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.

IKEA and Partners Unveil 3D-Printed Gaming Accessories That Will Improve Accessibility for Gamers

June 14, 2019 10:00:00 AM EDT

Earlier this month, IKEA and partners announced a new line of gaming prototypes, UPPKOPPLA, that is meant to improve the gaming experience for people with a wide range of abilities and preferences.

The new line of accessories will use 3D-printing to target the physical needs of gamers. To accomplish this, IKEA is teaming up with UNYQ, a design company specializing in 3D-printed medical products and devices, and Area Academy, an e-sport company known for their educational focus.

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?

How to Utilize and Create Accessible Pinterest Content

June 3, 2019 10:04:00 AM EDT

Pinterest, one of the most visual social media platforms, is also considered pretty accessible by many. Pinterest features elements such as alt text, a balanced color palette, and advanced screen reader capabilities, making the platform accessible by people who are blind or have visual or other disabilities.

Here is how to take advantage of the accessibility features in place and how to create more accessible Pinterest content yourself.

World MS Day Highlights Need for Digital Accessibility

May 30, 2019 9:00:00 AM EDT

May 30 is World MS Day, created to increase awareness, solidarity, and hope for those affected by multiple sclerosis. The campaign for 2019 is “My Invisible MS” and the theme is Visibility, according to the World MS Day website.

The special goal of this year’s theme is to challenge common misconceptions and bring awareness to the invisible symptoms of MS and the impacts of those unseen symptoms on people’s everyday lives.

Assistive Technology 101: What You Need to Know

May 23, 2019 9:50:00 AM EDT

For some people with various kinds of disabilities, standard computing technologies such as keyboards, monitors, and computer mice can be difficult or impossible to operate and to use to navigate the digital world. Fortunately, there are alternative methods that can help, known as assistive technologies, for using a computer or browsing the web. While the term “assistive technology” can apply to any device used to make tasks possible or easier ―  such as wheelchairs and hearing aids ― this article will discuss only those assistive technologies used to supplement or replace computing devices.

Empower People with Disabilities as Experts in Diversity, Inclusion, and Development

May 22, 2019 9:57:53 AM EDT

Having people with disabilities visible and present in the community, making decisions, and being valued has the transformational power to impact attitudes toward inclusion. Being inclusive is important to an organization’s success in order to enact positive social change that includes all members of their community.

Digital Accessibility for the Travel Industry

May 17, 2019 11:43:56 AM EDT

“Accessible travel” is the concept that all people — including people with vision, hearing, mobility, and cognitive impairments — should be able to do what they want to do and go where they want to go without facing unnecessary barriers, physical or digital, that prevent them from enjoying their travel and tourism experiences to the fullest capacity possible.

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.

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