5 Smartphone Usage Statistics and the Growing Importance of Mobile Accessibility

December 2, 2019 11:56:22 AM EST

Thinking of mobile accessibility as secondary, or skipping it altogether, puts organizations at legal risk and makes it likely that a large percentage of users will have negative or even unusable experiences. Here are five stats to show why.

Xbox Accessibility Guidelines Provide Best Practices So More Gamers Can Play

November 22, 2019 10:15:00 AM EST

To further their mission of Xbox Accessibility, Microsoft released Xbox Accessibility Guidelines, "a set of best practices that have been developed in partnership with industry experts and members of the gaming and disability community."

Twenty-three guidelines are included, and for each guideline Microsoft provides an Overview, Implementation Guidelines, Applicable personas, and Resources or Tools.

We Haven't Received Customer Complaints About Accessibility, So We Don't Have a Problem, Right?

November 19, 2019 9:38:00 AM EST

It can be tempting to believe that if you aren't aware of any customer complaints related to the accessibility of your website or app, that there must not be any accessibility issues — or at least any issues serious enough to bother making accessibility improvements.

Here are five reasons no customer complaints doesn't mean no accessibility issues.

The World's Most Popular Websites Share a Commitment to Accessibility. Here's How They Approach It.

November 7, 2019 10:37:51 AM EST

It is not a coincidence that the top six most popular websites in the world have all made visible, concrete commitments to improving web accessibility.

Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, and Twitter all realize that accessibility doesn't just expand their user base, it has powerful additional benefits like improving SEO and furthering the missions of their corporate social responsibility.

So what does web accessibility look like for these tech titans?

Vimeo Announces Accessibility Updates to Their Video Player

November 5, 2019 9:15:27 AM EST

In September, Vimeo announced new accessibility updates to their video player.

The video-sharing platform currently serves more than 90 million creators worldwide. With the recent updates, more people should be able to use the service.

Here are the changes and how they impact accessibility.

Dyslexia Awareness Month and How Web Accessibility Can Help

October 31, 2019 4:29:33 PM EDT

Did you know October is Dyslexia Awareness Month? The aim of Dyslexia Awareness Month is, of course, to bring awareness to an often-misunderstood neurological condition. It also offers a prime reminder of how certain web accessibility best practices can make a big difference in making web content easier to use for people with dyslexia.

Top 5 Ways to Make Podcasts Accessible

October 26, 2019 9:30:00 AM EDT

If you're a podcaster, you need to ensure that your material is readily available for all audience members. Here are five ways to make podcasts more accessible.

You Might Be an Accessibility Champion If You...

October 22, 2019 9:30:00 AM EDT

As is true of every skill or calling, even the most seasoned accessibility professional was once a novice. If you are considering a career in accessibility or have interest in being a leader in advancing accessibility initiatives from whatever role you're in, you might already be an accessibility champion in the making.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

User Agents and Accessibility

July 23, 2019 11:00:00 AM EDT

User agents are software applications that interact with the internet on your behalf. They do things so you don't have to. For example, a web browser is a user agent, in that it displays web content in a way that people find easy to use.

Here's why user agents matter for accessibility.

Why You (Usually) Need Row and Column Headers for Accessible Tables

July 19, 2019 2:45:04 PM EDT

Tables are a great way to organize and share a lot of data and information. They help content creators and designers present facts and figures cleanly, when describing them in words and sentences may be difficult and tiresome.

While there are many other factors for whether a table can be considered accessible, one of the most common accessibility issues with data tables is the lack of properly-coded headers.

Why You Need to Test Custom Use Cases for Accessibility

July 17, 2019 9:55:51 AM EDT

There are a lot of website accessibility testing strategies, but if custom use cases aren't part of your testing strategy, you may be exposed to accessibility vulnerabilities as a result.

Accessibility Improves Bounce Rates

July 13, 2019 8:59:48 AM EDT

Implementing accessibility best practices on your website allows people with disabilities to consume your content and engage with you to the fullest extent. Many businesses are also realizing the many additional benefits of web accessibility.

Digital marketers, for example, are discovering that accessibility improves SEO. There's a related aspect that hasn't received much attention: accessibility improves bounce rates.

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