Media News

The tech news story that goes undercovered — accessibility products

July 17, 2022

Posted by Chris Roush

Monica Chin of The Verge writes about why accessibility products are undercovered in technology journalism.

Chin writes, “Over 25 percent of US adults have a disability, but rigorous and centralized accessibility information is still hard to find for even the biggest tech releases. I asked accessibility-focused writers across the tech and gaming space how the media industry can better cover assistive technology, and the answer, it turns out, is that it’s a bit too early to be asking that question. The biggest outlets aren’t consistently covering it, many of the writers felt. They should start doing so.

“In reporting this piece, I set out to speak to the reporters on staff at major tech publications who primarily cover assistive technology. I very quickly learned that there are not many.

“Over the past decade or so, ‘accessibility tech’ — broadly, gadgets, software, and features tailored towards disabled users — has gradually become a public priority for large tech companies. Even more recently, it’s become standard for companies like Apple and Google to include an ‘accessibility’ section in their conferences and keynotes. Alt text and audio descriptions have become an expectation across the internet, and blockbuster games are shipping with sprawling accessibility menus. Microsoft opened a 2,000-square-foot lab dedicated to inclusive gadgets this year. There is an audience for such technology, or at least the world’s largest companies are betting that there is.

“Still, accessibility stories are overwhelmingly assigned to freelancers, or to staff writers whose primary beat is something else.”

Read more here.

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