All posts by Lifekludger

A group of Google employees spent their ‘20% time’ making Google Maps wheelchair-friendly

 

Google Maps is now wheelchair-friendly.

The wildly popular map app will now tell you whether locations are suitable for people with access needs — and it’s thanks to a group of Googlers who worked on the feature in their “20% time.”

It’s a famous policy of the Californian search giant: Employees can spend 20% of their time working on other projects unrelated to their main jobs. Gmail, AdSense, and Google News all started as 20% projects.

These days, Google employees need to get permission from managers to get this time, and most don’t do it. Google HR boss Lazlo Bock says it has “waxed and waned” over time. But some still do — and Rio Akasaka is one of them.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: A group of Google employees spent their ‘20% time’ making Google Maps wheelchair-friendly | Business Insider

Writing HTML with accessibility in mind

Writing HTML with accessibility in mind

An introduction to web accessibility. Tips on how to improve your markup and provide users with more and betters ways to navigate and interact with your site. If you don’t want to read the preface, jump right to the tips.

Personal development and change in perspective When I made my first website my highest priority was to get content online. I didn’t care much about usability, accessibility, performance, UX or browser compatibility. Why would I? …

If you don’t want to read the preface, jump right to the tips.

Personal development and change in perspective

When I made my first website my highest priority was to get content online. I didn’t care much about usability, accessibility, performance, UX or browser compatibility. Why would I? I made a robust table based layout and I offered a 800×600 and a 1024×768 version of my site. On top of that, I informed users that the website was optimized for Internet Explorer 5.

This was of course before I started to work professionally as a web designer and my perspective in what was important changed.

Years later, instead of dictating the requirements for my websites, I started to optimize them for all major browsers.

Beginning with Ethan Marcotte’s game changing article I started caring about devices as well.

Making websites for all kinds or browsers and devices is great, but pretty much useless if the websites are too slow. So I learned everything about critical CSS, speed indices, font loading, CDNs and so on.

Getting started with accessibility (a11y)


But accessibility isn’t just yet another item on our to-do list to cross off before we launch our website. Accessibility is the foundation of what we do as web designers and web developers and it’s our obligation to treat it as such.

I spent the last few months reading, listening and talking about web accessibility. It took me some time to get my head around a few things and I’m still at the beginning, but the more I learn the more I’m surprised how much I can do right now without having to learn anything completely new.

In this series of articles, I want to share some of my newly acquired knowledge with you. You shouldn’t treat the tips I’m going to give you as a check list but as a starting point. Incorporating these techniques into your workflow will get you started with accessibility and hopefully motivate you to learn and care more about your users.


Without further ado, here are my accessibility tips:

Source: Writing HTML with accessibility in mind – Medium

New Guide for Affordable and Accessible Technology Now Available Online

A new guide from ACCAN and Media Access Australia was launched this year at the annual ACCAN conference. The Affordable Access project addresses two of the key pillars of digital inclusion – affordability and accessibility of technology.

The Affordable Access project is an online guide which provides information on low-cost technology with useful accessibility features. The online resource also highlights what technology may be suitable for specific scenarios. These scenarios were created in collaboration with people with disabilities to identify commonly used products for various needs. This peer advice is a great approach to the guides as people accessing them can be confident that others are also using the technology.

Affordability and accessibility are essential if all Australians are to participate in an increasingly digitally-dependant society. However, the recent Digital Inclusion Index noted that people with a disability are some of the most digital excluded people groups in Australia. Helping people find the right technology is also a large part of the challenge, especially in specific cases such as the ones listed on the Affordable Access website.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: New Guide for Affordable and Accessible Technology Now Available Online | Go Digi

Microsoft Accessibility Feedback: Hot (133 ideas) – Customer Feedback for Microsoft Accessibility

Microsoft Accessibility Feedback Welcome to Microsoft’s Accessibility Feedback forum. We are very interested in learning more about what products, features, and tools will delight our customers. Please share your ideas with us and remember to vote for ideas posted by others that you also think are great. If you accidentally came here in need of technical support, please reach out to our Microsoft Disability Answer Desk team

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Microsoft Accessibility Feedback: Hot (133 ideas) – Customer Feedback for Microsoft Accessibility

Designing Safer Web Animation For Motion Sensitivity

Val Head suggests accessible animation techniques to avoid triggering dizziness in users with inner ear and balance disorders.

It’s no secret that a lot of people consider scrolljacking and parallax effects annoying and overused. But what if motion does more than just annoy you? What if it also makes you ill?

That’s a reality that people with visually-triggered vestibular disorders have to deal with. As animated interfaces increasingly become the norm, more people have begun to notice that large-scale motion on screen can cause them dizziness, nausea, headaches, or worse. For some, the symptoms can last long after the animation is over. Yikes.

The idea that animation in our interfaces is capable of making our users dizzy wasn’t something we had to contend with much when the web was predominantly a static medium. It’s actually a fairly new revelation in most tech circles. Even Apple discovered this the hard way when the animated transitions in iOS 7 started making some people sick. Just like other elements of design, the way you use animation can have an impact on how accessible the end product is to your audience, especially if they suffer from a vestibular disorder.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Designing Safer Web Animation For Motion Sensitivity

Prototyping accessibility in web and mobile UI design

Adaptable, interactive and coherent prototypes for users with disabilities. Covering accessibility in the prototyping phase of web and app design.

Pay close attention to color, contrast and visual hierarchy

Make your interactive UI elements more interactive

Don’t crowd me!

Make your app accessible by being adaptable

“Flexibility is the key to ensuring that your website is accessible to everyone.” Shaun Anderson, Hobo Web

Prototyping responsive design is actually pretty easy. With Justinmind prototyping tool, it really only involves creating a set of screens of different sizes (to represent the different screens sizes that your users use), adding the content to each screen, and adding linking events between the screens. In fact, we’ve created a nifty tutorial in our Support section to teach you step by step.

Don’t forget the user testing

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Prototyping accessibility in web and mobile UI design

The Section 508 Refresh is Here! 

We’re excited to announce that the U.S. Access Board has published its long-awaited update(link is external) to the federal regulations covering the accessibility of information and communications technology (Section 508) and telecommunications products and services (Section 255).

What are Section 508 and Section 255?

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 applies to federal government agencies and the technology providers that sell to them. It requires that all information and communications technology (ICT) the federal government develops, procures, maintains, and uses be accessible to people with disabilities. This ensures that (1) Federal employees with disabilities have comparable access to, and use of, information and data relative to other federal workers, and (2) members of the public with disabilities receive comparable access to publicly-available information and services.

Section 508 applies to a wide range of technology products, including computer hardware and software, websites, video/multimedia products, phone systems, and copiers.

Section 255 of the Communications Act applies to telecommunications equipment manufacturers and service providers. It requires that telecommunications equipment and services be accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities.

Why did the Access Board update these rules?

The Access Board updated and reorganized the Section 508 standards and Section 255 guidelines in response to market trends and innovations. Section 508 was last updated in 2000, and technology has evolved significantly since then. For example, in some cases different technological systems are now capable of performing similar tasks.

PEAT and other technology and disability experts anticipate that the updated rules will generate significant benefits for individuals with disabilities, including:

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: The Section 508 Refresh is Here! | Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT)

Writing HTML with accessibility in mind – A List Apart

We’re excited to announce that the U.S. Access Board has published its long-awaited update(link is external) to the federal regulations covering the accessibility of information and communications technology (Section 508) and telecommunications products and services (Section 255).

What are Section 508 and Section 255?

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 applies to federal government agencies and the technology providers that sell to them.

Section 508 applies to a wide range of technology products, including computer hardware and software, websites, video/multimedia products, phone systems, and copiers.

Section 255 of the Communications Act applies to telecommunications equipment manufacturers and service providers. It requires that telecommunications equipment and services be accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities.

Why did the Access Board update these rules?

The Access Board updated and reorganized the Section 508 standards and Section 255 guidelines in response to market trends and innovations. Section 508 was last updated in 2000, and technology has evolved significantly since then. For example, in some cases different technological systems are now capable of performing similar tasks.

PEAT and other technology and disability experts anticipate that the updated rules will generate significant benefits for individuals with disabilities, including:

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Writing HTML with accessibility in mind – A List Apart Sidebar – Medium

Maintaining Accessibility in a Responsive World

…being “accessible” means many things. It means that a page must load quickly—even in slow and spotty mobile networks.

After loading, the page should be usable and feel appropriate and intuitive to folks using any device, browser, viewport size, and assistive technology. More often than not, the practices we use to achieve these goals play nicely together, but sometimes one optimization can complicate another.

When that happens, we try to step back and find ways to satisfy all our priorities.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Maintaining Accessibility in a Responsive World | Filament Group, Inc., Boston, MA