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Global Survey Data Shows Companies Do Not Prioritize Engagement of Disabled Employees

Today, Global Disability Inclusion in partnership with Mercer release findings from a 10-year study analyzing corporate survey data on the experiences...

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Here's what happened in the accessibility world from March 7–13, 2021

Be sure to check Accessibility News Briefly for the latest news and updates — and don't forget to subscribe to get weekly recaps right to your inbox. It's the easiest way to stay informed.

As a reminder, we provide these news briefs for your information and convenience, and we don't endorse or recommend any of these publications or products.

Blind Americans face roadblocks booking online vaccine appointments

March 13, 2021, Yahoo! News: Chris Reighard, a 62-year-old retired employee of the Arkansas Division of Services for the Blind who lives in Altoona, Pennsylvania, considers herself and her husband, Dave, to be pretty tech savvy. But she was unable to book vaccination appointments for them, both who are blind, through the Pennsylvania Health Department website while using one of the most commonly used screen readers.

What Assistive Technologies Can Do To Make STEM More Inclusive

March 12, 2021, The Wire–IN: Entrepreneur Christina Wallace wrote in 2015, “for most people – myself included – the default [picture of a scientist] is probably a white man in a lab coat, hunched over a microscope.”

Navigating website ADA compliance: 'If you have videos that are not captioned, you’re a sitting duck'

March 12, 2021, ABA Journal: An attorney at the ABA Techshow on Friday guided lawyers through an evolving area of law: ensuring websites are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

‘Shocking’ data reveals only one in five autistic people are in employment

March 11, 2021, People Management: Just one in five autistic people in the UK are in any form of employment, according to official data, prompting experts to urge the government to offer greater support and information to employers.

Ancient Greeks Built Ramps for Disabled in Public Buildings

March 11, 2021, Ancient Greeks are known for several inventions in building construction, but the use of ramps for people with disabilities or who simply were unable to climb stairs is an innovation that researchers have confirmed only recently.

Pilot Program at Texas A&M helping students with disabilities go to college

March 11, 2021, FOX 29: Texas A&M San Antonio has received a federal grant by the Department of Education to use on a 1.5 year-long University and Career Experience Certificate, a pilot program that helps special needs students go to college and learn to become independent.

COVID raises the stakes for digitally accessible documents

March 10, 2021, GCN: COVID-19 has changed how we do just about everything, from banking to shopping to schooling to working -- even personal communications. One silver lining is the increased attention to the importance of digital channels, as well as the accessibility of those channels. That’s because an estimated 26% of the U.S. population has some form of disability – vision, hearing, cognitive or limited motor mobility.

Ontarians hoping latest amendments will give the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act ‘some teeth’

March 10, 2021, IT World Canada: Jason King was born visually impaired and is now fully blind. He is among the 16 million Canadians navigating the internet while living with vision loss and other disabilities. As the global pandemic forces organizations to adopt e-commerce and remote work, the elephant in the virtual room around digital accessibility remains.

Instagram can now automatically add captions to Stories for improved accessibility

March 9, 2021, 9to5Mac: Instagram is making its Stories more accessible with a new auto-caption feature that’s starting to roll out to users. The new feature comes with multiple font styles to pick from.

Overlook digital assets and you could fail accessibility test

March 9, 2021, BusinessCloud–UK: In the UK, an estimated 19% of working-age adults live with a disability, as does 45% of the pension age population. This translates to 14.1 million people who reported living with a disability. But all too often, companies produce digital assets that don’t cater to those living with disabilities.

Designing with accessibility in mind: a conversation

March 9, 2021, TechCrunch: At TechCrunch Sessions: Justice, we examined the importance of ensuring products are designed to be accessible from the beginning. And how building the expertise of disabled technologists and advocates into the DNA of your company from the start is vital not only to produce better products but also in the pursuit of a functioning and more equitable society.

Meeting with legislators is ‘the only way things will be addressed’ for blind and visually impaired citizens

March 8, 2021, Generocity: Each year hundreds of people with white canes and guide dogs descend on the Capitol for what is known as Washington Seminar. Since 1973, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has led its members to face to face meetings with their respective congressmen, where they present the group’s legislative priorities of the year.

How COVID-19 has impacted digital accessibility

March 8, 2021, KMWorld: When schools and businesses closed due to COVID-19, the public increased its reliance on the web to gain access to just about everything—including household shopping and delivery, healthcare, other services, education, information and even their jobs. Digital adoption was already booming prior to COVID-19, but now we are seeing even higher levels that are likely to stay that way even after the crisis passes when it passes. Think of the following:

'Comedy is a wall breaker' for letting people with disabilities be themselves

March 8, 2021, CNET: Shannon DeVido laughs as she acknowledges that she has a dark sense of humor. Case in point: a sketch she wrote and stars in as Kristy, one of five employees playing musical chairs at a company bonding retreat. Kristy has won every single game -- all 160 of them as the three-minute sketch opens -- and her demoralized co-workers have had enough.

Accessibility in a digital age

March 7, 2021, Iowa State Daily: In the age of online courses, students with disabilities can face challenges due to inaccessible aspects of digital platforms. Difficulties have come up for students with disabilities due to the virtual format many courses now take on.