When my friends tell me “Google is taking over the world,” I usually just shrug. Recently, I’ve been starting to think, “Wow, maybe Google really is taking over the world one function at a time.” This shift in my thinking came after reading about ChromeVox, an app developed for Google users with visual impairments. Then I began checking into the other apps for accessibility, including ChromeShades and ChromeVis, and quite a few others in the Chrome Web Store (make sure to search for accessibility.)
Google is taking accessibility seriously and that is what we need around here! We are behind in providing accessibility for all of our children in schools, but it is good to know that Google cares. They are attending the CSUN International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference. According to Google’s blog, they are not just attending the conference to discuss their own progress, but also to “discuss improvements for the future.” Thank you! There are some wonderful things happening in the world of assistive technology and augmentative communication, but more is needed, so lets be sure that when we discuss progress, we do it with a desire to continue innovating new technologies that support accessibility for all.
If you have ideas for how to improve accessibility through development of new products or improvement of existing products, submit them here. I just submitted multiple ideas for supporting kids with LD and those who struggle with reading, including one idea to develop a tool to support struggling readers to navigate the internet for research purposes. Will someone write back? I’m not sure, but if you have an idea about how to support accessibility, it’s worth submitting for the small chance that Google may find your idea intriguing.
Thank you Google, for taking all learners and users of your technology seriously…and for giving us a voice.