Inauguration with Audio Description
The Presidential Inaugural Committee made accessibility a priority in all aspects of the ceremonies and events for the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The Audio Described Inauguration festivities that were streamed on YouTube and ACB Radio Live Event are now available as a podcast on the ACB Events feed. You may access this podcast directly at: https://bit.ly/39ZaOIC.
Vispero Training Series on ACB Community Podcast
The ACB Community Podcast Channel is pleased to present the a training series for users of Vispero Freedom Scientific products. ACB thanks Vispero for contributing their expertise and providing valuable information on how their assistive technology works with vital business and home office applications. Listen to the podcast episodes on our ACB Voices blog: https://bit.ly/3qGbHN2.
ACB Advocacy Update: Outlook for the 117th Congress
On this week’s episode of the ACB Advocacy Update, ACB Director of Advocacy & Governmental Affairs, Clark Rachfal, is joined by a couple familiar voices in new places. We speak with ACB First Vice President Mark Richert, and friend of ACB, Paul Schroeder. Mark is the interim Executive Director for the Association of Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and is now the Director of Public Policy for the VisionServe Alliance. Paul is now the Vice President, Government and Community Affairs for the American Printing House for the Blind. With combined decades of advocacy and public policy experience, Mark and Paul share their thoughts on what policies important to ACB and our members might be addressed during the 117th Congress. Listen via your favorite podcast player or online at: https://tinyurl.com/y6n59d57.
LightHouse's Holman Prize is Open for Applications
Applications for the 2021 Holman Prize are now open. Now in its fifth year, the Holman Prize for Blind Ambition annually awards up to $25,000 each to three blind people from around the world with incredible ideas that will shatter misconceptions about blindness worldwide. The Holman Prize named after James Holman, a blind 19th century explorer who is the most prolific private traveler of anyone, blind or sighted, before the era of modern transportation. The only qualifications for the Holman Prize are that you must be blind (including legally blind and partially sighted) and that you must be 18 years old by October 1, 2021. Apply for the Holman Prize at: https://holman.lighthouse-sf.org/apply/. Applications close on March 14 at 11:59 pm Pacific. For more info, check out the Holman Prize frequently asked questions page and if you don’t find your answer there, email email@example.com.
Facebook: Using AI to Improve Photo Descriptions
Every day, billions of photos are posted to Facebook - photos that spark memories, start conversations, and make people laugh. Unfortunately, not everyone includes a text description when they post a photo, so a few years ago Facebook invented a new technology called Automatic Alt Text (AAT) that uses computer vision technology to automatically generate screen reader descriptions when they’re missing. Now, the number of objects and concepts that AAT can recognize in photos on Instagram and Facebook has jumped to over 1200, a 10x increase since this feature was first introduced. They’ve also expanded existing object and concept categories and added new ones like activities, landmarks and types of animals. They’re also releasing an additional AAT feature on Facebook that provides a more detailed image description, including the position of objects in a photo and their relative size. You can access the detailed description using a long press on a photo in Android and a ‘custom action’ on a photo in iOS. Read more on Newsroom about other improvements to AAT and how artificial intelligence is making them possible: https://bit.ly/2KD9pPo.
Illinois Institute of Technology & The Chicago Lighthouse Clinical Trial
On Tuesday, January 26 at 2pm CST, learn from researchers about an experimental device intended to restore visual perception for individuals who are blind. Presenters will discuss the intracortical visual prosthesis device, study, expectations, possible risks and benefits, process and post implant requirements. Interested individuals will receive contact information to speak with study personnel after the educational session is over. For more information and to reserve your spot please contact Kelsey Stipp at 312-567-5304, or ICVP@iit.edu. You also can read about the study at thechicagolighthouse.org/icvp. This event is hosted by The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Audio Description Project Updates
This week's newly added audio-described content includes additions to Apple TV+, Disney+, Netflix, iTunes, and our list of DVDs with audio description. To learn more about ACB's Audio Description Project, visit www.acb.org/adp.