January – March  2018
Volume 12 Issue 2 

ADA Center's quarterly Accessible Technology Bulletin

Technology Trainings & Events

Captioning the 3Play Way
January 25, 2018 1pm
Join us to learn more about 3Play Media’s closed captioning process, services, tools, and standards. In this webinar, Chief Revenue Officer and co-founder Josh Miller will address how 3Play Media can help make your videos fully accessible, searchable, and more engaging for all viewers. For more information: www.3playmedia.com/resources/webinars.
Custom AT Solutions For Employment
January 31, 2018 2pm ET
Assistive Technology and Rehabilitation Engineering solutions are often critical to increasing the employment opportunities and job retention for people with disabilities. This webinar will discuss when customized solutions are appropriate and how to approach the design process to maximize their successful use. Numerous examples and case studies of low and higher tech solutions will be presented. There will be plentiful time for participants to ask questions and share their experiences. For more information: www.accessibilityonline.org/resna.
Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference
January 31 – February 3, 2018
Orlando, FL
The ATIA Conference features the latest products and services, showcasing more than 100 exhibitors. Educational programs are organized by strand and include best practices, tips and tricks, product updates, demonstrations, research updates and case studies of assistive technologies from regional, national and international experts. For more information: www.atia.org
Read and Write Gold Webinar Series
Tuesdays in February 2018 1pm CST
This 4-part webinar will highlight some of the key features of the program Read&Write. The areas of support offered by Read&Write are: reading tools, writing tools, study tools and research tools. Due to time constraints, it is not possible to show all tools in action. However, most of the tools will be demonstrated via video clips and the rest will be discussed. The Windows version will be used for the presentation. For more information visit EASI easi.cc/clinic.htm
Facebook and the Accessible Workplace
February 15, 2018 1pm
In recent years Facebook has become a tool for professional networking and on-the-job workplace productivity through its enterprise collaboration software, Workplace. In this webinar, Director of Accessibility Jeff Wieland and Director of Policy Monica Desai will discuss why and how Facebook has made accessibility a priority. For more information visit: https://www.peatworks.org/resources/webinars
Bringing CSS and SVG Back into the Accessibility Spotlight
February 21, 2018 12pm ET
This webinar will spotlight CSS and SVG and how they come into play when making truly accessible web designs. The session will discuss how flexbox and CSS grid affect web design, and look at it from the lens of web accessibility and progressive enhancement. For more information visit IAPP: www.accessibilityassociation.org
Web Accessibility Training
February 27 - 28, 2018
Logan, UT
This hands-on training session, sponsored by Webaim, will teach basic web accessibility principles and to advanced accessibility techniques. There is a fee for this session. For more information: www.webaim.org/training
International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference
March 19 – 23, 2018
San Diego, CA
This international conference is sponsored by the Center for Disabilities at California State University Northridge (CSUN). There is a fee for this conference. For more information visit: www.csun.edu/conference

2018 Accessible Technology Webinar Series

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Announcing the 2018 Accessible Technology Webinar series schedule. The series is hosted and coordinated by the Great Lakes ADA Center and the Pacific ADA Center, both 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 first session in the series is Thursday January 18, 2018 2:00 – 3:30pm ET PDF Accessibility: A Deeper Dive – Exploring Tools and Solutions with Speaker Paul Rayius, Accessibility Training Manager with CommonLook

This session is Part II of the PDF exploration started in November 2017. The webinar will demonstration tools that were discussed in the previous webinar (link to archive) and discuss further forms and tables. Design, Layout, Tab Order, and other issues and solutions using Adobe Acrobat and Commonlook PDF GlobalAccess will be discussed.

Tools to be demonstrated include:

  • Adobe Acrobat (checker)
  • PAC-2 (checker)
  • CommonLook Validator (checker)

Paul Rayius
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As CommonLook’s Accessibility Training Manager, since 2013 Paul Rayius has worked with a variety of health care organizations, local, state, and federal government agencies, financial institutions, colleges and universities, and more, to assist them in meeting their accessibility needs.

In addition to his expertise with the CommonLook suite of tools for testing, creating, and remediating PDFs, Mr. Rayius is also well versed in accessibility standards including Section 508 (including the recent “refresh”), Health and Human Services (HHS), WCAG 2.0 and PDF U/A.

Paul is a member of the IAAP (International Association of Accessibility Professionals) and participates in, and moderates, several online accessibility groups and forums. Prior to joining the CommonLook team, Mr. Rayius graduated with a BMe in Instrumental Music Education from Florida State University and taught middle school band for 11 years.

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

Save the date for future webinar sessions:

  • March 8, 2018
  • May 17, 2018
  • July 19, 2018
  • September 20, 2018
  • November 15, 2018

Explore New Accommodations App

Picture of Mobile Accommodation Solution (MAS) App logo There is a new, free app available from the Job Accommodations Network. The free Mobile Accommodation Solution (MAS) app is designed to streamline the disability accommodation process. The MAS app serves as a first-generation mobile case management tool to help employers, service providers, and individuals effectively address accommodation requests in the workplace. The app will support talent management, human resources, and/or accommodation staff to create inclusive workplaces by facilitating the process of accommodating applicants, candidates, and employees. The app will also support service providers to help people with disabilities better manage the accommodation process. In addition, the app will enable people with disabilities to develop an accommodation request letter, send the request, and track the progress of the request. Learn more about MAS app on iTunes.

Don’t Miss QIAT-PS Sessions at ATIA

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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.

The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) international conference held January 31 – February 3, 2018 in Orlando, Florida has several sessions discussing QIAT-PS. Check them out at the conference!

Thursday February 1, 2018

Toolkit4Transition 1pm – 2pm

A New Tool to Evaluate Your Student’s AT Skills –3pm – 5pm

Friday February 2, 2018

You Can’t Take Your Case Manager With You 8am – 9am

Building Capacity by Integrating AT into the Problem-Solving Process 1pm – 2pm

In addition to the Campus Self-Evaluation Matrix, QIAT-PS has developed a new tool based on student quality indicators for assistive technology with an accompanying Student Self-Evaluation Matrix tool for students to rate themselves on their AT skills. The tool is useful for both students struggling to manage AT in higher education settings and for K-12 programs to assist students in enhancing self-awareness and problem solving with AT for better transition outcomes.

Sign up now to receive updates about QIAT-PS project. You may also contact Janet Peters with any questions.

Adding Speech Functionality to Your Website

Browsealoud by TextHelp is a web developer tool that adds speech, reading, and translation support tools to online content to extend the reach of websites for people with print disabilities, dyslexia, low literacy, mild visual impairments, and those for whom English is a second language. Browsealoud works on all major browsers and platforms, including mobile, and will read secure web pages & PDF documents via a floating toolbar.

Picture of Browsealoud toolbar

Browsealoud Features to Enhance the End User Experience:

  • Text-to-speech: makes online services and information more accessible with a choice of read aloud voices, different reading speeds and highlighters to enhance understanding.
  • Translation: translates web pages into 99 languages and can read aloud 40 of the most commonly used languages including Spanish and Chinese.
  • MP3 Creation: instantly converts online content into audio versions for easy offline listening.
  • Screen Masking: blocks online clutter – letting the user focus on the text they want to read.
  • Web Page Simplifier: removes distracting content creating a simple format for online information – ideal for those with dyslexia, cognitive or learning disabilities.
  • Custom Settings: users can tailor the settings to suit their individual needs and preferences.

BrowseAloud is free to the end user, but there is an associated cost to the web developer to implement it. The advantage of Browse Aloud is that it is easy for an end user to have helpful features without purchasing or downloading software. And while these features are available via the operating system or other assistive technology, some users may not be familiar with the options. For example, many people who acquire age related disabilities are not familiar with assistive technology tools, but could absolutely benefit from having certain passages read aloud to them. If a person already uses a screenreader or other assistive technology, BrowseAloud does not interfere with it and the person would simply use their own access process. However, using BrowseAloud does not circumvent applying good accessible design principles. You still must code an accessible website to properly work and support screen readers and other assistive technology devices and for BrowseAloud to function properly. Additionally, the end user must allow cookies, small files stored on the user’s computer, to access all of the BrowseAloud features.

Examples of websites using BrowseAloud:

To learn more about BrowseAloud, contact a TextHelp, or a BrowseAloud authorized dealer, such as MSF&W.

In January 2017, the U.S. Access Board issued the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines, updating its existing Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, (“508 Standards”), and the Telecommunications Act Accessibility Guidelines under Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934 (“255 Guidelines”). These standards go into effect on January 18, 2018. The new standards and guidelines harmonize with worldwide standards such as the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 (link is external). GSA, the Federal CIO Council Accessibility Community of Practice (ACoP), and the Access Board are jointly leading the Section 508 Transition Support Initiative to help agencies transition from the Original 508 Standards to the Revised 508 Standards. Watch for the upcoming legal update webinar in July from the Accessible Technology Series.

Below are resources on implementing the new Section 508 Standards:


Last Updated on:
Thu Jan 11, 2018