Google Updated To Be More Accessible To Deaf, Blind People

A sign language interpreter is now available for Google Plus Hangouts with the touch of a button.

Google is working to make its Google and Google Plus hangouts more accessible to people who are deaf or blind thanks to the help of a few new apps and updates, the tech company announced this week. One app, the Hangouts interpreter app, allows users to invite interpreters to speak and sign with them during hangouts.

It's already received positive feedback from users, per one engineer's Google Plus page:

"Hey Anna, this is a miracle! But yet there is a huge flaw. The camera doesn't feel right when I use sign language with my friends because we have to keep our signs within a 1' squared box or else the camera won't capture everything. It is the camera zoom issue. If your hangouts team can iron this out, you will see many more deaf users! Thank you so much for making this more accessible for deaf people and we are blessed to have you guys!"

For blind users, Google has improved its navigation interference on Gmail using HTML5 ARIA. Chrome OS has also been updated with high-quality text-to-speech voice (English only right now) and has improved the spoken feedback function.

Fast Company wrote about the future of Google Plus earlier this year. You can read that article here.

[Photo by Flickr user Keso]

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