Initiatives and Research
Google’s support of accessibility extends beyond products to include research efforts.
Our Approach to Accessibility
We are committed to making accessibility a core consideration from the earliest stages of product design through release. We have formed a central accessibility team with a mandate to monitor the state of accessibility of Google products and coordinate accessibility training, testing, and consulting. Product teams will be offered training to help incorporate accessibility principles into the design and release of products. We also strive to cultivate relationships with a variety of users and advocacy groups to solicit feedback.
Accessible Web Initiatives
Google actively promotes an accessible web by serving on standards and advisory committees. We're currently involved with the organizations below, and we'll continue to update this site as we make progress in our offerings.
FCC Video Programming Accessibility Advisory Committee (VPAAC)
Created by the FCC to develop recommendations for increasing accessibility to video content in various forms, the VPAAC included an appointee from Google, which Naomi Black and Ken Harrenstien shared over a two-year term. Read more >
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG)
The WCAG is one of the most widely-accepted international standards for accessibility. Google’s Loretta Guarino Reid serves as Co-Chair on the WCAG Working Group and is one of the editors of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
Section 508 compliance (VPAT)
To make it easier for companies, educational institutions, and government agencies to comply with accessibility standards, we provide transparent information about how our products currently work for people with disabilities, using the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). We'll continue to update this site as additional VPAT documentation is available.
Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities
To further our commitment to accessibility, we have launched a global initiative called Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities. The program advances ideas and emerging technologies that increase independence and opportunity for people with disabilities. Learn more about the Google Impact Challenge for Disabilities
Through our Faculty Research Awards program, we support academic research that has the potential to directly impact the lives of people with disabilities globally. Since the program began in 2005, we’ve provided funding to dozens of accessibility-related research projects in topic areas including Speech, Human-Computer Interaction, Mobile, and Education Innovation. The full list of Research Awards recipients can be found on the Google Research Blog.
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