illustration of A blue animated bird stands on a patch of grass under a sunset sky.

The Iconfactory Co-Founder Gedeon Maheux Talks Accessibility On Twitter, ‘The Blow’ Of Losing Twitterrific In New Interview

Elon Musk’s Twitter took another turn for the worst this past week when the company announced an update to its developer agreement which reads in part that “you will not or attempt to (and will not allow others to)… use or access the Licensed Materials to create or attempt to create a substitute or similar service or product to the Twitter Applications.” The translation from legalese to plain English is simple: third-party clients can get bent—forever. The news came a week after notable Twitter clients like Tweetbot and Twitterrific unceremoniously and mysteriously stopped working, leading Twitter’s official @TwitterDev account to tweet confirming the outage saying its “enforcing its longstanding API rules” while acknowledging some apps may break as a result of the newly-implemented policy.

photo of Bernard Chiira, Director of Innovate Now, Africa’s first accelerator for disability technology startups

Disability Tech Is A Game Changer For 2023 And Beyond

People with disabilities are entering a new world of opportunity as they rely increasingly on advances in technology — including mobility devices as well as hardware, software, and peripherals — all geared to addressing their needs.

This sea change is evident in the conversation shift about disability from cost to value, from liability to innovation potential. There are several exciting trends driving this change:

photo of PlayStation 5 console

PlayStation Developing Accessible Controller

One of the biggest names in video gaming is working to make its offering more accessible to people with disabilities.

Sony introduced an accessibility kit this month designed to work out of the box with its PlayStation 5 console.

The customizable controller is intended to “help many players with disabilities play games more easily, more comfortably, and for longer periods,” wrote Hideaki Nishino, senior vice president of platform experience for Sony Interactive Entertainment, in a blog post.

photo of two people reading a book and a smartphone

Free assistive reading app could support over 800 million people with dyslexia globally

An assistive technology solutions provider has launched a new reading app that creates an inclusive opportunity for the millions of adults and children who have dyslexia at CES 2023.

FACIL’iti’s new app, MYdys, is a “first of its kind” free dyslexia app that uses optical character recognition (OCR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies to enable users to customise captured textual content from a variety of mediums and adapt it to suit their needs.

photo of an Irish farm and road

Enabling digital accessibility will democratise technology in 2023 and beyond

The internet has not always been widely available. In fact, it was not until the 1990s that the widespread use of the internet intruded into the lives of most advanced societies and economies. Since then, the proliferation of digital experiences has utterly transformed the way in which we interact with each other, consume content and do business. The evolution of technology has had numerous ramifications from the obvious to the entirely unexpected.

photo of TransLink bus stop sign

TransLink testing new accessibility tool to help customers with sight loss better navigate transit system independently

TransLink is testing an accessibility tool – the first of its kind in Canada – that can help customers with sight loss better navigate the transit system independently.

Starting in late February, customers can download the NaviLens app through the Apple Store or Google Play to scan specialized coded decals, resembling QR codes, at three transit locations. Once the decals are scanned, the app provides audio instructions that guide customers to bus stops and exact points of pick-up. The app can also identify nearby amenities, such as elevators, and provide real-time information alerts.

photo of woman applying makeup

With New Technology, L’Oréal Looks To Make Makeup More Accessible

A major beauty brand is debuting a device aimed at ensuring that individuals with disabilities can apply makeup all by themselves.

L’Oréal says it has created a handheld smart makeup applicator that can help people with limited hand and arm mobility easily and independently apply their own lipstick.

photo of hands holding glasses reading medical bills

Helping the visually impaired access medical information and bills

Kyle Frownfelter guides people through whatever tech problem comes their way.

“You’ve got JAWS on your system, right? So JAWS is a screen reader for visually impaired, blind, visually impaired folks,” Frownfelter explained. “And what it does is it reads the screen and the contents of the screen in a synthetic voice.”

As an Assistive Technology Instructor for the Northeastern Association of the Blind, he answers calls and provides hands on tech training for those who are visually impaired.

“Well, what we’re working on, Marco? We’re really setting up this computer for me to use anywhere, you know, because it’s not fully set up for me to use for job searching,” Frownfelter

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