Monthly Archives: January 2016

StopGap: The Community Ramp Project

Physical barriers in our built environment prevent many of us from enjoying some of the amazing buildings and spaces that our cities and communities have to offer.

Our first project that we have embarked upon is called The Community Ramp Project.

With material donations from community hardware stores and volunteer labour from inspired community members businesses with single stepped storefronts are invited to participate and have a custom ramp made at no cost.

The brightly coloured ramps do not present a perfect solution to the problem however they create curiosity and get people talking about this huge design issu.

The project has introduced many to the human right to equal access and has broadened the conversation on this topic.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: StopGap: The Community Ramp Project

Renewed push for improved web accessibility policy in the United States | Access iQ

Two separate calls for improved web accessibility of government websites in the United States are gaining momentum.

Campaigning to improve web accessibility in the United States has increased, with a recently published petition quickly gaining popularity, while politicians have requested that a review of government policy be completed so that further action can be taken.

Petition on White House website

A petition has been listed on the White House Petitions website calling for President Obama to take action on web accessibility policy, citing recent developments which indicate that regulations for non-government websites will not be released until 2018.“People with disabilities struggle to do everyday tasks such as banking, purchasing goods, and more,” the petition says.

The petition has been signed 1,100 times in its first two days of being published. In order to receive a formal response from the White House, it must be signed 100,000 times by Thursday 11 February.

Signed letter from US senators

Nine US senators have contacted the Office of Management and Budget to complete a review of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM), in order to clarify whether websites and other forms of technology are included under titles in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Renewed push for improved web accessibility policy in the United States | Access iQ

The value of accessibility | Webdesigner Depot

Are you ready to go down the accessibility rabbit hole with me? We will need to dive into to the technical aspects of web pages. HTML is the skeleton of a webpage while CSS, JavaScript and images enhance the HTML. Often times visually impaired people miss out on all these enhancements

. Although accessibility is mainly a developer task, sometimes the technical requirements required to preserve or enhance accessibility will affect the appearance of the website.

That means that design, copy, user experience and development all need to collaborate to make sure that navigation controls, forms, buttons, headings, buttons, links, and more are accessible.

People who are blind, visually impaired, illiterate or learning disabled use assistive technologies to navigate the Internet. Screen readers are the most common assistive technology for the web, these software programs attempt to interpret what is displayed on the web page and convey it to the user, usually through converting the text to speech but sometimes through a Braille output device. Screen magnifiers are also often used in conjunction with a screen reader. Typically a screen reader will attempt to parse the HTML from the top of the HTML file to the bottom and speak relevant elements to the user. Ideally the screen reader will allow the user to successfully move a virtual cursor down the page in order to fill out form fields, click buttons and make selections from drop-down menus and other controls.

To test thoroughly for accessibility you’ll need to ensure that the website or app performs well on each of the many screen readers available. There are several popular free and/or open source screen readers on each platform including JAWS, and NVDA.

Most web accessibility problems occur when the screen reader’s virtual cursor becomes trapped in a poorly designed form or skips over an important control or an important piece of textual information. Verifying that websites are indeed usable is similar to browser testing because each screen reader has different requirements and limitations. This is why understanding the behavior of each screen-reader is important. The needs of various screen readers can be accommodated by adding various special HTML tags to the important elements of the page.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: The value of accessibility | Webdesigner Depot

The Accessibility of Apple Watch Bands – MacStories

What applies to iPhones and iPads also applies to Apple Watch. In the context of the Watch, the hardware that is most crucial, accessibility-wise, are the bands. To folks like me who suffer from motor delays, the ability to successfully get the Apple Watch on and off is as key to a positive user experience as the quality of the software it runs.

Why Accessible Bands Matter

Before getting into the specifics of Apple Watch bands, it’s worth giving context as to why, for someone with motor impairments, the ability to get a watch on and off by yourself is important. This point is a bit existential, but bear with me.

In a word, it’s about independence.

….

For all my gripes about the Sport band, there is one fact that I’ve taken solace in: the truth is in the different bands. I fully realize that if the Sport band isn’t working for me, I can always find an alternative that is easier for me to get on. For me, the alternative is bands with magnets. Apple sent me a Milanese Loop for review purposes, and I’ve found it to be the polar opposite of my Sport band in terms of accessibility. The Milanese Loop is accessible in every way that the Sport band isn’t.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: The Accessibility of Apple Watch Bands – MacStories

The high cost of digital discrimination: why companies should care about web accessibility | The Guardian

A 2011 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 2%, or 4.7 million American adults, said they suffered from a disability or illness that made it difficult or impossible for them to use the internet.

For a growing number of companies, that inaccessibility comes at a cost. The US Department of Justice (DOJ), citing the Americans with Disabilities Act, has sued and negotiated millions of dollars in settlements with big brands such as Target, Disney and Netflix, for not designing their websites to accommodate the browsing needs of disabled customers.

Yet last month, the DOJ once again delayed a plan to issue regulations spelling out the criteria necessary for websites to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It had previously planned to issue the rules in June of this year, but it then postponed the date to April 2016. It now expects to release the regulations in 2018.

Websites designed to be disability friendly typically include features such as accurate auto-translation, better speech recognition, enhanced search engine optimization and browser zoom. Many of these features also improve the internet experience for other users. Text transcripts and video captioning are a must for the deaf, but are also widely used by the hearing: 80% of TV viewers use closed captioning for reasons other than hearing loss, according to a recent UK study.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: The high cost of digital discrimination: why companies should care about web accessibility | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

5 Things You Need to Know About Web Accessibility

JANUARY 8, 2016

This fall, the Department of Justice postponed its proceeding to adopt regulations on web accessibility for a few more years.

The prolonged delay in those regulations has created a perfect storm for more litigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As a result, many companies should be adding web accessibility to their list of top priorities for 2016.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: 5 Things You Need to Know About Web Accessibility

Creating incentives for digital inclusion: Microsoft announces support for G3ict charter for accessible technology – Microsoft on the Issues

[In December, 2015], Microsoft announced our support for the newly announced Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) charter, Promoting Global Digital Inclusion through ICT Procurement Policies & Accessibility Standards.

The charter calls on governments worldwide to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities by demanding only accessible technology from their suppliers. We are proud to join the other signatories, which include some of the most forward-thinking governments and advocacy groups around the world like the European Disability Forum, the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network and Disabled People’s International, and we encourage other companies to consider joining the charter.

Our mission at Microsoft is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. This means developing innovative technology that is accessible to everyone – regardless of age or ability. It is clear to us that information technology needs to be a tool that empowers and enables people with disabilities to do more.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Creating incentives for digital inclusion: Microsoft announces support for G3ict charter for accessible technology – Microsoft on the Issues

Free web accessibility tools round-up — bread crumbs — Medium

 

Free web accessibility tools round-up

If you’re like me, you’re one of the web developers on your team tasked with taking something seemingly-boring – like a mortgage calculator – and making it:

  1. Look and work fantastically. Something like Google Docs meets Facebook meets Spotify meets Snapchat… SnapDocBookify? Yeah, make that.
  2. Meet the demands of the client or business partners, even if they think your mortgage calculator needs a weather widget with room for the 7 day forecast on an Apple Watch.
  3. Fully accessible and WCAG AA compliant.
  4. Wait, what

Yep. Right now, maybe not surprisingly, #3 might seem the most daunting. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that bad. Let’s take a look at some of the free tools available that make our lives (and the lives of people with a disability) a bit easier!

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Free web accessibility tools round-up — bread crumbs — Medium