On this week’s episode of the ACB Advocacy Update, Clark speaks with ACB President, Dan Spoone, and Executive Director, Eric Bridges, about our organizational accomplishments throughout 2020. Despite the challenges thrust upon us by a global pandemic, ACB stayed true to our core values and created opportunities to embrace, engage, and empower our community. Listen via your favorite podcast player or online at: https://tinyurl.com/yb49zh8l. To help us build upon our 2020 accomplishments and carry this momentum into the New Year, please consider ACB in your end-of-year giving by visiting: https://acb.org/give2020.
A New Year’s Eve Community-Athon – Celebrating a Year of Friendship
A year ago, when you prepared to celebrate the holidays and ring in a new year, did you ever imagine 2020 would look the way it has? Our community members have experienced a year of opening their homes to hundreds of new friends, learning new skills or finding the support they needed to improve on a skill they already knew, and joining together on a regular basis to be lifted up by others who also knew what struggles cancer, divorce, addiction, or caring for a loved one brings. Despite the challenges that 2020 has brought, there is no denying as part of this amazing community, we also have a lot to be thankful for. Join us on Thursday, December 31 from 3pm to 3am ET for 12 incredible hours of good conversation, lots of laughs, a few surprises, and a chance to show ACB and those who have kept the community going, how much these events have truly meant to you. Without generous donations, no matter how big or small, ACB could not have travelled all the way from across the miles into your home and your heart. Your presence and your contribution are what will make this special event a huge success. We look forward to spending time with you. So bring your favorite hors d’oeuvres, a glass of bubbly, your fancy dress or your PJ’s, and most importantly your memories, and let’s bring 2020 to a close and bring in 2021 together as a community. Make sure to join our community email list to receive the information on how to join for this event, and others, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACB Makes Christmas Eve Jolly and More Accessible for Kids Who Are Blind
This year, the American Council of the Blind (ACB), VITAC, and The Lumistella Company are proud to offer a special radio broadcast of the animated holiday special, “Elf Pets: A Fox Cub’s Christmas Tale,” on December 24, 2020 at 7 PM ET on ACB Radio to make holiday cheer more widely available to all this season. The Christmas Eve program will also feature a special audio described production of Rory Hoffman’s “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, a visit from Santa himself and live phone calls from kids. The program will close with an historic airing of an audio described version of the 2015 White House holiday greeting including a tour of The White House at Christmas time. Listen at http://acbradio.org/cafe or ask your Amazon device to “Open ACB Radio Café.” You can also listen to ACB Radio via telephone by calling (518) 906-1820 and selecting number 4 for the ACB Radio Café.
Christmas-Themed Videos With Audio Description
Did you know that over 100 movies are available with audio description from streaming services or on DVD? Neither did we! That’s why we researched this topic and compiled a listing for users of the Audio Description Project’s website. We even allow you to sort the list by vendor so you can check out your favorite streaming service’s offerings. With the same movie sometimes available from different vendors, Netflix has over 50, followed by about 25 each from Disney+, iTunes, and Prime Video. You’ll find “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and the Mariah Carey Christmas Special on Apple TV+, and 15 or so titles on DVD. So check out acb.org/adp/holidayad.html for the complete list! You’ll find a link at the top of that page to sort by vendor.
iPhones Can Now Automatically Recognize and Label Buttons and UI Features for Blind Users
iPhones can now automatically recognize and label buttons and UI features for blind users. Screen Recognition, available now in iOS 14, is a computer vision system that has been trained on thousands of images of apps in use, learning what a button looks like, what icons mean and so on. Such systems are very flexible — depending on the data you give them, they can become expert at spotting cats, facial expressions or, as in this case, the different parts of a user interface. The result is that in any app now, users can invoke the feature and a fraction of a second later every item on screen will be labeled. And by “every,” they mean every — after all, screen readers need to be aware of every thing that a sighted user would see and be able to interact with, from images (which iOS has been able to create one-sentence summaries of for some time) to common icons (home, back) and context-specific ones like “…” menus that appear just about everywhere. Read the article by visiting: https://techcrunch.com/2020/12/03/iphones-can-now-automatically-recognize-and-label-buttons-and-ui-features-for-blind-users.
Adobe Delivers Enhanced PDF Reading Experience for Accessibility
Adobe recently introduced a new way to read PDF documents on mobile devices, called Liquid Mode, found on the Adobe Acrobat Reader app (iOS and Android). Liquid Mode provides a much easier way to read documents on mobile and comes with some incredible benefits for a more accessible PDF reading experience. It automatically reformats text, images, and tables in PDFs for quick navigation and consumption on small screens – regardless of which application was used to create it. Read more at: https://blog.adobe.com/en/2020/12/10/adobe-delivers-enhanced-pdf-reading-experience-for-accessibility.html.