Accessibility News BrieflyTM

Hot Topic Tracker

Introducing AccessibilityPlus 2021, a Global Accessibility Summit for Business Leaders

We welcome leaders from various disciplines to join us, participate, and contribute to a new kind of accessibility conference that connects you with the...

Stay up to date with our
Weekly Accessibility News Email

Accessibility news snippets

Get caught up, not tied up

Here's what's happening in accessibility news. We provide these news briefs for your information and convenience, and we don't endorse or recommend any of these publications or products. Check back for updates every weekday.

Most Recent List

New window: Alcohol Suppliers Hit with ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits

June 7, 2022, JDSupra: The increasing popularity of online shopping is placing e-commerce businesses—specifically those in the alcohol beverage industry—in legal crosshairs. In lockstep with a recent uptick in website accessibility cases, plaintiff firms are sending pre-suit demand letters to alcohol suppliers and, in some cases, even filing a state or federal court lawsuit. These lawsuits—which are typically filed in California or New York—involve claims that a supplier’s website is not accessible to individuals who are blind in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related state laws. In these cases, plaintiffs seek attorneys’ fees, damages (only under state law) and injunctive relief that would require the website to conform with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards, which have been broadly adopted by courts and regulators.

New window: Accessibility class actions allege many major websites violate Americans with Disabilities Act

June 7, 2022, Top Class Actions: Blind and visually impaired consumers have hit companies with class action lawsuits alleging they failed to make their websites fully accessible to them. The consumers brought a number of claims against businesses over the past several months that revolve around the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state-specific consumer protection laws.

New window: Accessible Game Design Benefits All Players

June 7, 2022, Inverse: Even if you don’t identify as a person with a disability, if you’ve ever squinted at tiny text, needed a helping hand on a tricky sidequest, or flung your controller aside after too many attempts at a fiddly button combo, robust accessibility options would probably help you enjoy games even more. Xbox Director of Accessibility Anita Mortaloni maintains that designing features with specific needs or barriers in mind can benefit all players.

New window: Lawmakers urge VA to provide more information about accessibility to its websites for individuals with disabilities

June 6, 2022, Stars and Stripes: Ten lawmakers wrote a letter Monday to Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough urging the agency to improve its websites to make them more accessible to people with disabilities.

New window: Data visualisations made more accessible to screen reader users

June 6, 2022, Cosmos: Data visualisation is an important part of online media, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. But they’re often inaccessible to people who use screen readers. A type of assistive technology, screen readers are software programs that scan the contents of a computer screen and transform it into a different format – like synthesised voice or Braille – for people with complete or partial blindness, learning disabilities, or motion sensitivity. Now, scientists from the University of Washington (UW) in the US have designed a JavaScript plugin called VoxLens that allows people to better interact with these visualisations.

New window: Your Pixel is getting new At a Glance tools, vaccine shortcuts, and more

June 6, 2022, Digital Trends: One of the most fascinating updates for the June Feature Drop is something called Conversation Mode. It’s part of Google’s Sound Amplifier accessibility app and was added as a beta feature last December. The big news now is that it’s widely available for anyone to use.

New window: Disabilities network creates accessibility assessment tool

June 6, 2022, Anabaptist Word: The Congregational Assessment Survey assists churches to assess levels of accessibility to people with disabilities, including mental illness. The survey, available at anabaptistdisabilitiesnetwork.org, registers and tracks results to generate an accessibility seal for use on congregational websites.

New window: Are You Ignoring Digital Accessibility at Your Job?

June 6, 2022, The New Stack: Let’s be clear — developers and designers are not intentionally building digital experiences that exclude people with disabilities. Chances are, you aren’t deliberately ignoring accessibility at your company either. But that doesn’t mean issues aren’t there.

New window: Assistive Technologies for Visually Impaired Market Is Booming Worldwide

June 3, 2022, The Short Pass: CMR Recently announced Global Assistive Technologies for Visually Impaired Market Report 2022 is an objective and in-depth study of the current state aimed at the major drivers, market strategies, and key players growth. The Assistive Technologies for Visually Impaired study also involves the important Achievements of the market, Research & Development, new product launch, product responses and regional growth of the leading competitors operating in the market on a universal and local scale. The structured analysis contains graphical as well as a diagrammatic representation of worldwide Assistive Technologies for Visually Impaired Market with its specific geographical regions including following key players VFO, LS&S, LLC, Amedia, Essilor, Cambium Learning, Dolphin Computer Access, LVI Low Vision International, Access Ingenuity, ViewPlus, American Thermoform.

New window: Teenager urges MPs to make closed captions mandatory on media videos

June 3, 2022, Stuff: “It’s absolutely fundamental that news is accessible to everyone. We should all have equal access to information and closed captioning is a crucial tool for this.”

New window: Importance of ongoing conversations around accessibility and Red Shirt Day

June 3, 2022, Global News Canada: If you talk to someone who has a disability, you'll learn very quickly what the barriers that they face are. As AccessAbilityWeek wraps up, Manitoba Possible CEO Dana Erickson talks about the importance of keeping the conversation going year-round.

New window: Salesforce Accessibility And Inclusive Boss Derek Featherstone Talks Building Technology With Empathy

June 3, 2022, Forbes: When most people typically think about accessibility and assistive technologies, they think of consumer-facing applications. Products such as hearing aids and canes. Wheelchairs. Accessibility software on iOS and Android via smartphones, and on the Mac and Windows via desktops and laptops. The captains of the industry like Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Even physical world accommodations like disabled parking spaces and curb cutouts for the Blind and those in wheelchairs. But Salesforce? The company indeed is big and well known, by those who run in the tech circle anyway, but they don’t have the cachet in terms of consumer awareness that many of their product-focused contemporaries do. Like Netflix, the ways in which they support accessibility and the disability community has heretofore been far less known to even those who track the industry closely. The truth is, like Netflix, the San Francisco-based company has done much behind the scenes, spanning several years, to further digital access and inclusivity—and they’re now finally ready for a coming-out party of their own.

New window: Making data visualization more accessible for blind and low-vision individuals

June 3, 2022, Tech Xplore: Data visualizations on the web are largely inaccessible for blind and low-vision individuals who use screen readers, an assistive technology that reads on-screen elements as text-to-speech. This excludes millions of people from the opportunity to probe and interpret insights that are often presented through charts, such as election results, health statistics, and economic indicators.

New window: Expanding digital accessibility across federal agencies

June 2, 2022, Federal News Network: Last summer, the Biden Administration issued an executive order on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility in the federal sector, ordering a clear mandate to ensure the federal government serves as a model for equity and inclusion. Historically, one challenge that federal agencies have faced in rectifying accessibility inequalities is approaching the issue disjointedly: different teams using disparate tools for testing, auditing and reporting. The result is an inconsistent approach across agencies. Some are models of accessibility due to the heroic efforts of their team. Many are not.

New window: Best games for accessibility on PS5 2022

June 2, 2022, Android Central: With gaming attracting a bigger and more varied audience than ever before, the ability for games to be accessible to everyone is a topic that is growing in importance. The recent announcement of the accessibility options in upcoming sequel God of War Ragnarok follows similar announcements in recent years and represents a clear change in how studios view accessibility. Whether it’s to make gaming more comfortable for a disabled player or lowering the barrier to entry for someone completely new to gaming, these titles can be played on PS5 and contain features that enable a wider group to enjoy them.

New window: Xbox and Sorenson Launch a New Channel Featuring ASL Interpretation

June 2, 2022, AdWeek: The Xbox Twitch channel has 635,000 followers who tune in to see daily gaming streams including interviews and esports tournaments. Xbox is letting more gamers get in on the fun with its launch of a new Xbox ASL channel with American Sign Language interpretation from inclusive communication service provider Sorenson.

New window: The New Frontier of Prosthetics? Tech for Independent Living

June 2, 2022, Wired: For many, “prosthetics” means wheelchairs and hearing aids. Adults with cognitive disabilities are pioneering a new paradigm for assistive technology.

New window: Digital Inclusion for Those With Disabilities Can Lead to Financial Inclusion Finds Mastercard

June 2, 2022, FinTech: The study, Bridging the Disability Gap: An Opportunity to Make a Positive Impact, reveals that digital inclusion is the pathway to financial inclusion for persons with disabilities. As governments adopt and prioritise policies to improve the accessibility of services, this paves the way for public and private sector financial institutions, mobile network operators (MNO), fintech providers, and other organisations to develop and apply solutions. Umar Hashmi, vice president, global product and engineering, Mastercard, said: “At Mastercard, we are a purpose-driven organisation and put into practice our belief in ‘doing well by doing good’. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are part of who we are, and we bring this to life by deploying products, services, and partnerships that are aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), based on ‘leaving no-one behind’.”

New window: Double Click to Check if Your Company Website is ADA Compliant

June 1, 2022, The National Law Review: Businesses beware! In the age of COVID-19 and an increased virtual presence, websites can be crucial for businesses. But does your website violate Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? This is a question most business owners do not ask themselves, but it should be close to the top of the list. Plaintiffs are filing an increasing number of lawsuits against companies because the sites are not accessible to visually impaired customers. These Plaintiffs claim that the websites do not meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) created by the nonprofit World Wide Web Consortium because visually impaired consumers allegedly cannot access the sites using screen-reader software. These cases target all manner of businesses across a wide range of industries.

New window: Film Festival Accessibility to Be Assessed in New Scorecard Initiative

June 1, 2022, Yahoo! Entertainment: A new “Accessibility Scorecard” launched this summer will aim to help U.S. and international film festivals assess and improve their accessibility measures, Variety can reveal. Developed by filmmaker and former International Documentary Association executive Cassidy Dimon in conjunction with the Film Festival Alliance and FWD-Doc, a collective of documentary filmmakers with disabilities, the Accessibility Scorecard will gather data from festival participants (such as speakers and filmmakers) and attendees that will be fed back to organizers in order to increase their awareness of how accessible their events are.