2019 Holiday Shopping Predictions and Where Digital Accessibility Fits In

October 16, 2019 10:30:00 AM EDT

The 2019 holiday shopping season is almost upon us.

That means there are plenty of potential sale opportunities for your business. But if your website isn’t accessible, it also means you’re going to lose a a lot of those sales.

Why a Website Redesign Is the Perfect Time to Get Accessibility Right

October 15, 2019 9:29:54 AM EDT

Redesigning your website offers the perfect opportunity to consider accessibility. Rather than creating your site and trying to implement improvements later, begin with accessibility in mind.

Not only can you work in a timely, cost-efficient manner, but you can also optimize your site from the start, accommodate more users, and integrate accessibility as a top priority in your organization.

Supreme Court Denies Petition to Hear Domino's Accessibility Case

October 8, 2019 10:49:39 AM EDT

The Domino's accessibility case will not be heard by the Supreme Court of the United States, effectively upholding the Ninth Circuit opinion from earlier this year that says their website and app must be accessible. Plus, ten reasons the pizza company's strategy was a mistake.

Hulu Makes Content More Accessible to People Who Are Blind, Have Visual Impairments

October 7, 2019 10:15:00 AM EDT

Hulu rolled out two accessibility enhancements to improve the navigation and experience of the streaming provider's content, especially for people who are blind or have visual impairments:

  • Better text legibility due to enhanced opacity and contrast
  • A screen reader to guide users through the platform

Greater Digital Independence Through Eye Tracking

October 4, 2019 10:25:00 AM EDT

Eye tracking devices can help people with mobility disabilities meet the challenges of communicating and interacting with the world. The devices allow a computer to be controlled using only eye movements, which can be critical when a person is unable to use a mouse or keyboard. The process, called gaze interaction, uses eye tracking technology to determine exactly where the user is looking on the computer screen or within special eye tracking glasses.

Let's Stop Thinking of Accessibility Compliance as Scary

October 1, 2019 9:57:09 AM EDT

Looming lawsuits and words like "compliance" can make accessibility seem scary — or maybe worse, so daunting that we ignore it entirely.

But here's the thing: accessibility isn't scary; inaccessibility is.

International Week of the Deaf 2019

September 26, 2019 12:02:44 PM EDT

The International Week of the Deaf is an annual event during the last full week of September where Deaf people around the world celebrate the formation of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD).

The 2019 theme for the week of September 23rd to September 29th is “Sign Language Rights for All”.

Public Sector Websites in the U.K. Have to be Accessible, Regulations Go into Effect This Week

September 24, 2019 10:41:02 AM EDT

As of September 23, 2019, all new websites in the U.K. and any published after September, 23, 2018, must be accessible.

Simon Hart, the Minister for Implementation, said, "This is another positive step in our longstanding commitment to ensuring digital services are accessible for all users and to encourage improved equality of access to public information and services."

How to Hire Top Talent with an Accessibility Mindset

September 20, 2019 10:13:00 AM EDT

As a business, you want to hire the best candidates for the job. However, you also want to emphasize accessibility within your organization without compromising your search for the top talent.

Fortunately, these two different motivations don’t have to be in conflict. By looking for people with the six traits below, you might improve your odds of hiring outstanding employees who also are a good fit for the pro-accessibility mindset.

Accessible Astronomy Sounds Great at Harvard Lab

September 18, 2019 10:15:00 AM EDT

There are new ways to study one of the oldest sciences. Allyson Bieryla, manager of the Astronomy Lab and Clay Telescope at Harvard University, has brought in and developed technology that allows people who are blind or have visual disabilities to engage in astronomy using their senses of hearing and touch.

What Are the Four Major Categories of Accessibility?

September 13, 2019 12:05:15 PM EDT

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are organized by four main principles, which state that content must be POUR: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. WCAG is the most-referenced set of standards in website accessibility lawsuits and is widely considered the best way to achieve accessibility.

LEGO Releases Audio and Braille Instructions Pilot Program

September 12, 2019 10:30:07 AM EDT

Back in 2010, thirteen-year-old Matthew Shifrin wanted to build a LEGO castle. Following the LEGO building instructions at the time, which consisted only of photographs, was just about impossible for someone blind, like Matthew. Fortunately, his babysitter Lilya Finkel stepped in and gave him a binder of Braille instructions she had written for him of the “Battle of Alamut” castle LEGO set. Due to the duo’s efforts since then, LEGO announced in August 2019 that it has created a pilot program for audio and Braille instructions.

Who Decides If a Website Is Accessible?

September 10, 2019 10:27:00 AM EDT

Web accessibility is a hot topic and it's here to stay — but with so many organizations learning and implementing the guiding principles and best practices, who actually gets to decide whether or not a website is accessible?

It's Okay to Feel Good About Accessibility

September 5, 2019 10:00:12 AM EDT

It's no secret web accessibility lawsuits are on the rise and that industries from education to retail to hospitality are increasingly adding compliance measures to help their websites and apps stay compliant with laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

With so much focus on the compliance aspect of accessibility, here's a reminder that you're doing the right thing for your customers and your business while improving everyone's experience.

Labor Day and Accessibility: Celebrate and Empower All Workers

September 3, 2019 9:40:00 AM EDT

Labor Day 2019 marked the 125th as a national holiday, a day the US Department of Labor says "celebrates and honors the greatest worker in the world – the American worker." Let's be certain we include the contributions of the members of the workforce with disabilities in that celebration and continue to work to create a more inclusive and more accessible workplace that empowers the future achievements of all workers.

8 Tips for Designing Websites with People with Disabilities in Mind

August 30, 2019 12:02:58 PM EDT

One of the biggest challenges web designers and content creators face when working to resolve accessibility issues is trying to squeeze accessible solutions back into an otherwise finished design. A much easier, and of course accessible, approach is to consider people with disabilities in the design from the beginning — but asking someone to do this and guiding them on how with actionable ideas are very different things, as it isn't always easy or intuitive.

Here are tips for a smoother, more accessible design approach.

7 Questions to Ask Your Website Host or Agency About Accessibility

August 28, 2019 10:11:00 AM EDT

Most businesses rely on third-parties for at least some of their website needs — the website may have been designed by a vendor, it may live on a vendor's platform or use their components and templates, or the content could even be managed entirely or partially by a vendor on an ongoing basis.

Here are 7 questions to ask your vendors about accessibility.

Give Yourself an Accessibility Test: Turn On High Contrast

August 26, 2019 10:17:24 AM EDT

For people who need or want to navigate the web with high contrast enabled, these settings offer a free and pretty reliable way to do so. High contrast also gives you a fast and easy way to identify some accessibility issues on your website you might not catch otherwise.

Use Caution with Automated Tools that Promise 100% Accessibility Compliance

August 23, 2019 12:01:07 PM EDT

Automated accessibility testing tools, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and code-scanning technology, can be an important part of an accessibility testing plan — but, they must remain just a part. Automated testing on its own should not replace manual testing by an accessibility expert and should not be used as the only way to show compliance.

Is There a Legal Requirement to Implement WCAG?

August 22, 2019 1:20:52 PM EDT

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are often referred to as the gold standard in accessibility and they are widely respected as providing the best path to accessibility compliance — but does the law actually require WCAG compliance?

Back to School: Accessibility Considerations

August 17, 2019 1:58:50 PM EDT

It's that time of year and millions of students and their families across the country are getting ready for the new school year to begin. Back-to-school shopping, summer homework, and last-minute preparations can be difficult and stressful enough — and even more so when the websites and tools needed to do these things are not built to be accessible to people with disabilities.

Here are five accessibility reminders for back-to-school.

What Startups Need to Know About Accessibility

August 16, 2019 10:00:00 AM EDT

Accessibility may be the furthest thing from your mind when you’re just trying to get your startup off the ground, but it’s actually a crucial piece of the puzzle. Not only can accessibility save you a great deal of time and legal fees, it can also win your business more customers — which is essential when you’re in the growth phase of your startup. Read more…

Give Yourself an Accessibility Test: Use Your Site on a Phone

August 10, 2019 1:07:42 PM EDT

Did you know that how well websites work on a smartphone or tablet is a critical piece of web accessibility? While it's true that in-depth testing probably requires partnership with accessibility experts, you can start a preliminary assessment of your website's accessibility on your phone right now, for free.

Assistive Technology Market Estimates: Rapid Growth Ahead

August 8, 2019 10:33:00 AM EDT

According to projections by market research company Coherent Market Insights, the global assistive technology market will reach $26 billion by 2024, nearly doubling from $14 billion in 2015. Zion Market Research is even more optimistic about the industry’s trajectory, with an estimate of $31 billion in 2024 and an annual growth rate of 7.4 percent.

IRS Getting Sued for Not Providing Accessible Alternatives to Blind Taxpayers

August 7, 2019 9:59:00 AM EDT

A blind taxpayer, Karen Rose, alleges the IRS provided only printed letters she couldn't read. As a result, she wasn't aware she owed nearly $25,000 in taxes and $1,500 in interest and penalties. Ms. Rose, two other blind individuals, and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) are suing the IRS.

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