October - December 2015
Volume 10 Issue 1 

ADA Center's quarterly Accessible Technology Bulletin

Technology Trainings & Events
(Central Standard Time)

HighEdWeb Conference
October 4 - 7, 2015
Milwaukee, WI
HighEdWeb is the national conference for all higher education Web professionals, from programmers to marketers to designers to accessibility experts, who want to explore the unique Web issues facing colleges and universities. For more information: 2015.highedweb.org
The Making of an Accessible IOS App for Non-Visual Access
October 14, 2015 12pm CST
With over 1.2 million apps available for download in the App Store, the responsibility to address accessibility of these apps has often been left to the developers. Apple has made it easy for developers to include accessibility in the design of the apps with technologies such as VoiceOver, gestures and Braille displays. This webinar will discuss the industry standards for accessibility and challenges from a developer's viewpoint. It will use the case study of creating the National Federation of the Blind Newsline Mobile App to discuss these issues. For more information: www.accessibilityassociation.org
Closing the Gap Conference
October 14 - 16, 2015
Bloomington, MN
The 33rd annual Closing the Gap conference will cover a broad spectrum of technology as it is being applied to all disabilities and age groups in education, rehabilitation, vocation, and independent living. The conference showcases hundreds of product exhibitors. For more information: www.closingthegap.com/conference/
Online Learning Consortium International Conference
October 14 - 16, 2015
Orlando, FL
The conference program offers a full complement of presentations that reflect the implications for the field of specific e-learning experience and practices. Keynote and plenary addresses, as well as pre-conference workshops, featured sessions, information sessions. For more information: onlinelearningconsortium.org/conference
International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) Conference
October 21 - 23, 2015
Las Vegas, NV
Be part of the inaugural IAAP educational conference. The mission of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) is to define, promote and improve the accessibility profession globally through networking, education and certification in order to enable the creation of accessible products, content and services. For more information: www.accessibilityassociation.org/access2015
Latest Developments in Accessible Math in Browsers and Ebooks
November 3, 2015 12pm CST
It's been a time of rapid growth in the accessibility of math content. In this session, the speakers will discuss what is being done to help make MathML a widely adopted standard so that new content will become accessible upon creation. We will also discuss what can be done about the large amount of mathematical content that already exists in the form of an image and therefore needs to be retrofitted to become accessible. Presenters will show and discuss tools publishers and other content creators can use to make their digital math content accessible. For more information: www.accessibilityassociation.org
Accessing High Ground: Accessible Media, Web, and Technology Conference
November 16 - 20, 2015
Westminster, CO
The annual Accessing Higher Ground conference focuses on the implementation and benefits of Assistive Technology in the university and college setting for people with sensory, physical and learning disabilities. Other topics include legal and policy issues, including ADA and 508 compliance, and making campus media and information resources - including Web pages and library resources - accessible For more information: accessinghigherground.org/
Across the Lifespan
December 3 -4, 2015
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Across the Lifespan brings state-of-the-art assistive technology information to Wisconsin. The conference will provide comprehensive information and resources through innovative presentations and an interactive exhibit hall. All categories of assistive technology will be represented; all age groups from birth through adult and senior services, as well as all levels of expertise from beginner to advanced. For more information: www.atacrosslifespan.org

Share Your Ideas for 2016 Webinar Series

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We are currently planning the 2016 Accessible Technology webinar series. We would love to hear your ideas. You can share your topic suggestions via this survey link: http://www.surveygizmo.com/Topics

Final 2015 Accessible Technology Webinar

The final session of the 2015 Accessible Technology Webinar Series is Thursday November 19, 2015 1:00 - 2:30pm CST

Social Media, Accessibility and Disability Inclusion with Speaker Debra Ruh, Global Disability Inclusion Strategist

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Time to use Social Media to strengthen the voices of the community of individuals with disabilities? This session will provide strategies to assure that your message is accessible and relevant to the community of persons with disabilities. Social Media is providing a huge opportunity for our community including recruiting, employment, advocacy, education and human rights advancements. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are 1 in 7 people in the world that have a disability. Social Media is a conduit that can strength and empower the voices of persons with disabilities. However Social Media must be accessible from both a design issue but also a bandwidth and digital divide perspective. This session will show ways that we can use Social Media to empower persons with disabilities, find our voices and address accessibility so everyone can participate.

About our Speaker

Debra Ruh is an advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities and founder of a Ruh Global Communications. The firm focuses on Global Disability Inclusion, EmployAbility, ICT Accessibility, UN CRPD Human Rights and Social Media Marketing. She founded TecAccess in 2001 and merged it with another firm in 2011. TecAccess was an IT consulting firm that employed persons with disabilities and helped businesses create accessible technologies for people with disabilities.

The Accessible Technology Webinar series is free, but participants must register at http://www.ada-audio.org/Webinar/AccessibleTechnology

The Accessible Technology Webinar series is hosted and coordinated by the Great Lakes ADA Center and the Pacific ADA Center, members of the ADA National Network. The ADA National Network provides comprehensive services for up-to-date information, consultation, referrals, resources, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act for businesses, employers, governmental entities, service providers and individuals with disabilities.

Punch-In is Celebrating Disability Employment Awareness Month

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The National Disability Employment Awareness Month, sponsored by US Department of Labor, is celebrating its 70th year. Punch-In will be offering special webinars, articles, and video releases to help celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. The theme for this year is "My Disability is One Part of Who I Am."

Punch-In is a project of the Great Lakes ADA Center that offers tools, courses, events, and resources on the employment process for young adults with disabilities. To join the Punch-In network go to www.punch-in.org

Digital Content Checker

IBM has announced a new cloud based accessibility service. The Digital Content checker lets you easily upload and verify the accessibility of HTML content or EPUB documents so your clients, employees and constituents have no issues accessing the information in your web and mobile applications. The service quickly examines content, provides a detailed report of all accessibility violations, and then recommends how to fix the issues so the content conforms to industry standards and government regulations before being published.

The Digital Content Checker provides the ability to automatically check EPUB and HTML content for accessibility issues. You can scan content via two interface. One way is a web console that allows a scan of an individual HTML or EPUB file and produces a report with detailed information about accessibility issues in the document. Within the web console, you can browse for the file you wish to scan and choose from the provided rule sets on the initial screen. If you submit an EPUB document, the Digital Content Checker will provide reports on all of the HTML content within the EPUB document. If you submit other documents, the Digital Content Checker will attempt to parse the document as an HTML file and provide the resulting report. You can filter the report in the web console or download a CSV file.

You can also add the digital content checker with and API to your service application development within IBM's Bluemix platform thereby integrating accessibility checking capabilities into your applications and workflows. Some examples of how the checker has been used include:

  • Added to a rich text editor such as CKEditorT, enabling content authors to obtain feedback about the accessibility of the content they are developing
  • Used as feedback into a content development workflow to ensure that automated accessibility checking is part of the review and approval process
  • Called from build scripts to check EPUBs as part of a DevOps automated testing process
  • Integrated into tools such as Firebug to provide developers with information about the compliance of web applications.

The Digital Content Checker has an option of two accessibility rule sets. The first is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines v2.0 AA (WCAG 2.0 AA). The Digital Content Checker also can be used with the IBM Accessibility Rule Set, which includes all of the rules of the WCAG 2.0 AA set and additional rules designed by IBM for new web standards such as ARIA and HTML5.

Also mainstream developments, including in the areas of near-field communication, open linked data, and self-driving vehicles, provide the potential for more versatile and cost-effective way-finding applications and services. However, it is unclear how well such mainstream way-finding applications and services address the accessibility needs of people with disabilities.

IBM is offering a free 30-day trial of the Digital Content Checker. For more information, visit IBM's Accessibility Services.

QIAT-PS Pilot Project

The Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology in Post-Secondary education project offers tools and resources on quality implementation of assistive technology in the post-secondary educational environments. The project is sponsored by the Great Lakes ADA Center and the Southwest ADA Center, both members of the ADA National Network. QIAT-PS is a collaborative effort of hundreds of professionals from a wide variety of higher education and K-12 schools and based on the successful implementations of assistive technology indicators in K-12 public schools.

For the 2015-2016 school year the Great Lakes ADA Center is recruiting participants, post-secondary educational institutions, in the Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan to be involved in the pilot study. The pilot study will assess our Campus Self-Evaluation Matrix. The Campus Self-Evaluation Matrix is a way for a school to do a self-evaluation of their own assistive technology service delivery.

Participation in the pilot study will receive online training on the Campus Self-Evaluation Matrix, consultation on setting priorities for improvement of Assistive Technology service deliver, and resources about Assistive Technology tools. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact us via the QIAT-PS contact form: http://qiat-ps.org/contact-us/

The QIAT-PS project tools, such as the Campus Self-Evaluation Matrix is available, however without participating in the pilot project. The website has details www.qiat-ps.org


The Great Lakes ADA Center provides expert assistance via a national toll-free information line 800-949-4232 (V/TTY) or Online via Contact Us and presents customized trainings for employers, businesses, government, and individuals with disabilities regarding accessible technology and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

Great Lakes ADA and Accessible IT Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
Department of Disability and Human Development (MC 728)
1640 West Roosevelt Road, Room 405
Chicago, IL 60608-6904

Last Updated on:
Wed Jan 20, 2016