Accessibility Now

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IAAP International Association of Accessibility Professionals
  1. What is the "Accessibility Now" Newsletter?
  2. Using ARIA to Enhance SVG Accessibility
  3. Gartner Says Companies Should Deploy Technologies to Address IT Accessibility
  4. Have We Entered the Golden Age of Accessibility?
  5. Web Accessibility Basics
  6. The University of Derby Learning Technology Blog
  7. Canada: AODA Update: January 1, 2014, Deadline Looms, and the Accessibility Directorate is Knocking
  8. Microsoft Offering Visually Impaired Customers Free Screen Reader Software to Help them Use Office
  9. Improving the Accessibility of Social Media in Government


1

What is the "Accessibility Now" Newsletter?

The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) is excited to publish its second 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 “Accessibility Now.” We encourage you to send us your feedback on the newsletter to news@accessibilityassociation.org. We are looking forward to helping our community strengthen its awareness and understanding of accessibility issues.

Sincerely,

The IAAP “Accessibility Now” Newsletter Team 

2

Using ARIA to Enhance SVG Accessibility

This is a technical blog by The Paciello Group (TPG). The blog focuses on using ARIA to enhance SVG accessibility. SVG, the acronym for Scalable Vector Graphics, is an XML-based vector image format for two-dimensional graphics that has support for interactivity and animation. The blog provides tips and coding examples to make SVG more accessible. It also explains how ARIA can help improve the accessibility of SVG.

http://blog.paciellogroup.com/2013/12/using-aria-enhance-svg-accessibility/

3

Gartner Says Companies Should Deploy Technologies to Address IT Accessibility

A recent report from Gartner is helping companies understand the need to address accessibility. The report notes that assistive technology can benefit everyone, including people with disabilities. It tells companies that by addressing accessibility in IT product development they will be opening up these products to people with disabilities. The article provides estimates of the market and notes that this is an underserved market segment with one billion people worldwide. They and their immediate friends and family have an annual disposable income of more than $8 trillion.
 
http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2638315

4

Have We Entered the Golden Age of Accessibility?

Robert Pearson of Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) in Canada writes a blog for G3ict about the change from need-based accommodations to inclusion and accessibility for all abilities. He notes that as the world’s population continues to age the need for access will continue to grow. The needs will be best met if industry plays a significant role via professional associations and certifications.

http://g3ict.org/resource_center/newsletter/news/p/newsletterId_/id_467

5

Web Accessibility Basics

This blog covers web accessibility and includes links to additional resources. It reminds developers and organizations that websites and web tools need to be accessible. If accessibility is not addressed during web design and development, people with disabilities have access problems, which can impact their ability to use the site.

http://docs.webplatform.org/wiki/concepts/accessibility

6

The University of Derby Learning Technology Blog

This blog is part of the Accessibility Series: Delivering Accessible and Inclusive Blackboard. It was created by Laura Hollinshead. It explains how professors can use Blackboard Collaborate to create and deliver accessible online sessions for students with disabilities. She provides tips that will help students with disabilities access universities' distance learning courses.

http://learningtechnologyblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/accessibility-series-delivering-accessible-and-inclusive-blackboard-collaborate-sessions/

7

Canada: AODA Update: January 1, 2014, Deadline Looms, and the Accessibility Directorate is Knocking ...

Organizations with 50 or more employees in Ontario must comply with the first set of requirements under the AODA’s Integrated Accessibility Standard. The existing Customer Service Standard required organizations with 20 or more employees in Ontario to file an Accessibility Compliance Report with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario by December 31, 2012. The Accessibility Directorate of Ontario is contacting organizations that have not yet filed their reports.

http://www.mondaq.com/canada/x/282154/employee+rights+labour+relations/
AODA+Update+January+1+2014+Deadline+Looms+And+The+Accessibility+
Directorate+Is+Knocking

8

Microsoft Offering Visually Impaired Customers Free Screen Reader Software to Help them Use Office


The screen reader can be used for the 2010 or 2013 version of Microsoft Office. There is no cost for the screen reader, but it can only be installed on PCs with Windows XP or later or on servers that support Windows 2003 or later.

http://blogs.office.com/2014/01/14/announcing-improved-access-to-office/
 
9

Improving the Accessibility of Social Media in Government

Social media is transforming how the United States government engages with citizens. It allows agencies to share information and deliver services more efficiently than in the past. It is critical that we ensure all citizens, including people with disabilities, have full access to social content, data, and platforms. The blog also notes that agencies have a responsibility to ensure these digital services are accessible to all citizens, including people with disabilities.
 
The Federal Social Media Community of Practice launched a Social Media Accessibility Working Group to collaborate with and deliver programs for accessibility communities and social media leaders across government. The Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy is spearheading the working group. They will curate and share best practices so agencies can ensure their social media content is accessible to people with disabilities. It also will work with social media platform and tool developers, citizens, and partners to encourage greater accessibility. The blog provides a set of baseline strategies to improve the accessibility of government social media.
 
http://www.howto.gov/social-media/using-social-media-in-government/improving-accessibility#tip-facebook

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