Category Archives: software

Accessibility Testing: Checkers & Development Tools Review

Tools of the Trade

In a different article, I outline the basics foundations of accessibility standards: “Understanding s508 & WCAG 2.0“. To further expand this, let’s look at various development tools to help author accessible content conformant to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (“WCAG”) 2.0 standards.

Getting Started

For a primer or refresher on what the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is review the W3 Org website and its associated entries on this subject at https://www.w3.org/WAI/.

Checkers and Tools

W3 Org offers a great list of available tools for developers to use when checking content for accessibility conformance at https://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/tools/. Various filters can be applied to this list, in order to narrow-down best options. For this article, I applied the following filters:

  • Guidelines > WCAG 2.0 – W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
  • Languages > English
  • License > Free and License > Open Source

From the filtered-list, I chose to explore the following tools/checkers:

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source.

 

Semantic HTML: The Unbearable Rightness of Being

This is the fourth post in a series on accessibility from Shopify’s UX team. We’re publishing posts every two weeks. Check out the introduction.

Using valid, semantic HTML is one of the most impactful ways to make your site more accessible. Writing semantic HTML means using the HTML element with the most specific, correct meaning for your task. For example, if you’re building a button, use a <button> element. With CSS and JavaScript you could make just about any element, e.g. a <div>, look like a button, but it won’t be a button.

This being is the reason semantic HTML is important for accessibility. Browsers have different behaviour depending on what an element is, not what it looks like. These differences can have a big impact on user experience.

How semantic HTML affects users

Consider this example (also available as a CodePen):

<div class="btn" onclick="alert('something')">do something</div>
<a href="#" class="btn" onclick="alert('something')">do something</a>
<button type="button" class="btn" onclick="alert('something')">do something</button>

 

 

Curated by (Lifekludger) Read full article at Source

The 7 Factors that Influence User Experience 

User Experience (UX) is critical to the success or failure of a product in the market but what do we mean by UX? All too often UX is confused with usability which describes to some extent how easy a product is to use and it is true that UX as a discipline began with usability – however, UX has grown to accommodate rather more than usability and it is important to pay attention to all facets of the user experience in order to deliver successful products to market.

There are 7 factors that describe user experience, according to Peter Morville a pioneer in the UX field who was written several best-selling books and advises many Fortune 500 companies on UX:

  • Useful
  • Usable
  • Findable
  • Credible
  • Desirable
  • Accessible
  • Valuable

Let’s take a look at each factor in turn and what it means for the overall user experience:

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: The 7 Factors that Influence User Experience | Interaction Design Foundation

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.”

JAWS screen reader gets more bight

Image of JAWS screen reader logo

Freedom Scientific has recently released JAWS 18.0.2738, which incorporates several important improvements made between the JAWS February 2017 release and this mid April 2017 update, plus dozens of less revolutionary but very practical enhancements.

JAWS (Job Access With Speech) is the world’s most popular screen reader, developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. It allows blind and vision-impaired people to read the screen either with a text-to-speech output or by a refreshable Braille display.

The latest update resolved some minor issues within the software itself, as well as providing a long list of user enhancements and expanded features when using JAWS with Microsoft Office, Google Docs, on a variety of Web Browsers, and in Windows 10.

Source: JAWS screen reader gets more bight | Media Access Australia

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

Make your Word documents accessible – Office Support

This topic gives you step-by-step instructions to make your Word documents accessible to people with disabilities.People who are blind or have low vision can understand your documents more easily if you create them with accessibility in mind. Visual Components such as this image need meaningful alternate text.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Make your Word documents accessible – Office Support

Developing Shopify Themes with Accessibility in Mind

We want to help you get excited about accessibility, understand its importance within the web industry, and inspire you to integrate accessibility checks in your daily development workflow. We’ll also demonstrate some simple ways to make your clients’ online stores the best in the world, for everyone.

The importance of web accessibilityAccessibility, also know to many as simply a11y, is all about using design and code strategically to make the content of your websites or online stores consumable for all

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Developing Shopify Themes with Accessibility in Mind

Google’s DeepMind AI can lip-read TV shows better than a pro | New Scientist

An artificial intelligence system developed by researchers at DeepMind and the University of Oxford got so good by watching 5000 hours of BBC programmes

Artificial intelligence is getting its teeth into lip reading. A project by Google’s DeepMind and the University of Oxford applied deep learning to a huge data set of BBC programmes to create a lip-reading system that leaves professionals in the dust.

Source: Google’s DeepMind AI can lip-read TV shows better than a pro | New Scientist