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 Our Approach to Accessibility: Working to make our products and services more accessible for everyone

At Google, we are committed to making accessibility a core consideration from the earliest stages of product design through release, an approach that results in better outcomes that improve lives. Our central accessibility teamhas a mandate to monitor the state of accessibility of Google products and coordinate accessibility training, testing, and consulting. Product teams are offered training to help incorporate accessibility principles into the design and release of products. We also cultivate relationships with a variety of users and advocacy groups to solicit feedback.

“Accessibility is written into our mission statement and core to our values as a company. Technology’s great promise is to give everyone the same power to achieve their goals. As long as there are barriers for some, there’s still work to be done."   -Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google

Useful Stats:
  • One billion+ people live with some kind of disability according to the World Health Organization and this number, which encompasses 15% of the population, is set to rise as people get older and live longer.
  • Over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – has disabling hearing loss. It is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people – or one in every ten people – will have disabling hearing loss.

Accessibility Announcements at I/O
  • Project Euphonia is in the research phase and aims to make products that use voice as an input work better for everyone, including people with speech difficulties.  We’re using AI to improve the ability of computers to understand and reliably recognize and transcribe a diverse set of speech patterns. And we’re also looking for people to provide voice samples to improve the models this technology is being built on.
  • Live Relay is a research effort that uses on-device speech recognition and text-to-speech conversion to allow the phone to listen and speak on the users’ behalf while they type. This makes it possible to hold a synchronous phone call where one person speaks and one person types, creating a new option for accessibility users like the deaf/Hard-of-Hearing who may be unable to hear or speak. Users can both make and receive calls with Tulip.
  • Project Diva allows easier interaction with Google Assistant via a variety of physical devices, and may help a person who is non-verbal or has cognitive or mobility impairments to use Augmentative and Alternative Communication devices for triggering commands like playing music or movies. The aim is to give people more independence. Developers can also create their own DIVA device.
  • Live Caption: With a single tap, Live Caption will automatically caption media playing on your phone. Videos, podcasts, and audio messages, across any app—even stuff you record yourself. As soon as speech is detected, captions will appear, without ever needing wifi or cell phone data, and without any audio or captions leaving your phone. Just double-tap to show more, and drag to move anywhere on screen.
Helpful Links: