July - September 2017
Volume 11 Issue 4 

ADA Center's quarterly Accessible Technology Bulletin

Technology Trainings & Events

Improvements to Kindle for PC with Accessibility
July 12, 2017 12pm CST
Amazon has been taking accessibility more seriously in recent years. The Kindle hand-held device is including both navigation and document reading more accessible. This webinar will explain the improvements in the recent version of Kindle in more detail and provide demonstrations of it working. For more information: easi.cc/clinic.htm
Accessibility in the Virtual/Augmented Reality Space
July 13, 2017 1pm CST
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) is one of the hottest topics in technology right now. One of the challenges that any new technology faces is making the technology accessible to persons with disabilities. Though everyone has probably heard of its applications to video games and other entertainment, VR/AR has many uses in fields such as healthcare and hospitality. Jessie Haugh and Beth Crutchfield of Level Access will walk you through the basics of VR/AR and its accessibility concerns. For more information: www.ssbbartgroup.com.
Association on Higher Education and Disability(AHEAD)
July 17 - 22, 2017
Orlando, FL
The annual international AHEAD conference brings together professionals in the fields of higher education and disability for a week of information-sharing, networking and theoretical and practical training. There are strands on technology for people with disabilities. For more information visit: www.ahead.org
Microsoft Word Accessibility Full Check and Conversion to PDF
July 20, 2017 1pm CST
This webinar will focus on using the Microsoft Word 2016 Accessibility Full Check feature and interpreting the results of the Full Check. We will also discuss and demonstrate converting Microsoft Word 2016 documents to PDF and viewing the document to prepare for remediation in Adobe Acrobat DC Pro. For more information: www.ssbbartgroup.com
Tools for Automating the Captioning of Video
July 27, 2017 12:00pm CST
Creating synchronized video captions can be a time-consuming and tedious process. Thankfully, there are a variety of free to low-cost tools that speed up this process. In this session, we will demonstrate how to use speech recognition tools to produce a "raw" transcript and how to synchronize the transcript with a video. Finally we demonstrate the usefulness of Amara, which is a free, web-based portal you can use when you don't own the copyright to a video. For more information: www.accessibilityassociation.org
Accessible Video at Amazon
August 10, 2017 1pm CST
A big part of Amazon’s mission and innovation initiatives has largely been focused on making their expansive video library accessible to all customers. In this webinar, Peter Korn, Accessibility Architect at Amazon Lab126, will provide an inside look into Amazon’s video accessibility efforts. You’ll learn more about how the company continues to grow their video platform, while keeping accessibility a priority. For more information: info.3playmedia.com
Tools and Strategies for Testing Native Windows Software Apps for Accessibility
August 24, 2017 12:00pm CST
This webinar will identify the tools and strategies necessary to validate that native apps such as Windows desktop software applications (software like MS Office, Skype, printer software) are accessible to people with disabilities. A brief overview of non-web Mac and Java software accessibility testing tools will be provided. The focus will be on identifying, obtaining, and configuring, using the tools to validate common accessibility requirements during testing and development. Accessibility features of the OS will also be addressed as tools useful for validating conformance. Coding experience is not needed and coding is not covered in the course. The tools described are freely available and when used properly can augment the manual inspection process to identify the cause of issues and identify solutions. This webinar will not cover testing web content, nor will mobile apps be covered. For more information: www.accessibilityassociation.org
2017 Legal Update on Digital Accessibility Cases
September 19, 2017 1pm CST
The legal landscape of accessibility provides a strong framework supporting digital accessibility efforts in the public and private sectors, in higher education, and throughout society. Lawsuits, Structured Negotiations, and government agency activity impact how organizations around the country are approaching digital accessibility requirements. With so many legal developments, organizations across industries need to stay informed to better organize their digital accessibility initiatives. This webinar will be presented by Lainey Feingold, of the Lainey Feingold Law Office. For more information: info.3playmedia.com
Web Accessibility Training
September 26 - 27, 2017
Logan, UT
This hands-on training session, sponsored by Webaim, will teach basic web accessibility principles and to advanced accessibility techniques. For more information visit: webaim.org/training/
Shepherding the Accessible Design and Development Process
Sept 27, 2017 12:00pm CST
Project and Product Managers can and should play a vital role in ensuring accessibility is part of the ongoing work of designers, developers, and other stakeholders. This webinar presents a framework using real-world experiences to shepherd even the most stubborn team members into practicing their craft with accessibility in mind. You'll leave this session with strategies and toolkits to employ in your ongoing project work to ensure accessibility successes. For more information: www.accessibilityassociation.org

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 July 20, 2017 1:00 – 2:30pm CST
Planning & Producing Accessible Videos for Web, Social Media & ELearning with Speakers Jay Wyant, Chief Information Accessibility Officer Minnesota State CIO Office and Jennie Delisi, Accessibility Analyst Office of Accessibility

Jay Wyant
image of Speaker Jay Wyant

Jennie Delisi
image of Session Speaker Jennie Delisi

Want to create accessible videos? It all comes down to planning. Regardless of the final location (web, social media, eLearning…) videos require key components to enable everyone to access them. Learn about best practices for captioning and audio description; accessibility issues with video players; and what to consider as you plan your project.

Jay Wyant is Minnesota's first Chief Information Accessibility Officer, or CIAO! His role is to work with Minnesota state agencies on how to best ensure that digital government operations and services are accessible and usable for all. Prior to becoming CIAO, Wyant worked in a wide range of industries, including marketing director of one of the nation’s largest captioning services providers and CEO of a webcast services provider.

Jennie is the Accessibility Analyst in Minnesota’s Office of Accessibility. An avid social media “poster”, her mission is to include everyone that wants to be part of the conversation. By day, she works to increase the accessibility of information and communication technology used by Minnesota state employees. After work you'll find her playing piano duets, using American Sign Language with her dog, and trying out spicy recipes.

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

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Accessibility

The first trial under the ADA about the accessibility of a public accommodation’s website took place last week in the Southern District of Florida. Last week, U.S. District Judge Robert Scola presided over the first trial in the history of the ADA about the accessibility of a public accommodation’s website in the case captioned Gil v. Winn Dixie Stores, Inc. According to the court’s docket, the two-day trial consisted of testimony by the plaintiff, plaintiff’s website accessibility expert, and a corporate representative from Winn Dixie. No expert testified on behalf of Winn Dixie. The matter is now “under advisement” of the Court.

To avoid trial, Winn Dixie had filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings earlier in the case asking the court to dismiss the case on the theory that a website is not a public accommodation covered by Title III of the ADA. Judge Scola rejected this argument holding that the plaintiff had alleged sufficient facts that, if proven at trial, would establish a “nexus” between Winn Dixie’s physical store and its website that would place the website within the ADA’s reach. Previously Florida courts ruled the ADA covers websites with nexus to physical stores. The Seyfarth legal website reported that two Florida federal district court judges require websites to have a “nexus” to a physical location for coverage under Title III of the ADA, but a third judge requires more.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes Florida, Alabama, and Georgia) has yet to decide whether and to what extent Title III of the ADA applies to websites of public accommodations, but recent rulings from three different federal judges in Florida do provide insight on where the judges in that circuit may draw the lines. To summarize, two of the three Florida federal judges to have decided whether Title III of the ADA covers websites of public accommodations require a “nexus” between the website and a physical place of business where customers go (in alignment with the Ninth Circuit and precluding suits against web-only businesses), and one requires that the website’s lack of accessibility actually impede a plaintiff’s access to a physical place of business. All three judges agree that websites with no nexus to a physical place of public accommodation are not covered by the ADA.

Plaintiffs recently scored another victory in a website accessibility lawsuit. A federal judge in the Central District of California has allowed a blind plaintiff to continue his lawsuit about the accessibility of a public accommodation’s website under Title III of the ADA.

This article is reprinted, with permission from Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

New Accessibility Features Coming in iOS 11

A new iOS upgrade from Apple, the operating system for your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, will be released to the public this fall. In fact, there are already beta versions available to test if you want to try it out sooner. In the updated operating system there are key feature changes that will impact people with disabilities who rely on the built-in accessibility of these devices.

symbol for accessibility: Cognitive, Motor, Vision, and hearing

Here are some of the improvements for the new iOS:

VoiceOver is a gesture-based screen reader that lets you enjoy using iPhone even if you don’t see the screen. With VoiceOver enabled, just triple-click the Home button to access it wherever you are in iOS. Hear a description of everything happening on your screen, from battery level to who’s calling to which app your finger is on. You can also adjust the speaking rate and pitch to suit you. In iOS 11, VoiceOver will be able to detect text that’s embedded in an image, even if the image lacks alternative text. VoiceOver will also announce some of the items in a photo that has not been described much like the Camera app already does when you take a photo with VoiceOver turned on.

The Control Center lets you quickly toggle your iPhone and iPad settings, adjust brightness, control media playback, get to AirDrop and AirPlay, and rapidly get to flashlight, timer, calculator, and camera. With the redesigned Control Center you will have more ways to get to the features you use the most and have the ability to add widgets for the Accessibility Shortcut, the Magnifier and text resizing.

In iOS 11, Invert Colors will no longer be an all or nothing affair. The new version of Invert Colors will actually leave the images and video alone with a new Smart Invert option. This fixes the problem when there is text in a graphic or video that is essential for understanding, but with Invert Colors as it currently exists it can be difficult to read this text. This will no longer be the case with iOS 11 and its new version of Invert Colors.

There is more support for one-handed, or limited mobility, users, including a One handed keyboard, One handed Zoom in Maps, and redesigned keyboard. On the new keyboard letters, numbers, symbols, and punctuation marks are now all on the same keyboard. Switching between them is as easy as a simple flicking gesture on the desired key.

Siri improvements will also be useful to individuals with disabilities. In addition to using your voice, iOS 11 also allows you to interact with Siri by typing your requests. This is not only an accessibility feature because it can help those with speech difficulties who are not easily understood by Siri, but also a privacy convenience for everyone else. For instance, if you are in a public place and don’t want those around you to know what you are asking Siri. Additionally, Siri can now translate from English into a few more languages such as Chinese, French, German, Italian, or Spanish.

If you use your device to read PDF documents, iOS 11 has improved PDF accessibility support including for interactive form documents. There is also an improved ability to add annotations to a PDF document or screenshots that will be as easy as picking up the Apple Pencil and touching the screen to start drawing/annotating.

A major focus with iOS 11 is improved support for iPad productivity. This includes support for Drag and Drop in an enhanced Split View, as well as a new multi-tasking view. Hopefully, with Apple’s excellent track record of accessibility, these enhancements for the iPad will have the same level of accessibility as the rest of iOS.

Want to learn more?

Creating Accessible Microsoft Word Documents

Microsoft Word is a commonly-used application among individuals with a variety of disabilities, and is reasonably accessible. The text within Word documents can be read by assistive technologies such as screen readers and Braille devices. However, in order for Word documents to be fully accessible, authors must follow the core accessibility principles.

Use Headings

Using good heading structure helps people without eyesight to understand how the document is organized. Screen reader and Braille users can also jump between headings, which makes navigation much more efficient than if there are no headings.

Making text larger and bold does not make it a heading. In order to convert text to a heading in Microsoft Word, you must use the built-in Heading styles like “Heading 1” and “Heading 2”, available under Styles in the Home tab. Headings should form an outline, using the “Heading 1” style for the main heading, and “Heading 2” for sub-headings. If there are additional levels of headings within the document’s outline, using “Heading 3”, “Heading 4”, etc.

Use Lists

Lists should be created using Word’s built-in tools for ordered (numbered) and unordered (bulleted) lists. Without using these tools, a list is not really a list, which makes the content more difficult for screen reader users to fully understand.

Note that both ordered and unordered lists are highly customizable. Just click on the arrow adjacent to the desired list button to design a list that meets your needs.

Add Alternate Texts For Images

You can enter alternate text by right clicking an image and selecting Format Picture. Within the Format Picture dialog, select Alt Text. To enter alt text in Office 2007, right click an image and select Size and Positioning. Then select Alt Text.

Use Tables Wisely

Word has limitations when it comes to making tables accessible. Tables can be very difficult for screen reader users to understand unless they include markup that explicitly defines the relationships between all the parts (e.g., headers and data cells). For a simple table with one row of column headers and no nested rows or columns, Word is up to the task. However, more complex tables can be made more accessible within HTML or Adobe PDF. Often complex tables can be simplified by breaking them into multiple simple tables with a heading above each.

logo for Minnesota IT Services The State of Minnesota’s IT Services has created a series of accessible online training modules to help ensure that all Microsoft Word documents created by their state employees are fully accessible. These trainings have generously been made available to the public.

The six self-contained modules are:

  • Module 1: Introduction to Accessible Documents
  • Module 2: Formatting a Document
  • Module 3: Formatting Tables
  • Module 4: Creating Hyperlinks
  • Module 5: Formatting Images, Charts and Graphs
  • Module 6: Creating Accessible Forms

To access the free course visit Minnesota IT Services.

W3C Announces its First Publishing Summit in November 2017

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web, including Web accessibility. Just recently the W3C announced the creation of the Publishing Working Group. The mission of the W3C’s Publishing Working Group is to enable all publications — with all their specificities and traditions — to become first-class entities on the Web. The WG will provide the necessary technologies on the Open Web Platform to make the combination of traditional publishing and the Web complete in terms of accessibility, usability, portability, distribution, archiving, offline access, and reliable cross referencing.

The new Publishing Work Group was formed in February 2017 when W3C finalized our combination with the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Over 50 former IDPF member organizations are now participating in which makes this the fastest and largest expansion of W3C ever in an industry area.

To support this publishing work, W3C opened registration for its first ever W3C Publishing Summit to be held November 9 – 10, 2017 in San Francisco, California, co-located with the W3C’s Technical Plenary and Advisory Committee meetings (TPAC 2017). The inaugural W3C Publishing Summit will show how publishers are using today’s Web technologies to make publications more effective and workflows more efficient.

The program committee invites submission of speaker and session proposals, deadline July 15, 2017. The conference will show how publishers of all types are using today's Web technologies, including EPUB, to make their publications more effective and their workflows more efficient, and cover developments coming soon in Web publications, EPUB and the overall Open Web Platform.

For more information about general participation contact Bill McCoy at bmccoy@w3.org.

For more information on submitting a proposal or attending the summit visit the summit page.


Last Updated on:
Tue Jul 11, 2017