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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.

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New window: Survey reveals 33% of businesses aren’t focusing on inclusion practices for differently-abled employees

June 1, 2022, Digital Information World: The global business of connecting 500 CEOs, The Valuable 500, published a report which shows that only 54 percent of enterprises follow an operative inclusion practice for disabled workers.

New window: Website Accessibility and ADA Compliance Summarized by Karben Marketing

June 1, 2022, Digital Journal: Karben Marketing, the leading graphic design and marketing agency in Illinois, released an article to explain the importance of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for launching and maintaining a higher-quality website.

New window: How to Use Motor Accessibility Features on a Mac

June 1, 2022, Digital Trends: Apple does its best to ensure everyone can use their devices. To assist those with impairments in vision, hearing, mobility, and general accessibility, you have options to create the best experience possible.

New window: 3 Strategies for Developing More-Accessible Software

June 1, 2022, Harvard Business Review: Tweet Post Share Save Print The U.S. General Services Administration recently released its Equity Action Plan, specifying a focus on accessibility beyond the bare minimum for all digital government services. This move from a federal agency signals to businesses that they’ll need to follow suit and strive for accessibility that exceeds basic inclusive changes. But going above the bare minimum demands a different mindset from developers. Many of the people who are tasked with re-envisioning the bar for accessibility rely too heavily on a small set of tools that give them tunnel vision when building. React, Vue, and Svelte all have accessibility baked into them, but developers who use only what comes off the shelf risk becoming too singularly focused. Many tools prioritize the visual elements of accessibility because they’re the most noticeable, but what about users with auditory or mobility issues?

New window: Microsoft reinvents the mouse for people with disabilities

May 31, 2022, World Economic Forum: Microsoft has released a new Adaptive Accessories line, a set of tools designed to provide an easier mouse and keyboard experience for people with disabilities.

New window: The opportunity at home – can AI drive innovation in personal assistant devices and sign language?

May 31, 2022, Microsoft: Advancing tech innovation and combating the data dessert that exists related to sign language have been areas of focus for the AI for Accessibility program. Towards those goals, in 2019 the team hosted a sign language workshop, soliciting applications from top researchers in the field. Abraham Glasser, a Ph.D. student in Computing and Information Sciences and a native American Sign Language (ASL) signer, supervised by Professor Matt Huenerfauth, was awarded a three-year grant. His work would focus on a very pragmatic need and opportunity: driving inclusion by concentrating on and improving common interactions with home-based smart assistants for people who use sign language as a primary form of communication.

New window: What Makes Events Truly Accessible

May 31, 2022, Skift Meetings: “Disability is not a monolith – someone who has experience with one will not necessarily have it with others,” said Samantha Evans, certification manager for the International Association of Accessibility Professionals. “There are many types of disabilities outside of the physical – they can involve reading, learning, mental health, even the jarring impact of loud noises. Disability is a much bigger span than using a wheelchair.” Simply asking the hotel or venue if they are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or other equivalent government regulations is far from enough, according to Evans. “Compliance is your starting block, not your finish line,” she said. “Compliance means the bare minimum of requirements of the law, but it doesn’t necessarily ensure an equitable experience for those at the meeting. Yes, there may be an elevator, but if it’s way in the back of a building, that’s not equitable. So oftentimes, we’ve relegated ADA compliance down to a checklist, but that checklist is not reflecting what people will actually experience.”

New window: New toolkits released by Sheridan for job seekers with disabilities

May 31, 2022, Oakville News: heridan is marking National Accessibility Week with the launch of new resources to support job seekers living with disabilities, and organizations looking to recruit talent with inclusion at the forefront during a critical moment in Canada’s pandemic recovery. Two toolkits have been developed to empower students, alumni and employers: A toolkit tailored for employers helps them understand the barriers, outline the business case for inclusive recruitment, and contains practical, actionable tips for how they can make accommodations. A toolkit tailored for students, alumni and other job seekers living with disabilities who are seeking co-op, field placements, or full-time employment to help them understand their rights.

New window: Level Access Transforms Digital Accessibility Training With Ground-Breaking Learning Platform

May 31, 2022, Forbes: Digital accessibility is one of those realms where the vast majority of businesses now appear to understand both the legal and moral imperatives for making their websites, mobile apps and other digital products accessible for people with disabilities. Better still, over the past 10 years, organizations have begun to increasingly appreciate the business case for website accessibility as a clear return on investment with 15-20% of their customer base potentially living with some form of disability. Away from the big picture and blue sky thinking what has, all too often, remained less clear for businesses is how to consistently produce and maintain compliant, rich and equitable digital experiences for all their customers.

New window: Digital Gaging: Embracing The Accessibility Afforded By Today’s Technology

May 30, 2022, Quality Magazine: But an additional benefit that organizations might not be aware of, and which is simply a byproduct of the capability afforded by digital technology, is accessibility—accessibility both in terms of aiding those with sight or movement issues, and in terms of helping newer or inexperienced workers do their job in an easier and more effective manner.

New window: Is Your Website Accessible? 10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Site’s Accessibility

May 30, 2022, Host Review: Website accessibility should be part of every web development project to help reach the widest audience. Unfortunately, many businesses overlook website accessibility, making it difficult for those with disabilities to navigate websites, resulting in a bad user experience and fewer conversions on your site. All websites should aim to improve accessibility, and in some countries, it’s actually a law for your website to be accessible. While the US doesn’t have formal laws to enforce accessibility, every website should be accessible. Here are some ways to improve your website accessibility.

New window: National AccessAbility Week: May 29-June 4, 2022 (Canada)

May 27, 2022, Destination British Columbia: From May 29-June 4, 2022, businesses, communities and people across Canada will be acknowledging this important week by celebrating those who are making real changes in their schools, communities and municipalities. This year, the theme for National AccessAbility Week is “Inclusive from the start”. To emulate this theme, the week focuses on: Celebrating the valuable contributions and leadership of Canadians with disabilities; Highlighting the work of individuals, organizations and communities who are removing barriers; Reflecting on our ongoing efforts to become a better, more accessible, more disability inclusive Canada.

New window: Etsy Class Action Alleges Website Inaccessible To Blind, Visually Impaired

May 26, 2022, Top Class Actions: Etsy faces a class action lawsuit that alleges the company’s website is inaccessible to visually-impaired and legally blind people, thus violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

New window: Under half of organisations meet accessible website guidelines, according to new survey

May 26, 2022, AT Today: A global survey has revealed the extent to which websites are meeting accessibility guidelines, and while many organisations reported website accessibility being a top priority, only 14 percent meet the highest accessibility standards.

New window: HSN Class Action Alleges Website Inaccessible To Blind, Visually Impaired

May 25, 2022, Top Class Actions: HSN failed to design and maintain its website in a way that would make it fully accessible for blind and visually impaired individuals. Plaintiff Christopher Loadholt, a legally blind man, claims HSN is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act by denying blind and visually impaired consumers “full and equal access” to its website.

New window: iOS 16: 4 Innovative Accessibility Features that are Changing the Landscape

May 25, 2022, Notebook Check: Ahead of WWDC 2022, Apple is already sharing a number of accessibility features coming to iOS 16 and watchOS 9 this fall. From auto-generated captioning, to LiDAR-enabled door detection, prepare to gain a distilled picture that reads between the lines to reveal the true details behind each and every one of these new capabilities.

New window: WordPress 6.0 ‘Arturo’ Is Here With Nearly 1,000 Changes

May 25, 2022, Search Engine Journal: Accessibility Improvements To WordPress 6.0 There have been many improvements to WordPress accessibility which have been documented here. Among the highlights are: Multiple accessibility changes were improvements to alt text used on featured images. There are also upgrades to tabbing into a block placeholder. Also of note were multiple improvements related to screen readers. Improvements to the Navigation Block Improvements to WordPress List View Improvements to Handling Media Aria-Related Accessibility Fixes To WordPress 6.0 RichText: Reverse disableLineBreaks to determine aria-multiline state.

New window: What is Product Lifecycle Management? Organizing the Development Process

May 25, 2022, Product lifecycle management (PLM) is a discipline for managing the lifecycle of a product, encompassing processes and software systems for tracking and improving every development phase, from product ideation to manufacturing to retirement. Modern PLM is fundamental to the creation of a digital thread, which software and services company PTC defines as a closed loop between digital and physical worlds, following a single set of related data as it weaves in and out of business processes and functions to enable continuity and accessibility.

New window: What is the Future of Work for Persons with Disabilities?

May 25, 2022, World Economic Forum: As the working landscape shifts to a more flexible, remote, and less traditional one, let us explore what it means for people with disabilities. What does the future of work look like for them and how do we prepare them for what is to come?

New window: Russell Stover Class Action Claims Website Not Accessible To Blind, Visually Impaired

May 25, 2022, Top Class Actions: Russell Stover fails to make its website fully accessible to legally blind and visually impaired individuals, a new class action alleges.
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