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

What on Earth Does the Coronavirus Have to Do with Digital Accessibility?

March 6, 2020 9:42:00 AM EST

For those in the web and digital accessibility space, and especially for those with disabilities or impairments that impact their use of websites and digital platforms, accessibility is always on their radar. Sometimes for others, it takes a big event or an Aha! moment for the importance of accessibility to be recognized. For many individuals and organizations, the Coronavirus health concern is quickly becoming one of those events.

4 Often-Overlooked Accessibility Mistakes (And What To Do Instead)

March 3, 2020 9:53:10 AM EST

Digital accessibility isn't always about major overhauls or site redesigns. Sometimes, looking out for the little things can go a long way toward improving accessibility and avoiding common web accessibility myths. Here are four oversights that don't take much to correct and what to do instead.

Google Includes Details on Accessibility in Redesigned Maps

February 17, 2020 3:50:30 PM EST

Google Maps celebrated its 15th birthday with the rollout of a redesigned map and new "transit attributes" that include accessibility features. User can now find out if public transit lines include accessible entrances, seating, staffed assistance, stop-button, or hi-visible LED.

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.

Live Transcribe Gives Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Individuals Instant Captions with Speech Recognition Technology

January 28, 2020 10:19:53 AM EST

There's a mobile app, released by Google in February 2019, called Live Transcribe that is aimed to help people who are deaf and hard of hearing more-easily have conversations with people who are hearing. The app uses speech recognition technology to transcribe speech into text directly on the phone screen, nearly in real-time.

Gift Card Accessibility: Electronic Gift Cards Must Be Accessible, Too

January 21, 2020 10:24:10 AM EST

Retailers and restaurants nationwide are taking notice of the new attention — and lawsuits — surrounding gift cards, and specifically whether they violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when they don't include Braille. As businesses prepare strategies for how to make those public accommodations accessible, they should stay mindful that gift cards that are bought and used electronically (eGift cards) have to be accessible to people with disabilities, too.

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.

Four Easy Accessibility Resolutions for the New Year

January 8, 2020 8:34:58 AM EST

Here are four easy resolutions anyone can make this new year to help broaden their knowledge and bridge the digital divide.

  1. Brush up on your accessibility knowledge
  2. Introduce ten people to digital accessibility
  3. Improve social media accessibility
  4. Ask for accessibility

Why Accessibility Is a Critical Piece of Tech Trends for 2020

January 7, 2020 10:21:51 AM EST

As digital technologies become an ever-greater part of our lives, it’s more important than ever to understand how they intersect with accessibility. Here are four of the hottest tech trends for 2020, and how accessibility can play a crucial role for each one.

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.

What Are Accessibility Features of a Website?

December 18, 2019 10:33:00 AM EST

Website accessibility features are the elements of a site designed to improve the ability of people with disabilities to independently use it. Sometimes websites include extra options specifically to enhance some people's use, but usually accessibility features are integrated into a well-coded website that is accessible by default.

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.

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.

Honor Veterans with Website Accessibility

November 12, 2019 8:57:11 AM EST

Veterans Day is observed every year on November 11 to honor the great veterans who have served. The day is a reminder to say thank you to our service members for their bravery and sacrifice, and for many that includes service-related disabilities.

One way to honor veterans is to ensure that disabilities, like those resulting from military service protecting our nation, don't unnecessarily prevent them from accessing public goods and services, including those online.

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