JAWS Screen Reader and ZoomText Magnifier, Reader Available for Free Until June 30, 2020

March 24, 2020 10:18:10 AM EDT

Free licenses for the JAWS screen reader and ZoomText magnifier and reader are available to everyone in the US and Canada until June 30, 2020. Freedom Scientific is offering this to help students and workers who are suddenly home due to COVID-19.

Websites of Nation's Top Elementary Schools Have Major Accessibility Barriers During Coronavirus Crisis

March 23, 2020 8:15:00 AM EDT

Automated accessibility testing performed by the Bureau of Internet Accessibility's a11y® analysis platform revealed significant accessibility barriers on the websites of several of the nation's most highly-rated elementary schools. Collectively, almost half (49.71%) of the checkpoints tested failed, suggesting that many people with disabilities likely would be prevented from full and independent access to the websites' resources.

8 Common Image Alt Text Mistakes to Stop Making

March 17, 2020 9:57:45 AM EDT

Providing alt text for images is one of the most critical pieces of digital accessibility, but when alt text isn't accurate or current, it can cause significant accessibility issues. Check out these 8 common alt text mistakes

Update: We Will Not Be Attending 2020 CSUN Assistive Technology Conference

March 3, 2020 10:00:00 AM EST

The Bureau of Internet Accessibility team will be at the 35th CSUN Assistive Technology Conference on March 11 – 13, 2020. We'll be at Booth 1314 in the Grand Ballroom. We look forward to meeting you there!

First Public Draft of WCAG 2.2 Published

February 28, 2020 9:30:00 AM EST

On February 27, W3C published a working draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2. This first draft includes one new success criterion, with more expected to be added in future drafts.

Is Website Accessibility Worth It? (Part Two)

February 25, 2020 8:41:05 AM EST

Business owners and website managers have to weigh the time and cost against the benefit of changes and upkeep to their website. For many, this leads to a simple question: Is website accessibility worth it? In part one, brand and company culture, lawsuit protection, audience reach and SEO, and the bottom line were highlighted.

Here in part two, let's look a little deeper, from privacy and security to accessibility feeling good.

Is Website Accessibility Worth It? (Part One)

February 24, 2020 10:03:00 AM EST

Web accessibility is a civil right and it helps create an enjoyable digital customer experience — but is it worth it? You may have heard the benefits extend beyond customers service, causing many companies to prioritize accessibility. Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, and Twitter all share a commitment to website accessibility. They’ve joined the growing number of companies reaping the benefits of the expanded audience reach, improved SEO, increased legal protections, and more that accessibility provides. But, still, is website accessibility actually worth all the time and effort?

Six Ways to Sabotage Your Digital Accessibility

February 4, 2020 9:53:00 AM EST

You’ve tested your website, read up on accessibility trends, and even trained your staff on digital accessibility best practices. You should be set…right?

Despite the best intentions, if any of the six mistakes below look familiar, you could actually be sabotaging your digital accessibility efforts.

Accessibility Is Not a Checklist

February 4, 2020 9:12:14 AM EST

As more and more people and organizations work hard to learn how and why to comply with digital accessibility best practices and guidelines, they might also be looking for quick and easy ways to check the accessibility box. Checklists, primers, and clean lists of dos and don'ts can be great resources and can help content creators and their partners keep accessibility top of mind and get things right the first time.

But just as a sport is much more than a list of rules and penalties, the accessibility whole is greater than the sum of its accessibility parts.

3 Times Accessibility and Disability Stats Matter (and 3 Times They Don't)

January 18, 2020 10:50:27 AM EST

One of the most fascinating things about statistics and facts in general is that people can use the exact same information to tell very different stories. When it comes to opportunity and requirements surrounding digital accessibility, this is no different.

When the number of people with disabilities is used to show opportunity, when customer feedback is used to make improvements, and when accessibility metrics are used to show ongoing commitment, it matters.

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.

Omnichannel Stats Highlight Need for Accessibility Now

January 7, 2020 10:05:08 AM EST

The data shows that customers may not consider physical and digital spaces to have much of a barrier between one another, but rather as extensions of the other.

To the customer, the brand is the brand, so they often expect seamless transitions between the physical and the digital and the same level of service across all channels — and this includes accessibility.

Surprised by Web Accessibility Complaints?

December 31, 2019 9:58:04 AM EST

Should people be surprised when inaccessibility leads to bad experiences, complaints, or even lawsuits? Sometimes when the dots aren't connected in practical ways, some of the rules of accessibility might seem arbitrary. However, they are anything but, and asking the questions in a different way can help people further their understanding of how they impact real people.

Are Website Accessibility and Digital Accessibility the Same?

December 28, 2019 11:21:03 AM EST

The terms website accessibility and digital accessibility have a lot of overlap and are often used interchangeably, but they can mean different things.

Website accessibility specifically refers to the principle that websites and associated content and technologies should be equally accessible to those with and without disabilities.

Digital accessibility includes web accessibility but also refers to the accessibility of anything digital such as video, audio, electronic documents, animations, kiosks, and mobile apps.

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.

Waiting for an ADA Demand Letter to Take Accessibility Seriously?

December 9, 2019 10:30:00 AM EST

Web accessibility lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are proliferating, with thousands filed in just the last two years. However, many organizations seem to have adopted a “wait it out” strategy, expecting that they’ll deal with the question of accessibility if and when they receive an ADA demand letter.

Yet, businesses who wait to implement digital accessibility until after receiving an ADA demand letter may be both tempting fate and holding themselves back from achieving their full potential.

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.

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.

Get Your Braille and Large Print Letters from Santa: 2019

November 30, 2019 9:11:30 AM EST

Organizations from around the world have teamed up again this year with Santa’s elves in sending out Braille letters from Santa. You can request one using this list of organizations. They’ve got a direct line to Santa and the North Pole — but act fast!

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 Problem with Not Making Websites Accessible by Default

November 18, 2019 9:13:00 AM EST

Some website operators, just like the owners of some physical locations, approach accessibility in this way: they allow major accessibility gaps to exist and rely on people with disabilities to ask for accommodations. While it's better than giving people no options for access, even if with good intentions, not making websites accessible by default has several serious issues.

Survey: Only Half of Students with Disabilities Rate Their College's Accessibility Support Positively

November 14, 2019 10:30:00 AM EST

According to a 2019 Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology conducted by EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research, only half of students with disabilities who need accommodations or accessible technology gave their institutions a positive rating.

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?

Career Websites Must Be Accessible. Is Yours?

November 4, 2019 10:17:00 AM EST

People with disabilities sometimes encounter unnecessary barriers that aren’t faced by people without disabilities in both their personal and professional lives. In too many instances, these obstacles have made it more difficult for many people with vision, hearing, motor, and cognitive disabilities from seeking and obtaining gainful employment.

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