Monthly Archives: April 2016

While we wait… – disabilityinhighered

Students with disabilities now account for over one tenth of the general undergraduate student population in the US. That figure truly marks progress from the numbers predating the Rehabilitation Act. However, while 58% of students without disabilities graduate with a bachelor’s degree, of college students with disabilities, only 21-34% will do the same (Florida College System, 2009; Newman et al., 2009). This statistic is alarming. A graduation rate of less than 35% is seen in very few groups of students who account for as large of a percentage of the general student population. The bachelor’s degree completion rate for Hispanic students, who account for a similar sized group of students on college campuses, is over 50%.

The above mentioned laws protect the rights of students with disabilities. According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act“No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…”

What is the practical meaning of Section 504? …

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Read full article at Source: While we wait… – disabilityinhighered

National Gallery’s Tom Roberts’ Auslan captioning app helps hearing impaired art-lovers

Visiting an art gallery would seem a predominantly visual experience, but while most art-lovers can expand their knowledge with an audio tour, people who are deaf or hearing impaired usually miss out.

Thanks to new captioning and Auslan tours for the National Gallery’s Tom Roberts’ exhibition, art-lovers of all abilities can find out the secrets behind the masterpieces, all from the palm of their hand.The tours are available to download for free on the Open Access Tours app, alongside similar versions for some of Australia’s most popular arts and cultural venues.

Hearing impaired and deaf art-lovers can find out more information about the artworks in the NGA’s Tom Roberts’ show thanks to the Open Access Tours app. Photo: Graham TidyHearing impaired gallery regular Haydn Daw said the captioning takes the pressure off for visitors straining to hear audio commentary.

“If you can read it it’s so much more relaxing and you can get the story right,” he said.

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Read full article at Source: National Gallery’s Tom Roberts’ Auslan captioning app helps hearing impaired art-lovers

Effectively including accessibility into web developer training – Karl Groves

Today, I’d like to follow “Your computer school sucks” with some actual guidance for web developer training schools and bootcamps.

Do not treat accessibility as its own topic

A few years ago, I wrote a series of blog posts under the theme Selling Accessibility. The content for many of those posts was driven by interviews I did with a number of people in the accessibility field, one of whom was Cher Travis-Ellis from CSU Fresno. … Cher shared with me a neat trick she used when training CSU Fresno staff on accessible content creation: add the accessibility training to all the other training. Unless there’s a really specific technique that deals only with accessibility, nobody really needs to know that you’re teaching them how to make something accessible.

For instance, if you’re teaching someone how to use MS Word and you talk about using actual headings instead of bolded text, the accessibility aspect of that practice doesn’t really matter. In other words, you’re teaching people how to do a good job, anyway. The same thing goes for web development.

Many accessibility best practices are also just quality best practices. Teach people how to do a good job and, when it comes to techniques that are specific to accessibility, that should be in the core curriculum too.

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Read full article at Source: Effectively including accessibility into web developer training – Karl Groves

Grand Rapids YMCA first building to adopt universal design standards

…how do you design a new building to ensure that it serves the needs of all users? Inclusive design can make that happen.

UB’s Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access (IDeA Center), in collaboration with the Global Universal Design Commission, has developed the first set of universal design certification standards for commercial buildings, looking to the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines as a model.

The first facility to adopt these standards and become certified — the Mary Free Bed YMCA in Grand Rapids, Michigan — opened its doors to the public Dec. 7.

The IDeA Center, which is housed in the School of Architecture and Planning, started developing the universal design guidelines in 2009.

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Accessibility Developer Tools – Chrome Web Extension

Accessibility audit and element properties.

This extension will add an Accessibility audit, and an Accessibility sidebar pane in the Elements tab, to your Chrome Developer Tools. To use the audit: go to the Audits tab, select the Accessibility audit, and click Run.

\The audit results will appear as a list of rules which are violated by the page (if any), with one or more elements on the page shown as a result for each rule. To use the sidebar pane: inspect an element in the Elements tab, then expand the …

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Read full article at Source: Accessibility Developer Tools – Chrome Web Store

BraunAbility MXV: Accessibility done CNET style (CNET On Cars, Episode 87)

Something new for “accessibility news” … accessible vehicles.

2016 BraunAbillty MXV makes a Ford Explorer a cool accessible vehicle.

VIDEO: BraunAbility MXV: Accessibility done CNET style (CNET On Cars, Episode 87)

We’ve recently realized on this high tech show, we’ve never done a piece on wheelchair accessible vehicles. And that’s an oversight because they are an interesting slice of automotive engineering, and have long left the days of being kind of, After market, and they’re fit and finished. Not the least of which is something called the BraunAbility MXV a conversion built on a Ford platform, caught our eye. We thought it was time to get one in and check the tech.

Now the [UNKNOWN] ability NXV is based on a 16 Explorer, but you look at it and your eye says something isn’t right, is that really an Explorer yes. Proportions are different. Different and what your eyes being drawn to is the fact that it’s had its floor between the axle line dropped a large ten inches. Now, let’s see where that got them behind the other amazing piece of engineering. This is Akutagra, what used to be a hinged door on this stock Explore. Now, it becomes what they call a pop-out door. A completely customized motorized hinged and projector. That articulates the door out and then you’ve got a built in, belly stowed power ramp that comes out in sequence with it. [MUSIC] It looks like it’s just enough.

This is co-engineered with Ford. Cuz it’s major engineering. Look at this apparatus that had to be invented to create a pop out door out a hinge door. Similarly impressive what they did to this B pillar. Look how narrow it is now. This is a deceptively big deal. They had to curve this back to create reasonable usable wheelchair access with. I mean, look to the right side of that ramp pit but at the same time you can’t give up. The front seats in the MXV aren’t too far from the 007’s Aston Martin. But they don’t eject up they just come out. Unlock this, rotate this and you wheel them down the ramp. And when they are in the vehicle they retain full power adjustment and their airbag function. Thanks to an impressive wiring harness. The MXV is only available In front wheel drive. Once you drop the floor ten inches there’s now way to get a driveshaft to the back for all wheel drive.

Source: BraunAbility MXV: Accessibility done CNET style (CNET On Cars, Episode 87)

Links and accessibility – AccessibilityOz

An extract of this article appears on Sitepoint called ‘Making Accessible Links: 15 Golden Rules for Developers‘.

Introduction – Links.

It’s a lot more than just avoiding “click here”. And, to my eternal shame, WCAG2 even allows “click here” as a valid technique for link text (see Example 1 in Technique G53). WCAG2 is all about providing context for the link – it doesn’t matter what the link text is, as long as it makes sense in conjunction with its heading, enclosing list item, enclosing paragraph, enclosing table cell or enclosing sentence. It’s only once you get up to Level AAA do you need to make sure the link text itself provides the appropriate contextual information.I disagree.

Screen reader users have limited ways to easily navigate and scan a page. One of the most common techniques is to pull out a list of links (and the link text only, no enclosing sentence, paragraph etc) and determine the content of the page and where to go from there. Alternatively, screen reader users scan a page by tabbing from link to link (without reading the text in-between). With a bunch of “Click here to download the annual report” and “More on boating”, these techniques are useless.Link text becomes a serious issue once you start talking about mobile and tablet sites. There are two well-known sets of guidelines with regards to mobile accessibility: the W3C Mobile Best Practices and the BBC’s Mobile Accessibility Guidelines.

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Read full article at Source: Links and accessibility – AccessibilityOz

The Accessibility Tree: A Training Guide for Advanced Web Development

Brilliant resource.

At the top level, the first concept to understand is the platform Accessibility API, which is an integral part of each Operating System. This is MSAA/UIA/IAccessible2 on Windows, AT-SPI/IAccessible2 on Linux, the OS X Accessibility Protocol on Mac and iOS, and so on.It may not be obvious, but these top level accessibility APIs have a direct relationship with web technology development, and are critical for the accessibility of interactive ARIA Widgets in particular.

For example, at the platform level in the Windows OS, there is a Checkbox control type. This is documented at the Microsoft Developer Network’s Checkbox Class.When a control such as this, or of any other type, is rendered as part of the Graphical User Interface (GUI), the control and all of its public properties and states, is included in the Accessibility Tree.

The Accessibility Tree is a hierarchical construct of objects that include accessible names and descriptions, plus supporting states and properties, which Assistive Technologies can interface with to enhance accessibility.

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Read full article at Source: The Accessibility Tree: A Training Guide for Advanced Web Development

Wikispeech project aims to make Wikipedia accessible for vision impaired people

Swedish researchers are developing an open source speech synthesis platform to make Wikimedia-based websites more accessible to blind and vision impaired people.

The platform will be optimised for Wikipedia and aims to provide access in 283 languages, starting with three initial languages next year.

The Wikispeech pilot project is a joint effort between the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Wikimedia Sweden and STTS speech technology services, with further assistance and financial backing provided by the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority.

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Read full article at Source: Wikispeech project aims to make Wikipedia accessible for vision impaired people | Media Access Australia