by people with motor and cognitive disabilities. Most recently, Easy Chirp added a feature which provides a method to tweet an image with alternative text.

Video Description

YouDescribe and the Descriptive Video Exchange (DVX)

YouDescribe, developed by the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, is a website and application protocol interface (API) for creating and playing crowd-sourced, synchronized video descriptions of YouTube videos.

Adobe Primetime

Adobe Primetime, developed by Adobe Systems, is a set of tools for online video distribution, playback, and analysis that are used to support the provision of closed captions on multiple online platforms and devices, including TVs, PCs, set top boxes, tablets, phones and other video devices and players.

 

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