January - March 2015
Volume 9 Issue 2 

ADA Center's quarterly Accessible Technology Bulletin

Technology Trainings & Events
(Central Standard Time)

Special Topics in Technology, Arts, and Media: Universal Design for Digital Media
January 20 - May 1, 2015
Part of the Alliance for Technology, Learning, and Society (ATLAS) Courses offered at University of Colorado Boulder. This course examines the standards and methods for designing digital material which is not only accessible for persons with disabilities but also effective and usable for all users and all platforms. We will review standards for usability and accessibility, focusing on the concepts of universal design, web standards, and accessibility best practices. For more information: http://colorado.edu/atas
Web Accessibility Training
January 27- 28, 2015
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 27 - 31, 2015
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.
Balabolka the flexible E-reader
January 29, 2015 1pm CST
This open source, free e-reader will open PDF, Word, Text, RTF and more. You can edit and save either as a Text file or as MP3. This webinar is free. For more information visit EASI.
Explaining and Demonstrating the Accessibility of Adobe Connect
February 17, 2015 1pm
This Webinar will be held in the actual Adobe Connect Webinar conferencing system. It will demonstrate its features with a focus on ways in which it has been made accessible for users with disabilities. The session is free. For more information: http://easi.cc/clinic
Ohio Education Technology Conference
February 10 - 12, 2015
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: http://oetc.ohio.gov/
LDA International Conference
February 18 - 21, 2015
Chicago, IL
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
International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference
March 2 -7, 2015
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.

2015 Accessible Technology Webinar Series

The new 2015 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, 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 15, 2015 1:00 - 2:30pm CST Developing and Implementing an Accessibility Strategy: One Organization's Lessons (So Far) with Speaker Ken Petri, Director, Web Accessibility Center, Ohio State University

Ken PetriPicture of Ken Petri

Ohio State is one of the country's largest universities. Though it has a central IT office, there are at least 20 IT "shops" of varying sizes on campus, each serving a constituency with unique needs, goals, and expectations. At this point, a number of prominent law suits, both at universities and at private companies, have made it entirely clear that accessibility must be a part of an overall approach to IT. We have all long known that accessibility is the "right thing to do," but the strong advocacy of prominent civil rights groups has made it entirely clear that we cannot just say accessibility is a noble goal. Rather it must be in place, on the ground, part of an organization's basic approach to information and communications technologies at all levels.

About our Speaker

Ken Petri has directed The Ohio State University Web Accessibility Center since 2005. In his role at the Center, Ken works with IT, administrative, and instructional staff in order to help promote and establish IT accessibility. Recently he has been a part of efforts to develop strategic approaches to accessibility as an institutional priority.

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

Future sessions:

  • March 19, 2015 Speech to Text Jonathan Avila
  • May 21, 2015 Legal Update on Accessibility with Lainey Feingold
  • July 16, 2015 Screen Readers Jonathan Campbell
  • September 17, 2015 How do I know if my PDF is accessible? With Christy Blew
  • November 19, 2015 Social Media, Accessibility and Disability Inclusion with Debra Ruh

Updated Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool List

The World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative has released an updated tool list for accessibility evaluation http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/tools/. The search feature includes filtering the tools by guidelines, languages, types of tools, functionality, pages checked, and licensing requirements. Web accessibility evaluation tool vendors are encouraged to submit information about their tool to the list.

What evaluation tools can do

Web accessibility evaluation tools can significantly reduce the time and effort required to carry out evaluations. When used carefully throughout the design, implementation, and maintenance phases of Web development, these tools can assist their users in preventing accessibility barriers, repairing encountered barriers, and improving the overall quality of Web sites. The following are ways in which tools can assist users in evaluating Web sites for accessibility; some tools can perform both:

  • Determine the conformance of Web sites to accessibility checks which can be executed automatically;
  • Effectively assist reviewers in performing accessibility checks which need to be evaluated manually.

What evaluation tools cannot do

Many accessibility checks require human judgment and must be evaluated manually using different techniques. Also, in some cases evaluation tools are prone to producing false or misleading results such as not identifying or signal incorrect code. The results from evaluation tools should not be used to determine conformance levels unless they are operated by experienced evaluators who understand the capabilities and limitations of the tools in order to achieve accurate results. Web accessibility evaluation tools cannot determine the accessibility of Web sites, they can only assist in doing so.

Considerations for selecting evaluation tools

Web accessibility evaluation tools can be used throughout all stages of Web site development. For example at the early design stage, Web designers may be interested in using tools that help them understand how the site structure, navigation, or look-and-feel perform with respect to accessibility requirements. Later at the implementation stage, developers may be more interested in tools that help them assess the accessibility of the underlying code which is generated by the Web authoring tools (such as editors or content management systems). Web content authors, project managers, and other types of Web site developers have further requirements for evaluation tools that help them fulfill their respective tasks.

According to the specific organization and Web site for which evaluation tools will be used, different characteristics and features of Web accessibility evaluation tools may be more or less important to the tool users. For example, an organization may choose to use fully automated evaluation tools which can examine the whole Web site, and additionally evaluate samples of pages using other types of tools in order to compensate the limitations of fully automated checking. The following are some of the factors which may be considered during the selection of Web accessibility evaluation tools:

  • Organizational structure and development process
  • Complexity and size of the Web site
  • Skills and knowledge of the Web developers
  • Pre-existing Web development environment

This article was adapted from the W3C resource Evaluating Web Accessibility that outlines different approaches for evaluating Web accessibility.

90-day License of JAWS Available

Picture of JAWS for Windows

Freedom Scientific announced the release of a 90-day license of JAWS for Windows Professional screen reader. The 90-day license represents is an opportunity for individuals or organizations who wish to test the accessibility of their Web pages or their applications under development. Agencies can use the 90-day license to test at sites. For end users, this provides an option to spread the purchase of a full JAWS license over an extended time period.

After purchase, the Activation Code for the 90-day trial license will be provided with instructions for downloading and installing the software from the Freedom Scientific Downloads Web page. Once the 90-day period has expired, the product can be reordered for another 90-day license, or a full license can be purchased for continued use of the installed software.

The timed license includes the following features, which can be purchased as add-ons to a full license of JAWS Professional or JAWS Home Edition:

  • Remote Desktop, Terminal Server, and Citrix support
  • JAWS Tandem Direct for LAN Tandem Sessions

The JAWS 90-day license (SKU: 340624-001) is available for purchase immediately from your local Freedom Scientific representative. For more information, please visit www.FreedomScientific.com or call Freedom Scientific at 1-727-803-8000. Pricing for the JAWS 90-day License is $179.00. Freedom Scientific continues to provide a completely free demonstration version the full featured JAWS Software, which will run for 30 minutes.

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:
Tue Mar 31, 2015