Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science

New accessibility features in your favorite tools

New functionality and tools supporting accessibility.

By Computing Services

2023 has been a year packed full of accessibility feature releases and updates. Our colleagues in Computing Services highlight tools that increase access and usability for everyone. 

Wheelchair-Accessible Places on Google Maps

When traveling with a suitcase, baby stroller, or another wheeled device, you can now look up wheelchair-accessible entrances, restrooms, and parking for more than 40 million places around the world. You can also contribute to the community knowledge by submitting missing accessibility information for your favorite locations.

Live Caption for More Devices 

Live Caption, an automated transcription tool from Google, works in real time, completely on-device, and does not require network resources. Live Caption is available through Chrome and Google Meet on your desktop and is now available on the latest Pixel devices and some Android devices like select Samsung Galaxy phones.

Accessible Communication with Slack 

Slack offers features like advanced keyboard navigation, personalized animation preferences, and customizable display settings that help to support cognitive accessibility. 

Save Your Personal Voice on iOS Devices

Soon, users can create a Personal Voice on iOS 17 (releasing this fall) by reading along with a randomized set of text prompts to record approximately 15 minutes of audio. For users at risk of losing their ability to speak, Personal Voice is a simple way to create and preserve a voice that sounds like them.  Live Speech on iPhone, iPad, and Mac allows users to type what they want to say and have it be spoken out loud during conversations. Users can also save commonly used phrases to participate faster during lively conversation.

Use Focus Time on Windows Devices

Windows 11 offers many ways to minimize mental clutter and maximize your focus. Simplify your menus, reduce animations and alerts, and read with fewer distractions.

Zoom Adds Live Closed Captioning

Closed Captioning isn’t just for those with hearing disabilities. A recent study showed that 90 percent of students use captions to increase their understanding of the content. So why not ensure all your Zoom study groups or meetings are more accessible?