At A360, we use Slack constantly to communicate within our teams. Many of our staff are remote and the tool has been invaluable for keeping everyone connected. However, Slack has a number of accessibility challenges, particularly on the desktop for screen reader users. While Slack is starting to take accessibility seriously, knowing a few tricks and shortcuts will make the user experience much better. The following are some tips we’ve assembled as a team:
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Physical fitness is something that’s very important to all people. But for people with disabilities, this can be particularly challenging. Part of the problem is that people with disabilities, on average, tend to lead more sedentary lives because of their disabilities. However, there are still many activities that can be done. Here are some good accessible exercise ideas:
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is a standard, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), designed to instruct web developers on how to make their websites accessible to users with disabilities. Although the WCAG does a very good job at detailing best practices for website accessibility, the reality is that no standard, no matter how well designed, can (a) keep up with fast-moving technology trends, and (b) provide guidelines that appropriately accommodate the needs of people with such a wide range of disabilities.
Accessibility is a new, yet old, concept. Before the mainstream digital age, accessibility simply meant wheelchair ramps for those with physical disabilities, and Braille for the blind. However, the digital age brought with it a whole new wave of accessibility.
Aaron Cannon and Michele Landis, two of our co-founders, will be presenting at the 2019 Zipnosis Customer Summit on September 9. Zipnosis, a leader in telemedicine, has partnered with A360 to improve its digital accessibility efforts. Michele will give an overview of the digital accessibility landscape, and Aaron will help lead a screen reader demonstration and other technical topics. Registration for the Customer Summit is free and open to Zipnosis customers.
A360 was recently featured in an article about restaurant website accessibility for our work with BentoBox, a simple, hospitality-focused management system and hosting platform. Bentobox Design Director A.J. Camara talked about web accessibility best practices, including the hierarchy of functionality vs. aesthetics. He said, “Functionality is most important because it’s the basis for which aesthetics can thrive.”
We really appreciate BentoBox’s commitment to digital accessibility in the restaurant industry, providing equitable access for all their customers. We also appreciate the shout-out!
On August 20, the Great Lakes ADA Center and the ADA National Network are hosting “Insights on Traveling with a Mobility Disability,” an ADA Audio Conference Series session about the challenges associated with traveling with a mobility impairment. The session will be from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Central Time and is free to register. The session will be available via webinar and/or phone.
Accessibility is usually seen as something for companies to worry about. After all, companies can face legal action under accessibility legislation, such as the ADA and Section 508, if their websites are not accessible to people with disabilities. Accessibility isn’t something only companies need to consider, though. If you are communicating with a person with a disability, there are things you can do to make the communication “accessible.”
Accessibility is a mindset. If you think about only the 80%, you will not create something that is usable by all. You must think of 100% of people in order to create something that is truly accessible.
This is illustrated best by an encounter that I had recently. Being unable to drive, Uber is essential to my lifestyle, providing inexpensive, instantaneous, and easy-to-access transportation. In today’s fast-paced society, this is an invaluable tool when most people have their own car. I had about 30 minutes between work and the start of a party, and I needed to get going right away. I promise, this is not the start of a joke: “a blind man got into the Uber of a deaf woman…” I was that blind man.