In June, at the company’s Mountain View headquarters and in Hyderabad, India, dozens of Google employees participated in SocialCoding4Good events through this year’s GoogleServe, an annual volunteer service where Googlers come together to give back to their communities. In particular, Benetech is thrilled that they were able to contribute their skills to help advance accessibility for students with print disabilities.
For example, in one session, Accessibility Code Sprint, Google employees helped improve Benetech Global Literacy’s Go Read, a free, accessible Android ebook reader for people with print disabilities. A team also contributed in a Bookshare “image slam,” where they wrote descriptions for nearly 1,400 images in five STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) textbooks, using the Poet image description tool. Poet, which was developed by Benetech’s DIAGRAM Center, is an open source tool for crowdsourcing image descriptions to increase the accessibility of charts, graphs, and diagrams for students who are blind or have other disabilities.