Sunday, August 31, 2014

Text 911 by Year End!

FCC Adopts New Rules to Expand Text-to-911 Availability

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new rules requiring text messaging providers to allow Americans to send a text to 911 to get help during an emergency. The rules ensure that all wireless carriers and text application providers are prepared to support text-to-911 by the end of 2014. Text-to-911 can provide a lifesaving alternative for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have a speech disability. For more information:

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ebay takes Web Access Seriously!

This was published on Ebay's blog in early June:

eBay has teamed with The National Federation of the Blind in a Web 2.0 Sustainable Accessibility Partnership Agreement that will enhance the accessibility of eBay’s website and mobile applications.

Read more at the ebay blog.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Web accessibility- can it be fun(ny)?

Check out these two videos, produced by the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) of Ontario, Canada. Humorous- and right on target.

And, don't worry! If you watch them via YouTube, there is an actual transcript available so you don't have to suffer with the Google auto-captioning, either!

Monday, June 2, 2014

High Tech On-Line Accessibility for Deaf/Blind

This article describes a pilot program called iCanConnect provides equipment and training so that people who are deaf-blind can use the internet. Find out more:

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Right to Equal Access on the Web?

What do you think about the right to full web accessibility?

Here's a fascinating article. I particularly liked how the author set the context wide. It's not about simply ensuring that people with disabilities have access, it's really about full inclusion.

What do you think?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Web Design and the ADA

Here's a true story. For a work project, several months ago, I needed to hire a web design professional. The job required the development of an ADA/508 accessible website.

I posted the job on all the usual "I want to hire a web designer" freelance and job posting sites and got nearly 100 responses within just a few hours.

Of all of those... only THREE had ANY CLUE how to design a website following ADA/508 design standards!


This is not rocket science. And, there are great "how to" resources out there.

Now, I will admit, a large number of the people who responded to my request said "I have no experience or knowledge of that, but I am willing to learn..." But, gosh, if you're a professional design person, why wouldn't you already know this stuff? let's say you're one of those "willing to learn." Please do... next time I want to spend $5,000 to get a basic but ADA/508 compliant website up, I really DO want to hire you. Just be ready, ok? has some good starting information.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Are your PDF's accessible?

You're a writer, a researcher, or a member of a work group that shares information using the popular "pdf" (portable document format). It's really neat- no matter what type of computer (or even tablet/smart phone) someone opens it on, it will always be formatted the same! It's also "locked" so folks can't change or edit your words.

But, what if you used a screen reader to read it to you? Would it work?

Making PDF's accessible under the ADA is not difficult, but it does take some forethought. Here are several sites that can help you to become aware of accessibility and PDF creation.

Creating Accessible Adobe PDF Files: A Guide for Document Authors

Creating Accessible PDFs:

PDF Accessibility: Defining Acrobat PDF Accessibility

PDF Accessibility: How to Create Accessible PDFs Using Adobe Acrobat

With the web becoming a common distribution point for documents of every sort, and with PDFs becoming one of the top means for producing and disseminating content, ensuring full access becomes more and more critical.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Website and Mobile Apps not accessible?

Well, looks like THAT'S a legal problem!

Justice Department Enters Consent Decree with National Tax Preparer

H&R Block Requiring Accessibility of Websites and Mobile Apps Under Americans with Disabilities Act

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Is your website accessible?

Webaim ( is a Utah State University based organization that is dedicated to creating an accessible online world for people with disabilities. They offer technical assistance, training, examples, advice, tips and articles, as well as a way to survey your own site to see how accessible it is. Here's an infographic they offer that not only explains some of the key design elements for accessibility, but also demonstrates them in practice.