AUGUST NEWSLETTER 309
Be My Eyes
“Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call.”
Amazon Echo “Show and Tell” for Alexa
“Show and Tell is an accessibility feature that identifies common pantry items and other things using your Echo Show’s camera. Just hold up a product in front of your Echo Show’s camera and ask Alexa to identify it.
Alexa tells you what you’re holding and provides a brief description.”
Chest-mounted video camera and vibrating wristband could reduce collisions for the visually impaired by 37%:
A new chest-mounted video camera and vibrating wristband system could reduce collisions for visually-impaired people by 37 per cent, its developers claim. A new study showed that the device works for blind people, visually impaired people and those using a long cane or guide dog compared to mobility aids alone.
UN adopts first resolution on vision
The UN General Assembly approved its first-ever resolution on vision, calling on its 193 member nations to ensure access to eye care for everyone in their countries which would contribute to a global effort to help at least 1.1 billion people with vision impairment who currently lack eye services by 2030.
Perkins School for the blind offer a range of virtual activities for children as well as adults.
Full details below:
H&M tops list of accessible websites, as most retailers fail to cater for the visually impaired
Clothing retailer H&M’s homepage topped the table for accessible websites, registering a perfect score of 100 on Google Lighthouse– the only site to cater for all types of visual impairments.
At the other end of the table, motoring retailer Halfords’ homepage scored the lowest, at 49 overall, despite other sites posting worse scores across specific impairment categories.
So finds analysis from web hosting providers LCN, which has used a range of measures to identify the most and least accessible UK websites for the visually impaired.
More than 2 million people in the UK suffer from vision loss – with an additional 3 million people suffering from colour blindness – which can make the simplest online tasks a challenge. However, after analysing the 50 of the most popular UK retail sites, it seems some are still neglecting basic accessibility needs.
The best and worst sites are listed below
Gene Vision launches chatbot and Alexa services
A website established to provide patients with information and resources on rare genetic eye diseases, has launched a chatbot and Alexa tool to provide greater accessibility of its services.
The Gene Vision website was launched in December 2020 to enable adults and children and their families, who receive a diagnosis of a rare genetic eye disease, to be able to access condition-specific information, as well as updates on current research and clinical trials.
As well as supporting patients, the site aims to act as a resource for eye care professionals and allied healthcare professionals in understanding their patients’ conditions.
The website has now launched a chatbot feature which will enable users to ask questions and access information directly through the tool. A video has been created to introduce the chatbot and its applications.
Podcast about living with blindness
Blind Guy Travelsis about life without sight and the day-to-day experiences that sighted people take for granted. Further details:
Kellog’s plans cereal boxes with a code that provides labelling information for shoppers with sight loss
Kellogg’s has announced that it will roll out technology on its cereal boxes that enable shoppers with sight loss to access label and allergen information. The development follows a successful Kellogg’s Coco Pops trial last year run in partnership with Co-op. An evaluation of the pilot by Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) found that 97% of participants wanted to see more accessibility features on grocery packaging. The cereal company will change all of its cereal packaging, beginning in 2022, with the first accessible boxes of Special K to reach shelves in January.