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The A360 Blog

Using Google Docs With a Screen Reader

A360 Google Doc, with red box around "Accessibillity" menu

Google Docs, Google’s free word processor, has become increasingly popular in recent years as an alternative to Microsoft Word and other text editing programs. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that Google Docs is free (you need to buy a Microsoft Office subscription to use Word), and multiple people can easily work together on a Google Doc. Google Docs is also considered to be pretty accessible, so it allows for easy collaboration among people with disabilities. Here are some tips for using Google Docs with a screen reader.

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Minnesota Digital Accessibility Law Celebration: Kicking Off GAAD

Presentation at Minnesota Digital Accessibility Law Celebration

Representatives from A360 went to the MN State Capitol on Tuesday for the MN Digital Accessibility Law Celebration, an event put on by MN IT Services’ Office of Accessibility. The Celebration recognized the 10th anniversary of the Digital Accessibility and Usability Law, as well as digital accessibility advocates who worked to pass the law. The event also demonstrated how people with disabilities use and benefit from technology in their everyday lives. For example, eight State of MN employees shared what they learned from the 2019 CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, including digital accessibility learning opportunities.

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Have Alternatives Ready Incase of Inaccessible Technology

silhouette of person talking into headset and looking at computer screen

A360 believes that every effort should be made to create fully accessible sites and apps. But even in the best cases, and certainly as stop-gap measures, there is always the need for alternative means to complete any task and find information. Even the most accessible sites may not support every user, so options like telephone help or web chat are critical anytime we rely on technology. Let me give you a real-life example of what I mean:

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SXSW Takeaways

A360's Michele Landis speaking on four-person panel at South by Southwest

A few weeks ago, Michele Landis and I were invited to represent Accessible360 at SXSW (South by Southwest). Michele spoke on a four-person panel about digital accessibility.

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Digital Accessibility and Assistive Technology Spotlight: Poppy Jean Sundquist

Poppy Jean Sundquist smiling, with "LGBT pride" icon in bottom right corner Accessible360 periodically showcases a digital superuser with personal insights into the digital landscape and assistive technology. By getting to know them, we learn more about the importance of digital accessibility, borrow their knowledge, and gain insights into important personal preferences. Interview with Poppy Jean Sundquist What are a couple of your favorite websites or mobile apps? Why do you like them, and what, if anything, makes them particularly accessible?

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Creating Accessible Content Basics

HTML code with red box around empty alt attribute

Many companies are now understanding that accessible web content is important so that all of their users can experience their site, buy their products and other important tasks. At the same time, busy content management groups are regularly churning out fresh batches of blogs, web pages, and social media posts. With so much new content being created every day, companies fear they need specialized knowledge to prevent complicated workflows from inadvertently creating accessibility issues on their digital properties. But the good news is, following some simple steps, much of your content can be made accessible.

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Why Consider Color Contrast in Web Design?

Several images of differently-colored ovals on differently-colored backgrounds

When thinking about the color scheme for web pages, developers and designers typically focus on what colors are the most visually appealing. Often times, developers have no control over what colors are used, and instead this decision is made by other members of the company who want to closely resemble brand colors. However, an important aspect to consider with relation to the website’s color scheme is, how much contrast does each color pairing have? Will all users find this content legible with the chosen colors?

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Web Browser Usage by Screen Reader Users

Chrome, Firefox, and JAWS icons Web browsers provide the primary interface by which we access the Internet, and the choice of which browser to use can be very personal and can significantly change your online experience for better or worse. Historically, screen reader users have been slower to adopt new web browsers. The reasons for this are numerous, but can include: Early versions of newer web browsers generally provide less support for accessibility than their more developed alternatives.

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