Global Mobile Awards: Microsoft's Seeing AI app for blind people wins accessibility and inclusion prize

gloom awards logoMicrosoft's excellent iOS app for blind people and those with sight loss Seeing AI picked up the Accessibility and Inclusion prize at the Mobile World Congress 2018 Global Mobile Awards in Barcelona today.

For the last three I've years been a judge in the Best Use of Mobile for Accessibility & Inclusion category. It’s a very prestigious honour to win a GLOMO at the Mobile World Congress and Seeing AI is a worthy winner. Take a look at previous excellent winners, here

Seeing AI uses the smartphone camera to recognise and narrate the world to people with little or no vision. Functions include the ability to describe scenes (mentioning what furniture and other objects are around you), people (estimations of their age, gender, emotions and clothing etc) and text recognition (to take a letter or magazine and read out the text). These features represent enormous opportunities for blind people to get more information and support in their work or daily lives.

With a recent update to the app – bringing several new functions including light detection, colour and handwriting recognition - we recently put our appreciation for this excellent app on the table with an article: Microsoft Seeing AI - the best ever app for blind people just got even better.

Hector Minto, Microsoft senior tech evangelistHector Minto (pictured), Microsoft's senior technology evangelist (accessibility and assistive tech), told AbilityNet: “It’s fabulous for the Seeing AI app and its team to be recognised by the GLOMO Awards judging panel. Artificial Intelligence can and will be grabbed by the disability and accessibility world to design a whole new set of tools to level the playing field. I think Seeing AI will be the first of many apps to recognise the opportunity here. “

Useful links

Speaking of the future: Robin Christopherson at BDF Technology Taskforce

AbilityNet's Head of Digital Inclusion Robin Christopherson is a speaker and an expert panelist at the Business Disability Forum (BDF) Technology Taskforce event at KPMG, Canary Wharf tomorrow (Tues 27 Feb). Anyone familiar with Robin’s recent presentations across the UK and Europe will not be surprised to hear that he’ll be talking about the rapid rise of those ever-more-intelligent smartspeakers, such as the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple’s new HomePod. Millions of these devices have now been sold around the world and Robin will be explaining the impact they will have for people with an impairment or disability. 

Business Disability Forum tech Taskforce takes place in London on 27 February

The event promises to be one of the best BDF Tech Taskforce line-ups yet. Other highlights include a speaker from the BBC talking about Autism from both a personal and professional perspective, as well as an IBM expert on their on-going development of Watson, their awesome Artificial Intelligence platform.

Related links:

Tech4Good Award Entries Open on 5 March

AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards LogoNominations for the 2018 AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards open at midday on Monday 5 March, following a launch event at BT Tower that will feature past winners and special guests from the technology and charity sectors. Awards organiser Mark Walker is looking forward to hearing more inspiring stories on the day.

UPDATE: watch our video from the 2018 AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards launch event:

Photo of Mark Walker, Head of Marketing and Communications at AbilityNet

“It’s a real privilege to be involved in these Awards,” Mark said, “and I’m very proud that we are now in our eighth year, celebrating the amazing people who are using tech to make the world a better place. The support from BT and our other partners and sponsors is wonderful and we have seen our network of past winners and finalists grow and flourish."

“We’ll be announcing new sponsors and partners at the Awards launch, as well as a new event to celebrate our winners. Entries will be open from midday on Monday 5 March and will close at 6pm on Tuesday 9 May. We’re expecting another bumper crop of entries and I know that all our judges are looking forward to the difficult task of selecting this year’s winners.”

The AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards recognise and celebrate the organisations and individuals that are using digital technology to improve the lives of others. These are the only awards to highlight the wealth of charities, businesses, volunteers and members of the general public that are harnessing the power of technology to make the world a better place.

You can visit the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards section of our website for more information about the awards and the 2017 winners or visit the official AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards website to stay up-to-date with the latest news about this year's Awards and for details of how to enter.

Photo of the winners from the 2017 AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards

Global Mobile Awards 2018: Will Turkey's accessibility efforts triumph again?

Since 2016 I have been fortunate to be a regular judge in the category of 'Best Use of Mobile for Accessibility & Inclusion' for the GloMos (Global Mobile Awards) at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) held in Barcelona. This year, 2018, the Mobile World Congress commences next week 26 Feb - 2 Mar, and as always I look forward to seeing the best advances in this space. 

Global Media Awards logoThe category I'm judging is described as an "award (that) recognises innovation in the vital development of mobile products, applications, services, devices and other initiatives and projects that enhance accessibility and inclusivity for billions of people afflicted with disabilities, both physical and mental impairments, as well as older users."

I'm not sure about the word 'afflicted', but nevertheless there's no mistaking MWC's commitment to this important area of mobile - an area which in reality impacts every user who squints at their screen, juggles their phone one-handed or endeavours to use an app whilst distracted by the busy environment around them. We’re all, in very real terms, disabled on a daily basis when it comes to using our mobile phones.

2017 Best Use of Mobile for Accessibility & Inclusion winner

In my three years of judging we've seen some exceptional entries from a wide selection of countries and continents. It would seem, however, that Turkey stands out in the number and quality of their mobile-focused inclusivity initiatives. In particular, Turkey's telecoms industry is a hotbed of competition with rival providers trying to outdo each other in helping their disabled customers. Oh I wish it were the same here in the UK.

Last year's overall winner in the accessibility and inclusion category was Turk Telekom (also known as Avea) for their Loud Steps app that assists visually-impaired and blind users with indoor mobility through the smart use of existing beacon technology. Here's a short video about the app:

Here's how they describe their entry, which uses inexpensive mainstream bluetooth beacons:

"The Loud Steps application, which is designed to enable visually impaired people to walk in indoor spaces without need for help, aims at supporting them to mingle in social life. Together with its technological infrastructure, the Loud Steps application features a first in the world, where it can be used by all visually impaired people independent of the operator. The application is planned to be used in public areas such as airports and hospitals. Until today, 15,000 people downloaded the Loud Steps application."

As well as Loud Steps, Turk Telekom has also produced a large number of products and services with a focus on accessibility – a really exceptional effort to assist disabled people across Turkey and further afield.

2016 winner Best Use of Mobile for Acessibility & Inclusion winner:

In 2016, rival Turkish telecoms company Turkcell won this category for their My Dream Companion app for blind movie-goers. Adding audio description (an additional spoken track that describes the action on-screen) for visually-impaired visitors, this app was previously recognised in 2014 Global Mobile Awards following its launch.

The application, which was developed by Turkcell and the Young Guru Academy, also provides access to current news, more than 100 columnists’ daily columns, thousands of audio-books, training programs, magazines, indoor navigation services and practical information including weather and exchange rates.girl at cinema wearing headphones and laughing at film

Amazon Echo wins Disruptive Device Innovation Awards

Last year’s winner of the ‘Disruptive Device Innovation Award’ was Amazon for the Amazon Echo. Did I ever mention that I have a daily podcast covering Alexa skills? We will definitely look back at 2017 as the year when smart voice assistants landed in many homes and hearts. For millions of disabled people they represent true utility, where so many other options are often far more effort and far less accessible.

The 2017 best overall mobile app (Judge’s Choice) went to Niantic Inc. for Pokémon Go - an honour that went to Google for Google Cardboard the previous year. These winners use augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) – both AR and VR being areas ripe with potential to assist those with a range of impairments and the subject of an article for another day – and there’s no question that we should watch this space very carefully in 2018.

One other notable winner – last year ‘Best use of mobile for travel, leisure & hospitality’ award went to what3words for 3 word addresses. What are three word addresses? Well I’m currently sitting at carry.sailor.shapes which is an exact 3m x 3m location. The whole world has been divided into such squares and an address which is easy to remember and so precise to locate that it is proving revolutionary in many parts of the globe where more conventional addresses are unusual or unusable.

If you’d like to find out what three word address you’re currently sitting in, why not use their world mapping website. What3words (and their accompanying app) were also recognised for this groundbreaking approach to addressing in AbilityNet’s Tech4Good Awards.

Robin Christopherson is head of digital inclusion at AbilityNet. You can see a full list of Robin's blogs, here

 

Raynaud's Awareness Month: How to work with cold fingers

With February statistically being the coldest month of the year it's no wonder Scleroderma and Raynaud's UK (SRUK) choose this month for Raynaud's Awareness Month. Raynaud's affects up to 10 million people in the UK yet SRUK's research (ComRes Poll of 2,000 general public in May 2016) reveals that only 4% of people are able to identify the symptoms of Raynaud's and only 10% of people on average who had Raynaud's symptoms would visit a GP.

person working at computer wearing gloves

If you have cold fingers and toes that change colour from very white, to blue/purple and then red, which go numb, tingly or cause pain, then it is advisable to get checked by a doctor. 

The condition can be triggered by a change in temperature, emotional changes, stress, hormones or using vibrating tools. Cold hands and tingling fingers can make it impossible to use a standard computer keyboard, so as well as making sure a workspace is warm enough, what other ways can technology help someone with Raynaud's?

Technolgy to help you work with Raynaud's

*Amy, who has Raynaud's and Systemic Scleroderma (SSc) along with Ehlers Danlos Type III (which is unconnected), told AbilityNet in 2016:

“Since I can remember I've always had hands that felt a bit 'dead'. I went to the doctors because I heard there were treatments for Raynaud's," she says.

“My employers have been a fantastic support and we have sat together and agreed adjustments to help me in my role - from little things, like ensuring I am seated away from draughts, to bigger things - like agreeing circumstances where I feel I need to work from home, where they provided me with equipment to do so."

How AbilityNet can help you work with Raynaud's

Mary Steiner, a former AbilityNet assessor in the Midlands, said the important thing is to keep the working environment warm, but there are some other adjustments that can be made to make life easier.

One thing to look at, she said, is using voice recognition software to dictate to the computer and minimise the need to type or use the mouse. However not everyone will want to do this, or find it practical in their situation, and there are other options.

“I saw a client who worked all day in a call centre and she found that gripping the mouse made things worse because it further reduced the circulation to her fingers.

"She was having to stop working for 10 or 20 minutes each time her fingers went numb until the feeling returned, so we recommended a flatter, larger mouse which didn't require as much grip.

“Another was a student whose fingers were sore and cracked because of Raynaud's, I recommended an ergonomic pen," says Mary.

She said these adjustments won't stop the symptoms happening, but it's sometimes about using a "mixture of little things which each help to improve the situation".

Raynaud's: A quick guide to helpful tools for working with cold fingers

AbilityNet assessors suggest the following could help those with Raynaud's work more easily (some products are available at the SRUK online shop)

  • A portable heater
  • Heated mouse
  • Heated gloves and socks
  • Self-insulating gloves and insoles
  • Silver fibre gloves (opposite) can work phones, tablets and your MAC/PC
  • Body warming products because keeping your core warm can help
  • Voice recognition software
  • Word prediction software
  • Light / soft touch keyboard
  • Ergonomic pens such as PenAgain (above)
  • Foam pen grips

Also check out the air conditioning, if it's problematic ask to be moved, turned up or wear additional clothing to ensure you stay warm, suggests the SRUK team.

Need help adapting your technology at home, work or college?

Call AbilityNet's free Helpline on: 0800 269 545.

Friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution.

Get help at work

Every employer must provide Reasonable Adjustments to accommodate the needs of employees. This could mean support to use the tools we've suggested, or changes to your duties when Raynaud's is affecting your work.

Use Clear Talents On Demand to let your manager know what would help you be more productive. It's free and confidential.

Get help at home

Do you need IT support at Home? AbilityNet At home volunteers can help people with disabilities deal with computer problems at home, either on the phone or in person.

Read more personal stories like Amy's from people living with Raynaud's.

If you would like to share your experiences of how your employer or colleagues help you manage your condition or have a question around the workplace, please email info@sruk.co.uk.

 

Why Apple’s problems with its HomePod smartspeaker may benefit disabled iPhone users everywhere

Apple’s new HomePod is less of a smartspeaker and more a great quality speaker, but I thinks its advent spells good news for disabled people everywhere.amazon echo

The smartspeakers sensation

Smartspeakers or ‘Home Assistants’ are here to stay - the best-selling item in the UK and US Amazon stores was the Amazon Echo Dot (pictured right), which has sold in the millions and is the home of Amazon’s popular artificial intelligence (AI) Alexa.

Less popular, but no less useful and entertaining, is the Google Home series. From the Google Home Mini to the huge Google Max, there is a Google equivalent speaker at a price and audio-quality to match Amazon’s range.

Some of these smartspeakers have screens but these are an incidental extra to an otherwise audio-only interface. You talk to your favourite home assistant and she (it’s usually a female voice) helpfully replies with the information, music or game of your choice.

Apple’s HomePod hits the scene

Coming very late to this party is the Apple HomePod (pictured right). Almost three years after Amazon created this category of tech, Apple has released a single model of smartspeaker which, due to its limited smarts at this time, is marketed as being a great speaker that can also do a very few home assistant-type activities.

Undoubtedly a beautiful product in both looks and sound, the HomePod at £329 is comparable in price to other high-end speakers that have built-in music streaming capabilities such as those from Sonos. However, the HomePod will inevitably be compared with other home assistants that have better AI capabilities. Even Sonos speakers which, until very recently, had no AI now have models that ship with Amazon’s Alexa built-in and for a comparable price.

Siri must now step up to the mark

The problem is that Siri, the AI built-into iPhones and iPads, has been falling behind in the smartness-stakes for some time. And the version that ships with the HomePod offers only a fraction of what Siri on your phone can do. 

When compared to Alexa or Google’s Assistant the HomePod looks fancy but doesn’t seem that clever. 

Apple HomePodDespite trying to focus on the quality of the sound, Apple is already suffering some poor press due to this obvious comparison with other products in this space. 

I’m sure they predicted this and I am equally sure that they are pulling out all the stops to improve the version of Siri that lives in the HomePod so that, within months, it will do all the basic features (such as being able to check your calendar) we’ve all come to expect from other Home Assistants.

The clock is well and truly ticking

Apple needs to ensure that Siri on the HomePod can do the basics, but it will also need to be extensible like its competitors. It needs the ability to add third-party utilities, games and features such as Echo’s ‘skills’ and Google Home’s ‘apps’. Apple says that there are no plans for a ‘skill store’, but it will have to happen for them to compete – and again sooner rather than later.

A smarter Siri is better for everyone

Siri is a handy helpmate when you want to find a fact, set a timer, quickly send a text or create an appointment. For iPhone users with disabilities, however, that ability to have AI assist you with tasks can knock whole minutes off the activity. As a result, some disabled smartphone users consider their AI-assistant as not just a nice option for doing daily tasks, but as a massive time-saving addition to the smarts of their phone.

In routine tests of Alexa and Siri, in which I ask each to give me even the simplest of information (such as “When did America gain its independence?”), the Alexa comes up trumps every time, while Siri falls back on a web search. This will have to change – and quickly. Now that the screenless HomePod is on sale and open to public scrutiny, the imperative for it to become smarter is all-important for Apple. 

The no-screen advantage

The fact that Alexa was developed in devices that did not have a screen means her abilities to give you information in a smart, conversational form has pushed the Alexa far ahead of Siri; who until now has only existed in devices that have a screen.

As I mentioned above, how many times have you asked Siri a seemingly straightforward question only for her to say “I’ve done a web search for that” and give you a number of search results – none of which immediately furnish you with the answer you were after. Alexa has never had the option of falling back on such a lazy response and, as a result, has now had many months of development that largely explains her huge popularity (that and the price). 

An AI race to be best is good for everyone, including disabled people

As Apple scrambles to improve Siri’s smartness in the screenless HomePod, the company must surely bring those improvements back into the iPhone and iPad. No longer will we be thrown out to a web search or have her say ”Hmmm, I’m not sure about that” – instead we should actually get us the answer we need.

Siri getting smarter will help everyone - but every disabled iPhone or iPad user will be doubly delighted. A race to be the best is just what we need to help these smart assistants be great at assisting those most in need.

Robin Christopherson is AbilityNet's head of digital inclusion 

Read related blogs

Alexa Vs Google Home vs Cortana: The battle to reach every user intensifies

Building Better Bots: Can Next Gen Tech Make the World a better place?

Inaccessible websites keep disabled people out of work, AbilityNet tells government taskforce

AbilityNet has told the UK government that web accessibility, in particular making online job opportunities accessible, is essential if it wants to hit its target of one million more disabled people in employment in the next decade. AbilityNet was asked to give written and verbal input into the government’s Work & Pensions Select Committee’s Assistive Technology Inquiry at the end of January 2018. 

man at work in front of computer screen displaying the word inaccessible

In his written response, AbilityNet’s CEO Nigel Lewis, explained: “Much of recruitment is now online; the problem is that inaccessible websites and online application systems remain a big barrier for disabled people looking for a job. Over 90% of websites, for example, don’t even meet single-A compliance with the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) set by the World Wide Web consortium (W3C), whereas the legal minimum is AA (a higher standard than single A and lower than top compliance level AAA).”

Enforcing the law on accessible websites and apps

AbilityNet has previously called on government to enforce the legal requirement for websites and apps to be accessible in accordance with the 2010 Equality Act. In the US, it is becoming more common for companies to be sued for having inaccessible websites. Sadly the trend seems to be going the wrong way - as we recently reported 40% of local council websites are inaccessible to disabled people, an increase from last year's figure of 35%.

“We don't need new laws to help disabled people, but a high-profile shift to enforcement of existing legislation could have a significant impact on the landscape,” said CEO Lewis.

The Inquiry has been set up in light of the government’s commitment to remove barriers to employment for disabled people, following its research finding that one million disabled people are unemployed but want to work. 

Is assistive technology still needed?

AbilityNet’s head of digital inclusion Robin Christopherson (far right in photo) was also called to give evidence to the Inquiry on the 31 January, along with Hector Minto (pictured below in middle), senior technology evangelist at Microsoft. Discussions centred around the role of assistive technology in removing barriers to work for disabled people, and whether the government's Access to Work service is the most effective way of providing access to assistive technology. 

Tracey Johnson, Hector Minto and Robin Christopherson in ParliamentChristopherson told the inquiry that many of the latest smartphones and computers have built-in, free software to assist disabled users and that while assistive technology can be useful still, more education and awareness is needed around what standard devices can do for free using the newest software and artificial intelligence. He highlighted that information on making the most of technology for individual abilities and conditions was freely available on the My Computer My Way website

Inclusion maximises talent

The Select Committee asked Christopherson about Access to Work - a government scheme that provides workplace adaptations for disabled people who are already employed. He says that Access to Work only reaches 25,000 people in the UK - whereas millions are in need of adjustments. It also doesn't support job seekers in the same way as something like Clear Talents, a tool developed jointly with AbilityNet which gives employers and applicants tips and advice on simple changes which will support individual workplace requirements for everyone. 

Hector Minto, who works in accessibility and assistive tech for Microsoft told the Inquiry that Microsoft, Google and Apple, all have a disability answer desk to support people to make simple useful adaptations to their technology. However, he said this service is not being maximised. “We took 400,000 calls last year (on the Microsoft answer desk) yet most Access to Work suppliers are not using them.” The majority of the calls, he said, were from people working on US government and council communications and websites.

An Opinium survey of 4,000 people released in September 2017, commissioned by pan-disability charity Scope, found that when applying for jobs, half of applications result in an interview, compared with 69% for non-disabled applicants. It also found that on average disabled people apply for 60% more jobs than non-disabled people in their job search.

The Inquiry is still open for those who would like to give their opinion on disability, employment and assistive technology. See the link at the bottom of the blog to contribute to the Inquiry.

Related blogs

Read Robin's earlier blog on what he told the Inquiry: "It's important for individuals to be given a level playing-field"

Need help making your website accessible?

Speak to our accessibility team here.

Want to have your say on assitive technology and disability in the workplace?

The Inquiry is still open, here. 

* Assistive technology software advisor Tracey Johnson, who also gave evidence, is pictured on the left of the above photo

How computers can help people with tinnitus

This is Tinnitus Awareness Week. Often a poorly understood, tinnitus is a condition of the auditory system that creates noises which don’t have any external cause. It is often described as “ringing in the ears”, but can also be experienced as a buzzing noise. Over six million people in the UK have some form of tinnitus and anyone of any age can get the condition, from children right through to older people.

Headphones You might be surprised to learn that computers and other technology can help with tinnitus - including apps and special headphones.

We’d always suggest that you first have a chat with your medical experts to get their advice, but studies have shown that white noise can help reduce the signs of tinnitus. There are several free and low cost “white noise apps” which can help mask the annoying ringing or buzzing sounds.

There are also apps that play music which can in certain circumstances reduce the levels of tinnitus that you experience. One such app is called Tinnitracs - please note that the app recommends that you get a diagnosis from your doctor before using it.

Everyone seems to have a pair (or two) of headphones nowadays and, if you have tinnitus, you might want to consider headphones which work slightly differently to standard ones. For example you could try bone-conducting headphones, which do what they say on the tin as the sound is transmitted to your brain via your bones, rather than your ears. 

But a note of caution: one of the common dangers of listening to your music too loudly via headphones, is….you’ve guessed it, Tinnitus.

Tinnitus Week 2018 #tinnitusweek

Check out the video about how you can support Tinnitus Week 

More help from AbilityNet

AbilityNet provides a range of services to help disabled people and older people with technology and communications.

AbilityNet tells Commons Select Committee how tech can help disabled people in the workplace

AbilityNet’s head of digital inclusion, Robin Christopherson MBE was amongst the experts called to give evidence to the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee inquiry into Assistive Technology in the workplace. The inquiry is part of government’s aim to see one million more disabled people in employment in the next decade.

On 31 January, the Committee invited Robin, along with a representative from Microsoft to give evidence on the role assistive technology can play in improving disabled people's employment rates.

Parliament TV showed the session live and the recording is online now

How technology can help disabled people in the workplace

The Committee is asking three key questions:

  • What role can assistive technology play in removing barriers to work and helping disabled people stay in work?
  • How should the Government support the development of this technology, and are there any particular innovations it should look to support?
  • Is Access to Work the most effective means of providing access to assistive technology? Should other funding models be considered?

There were two panels: the first comprised assistive technology users and Access to Work assessors. The second included AbilityNet and Hector Minto of Microsoft, representing IT manufacturers. 

Both panels were played live on Parliament TV, with Robin and Hector Minto from Microsoft giving evidence from 10:24.

Mainstream tech solutions can help disabled people

Robin spoke about that fact that, as well as specialist assistive technologies, the latest mainstream technologies can now meet the needs of many disabled people often for free or at low cost. 

He also explained how emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence are bringing solutions such as voice recognition and image recognition that can be of huge value to many disabled people.

Robin also spoke about AbilityNet’s My Computer My Way website, which shows simple adjustments to computers, smartphones and other tech depending on ability, as well as ClearTalents (CT). ClearTalents is a job application service which shows potential employers easy adjustments they can make to give a great potential new employee the best working environment depending on their individual needs and circumstance.

Robin Christopherson with Tracey Johnson and Hector Minto at the House of Commons Select Committee on 31 January 2018

Speaking after the session Robin said:

“It was a huge honour to be able to give evidence and have the opportunity to contribute to this very important remit – namely to review and make recommendations to help improve the employment opportunities of disabled people in the UK through technology. With the right adjustment and often very basic support, disabled people can perform on a par with non-disabled people.

"It's important for individuals to be given a level playing field, but it's now recognised that having a diverse workforce is good for business - it makes for better products and services. If we can crack the challenge of equipping everyone to perform at their best, then that’s better for our workers of both today and tomorrow.”

Read AbilityNet's written submission

What do you think?

 

Three signs web accessibility will be big in 2018

computer network, multiple screensResearch by students at Stanford University shows a bigger focus on web accessibility for businesses and developers in 2017, with the trend set to continue exponentially into 2018. The students drew their conclusion after looking at the popularity of accessibility keywords around web accessibility on social media, as well as the frequency of accessibility events and the number of accessibility Github repos.  Here’s why accessibility looks to be a big deal in 2018.

1. Web developers have an increased focus on accessibility

GitHub's (software development platform) digital directories or ‘repos’ created for the term a11y (meaning web accessibility) rose from about 260 in 2016 to around 370 in 2017. Developer engagement and participation in accessibility shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

2. Big companies are more focused on accessibility

The accessibility-themed Twitter accounts of Google and Facebook: @googleaccess and @fbaccess posted more than ever before in 2017. In particular @googleaccess more than quadrupled its output from around 50 tweets in 2016, to around 280 Tweets last year.

3. More than 26,000 accessibility events took place around the world in 2017!

The researchers looked at Eventbrite for events matching the terms ‘visually impaired’ and ‘screen reader’ and found the number of these events had risen stratospherically. In total, there were more than 26,000 accessibility events on the site for 2017.

The researchers used the Github API to give these results and noted that this might not give the full picture, but should offer a view on trends.

More about the Stanford research