May Monthly Newsletter

may monthly newsletter - continual engine
Dear Valued Readers,

Happy Springtime! We invite you to explore the May edition of Continual Engine’s monthly newsletter. This edition features a curated collection of news articles and updates designed to keep you informed about the latest trends and developments in accessibility and AI.

In this edition, we have included the following information:

We hope that you will find this month’s edition to be both engaging and informative. Please reach out to us if you have any feedback or questions.

Warm Regards,
Continual Engine

 

I. UPCOMING LEARNING OPPORTUNITY

1. Continual Engine Will Be Exhibiting At The 2024 VHEAP Conference

Continual Engine is thrilled to be exhibiting at the 2024 VHEAP or UnConference. The event is scheduled to be held on May 31st at the University of Virginia’s Student Health & Wellness Center! Join us during the event where we will be exhibiting our cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI)-driven solutions and services. 

If you are planning to attend the event, we invite you to stop by our booth to speak with our Senior VP of Growth & Strategy, Vijayshree (VJ) Vethantham.

If you want to schedule a meeting during the conference or learn about our accessibility solutions and services, reach out to us at contact@continualengine.com. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

II. PAST EVENTS

1. Continual Engine Presented At The 2024 Round Table Conference

It was a pleasure for Continual Engine to present virtually at the 2024 Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities Inc. Annual Conference. The event took place from February 21st to 23rd, 2024, in Vienna, Austria.

Our SVP, Growth & Strategy, Vijayshree (VJ) Vethantham, and Product Manager, Rajat Prakash were a part of this session. This session talked about how Continual Engine is working on making video accessibility seamless and effective with our scalable accessibility solution by bringing together the best of AI technology and human experts.

Some of the key takeaways from our session include:

  • Continual Engine’s generative AI-led video accessibility solution is working not just for legal compliance but also for fostering inclusivity in education.
  • Our proprietary generative artificial intelligence (AI) solution, Invicta™ is revolutionizing education by harnessing AI’s power while safeguarding content integrity and data privacy in a closed environment.
  • Our AI-Assisted Video & Audio Description Framework, powered by Invicta™ APIs, advances multimedia accessibility through AI automation, saving time and resources while enhancing accuracy for a more inclusive multimedia experience.

If you were unable to connect with us during the event or would like to learn about how Continual Engine can transform your accessibility landscape, please reach out to us at contact@continualengine.com. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

II. LATEST ADVANCEMENTS IN ACCESSIBILITY

Honda has developed an innovative web application utilizing AI technology to help expand the joy of the journey to the blind and visually impaired by creating and narrating nuanced real-time scenic audio descriptions of the world outside their car window.

Zappar, a UK-based company has come up with a new accessible QR code solution that will help blind and partially sighted people access product information on store shelves and in cabinets at home relatively quickly.

For many people, grabbing a mouse or game controller to operate their computer is second nature. However, for some disabled people, it can be a challenge, or even impossible. There are alternative input methods such as eye-tracking – but they often require specialized equipment.

Content Guru, a leading global provider of cloud contact center and CX technology, has announced the release of new updates to its award-winning contact center solution, storm®, which will deliver increased accessibility for customer service agents and back-office users.

III. EMPOWERING STORIES IN THE NEWS

A difficult birth left Andrew Tomlinson with a brain injury which made his chances of ever walking slim. But more than 30 years later, he believes he is the first runner with cerebral palsy to complete all six of the world’s major marathons. On Sunday, the 40-year-old from Glasgow crossed the London Marathon finish line in under four hours.

IV. News Articles On Accessibility

The Department of Justice (“Department”) issues its final rule revising the regulation implementing title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) to establish specific requirements, including the adoption of specific technical standards, for making accessible the services, programs, and activities offered by State and local government entities to the public through the web and mobile applications (“apps”).

A final draft of the long-awaited accessibility framework for the City of Regina was presented to the executive committee on Wednesday, outlining a 10-year roadmap of initiatives for a more inclusive and accessible city for all residents. The Regina Accessibility Plan details 60 long- and short-term actions the city can take to improve public services, facilities, and infrastructure to better accommodate seniors and those who identify as a person with a disability.

The United Nations in Kyrgyzstan is launching a project to promote the rights of persons with disabilities, to be implemented jointly with the Council for the Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic. The project aims to promote equal access of persons with disabilities to the realization of their rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and will be implemented in 2024-2025.

UNESCO, in collaboration with the Cambodian Disabled Peoples Organization (CDPO) and the Ministry of Information, has provided training to a total of 139 provincial information department officials from 24 provinces, to build their understanding and capacity to better respond to the information needs of persons with disabilities, to provide quality public services and strengthen their inclusive civic participation.

The ‘d’ in the word ‘disability’ can very well stand for ‘differences’. It is a matter of mindset and attitude towards human diversity which are set early on in life. While a child, who may look different from others or may have different ways of learning, can be frowned at, or made to feel inferior, there can be another child in the same situation who is supported for their areas of challenge and valued for their strengths.

For most of video game history, accessibility was sort of an afterthought. But that was before 2020 when a company called Naughty Dog released a game called The Last Of Us Part II. Our colleagues at The Indicator from Planet Money, Adrian Ma and Wailin Wong take us through the shift around accessibility.

PBS Kids is reworking many of its most popular shows to be more accessible to children with disabilities. The network is offering up alternate versions of episodes from six shows to add American Sign Language interpreters in a bid to better serve children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

AI hiring algorithms are riddled with harmful biases. This is a reflection of the real-life hiring data they were trained on, which is heavily biased. An estimated 70 percent of companies and 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies use AI in their hiring processes. The consequences are huge, particularly for people who most often experience systemic discrimination in hiring.

Very little research has been conducted about academics with disabilities working in South African universities. This means their stories, and the challenges they face in the daily demands of their jobs, are not often told. Sibonokuhle Ndlovu, who holds a PhD in education and lectures on the subject, explains what her study of academics with disabilities revealed.

We are currently in a paradigm shift from mobility- to accessibility-based planning, changing how we define transportation problems and evaluate potential solutions. Mobility-based planning assumes that the goal is to maximize the speed and distance that people can travel.

I first encountered a beach wheelchair the summer before middle school when my family was on our annual trip to Bethany Beach, Delaware. I didn’t know it yet, but Oma, my maternal grandmother, was dying. That summer she had been diagnosed with liver cancer, detected only after an unrelated bad fall had called for CT scans that ended up showing a mass on her liver.

Editors:

Debangku Sarma

Digital Marketing Associate
Continual Engine

Vijayshree Vethantham

Senior Vice-President, Growth & Strategy
Continual Engine US LLC

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