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The A360 Blog

How To Practice Digital Accessibility During COVID-19

Four symbols representing physical, cognitive, auditory, and visual disabilities In today’s environment of fear and uncertainty due to COVID-19, the web has provided a more important platform than ever for companies to communicate information to their customers, suppliers, and members of the public. However, this information is sometimes communicated in ways that are unhelpful to people with disabilities, such as printed images or spoken videos without captions. Below are some tips for ensuring that this essential content is delivered to the widest audience possible.

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Accessible Canada Act

Four symbols representing physical, cognitive, auditory, and visual disabilities

The Accessible Canada Act, (Bill C-81 or ACA), received Royal Assent on June 21, 2019, establishing a legal obligation for the Canadian federal public sector, Crown Corporations, and all federally regulated organizations to ensure accessibility of services and employment to people with disabilities.

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Accommodating Users With Multiple Disabilities

Braille display in front of laptop computer

Often times when we think of accessibility, we may think of the blind, the deaf, or those with other physical disabilities. Occasionally, we will think about those with cognitive disabilities. But accessibility means making something accessible to all, and there is a group that often gets overlooked: those who have multiple disabilities.

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IoT HackDay Hackathon

Groups of people at different work tables at IoT HackDay hackathon Jason Webb, our Developer Advocate, published “Building an accessible IoT dashboard,” an article summarizing a project he built at the recent IoT HackDay hackathon. The article discusses a variety of accessible design and development techniques that can be applied to advanced UIs of all kinds, including: Custom focus indicators Making live charts accessible Alerting users about critical asynchronous UI changes using ARIA live regions Be sure to check out Jason’s article to learn about these things and more!

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Slack Hints For Screen Readers

Slack logo

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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Accessible Exercise

people playing wheelchair basketball

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:

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The WCAG: Accessible Does Not Equal Intuitive

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) icon

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.

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