Wednesday, March 19, 2008

AT&T and Universal Design

"AT&T Unveils Universal Design Approach to Help Developers Meet the Wireless Needs of Customers with Disabilities"

This is good news!

From the AT&T website:

"It is our goal that the concept of 'design for all' is not viewed as a constraint but as a catalyst for innovation across the industry," said Carlton Hill, vice president of Marketing for AT&T's mobile unit. "We believe that, by making our methodology on Universal Design available for all to see, we can show the importance and value of creating wireless products and services that are usable and beneficial to as many people as possible. The end result will be more choices for more consumers."

"Integration of Universal Design into business practice is fundamental to our mission of equitable access to wireless technologies for people of all ages and abilities," said Jim Mueller, project director, User-Centered Research, Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies at Georgia Tech. "We're glad that AT&T shares our commitment and is making its Universal Design methodology publicly available."

Examples of accessible products/services:

* Mobile Speak is a powerful, full-fledged screen-reader with an easy-to-learn command structure, intuitive speech feedback in several languages and Braille support, which can be used with or without speech. Unlike other screen-readers for mobile phones, Mobile Speak automatically detects information that the blind user should know, just as a user with sight would easily find highlighted items or key areas of the screen at a glance.
* Mobile Magnifier is a flexible, full-screen magnification application that supports low- and high-resolution screens and can be used with or without speech feedback. Magnification software is compatible with a wide variety of mobile devices.

AT&T's Universal Design Policy
AT&T's Universal Design Principles (pdf)is a good resource about Universal Design and mobile/hand held technology, complete with pictures, example scenarios, and links to additional information.

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