January � March 2013
Volume 7 Issue 2 

Welcome to the Great Lakes ADA Center's quarterly Accessible Technology Bulletin

Technology Trainings & Events
(Central Standard Time)

ARIA Controls and Menus with JAWS
January 22, 2013 1pm CST
ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) controls and menus are appearing more and more on the world wide Web. JAWS users, as well as developers of Web pages, need to understand how to interact with these controls and how JAWS behaves when they are encountered. Learn about how JAWS responds to ARIA, the difference between the JAWS virtual buffer and forms mode, the application role in ARIA, regions, and more. For more information: visit EASI.
Universal Design for Digital Media Course
January 22 - May 3, 2013
This course will review standards for usability and accessibility, focusing on the concepts of universal design, web standards and accessibility best practices. Students will complete weekly assignments and follow the overall schedule of the course through the semester. The course may be for credit or self-paced as well. For more information: http://accessinghigherground.org
Web Accessibility Training
January 29 - 30, 2013
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.
Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference
January 30 - February 2, 2013
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
Ohio Education Technology Conference
Feb 11 - 13, 2013
Columbus, OH
This conference is geared toward teachers, faculty, librarians, instructional designers, administrators, students and will provide the opportunity to network, listen and explore, has a track on assistive and accessible and technology. There is a fee for this conference. To register visit: www.etech.ohio.gov
LDA International Conference
February 13 - 16, 2013
San Antonio, TX
The LDA Conference is for learning and discovering how to advocate and work together to create new opportunities for children and adults with learning disabilities. There is a technology track. There is a fee for this conference. For more information visit: www.ldaamerica.org
Wisconsin Statewide Transition Conference
February 20 - 22, 2013
Wisconsin Dells, WI
The 10th annual Wisconsin Transition Conference offers in-depth information for youth with disabilities in the transition process, including Web 2.0 and assistive technology. There is a fee for this session. For more information: www.edevents.org
International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference
February 25 - March 2, 2013
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.csunconference.org.
EDUCAUSE Midwest Regional Conference
March 18 - 20, 2013
Chicago, IL
TEDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. Their Midwest regional conference has several tracks of high quality information, including a special track on Accessible, Adaptive and Assistive Technology and Universal Access. There is a fee for this conference. For more information: http://www.educause.edu

Accessible Technology Webinar Series Announced

The new Accessible Technology Webinar series schedule is now available. The series is hosted and coordinated by the Great Lakes ADA Center and the Pacific ADA Center on behalf 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 January 24, 2013 1:00 - 2:30pm CST
iAccessibility with Speaker Paul Adams, Accessibility Evangelists with Deque Systems

Paul Adams

The latest iOS devices made by Apple come with no-cost, built-in accessibility features such as the VoiceOver screen reader; system wide Zoom; White on Black reverse contrast; Large Text in Mail, Notes, Contacts, and Messages; custom vibration patterns for incoming calls; LED flash alerts; Voice Control; FaceTime video calls;and Assistive Touch for physical disabilities.

Paul J. Adam is an Accessibility Evangelist at Deque Systems, Inc. by day and spends his spare time creating websites or learning iOS development. He's worked as an Accessibility Specialist at the Texas Department of Assistive & Rehabilitative Services (DARS), a web designer for UT-Permian Basin and A&M-Central Texas, and has trained students, faculty, and staff in a wide variety of IT & Accessibility subjects. Paul is also an Apple Nerd who got hooked after using the first accessible iPhone.

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

Future Sessions:

  • March 21, 2013 Enterprise Accessibility with Barry Johnson
  • May 23, 2013 WordPress Accessibility with Joseph Dolson
  • July 25, 2013 Android Accessibility, speaker TBA
  • September 19, 2013 Creating Accessible PDFs - Part 1 with Judith Stark
  • November 21, 2013 Advanced Accessible PDF � Part 2 with Christy Blew

Windows 8 Accessibility Features

Windows 8 includes accessibility options and programs that make it easier to see, hear, and use your computer including Ease of Access and Personalization options.

In Windows 8, many of the most commonly used accessibility options are available right from the sign-in screen including Narrator, Magnifier, High Contrast, Sticky Keys and Filter Keys.

One of the most new aspects of Windows 8 is the introduction of touch-only devices. With touch devices, you can directly interact with everything on your screen by touch, without using a keyboard or mouse, including managing accessibility options in the Ease of Access Center by touch.


Narrator, a screen reader that reads aloud the text that appears on screen, and describes events such as error messages, has been redesigned in Windows 8 to be substantially faster, and to support many new features. Whether you're an individual who is blind, has low vision, or, are fully sighted, you will be able to use Windows 8 from the first time you start your device.


Magnifier is a tool that enlarges your screen, or portions of your screen, making words and images easier to see. For users with low vision who have trouble seeing their devices, Magnifier makes it easier to see the screen and touch it too. If you use a touch-enabled device you can control Magnifier from the edges of your screen, and can easily enlarge or reduce the size of the Magnifier window by touching buttons on screen.

On-Screen Keyboard

On-Screen Keyboard (OSK) is an Ease of Access tool you can use instead of relying on the physical keyboard to type and enter data. You don't need a touchscreen to use On-Screen Keyboard. OSK displays a visual keyboard with all the standard keys. You can select keys using the mouse or another pointing device, or you can use a physical single key or group of keys to cycle through the keys on the screen.

Speech Recognition

With Windows Speech Recognition you can command your PC with your voice. Compose documents and email, and surf the Web by dictating and speaking the commands rather than using a keyboard or mouse.

Change text size

Make text and icons larger and easier to see without changing the screen resolution.


Add a personal touch to your computer and make it more accessible by changing settings such as theme, color, sounds, desktop background, screen saver and font size.

Windows Touch

With a touch-screen device, you can just touch your screen for a more direct and natural way to work. Use your fingers to scroll, resize windows, play media, pan and zoom.

Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts save time and multiple mouse clicks. Press two or more keys to quickly perform a task without using a mouse.

Visual notifications

Replace system sounds with visual cues, such as a flash on the screen, so system alerts are announced with visual notifications instead of sounds.

Sticky Keys

Instead of having to press three keys at once (such as when you must press the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys simultaneously to log on to Windows), you can press one key at a time when Sticky Keys is turned on.

Mouse Keys

Instead of using the mouse, you can use the arrow keys on the numeric keypad to move the pointer.

Filter Keys

Ignore keystrokes that occur in rapid succession and keystrokes that are held down for several seconds unintentionally.
For More Information on Accessibility in Windows 8

A New Resources for Cell phone Accessibility

Accesswireless.orgis a website designed to help people with disabilities, seniors and their families to find a cell phone and service. CTIA-The Wireless Association and the wireless industry created AccessWireless.org to offer information about the ever-changing world of cell phones and wireless services, and discover those that meet your specific needs.

Wireless manufacturers and service providers continuously update their products with more accessible features and services to fit your needs. Accesswireless.org is a good place to begin a search for services.

Remember you are shopping for two things when you begin your search: the wireless phone and wireless service. Use the tips below to find the best phone, carrier and pricing plan to fit your needs.

Assess Abilities - The right phone bridges the gap between your abilities and your needs. To find the best fit, discuss your accessibility needs with your healthcare, rehabilitation or independent living professional, such as an audiologist. The site offers common wireless accessibility features that may be useful for individuals with disabilities.

Visit a Wireless Carrier's Store - Wireless carriers try to steer each customer to their ideal phone and service plan. A representative can answer your questions and help you make the best choice. Accesswireless.org has tutorials on Beginning Your Search For The Right Wireless Device and Testing Your New Cell Phone.

"Try Before You Buy" - It's important to take a variety of cell phones for a "test drive" before making a final decision. Most wireless carrier's stores have working phones that are ready for testing. Don't be afraid to try several phones before deciding. Once you choose your phone, ask a store representative to help you program it for your specific needs before you leave so your phone is ready to use.

Apps & Assistive Technology - If a wireless phone doesn't come with the accessibility feature you need, ask the in-store representative if it can be customized by downloading applications, or "apps."

Choose a Service Plan - You've picked a phone; now it's time to choose a service plan. Ask yourself the following: Do you need voice, text or data services? Would you rather have a pre- or post-paid plan? How much are you willing to pay for service? Finally, ask if the wireless carrier offers service plans specifically for seniors or individuals with disabilities.

Know Your Return Options - It's important to understand the wireless carrier's return and exchange policies before you leave in case you find another device that's a better fit. If you do return a phone because of accessibility issues, make sure you let the store personnel know why you are bringing it back because they may be able to waive any "restocking fees."


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 Jul 3, 2013