Web Development

Anyone familiar with the WCAG 2.0 Guidelines know how important alt text on an image is for people who are blind or have low vision. Twitter has recently upped their accessibility and added an option that allows users to add descriptions to images allowing screen readers and braille displays to announce and display the text.

The feature is enabled by using the compose image descriptions option in the Twitter app’s accessibility settings. It is available in Twitter’s iOS and Android applications. Descriptions can be up to 420 characters. 

At Interactive Accessibility we have a dedicated team that works hard to produce the best services possible for our clients. Most of our time is spent in “head down” work mode – just like any other team producing products or service they’re proud of. Every so often, one of us pops our head out of the fog of a busy workday and remembers just why we have dedicated ourselves to accessibility.

iOS has an accessibility feature to allow users to select their preferred text size. Some applications will respect this setting and change their text size appropriately, however, some do not. To change your preferred text size

WAI-ARIA provides semantics designed to allow an author to properly convey user interface behaviors and structural information to assistive technologies in document-level markup. WAI-ARIA 1.1 adds features to WAI-ARIA 1.0 to complete the HTML+ARIA accessibility model.

The new and updated working draft is open for review as they are looking for comments. WAI-ARIA 1.1 adds:

  • table roles and a model to distinguish tables from grids.
  • the “aria-roledescription” property to refine user understanding of roles.
  • changed applicability of “aria-readonly” and “aria-level”.
  • expanded explanation of “supported” vs. “required” states and properties.

Core Accessibility API Mappings (Core-AAM) and Accessible Name and Descriptions: Computation and API Mappings (AccName-AAM) provide support for the new WAI-ARIA 1.1 features as well as more complete accessibility API Mapping for other features. 

Monday China Disabled Persons Federation (CDPF) and China Banking Association issued a guideline requiring China’s electronic banking service to provide easier access for people with disabilities.

The guideline focuses on three types of disabilities in order to promote accessibility for the E-Banking services such as phone and online banking:

  • Vision Disabilities – E-Banking will provide a specially designed shortcut menu, ID recognition and easy verification codes.
  • Hearing Disabilities – Offer multiple visual facilities and instant short messaging service.
  • Mobility Impairments – establish a long-distance self-service system allowing accounts that traditionally require a physical presents to be open from home.  

Information on accessibility assessments

Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.0 is now a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Recommendation. Publishing WAI-ARIA is an important step making web content and application more accessible to people with disabilities. WAI-ARIA defines how developers of browsers, media players, mobile devices and assistive technologies (AT), and content developers can achieve better cross-platform accessibility. WAI-ARIA is introduce in the WAI-ARIA Overview.

More information on WAI-ARIA

Some European Bank Struggle with Accessibility

According to research conducted by the University of Oviedo, Spain 74% of the time users with disabilities don’t have equal access to banks from the EU, as determined by a sample of 50 banks. The results further show that 26% of the banks presented acceptable levels of accessibility on their websites and over 36% of the banks analyzed had major accessibility issues.

Read more on the University of Oviedo’s research.

The Indian Federation of United Nations Association (IFUNA) in association with Friends of Differently Abled (FODA) recently launched an employment website for people with disabilities. The website will link employers and persons with disabilities who can register with the site and upload the pertinent information. Those who upload their details can get help at Dr. MGR Janaki School in Saligramam on Saturdays from 4pm to 8pm.

The new Vimeo HTML5 Player has added new accessibility features that improve the video experience for people with disabilities. Like with any product, some things could be improved to make the player more accessible and easier to use for people with disabilities.

The website for Safeway’s grocery delivery will undergo accessibility and usability improvements. They will use the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, WCAG 2.0 Level AA as the standard for this effort.

Safeway worked on this initiative in structured negotiations with individual customers with visual impairments in California and Washington. The Law Offices of Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian of the Oakland, California civil rights firm Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho represented the Safeway shoppers.


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