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.

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.

World Stroke Day: Awareness and How Web Accessibility Can Help

October 29, 2019 10:11:59 AM EDT

October 29 is World Stroke Day, bringing awareness to the leading cause of disability and one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

The effects of stroke vary, but many of the commonly-resulting disabilities and impairments are some of the key areas for which web accessibility best practices work to solve when it comes to navigating the digital world.

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.

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.

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.

Accessible Astronomy Sounds Great at Harvard Lab

September 18, 2019 10:15:00 AM EDT

There are new ways to study one of the oldest sciences. Allyson Bieryla, manager of the Astronomy Lab and Clay Telescope at Harvard University, has brought in and developed technology that allows people who are blind or have visual disabilities to engage in astronomy using their senses of hearing and touch.

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.

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.

Back to School: Accessibility Considerations

August 17, 2019 1:58:50 PM EDT

It's that time of year and millions of students and their families across the country are getting ready for the new school year to begin. Back-to-school shopping, summer homework, and last-minute preparations can be difficult and stressful enough — and even more so when the websites and tools needed to do these things are not built to be accessible to people with disabilities.

Here are five accessibility reminders for back-to-school.

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.

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.

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.

Web Accessibility and the Fourth of July: Celebrating Independence in More Ways Than One

July 4, 2019 10:00:00 AM EDT

On the Fourth of July, we celebrate our independence as a nation that collectively values freedom and liberty. It also feels like an appropriate time to celebrate and reflect on what independence means for the individual and how prioritizing accessibility can enable some individuals with disabilities to live more independently in the digital age.

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.

The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do to Improve Website Accessibility

June 22, 2019 1:25:54 PM EDT

This article will not contain any accessibility best practices. It will not tell you any quick fixes you can make to your websites and apps to make them more usable for people with disabilities. It will not be technical at all. But yet, it will tell you the single most important thing you can do to improve web accessibility.

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.

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