In addition to making sure print materials are made accessible to all, it is also extremely important that digital documents are accessible to all. Some people may assume simply putting materials online make them accessible, but it’s not that easy. Check out the video, produced by PACER’s Simon Technology Center in collaboration with the National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials, at the end of this blog post for an explanation of digital accessibility.
The A360 Blog
In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we would like to share an article on the importance of hiring people with disabilities. While the article focuses on the technology industry, the message is true for all industries.
We would like to give a big congratulations to A360 president and co-founder Mark Lacek! Mark was recognized in the “Business” section of Pollen Midwest’s “2017 50 Over 50” feature that tells the stories of “fifty of the most inspiring and accomplished leaders from across Minnesota.” The article mentions Mark’s curiosity has played a key role in his success as a businessman. It discusses Mark’s various business endeavors, including A360. Congratulations, Mark, on this well-deserved honor!
There was a recent article explaining how people who are blind or visually impaired will be able to visualize the solar eclipse on August 21! Although these people won’t be able to literally see the eclipse, they will be able to enjoy it just like everyone else.
The concept of loyalty is timeless. What enlightened company does not endeavor to find and keep their best customers? Regardless of changes in society, culture or technology, the concept of loyalty will always ring true in business and in life.
So, where is the new frontier? Well, it is right in front of us and it is called “digital accessibility.” Digital accessibility simply means creating and maintaining digital environments that are accessible to those 57 million in the U.S. who have some form of disability, as well as to the 49 million over the age of 65, of which many will suffer a disability in their lifetime1.
We would like to share this wonderful article about a new feature from Microsoft for people with disabilities that was inspired by a simple email.
Former NFL player Steve Gleason, who has ALS, realizes the importance of technology in the lives of people with disabilities. “I realized pretty quickly after my diagnosis that technology would have to become an extension of myself. Until there is a medical cure for ALS, technology will be that cure,“ he said.
Since iPhones and iPads have become hugely popular, accessibility of these devices is key. Luckily, I have found the iPhone/iPad pretty accessible (but not perfect, of course).
One app for the iPhone/iPad I find very useful in terms of accessibility is AudioNote, which is also available for Windows and Mac. When I was in school, I used AudioNote to record lectures. I could also write my own notes. I also could press my finger on a certain note and the app would play the audio from when I wrote that note. Previously, I could not take notes on my own.
Today, July 26, is Independence Day For Americans With Disabilities. On this day back in 1991, President George W. Bush signed into law the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) and so began the journey toward inclusion. As we know, that journey now includes equal access to both physical and digital spaces like websites and apps. The move is on to ensure people with disabilities can also interact with digital content and functionality and we applaud the companies who are leading the nation by providing accessible websites and apps.
For many, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) can be confusing. Simply put the WCAG, which was revised in December 2008 and is now WCAG 2.0, is a set of guidelines that define the international standard for website accessibility. Any website that does not meet one of these guidelines is inaccessible to users with disabilities.
The WCAG has four principles: Perceivable, Operative, Understandable, and Robust. Each guideline is organized under one of these principles.