The Growing Importance of Digital Accessibility in the Hospitality Industry

January 14, 2020 10:27:52 AM EST

Before people are in hotel rooms, they're online researching and booking hotel rooms. As digital continues to increasingly drive the hospitality customer experience, accessibility needs to remain a key consideration or hotels may find themselves unintentionally alienating large segments of the population and may be subject to digital accessibility lawsuits.

Digital Accessibility Year in Review: 2019

December 27, 2019 3:40:23 PM EST

Digital accessibility continues to pick up steam with more organizations realizing its value and more individuals developing awareness and expertise every day. Reflecting on all that has transpired in 2019 makes it clear that accessibility will keep trending up, perhaps leading to an even more eventful 2020, which is almost hard to imagine.

Here's a snapshot of this past year in digital accessibility.

Brands Are Losing Billions by Not Being Digitally Accessible

December 5, 2019 9:15:00 AM EST

While more and more companies are realizing the benefits of improving web accessibility, many more are losing billions by not making their platforms usable for people with disabilities. Americans with disabilities have $490 billion in disposable income, yet too many websites are failing to meet their needs — or capture their business.

Amazon Alexa's Show and Tell Can Identify Groceries for People Who are Blind, Have Low Vision

October 23, 2019 10:33:00 AM EDT

Amazon has a product called Echo Show that has a powerful accessibility feature for those who are blind, have low vision, or would otherwise benefit from product identification.

By asking your Echo Show, "Alexa, what am I holding?," Alexa will help identify the item.

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.

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."

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?

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.

Senators Push Attorney General Barr for Answers on Web Accessibility Under the ADA

August 3, 2019 9:48:16 AM EDT

On July 30, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, joined by six other senators, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Barr asking the Department of Justice (DOJ) to clarify how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to web sites. 

Code Jumper Makes Learning Computer Programming Accessible to the Blind

July 31, 2019 11:05:08 AM EDT

Learning computer programming is difficult enough for a child. For the blind or visually impaired, the challenge is even greater without accessible resources and programs. A product called Code Jumper — the brainchild of Cecily Morrison, a researcher at Microsoft — looks to change that.

Happy 29th Birthday ADA

July 26, 2019 10:25:00 AM EDT

Today the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turns twenty-nine.

The ADA was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990. It was a monumental and pivotal moment in the course of history for disability rights.

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 for Ridesharing Services: 2019 Update

July 16, 2019 9:59:24 AM EDT

Perhaps the greatest benefit of owning a car is the independence that it provides: drivers can commute to work, run errands, visit friends and family, and much more. However, in recent years, many people are choosing to rely more heavily on ridesharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, instead of owning and maintaining their own vehicles.

The convenience of requesting and paying for transportation only when you need it is appealing to millions. And for some people with disabilities who don't obtain a driver's licence or don't have access to their own vehicle, these services have introduced a new potential era of transportation independence.

Of course, this can only be achieved if the apps and vehicles themselves are accessible. Although not perfect, Uber and Lyft have both made strong commitments to accessibility for people with disabilities.

Accessibility Is Privacy and Security

July 2, 2019 10:41:48 AM EDT

Advocates for digital accessibility and those in compliance and governance roles sometimes say that accessibility should be prioritized at the same level as privacy and security. Absolutely, it should be, but it's time to take the argument one step further — not only should accessibility be prioritized in the same way as privacy and security, it needs to be recognized that accessibility is privacy and security.

Not a Single 2020 Presidential Candidate's Website is Fully Accessible to People with Disabilities

June 28, 2019 4:20:38 PM EDT

The websites of twenty two presidential candidates for the 2020 election were tested for accessibility by the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, and the results are in: "Not one website – Democrat or Republican – was fully accessible for a blind or visually impaired person to navigate."

Microsoft Releases New Eyes First Games

June 25, 2019 11:19:25 AM EDT

Microsoft has released four new computer games that people can play using only their eyes. These games, branded Eyes First, use eye-tracking technology to enable people with speech and mobility disabilities to do things on the computer like solve puzzles and negotiate mazes.

Is Web Accessibility a Fad?

June 19, 2019 9:50:00 AM EDT

With so much recent focus on web accessibility, you might find yourself wondering: is it actually just a fad?

A careful review of the evidence suggests that web accessibility is much more than a passing fad. Here are 4 reasons why web accessibility is here to stay.

What if your customers could resolve accessibility issues in real-time?

June 12, 2019 10:20:00 AM EDT

If a customer were visiting you in your store and needed assistance with something, most likely they would ask. If a customer or potential customer is visiting your website and they can't do or find something because it isn't accessible, what are they going to do?

What Project Managers Need to Know About Accessibility

June 1, 2019 11:20:43 AM EDT

Project managers have a level of responsibility for and eyes into all the moving parts of a project. If those projects include websites, apps, or other digital tools, managing accessibility is also one of those responsibilities.

Here are 15 things project managers should know about accessibility (hint: #1 is that you are critical to the process).

How Widely Used is WCAG?

May 28, 2019 10:25:59 AM EDT

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are often called the most accepted and universal standards for web accessibility — but how widespread is WCAG really?

50 Digital Accessibility Facts for Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)

May 16, 2019 10:19:18 AM EDT

May 16, 2019 marks the eighth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). To help spread awareness of the importance of accessible digital and web experiences for all, we're highlighting 50 facts. The time for accessibility is now.

History of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

May 6, 2019 9:15:40 AM EDT

This month, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) turned 20 years old. WCAG version 1.0 was published on May 5, 1999 and was a total game-changer for web accessibility. Today, WCAG version 2.1 is cemented as the gold standard in accessibility. So, how did we get here?

Why is website accessibility becoming so popular?

May 1, 2019 11:00:49 AM EDT

The concepts that govern web accessibility have been around for a few decades, but in the past few years accessibility has started to pick up steam in public consciousness. So, why now is web accessibility becoming so popular? Here are eight reasons.

Checklist for Creating Accessible Videos

April 2, 2019 9:08:00 AM EDT

Creating accessible videos can drastically broaden their reach and usability. Unfortunately an often-overlooked part of video production, accessibility doesn't have to add significant time or cost, especially when considered from the beginning. Everyone benefits from accessible videos. Here are the steps to creating an accessible video.

New Lookout App from Google Detects Surrounding Items for People with Visual Disabilities

March 15, 2019 11:20:00 AM EDT

Google has announced that its Lookout app, which uses the phone's cameras and sensors to identify objects and text, is now available on Pixel devices in the United States. Lookout uses artificial intelligence (AI) to recognize items and speak them aloud as they're detected.

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