July 13, 2016

Document Accessibility Via Smartphone

Back in March, I was at the CSUN Conference International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, and was part of a discussion about an organization not meeting the American’s with Disabilities requirements for providing documents to blind or partially sighted users. Apparently, this company had already received a number of warning notices. What was clear from this discussion and from my sessions was that the Department of Justice, advocacy groups, users and lawyers are increasingly active in enforcing the requirement to make all documents accessible, ensuring that there is no print discrimination.

The folks we spoke with were intrigued by the use of Voiceye and the ability to add accessible barcodes to documents, forms, books, publications and reports. They felt that the organization that needed to resolve its obligation could easily add a barcode to their printed documents while at the same time reducing the need to provide one-off accommodation for accessible documents. The fact that the barcode was easily added to the original printed document and supported multiple accessible document formats made it even more worthy of their attention.

Voiceye is a compelling solution for an organization that has blind or visually impaired clients who demand that their documents be made accessible. For documents that are being authored in MS-Word, text content can be made into a barcode and the document can be scanned via a smartphone, even when there is no internet connectivity. The only requirement for creating barcodes is to purchase an inexpensive plugin that encodes text content into a highly dense barcode. The barcode can then be added to brochures, reports, publications, booklets, forms and other documents.

Similarly, for high volume producers of transaction documents like invoices, statements, letters and notices, a Voiceye solution can automate the process of making these documents accessible.

What is Voiceye and the Voiceye barcode?

Simply put, the solution encodes print content into a unique dense barcode, taking a page of print and storing the information for consumption through an app on a smartphone or tablet. This barcode allows a person who is blind, partially sighted or has a cognitive disability to scan the barcode, so that it is accessible via the free Voiceye App in the following formats:

  • Voiceover or read aloud in audio

  • Large Print on screen

  • Large Print high contrast

  • Braille via a connected refreshable braille display

With over 80% adoption rates of smartphones and tablets in the blind and partially sighted community, no other tool supports so many accessible options out of the box while maintaining the accuracy and fidelity of the information. This means you can offer a selection of four formats to all users rather than having to produce a specific accessible document format upon request.

Organizations like the Blinded Veteran’s Association utilize this solution to communicate to their membership. This solution is quick and easy to implement by simply adding it as a plugin to MS-Word.

To learn more about how to meet your accessibility requirements while providing your clients access to printed text in an easy to use solution join me and our team for our educational webinar, July 21 at 1pm ET, Making Static Documents Accessible in Your Office.