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A is for accessibility: How to make remote learning work for everyone

Editor’s note: Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, and we’ll be sharing resources and tools for education, as well as accessibility features and updates for Android and Google Maps

When it comes to equity and access in education, nothing is more important than making sure  our digital tools are accessible to all learners—especially now as distance learning becomes the norm. I’m a proud member of the disability community, and I come from a family of special education teachers and paraprofessionals. So I’ve seen firsthand how creative educators and digital tools can elevate the learning experience for students with disabilities. It’s been amazing to see how tools like select-to-speak help students improve reading comprehension as they listen while reading along or assist students who have low vision. And tools like voice typing in Docs can greatly benefit students who have physical disabilities that limit their ability to use a keyboard.

This Global Accessibility Awareness DayI'm reminded of how far we’ve come in sharing inclusive tools for people with different abilities. But it doesn’t stop there. Everyday we strive to make our products and tools more inclusive for every learner, everywhere.

Applying technology to accessibility challenges

At Google, we’re always focused on how we can use new technologies, like artificial intelligence, to broaden digital accessibility. Since everyone learns in different ways, we’ve  built tools and features right into our products, like G Suite for Education and Chromebooks,  that can adapt to a range of needs and learning styles. For learners who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or need extra support to focus, you can turn on live captions in Google Slides and in  Google Meet. On Chromebooks, students have access to built-in tools, like screen readers, including ChromeVox and Select-to-speak, and Chromebook apps and extensions from EdTech companies like Don Johnston, Grackle Docs, Crick Software, Scanning Pens and Text Help, with distance learning solutions on the Chromebook App Hub

As more students learn from home, we’ve seen how features like these have helped students learn in ways that work best for them.

Helping all students shine during distance learning

Educators and students around the world are using Google tools to make learning more inclusive and accessible. Whether that’s using Sheets to make to-do lists for students, sharing the built-in magnification tools in Chromebooks to help those who are visually impaired, or using voice typing in Google Docs to dictate lesson plans or essays. 

In Portage Public Schools in Portage, Michigan, teachers are taking advantage of accessibility features in Meet to help all of their students learn at their own pace.  They use live captioning in Meet so that students who are Deaf or hard of hearing can follow along with the lesson. And with the ability to record and save meetings, every student can refer back to the material if they need to.  

In Daegu, South Korea, about 100 teachers worked together to quickly build an e-learning content hub that included tools for special education students, such as Meet, Classroom and Translate. “In the epidemic situation, it was very clear that students in special education were placed in the blind spot of learning,” said one Daegu teacher. But thanks to digital accessibility features that were shared with students and parents, the teacher said, “I saw hope.” 

live captions in Meet.gif

Accessibility resources for schools

At a time when digital tools are creating the  connection between students, classmates, and teachers, we need to prioritize accessibility so that no student is left behind. The good news is that support and tools are readily available for parents, guardians, educators and students:

Your stories of how technology is making learning accessible for more learners during COVID-19 help us and so many others learn new use cases. Please share how you're using accessibility tools and requests for how we can continue to meet the needs of more learners.

Find wheelchair accessible places with Google Maps

Editor’s note: Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, and we’ll be sharing resources and tools for education, as well as accessibility features and updates for Android and Google Maps. 

Imagine making plans to go somewhere new, taking the journey to get there and arriving— only to be stuck outside, prevented from sitting with family or being unable to access the restroom. It’s a deeply frustrating experience I’ve had many times since becoming a wheelchair user in 2009. And it’s an experience all too familiar to the 130 million wheelchair users worldwide and the more than 30 million Americans who have difficulty using stairs.

So imagine instead being able to “know before you go” whether a destination is wheelchair accessible, just as effortlessly as looking up the address. In recognition of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we’re announcing a new Google Maps feature that does just that.

People can now turn on an “Accessible Places” feature to have wheelchair accessibility information more prominently displayed in Google Maps. When Accessible Places is switched on, a wheelchair icon will indicate an accessible entrance and you’ll be able to see if a place has accessible seating, restrooms or parking. If it’s confirmed that a place does not have an accessible entrance, we’ll show that information on Maps as well.

Video explaining how Accessible Places benefits everyone who uses wheels.
"category": "video tracking", "label": " - https://youtube.com/watch?v=-oWsAMwJ-ks" }' data-glue-modal="uni-modal--oWsAMwJ-ks-" data-glue-modal-close-label="Close Dialog">

Better maps for everyone, whether you walk or roll

Today, Google Maps has wheelchair accessibility information for more than 15 million places around the world. That number has more than doubled since 2017 thanks to the dedication of more than 120 million Local Guidesand others who’ve responded to our call to share accessibility information. In total, this community has contributed more than 500 million wheelchair accessibility updates to Google Maps. Store owners have also helped, using Google My Business to add accessibility information for their business profiles to help users needing stair-free access find them on Google Maps and Search.


With this feature “rollout”, it’s easier to find and contribute wheelchair accessibility information to Google Maps. That benefits everyone, from those of us using wheelchairs and parents pushing strollers to older adults with tired legs and people hauling heavy items. And in this time of COVID-19, it’s especially important to know before you go so that you won’t be stranded outside that pharmacy, grocery or restaurant.

How to contribute accessibility information to Google Maps

Anyone can contribute accessibility information to Google Maps

To get wheelchair accessibility information more prominently displayed in Google Maps, update your app to the latest version, go to Settings, select “Accessibility,” and turn on “Accessible Places.” The feature is available on both Android and iOS. 

We’re also rolling out an update that allows people using iOS devices to more easily contribute accessibility information, joining the millions of Android users who have been sharing this type of information on Maps. This guide has tips for rating accessibility, in case you’re not sure what counts as being “accessible.” We invite everyone to switch on Accessible Places and contribute accessibility information to help people in your community.

A Maps milestone, built on a movement

This launch is a milestone in our journey to build a better, more helpful map for everyone, which includes recent efforts to help people find accessible places, transit routes and walking directions. Our work wouldn’t be possible without the decades of advocacy from those who have fought for equal access for people with disabilities. Were it not for them, there would be far fewer accessible places for Google Maps to show.

The Accessible Places feature is starting to rollout for Google Maps users in Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, with support for additional countries on the way.

How to turn on Accessible Places

Use the Accessible Places feature to see accessibility information more prominently displayed in Google Maps

Accessibility updates that help tech work for everyone

Editor’s note: Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, and we’ll be sharing resources and tools for education, as well as new accessibility features for Android and Google Maps

In 1993, Paul Amadeus Lane was an EMT with his whole life planned out. But at age 22, he was in a multi-car collision that left him fighting for his life and in recovery for eight months. After the crash, Paul became quadriplegic. He soon realized that his voice was one of his most powerful assets—professionally and personally. He went back to school to study broadcasting and became a radio producer and morning show host. Along the way, Paul discovered how he could use technology as an everyday tool to help himself and others. Today, he uses accessibility features, like Voice Access, to produce his own radio show and share his passion for technology.

Stories like Paul’s remind us why accessible technology matters to all of us every single day. Products built with and for people with disabilities help us all pursue our interests, passions and careers. Today, in honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we’re announcing helpful Android features and applications for people with hearing loss, deafness, and cognitive differences. While these updates were designed for people with disabilities, the result is better products that can be helpful for everyone. 

Action Blocks: One-tap actions on Android for people with cognitive disabilities

Every day, people use their phones for routine tasks—whether it’s video calling family, checking the weather or reading the news. Typically, these activities require multiple steps. You might have to scroll to find your video chat app, tap to open it and then type in the name of the contact you’re looking for. 

For people with cognitive disabilities or age-related cognitive conditions, it can be difficult to learn and remember each of these steps. For others, it can be time consuming and cumbersome—especially if you have limited mobility. Now, you can perform these tasks with one tap—thanks to Action Blocks, a new Android app that allows you to create customizable home screen buttons

Android Blocks

With Action Blocks, tap on the customized button to launch an activity.

Create an Action Block for any action that the Google Assistant can perform, like making calls, sending texts, playing videos and controlling devices in your home. Then pick an image for the Action Block from your camera or photo gallery, and place it on your home screen for one-touch access.

Action Blocks is part of our ongoing effort to make technology more helpful for people with cognitive disabilities and their caregivers. The app is available on the Play Store, and works on Android devices on Android 5.0 and above. 

Video showing how Action Blocks is helping people simplify interactions on their Android phone.
"category": "video tracking", "label": " - https://youtube.com/watch?v=vzoqe3PF9LY" }' data-glue-modal="uni-modal-vzoqe3PF9LY-" data-glue-modal-close-label="Close Dialog">

Live Transcribe: Real-time transcriptions for everyday conversations

In 2019, we launched Live Transcribe, an app that provides real-time, speech-to-text transcriptions of everyday conversations for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Based on feedback we’ve received from people using the product, we’re rolling out new features:

  • Set your phone to vibrate when someone nearby says your name. If you’re looking elsewhere or want to maintain social distance, your phone will let you know when someone is trying to get your attention. 
  • Add custom names or terms for different places and objects not commonly found in the dictionary. With the ability to customize your experience, Live Transcribe can better recognize and spell words that are important to you. 
  • It’s now easier to search past conversations. Simply use the search bar to look through past transcriptions. To use the feature, turn on ‘Saving Transcriptions’ in Settings. Once turned on, transcriptions will be saved locally on your device for three days.
  • We’re expanding our support of 70 languages to include: Albanian, Burmese, Estonian, Macedonian, Mongolian, Punjabi, and Uzbek.

Live Transcribe is pre-installed on Pixel devices and is available on Google Play for devices Android 5.0 and up. 

Sound Amplifier: Making the sounds around you clearer and louder

Sound Amplifier, a feature that clarifies the sound around you, now works with Bluetooth headphones. Connect your Bluetooth headphones and place your phone close to the source of the sound, like a TV or a lecturer, so that you can hear more clearly. On Pixel, now you can also boost the audio from media playing on your device—whether you are watching YouTube videos, listening to music, or enjoying a podcast. Sound Amplifier is available on Google Play for devices Android 6.0 and above.

Sound Amplifier

Use Sound Amplifier to clarify sound playing on your phone.

Accessibility matters for everyone

We strive to build products that are delightful and helpful for people of all abilities. After all, that’s our mission: to make the world’s information universally accessible for everyone. If you have questions on how these features can be helpful for you, visit our Help Center, connect with our Disability Support team or learn more about our accessibility products on Android

 
 
 

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Purpose of Skilled Packers in addition to Movers inside Office in addition to Industrial Separation

Posted by Sanjeev Saxena on March 8, 2014 at 1:55am 0 Comments

Shifting company or industrial goods is quite a bit more intricate task from shipping connected with household stuff. It contains many stressful and intricate jobs that lead wonderful stress over the people. These kinds of relocations consist of handling connected with machines in addition to tools, bulky and large furniture, equipments, electronic goods many other such forms of stuffs. For most people it seriously isn't possible to deal with shipping each one of these stuffs with no…

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Moving Home? Get Professional Help to Make it Easy

Posted by Sanjeev Saxena on March 6, 2014 at 6:11am 0 Comments

Moving home? Have you lots of belongings to be packed and shifted? Yes then the process of home shifting can be very daunting and stressful event of your life. There are lots of issues apart from tedious tasks such as packing, loading, transporting, unloading, unpacking and rearranging of items. So what can be done best for making home shifting easy and simple? In my point of view you should get professional help so that you can simplify the process and make it easy and simple. If you truly…

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Moving Home? Get Professional Help to Make it Easy

Posted by Sanjeev Saxena on March 6, 2014 at 6:11am 0 Comments

Moving home? Have you lots of belongings to be packed and shifted? Yes then the process of home shifting can be very daunting and stressful event of your life. There are lots of issues apart from tedious tasks such as packing, loading, transporting, unloading, unpacking and rearranging of items. So what can be done best for making home shifting easy and simple? In my point of view you should get professional help so that you can simplify the process and make it easy and simple. If you truly…

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Moving from one State to another easily

Posted by Sanjeev Saxena on March 5, 2014 at 2:12am 0 Comments

If that you are moving with a new talk about, there's a whole lot which needs to be done. In these cases, it really is good to experience a moving checklist to make sure you possess made every one of the necessary arrangements to your departure. Relocating with a new state is a big stage, so you must preferably start your preparations 2-3 months ahead of time. The explanation being--along using moving, you have to wrap issues up in your current place of residence also. A checklist will let…

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Techniques for Moving Large Furniture Correctly

Posted by Sanjeev Saxena on March 5, 2014 at 2:12am 0 Comments

Looking for a lot of tips pertaining to moving pieces of furniture safely? Scroll down to learn about ways to prevent problems for the furniture and get away from injuries on the body even though moving hefty furniture.

 

If you're moving in to a new condominium, the process of moving and supplying heavy pieces of furniture items is perhaps quite demanding. Even in case you have sought professional help, you must make sure that the household items are usually handled while…

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Tips for Packing as well as Moving

Posted by Sanjeev Saxena on February 26, 2014 at 12:24am 0 Comments

When one is moving into a new household, the likelihood of breaking as well as damaging a thing are excessive. While a lot of may believe that this is the chance that can be taken, we say who's isn't. However, if 1 knows the tips about how to pack as well as move correctly, then there might be no place for mishaps. There are usually professional movers who will help you to shift, packing every thing away carefully to be able to avoid any damage. However, not many companies will make an…

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Methods for Moving along with Relocating

Posted by Sanjeev Saxena on February 26, 2014 at 12:24am 0 Comments

Moving derived from one of house to a different, or a single city to a different could be a very stress filled task by itself. To ensure that everything may be packed effectively, and that it reaches safely inside same condition to another location place, also to then abide by the rest of the moving list, is rather taxing. Though you might have hired packers along with movers for the exact purpose, you will quickly realize yourself continually stressing about whether or not they are handling…

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The Responsibility of Moving Firm

Posted by Sanjeev Saxena on February 22, 2014 at 4:41am 0 Comments

Going in one spot for a yet another can be a challenging and also demanding period. As soon as transferring ones house or office you should encounter quite a few undesirable tiresome and also busy difficulties. There are plenty involving items that ought to be accomplished along the way associated with relocating or maybe switching; for example, taking connected with merchandise, filling, transferring, unloading, unpacking, for example. Most of these chores are tedious and also allow you to…

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Packing and Relocating Services - A Requirement Nowadays

Posted by Sanjeev Saxena on February 22, 2014 at 4:41am 0 Comments

The corporation connected with Packers along with Relocating Solutions inside Delhi supply a wonderful encounter to everyone it is buyers. The explanation for the superb providers offered by these people is actually which they place their particular core into your entire shifting encounter. These people address each and every relocating encounter seeing that his or her for that reason many people placed added work inside the separation proceed.

 

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