The fourth livestream episode of VOICE Talks Presented by Google Assistant, titled “Why Inclusion and Accessibility are Essential for Voice Technology,” airs Thursday, July 30 at 2pm ET/11am PT.

This episode — hosted by Google Assistant’s Sofia Altuna, and featuring interactive discussions with advocates for disabled rights and social justice from Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Heidi Culbertson from Marvee, and Team USA Para Powerlifter Garrison Redd — aims to show how developers and partners are utilizing voice technology to work for all users with diverse backgrounds around the globe, a media release from Modev notes.

“Inclusion shouldn’t be an afterthought. Race, gender, age, ability, education level, and geographic location are all dimensions of diversity that need to be considered in product development, and one that ambient computing, in particular, has prioritized.” 

— Annie Jean Baptiste, Head of Product Inclusion at Google and author of Building for Everyone

Baptiste kicks off the program together with Beth Tsai, Policy Lead for Google Assistant and member of the company’s Trust & Safety team, who will demonstrate what Google is doing to foster inclusion and accessibility and share advice on how others can apply this lens to their work. 

Speaking from the first-person experience, Garrison Redd, a TEDx speaker, USA para-powerlifter and advocate for disabled rights, will discuss, with Ivonne Salazar, director of corporate and foundation relations for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, how voice technology and accessibility are crucial for the disabled community and will describe other resources and services needed in order to improve the quality of living for disabled individuals. 

“Voice technology has enabled me to live a more independent life. It is a part of my daily routine and helps me keep track of my training and nutrition as well as turn the lights on and off and ensure that the doors are locked. It is an invaluable resource for me.”

— Garrison Redd

In addition, Cathy Pearl, head of conversation design outreach at Google and the author of the book, Designing Voice User Interfaces, will show viewers how to implement multi-modal experiences that relate to inclusion and accessibility and will offer five design best practices to build in Google Assistant.

In order to engage older adults, Heidi Culbertson, the founder of Marvee, will discuss how voice experiences can keep those ages 50 to 90 and above connected with others.

[Source(s): Modev, PR Newswire]

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