Accessibility Now

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IAAP International Association of Accessibility Professionals
  1. Deadline Approaching: 2015 Call for Webinars
  2. Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.1 W3C Working Draft
  3. The Secret Powers Hidden in Your Android's Accessibility Options
  4. IBM Names Frances West Chief Accessibility Officer
  5. FCC Votes to Require Closed Captioning for Web Clips
  6. Social Media: Accessibility Issues and Solutions
  7. Request to Apple for More Accessible Apps
  8. Google Glass Helping Audiences or Pirates?
  9. Creating Accessible Documents with Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 Tutorials
  10. Canadian Guide to the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation 
  11. First Public Working Draft of IndieUI: User Context for Web Interface Preferences  
  12. Training, an Integral Component of Accessibility Implementation
  13. Vital Source Enhances E-textbook Accessibility Support with New Features


1

Deadline Approaching: 2015 Call for Webinars

IAAP members are invited to submit webinar proposals for our 2015 IAAP Webinar Series. Take advantage of this opportunity to share your expertise with other accessibility professionals. Webinar proposals are due Friday, August 15, so submit your webinar proposal today!

2

Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.1 W3C Working Draft

W3C released a new draft of the WAI-ARIA. This draft provides an ontology of roles, states and properties that define accessible user interface elements and can be used to improve the accessibility and interoperability of Web content and applications. These semantics are designed to allow an author to properly convey user interface behaviors and structural information to assistive technologies in document-level markup. This version adds features new since WAI-ARIA 1.0 to complete the HTML + ARIA accessibility model. This draft is expected to complement HTML5.
 
View the new draft of the WAI-ARIA

3

The Secret Powers Hidden in Your Android's Accessibility Options

This Lifehacker article addresses ways to unlock the power of the accessibility settings in Android. It also highlights the features that will enable users of all abilities to have more control over their Android devices. The author notes that most of the tools do not require additional apps and that there are other accessibility options designed for different users with disabilities, like Talkback, that will make the device more accessible.

Read the complete Lifehacker article on Android accessibility options

4

IBM Names Frances West Chief Accessibility Officer

IBM recently announced it is appointing Frances West as the company’s chief accessibility officer. According to the company, in this role, West will “guide IBM accessibility policies and practices” and “lead IBM’s collaboration with business, government and academia to advance accessibility standards and policy.” West joined IBM Research as the head of the Human Ability & Accessibility Center. She has held positions on the boards of directors of the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Assistive Technology Industry Association and the U.S. Business Leadership Network. She currently sits on the board of the World Institute on Disability and is a trustee at the National Braille Press and an advisor to the National Business & Disability Council.
 
Read IBM’s press release announcing Frances West’s appointment as Chief Accessibility Officer of IBM

5

FCC Votes to Require Closed Captioning for Web Clips

This PCMag article covers the FCC’s recent approval of rules that will require closed captioning for certain online videos. According to the article, the move “extends rules that the agency adopted in 2012 to require closed captioning on video clips, not just full-length videos. Once in place, the rules will require broadcasters, cable and satellite distributers to caption clips that are played on TV and then posted on a website or mobile app.”
 
Additionally, the FCC is asking for public comments on what else it can do to make the Web accessible to persons with disabilities.
 
Read more about the FCC’s decision to require closed captioning for Web clips

6

Social Media: Accessibility Issues and Solutions

Social media platforms can be a great barrier to digital accessibility. The more public information is digitized, the more it lands on or sprouts from social media channels. This article notes that it is critical that we create a greater level of awareness and consideration for those who can benefit most from that information – persons with disabilities – because they have the least access to it. The article also provides links to a report, tips and online dialogues about this topic.

Read the complete article about social media accessibility issues and solutions.

7

Request to Apple for More Accessible Apps

Advocates for persons with disabilities are asking Apple to close the emerging digital divide in mobile technology. As smartphones and tablets become more critical, many say the digital divide is widening for persons with visual and hearing impairments and other disabilities. The article also notes that as baby boomers retire and age, the number of people needing help is growing.  Many feel that we need federal laws that will require apps to be fully accessible, but the courts have not ruled on this issue. Also, the community of persons with disabilities does not want to risk alienating Apple.
 
Read the complete article about advocates asking Apple for more accessible apps

8

Google Glass Helping Audiences or Pirates?

Many persons with disabilities have hailed Google Glass as a potential access tool for people with disabilities. In this commentary, Media Access Australia CEO Alex Varley explains how it could also be seen as a commercial threat. Google Glass is being used as a method for delivering subtitles (or surtitles) during opera performances. Varley notes that “the subtitles are being beamed onto the lens of the Google Glass and replace either seat-back displays or subtitles delivered to a mobile device or tablet.” However, some companies are banning Google Glass from their premises to thwart people from recording performances and distributing them illegally. Varley suspects that the adoption of technology like Google Glass will accelerate and force the cinema market to deal with accessibility issues and believes that audience access will be more important than the threat of pirated material.
 
Read the Media Access Australia article about Google Glass as an accessibility tool for audiences

9

Creating Accessible Documents with Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 Tutorials

The Department of Veterans Affairs has made available to the public tutorials it created to teach its personnel to produce accessible PowerPoint presentations. The tutorials teach the principles of accessibility and Section 508 compliance. They provide step-by-step guidance for making Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2010 for Windows accessible and compliant, but the concepts can also be applied to other versions and document types.
 
View the Department of Veteran Affairs’ tutorials on making accessible and compliant PowerPoint presentations

10

Canadian Guide to the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation 

The Canadian Guide to the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation is an extensive guide created by the government of Ontario to help businesses and organizations understand how to identify, remove and prevent barriers for persons with disabilities. The guide addresses five standards: the accessibility standard for customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation, and the design of public spaces. The last four standards were combined under one regulation, the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, and are now law. The requirements currently in regulation are being phased in between 2011 and 2021. 
 
Download the Canadian Guide to the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation

11

First Public Working Draft of IndieUI: User Context for Web Interface Preferences  

The W3C IndieUI Working Group published the First Public Working Draft of IndieUI: User Context 1.0 – Contextual Information for User Interface Independence. The draft defines a set of preferences for Web applications, plus an API for user agents to access the preferences and listen for changes. Users can set preferences for features such as screen size, font size and color. Users with disabilities can provide information about assistive technologies in use, indicate that the display is in an accessibility mode, and indicate what kind of subtitles and audio descriptions they need.
 
View the First Public Working Draft of IndieUI: User Context for Web Interface Preferences.

12

Training, an Integral Component of Accessibility Implementation

This blog post discusses the National Federation of the Blind’s new initiatives on Web accessibility education – the goals of which are to bring more blind and sighted individuals into the accessibility profession and to enhance skill levels both internally and externally, including for access technology trainers. Through this initiative, the NFB looks into innovative techniques, such as how to expand 3D printing into tactile graphics for the blind in classrooms and offices.

Read the NFB’s blog post about its new initiatives on Web accessibility education
 

13

Vital Source Enhances E-textbook Accessibility Support with New Features

Vital Source, an e-textbook platform, recently showcased new features to its comprehensive accessibility support for its VitalSource Bookshelf® platform at the NFB conference. “As a result of rigorous, ongoing accessibility testing of the various Bookshelf platforms, Tech For All, Inc. can attest that a real asset of the Vital Source approach is its strong commitment to deliver an accessible, rich eBook reading experience which students with disabilities, like their peers, can access from home, in the classroom and in a mobile environment,” said Rick Bowes, executive consultant for Tech For All, Inc., an accessibility and universal design consulting firm.
 
Read more about Vital Source’s enhancements to its e-textbook accessibility support

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