Skip to comments.Bill seeks to make electronics accessible to blind, deaf
Posted on 08/17/2010 6:52:14 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
Bill seeks to make electronics accessible to blind, deaf
By Cecilia Kang
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 17, 2010; A10
Blind and deaf consumers, who have fought to make home phones and television more accessible, say they are being left behind on the Web and many mobile devices. Touch-based smartphone screens confound blind people who rely on buttons and raised type. Web video means little to the deaf without captioning.
But legislation is in the works to put pressure on consumer electronics companies that revolutionized an earlier generation of technology for the vision- and hearing-impaired.
"Whether it's a Braille reader or a broadband connection, access to technology is not a political issue -- it's a participation issue," said Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the author of a House bill aimed at making the Internet more accessible to people with disabilities. "We've moved from Braille to broadcast, from broadband to the BlackBerry. We've moved from spelling letters in someone's palm to the PalmPilot. And we must make all of these devices accessible."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
If the government mandates accessibility on the web, most websites will have to be rebuilt.
As a web developer, I stand to reap the windfall.
Didn’t the DOJ take action against Amazon’s kindle because, while it was capable of reading the book for the blind, it still requires a sighted person to start it up?
Look for electronics to become more expensive and more complicated.
Heaven forbid somebody provide a market solution for the blind.
George: I tell ya, I am hooked on these books on tape.
Blind Man: Oh, tell me about it. These things have ruined me for Braille.
Oh. Okay. Well, if it's not a political issue, let's have the politicians step aside and agree not to pass any laws or use any taxpayer funds to enforce equal outcomes and win political favors.
I once created a website for my Army Reserve unit, for publication on the DOD unit listings. It was repeatedly rejected because it was not optimized for the deaf or the blind.
I gave up and told them to shove it up their ass.
Root cause was that Kindle like devices would render textbooks very inexpensive. Dr. College Professor would no longer be able to pen his own textbook and make it required reading - at $95 a pop - for his captive audience.
Isn’t there, by now, an after-market, crude, speech-to-text converter and text-to-speech converter that will suffice to give someone at least a rudimentary idea of what is going on on any particular page? Hell, even Bablefish gives you some idea of what is going on on a foreign language page, enough to decide if it’s worth staying for more.
Is Bob Dole still alive??
I’d like to thank the OR (Original Rino) for the ADA, which gives the cover of precedent to nonsense such as this....
I’m still mystified by braille on the drive-up ATM machines.
Many colleges have prohibited such practices. I had several professors that did this back in the mid 1980’s, but they were finally slapped down by the university.
The ADA was nothing more than a gift to trial lawyers who have used it to make money with nonsense lawsuits based on it.
When California installed roadside emergency phones they were sued based on the fact that they were not equipped with a number pad that could be used by the blind. All of them (one every two miles of roadway) had to be retrofitted.
So if car you are driving or riding in, breaks down and you are blind, feel secure that once you manage to find the roadside phone you will be able to use it.
I was on the State of Michigan website last week.
They still have a number for TTY.
This certainly isn’t nonsense. As a late-deafened adult, I rely on captioning and many hard of hearing people couldn’t watch TV without captioning. There are over 36 million people with hearing loss/deafness in this country and providing captions on the internet is not costly. The original videos are already captioned and it’s usually just a small step to include those captions on the internet versions. Google is way ahead in this and now offers captioning on all you tube videos. They have developed a program that can already do this and in a few years it will be much better. Google also has a voice to text feature in the android. This is because one of googles V.P.’s, Vinton Cerf, is deaf and he realizes that the internet puts everyone on equal footing and it should remain that way. Shame on you commentors who oppose the ADA.
Maybe it will help to create jobs?
Isn’t it for blind people that have someone that takes care of them and drives them around?
YouTube had a Beta of a voice to CC converter in their players. Given the generally awful quality of audio in YouTube clips, and given the immense processing power required for untrained speech to text converters, it was unsurprisingly bad.
If every YouTube clip has to be closed captioned, it will be the end of the service. It is nigh on impossible to CC that many clips to the standards the ADA requires.
” [snip rant]. Shame on you commentors who oppose the ADA. “
Rarely have I seen a more fitting FR screenname.....
You say unsurprisingly bad.... I say unexpectedly funny in much the same vein as the Monty Python Hungarian phrasebook sketch. My hovercraft is full of eels.