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Simplify Data Tables

Accessibility of data tables can be achieved by identifying table headers and defining whether they are row or column headers (for example, <th scope=”col”>). Complex tables (those that have more than one level of row or column header, or spanned data or header cells) can easily become too complex for screen reader users to comprehend even though markup may technically provide the necessary associations between data cells and headers. Consider a table where 3 or 4 or more headers are identified for each data cell; understanding the relationships between the data and the appropriate headers can be difficult for users, especially for users that cannot see the table. When possible, simplify or ‘flatten’ data tables so that there is no more than one row and column header for each data cell.

We usually like to test the apps we write about, but we recently came across the BeeLine Reader and wanted to share the information they sent along to us. If you are using it, we’d love to know your thoughts. Please feel free to comment!

BeeLine Reader, a new app that increases reading ability and fluency for many readers with visual and cognitive differences.

In eye-tracking tests carried out by a prominent optometrist, our tools provided an immediate reading benefit for over 85% of patients. Readers with macular degeneration, binocular vision problems, eye tracking problems, and low vision find our technology to be particularly helpful. Readers with dyslexia and ADD/ADHD are also greatly assisted by our technology, and we have been featured in various LD blogs and webinars. We are working with schools and districts around the country, and our tools are used in both special ed and general ed classrooms.

Here are are some things that users are saying:

  • “It feels like the first time I tried glasses. It completely removes any chances of me missing a line.”
  • “I have ADD and do you know how much easier this makes it to read?”
  • “As someone who is dyslexic, I found this incredibly helpful! Thank you for developing this!”

We offer browser plugins, a PDF converter, and an iPhone/iPad app. The browser plugins and PDF converter are currently free, and the app is 99¢.

Science doesn’t take a break for the holidays, but we did. So this week, you get all the news from last week and this week. We’ve got a whole lot of Stephen Hawking in here, some awesome new developments overseas (like solar powered hearing aids!!!), a new development in eye-gaze technology and more. Don’t miss any of it!

AT in the news from 11/24 thru 12/5 –

DogTag Bakery gives wounded Veterans job training and an education

Technology assists those with disabilities

Michael Lerman uses assistive technology to self-publish poetry

Helping autistic kids read, write and communicate

On world Day, Ban spotlights how technology can improve life for 1 billion

DOL’s new Web hub highlights accessibility tools for disabled

iPhone apps creating independence for people with vision loss

ADEC contest challenges schools, businesses to help people with disabilities using technology

Did you know it’s possible to improve hearing with help from the sun? (Video)

A 16-year-old girl from Moldova is behind this computer programme for the visually impaired

Stephen Hawking’s new speech system is free and open-source

Hybrid tricycle designed to increase mobility

Suit helps disabled athletes detect injuries instantly

Technology helps dyslexics decode written word

Professor Stephen Hawking’s speedy new Intel speech system is built on SwiftKey

3D Printing to Guide Face Transplants

Penn State researchers explore the future of augmentative communication

Army testing load-lightening exosuits

Quadrocopters for quadriplegics: New tech allows disabled to ‘pilot drone over Grand Canyon’

Samsung Takes Eye-Scrolling Technology to Disabled Community

Hearing a solution: Student creates technology to help the visually impaired learn science

Researchers Announce Advance in Image-Recognition Software

Comcast launches TV tools for visually impaired

Griffith University to open Social Robotics and Assistive Technology Lab to

Can this bracelet help the blind better understand their surroundings?

Domestic violence and sexual assault is something that has been in the news a lot recently. As such, we’ve come across some helpful resources that could be useful to anyone using assistive technology (AT) or working in the field of disability service. Please share and share widely:

5 Ways To Make Sexual Assault Services More Accessible Using Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology Tip Sheet (related to domestic violence)




Layout Tables

Tables in HTML are intended for tabular data. Although using tables for page layout is not considered best practice, this typically has minimal impact on accessibility, as long as two primary guidelines are kept in mind. First, do not use any markup that is typically used to identify data tables. This includes table headers (<th>), <caption>, and <summary>. These tags are often used by a screen reader to detect the presence of a data table, which is read very differently. Second, the reading and navigation order of layout table content (based on the source code order) must be logical and intuitive (e.g., typically the same as the visual order).

The KNFB Reader iOS app is now available and we’ve got a great YouTube review of how it works. Check out our very own Joel Zimba using it to read some documents lying around the MDTAP office. And if you are using this app, let us know what you think by commenting on this post!

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