Accessibility in the News—08/23/16
In this issue of Accessibility in the News (AITN), we have accessibility-related media coverage on the newest FCC closed captioning rules (for online public, educational or government video). For private-sector employers with fewer than 50 employees in Ontario, new laws with integrating accessibility standards, and banks beware (class action lawsuits nationwide are being filed).
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Accessibility advocates tweet their barriers
8/9 | Source: icims
Two social media campaigns are attracting attention to lackluster building, airline plans for people with disabilities. Disability advocates are hoping social-media campaigns will publicly shame organizations into taking action on accessibility.
Tim Rose made headlines this month when he posted on Facebook about his harrowing back-and-forth with Air Canada, who refused to let him take a direct flight from Toronto to Cleveland because they said his wheelchair was too big to fit in the plane…
How the Accessibility Emoji Got Its Start- From the streets to your iOS keyboard
8/13 | Source: The Ringer
Apple recently unveiled a slew of new emoji that will be included in iOS 10, (some more woke than others). Brian Glenney, a philosophy professor at Norwich University and a graffiti artist, created one of these new icons with Olin College design professor Sara Hendren. In 2011, they introduced a new design for the symbol for accessibility, and started to promote the icon with a sticker campaign. The goal was to spark a conversation about how people with disabilities are perceived and how the images used to represent them affect that perception. Glenney and a handful of volunteers, mostly undergraduate students, planted stickers on laptops, stop signs, and sidewalks all around Greater Boston. The idea was to introduce a new symbol for what’s commonly referred to as the “handicap” icon. The new design is more active, putting more emphasis on the person than the wheelchair…
Understand the Social Needs for Accessibility in UX Design
8/17 | Source: The Interaction Design Foundation
As UX designers, we have a lot on our plates. The term “UX Unicorn” exists for a reason. We are responsible for our clients’ goals as well as our users’ needs. You might ask then, why should you think about Accessibility in your UX Design process?
Imagine going into a design workshop and telling your client that you need more hours to make his or her company website accessible. You’ll need a good use case to convince your client and maybe even yourself that accessibility should feature in the UX Design process. Here, we will look at the social need of why you should design with accessibility in mind…
Website Accessibility: Why There’s Still Work to be Done on Government Portals
8/19 | Source: Government Technology
Despite major technology advances over the years, many organizations still struggle with digital accessibility. A 2015 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 53 million — or one in five — adults in the U.S. have a disability. That’s a large chunk of the population that must be considered when designing government websites and online features.
While there are many tools for disabled individuals to utilize computers and mobile devices (e.g., screen readers for the blind), there are still major challenges that stem from how content is provided. So what issues do individuals with disabilities face when accessing websites?…
Becoming Disabled: Roughly one in five Americans lives with a disability. So where is our pride movement?
8/19 | Source: The New York Times
Not long ago, a good friend of mine said something revealing to me: “I don’t think of you as disabled,” she confessed. I knew exactly what she meant; I didn’t think of myself as disabled until a few decades ago, either, even though my two arms have been pretty significantly asymmetrical and different from most everybody else’s my whole life…
Banks the Latest Targets in Website Accessibility Claims
8/19 | Source: Duane Morris
In the past year, Carlson Lynch Sweet Kilpela & Carpenter LLP, which was responsible for filing hundreds of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ATM class action lawsuits nationwide, has filed dozens of ADA website lawsuits in federal district court in Pittsburgh and sent out hundreds of demand letters to retailers and other types of businesses. The lawsuits filed in federal district court in Pittsburgh all contend that “[b]lind and visually impaired consumers must use screen reading software or other assistive technologies in order to access website content” and that the defendants’ websites contain “digital barriers which limit the ability of blind and visually impaired consumers to access the site.” Each lawsuit then describes the specific access barriers that the visually impaired plaintiffs allegedly encountered. The demand letters make essentially the same claims as the lawsuits, but offer the business an opportunity to avoid litigation by engaging in settlement discussions prior to suit. A draft proposed-settlement agreement is usually included with the demand letter, and typically, the demand letters also include a report prepared by a third-party “expert” vendor, which provides specific, technical examples of the alleged inaccessible areas of the business’ website…
Chinese carriers gear up for diversified needs of global digital platforms
8/22 | Source: China Travel News
Be it for an e-commerce platform or supporting different phases of a journey via their digital assets, Chinese airlines are looking at refining their respective sites and apps.
Chinese airlines are focusing on expanding their presence globally, and to do that they know they need to understand international travelers better and connect with them through a platform that is tailored to their needs and expectations. As we have learnt over the last 12 months, Chinese airlines are trying to improve upon their foreign websites’ e-commerce capabilities…
Donald Trump put disability in the spotlight, but not in the way these advocates hoped
8/23 | Source: Washington Post
The teenage boy in the campaign ad has a noticeable limp — and something to say. “I want a president who inspires me,” Dante Latchman says in the spot produced by a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC, “and that’s not Donald Trump.”
The 17-year-old, who was disabled by a rare cancer of the spine, is one of several people with disabilities who have played a visible role in the 2016 campaign. There was Grace, a young girl with spina bifida, in another pro-Clinton ad. There was blind singer Timmy Kelly, who performed the national anthem at the Democratic National Convention. Anastasia Somoza, an activist with cerebral palsy, addressed the same crowd from her wheelchair onstage…
Accessibility for Ontarians With Disabilities Act, 2005, Part III: What Are My Obligations as a Private-Sector Employer Under the Law’s Integrated Accessibility Standards?
8/23 | Source: Lexology
The Integrated Accessibility Standards regulation under Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, contains three standards: the Information and Communication Standards (part II); the Employment Standards (part III); and the Transportation Standards (Part IV). The Information and Communication Standards and the Employment Standards are applicable to most Ontario businesses, whereas the Transportation Standards apply to transportation providers and related entities, such as municipalities and school boards…
Closed Captioning Rules For Public, Educational, and Government (PEG) Channels, A Refresh And Handy Tools
8/23 | Source: Government Video
With the newest of FCC closed captioning rules requiring online video to be captioned now fully in effect, now is a good time to remind those who operate PEG channels on what type of programming must be captioned and what can be exempt. For starters, closed captioning rules for PEG stations fall under the same general closed captioning rules for all television stations, with one exception, according to Carol Studenmund, owner and president of LNS Captioning, a Portland, Oregon-based closed captioning company.
“What’s left out in the conversation is the Americans with Disabilities Act,” she said.
The rules start to get tricky for PEG operators because they are obligated to adhere to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. For PEG operators whose budgets are tied into their local governments’ overall budget–PEGs are considered a “Title II” entity which is defined as a state or local government body under the ADA–such channels are required to provide services to accommodate persons with disabilities, regardless of the FCC exemptions your station qualifies for.
Additional Accessibility Information
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Outlining a host of accessibility-related services, Microassist Accessibility Services: Barrier-Free Digital Development, provides background on Microassist expertise and the various offerings available for digital content and platforms. Services cover accessible elearning, website, and application development, audit and remediation services, and accessibility testing across various formats. Content is available online and as an accessible PDF for printing.
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Closed Caption image: by Kaylor Bakley via Wikimedia Commons