Tag Archives: accessibility

Announcing the Recipients of the 2020 Award for Inclusion Research

At Google, it is our ongoing goal to support faculty who are conducting innovative research that will have positive societal impact. As part of that goal, earlier this year we launched the Award for Inclusion Research program, a global program that supports academic research in computing and technology addressing the needs of underrepresented populations. The Award for Inclusion Research program allows faculty and Google researchers an opportunity to partner on their research initiatives and build new and constructive long-term relationships.

We received 100+ applications from over 100 universities, globally, and today we are excited to announce the 16 proposals chosen for funding, focused on an array of topics around diversity and inclusion, algorithmic bias, education innovation, health tools, accessibility, gender bias, AI for social good, security, and social justice. The proposals include 25 principal investigators who focus on making the community stronger through their research efforts.

Congratulations to announce this year’s recipients:

"Human Centred Technology Design for Social Justice in Africa"
Anicia Peters (University of Namibia) and Shaimaa Lazem (City for Scientific Research and Technological Applications, Egypt)

"Modern NLP for Regional and Dialectal Language Variants"
Antonios Anastasopoulos (George Mason University)

"Culturally Relevant Collaborative Health Tracking Tools for Motivating Heart-Healthy Behaviors Among African Americans"
Aqueasha Martin-Hammond (Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis) and Tanjala S. Purnell (Johns Hopkins University)

"Characterizing Energy Equity in the United States"
Destenie Nock and Constantine Samaras (Carnegie Mellon University)

"Developing a Dialogue System for a Culturally-Responsive Social Programmable Robot"
Erin Walker (University of Pittsburgh) and Leshell Hatley (Coppin State University)

"Eliminating Gender Bias in NLP Beyond English"
Hinrich Schuetze (LMU Munich)

"The Ability-Based Design Mobile Toolkit: Enabling Accessible Mobile Interactions through Advanced Sensing and Modeling"
Jacob O. Wobbrock (University of Washington)

"Mutual aid and community engagement: Community-based mechanisms against algorithmic bias"
Jasmine McNealy (University of Florida)

"Empowering Syrian Girls through Culturally Sensitive Mobile Technology and Media Literacy
Karen Elizabeth Fisher (University of Washington) and Yacine Ghamri-Doudane (University of La Rochelle)

"Broadening participation in data science through examining the health, social, and economic impacts of gentrification"
Latifa Jackson (Howard University) and Hasan Jackson (Howard University)

"Understanding How Peer and Near Peer Mentors co-Facilitating the Active Learning Process of Introductory Data Structures Within an Immersive Summer Experience Effected Rising Sophomore Computer Science Student Persistence and Preparedness for Careers in Silicon Valley"
Legand Burge (Howard University) and Marlon Mejias (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

"Who is Most Likely to Advocate for this Case? A Machine Learning Approach"
Maria De-Arteaga (University of Texas at Austin)

"Contextual Rendering of Equations for Visually Impaired Persons"
Meenakshi Balakrishnan (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India) and Volker Sorge (University of Birmingham)

"Measuring the Cultural Competence of Computing Students and Faculty Nationwide to Improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"
Nicki Washington (Duke University)

"Designing and Building Collaborative Tools for Mixed-Ability Programming Teams"
Steve Oney (University of Michigan)

"Iterative Design of a Black Studies Research Computing Initiative through `Flipped Research’"
Timothy Sherwood and Sharon Tettegah (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Source: Google AI Blog


Announcing the Recipients of the 2020 Award for Inclusion Research

At Google, it is our ongoing goal to support faculty who are conducting innovative research that will have positive societal impact. As part of that goal, earlier this year we launched the Award for Inclusion Research program, a global program that supports academic research in computing and technology addressing the needs of underrepresented populations. The Award for Inclusion Research program allows faculty and Google researchers an opportunity to partner on their research initiatives and build new and constructive long-term relationships.

We received 100+ applications from over 100 universities, globally, and today we are excited to announce the 16 proposals chosen for funding, focused on an array of topics around diversity and inclusion, algorithmic bias, education innovation, health tools, accessibility, gender bias, AI for social good, security, and social justice. The proposals include 25 principal investigators who focus on making the community stronger through their research efforts.

Congratulations to announce this year’s recipients:

"Human Centred Technology Design for Social Justice in Africa"
Anicia Peters (University of Namibia) and Shaimaa Lazem (City for Scientific Research and Technological Applications, Egypt)

"Modern NLP for Regional and Dialectal Language Variants"
Antonios Anastasopoulos (George Mason University)

"Culturally Relevant Collaborative Health Tracking Tools for Motivating Heart-Healthy Behaviors Among African Americans"
Aqueasha Martin-Hammond (Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis) and Tanjala S. Purnell (Johns Hopkins University)

"Characterizing Energy Equity in the United States"
Destenie Nock and Constantine Samaras (Carnegie Mellon University)

"Developing a Dialogue System for a Culturally-Responsive Social Programmable Robot"
Erin Walker (University of Pittsburgh) and Leshell Hatley (Coppin State University)

"Eliminating Gender Bias in NLP Beyond English"
Hinrich Schuetze (LMU Munich)

"The Ability-Based Design Mobile Toolkit: Enabling Accessible Mobile Interactions through Advanced Sensing and Modeling"
Jacob O. Wobbrock (University of Washington)

"Mutual aid and community engagement: Community-based mechanisms against algorithmic bias"
Jasmine McNealy (University of Florida)

"Empowering Syrian Girls through Culturally Sensitive Mobile Technology and Media Literacy
Karen Elizabeth Fisher (University of Washington) and Yacine Ghamri-Doudane (University of La Rochelle)

"Broadening participation in data science through examining the health, social, and economic impacts of gentrification"
Latifa Jackson (Howard University) and Hasan Jackson (Howard University)

"Understanding How Peer and Near Peer Mentors co-Facilitating the Active Learning Process of Introductory Data Structures Within an Immersive Summer Experience Effected Rising Sophomore Computer Science Student Persistence and Preparedness for Careers in Silicon Valley"
Legand Burge (Howard University) and Marlon Mejias (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

"Who is Most Likely to Advocate for this Case? A Machine Learning Approach"
Maria De-Arteaga (University of Texas at Austin)

"Contextual Rendering of Equations for Visually Impaired Persons"
Meenakshi Balakrishnan (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India) and Volker Sorge (University of Birmingham)

"Measuring the Cultural Competence of Computing Students and Faculty Nationwide to Improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"
Nicki Washington (Duke University)

"Designing and Building Collaborative Tools for Mixed-Ability Programming Teams"
Steve Oney (University of Michigan)

"Iterative Design of a Black Studies Research Computing Initiative through `Flipped Research’"
Timothy Sherwood and Sharon Tettegah (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Source: Google AI Blog


9 Chromebook and G Suite for Education features to make learning more accessible

Around the world, students with disabilities and diverse learning needs have been learning remotely, and teachers are finding new ways to practice inclusive teaching. In South Korea, Ryu Changdong, a blind teacher at Seoyun Middle School, when switching to online learning, struggled to gauge his students’ level of interaction with the lessons. While teaching remotely, he turned to Google Forms for quick surveys, knowledge checks and feedback before every lesson to help fill the void after not being able to rely on verbal clues like he would in class- and then used that feedback to inform his planning for the next lesson. In every school that’s using Chromebooks and G Suite for Education for learning, students with disabilities are also benefiting from tools that help them read, listen, and connect with classmates and teachers.


In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we’re shining a light on improvements to Chromebook and G Suite for Education accessibility features.

1. More colors for cursors on Chromebooks

To help students see cursors better on Chromebooks, they can choose from seven colors—red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta and pink—in addition to default black. They can also make the cursor size bigger for more visibility. To change cursor sizes, go to the “Mouse and touchpad” section of Settings. 

02-cursor-color-change@2x.gif

2. Select-to-speak and ChromeVox improvements

To make it easier to focus on the spoken text, students can shade background text that is not being spoken aloud using Select-to-speak. This can be helpful for people with low vision and learning disabilities like dyslexia. To enable this select-to-speak feature, search for “Select-to-speak settings” within Settings

Voice Switching automatically changes the screen reader’s voice based on the language of the text being read, providing more clarity for pages containing multiple languages. We’ve also added Speech Customization, Smart Sticky Mode, and improved navigation in ChromeVox menus. Search for ChromeVox in Settings to try these new features. 

SS GIF.gif

Use Select-to-speak on Chromebooks.

3. Accessible test-taking for students on Chromebooks

Administrators can set Chromebooks into kiosk mode, so an exam app can run in full-screen mode on a device. When using kiosk mode for testing, Chromebook accessibility features are now more readily available and customizable- like screen readers, magnification, and more. And some testing providers like Pearson make it possible to access third-party accessibility tools from partners like Don Johnston and Texthelp. Later this year, we'll add the ability to set device accessibility policies so students with disabilities can use personalized accessibility settings. We also enabled the use of accessibility features built into Chromebooks when using locked mode in Quizzes in Google Forms, along with tools from partners mentioned above.

4. More support for braille in Google Docs

Students can use a braille display to read and edit documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and drawings. Now, with several improvements to braille support in Google Docs, like new keyboard shortcuts, faster typing echo and screen reader navigation, improved handling of punctuation and spaces, and more.

5. Live captioning in Google Meet

Live captions help make meetings more accessible by reducing barriers among students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, regardless of whether they’re participating remotely or in person. And now, captions are rolling out in Spanish, French, German and Portuguese.

6. Smart to do's in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

In Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, when you use comments to assign tasks or action items, suggested action items will appear based on the content in your file. This is helpful for working quickly and making sure follow ups are noted.

7. Work hands-free in G Suite for Education

Students can use voice commands to carry out actions in G Suite such as navigating, selecting, and editing in Google Docs, sending emails in Gmail, and joining or leaving Google Meets. 

8. Closed captions in Google Slides

With this Google Slides feature, everything students and teachers say during a presentation in Slides can be shown as a caption at the bottom of viewers’ screens. It’s a helpful feature for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, and can likely help all users better absorb a presentation’s content.

Perz GIF.gif

Use closed captions in Google Slides.

9. Live edits in Google Docs

Live edits are accessible through screen readers. This includes announcing changes, reading edited text, and also naming who’s doing the editing.

Where to get support

Read our Guardian's Guide for advice on using Chromebooks and G Suite for Education for learning from home. For additional support, check out Teach from Anywhere and the Chromebook accessibility hub.

Project Euphonia’s new step: 1,000 hours of speech recordings

Muratcan Cicek, a PhD candidate at UC Santa Cruz, worked as a summer intern on Google’s Project Euphonia, which aims to improve computers’ abilities to understand impaired speech. This work was especially relevant and important for Muratcan, who was born with cerebral palsy and has a severe speech impairment.

Before his internship, Muratcan recorded 2,000 phrases for Project Euphonia. These phrases, expressions like “Turn the lights on” and “Turn up thermostat to 74 degrees,” were used to build a personalized speech recognition model that could better recognize the unique sound of his voice and transcribe his speech. The prototype allowed Muratcan to share the transcription in a video call so others could better understand him. He used the prototype to converse with co-workers, give status updates during team meetings and connect with people in ways that were previously impossible. Muratcan says, “Euphonia transformed my communication skills in a way that I can leverage in my career as an engineer without feeling insecure about my condition.”

Muratcan, a Google intern

Muratcan, a summer research intern on the Euphonia team, uses the Euphonia prototype app

1,000 hours of speech samples

The phrases that Muratcan recorded were key to training custom machine learning models that could help him be more easily understood. To help other people that have impaired speech caused by ALS, Parkinson’s disease or Down Syndrome, we need to gather samples of their speech patterns. So we’ve worked with partners like CDSS, ALS TDI, ALSA, LSVT Global, Team Gleason and CureDuchenne to encourage people with speech impairments to record their voices and contribute to this research.

Since 2018, nearly 1,000 participants have recorded over 1,000 hours of speech samples. For many, it’s been a source of pride and purpose to shape the future of speech recognition, not only for themselves but also for others who struggle to be understood.

I contribute to this research so that I can help not only myself, but also a larger group of people with communication challenges that are often left out. Project Euphonia participant

While the technology is still under development, the speech samples we’ve collected helped us create personalized speech recognition models for individuals with speech impairments, like Muratcan. For more technical details about how these models work, see the Euphonia and Parrotron blog posts. We’re evaluating these personalized models with a group of early testers. The next phase of our research aims to improve speech recognition systems for many more people, but it requires many more speech samples from a broad range of speakers.

How you can contribute

To continue our research, we hope to collect speech samples from an additional 5,000 participants. If you have difficulty being understood by others and want to contribute to meaningful research to improve speech recognition technologies, learn more and consider signing up to record phrases. We look forward to hearing from more participants and experts— and together, helping everyone be understood.

Making Chromebooks work for people with disabilities

As a visually impaired woman, I use assistive technology everyday to make my working environment accessible and productive. I feel grateful to work on the Chromebook team, which values my perspective as someone with a disability. Seeking and embracing a diverse set of perspectives is the only true way to build for everyone. 

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month in the U.S.—it’s a meaningful time because it makes me reflect on how far technology has come. However, it also reminds me how much more opportunity there is to build with accessibility in mind to create a more inclusive world.

Today, I’m shining a spotlight on some recent features that make Chromebooks more accessible for people with disabilities. 

Change your cursor color

Now you can change the color of your cursor to improve its visibility and add a personal touch to your Chromebook. Choose from seven new colors: red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta and pink. This feature is designed to help people with low vision and complements other ways Chromebook cursors can be customized, like adjusting its size for further visibility. To adjust your cursor, go to the “Mouse and touchpad” section of Settings.


Visual shows cursor colors changing.

Select-to-speak gets better

Select-to-speak lets people choose text on screen to be spoken aloud. You now have the option to shade background text that isn’t highlighted, which makes it easier to focus on the words being recited. This can be especially helpful for people with low vision and learning disabilities like dyslexia. To turn on this feature, search for “Select-to-speak settings” within Settings. 

Visual shows select-to-speak reciting highlighted text

New ChromeVox enhancements

ChromeVox is the built-in screen reader on all Chromebooks. Screen readers are critical for people who are blind or low vision to use computers. Voice Switching on ChromeVox now automatically changes the screen reader’s voice based on the language of the page. If the page is in both English and Spanish, ChromeVox will detect which voice to use when reading it aloud. We also added more speech customization options, Smart Sticky Mode and improved navigation in ChromeVox menus. Search ChromeVox in Settings to try these new changes. Learn more details about ChromeVox here.
Visual shows menus that have been updated in ChromeVox with new search functionality.

We’ve simplified the ChromeVox menus to make them easier to navigate.

Say hello to the Chromebook accessibility hub 

We recently launched the Chromebook accessibility hub for people to learn about getting started with accessibility features on Chromebooks. It includes info on key Chromebook accessibility features, including links to video tutorials and useful Help Center articles. 


Export accessible PDFs in Chrome 

Now it’s easier to export websites as accessible PDFs in Google Chrome, including on Chromebooks. Chrome is now the first browser to generate PDFs with auto-generated headings, links, tables and alt-text that make them more easily legible for screen-readers. This makes the web more accessible for people with low vision or who are blind. 


Guide kids with disabilities who are distance learning

If you have a child with a disability and they’re distance learning, check out our new Guardian’s Guide for advice on how to best use Chromebooks for learning from home. The guide includes tips tailored for different types of disabilities to help your family get the most out of Chromebooks and adapt to distance learning.


We’re constantly making updates to Chrome OS to make all Chromebooks more accessible for people with disabilities. Stay tuned for more highlights on Chrome OS improvements soon.


6 ways your Android is getting more helpful this fall

 

It was only a few weeks ago that we released Android 11, the latest version of the operating system. Today, we’re highlighting six of the latest Google features for Android—available even on older versions—that make your life a little easier and more enjoyable this fall.


1. Do even more with Google Assistant and your favorite apps

AFS_Assistant_v001.png

Click on the image above to see the video of Google Assistant working with Android apps

Your Android phone comes with Google Assistant, and now you can ask it to open or search across Android apps. Try saying “Hey Google, send snap with Cartoon Lens” or “Hey Google, log a berry smoothie on MyFitnessPal." We’ve partnered with many of the top apps on Google Play including Walmart, Mint, Spotify, Etsy, and Discord, to do specific tasks unique to those individual apps. Get started by saying, “Hey Google, show my shortcuts.”


2. New ways to connect with Google Duo

AFS_Comms_v001 (1).png

Click on the image above to see the video of screen sharing in Google Duo

When your friends and family video call you with Google Duo, you can now share your screen to browse photos or plan activities together while on the call. If they aren’t catching you at a good time, they can leave a video message, which has automatic captions to help if you have hearing loss or are in a spot where you can’t play audio. Download Google Duo on Google Play.


3. Say goodbye to spam calls with Google’s Phone app


With Google’s Phone app, your Android device will stop spam callers for good and it’ll tell you who’s calling and why. We’ve been working to bring the app to more people, and it’s now available to download for the first time on most Android devices running Android 9 or above. Download Phone by Google on Google Play to get spam protection and other helpful features, and easily connect with friends and family no matter what type of devices they use. 


4. New tools for hearing loss with Sound Notifications

AFS_Access_v001 (1).png

Click on the image above to see the video of Sound Notifications

Sound Notifications flags important, inconvenient, or alarming noises around you when you have hearing loss or are even wearing headphones. Set up Sound Notifications in the Live Transcribe app, and your phone will flash, vibrate, and provide push notifications when it detects a fire alarm, a door knocking, household appliance beeps, and more. You can also set up your Wear OS smartwatch to vibrate and send a push notification, as well. Download Live Transcribe on Google Play.


5. Communicate with Action Blocks when you don’t use your voice

Action Blocks - select speaking block.png

Caption: Action Blocks makes communication more accessible

Built for people with cognitive disabilities and age-related conditions, Action Blocks can now be used to communicate short phrases. It acts as an artificial voice for people with cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism, aphasia, and other speech related disabilities. In addition, Action Blocks now incorporates thousands of Picture Communication Symbols from Tobii Dynavox, making it easier to use the Android app alongside existing speech therapy and special education materials. It also now supports Japanese, French, German, and Italian. Download Action Blocks on Google Play.


6. Enjoy the entertainment you love, with a little help from Google

GTV.png

Click on the image above to see a video of the Google TV app on Android

Your TV isn't the only place for finding and watching entertainment. Starting on Android phones in the U.S., the Google Play Movies & TV app is being updated to Google TV. Google TV helps you discover what to watch with recommendations for movies and shows from across your streaming apps. And with the Google TV app, your recommendations, Library, and Watchlist go with you wherever you are, whether it’s out the front door or just to the other room. Learn more on Google Play

Source: Android


6 ways your Android is getting more helpful this fall

 

It was only a few weeks ago that we released Android 11, the latest version of the operating system. Today, we’re highlighting six of the latest Google features for Android—available even on older versions—that make your life a little easier and more enjoyable this fall.


1. Do even more with Google Assistant and your favorite apps

AFS_Assistant_v001.png

Click on the image above to see the video of Google Assistant working with Android apps

Your Android phone comes with Google Assistant, and now you can ask it to open or search across Android apps. Try saying “Hey Google, send snap with Cartoon Lens” or “Hey Google, log a berry smoothie on MyFitnessPal." We’ve partnered with many of the top apps on Google Play including Walmart, Mint, Spotify, Etsy, and Discord, to do specific tasks unique to those individual apps. Get started by saying, “Hey Google, show my shortcuts.”


2. New ways to connect with Google Duo

AFS_Comms_v001 (1).png

Click on the image above to see the video of screen sharing in Google Duo

When your friends and family video call you with Google Duo, you can now share your screen to browse photos or plan activities together while on the call. If they aren’t catching you at a good time, they can leave a video message, which has automatic captions to help if you have hearing loss or are in a spot where you can’t play audio. Download Google Duo on Google Play.


3. Say goodbye to spam calls with Google’s Phone app


With Google’s Phone app, your Android device will stop spam callers for good and it’ll tell you who’s calling and why. We’ve been working to bring the app to more people, and it’s now available to download for the first time on most Android devices running Android 9 or above. Download Phone by Google on Google Play to get spam protection and other helpful features, and easily connect with friends and family no matter what type of devices they use. 


4. New tools for hearing loss with Sound Notifications

AFS_Access_v001 (1).png

Click on the image above to see the video of Sound Notifications

Sound Notifications flags important, inconvenient, or alarming noises around you when you have hearing loss or are even wearing headphones. Set up Sound Notifications in the Live Transcribe app, and your phone will flash, vibrate, and provide push notifications when it detects a fire alarm, a door knocking, household appliance beeps, and more. You can also set up your Wear OS smartwatch to vibrate and send a push notification, as well. Download Live Transcribe on Google Play.


5. Communicate with Action Blocks when you don’t use your voice

Action Blocks - select speaking block.png

Caption: Action Blocks makes communication more accessible

Built for people with cognitive disabilities and age-related conditions, Action Blocks can now be used to communicate short phrases. It acts as an artificial voice for people with cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism, aphasia, and other speech related disabilities. In addition, Action Blocks now incorporates thousands of Picture Communication Symbols from Tobii Dynavox, making it easier to use the Android app alongside existing speech therapy and special education materials. It also now supports Japanese, French, German, and Italian. Download Action Blocks on Google Play.


6. Enjoy the entertainment you love, with a little help from Google

GTV.png

Click on the image above to see a video of the Google TV app on Android

Your TV isn't the only place for finding and watching entertainment. Starting on Android phones in the U.S., the Google Play Movies & TV app is being updated to Google TV. Google TV helps you discover what to watch with recommendations for movies and shows from across your streaming apps. And with the Google TV app, your recommendations, Library, and Watchlist go with you wherever you are, whether it’s out the front door or just to the other room. Learn more on Google Play

Source: Android


6 ways your Android is getting more helpful this fall

 

It was only a few weeks ago that we released Android 11, the latest version of the operating system. Today, we’re highlighting six of the latest Google features for Android—available even on older versions—that make your life a little easier and more enjoyable this fall.


1. Do even more with Google Assistant and your favorite apps

AFS_Assistant_v001.png

Click on the image above to see the video of Google Assistant working with Android apps

Your Android phone comes with Google Assistant, and now you can ask it to open or search across Android apps. Try saying “Hey Google, send snap with Cartoon Lens” or “Hey Google, log a berry smoothie on MyFitnessPal." We’ve partnered with many of the top apps on Google Play including Walmart, Mint, Spotify, Etsy, and Discord, to do specific tasks unique to those individual apps. Get started by saying, “Hey Google, show my shortcuts.”


2. New ways to connect with Google Duo

AFS_Comms_v001 (1).png

Click on the image above to see the video of screen sharing in Google Duo

When your friends and family video call you with Google Duo, you can now share your screen to browse photos or plan activities together while on the call. If they aren’t catching you at a good time, they can leave a video message, which has automatic captions to help if you have hearing loss or are in a spot where you can’t play audio. Download Google Duo on Google Play.


3. Say goodbye to spam calls with Google’s Phone app


With Google’s Phone app, your Android device will stop spam callers for good and it’ll tell you who’s calling and why. We’ve been working to bring the app to more people, and it’s now available to download for the first time on most Android devices running Android 9 or above. Download Phone by Google on Google Play to get spam protection and other helpful features, and easily connect with friends and family no matter what type of devices they use. 


4. New tools for hearing loss with Sound Notifications

AFS_Access_v001 (1).png

Click on the image above to see the video of Sound Notifications

Sound Notifications flags important, inconvenient, or alarming noises around you when you have hearing loss or are even wearing headphones. Set up Sound Notifications in the Live Transcribe app, and your phone will flash, vibrate, and provide push notifications when it detects a fire alarm, a door knocking, household appliance beeps, and more. You can also set up your Wear OS smartwatch to vibrate and send a push notification, as well. Download Live Transcribe on Google Play.


5. Communicate with Action Blocks when you don’t use your voice

Action Blocks - select speaking block.png

Caption: Action Blocks makes communication more accessible

Built for people with cognitive disabilities and age-related conditions, Action Blocks can now be used to communicate short phrases. It acts as an artificial voice for people with cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism, aphasia, and other speech related disabilities. In addition, Action Blocks now incorporates thousands of Picture Communication Symbols from Tobii Dynavox, making it easier to use the Android app alongside existing speech therapy and special education materials. It also now supports Japanese, French, German, and Italian. Download Action Blocks on Google Play.


6. Enjoy the entertainment you love, with a little help from Google

GTV.png

Click on the image above to see a video of the Google TV app on Android

Your TV isn't the only place for finding and watching entertainment. Starting on Android phones in the U.S., the Google Play Movies & TV app is being updated to Google TV. Google TV helps you discover what to watch with recommendations for movies and shows from across your streaming apps. And with the Google TV app, your recommendations, Library, and Watchlist go with you wherever you are, whether it’s out the front door or just to the other room. Learn more on Google Play

Source: Android


Important household sounds become more accessible

Appliances beeping. Water running. Dogs barking. These are all sounds that are meant to grab your attention when something important is happening. But, if you have hearing loss or are wearing headphones, these sounds might not be able to draw your attention like they’re intended to. 


Sound Notifications is a new feature on Android that provides push notifications for critical sounds around you. Designed for the estimated 466 million people in the world with hearing loss, Sound Notifications makes important and critical household sounds more accessible with push notifications, a flash from your camera light, or vibrations on your Android phone. This feature can also be helpful if someone is unable to hear temporarily as a result of an injury, wearing earplugs or headphones.
Cropped Sound Notification.png

Receive real-time push notifications of critical sounds around you.

Sound Notifications works with other devices, including Wear OS by Google smartwatches. You can get text notifications with vibrations on your wrist when there is important noise detected by your phone. That way you can continue to get alerts about critical sounds even when you are asleep, a concern shared by many in the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Sound Notification Smartwatch.png

Receive critical sound notifications on other devices, including Wear OS by Google smartwatches.

Developed with machine learning, Sound Notifications works completely offline and uses your phone's microphone to recognize ten different noises—including baby sounds, water running, smoke and fire alarms, appliances beeping and door knocking. This expands our sound detection work in Live Transcribe which shows over 30 sound events alongside real time captions, to provide a better picture of overall sound awareness.

Timeline_Snapshot.png

Use Timeline view to scroll through a snapshot of detected sounds from the past few hours.

While we can notify you about baby sounds or dog barking, it often helps to know more about the preceding events that might have caused that disturbance. With the Timeline view, you can scroll through a brief snapshot of detected sounds from the past few hours. This shows when and how long the sound occurred to get a better sense of the sound’s importance. So if the dog has been barking because of a siren heard before that for 10 minutes, you can see that.


To start using Sound Notifications, go into Settings, then the Accessibility menu and enable Sound Notifications. If you don’t see this option on your phone, you can download both Live Transcribe and Sound Notifications from Google Play, then go to your settings and turn on Sound Notifications. To learn more about using Sound Notifications, visit the help center.

Source: Android