Friday, December 2, 2016

Expanding GARI to Smart TV's and Wearable's: More Devices, More Information and More Choice

The 3rd of December - International Day of People with Disabilities - is a day to reflect on what we have achieved over the last year on mobile accessibility by raising awareness, spreading the word and empowering consumers to find devices adapted to their individual needs. This year we are also able to provide our colleagues and friends in the disability community a sneak peek at what we have been working on over the past few months:

New smart devices are being constantly launched, each with the ability to improve the way we live, work and engage with others. They offer different features and cater to the varying needs and degrees of capabilities among consumers. Since GARI has been so successful in providing information on the accessibility features of mobile phones, tablets and apps, we wanted to venture further and expand the GARI database to cover a range of new products.

So, on the International Day of People with Disabilities, it seems fitting to invite you to have the first look at two new sections on GARI – one for Smart TV’s and the other for wearable devices.

Together with our member companies and accessibility experts we worked on identifying the accessibility features of these devices, resulting in 57 features that participating companies will report against. Like mobile phones, there are many accessibility features in these devices but it can be hard for consumers to learn about which devices have which features. GARI is the perfect platform to address this need. It is the ‘go to’ information source on accessible devices and is used by stakeholders around the world.

Now that we have begun the process of adding devices to these sections  we hope to gradually grow both so that they will cover the majority of devices in the marketplace. We have managed to do this with GARI’s mobile phone section which today provides consumers with information on the accessibility features of more than 1,000 phones available in 16 languages.

So on this important international day, we invite you to look at the site, peruse the list of accessibility features and share with us what you think. The Smart TV and Wearables sections will be subject to regular feature reviews just like the Mobile Phone and Tablet sections have been in the past.  The feature list that we report against will therefore continue to grow and evolve.  We really welcome your feedback and indeed this will help us ensure that GARI can assist everyone find a device that best suits their particular needs.