Accessibility Now

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IAAP International Association of Accessibility Professionals
  1. What is the "Accessibility Now" Newsletter? 
  2. European Accessibility Act: EDF Calls on the European Commission to Deliver a Legislative Proposal on the Accessibility of Goods and Services
  3. The Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA) Standards
  4. Wearable Technology and How It Affects People with Disabilities 
  5. A Wireless User-Computer Interface to Explore Various Sources of Biosignals and Visual Biofeedback for Severe Motor Impairment
  6. UK Publishers Association Creates Joint Statement on Accessibility and e-books
  7. UMass Boston and IBM Advance Technology Accessibility Research
  8. Safeway Inc. Announces Website Accessibility and Usability Enhancements to its Online Grocery Delivery Website Benefiting Shoppers with Visual Impairments
  9. WordPress Accessibility Resources
  10. Ban Launches Accessibility Center at UN Headquarters
  11. Three Things to Include in Your Accessibility Help Page
  12. Samsung to Offer Smartphone with Accessibility Options for Disabled
  13. RNIB Cymru Launches Accessibility Guidelines

     


1

What is the "Accessibility Now" Newsletter?

The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) is excited to publish its first issue of “Accessibility Now,” your resource for important information and the latest news on accessibility. IAAP’s mission is to help accessibility professionals develop and advance their careers and to help organizations integrate accessibility into their products, services, and infrastructure. “Accessibility Now” is just one of the tools you can utilize to achieve these goals.

This monthly newsletter will provide you with a digest of curated news clips that highlight issues and developments affecting the accessibility industry. Our goal is to select only the most relevant accessibility news from a variety of sources, then give you the chance to dig deeper into the topics you’re most interested in. "Accessibility Now" is free and available to anyone interested in accessibility issues -- you do not have to be an IAAP member to receive it. We hope that by making “Accessibility Now” available to everyone, we can continue to raise awareness within all communities about the importance of accessibility.

We encourage you to get involved by helping ensure the news we include is relevant to all our readers. If you see any news articles you think would be useful to our community, please send them to news@accessibilityassociation.org. Please note that while we carefully select the articles that appear in this newsletter, IAAP does not endorse any of the companies mentioned or take a stand on any of the articles included in “Accessibility Now.”

We hope you enjoy the first issue of “Accessibility Now.” We are looking forward to helping our community strengthen its awareness and understanding of accessibility issues.

Sincerely,

The IAAP “Accessibility Now” Newsletter Team 

2

European Accessibility Act: EDF Calls on the European Commission to Deliver a Legislative Proposal on the Accessibility of Goods and Services

 
Disability Advocates met with Viviane Reding, Vice President of the European Commission, to discuss the actions that the Commission is taking on the implementation of the rights of persons with disabilities in the upcoming European Accessibility Act. Ms. Reding assured the group that the European Commission will take on this commitment and confirmed that the Act is included in its 2014 work plan. She referred to the preparatory work that the Commission has carried out to assess the impact of possible measures to improve the accessibility of goods and services in the internal market.

http://pr.euractiv.com/pr/european-accessibility-act-edf-calls-european-commission-deliver-legislative-proposal-0

3

The Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA) Standards

The State of Illinois recently updated its accessibility standards. The Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA) requires Illinois agencies and universities to make their websites, information systems, and information technologies accessible to people with disabilities. IITAA establishes specific standards and is encouraging the State of Illinois to address accessibility proactively.

https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=32765

4

Wearable Technology and How It Affects People with Disabilities 

Kelly Rouba created a blog about wearable technology and the impact it has on people with disabilities. The article explains the benefits and opportunities for people with disabilities. “As with any new technology, it is always hard to predict how it will be used and what impact it will have on people’s lives,” said Kai Gradert, a UX/Product Designer.

http://www.themobilityresource.com/wearable-technology-and-how-it-affects-people-with-disabilities/

5

A Wireless User-Computer Interface to Explore Various Sources of Biosignals and Visual Biofeedback for Severe Motor Impairment

A “Journal of Accessibility and Design for All” report covers a study that presents the development of a computer interface that can be controlled by biosignals. Wireless sensors are placed on the body of people with disabilities and they learn to enhance the control of detected signals by visual biofeedback.

http://www.jacces.org/jacces/ojs/index.php/jacces/article/view/92/54

6

UK Publishers Association Creates Joint Statement on Accessibility and e-books

The UK Publishers Association is encouraging publishers to ensure their e-books are accessible. The statement explains how publishers can make mainstream published products accessible for people with print impairment expanding their customer base. It also provides practical guidelines that publishers can use to help ensure all their e-books have easily added features that assist accessibility (like enhanced navigation) and that their e-books do not have accessibility features unnecessarily disabled.

http://www.publishers.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2207:joint-statement-on-accessibility-a-e-books&Itemid=1655

7

UMass Boston and IBM Advance Technology Accessibility Research 

IBM and the University of Massachusetts Boston announced a partnership to advance accessible technology solutions for people with disabilities, the growing elderly population, those with low literacy, and novice technology users. IBM will provide access to technology and industry expertise to students, professors, and researchers at UMass Boston's newly formed School for Global Inclusion and Social Development as part of IBM's Academic Initiative. 

The team will explore new ways to integrate assistive technologies into the design of mobile devices, applications, or websites that enable access for people with disabilities and improve the overall user experience.

http://www.umb.edu/news/detail/
umass_boston_and_ibm_advance_technology_accessibility_research

8

Safeway Inc. Announces Website Accessibility and Usability Enhancements to its Online Grocery Delivery Website Benefiting Shoppers with Visual Impairments

Safeway Inc. has announced a plan to make its online website accessible. Safeway’s online grocery shopping website will now be accessible for Safeway shoppers with visual impairments. The company has made significant enhancements to its online shopping website to meet this standard and will continue to do so over the next year. The site enhancements are the result of collaboration between Safeway and several visually impaired customers. Safeway adopted WCAG version 2.0 Level AA as its accessibility standard.  

http://www.4-traders.com/SAFEWAY-INC-14529/news/Safeway-Inc--Safeway-Announces-Website-Accessibility-and-Usability-Enhancements-to-its-Online-Groc-17612082/

9

WordPress Accessibility Resources

Approximately 40 percent of the top 10,000 websites in the world use WordPress. WordPress can be made accessible with plugins that provide accessibility support or by assuring the content creation includes accessibility. Most accessibility problems don’t come from the content management system but from themes and plugins. This article explains ways to assure WordPress is accessible.

http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/61516-WordPress-Accessibility-

10

Ban Launches Accessibility Center at UN Headquarters

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the opening of the Accessibility Center at UN headquarters in New York. The new facility will enable greater participation of persons with disabilities in intergovernmental processes and is considered “a model of the digital United nationals we are trying to create,” according to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/131204/ban-launches-accessibility-center-at-un-headquarters

11

Three Things to Include in Your Accessibility Help Page

This is a blog by AbilityNet about including an Accessibility Help Page or Section on your website. They recommend that every website include an Accessibility Help section. It can be a useful stepping stone on a user journey. The blog also offers practical suggestions to help your customers with accessibility on your site and remind them that you have considered their needs. 

http://www.abilitynet.org.uk/blog/three-things-include-your-accessibility-help-page

12

Samsung to Offer Smartphone with Accessibility Options for Disabled

Samsung has announced several accessibility options for people with vision impairments in its mid-range Android Galaxy Core Advance Smartphone. The features include several physical keys offering easy access to frequently used features, such as the voice recorder, camera, volume, menu, home, and power functions. Samsung has created a feature called Optical Scan that will automatically recognize text from an image and then read it aloud to the user.

http://www.upi.com/Science_News/Technology/2013/12/16/Samsung-to-offer-smartphone-with-accessibility-options-for-disabled/UPI-23871387242389/

13

RNIB Cymru Launches Accessibility Guidelines

Royal National Institute of the Blind Cymru has created the “Get Connected” project with the goal to continue to support digital inclusion for all. The RNIB Cymru team has provided support to 1,400 blind and partially sighted people. Eighty-two percent of blind and partially sighted people say their sight loss is the reason they are not online.
 
http://communities2point0.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/rnib-cymru-launches-accessibility-guidelines/

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