Facebook and Microsoft to receive Helen Keller Achievement Awards

facebook microsoft helen keller achievement awards surface book 2 15 inch review 330
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
Facebook and Microsoft have been named among the honorees set to receive Helen Keller Achievement Awards at a gala scheduled for April 4. Both companies are being recognized for their efforts to provide products and services that are accessible and inclusive.

Since 1994, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has been issuing awards in memory of Helen Keller, who was the organization’s lead ambassador for more than 40 years. The likes of Apple, Google, and Netflix have all been given the honor in the past, according to the AFB website.

Facebook has been chosen for its inclusivity initiative, which makes the social media platform welcoming to people with disabilities. One feature that the AFB has spotlighted in particular is Automatic Alternative Text, which generates image descriptions so that partially sighted and blind people can be updated on the contents of photographs uploaded by their friends. The company is also being lauded for its commitment accessibility options and assistive technologies.

Meanwhile, Microsoft was picked as a result of a wide range of projects from across the Windows ecosystem and beyond. Examples given by the AFB include the Seeing AI app, which uses artificial intelligence to provide a narration of the user’s environment, and Eye Control for Windows 10,  which allows people with mobility issues like those caused by Lou Gehrig’s disease to interact with their computer using eye movements alone.

The company has also made a wide range of options available across the Office suite, like the optical character recognition supplied by Office Lens. Even the Xbox One gets a mention, thanks to features like Copilot and the accessibility API offered to developers.

The majority of users will never need to call upon the functionality described in this article – but the people who do rely upon it for a positive experience. The Helen Keller Achievement Awards demonstrate the importance of accessibility to products and services that are intended for a mass audience.

Of course, it’s relatively easy for a company the size of Microsoft or Facebook to dedicate time and resources to developing these options. Hopefully, shining a light on the work that they’re doing will convince others to follow their lead.

Social Media

A Facebook, Instagram bug exposed millions of passwords to its employees

Facebook, Facebook Lite, and Instagram passwords weren't properly encrypted and could be viewed by employees, the company said Thursday. The network estimates millions of users were affected.
Social Media

Facebook axes alleged discriminatory targeting of ads after civil settlements

Facebook advertisers can no longer use targeting for age, gender or zip code when advertising in the housing, jobs, and credit categories. The changes come as part of a civil settlement, following earlier changes to remove racial targeting.

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Intel Command Center lays foundation for next year’s ‘Arctic Sound’ GPU

Intel revealed its new Command Center driver software at GDC 2019. The updated interface will control current Intel integrated graphics and also lays the groundwork for next year's Intel video card.

How much!? British Airways glitch results in $4.2M quote for family vacation

Website errors sometimes cause flight prices to display at way below the correct price. But British Airways recently experienced the opposite issue when it tried to charge a family more than $4 million for a vacation in Mexico.
Product Review

Acer Predator Triton 500 review

Nvidia’s new RTX 2080 Max-Q is the fastest GPU you’ll find in any laptop, but it usually comes at a steep price. Acer’s Predator Triton 500, starting at $2,500, makes it a little more affordable. But what must you sacrifice in the…

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.

G-Sync and FreeSync can make your games look better, but which is best?

There are some subtle differences between the two adaptive refresh technology offerings, and they affect cost, performance, and compatibility. Nvidia may have released it's feature first, but in recent years AMD has stepped up to the plate…

Problems with installing or updating Windows 10? Here's how to fix them

Upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10 is usually a breeze, but sometimes you run into issues. Never fear though. Our guide will help you isolate the issue at hand and solve it in a timely manner.

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.

Get the Surface Pro 6, with keyboard included, for $1,000 at Microsoft

Thinking of buying a Surface Pro 6? Microsoft is currently running a deal on its latest Windows 2-in-1, letting you bring one home for $1,000 with the keyboard included in the price.

T-Mobile goes after big cable companies, pilots wireless home internet service

In a shot at big cable companies, T-Mobile is launching a new pilot program to bring an unlimited wireless LTE home internet service to up to 50,000 homes across the United States by the end of 2019.

Type away on the best iPad keyboard cases, from the Mini to the Pro

Whether you're looking to replace your laptop with a tablet or merely want to increase your typing speed, a physical iPad keyboard is the perfect companion to the iPad. Check out our top picks for every available iPad model.