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AT&T and the Wireless RERC Launch Mobile Device Training For People with Disabilities

AT&T and the Wireless RERC Launch Mobile Device Training For People with Disabilities

Today, AT&T Foundation announced a $50,000 contribution to Shepherd Center to assist researchers in the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC) in launching a series of seminars to help consumers with disabilities uncover the range of accessibility features found on their mobile devices. Seminars are scheduled for five cities – Atlanta, Ga., Austin and Dallas, Texas, Chicago, Ill., and Washington, D.C. – throughout this spring and summer.

The AT&T Corporate Accessibility Technology Office and the Wireless RERC’s education and outreach seminars will focus on helping consumers with a disability (seeing, hearing, thinking, speaking and holding) use their wireless devices more effectively. The spotlight for this training will be on educating consumers with disabilities about the powerful accessibility features already built into three popular smartphone operating systems. The events will also be an opportunity for AT&T to gather important information about experiences and problems with mobile devices and services encountered by consumers with disabilities.

This information will provide AT&T and the Wireless RERC with valuable insight on how to improve the accessibility of products and services and how accessibility is communicated from organizations who share AT&T’s long-standing passion to improve communities. Their voices tell the stories of changes catalyzed by AT&T’s investment in education and commitment to equitable access throughout AT&T’s products and services.

These free events are open to consumers with disabilities such as those;

* who use hearing aids;
* who use text and video services as a primary means of communication;
* who use screen readers and/or screen enlargement/contrast;
* with cognitive disabilities;
* with impaired dexterity;
* who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices;
* families, friends and caregivers of people with disabilities;
*clinical therapists supporting people with disabilities as well as clinicians in assistive technology fields.

Each event will focus on the following:

* uncovering and tailoring the accessibility features found on three major mobile smartphone operating systems – iOS (Apple), Android and Windows Phone 8 – that will be of the most benefit for each category of impairment;
* showcasing different hardware platforms (tablets, phablets, smartphones, feature devices) and/or other hardware that can enhance the accessibility of the attendees’ devices;
* providing useful online accessibility resources to services, devices and mobile applications;
* answering accessibility questions, troubleshooting accessibility issues and discussing ways to improve accessibility.

For more information about the scheduling of these events visit the project’s website at: http://www.wirelessrerc.org/smartphone-events (additional events will be added as they get scheduled)

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