Category Archives: Social networking

Good signs around Google accessibility

By Kimberly Patch

It looks like Google is stepping up its accessibility effort and resources.

– Google accessibility page:

– Google Accessibility Twitter account:
@gooogleaccess Google Accessibility

– Accessibility Google Group

Here’s a tweet about accessibility in Google+:!/googleaccess/status/86442474523992065
“We considered accessibility of Google+ from day 1. Find something we missed? Press Send Feedback link & let us know.”

I do think there’s a lot missing.

For starters, Google+ is quite short on keyboard shortcuts (the Google Manager addon addresses this in part). It’s also short on basic keyboard navigation — in a perfect world, the down/up arrows and enter key should allow you to navigate anything that looks like a list or a menu.

Asking for feedback like this is a very good sign, however. One thing I’ve use the Send Feedback link to point out is once you get past a dozen circles or so it’s important to have a list view unless you’re willing and able do a lot of unnecessary scrolling.

Here’s a recent Google blog post about accessibility in Docs, Sites, and Calendar that talks about additional keyboard shortcuts:

Some Google applications are gaining more keyboard shortcuts. You still can’t use down/up arrows on everything that looks like a list or a menu, however.

The bottom line is there are some channels open and some good intentions. This is great. Now let’s hold them to it, and keep the keyboard shortcuts coming.

My #1 request as a speech user is the ability to adjust, organize and share keyboard shortcuts across apps. An adjust-your-shortcuts facility that works across apps would not only be good for many different types of users, it would address a special problem of speech users and the type of keyboard shortcuts that web apps tend to use. More on that issue next.

Making Google+ easier to use

By Kimberly Patch

Here are a couple of Firefox add-ons that make Google+ easier to use.

– Google+Manager
This adds the keyboard shortcuts Google should have included in the first place, a translate button for every post, a drop-down menu for common functions, and a tiny URL generator.

– i rec Plus 1 and Like
This adds a “+f” icon in Firefox next to the homepage button (near the top right corner). Click the button to get Google +1 and Facebook Like buttons for any webpage. You can use the Utter Command naming-a-mouse-click utility to click the button, then click the icon to share to either service using a single speech command (details in UC Lesson 10.24).