July 26 marks the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA was enacted in 1990 to create a more level playing field for people with disabilities, which included requiring businesses and public transportation to have elevators and wheelchair ramps, prohibiting businesses from discriminating against potential employees with disabilities, and much more.
The A360 Blog
A few years ago, Microsoft released the Xbox Adaptive Controller (XAC) to make it easier for people with disabilities to play video games - something everyone loves! The XAC quickly became a very popular product within the disability community. It creates opportunities for people with disabilities to enjoy playing video games just like people without disabilities.
As part of A360’s ongoing initiative to support non-profit organizations, we perform digital accessibility assessments every few months for various non-profits. We recently completed a digital accessibility assessment of some Widerstand Consulting’s learning content and website. Widerstand Consulting aims “to provide anti-racism training and consultation to predominantly white institutions in both online and in person formats. In addition, Widerstand Consulting will donate at least fifty percent of all net funds raised “to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)-led anti-racism groups. We enjoyed working with them on this assessment process, and applaud them for their continuing commitment to digital accessibility!
Due to my disability (cerebral palsy), I use a power wheelchair to get around. Because of this, it is essential for me, and other wheelchair users, to know whether places are wheelchair accessible before visiting. Below are three tips I have learned when planning a wheelchair accessible outing:
Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is right around the corner (Thursday, May 20)! 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of GAAD, a day “to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion,” and the more than one billion people with disabilities around the world who are directly affected by digital accessibility. Here are a few things A360 is doing to celebrate GAAD this year:
After almost four years at our original office in Uptown Minneapolis, we have recently moved to a new space in Edina, MN, a first-ring suburb to the south of Minneapolis. We loved the vibe of Uptown being around a lot of great restaurants, stores, and city lakes. However, with more of our staff working from home for the foreseeable future, we decided it was time to make a change.
A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to present on behalf of Accessible360 at “The Dignity of Work: Challenges and Opportunities Facing People with Disabilities Around the World,” a virtual forum hosted by the Institute on Community Integration (ICI) at the University of Minnesota. The forum included presenters from many countries, who spoke about disability and employment.
Despite the challenges caused by COVID-19, digital accessibility lawsuits continued to increase throughout 2020, making ADA compliance an even bigger necessity as the pandemic has caused many services to move online. Digital accessibility lawsuits are civil cases filed against operators of websites, mobile apps, or any digital properties that claim inaccessibility to users with disabilities, such as those that use screen readers or keyboard-only navigation. Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act is cited, often with the California Unruh Civil Rights Act. The start of the pandemic did cause a decrease in the number of cases filed in March 2020, but things got back to normal within a month.
The lack of access to accessible math is a true impediment to individuals, such as myself, who are blind. Yes, there are many examples of people who are blind moving on to become mathematicians, software engineers, and other types of professions which require and use high-level math skills. But for each of these success stories, there are many others who may have been denied access to these fields due to the barriers caused by inaccessible math content. I would like to tell my story of dealing with inaccessible math in college, and how it affected my course of study.
In recent years, Google has released popular voice-activated technologies such as Google Home and Assistant to help people make phone calls, adjust lighting, etc. However, these useful tools may be difficult for people with speech impairments. That’s why Google has launched Project Euphonia, an ongoing research project designed to improve speech recognition among Google products.