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Assistive Technology Update - A fast-paced weekly update for AT professionals and enthusiasts

Jul 1, 2011

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Google app accessibility study:


Yahoo's accessibilty channel:

In the upcoming weeks we will be adding Question and Answer sessions and interviews to our podcast.  If you have an AT question, drop us a line at:

Check out our blog:

Follow us on Twitter: @INDATAproject

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Need a transcript?  Check this episode's comments.

twelve and a half years ago

“Hi, this is Wade Wingler with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads in Indiana and this… is your Assistive Technology Update—a weekly dose of information that keeps you up to date on the latest developments in the field of technology designed to assist people with disabilities and special needs”


First off, a group of researchers from California State University have recently completed an evaluation of the accessibility of the popular Google Apps—those free, cloud-based productivity tools that are available to the general public. In it’s Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (or VPAT), Google identifies a number of accessibility problems including the lack of keyboard accessibility, lack of a well-defined focus for screen readers, the requirement to use style sheets, uncaptioned videos and inaccessible forms.

The conclusion that the team reached was that, although there are workarounds for some of these issues and google apps are always changing and being improved, the CSU office of the chancellor recommended using alternatives to many of the google apps until accessibility improves. Visit our web site for a link to the complete results of this study.

Do you use twitter? Do you use assistive technology? Easy Chirp (formerly known as accessible twitter) offers a service that makes tweeting easy and work well with most assistive technology. This award winning service includes a number of accessibility features including full-keyboard accessibility, compatibility with braille displays and screen readers, the ability to work with or without java script and inline threading of tweets. Not only do the folks at Easy Chirp offer this great service for free, but they are also a great resource for information on assistive technology via Twitter. Follow them at Easychirp


Do you like videos that teach about assistive technology? Not only does the INDATA project publish “Tech Tip” videos each Monday, but now Yahoo also has an accessibility channel on Youtube. If you use Yahoo services like Yahoo mail or Yahoo searching you can watch some really helpful videos to learn more about how to make these services work better with your assistive technology. Visit our web site for a link to Yahoo’s accessibility channel.

Lastly, we are expanding our Assistive Technology Update podcast. Over the next few weeks we will be adding question and answer shows as well as interviews with assistive technology innovators and developers. These Assistive Technology Update “In Depth” programs are in development now and we are looking for people to interview. If you are a leader in the field and would like to be featured on this podcast, visit our web site and drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.

“Want more? Find links to all this great new technology at check out our blog at or follow us on Twitter @INDATAProject. Until next time, this has been your Assistive Technology Update.”