Tag Archives: accessibility

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……

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

At this month’s WWDC, Apple unveiled refined accessibility tools

…for all the focus on refinement, there also is a cavalcade of new stuff to be excited about. As it pertains to accessibility, some obvious highlights for me are the 10.5” iPad Pro and the corresponding iPad-centric enhancements in iOS 11. I’m also psyched for smaller niceties too, such as the ability to automatically enter Reader View in Safari on iOS and macOS. I use this mode all the time; it makes reading on the web a much more pleasant—and accessible!—experience. Reader View is one of my favorite and most-used tools on both iOS and the Mac.

Apple announced a boatload of stuff at WWDC, and it’s quite a task to process it all and ruminate on what it means. With this sentiment in mind, here are my three biggest takeaways around accessibility and the conference that matter most.

 

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Read full article at Source: At this month’s WWDC, Apple unveiled refined accessibility tools | TechCrunch

The web is awesome and everyone should be able to read it.

These last months I’ve been improving my website accessibility so anyone can understand it. Here’s what I’ve learned:
By anyone I mean any person that doesn’t use the internet like I do. Having empathy with the users is one of the things I’ve been learning on web development. You should give it a try as well. Not everyone interacts with an interface or uses the same device and input devices as you do.
Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within the other person’s frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another’s position. — wikipedia
So you should adapt your product for them. By adapting I don’t mean making it uglier. I mean making it simple. And doing something simple is hard. It’s good to force yourself to rethink your interface or logic in order to accomplish a more complete and intuitive solution.

That old lady being awesome on the web
The problem
I love to explore new interactive ways to communicate a message, so last Summer I rethought my personal website. I don’t consider it a straightforward portfolio, as interaction is the way to explore it. That’s the best part about it and at the same time the worst part.
Some months ago I got to know that users who use only keyboard or screen readers can’t understand shit. They have so many visual and interactive elements to explore that they end up lost. As a web lover, excluding people from using it to its fullest potential, just makes me really sad.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: The web is awesome and everyone should be able to read it.

How Design for Accessibility Drives Innovation for All

Comcast recently made a big splash in the world of assistive technology by launching the industry’s first voice-enabled television user interface, or “talking TV guide,” which gives blind and visually impaired customers the ability to independently explore and navigate thousands of shows and movies.

Comcast’s vice president of accessibility Tom Wlodkowski, who is blind, said the new interface “is as much about usability as it is about accessibility.”

Eminently more usable than navigating a complicated channel grid, voice command also comes in handy for people with sight.

Think about the multitaskers who don’t have their hands free to manipulate a remote control – the laundry folders, the moms who’re nursing babies, the social media surfers.

Aging populations also benefit greatly from voice user interfaces.

What Accessibility Has To Do With Usability

Realizing that products designed for accessibility end up making life better for everyone else, Comcast launched an accessibility lab to drive research and development. I heard Wlodkowski give an inspiring presentation about accessibility and innovation at the 2016 Forge Conference and it got me thinking about how the desire to address disability drives innovation forward.

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Read full article at Source: How Design for Accessibility Drives Innovation for All | Bresslergroup

How major technology companies are improving accessibility for people with disabilities

The year 2016 saw an increase in focus on accessibility features to allow people with disabilities to access technology. The Microsoft Event that saw the launch of the Surface Studio on October 26, and the Apple event a day later on October 27 which saw the launch of the new Macbook Pro laptops, both opened with a video showcasing the efforts by the two companies at making their products more universally accessible. Earlier in the year, during the Facebook F8 conference, Facebook demonstrated a a new API with features for making user interfaces built using the React library more accessible to visually impaired users.

For the visually impaired, touchscreens are scary because they are devices where all controls defer to the screen. Nirmita Narasimhan, a Policy Director at The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) in Bengaluru has contributed to policy decisions by the Indian Government to help the visually impaired better use technology. One of these measures was allowing the blind to convert ebooks to any format that would allow them to read it. Narasimhan believes that accessibility to new technologies can improve greatly for the visually impaired if major app distributors such as Apple and Google take efforts to make sure the same application works for blind users as well.

 

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Read full article at Source

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.

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Read full article at Source: What Non-Disabled People Get Wrong About Accessibility | yetanotherlefty

We need to talk about Accessibility on Chatbots

What happens when a blind person wants to use your chatbot?

This idea started after I did a research on UX for autonomous cars or self-driving cars. I did some interviews with 4 people, one of them being blind. I was really surprised to know that she can fully take care of herself and go around using her phone and guide dog. She uses her phone and her dog as interfaces to do something that (unfortunately) she is not able to.

After the interviews, I started my UX research and then, another surprise: the aspects of UX for self-driving cars — which I noticed basically two:

  • Visual design — “how can we let people know what the car sees?” Tons of (interesting) concepts of visual design to let people understand and see what the car sees while it’s driving itself.
  • Affordances — “How can we make people interact with the car?” I have seen nice buttons, panels and clues that help people interact with the cars.

With those two main aspects in mind, I started questioning myself:

What about blind people? How will they use self-driving cars?

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Read full article at Source: We need to talk about Accessibility on Chatbots

Accessibility in the classroom—tools that impact my students – Office Blogs

Creating a collaborative, inclusive classroom has many moving parts and pieces—and finding the right balance can be challenging. As a special education teacher, I am constantly on the hunt for technology and tools that give students with disabilities an environment that is personalized, differentiated and yet as close to their peers’ experience as possible. I have been an itinerant teacher, a distance education math teacher at a residential school and currently a resource room teacher—without the resource room.

When I work with my students and determine how to meet their needs, I think a lot about their accommodations rather than their modifications. The outcomes for a student can have a very dramatic effect on their learning.

In my accompanying blog post, “Accommodations versus modifications in an inclusive classroom,” I outline the important differences between accommodations and modifications to accessibly personalizing student learning. With Windows 10 and Office 365—free for teachers and students—I have been able to find and use many of the accommodations that I have been looking for making consumption of materials, content creation, collaboration and organization possible for students using the same technology and tools as their peers.

These tools help my students to consume content, create content, collaborate inclusively and stay organized.

……

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Read full article at Source: Accessibility in the classroom—tools that impact my students – Office Blogs

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.

….

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.

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

wA11y – The Web Accessibility Toolbox WordPress Plugin

Boost your WordPress accessibility! The Web Accessibility Toolbox contains tools to spot deficits in accessibility and suggestions on how to better it.

Recently released, the wA11y plugin consists of tools to check and correct your WordPress site’s accessibility. (The name is derived from a11y, the shorthand way of writing accessibility, with “w” representing Web.)

 

The plugin was developed by Rachel Carden, a software engineer at Disney Interactive and accessibility advocate.

I decided to give wA11y a spin to see what it could do.

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Read full article at Source: wA11y – The Web Accessibility Toolbox WordPress Plugin