Google have announced they are launching a survey, to better understand the needs of visually impaired users of the internet.
They want to make Google products more accessible to the blind/visually impaired and deaf/blind and to fully understand the accessibility needs of users.
There has been controversy about this over the years, as visually impaired users have reported that some screen readers do not read everything on the page and there are many programmes that they do not read at all.
According to The Official Google Blog, Google were surprised and didn’t comprehend all of the difficulties surrounding this; at how diverse a blind person’s web experience can be, all because of the lack, or usefulness, of the tools available. This is what encouraged Google to run a survey on ACB’s website.
The survey will help Google developers provide better products and tools to work more effectively with the technology already available to the visually impaired.
Previously launched products are:
ChromeVox is a screen reader for Chrome OS, intended to bring the speed, versatility and security of Chrome OS to visually impaired users. Because ChromeVox is built by Google, it’s optimized for the web. It supports the latest web standards and excels at accessing the most modern interactive websites.
TalkBack and Eyes-Free for Android
Project Eyes-Free aims to enable fluent eyes-free use of mobile devices running Android. Target uses range from eyes-busy environments like driving, to use by people who are unwilling or unable to look at the visual display. You can get a high-level overview of more potential use cases for Eyes-Free.
If you know anyone that uses assistive technologies such as these please encourage them to participate as this will assist Google to make steps forward in this area.
No personal identification is collected apart from the country and state, there is however a random drawing for Amazon.com Gift certificates for taking part and in that case if you wish to be included you do have to leave your name and telephone number or email address.
The Survey will help Google understand computer usage and assistive technology patterns in the blind community. In 2011 I feel that this should be a thing of the past but at least something is being done about it.
For more information visit: www.acb.org/googlesurvey
If you do not have access to the internet, or wish to complete the survey by telephone, please call Ms. Kellie Hartmann on +1 347-772-8355