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!
The A360 Blog
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.
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.
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.
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.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), the 75th year NDEAM has been observed. Having employees with a range of disabilities is essential for businesses because such individuals often have unique and diverse perspectives. Hiring employees with disabilities also benefits businesses by making their culture and internal team(s) more diverse.
Color Contrast is one of the most common accessibility guidelines we provide recommendations for our clients. It is also one of the most common things design teams around the world should be considering from day one of a new site build or re-design.
With color contrast being one of the most ‘visible’ common accessibility issues across the internet, we are often asked a number of common questions about this topic. This blog post will dive into some of the specifics your team may be wondering about WCAG 1.4.3 (color contrast) from a baseline level.
Since March, COVID-19 has completely changed the way we work, travel, and interact with others. In particular, American colleges and universities’ fall semesters look very different from past years. If a school has decided to reopen and bring students back to campus, the students’ new reality is full of masks, hand washing, and maybe frequent nose swabs. According to a Davidson College and the Chronicle of Higher Education article on colleges and universities reopening (subscription required), most higher education institutions in the United States have opted for a hybrid approach, with some students and classes in person and some online, or an online semester. With most or all university operations happening online, the role of technology has exponentially increased, also increasing barriers to education for the disability community.
As many of you know, November 3 is Election Day. As is the case with every major election, key issues are on the ballot, including issues concerning people with disabilities and other minority groups. It is crucial that these people vote so that they have a voice on important issues directly affecting them.