Google’s Accessibility Pages Keep Growing

Google seems to be making web accessibility  a priority as shown on their overview page.  I didn’t know about several of their features and was most impressed with their accessible search which promotes results that are accessible.  I tried it out by searching

Accessibility at Google is about making sure that our services work well for all our users, independent of the user’s needs and abilities at any given time.

  • Accessible Search: promotes results that are accessible.
  • Book Search: Provides full-text access to public-domain works.
  • GMail: Provides a simple, yet functional HTML mode that works well with screenreaders.
  • GMail Mobile: Provides a light-weight user interface that is also speech-friendly.
  • Google Maps: Provides easy-to-use textual directions.
  • Calendar: Provides a functional, yet speech-friendly user interface.
  • Audio Captchas: All services that use Google Accounts provide an audio alternative

for the visual challenge-response tests that are used to distinguish humans from machines.

  • Mobile Transcoder: Provides a mobile lens for viewing the Web that produces accessible views.
  • Google Video: allows uploaded videos to contain captions/subtitles in multiple languages for viewers who are hearing-impaired or unfamiliar with the original language.
  • Google Talk: IM clients inside a Web browser can pose accessibility challenges, but the use of the open Jabber API means that Google users can choose from a variety of Jabber clients, many of which work well with adaptive technologies.
  • Web APIs: In addition, many Google services offer high-level Web APIs that aid in authoring mashups; this provides a means for creating highly customized accessible views.

Finally, many Google services such as Google Scholar, Google News, Blogger and Google Product Search work out of the box. While today’s screenreaders can hit some bumps on the road when using more advanced features in these products, these web interfaces degrade gracefully to provide a functional interface.

We invite you to participate in our user community. Please tell us what works well, share your own tips on using Google services, and make sure to tell us what could be made even better!

About digitaltext

Digital Text Coordinator at Landmark College in Putney, VT; a 2 year college for students who learn differently.
This entry was posted in Accessibility, Learning Disabilities, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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