Web Accessibility News

Criterion provides you with the most up to date articles about web accessibility, Section 508, WCAG and ADA web accessibility litigation. Check back monthly for the latest news and analysis!

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Federal ADA Title III Lawsuit Numbers Drop 15% for the First Half of 2020 But a Strong Rebound Is Likely

Businesses enjoyed a brief reprieve in ADA Title III lawsuits while the country was shut down, but the rest of the year will most likely be business as usual. In the first six months of 2020, 4,759 ADA Title III lawsuits were filed in federal court, as compared to 5,592 of such suits filed in the first six months of 2019, for a decrease of 15 percent during this period. This downtick is largely due to the significantly fewer filings in April and May of 2020, when most of the country was shut down…

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Amazon’s JoAnna Hunt Talks Her Passion For Accessibility And How Kindle Makes Reading Accessible To Everyone

When most people think of e-readers, they think of Amazon’s Kindle line. There certainly are competitors, but Kindle to the e-reader market holds the same cachet in terms of brand awareness as Kleenex does for facial tissues and Band-Aid does for band aids. And not only is the Kindle a family of bespoke devices, it’s also an app that runs on third-party platforms such as iOS and Android. The synonymy is well deserved for the most part. As products, Kindles are great: their e-ink screen technology is good, battery life is seemingly infinite, and Amazon’s trove of available titles is unparalleled…

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Will technology help or hinder D&I efforts?

Disability inclusion in workplaces and business is the new norm, said Dr Gerard Goggin, professor of communication studies, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). “It’s worth striving for because people with disabilities are very diverse and include many of us,” Goggin said. “Adding to that, all of us in one way or another have some lived experience or connection with disability and impairment.”…

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Microsoft leader: How to embark on your ‘disability inclusion’ journey

According to Microsoft’s chief accessibility officer, the greatest challenge about including employees with disabilities into your diversity and inclusion strategy is this: getting started. “I think the most important thing with disability is to start,” said Jenny Lay-Flurrie, chief accessibility officer at Microsoft. “People worry about starting. I would say get on that journey, get going.” It is “very important” to really start to manage and measure where you are in terms of accessibility and inclusivity of your workplace environment, she said. This includes the equipment and systems used for work…

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Wearable tech helps this blind runner compete in ultramarathons

It was 2017, and Simon Wheatcroft was about to run the New York City Marathon solo. That might not sound like a big deal — over 50,000 people run it every year on their own. But Wheatcroft is registered blind. Wheatcroft was the first blind person to attempt to run the race by himself. Usually, blind runners compete tethered to a sighted running guide. But instead, Wheatcroft wore a Wayband on his wrist — a device that uses super-precise GPS to direct the wearer with small vibrations…

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It’s time for traditional banks to double down on accessibility

A few years ago, challenger banks burst onto the scene and were hailed as disrupters, changing the face of banking forever. People were enamored with brightly colored payment cards connected to slick apps that provided a superb user experience and cut out the inconvenience of heading into branches for services. Until the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it was looking like traditional banks were out of the race. But sure enough, as with every industry, coronavirus turned financial services on its head and consumers began to see the value in trust, experience, and established market presence once more…

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Digital accessibility and why it matters

“Accessibility” in the digital space means that digital platforms, like websites, mobile apps, social channels and PDFs, should be readable, operable and functional to all users – especially people with disabilities. It’s an issue that is rapidly gaining attention in many spheres, including social, economic and legal domains. Accessibility is part of diversity and inclusion conversations, it’s on the legal agenda in the US, the policy landscape in the UK and it is also coming to the fore in the emerging tech, digital transformation and new digital economy space…

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Blind people are suing over their voting options. In Virginia, their action brought results.

For vision-impaired voters in Virginia, there was no easy way to vote. They would either have to risk their health to vote in person or forgo voter privacy by asking someone to fill in the blanks on their mail-in ballot forms. “You pretty much had to decide whether you wanted to vote independently or safely. You couldn’t do both things,” said Colleen Miller, director of the disability Law Center of Virginia. Now, however, after the center and several other groups advocating for the blind filed a federal lawsuit, the Virginia Department of Elections has agreed to offer a new option…

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Facing Court Challenge From Disability Rights Advocates, N.H. Expands Accessible Absentee Voting

With a week to go before the state primary election, New Hampshire is launching a new absentee voting system meant to allow more voters to cast a ballot privately and independently. Until now, New Hampshire did not allow those who are blind or experience other print disabilities to request or complete an absentee ballot without assistance. Accessible voting options are provided at all New Hampshire polling places, but many voters — with the encouragement of state election officials — will rely on absentee voting this fall due to the ongoing pandemic…

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Audit Finds Pharmacy Websites Not Accessible to Vision Impaired Patients

Although some websites are mostly compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), researchers with Miami Lighthouse for the Blind found that many major pharmacy chains’ websites are not fully accessible to patients with blindness or other vision impairments. Many blind patients use screen-reading software, but in order for that to work, websites need to have some built-in capabilities, such as alternative text on images, according to Virginia Jacko, MS, president and CEO at Miami Lighthouse…

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