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.

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?

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?

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.

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. 

8 Things the C-Suite Needs to Know About Accessibility

August 1, 2019 10:07:00 AM EDT

In order to be successfully adopted across the organization, accessibility can’t be limited to the lower rungs of the business — it needs to be supported by executives in the C-suite as well.

Here 8 of the most important things that executives need to know about accessibility.

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.

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 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 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.

Understanding WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 4.1.3: Status Messages

July 12, 2019 10:05:00 AM EDT

Among other additions, WCAG 2.1 introduced a new Level AA success criterion 4.1.3, also known as “Status Messages.” Here's what you need to know about this new checkpoint, including what it is and how to successfully implement it on your website.

8 Facts About Hearing Disabilities and Web Accessibility

July 3, 2019 12:11:43 PM EDT

Deafness, hearing loss, and being hard of hearing are some of the most common disabilities in the U.S. and worldwide, yet there are still many misconceptions surrounding hearing disabilities — including that there are many different levels of hearing. Here are 8 facts about hearing impairment and how they relate to web accessibility.

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.

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