Category Archives: society

Accessibility and the Digital Service Standard | Digital Transformation Agency

Post-it notes with graphic representations of different disabilities

Accessibility has been a government priority for many years.

The release of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0 (or WCAG 2.0) set a new standard for accessibility. But for those of us who work in government, there is more to consider.

Accessibility must go beyond the technical requirements. As I covered in my presentation for Inclusive Design 24, for a product or service to be accessible it must consider all users’ needs at every stage of development.

The Digital Service Standard has been designed with accessibility as a core focus. It aims to help make government services easier, simpler and faster for all users — including those with disability. By understanding and addressing user needs, we improve the user experience for everyone.

The Digital Service Standard continues to require WCAG 2.0 conformance for all government digital services. But, it also requires teams to go further.

The Digital Service Standard

The Digital Service Standard applies to all new and redesigned government services (informational and transactional) and all existing high volume transactional services. …

 

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Accessibility and the Digital Service Standard | Digital Transformation Agency

The Potential of IoT Technologies for People with Disabilities

The Potential of IoT Technologies for People with DisabilitiesWhile being able to dim your lights, lock your doors, and adjust the thermostat using voice commands or a simple interface on your smartphone may seem like convenient novelties to some, for disabled individuals these can be essential to maintaining a safe, healthy, enjoyable home life. For example, a quadriplegic who cannot physically open their front door could speak into their smartphone and the door would automatically open. They could also create a variety of profiles that change the lighting and turn on specific devices once they’ve entered the house, making possible what otherwise would have required a caregiver’s constant assistance.

As another example, a person with little to no vision could use appliances throughout their home with greater ease, and a deaf person could receive security alerts about disturbances they might not have noticed on their own. And while these are helpful for people who are disabled, there is no need to be completely cut off from outside assistance as these devices can also be used to alert caregivers and family members of any issues that may need their attention.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: The Potential of IoT Technologies for People with Disabilities

Canada’s new accessibility laws should focus on employment, inclusive buildings, transport 

The priorities, which were laid out in a report and released by the federal government Monday, summarize eight months of consultations held with Canadians from coast to coast. Carla Qualtrough Qualtrough, the minister tasked with crafting laws to make Canada more accessible to people with disabilities, says employment will be a key focus of her efforts.  (JUSTIN TANG / THE CANADIAN PRESS)   By MICHELLE MCQUIGGEThe Canadian Press Mon., May 29, 2017 Public consultations on Canada’s first national law for d……

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Canada’s new accessibility laws should focus on employment, inclusive buildings, transport | Toronto Star

Accessibility according to actual people with disabilities

“If you have a disability, what’s the hardest thing about browsing the web?” The answers to Safia Abdalla’s tweet are truly eye-opening and shows us what web accessibility should really be about.

 In this article I’ll summarize and group the main topics that people bring up in the thread.But do click on the tweet and read through all the answers. It’s an awesome read for anyone interested in making the web a better place for all. And, in my opinion, a far better place to learn about accessibility than reading any checklist or standard.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Accessibility according to actual people with disabilities – Axess Lab

Google Maps now lets users add wheelchair accessibility details for locations 

Back in December, Google finally added accessibility details to Maps. It was a long awaited addition, but an extremely welcome one for the more than three million people in the U.S. who require wheelchair accessibility. As we noted at the time, however, the available information still left a lot to be desired. Maps has currently collected accessibility data for almost seven million places, but even with databases like Wheelmap, there were still some pretty big gaps across the country.This week, Google’s l

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Google Maps now lets users add wheelchair accessibility details for locations | TechCrunch

Microsoft app that tells the visually impaired what’s in front of them

This free app is helping the visually impaired  

Microsoft is putting its artificial intelligence technology to work to help the visually impaired.

The company said on Wednesday that it’s releasing an iOS app called Seeing AI that uses an iPhone’s camera to tell people about objects in front of them. The app shows off Microsoft’s current capabilities in AI, while also addressing a group that the technology industry too often ignores.

Microsoft first revealed the technology to an audience of developers last year, but at the time it was only shown as working on smart glasses. Now anyone with an iPhone or iPad can try it…

 

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source

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.”