03 Jan Bring ADA Compliance Into the Future
We are living in the most interesting era in the history of the world. Just imagine: self-driving cars, flying drones, travelling to Mars, robots from Boston Dynamics that can replace our pets. AI may be taking over, but it’s not the scenario of the Terminator – it’s our current reality.
Technological advancements mean we need to adapt quickly, to be agile, mobile, and reactive as old principles fall by the wayside. Nowhere is this more true than in regards to the human body! Scientists are testing exoskeletons and growing bits of human anatomy in the lab. Technology marches on at a rapid pace, and we need to embrace the new to help those who have special needs.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) published the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design in September 2010. These standards state that all electronic and information technology must be accessible to people with disabilities. The traditional ADA compliance solution has been for those suffering from low vision to adapt to existing technology. Rather than improving the way we interact with today’s technology, the vast majority of tech companies are making users swipe their fingers across a screen and listen to a robotic voice describing all the elements of the page. There are so many more options available today. With AI capabilities that include natural language understanding, information extraction, and speech recognition, accessing information should be a fluid, instinctive process. At Firebird Summit, we believe that ADA compliance will come to incorporate talking to the device with natural speech. It is the most essential way to communicate with electronic devices — not just for those affected by low vision, but for all humans.
We’re working to improve NLU (natural language understanding) modules and speech recognition engines in order to improve lives. And making technology more human is our goal.