NFB announces agreement with Ticket Master to improve site accessibility

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 

CONTACT:

Chris Danielsen                                                                         Linda Bandov Pazin

Director of Public Relations                                                         Live Nation Entertainment

National Federation of the Blind                                                   (310) 867-7000

(410) 659-9314, extension 2330                                                   lindabandov@livenation.com

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

cdanielsen@nfb.org

 
National Federation of the Blind
Announces Agreement with Ticketmaster
 
Ticketmaster Makes Website Fully Accessible and Fan-Friendly to Blind Users
 

Baltimore, Maryland (April 26, 2011): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s leading advocate for Internet access by blind Americans, today announced a cooperative agreement with Ticketmaster, the global event ticketing leader and one of the world’s top five eCommerce sites, to make its website fully accessible to the blind.  Under the agreement, Ticketmaster will make its website (www.ticketmaster.com) fully accessible to blind users utilizing screen access technology by December 31, 2011.  Screen access technology converts what is on the computer screen into synthesized speech or Braille.

 

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “An increasing number of goods and services are now offered primarily over the Internet and Ticketmaster’s extremely popular ticket sales website is a prime example of this trend.  Ticketmaster customers gain many of the company’s valuable benefits and services, including access to special pre-sales and promotions, through its website.  The National Federation of the Blind is pleased that Ticketmaster has recognized the importance of providing equal access to its website for its blind customers, and we look forward to working with the company to achieve that goal.  The National Federation of the Blind will continue to work tirelessly until the blind have equal access to the full range of products and services available to the public through the Internet and other information technologies.”

 

“For Ticketmaster, the future is all about the fans.  We want to participate wherever and however so that fans can have the best possible fan-friendly experience,” said Nathan Hubbard, CEO of Ticketmaster.  “Partnering with the National Federation of the Blind is enabling us to address the needs of our blind fans, so that they can have the same positive experience when purchasing tickets for their favorite artists’ performance or any live event.  We are committed to working with NFB to enhance the Ticketmaster website so that it’s accessible and usable by all of our fans out there.”

 

Pursuant to the agreement, Ticketmaster will develop a comprehensive accessibility program that will include the development of an accessibility guidelines manual, as well as the appointment of both an accessibility coordinator and an accessibility committee.

 

Additionally, Ticketmaster will continue to work with officials of the National Federation of the Blind to ensure that the Ticketmaster services remain accessible to the blind.  Ticketmaster will submit its website to the NFB Nonvisual Accessibility (NFB-NVA) Web Certification program, a rigorous procedure by which websites and applications that have made efforts to be accessible to the blind can be identified and recognized.  The NFB-NVA Web Certification program continuously monitors participating sites to ensure that they remain compliant with certification criteria.  If a site remains accessible, its certification is renewed on an annual or a version basis.  If accessibility issues arise, the National Federation of the Blind will work with the site developers to remedy them.

 

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About the National Federation of the Blind
With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States.  The NFB improves blind people’s lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence.  It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation’s blind.  In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind.

 

About Live Nation Entertainment

Live Nation Entertainment is the world’s leading live entertainment and eCommerce company, comprised of four market leaders: Ticketmaster.com, Live Nation Concerts, Front Line Management Group and Live Nation Network.  Ticketmaster.com is the global event ticketing leader and one of the world’s top five eCommerce sites, with over 26 million monthly unique visitors.  Live Nation Concerts produces over 20,000 shows annually for more than 2,000 artists globally.  Front Line is the world’s top artist management company, representing over 250 artists.  These businesses power Live Nation Network, the leading provider of entertainment marketing solutions, enabling over 800 advertisers to tap into the 200 million consumers Live Nation delivers annually through its live event and digital platforms.  For additional information, visit www.livenation.com/investors.

 

LL

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Blogging Against Disablism Day is May 1st, 2011

Blogging Against Disablism Day has been an annual event for the last five years or so.  It was the brainchild of a blogger known as "Goldfish," appearing first on the blog, "Diary of a goldfish."  Each year, anyone who has a disability, or who knows someone who has a disability, is invited to participate.  If you are a parent of a child with a disability, or even a non-disabled individual who wants to share your personal experiences or observations about disablism, you can post an essay in an effort to raise awareness and improve conditions for people with disabilities.  Blogging Against Disablism Day takes place each year on May 1st, which is on Sunday this year.

      

The event is hosted on a blog that organizes and links all of the entries so that readers can easily identify, read and share the articles.  You can submit your own entry here:

 

Diary of a Goldfish

 

Last year was the first I had heard of this event, and I attempted to submit an article.  However, I could not get past the audio CAPTCHA  verification, which did not seem to be functioning, so I submitted my entry on my own blog.  You can find it here:

 

Blogging Against Disablism 2010 entry, You Don’t Look Blind.

 

This year, I’ll post an article I wrote about a typical experience when interacting with an employee at a grocery store from whom I requested assistance.  If  you don’t want to list your own article on the "official" blog site, you are welcome to submit yours here.  I’ll be promoting the event, and your posts and comments.   See you may 1, 2011.

 

LL

Here it is! Official ZoomText Reader release

Since I’ve been hinting around about the release of the Zoomtext Reader product for awhile, I thought I’d post the official release notice from AI Squared:

 

It’s finally here! You have been hearing about ZoomReader for a couple of months now, and we are pleased to officially announce that our ZoomReader app is available for purchase in the iTunes App Store for just $19.99!

So what exactly is ZoomReader? Using your built-in camera on the iPhone 4, you can zoom in on printed text or apply a color filter to make everything easier on your eyes. It’s not just a video magnifier; you can also snap a picture of something and ZoomReader will convert it into text using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology and then read the text back to you!

Many of the features in ZoomReader are available via voice control, too – just say "take picture" and seconds later it’ll appear on screen.

Just think – now you can read the small print on a receipt, box, menu, or pill bottle. Whether you’re on the go or using ZoomReader to help you read a newspaper in the comfort of your living room, this quick and powerful program does everything a dedicated video magnifier can do and then some – from the convenience of your iPhone and at a much lower price.

Get your copy today in the iTunes App Store. If you’d like more information, you can visit our mobile website where you’ll find a bunch of how-to videos. Or, check out our overview video right here:

   
Ai Squared     Manchester Center, VT     (800) 859-0270     www.aisquared.com

 

 

:I’m really interested to know what you think, so if you try it out, comment below and share your experience.. 

 

LL

Posted in AT News, Cool Tools. No Comments »

How has your awareness message evolved over time?

Advocacy groups have been around for as long as we have been a nation.  In the last forty years or so, however, there has been a proliferation of groups representing specific or niche causes, ranging from autism awareness month to asbestos awareness day.  Doing a quick search, I found brain awareness week, families of spinal muscular atrophy awareness month, red light running awareness day, penguin awareness week and world kidney day.  The variety of awareness groups is as numerous as the approaches used to target supporters and solicit for donations.

 

It has been interesting to observe the evolution of awareness groups.  We have watched Jerry Lewis telethons in which children were trotted out and characterized as victims.  "My kids can’t DO anything,"  Mr. Lewis would wail, "they can’t go out and get a job."  We have been inspired to "live strong," in our fight against cancer.  Just the language used to promote awareness messages has changed considerably.

 

How has your awareness message evolved over time, and what has been the most beneficial change, for your own cause?  How has re framing the message proved useful?  Or, have your tried-and-true methods continued to pay off for you?  Has it been necessary to become more outrageous in an effort to compete for donation dollars, or has your campaign metamorphosed so as to incorporate social media and attract a new demographic group?  Comment below and share your thoughts, and promote your cause, too!

 

LL

Mobile Accessibility is Now Available for Purchase

Making Android Phones Accessible to the Blind
Terrassa (Barcelona), Spain, March 30th, 2011
Mobile Accessibility, our screen-access application that allows people who are blind or have low vision to use an Android phone in an intuitive, easy and simple way, is now on sale.  Mobile Accessibility is the first accessible Android application that permits intuitive touchscreen navigation of Android phones, featuring text readback via natural sounding voices powered by Nuance’s Vocalizer® text-to-speech technology.

You can purchase the application directly from the Market application of your Android phone, or from the web page:

US English: https://market.android.com/details?id=es.codefactory.android.app.ma.vocalizerenu&feature=search_result
UK English: https://market.android.com/details?id=es.codefactory.android.app.ma.vocalizereng&feature=search_result
For more information on how to purchase your copy of Mobile Accessibility please go to http://www.codefactory.es/en/products.asp?id=415#getit

If you still have not tried it, you should do it now. Our 30-day demos are available here:

Mobile Accessibility Demo US: https://market.android.com/details?id=es.codefactory.android.app.ma.vocalizerenudemo&feature=search_result
Mobile Accessibility Demo UK: https://market.android.com/details?id=es.codefactory.android.app.ma.vocalizerengdemo&feature=search_result

Mobile Accessibility is only available in English at the moment. Languages to follow soon are:  Spanish, Italian, German, French and Portuguese.

Mobile Accessibility doesn’t support multiple languages at one time. If you buy the English version of Mobile Accessibility you will not be able to use it in another language like French or Spanish. There will be a specific version of Mobile Accessibility for each language and each version will have to be purchased separately. US and UK English are 2 different languages.

Mobile Accessibility is two products in one:
A suite of 10 accessible applications (Phone, Contacts, SMS, Alarm, Calendar, Email, Web, Where am I, Apps and Settings) that have been specially designed for the blind and visually impaired. They all have a simplified interface whose textual information is spoken using Nuance Vocalizer® voice synthesis.
A screen reader that allows users to get out of the suite and navigate the standard interface of their phone.

The major features of Mobile Accessibility are the following:
Touch navigation: You can use Mobile Accessibility not only with the trackball or the physical keyboard of your phone, but also with its touchscreen! Simply move your finger around the screen and the voice synthesis will read the text located under your finger. Or if you prefer, you can also swipe up/down/right/left and tap on the screen to navigate through the interface. And if you wish you can enable sound and vibration feedback.
Easy to input text: In or outside the Mobile Accessibility suite you can use the touch QWERTY keyboard as well as speech recognition to write text quickly and easily. Imagine writing an SMS or an Email using your voice only.
Voice synthesis: Code Factory has been making mobile phones accessible to the blind and visually impaired for many years now, and they know that the voice matters… and a lot! For Mobile Accessibility, Code Factory has partnered with Nuance® to leverage its trusted Vocalizer text-to-speech technology, providing consumers with natural sounding voice readback. 

Inside the Mobile Accessibility suite of accessible applications you can do the following
Phone: Make calls, answer calls, hear the caller ID and manage your call log.
Contacts: Manage your contacts, even those from social networks such as Facebook. 
SMS: Compose and read short messages. Manage conversations.
Alarms: Set your alarms.
Web: Full web browser experience, similar to what you can find on your PC. Jump by the control of your choice (links, paragraphs, headings, forms, etc.) to navigate faster to the information of your interest. Bookmark your favourite webpages.
Calendar: Create, edit and delete a calendar entry. View all events per day, week or month.
Email: Full access to your Gmail account
Where am I? : GPS application that gives you updates on your current location.
Settings: Change ringtone. Configure feedback and notifications (vibration or audio). Configure keyboard echo, punctuation verbosity, speech pitch and rate, etc.
Quick access to date and time, phone status information such as battery level and network coverage, number of missed calls and unread messages, etc.

To hear Mobile Accessibility in action listen to videos and audio demos at http://www.codefactory.es/en/products.asp?id=415#video

Mobile Accessibility supports all Android phones from version 2.1 and above. Please note that voice recognition is only supported with version 2.2 and above. Note also that if you want to use the screen reader functionality of Mobile Accessibility you will need a phone with physical navigational controls such as a trackball or trackpad. You can find more information about Android phones at http://www.google.com/phone/#manufacturer=all&category=all&carrier=all&country=all&reset_filters=1

To learn how to use Mobile Accessibility for Android, please consult the user guide at http://www.codefactory.es/MA/en/ma_1_0_manual.html. For technical assistance, please submit a ticket through Code Factory’s Help Desk at http://www.codefactory.cat/helpdesk/

For more information, feel free to contact Code Factory S.L.:

Code Factory, S.L., Rambla d’Egara 148 2-2, 08221 Terrassa (Barcelona)
HelpDesk, www.codefactory.es
Code Factory, S.L. – 2011

 

LL