April - June 2017
Volume 11 Issue 3 

ADA Center's quarterly Accessible Technology Bulletin

Technology Trainings & Events
(Central Standard Time)

Creating Audio Descriptions for Videos
April 24, 2017 2pm CST
Audio description (AD) refers to an additional narration track for blind and visually impaired consumers of visual media. It consists of a narrator talking through the presentation, describing what is happening on the screen during the natural pauses in the audio, and sometimes during dialogue if deemed necessary. This session information details how and why to create audio description. For more information go to: EASI Webinars
ADA Demand Letters and Settlements – Lessons Learned in Banking
April 27, 2017 1pm CST
Over the last 20 years, litigation in the area of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as applied to the Internet has drastically increased. The U.S. Department of Justice has stepped up active enforcement of websites as a matter of ADA enforcement and is actively pursuing ADA litigation against web-based businesses. If your small bank, credit union, or banking association has received a demand letter, or are undergoing litigation under the ADA, it can be overwhelming For more information visit SSBart Group.
Web Design: Video Captioning, Audio Descriptions, and Accessible Media Player
May 3, 2017 9am – 4pm CST
Online Course
Learn about transcripts, captions, and audio descriptions, and why they are not a suggestion, but the law. Examples of different captioning platforms will be shown as well as how to caption a video on your own. Registration for the course closes on Friday, April 28th at noon. For more information visit University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign DRES.
Web Design: Landmarks, Headings, Page Titles and Navigation
May 17, 2017 10am – 3pm CST
Online Course
Learn about how to represent the visual layout and semantic structure of a web page with the use of ARIA Landmarks and HMTL Headings (H1-H6) to meet Section 508 and W3C WCAG 2.0 requirements. Registration for the course closes on Friday, May 12th at noon. For more information visit University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign DRES.
AccessU by Knowability
May 17 - 18, 2017
Austin, TX
The John Slatin Access U conference was named after John Slatin of the University of Texas, a pioneering leader in web accessibility. The goal is to provide tools that can immediately be put to use by designers, developers, project managers, administrators, and anyone who is responsible for online content and development. John Slatin Access U teaches those skills in an interactive and communal environment where you will learn everything you need to know about integrating accessibility into your company. For more information visit AccessU 2017
W4A and the Future of Accessible Work
May 18, 2017 3pm CST
In celebration of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) (link is external), join W4A Conference Chair Vivienne Conway to hear the highlights and top trends emerging from the global conference Web For All 2017: The Future of Accessible Work (link is external). For more informationPEAT Works.
Accessibility Legislation in Europe – Standards, Laws and How to Interpret Them
June 12-13, 2017
Arlington, VA
The M-Enabling Summit Conference and Showcase is dedicated to promoting accessible and assistive technology for senior citizens and users of all abilities. It is an annual meeting place for all who create and contribute accessible ICT products, services and consumer technologies. With its theme of “Making Connected Things and Services Accessible for All”, the 2017 M-Enabling Summit will provide a platform for empowering technologies and focus on next-generation innovations and breakthroughs for users of all abilities. For more information visit Summit 2017
Web Accessibility Training
June 13 – 14, 2017
Logan, UT
This hands-on training session, sponsored by Webaim, will teach basic web accessibility principles and to advanced accessibility techniques. For more informationWebAim
Where is Your Organization on the Accessibility Maturity Scale?
June 27, 2017 Noon CST
Many organizations today are struggling with knowing the best way to support accessibility and how to maintain accessibility compliance over time. Complying with WCAG 2.0 is a corporate-wide effort and goes well beyond technical accessibility. This webinar will discuss how to integrate accessibility across your organization and how to assess where you are on the accessibility maturity scale using the Capability Maturity Model. For more information visit the International Association of Accessibility Professionals.

Join Us for Next Accessible Technology Webinar

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.

The Next Session is Thursday May 18, 2017 1:00 – 2:30pm CST Free Web Evaluation Tools: What They Can (and Can’t) Do with Speaker Julie Brinkhoff, Associate Director of the Great Plains ADA Center

Picture of Session Speaker Julie Brinkoff

This presentation will examine some common on-line tools that can be used to evaluate different aspects of web accessibility. The session will discuss why many web site features require human evaluation to truly determine if the site is accessible. The session will also discuss how different parts of the web team should be involved in evaluation and validation issues and work together as a team to produce an accessible product. Ongoing evaluation will be discussed as well

Julie Brinkhoff is Associate Director of the Great Plains ADA Center where she has worked in a variety of roles for twenty years. She provides technical assistance, training and materials on all areas of the ADA including web accessibility. One of her main areas of interest is providing technical/regulatory information in ways that are accessible, user friendly and effective to a broad range of users. Julie received her Master’s degree in Education from the University of Missouri.

The Accessible Technology Webinar series is free, but participants must register.

Save the Date for the next session in the series:

  • Thursday July 21, 2017 Planning & Producing Accessible Videos for Web, Social Media & eLearning with Speakers Jay Wyant and Jennie Delisi with the Minnesota Office of Accessibility

Accessibility Features of Storyline

Many corporations and other entities utilize Articluate’s Storyline to develop e-Learning courses. Storyline, now part of their cloud based subscription, is the latest version of Articulate's e-learning authoring software. Storyline has many tools to help instructional designers and authors of e-learning content. The software has an easy to use interface to create things like product demonstrations showing learners how a product is supposed to work, software simulations to show a specific feature of that software in action, or branched scenarios to allow learners to focus on relevant content based on the selections they make. It can even be used in soft skills and compliance training or with knowledge checks, quizzes, and assessments. But can individuals with disabilities use e-Learning created with Storyline? Articulate has made many strides with their latest version to adhere to accessibility standards. On their website, they state: “It’s our goal to help people with disabilities interact as fully as possible with the interactive e-Learning courses you create in Articulate Storyline.” Some of the support features now included are:

Keyboard Accessibility. You can execute most Storyline functions using a keyboard. Exceptions include drag-and-drop and hotspot interactions.Assuring keyboard access means that all functionality on can be operable using only the keyboard. In addition, when a function has focus, it needs to be visually apparent. If the software can be functional using the only the keyboard, it can then be accessible to a wide variety of assistive technologies.

Content Focus. Storyline displays a yellow box around the shape that’s the current focus and reports it to assistive technology.

Content focus is a user's ability to control keyboard and reading focus within a web page or application. It is often indicated visually by the cursor or a selection highlight, or programmatic dotted rectangle. Users who are blind, have low vision, or have mobility impairment all rely heavily on proper control of keyboard and reading focus when browsing content. Developers must ensure that all focus changes are a result of user action and that the user expects these changes.

Flicker Reduction. Storyline does not use flashing or blinking text, objects, or other elements with a frequency greater than 2 Hz and lower than 55 Hz.

Content that flashes or flickers can trigger seizures in susceptible individuals. Therefore flashing or flickering content should be avoided. As with many options in Storyline, the materials imported such as video, also need to adhere to this accessibility standard.

Alternative Text. Storyline provides text equivalents for every non-textual element.

Every image or other non-textual item that conveys content should have equivalent alternative text available. A non-text element that has no alt or text description or the description is not equivalent is not accessible to screen readers and other assistive technologies.

Assistive Technology Supports. There are specific support Storyline uses to interact with assistive technologies. Storyline reports an object’s or image’s type, state, and description to the accessibility interface. When forms are used, Storyline provides the type, description, and state information for field elements. (Note: Course authors must include clear written directions for completing the form.) All content elements in Storyline include functional text that can be read by assistive technology.

As you build a course in Storyline, author design greatly impacts whether or not the end result is accessible. The following table outlines how you can create courses that are more accessible to people with disabilities.

Accessibility Requirement Author-Controlled Compliance
Image Consistency When you use bitmap images to identify controls, status indicators, or other programmatic elements, assign a consistent meaning to those images throughout your course.
Animation (Alternative) When you convey information in an animation, provide an alternate, non-animated slide for the content.
Keyboard Access If you include drag-and-drop or hotspot interactions, provide an alternate, keyboard-controlled interaction.
Color Coding (Alternative) Don’t use color coding as the only means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.
Multimedia (Alternative Synchronization) When using multimedia, provide text captions that are synchronized with audio and video.
Skip Links Give learners a way to skip repetitive navigation links.
Open/Closed Captions Provide open or closed captions for all informational video, multimedia, and audio.
Audio Descriptions Provide audio descriptions for all video content.
User-Selectable Audio and Text Descriptions Make all display of alternate text and audio descriptions user-selectable.
Support for Hearing Impaired Add notes or captions to slides containing audio and video.


Student Self-Evaluation Matrix

Picture of QIAT-in Logo

Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology in Post-Secondary education is a project of the Great Lakes ADA Center and is a collaborative effort of hundreds of professionals from a wide variety of higher education, K-12 schools and students. QIAT-PS recently developed and is currently piloting the Student Self-Evaluation Matrix tool. The Student Self-Evaluation Matrix is a set of quality indicators for identifying AT skills students’ need. Using the Student Self-Evaluation Matrix is a way for individuals or teams to help identify the skills needed to use AT in the Post-Secondary environment.

The following are the quality indicators for the Matrix tool:

  1. AT Self-awareness

    The student is aware of the impact of his or her disability on performance and knowledgeable about AT used to address that impact.

  2. Knowledge of Legal Rights Regarding AT

    The student understands the laws which address the rights to accommodations and the use of AT, including how to get help when access is denied.

  3. Disclosure of Disability for AT Accommodations

    The student understands that federal laws require disclosure of disability information in order to acquire necessary AT devices and supports. The Student is able to provide the information needed in order to request an AT accommodation effectively.

  4. AT Self-Advocacy

    The student knows about available AT supports and takes a leadership role with disability services or other agencies to acquire needed AT devices and services.

  5. AT Communication

    The student is able to effectively communicate with faculty, service providers and peers concerning his/her disability and the ways AT is used.

  6. AT Self-evaluation

    The student knows how to evaluate personal performance when using AT and makes adjustments in AT use in order to improve performance.

  7. Strategic Use of AT

    The student uses of a variety of AT solutions and can independently choose the appropriate AT option for each situation.

  8. Independent AT Use

    The student uses AT accommodations effectively and independently.

  9. AT Problem Solving

    The student knows strategies for identifying issues, problem solving difficulties and acquiring technical assistance when needed.

  10. Long-term AT Planning

    The student knows how to make long-term plans for AT selection, acquisition and use.

For more information on QIAT-PS or to become involved in the project visit the website or email Janet Peters, Project Coordinator .

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Thursday, May 18 2017 is the sixth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.

The target audience of GAAD is the design, development, usability, and related communities who build, shape, fund and influence technology and its use. While people may be interested in the topic of making technology accessible and usable by persons with disabilities, the reality is that they often do not know how or where to start. Awareness comes first

Companies, schools, governments and other organizations mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day by holding events for key audiences. If you are interested or thinking of planning a GAAD activity to mark the 6th GAAD you can find ideas from past years on the GAAD activity pages or email globala11yawarenessday if you have questions or need ideas.

Want to learn more about GAAD’s history? Watch this interview of GAAD co-founder, Jennison Asuncion interviewed by Dr. Jonathan Hassell.

Teachers Can Use the Punch-In Employment Course for Free!

Picture of Punch-in Logo

Punch-in, a project of the Great Lakes ADA Center is a resource for young adults with disabilities to learn about employment accommodations and the ADA.

Punch-in offers a free employment course that teachers can use with their students and we provided an online moderator for the course. The course has five modules, cover employment topics such as writing a resume and interviewing skills and specific modules on the Americans with Disabilities Act and Assistive Technology and employment. The course takes advantage of over 70 video tutorials on the Punch-In site. Would you like more information? Join the Punch-In network , it's free. The link on "Join the Punch-In network"


Last Updated on:
Thu Apr 27, 2017