Ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Verizon Media is preparing a new content hub and a symposium to address ways virtual, augmented and mixed reality (XR) can be made more accessible.
The XR Access Initiative was created in partnership with Cornell Tech and an accompanying symposium takes place July 20-21. During the event, more than 140 cross-sector participants will address how technology can better serve those with permanent, temporary, situational or changing disabilities.
One of the initiative’s goals is to explore how hardware like headsets or goggles might be adapted to someone with different requirements, for example by creating head-mounted displays that allow for assistance from a second person who can operate some of the controls.
As part of the XR Access Initiative, Cornell Ph.D student Yuhang Zhoa has created videos around her work to make XR more accessible, including the projects “ForeSEE++” and “Understanding Low Vision People’s Visual Perception on Commercial Augmented Reality Glasses,” in addition to other projects addressing the needs of those living with disabilities.
XR Access will look forward and determine how next gen tech can be more adaptable to an important target market.
“As a leader in immersive technology, we want to continue to lead these conversations and explore the innovation XR can create to make an impact in people’s lives. We remain deeply committed to creating and building inclusive experiences for our audiences,” Joanna Lambert, head of consumer at Verizon Media, told Publishers Daily.
Larry Goldberg, senior director and head of accessibility at Verizon Media, will moderate the symposium.
In addition to XR Access, Verizon Media’s Yahoo will launch an accessibility hub focused on stories of people living with disabilities, chronic illness and mental-health conditions.
The hub is set to launch July 26, the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It will publish original content across topics, including disability rights, assistive technology, new trends, personal essays and profiles. Content from Verizon Media brands Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Life, HuffPost and TechCrunch will be featured across the hub.
Social brand In the Know, also a part of Verizon Media, will launch a new series called “ADA Generation” focused on profiles of up-and-coming leaders in addition to the content hub. The series' first video features deaf trans activist Chella Man.
“We are proud to launch a trusted destination on accessibility and disability on Yahoo, that elevates and amplifies underrepresented perspectives of a community that deserves to be seen and heard,” said Lambert.