Category Archives: society

Government accessibility standards and WCAG 2

This posting summarizes some detailed research into the state of government accessibility standards around the world, as of March 2016. Usually these evolve fairly slowly, although the Jodhan vs. Attorney General of Canada case may change that (governments don’t like being successfully sued by their citizens).

This table shows government accessibility standards, and relevant legislation, in 18 territories:

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Government accessibility standards and WCAG 2

What Non-Disabled People Get Wrong About Accessibility

…there are a LOT of disabled people in the world, with most estimates at somewhere between 15% and 25% of people being disabled in some way. It’s also because of the way that abled (or non-disabled) people Just Don’t Get It in a million tiny huge ways that add up and can make being their friends or partners noticeably more difficult or more tiring than being friends or partners with other disabled people.It’s not their lack of disability itself that is the problem so much as that we all live in a very disablist (ableist / anti-disabled-people / disabling) society and we’re all unlearning a load of bullshit we’ve been taught about disabled people… and those of us who are disabled tend to unlearn this stuff faster.

Because we unlearn this stuff by hard experience. And abled people have to unlearn it by listening to disabled people and treating us as the experts (in a society that constantly pushes the idea that disabled people are the last people you should ask about disability after our doctors and carers and families…) or by becoming disabled themselves and learning it the hard way.

So: What Abled People Get Wrong About Accessibility

1. Treating access as an optional extra, last minute adjustment or add-on

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to interrupt a discussion of an event being planned to ask “But how can we make it accessible?”

2. Expecting disabled people to ask for access


This is one thing I encounter pretty much whenever I leave my flat (everyone inside my flat is disabled and my flat is arranged to suit us). Abled society from individual abled people to small groups, to huge multinational organisations..

3. Having decent disabled access and not telling anyone

I used to live near a gym and swimming pool. It had gender-neutral, wheelchair accessible changing rooms.It had both standard and Changing Places accessible bathrooms It had a hoist for the swimming pool. It had step-free access to everything and lifts to all floors.

4.  Claiming to be “fully accessible”

This again follows neatly from the previous point. SO MANY places and events and groups claim on their websites or flyers to be “Fully Accessible” or “Accessible”. And don’t expand on that. What on Earth do they expect us to understand by “Fully Accessible”?

5. Assuming you know who is and who isn’t “really” disabled

And then only offering access to those people you think are “really disabled”. This is standard almost everywhere and it’s a dick move.

6. Assuming everything we need is provided

*sarcastic laughter* Ahem. So, there’s a lot of things that would make my life as a disabled person much easier and more equal with my not-currently-disabled peers. Assistive tech, support workers, physiotherapy , care workers, mobility equipment etc etc. Some of these things I’ve managed to get, none of these things are free or easy to acquire – even though the UK has free health care and free social services,

7. Assuming we all have an abled person with us at all times

Some but nowhere near all disabled people need another person with them all the time (I’m one of them!) but that other person isn’t necessarily a nondisabled person. In my experience, the people we tend to have around us aren’t nondisabled people who are paid to help us

8. Assuming That Separate is Equal

NO IT’S NOT. I can’t believe I’m still having to say this.
If your access solution is to have a special time or day or event  or space for disabled people separate from a similar thing for “everyone” that isn’t as accessible… that’s not a solution and I can’t believe that I still have to say so.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: What Non-Disabled People Get Wrong About Accessibility | yetanotherlefty

How a Smart Home Empowers People with Disabilities

While advances in personal technology continue at a rapid pace, at times their designers seem to forget about the population that could perhaps benefit from it the most. Stabelfeldt says just the ability to charge a phone with a wheelchair didn’t even exist until a few years ago.

But features like Apple’s “Home” app allow Stabelfeldt to control a variety of smart accessories in his house — from door locks and window shades, to lights and his garage door. The best part for Stabelfeldt? He can command Apple’s intelligent digital assistant Siri to work it all.


A Game Changer
“We put a lot of time and effort into making sure our products are as accessible as possible for all users,” said Apple’s Sarah Herrlinger. She has worked at Apple for nearly 14 years and is their Senior Manager of accessibility policy and initiatives.

“For some people, doing something like turning on your lights or opening a blind or changing your thermostat might be seen as a convenience, but for others, that represents empowerment, and independence, and dignity,” she told NBC News.

“HomeKit and Switch Control and Siri have given me a lot of value and a lot of opportunities to demonstrate that I’m a quality man and I’m a man of integrity,” Todd Stabelfeldt. “To get up every day and go to work: Everybody’s valuable, everybody has worth, everybody should have the opportunity to demonstrate it.”

TED Talks on Designing for Disability

TED Talks on Designing for Disability: TED Talks (technology, entertainment and design) are short presentations delivered to live audiences by subject experts and recorded on video for later viewing online. The Designing for Disability playlist is 10 TED talks on good design, life hacks and smart technology to empower and include people with disability. The videos are free. See: https://www.ted.com/playlists/372/designing_for_disability

Source: Ted

Calls for a Technology Bill of Rights for People with Disabilities in the US

The National Council on Disability (NCD) in the United States has made a call to establish a ‘Technology Bill of Rights for People with Disabilities’ as part of a series of recommendations to the US Federal Government for making technology more accessible to people with a sensory, cognitive, or mobility disability.

 …

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source:
Calls for a Technology Bill of Rights for People with Disabilities in the US

Emerging tech aims to improve life for handicapped

Emerging technology is giving new hope for the handicapped, and harnessing brainwaves for the physically disabled and helping the visually impaired with “artificial vision” are just the start.

Many systems showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas are aimed at improving quality of life for people with disabilities.

BrainRobotics, a Massachusetts-based startup, showed its prosthesis that can be controlled by residual muscle strength of an amputee with better efficiency than similar devices, according to developers.

Over time the group wants to use technology from its sister company BrainCo to harness brain waves for improved function. BrainCo already markets a headband which helps identify patterns of brain waves to help improve focus and treat children with learning disabilities.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Emerging tech aims to improve life for handicapped

Why we need to make web accessibility a priority

The world has never been more socially aware than it is today; in recent years the world and our society has taken important steps to becoming a more accepting and inclusive one. However, there is still aspects of day to day life that are living in the past and one of them is the Web. While this may seem disputable due to the fact that new technology puts the Web in the driving seat of development, it has limited accessibility which is making it outdated. The Web has benefitted a large majority but certainly not everyone – and not for a lack of trying.

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Why do we need it?

The guides successfully highlighted the need for websites to improve their design and function in order to become more accessible, preventing the exclusion of people with disabilities. Improving accessibility can be something as basic as decluttering your layout, which may seem simple but the process behind requires a lot of effort; deciding what gets priority and how to relay the same amount of information through a lot less. The result not only helps people with disabilities to navigate your site a lot better but also looks better, helping your business to appeal to a wider audience.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Why we need to make web accessibility a priority – boxChilli Digital Marketing Hampshire

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)

Meet the Blind Man Who Convinced Google Its Self-Driving Car Is Finally Ready

Steve Mahan’s solo ride showed it’s time to take the car to market.

Now 63 and having lost his sight, Mahan has become one of those capsule-bound explorers. In October 2015, he became the first member of the public to ride in Google’s self-driving pod-like prototype, alone and on public roads. No steering wheel, no pedals, no human on board to step in should something go wrong.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Meet the Blind Man Who Convinced Google Its Self-Driving Car Is Finally Ready