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Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference, WWDC, is fast approaching. We’re expecting a brand new product line in the form of a mixed reality headset, new Macs, and new versions of Apple’s operating systems. Meanwhile, blind people continue to face significant bugs that cause frustration and affect our productivity with iOS 16. There are various listener perspectives on the state of iOS accessibility at the moment.
There’s more discussion about Bookshare’s recently announced price increase and whether the service has a place in an era of increased access to books from mainstream services.
Episode 105 of this podcast was three hours long, and devoted to a single topic. That’s the only time in the nearly four years I’ve run this particular podcast that that has ever happened. The topic was accessibility overlays, with a particular emphasis on AccessiBe. There are two reasons that AccessiBe garnered so much attention. One is that it seems to be the dominant player in this space. The other reason is the strong discomfort with the way the service has been marketed, and the aggressive responses from the company to blind people and other accessibility professionals who have challenged not just the marketing, but the very technology itself. In the May issue of the Braille Monitor, the flagship publication of the National Federation of the Blind in the United States, the CEO of AccessiBe, Shir Ekkerling, offered what he himself called a heart-felt apology, and asked for a chance to start again. Some have felt encouraged after reading the article, others are highly sceptical.
To delve deeper into AccessiBe, its behaviour and the state of its technology today, I’ll speak with AccessiBe’s co-founder and CEO, Shir Ekerling, for what I would characterise as a frank conversation. As always, you are welcome to share your views on what he has to say, as well as whether you believe AccessiBe’s technology is creating a more accessible web.
Thank you for listening and I look forward to bringing you Living Blindfully episode 232.