Here’s the real challenge – getting everyone to understand that accessibility is for everybody. Too often people with disabilities are considered to be the ‘others’. This is the biggest problem with getting people to embrace the idea of accessibility and for product designers to embrace the philosophy of Universal Design. In Silicon Valley we’ve always spoken of good design but, to convey this idea more effectively I have needed to dumb down the language to say, “get the specs right on human beings.”
The Justice Department announced today that it has entered a landmark consent decree with H&R Block in National Federation of the Blind, et al. and United States v. HRB Digital LLC, et al. The decree resolves the Department’s first ADA lawsuit centered on the accessibility of corporate websites and mobile applications. Under the decree, H&R Block will make its website, tax filing utility, and mobile applications conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to the Level AA Success Criteria, will pay damages to the two named plaintiffs, and pay a civil penalty. H&R Block will also take a number of steps to maintain the accessibility of www.hrblock.com and its mobile apps with WCAG 2.0 AA, including adopting a policy, training employees and ensuring accountability, conducting regular automated and user testing, and regular reporting.
The American Visionary Art Museum selects its award honorees for their courage as intuitive innovators and in recognition of their life’s creative work to expand the realm of human dignity, beauty, and social justice. Senator Barbara Mikulski attended and Ray enjoyed getting to know the other honoree Jack Andraka, who was presented with the Young Genius Award — he developed an early detection test for pancreatic cancer when he was 14 and won the Intel International Science Fair. Other guests included the National Federation of the Blind leadership including President Marc Maurer, PhD and his wife Mrs. Maurer, Jim Gashel and his wife Mrs. Gashel, and Mrs. Mary Ellen Jernigan. Ray was accompanied by his friends Brent and Jenn Dearth, who married after having met at a screening of Transcendent Man, where he gave a presentation.
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A global aging survey undertaken by Dr. George Mason of the East-West Center of University of Hawaii has identified that 27 nations have advanced aging populations and that these silver tsunamis are not being addressed by any current government programs or business enterprises.
I would like the state, county and city governments to undertake a census/audit of accessibility accommodations in all facilities and community assets relating to government. I would like them to put this in an open source database from Code for America which is called Shareabouts.
Shareabouts has a simple interface that makes it easy to add your voice to the map: suggest a location, add a comment, support other suggestions and share locations with your friends and neighbors. Shareabouts gets out of the way, letting you focus on getting points on the map. Behind the scenes, it’s a simple single-page Django app powered by Backbone and Leaflet. Data storage is provided by the Shareabouts REST API.
Once the database has been populated we can import this information into our community GPS referenced guide system which would provide travel and tourism information to any travelers who may have impairments and require knowledge about the accessibility and accommodations available in their surroundings. This will be a vital tool for addressing the problem identified in the OSS (Open Source Software) – ATT stakeholder survey which found over 50% of people with impairments avoid travel because they cannot be assured of reliable information relating to the accessibility of local accommodations.
When this system is in place it will be the first example of any community ever undertaking a survey of their accessibility and the only time anyone ever advertises the fact that they are in fact accessible. I envision the legislature appropriating funds necessary to install beacons at all airports and to promote Hawaii as an accessible destination which welcomes people challenged by impairments along with the rest of their family and friends.
The PASSAGE SMARTPHONE APP which reads and interprets information received from iBEACONS associated with people, places and/or objects relating to nearby ACCESSIBLE accommodations is available as a BRANDED PRIVATE LABEL APP for your HOTEL and TOURISM BUSINESS.
Since GPS does not reach interiors, the PASSAGE SMARTPHONE APP allows you to ACCURATELY PINPOINT the LOCATION INSIDE the sprawling complexes of our major HOTELS here in HAWAII to REACH and ADVISE GUESTS on the ACCESSIBILITY of the many TOUR PROVIDERS, STORES, RESTAURANTS and TENANTS within their complexes, BROADCAST simple or rich PUSH NOTIFICATIONS to installed apps in real time, from triggering ADVERTISING, PRODUCTIVITY and USERS EXPERIENCE to SECURITY relevant events like disabling or enabling the camera feature or entire apps on your device, making use of ENDPOINT PROTECTOR MOBILE DEVICE MANAGEMENT.
Because 50% of the traveling public carry smartphones and one in six travelers’ impairments require some type of ACCESSIBILITY ACCOMMODATION it is of critical importance that they receive reliable and definitive information about the ACCESSIBILITY OF THEIR ROUTES as well as WAYPOINTS to guide them when visual information is not available. ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION might include textual or graphical information provided by signage, information and guidance to accessible restroom facilities, elevators, ramps and emergency exits.
ACCESSIBILITY IS GOOD BUSINESS
American adults with disabilities or reduced mobility spend an average of $13.6 billion a year on travel. Creating accessible cruise ships, accessible ship terminals, accessible transportation, and accessible tourist destinations is not charity, it is just good business, according to Dr Scott Rains, US expert on disability. There are 51.2 million people with disabilities in the United States. More than one in six people in this country are potential customers for businesses that are accessible to people with disabilities. Four million people turn 50 each year and they are spending 400 billion per year, are they spending it with you? One in five people in Hawaii lives with accessibility issues, are you reaching them? Are you social enough? Help promote your accessible customer services, accessible tours, events, facilities and businesses to those who need them most.
Here’s my interview with Jay Fidell of Think Tech Hawaii – Social Entrepreneurs in an Aging World http://youtu.be/wVjSAw5y9jw
I recently found an interview from 2009 when I lived in Idaho and was advocating on behalf of the accessibility community there. The issues are the same, as are the villains, however the Obama administration hasn’t turned out to be as advertised. Sorry I had anything to do with it.
Here is a direct link to Gavins summary of the interview on his wordpress page,
though the link seems to be broken or not work for me and he hasn’t posted anything new in a few years. Gavin is still active on his twitter page https://twitter.com/mythillogic
You need to visit Kauai brother!
Looking back now, I can see that my passion has not diminished, though I tend to use less expletives.
The contents of this link has been rated PG-13 for cussing out corporados. $@*#
I am Gordon Fuller, the host of FUTURESENSE TV This is what I know about and this is what we talk about:
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