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Updated no 11 - 2018

News from Funka
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Funka's Christmas gifts: great deals for those who have money left in this year's budget!

In this year's Christmas stocking, we have put some popular services and products that we think may fit when the year is coming to an end. Could you think of a better way to spend the left overs from this years’ budget, than making your website work better for users?

European Union flags in front of the Berlaymont building. Photo

One step closer to the European Accessibility Act!

After years of discussions, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers finally agreed on a statement on the European Commission's proposal for a European Accessibility Act. The likelihood that the law actually will published this year has risen significantly.

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Funka in Australia

Australia has chosen to implement the same requirements for accessibility as the EU, namely the European Standard EN301549, as mandatory requirements for public procurement. Funka's Susanna Laurin, one of the experts behind the standard, provides support to the Australian government in the process.

A person who makes a card payment through the computer. Photo

Klarna gets a clearer view of the user perspective

An important principle for the bank Klarna is to see the world from the user's perspective. To facilitate all of the bank's customers, Funka was assigned to make a review of design based on the current standard.

Digital health. Photo

Funka in EU-project to improve digital health solutions

Funka is a proud partner of DigitalHealthEurope, a EU-funded project that will support deployment of digital solutions for person-centred integrated care in Europe.

A person watching tv and using a remote control. Photo

Altibox creates accessible TV experience with the help of Funka

The Norwegian broadband operator Altibox wants to create a TV experience that is good for as many as possible. The goal is that customers easily can find the content that they are interested in. Funka has reviewed the Altibox app and TV interface for accessibility.

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CEO’s corner: Thanks for another amazing year!

Another year of accessibility work is coming to an end. Funkas’ CEO Susanna Laurin writes about the importance of positive feedback and the need to give appreciation to those who do the right thing.

Three questions
Christopher Lee. Photo

Three Questions for Christopher Lee, Managing Director of IAAP, the International Association of Accessibility Professionals

What are the plans for IAAP during 2019 and do you see any big challenges for accessibility issues?

IAAP’s focus is to bring accessibility professionals from around the world together to help define, promote and improve the profession. As the new Managing Director of IAAP, my plans for 2019 are to build on the foundation of our core organizational objectives by expanding our certification program and approved certification preparation providers network. Another priority for 2019 is to support our international chapters in their commitment to promoting IAAP’s mission in their specific region.

We are also focusing on a big challenge in terms of digital accessibility, which is the procurement of accessibility ICTs. As an organization it is vital to have policies and protocol in place to address procurement. IAAP is working hard on the development of a Procurement Specialist certification to be launched in 2019.

You are the coordinator of the IAAP Higher Education Accessibility Webinar and Technical Assistance Series program “Implementing a Campus Accessibility Framework”. Why is this theme so important?

The concept behind the higher education accessibility webinar series is to offer colleges knowledge and resources about implementing their own accessibility methodology and strategic framework. Too often, organizations are reactive to an accessibility complaint. The nine-month series is meant to package information and technical assistance to help guide campuses to be proactive and learn from each other on setting up an ICT accessibility framework that is specific to the campus's needs. Campuses who have chosen to implement an internal network accommodation and ICT accessibility support have a more likely chance to

  • decrease accommodation and accessibility costs by reducing duplication
  • apply centralized solutions for accessibility compliance testing and tracking
  • manage their vendor accessibility lifecycle
  • transfer accessibility knowledge to faculty and staff
  • develop an internal network of certified accessibility professionals
  • leverage campus-to-campus resource sharing

These are all incorporating factors that campuses should be considering in the development of their ICT accessibility strategic framework, thus, supporting their information and communication technology development, purchases, and deployment. We are also planning to localize the series, currently we are discussing with the IAAP Nordic about how the content could be tailored to fit the Nordic countries.

What do you see as the next big trend in accessibility and assistive technology?

The next big trend around the technology field that has major implications for individuals with disabilities is not a piece of AT software or hardware, but the movement of Artificial Intelligence (AI). International corporations are pouring resources into the development and research around AI, particularly for web accessibility. In a recent article published by MIT titled “AI for Web Accessibility: Is Conformance Evaluation a Way Forward” the W3C authors highlight several examples that AI will assist individuals with disabilities including:

  • AI-Voice Recognition: Google announced automatic captioning of YouTube videos through voice recognition, which could support individuals who require captions.
  • AI-Based Text Processing, which offers automatic summarization functionality based on information extraction and abstraction could support individuals with cognitive disabilities.
  • AI-Automatic Alt-Text: Facebook, automatic alt-text features which could support people with visual impairments.

AI has immense potential for people with disabilities, but what is still a need, is more research!

The IAAP Certification webpage

Other news
Debra Cole leads a tour in sign language at Metropolitan Museum. Photo

Metropolitan Museum aims for accessibility with sign language tours

Metropolitan Museum of Art has made efforts to reach new audiences on the internet. Now you have the opportunity to get a guided tour of their exhibitions in American Sign Language (ASL) on Facebook Live.

Woman in wheelchair with guide dog. Photo

OK, glass: I can't walk, so help me explore

With Google Glass, persons with disabilities can get the conditions for a more independent life. The glasses can compensate for inadequate ability and ease everyday life.

Ford smart window. Photo

Ford showcases smart window that allows blind to 'feel' the view

Ford revealed a prototype technology, called Feel the View, that allows blind passengers to "feel" what they can't see outside a car's window.

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