As the year draws to a close, I thought it was a good time to reflect on some of the great accessibility improvements we’ve seen during 2022. So here are a few of my favourites.
One of the biggest improvements to Windows – and already present in MacOS – is the addition of voice navigation in Windows 11 added in the recently rolled out 22H2 update. This allows for effective navigation around websites using just voice commands which can be extremely helpful for a range of disability groups.
On the Google front we’ve seen several improvements in Android, especially with the Google Pixel 7 which has introduced a guided frame for its camera app so that people who are blind can line up the perfect photo.
In Apple news we’ve seen a fair bit of accessibility improvements put into Apple Watch with updates to the navigation gestures that let you navigate around your watch using hand gestures without the need to physically touch the device, extremely helpful for people with mobility challenges.
Finally my most favourite accessibility upgrade for this year is not specifically a built-in feature, but it does make a difference to seniors who are blind or have low vision around the world, and that’s the alternative text provided in the James Webb Telescope images.
If you turn on the screen reader in your favourite device and get cursor focus on a photo from the telescope you will hear an incredible description of the images being provided to us.
Thanks everyone for your support of this information during the year and looking forward to sharing new developments, in 2023.
Dr Scott Hollier
ASCCA Director Accessibility