Tuesday, July 03, 2007
From time to time, our own T.V. Raman shares his tips on how to use Google from his perspective as a technologist who cannot see -- tips that sighted people, among others, may also find useful.
As a book lover, I couldn't have been more excited by the advent of electronic books in the early 90s. And with the rise of the Internet, the possibility of being able to discover books online was really exciting.
I work on a project at Google called Google Accessible Search, which helps promote results that are more accessible to visually impaired users. Building on that work is today's release of accessible public domain works through Google Book Search. It's opening up hundreds of thousands of books to people who use adaptive technologies such as speech output, screen readers, and Braille displays.
I'm extremely enthusiastic about many of our efforts at Google, which ultimately have the potential to make the experience of accessing information for visually impaired users just as easy as it is for those with sight. My reading used to be determined by what was available in a form I could read. But today it's a question of using Google effectively so that I can find the right thing to read. Today's Book Search launch is an excellent example of how technology is truly democratizing access to the world's information.
If you have feedback about Google's accessibility services, join our group to share tips on what works well and what could be made better.