Web Accessibility News

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Digital access: Urgent need to include persons with disability

The realization that people with disabilities are often overlooked in access to digital technologies is not new. But it has of late come to the fore as the global pandemic has raged. The World Health Organisation highlights this in a brief urging awareness on the inequalities they may be facing during the pandemic, including accessing information. The organization defines a disabled person as anyone who has “a problem in body function or structure, an activity limitation, has a difficulty in executing a task or action; with a participation restriction”…

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OSU Study Says Universities Not Living Up to ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed by Congress in 1990 and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. It was recognized at the time as the biggest piece of civil rights legislation since the Civil Rights Act of 1965. While it was thought that becoming “ADA-compliant” would take years and billions of dollars, probably few would have expected that it would take public universities as long as it has to get their recreational facilities in full compliance…

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Out-of-state law firm blitzes companies in Colorado with “drive-by” ADA lawsuits

James Blanchard had just reopened his Denver winery this summer after being shut down for months because of COVID-19 when he got hit with a different kind of challenge — a surprise lawsuit alleging the website for his family business violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The lawsuit said David Katt, a resident of Douglas County who is blind, couldn’t use the downtown winery’s website because it was not compatible with screen-reading programs that allow people who are visually impaired to navigate online…

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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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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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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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