Category Archives: society

Building Accessibility Culture by David Peter | Model View Culture

 

The world we live in perpetuates many kinds of ableism all the time. Fixing (“changing”) the world doesn’t rest on a single axis, or even three, but we can reduce injustice by making our websites and workplaces accessible for people with disabilities.

Building Accessible Websites and Products

The Internet is often touted as a neutral platform where everyone is equal. But if you want people with disabilities to use your website, people with disabilities must be able to access it. The United Nations, in a study of one-hundred websites, found only three websites met the international standard for accessibility. Out of a hundred, only three. This study is meant to be indicative, not exhaustive — and it indicates the Internet is not as neutral as we like to believe.

For a long time, I loved tech: from when I had my first personal computer, with a blazing fast 56k modem that dialed a noise I couldn’t hear but my mother could. I couldn’t hear the dial, but I didn’t need ears to post on forums, chat on AIM, play video games. But after years, YouTube became mainstream — without captions on thousands of hours of videos. One of my favorite games has voice-acting in all its cutscenes — without accompanying text. Podcasts these days have exploded in popularity — the ones I want most come without transcripts. I wish I were as interested in tech as before, but these small frustrations have built up, over years, as the world has continued ignoring me as part of its audience.

If you are a tech company committed to diversity, what does your diversity mean? Is it only for people who work for your company, or does it include who uses your website? If your website is for creative people, what kind of creatives does the website enable? Are they mostly white, middle-class people? The culture of the community your website fosters is just as important as the internal company culture. Heck, some users might even become your employees!

Our development teams must learn how to make websites more accessible. In my experience, people seem to generally agree that accessibility is important, but no one takes the plunge. That ends up being just lip-service, and is the same thing as not valuing accessibility.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Building Accessibility Culture by David Peter | Model View Culture

Accessibility advocates tweet their barriers | Toronto Star

Disability advocates are hoping social-media campaigns will publicly shame organizations into taking action on accessibility.

Tim Rose made headlines this month when he posted on Facebook about his harrowing back-and-forth with Air Canada, who refused to let him take a direct flight from Toronto to Cleveland because they said his wheelchair was too big to fit in the plane.

Rose started tweeting with the hashtag #wheelchairsarentluggage, in response to an Air Canada employee comparing his wheelchair to an oversized bag.

The hashtag has racked up hundreds of tags, including some by David Lepofsky, the chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Alliance.

Lepofsky started his own campaign a few months ago called #AODAfail. It asks Ontarians to point out narrow wheelchair ramps (or non-existent ones), uneven sidewalks and signs low in colour contrast — anything that creates obstacles for people with disabilities.

Lepofsky, who is blind, said he relies on traffic sounds to navigate the city as a pedestrian. He’s comfortable walking with a cane on the street, but wayfinding in some newer buildings is another story.

Navigating the wide, curved atrium at the Women’s College Hospital is like wading through the Atlantic Ocean, he said.

Before entering the atrium, there’s the matter of getting through the front doors. The hospital’s front entrance has poles on either side of the doors with sensors, so that when a guest waves a hand in front of the sensor, the door opens — dissimilar to most hospital doors, which open automatically.

The washrooms nearest the front entrance of the hospital have signs written in Braille, but Lepofsky points out the Braille only indicates room numbers — not whether the washrooms are meant for men, women or families.

“It’s hard to be that bad. It’s one thing not getting better, but it’s another thing making (accessibility) substantially worse,” Lepofsky said.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Accessibility advocates tweet their barriers | Toronto Star

The inaccessible web: how we got into this mess

Compared to other public spaces, the internet provides us with choices for how we consume and interact. We can use various devices, browsers and operating systems; we can change the size and colour of text; we can navigate with a mouse, keyboard, finger or mouthpiece; or we can use a screen reader to convert words to sounds.

Whatever your needs or preferences, there’s almost certainly a way to access the web.

Theoretically.In reality, the web is a mess.

These accessibility options tend to be forgotten or stripped away, even though accessible websites and apps can absolutely still be beautiful, innovative and user-friendly.

This is more than an inconvenience. This is a human rights issue. Disabled people need these options in order to access the web.

Here are my thoughts on how we got into this mess, and what we can do.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: The inaccessible web: how we got into this mess

NY Slant – Uber and Accessibility

Amid Uber’s rapid unregulated expansion, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and nine other urban mayors have wisely chosen to develop a global rulebook to confront economic and social challenges of the sharing economy. This new coalition has a prime opportunity to finally end Uber’s discrimination against wheelchair users in New York and across the world.

Uber is an example of how the sharing economy has not yet evolved to adequately serve the disability community. While the $60 billion company has just begun to offer accessible vehicles in London, wheelchair users in hundreds of other cities are denied service every day. Twenty-six years after the Americans with Disabilities Act became federal law, Uber’s policies are a sad throwback to a time when those civil rights were simply ignored.

Uber has operated in New York City since 2011 and now has more than 30,000 vehicles on the road, but none are wheelchair-accessible. Even as the city’s taxi industry continues to advance toward 50 percent accessibility by 2020, city officials have not held Uber and other ridesharing apps to the same moral standard. And when the company tried – and failed – to expand statewide, it refused to include accessibility in its so-called commitment to upstate residents.

Uber has avoided discussions of an accessibility mandate at all costs – including more than $1 million spent on lobbying New York officials over the past year and a half. Part of the problem is UberWAV, which, the company claims, is a fair substitute for making its own cars accessible. In reality, it is an offensive response that treats the disability community with the same “separate but equal” attitude that once plagued America’s attitude toward race.

Instead of providing wheelchair users with accessible Uber cars, UberWAV merely attempts to connect them with accessible yellow or green taxis – the same taxis the company is trying to put out of business. The only real benefit of UberWAV is for Uber itself, which rakes in higher corporate profits by leaving the full cost of accessibility to the taxi industry.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: NY Slant

We’re just temporarily abled: Designing for the future – InVision Blog

We need to design for accessibility not only for folks who are permanently visually impaired, hard of hearing, or have severe motor issues right now, but also for our future selves.

Design for the future you

With each passing birthday, our vision is starting to go. Eventually our hearing will start to go and so will our mobility. I will have these issues, you will have these issues—they’re just part of the aging process.

We aren’t just designing accessible products and websites for a subgroup of people who we may or may not know, who have permanent visual or motor issues. We’re designing these sites and products for our future selves as well.

The next time you’re tempted to brush off accessibility while you’re working on a design, picture yourself in 20 or 30 years trying to use your own website or product. It’s a pretty life-changing shift in thinking. I like to call it “forced empathy.”

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: We’re just temporarily abled: Designing for the future – InVision Blog

Advocate Moves Needle on Website Accessibility – Education Week

Every year, thousands of complaints flow into the office tasked with investigating disability discrimination for the U.S. Department of Education.

This year, Marcie Lipsitt, a special education advocate from Michigan, has been responsible for about 500 of those complaints—and counting.

Lipsitt’s focus is on the websites of school districts and other educational institutions, which she says widely disregard the needs of users who are blind or visually impaired, or who cannot use a mouse to navigate a page. Other website problems she has spotted include videos with no captions, or text and background color combinations that are a strain for people with low vision.

Her letters have gotten results. In June, the Education Department’s office for civil rights announced that it had entered into settlement agreements over website accessibility with schools, districts, and departments of education in seven states and in Guam.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Advocate Moves Needle on Website Accessibility – Education Week

Airline Web Accessibility: Post US DOT Deadline Round Up

Round the world in 8 Days We are pleased to say we can conclude our round the world airline accessibility review, having looked at the six airlines (one from each continent) to see how they have approached the new US … Continued

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Read full article at Source: Airline Web Accessibility: Post US DOT Deadline Round Up – User Vision

We’re Just Temporarily Abled : Designing for the Future : Designing for the Future

We aren’t just designing accessible products and websites for a subgroup of people who we may or may not know, who have permanent visual or motor issues. We’re designing these sites and products for our future selves as well.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend and present at a great conference where Cindy Li delivered a phenomenal keynote.I learned about 8 million new things during her talk, but she made one particular statement that really stuck with me.

She simply said,“We’re all just temporarily abled.”

She talked a little bit about her mother who has an ocular disease that is slowly blinding her over time. Then she mentioned that while she doesn’t have an ocular disease herself, she is beginning to require stronger glasses prescriptions each year.

Why am I talking about Cindy’s eye health? Because she then pointed out that as designers we need to design for accessibility, not only for folks who are permanently visually or hearing impaired or have severe motor issues right now, but also for our future selves.

Design for the future you.

With each passing birthday, our vision is starting to go. Eventually our hearing will start to go and so will our mobility. I will have these issues, you will have these issues–they’re just part of the aging process.We aren’t just designing accessible products and websites for a subgroup of people who we may or may not know, who have permanent visual or motor issues. We’re designing these sites and products for our future selves as well.The next time you’re tempted to brush off accessibility while you’re working on a design, picture yourself in 20 or 30 years trying to use your own website or product. It’s a pretty life changing shift in thinking. I like to call it “forced empathy.”

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: We’re Just Temporarily Abled : Designing for the Future : Designing for the Future | UX Magazine

Census 2016 – Accessibility and special needs | Australian Bureau of Statistics

What help is available for people with a disability, illness or injury?

If you need assistance completing your Census form, we encourage you to seek help from someone you trust. This could be a family member, friend, carer or neighbour. In some locations, such as hospitals and nursing homes, Field Officers will be employed to help complete the form.Information collected in the Census helps to determine funding and plan for better health facilities for both patients and carers across Australia.

Information to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing to participate in the Census is available in Australian Sign Language (Auslan) and Close Captioned.

This video provides information on how to complete each Census question in Auslan.

2016 Census in Auslan

Those with hearing or speech impairments requiring help to complete the Census form, please contact the National Relay Service.

Curated by (Lifekludger) for further detail
Read full article at Source: Accessibility and special needs | Census | Australian Bureau of Statistics