So I saw this story on the news by Chris Brown and was happy to learn that assistive technologies are being researched actively in Canadian Universities. The University of Victoria has a unit named CanAssist, they develop technologies and provide services for people with disabilities. Naturally this is relevant in terms of web accessibility because a lot of these devices interact with computers. I encourage you to read their technology showcase as it describes the uses of these technologies by people with different types of disabilities. For example, instead of using a mouse for navigation, it is possible to use one’s mouth. And as the news piece revealed, the team of researchers have created a device that detects the movement of the pupils and allows the cursor to move accordingly. Pretty ingenious!
It is obvious that these researchers and developers are not waiting for websites to get their act together in terms of web accessibility, but it just proves that this demographic has the possibility to access the world wide web. We can all make it a little bit easier for researchers to make these products more effective by implementing WCAG.
Watch the video entitled “Communication Research” at the CBC. Unfortunately, this video has no caption and thus not accessible.