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The A360 Blog

A360 Offering Digital Accessibility Assessments to Non-Profits!

Jungle Theater logo

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 the Jungle Theater’s website. The Jungle Theater creates courageous, resonant theater that challenges, entertains, and sparks expansive conversation. We enjoyed working with them on this assessment process, and applaud them for their continuing commitment to digital accessibility!

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accessible-slick: A new accessible carousel library

Picture of a fair carousel

Here at Accessible360, we see a lot of carousels and sliders, and we’ve learned a thing or two about making them accessible. Our team of expert Accessibility Engineers finds them on most websites across all industries and company sizes, from small nonprofits to large e-commerce platforms, and practically all of them have one thing in common: they are largely inaccessible to screen reader and keyboard users!

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Creating Accessible Emails

Screenshot of plain-text email message

When organizations review the digital accessibility of their products and/or services, HTML emails can be overlooked. Although most email systems allow users to view HTML and text-only versions of messages, making most messages fairly accessible, the text-only version may not contain all of the information that is in the original message. So how do we solve this issue? Below are a few suggestions:

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My Experience with WCAG 2.1.1: Accessing VoiceOver

Screenshot of VoiceOver double-tap timeout setting

Due to the fact that I have cerebral palsy, it is often difficult for me to make very quick keystrokes. A good example of this is using VoiceOver, Apple’s built-in screen reader. VoiceOver is an invaluable tool for people with visual impairments. Turning it on, when I am testing apps for Accessible360, can be very difficult. The default double-tap timeout setting for VoiceOver is 0.25 seconds, meaning users have to tap twice on the screen in 0.25 seconds to turn it on. Because I am unable to do this, I needed assistance to increase the double-tap timeout setting to 0.5 seconds, the maximum amount of time for this setting. This works for me but is still quite fast.

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Accessible360 Acquired by T-Base Communications!

T-Base Communications The entire A360 Team is excited to announce that we’ve been acquired by T-Base Communications, a leader in accessible communications, and their strategic partner, Thompson Street Capital Partners! This partnership between A360 and T-Base creates the most comprehensive full-service digital accessibility offering in the marketplace. Check out the December 15 press release for more information on the acquisition. We’re excited to begin working with the T-Base Team!

Human Rights Day December 10

Human Rights Day 2020 poster

Join us this Thursday, December 10, to celebrate Human Rights Day! Human Rights Day has been observed annually since 1948, when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is a document that “proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being” - regardless of race, religion, sex, etc. Fun fact: The UDHR is available in more than 500 languages, making it the most translated document in the world!

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Celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities December 3!

International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3

On December 3 (tomorrow), the United Nations will celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). The IDPD is an annual celebration that was started in 1992, with the goal of promoting the rights and well-being of people with disabilities in all aspects of life. The IDPD also aims to increase disability awareness worldwide.

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The AODA: Ontario Digital Accessibility Requirements

Ontario logo

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was passed in 2005, making Ontario the first Canadian province to enforce mandatory digital accessibility guidelines with some of the most comprehensive accessibility standards in the world. In Ontario, it is estimated that about 14% of the population has a disability, with that number expected to rise to 20% by 2036. This legislation was considered necessary in order to meet their goal of a completely accessible Ontario by 2025.

The 2005 AODA was built on the 2001 Ontarians with Disabilities Act, which called for all provincial websites to be accessible by the end of 2002 but failed to detail any enforcement measures, leading to calls for greater action. In 2005, they created the AODA, which includes accessibility standards for five categories: customer service, information and communications, employment, built environment, and transportation. 

The AODA also created definitive deadlines for website accessibility, this time with detailed enforcement efforts. By January 1, 2021, all Ontario businesses and nonprofits with 50 or more employees, and public sector organizations with 20 or more employees, must make all websites and digital content accessible. These organizations must also submit an Accessibility Compliance Report confirming that all accessibility requirements are met. If an organization does not meet the deadline, they could be fined up to $50,000 CND (approximately $37,500 USD). Note: these requirements do not apply to companies based in other countries.  

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The Art of Alt Attributes

Screenshot of HTML code, with red box around empty alt attribute

Deciding what to include and what not to include in an image’s alt description is a grey area in web accessibility. Alt attributes (or alternative attributes) are textual descriptions of images added to the HTML code that a screen reader will read to a user as they navigate through a webpage. Every image should have an alt description to ensure that screen reader users are not missing out on key information in the user experience, but its value depends on the image’s purpose and context. 

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Digital Compliance Now Required for Many UK Companies

Map of United Kingdom

In 2018, the United Kingdom created its Accessibility Regulations, which states that all public sector websites created after September 23, 2018, the day said regulations came into effect, must be fully accessible within two years. All public sector mobile apps must be accessible by June 23, 2021, and websites published on or after this date must already be accessible upon launch. The goal of these regulations is to create a legal incentive for websites and mobile applications to become accessible for people with disabilities, such as those who use assistive technology like screen readers and keyboard-only navigation. 

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