Tag Archives: access

Accessible website design for users with disabilities lags far behind demand

“The internet is, in essence, broken,” said Todd Bankofier, the CEO of accessibility software company AudioEye. Last week the company announced a partnership with web design firm Dealer Inspire, which makes customer-facing sites for auto retailers, to implement AudioEye’s Ally Toolbar across their entire portfolio.

The move “expands our reach immediately, making it much more efficient to continue our mission to make the most expansive infrastructure in the world accessible to everyone,” Bankofier added.

Even the most well-meaning brand leaders and site designers have too narrow a view of what constitutes disability, he said. It’s not just people who are blind, deaf, or use wheelchairs: people with autism, PTSD, visual impairment, epilepsy, dyslexia or colorblindness all have different needs for digital access. AudioEye’s Ally Toolbar takes all these users into account and allows a person to select precisely the site they need to see.

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Read full article at Source: Accessible website design for users with disabilities lags far behind demand | Campaign US

AccessibleTech – Section 508 Explained

I. Introduction

The primary goal of Accessibility is to make certain that Information Systems can be used by people with disabilities.  A properly implemented system will provide access to information to people that use assistive technologies and it will increase usability for everybody. This is due to the fact that most accessible rules one way or another make the system friendlier for use by all.

Accessibility techniques ensure equal access to information for disable and non disable users.  Content and functionality can become fully accessible to people with one or more disabilities including visual, audio, kinetic, speech, and cognitive impairments.

To address these needs the accessibility guidelines are organized around four principles:

  1. Content must be perceivable.
  2. Interface elements in the content must be operable.
  3. Content and controls must be understandable.
  4. Content must be robust enough to work with current and future technologies.

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Read full article at Source: AccessibleTech – Section 508 Explained

Designing inclusively: Some examples

The video below has lots of examples of designing inclusively in the built environment. There are two key messages: get a diverse group of people together before you start designing, and think about all the extra people you can serve or sell to when you design with everyone in mind. While there are several videos around with a similar message, it is good to see the variety of environments covered – from transport to theatre.

Rather than take an off-the-shelf ATM, Barclays Bank commissioned the design of their ATMs and came up with the idea of a niche to hang your walking stick – a key factor as if it falls to the ground, the owner may not be able to bend down to pick it up.

The video is 8 minutes but worth the watch to the end.


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Read full article at source

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

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Read full article at Source: Google Maps now lets users add wheelchair accessibility details for locations | TechCrunch

Designing for Accessibility: The Ultimate in UX


Designing for users with a broad range of abilities can bring challenges. But, before you start thinking “Great, more stuff to limit my rockstar designs” — recognize this: Smart designs aren’t created to impress your peers. Smart designs (and smart designers!) use design elements like color, placement, and interaction in very intentional ways to help site visitors accomplish their goals — while giving the user the most enjoyable experience possible.

So how do you create impressive, accessible designs? These 6 tips will help you create accessible designs that meet the minimum standards of Section 508 and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.

1 . Start with Wireframes

Now you might be thinking “Duh! This is obvious.” But how often do you consider accessibility at this step? Designing for accessibility means considering all users from the start.

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Read full article at Source: Designing for Accessibility: The Ultimate in UX

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.

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Read full article at Source: Accessibility advocates tweet their barriers | Toronto Star

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.

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Read full article at Source: NY Slant

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

Why accessibility is good for business (according to my mechanic) » Simply Accessible

I was lucky to find my mechanic, Pete. There was only one problem. A single, 6” step that stood between my wheelchair and his garage.

There was only one problem.

A single, 6” step that stood between my wheelchair and Pete’s office. Most people wouldn’t even notice, but it was enough of a hindrance that I couldn’t get into the garage.

Each time I needed to have work done on my car, I’d have to call ahead and make sure Pete or one of his employees could meet me in the yard to discuss the issues with my car, get the keys, or arrange payment.

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Read full article at Source: Why accessibility is good for business (according to my mechanic) » Simply Accessible

UPDATED: WVU opens gender neutral bathrooms, ignores handicap accessibility

West Virginia University (WVU) celebrated the grand opening of two state-of-the-art gender neutral bathrooms Thursday, in an effort to preserve its commitment to diversity and “remain a national leader in progression and inclusion.” However, the school has failed to remain inclusive for for its students who are handicapped.

Some students at WVU, however, think the new gender neutral bathrooms are a snub to handicapped students whose demands for handicap-accessible bathrooms have been placed on the diversity backburner. Amanda Hutchison, one of two students in a manual wheelchair on campus, told Campus Reformshe has been advocating for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rights since she started at WVU, but the administration has mostly ignored her requests.

“The university’s response is very slow compared to the gender neutral bathroom advocates, she said. “They rallied and got enough people to where the university did not really have a choice.”

Hutchison did note that the university established an ADA committee in 2013 after she initially brought her concerns to the attention of administration. Since then, the university hired an ADA director as well but his position was placed under the supervision of the school’s diversity office, which focuses most of its energy on issues of race and gender.

The university has a scarce number of handicap “accessible” bathrooms and the ones it does have, according to Hutchison, do not meet ADA standards. The few accessible bathrooms were “not correctly built to where you can get a wheelchair to turn in them,” Hutchison said. “Basically they thought throwing a grab bar on the wall meant it was accessible.”

“Someone with gender identification needs can at least get into a bathroom.”

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Read full article at Source: UPDATED: WVU opens gender neutral bathrooms, ignores handicap accessibility