Blog - Technology

Gold medal with a number 1 in relief
 

Last week the winners of the Chairman's Awards for Advancements in Accessibility (AAA) were recognized at an awards ceremony in Arlington, VA. The 4 winners are all very exciting technologies that benefit people with vision impairment, hearing impairment, cognitive disabilities and even for those learning English as a Second Language. Let's take a look at this year's winners.

Eclipse. The dark moon covers the sun leaving only visible a ring of fire.
 

Not being able to see is not an excuse to miss the upcoming eclipse. NASA’s Heliophysics Education Consortium created the Eclipse Soundscapes Project, which will allow people to experience the eclipse in a different way. It will include “audio descriptions of the eclipse in real time, recordings of the changing environmental sounds during the eclipse, and an interactive “rumble map” app that will allow users to visualize the eclipse through touch.” Isn’t it awesome

YouDescribe symbol.
 

The public beta of the new YouDescribe platform was released on May 18th. The team at YouDescribe has been working very hard for months to create this new version of their describing platform for YouTube videos.

Partido de fútbol americano.  Graderías llenas de gente. Subtítulo: Audiencia gritando.
 

On March 23rd, YouTube launched its improved automatic captioning system that now includes sound effects. This first release of their new system includes the following sounds: [APPLAUSE], [MUSIC] and [LAUGHTER].

Several icons (laptop, shopping cart, etc) float on a white background
 

The first draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 was published on February 28th by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and is available for comments until the end of this month.

Icons on a TV screen. Some of them are Netflix, YouTube and Pandora
 

The deadline to implement the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) accessibility requirements for controls, menus, and program guides for TVs, set-top boxes and other devices was reached on December 20th.

Girl and a woman look a laptop screen
 

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, through the Administration for Community Living (ACL), has given Dicapta resources for the first stage of its project “Digital Aided Descriptions (DAD): An application to encourage learning through creativity and dialogue.”

A cloud with Braille characters floats over a smartphone. Underneath "GoCC4All"
 

Through the years, we have provided access to audiovisual media for people with sensory disabilities. We have worked closely with people who are deaf-blind and it has inspired us to find solutions for their needs.

A pair of hands touches a braille display.
 

On August 4th, the Federal Communications Commission – FCC, made permanent the iCanConnect program that provides free communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind.