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New Hand Talk Plugin update to version 9.3

Cover of the article about the Hand Talk Plugin version 9.3. Orange background. Hugo and Maya are at the center smiling. Between them there is the illustration of a computer with the Hand Talk Plugin. Above it there is the accessibility icon, with the icons of other assistive resources around it.

Having a strong online presence is almost an obligation for companies, is it not? In today’s digital world, the web is one of the most important platforms for communicating with the desired audience.

However, unfortunately people with disabilities often find themselves excluded from this virtual universe due to a lack of accessibility. There are still countless barriers to overcome so that this portion of the population can access online content with equity and autonomy.

Currently, only 2% of American websites are accessible to people with disabilities. The good news in this scenario is that by making your website more accessible, you automatically get way ahead of the competition, and you can rely on the Hand Talk Plugin to help you in this mission!

Take advantage of our accessibility plugin that is filled with new features, and come learn more about this assistive technology.

What is the Hand Talk Plugin?

If you are not sure exactly what the Hand Talk Plugin is, do not worry, we will explain it all to you! It is a type of assistive technology, serving as an web accessibility tool that automatically translates all texts on the websites where it is installed into ASL (American Sign Language) or Libras (Brazilian Sign Language), using Artificial Intelligence.

With the help of our friendly virtual translators, Hugo and Maya, we can bring accessibility to people from the deaf community that predominantly communicates in Sign Languages, making the online world more accessible.

But that is not all! Aiming to support even more diverse groups, our accessibility plugin also includes other additional assistive features to enhance the user experience. They focus on people with dyslexia, low vision, ADHD, dementia, dyscalculia, aphasia, the elderly, illiterates, color blindness, among other visual disabilities and difficulties with reading texts in general.

Why rely on the Hand Talk Plugin to make your website more accessible?

Digital accessibility is essential to create an inclusive, equitable, and accessible internet for everyone. Aside from being an ethical responsibility, it also brings practical benefits, such as being able to communicate with a broader audience, complying with the law, improving your SEO strategy, and providing a better experience for all users.

By making your website accessible with the Hand Talk Plugin, you can begin your journey in building a more inclusive web. Also, as we mentioned earlier, it is a great competitive advantage when communicating with an audience with disabilities.

Why did the Hand Talk Plugin get a new version?

There is always room for improvement, right? So, to achieve our goal of continuing to expand the functionality of the Hand Talk Plugin to meet the needs of more groups of people with assistive needs, we will proceed with more updates during the first semester of this year.

Each new assistive feature launched is based on extensive research with users, evaluating how each one meets the needs of this group, as well as the accessibility criteria of the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).

8 new assistive features in the Hand Talk Plugin

With the goal of promoting inclusion and autonomy for an even larger user base, four new assistive features have been launched in the Hand Talk Plugin that make all the difference during navigation.

In addition to these, there are four more features to come, which will be released soon. Check them out!

1. Reading mask

The reading mask is an assistive feature that automatically highlights the line of text the user is focused on, improving readability and facilitating understanding for those with dyslexia, ADHD, and other reading difficulties.

By creating a visual highlight on the line being read, the mask assists in guiding the eyes, providing a more organized, efficient, accessible, and inclusive reading experience. 

2. Color contrast

Color contrast allows adjusting the intensity of colors on the website interface for light mode, dark mode, or activating inverted colors, making it easier to read for people with low vision or sensitivity to certain tones. This feature aims to improve text legibility and the identification of visual elements, making the content more accessible.

By customizing the contrast, users can adapt the interface according to their specific visual needs, providing a more inclusive and friendly digital experience for individuals with color blindness and other visual disabilities.

3. Letter spacing

Letter spacing allows the customization of the space between characters. By adjusting the distance between letters, the user can improve text legibility, making it easier to read and preventing them from overlapping.

This feature is valuable for people with low vision, cognitive difficulties, the elderly, and illiterates, providing a more comfortable and accessible reading experience.

4. Link highlighting

The assistive feature link highlighting is designed to enhance online accessibility by visually emphasizing clickable links on a web page. This highlighting makes it easier for users with low vision, the elderly, illiterates, and those with little internet navigation knowledge to identify and navigate links.

By emphasizing links, the feature makes the browsing experience more intuitive, ensuring that everyone can easily identify and access links on a website, preventing them from being hidden and going unnoticed by the user.

5. Font switching

The font switching feature allows users to customize the text typography on the website. They can choose between Arial and Times New Roman, with alternatives for bold and serif or sans-serif fonts. This feature is very important to meet the needs of people with different visual preferences and reading conditions.

By offering various font options, the user can choose the one that best suits their readability needs. This flexibility benefits especially those with dyslexia or low vision, providing a more accessible and comfortable reading experience.

This feature will be released soon

6. Saturation adjustment

The saturation adjustment is a feature that will be released soon. It allows users to customize the color intensity on the web page. This feature is valuable to meet the needs of users with low vision or sensitivity to certain tones, such as those with color blindness.

By increasing or decreasing saturation, or even choosing the option without colors, users can adapt the visual appearance of online content according to their individual preferences, making the experience more accessible and comfortable. 

7. Description magnifier

The description magnifier is an assistive feature that zooms in on details of specific content on a website, benefiting users with low vision and the elderly. It creates a box that describes all elements of a text block, button, or image with alternative text, enlarging that specific content.

By providing an enlarged view of specific parts of the screen, this feature ensures that detailed information is definitely visible. This contributes to a more inclusive online experience, ensuring that no detail is lost and allowing efficient navigation for a diverse audience.

This feature will also be released soon!

8. Reading guide

Last but definitely not least, the reading guide, which will be released soon, is an assistive feature that visually highlights the current position of the user on a web page, facilitating orientation during reading. This feature is especially valuable for those with dyslexia, reading difficulties, and ADHD, providing a well-defined indication of where they are focusing their attention.

By highlighting the current line or section through a reading guide guided by the cursor, this feature improves comprehension and the navigation experience, making online content more accessible and inclusive for a variety of audiences.

Conclusion

Did you like the news? Having an accessibility plugin with even more assistive features is a great way to contribute to digital accessibility and communicate with even more diverse audiences.

Oh, and do not worry, the new versions will be automatically updated on your website if you already have the Hand Talk Plugin. And to use the new features, just click on the blue icon with little white hands on the side of your screen and select the button for the functionality you want to use!

You do not have our accessibility plugin yet and want to learn more about this assistive tool? Then contact Hand Talk specialists!

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