I recently ran across a letter to the editor in The Opinion Pages of The New York Times titled Inequality and the Internet: Why Some Remain Offline, written by Lainey Feingold, a disability rights lawyer in Berkeley, California. It refers to an article published in The New York Times on August 18th called Most of U.S.
- Web Standards
The Boston Accessibility Group’s 2013 Annual Boston Accessibility Conference will be held at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center in Cambridge on September 28th from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. This year’s event boasts Frances West as the keynote speaker. West is the worldwide director of the IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center (HA&AC), a part of IBM Research. Registration for the 2013 Annual Boston Accessibility Conference is now open.
The Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme is open for application from September 2nd through December 31. The Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme was launched in October of 2012 by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer and the Equal Opportunities Commission in Hong Kong, to show appreciation to enterprises and organizations whose websites are accessible for all segments of the community, including persons with disabilities. Read more about the Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme opening for application.
Among the four million Australians with disabilities many cannot access apps, websites or digital television content that is available to the rest of the nation. Minister Assisting for the Digital Economy, Senator Kate Lundy, says that a re-elected Labor government would support new laws that ensure more disabled people can access websites and digital content.
ACCAN CEO Teresa Corbin spoke at the Australian Communication Consumer Action Network’s M-Enabling Conference on Wednesday and called for new laws mandating minimum accessibility standards for websites, digital content and television. She referred to the 21st Century Communication and Video Accessibility Act in the US, which will ensure most television programming in the US is available on network catch-up services, and on commercial video-on-demand services such as iTunes, will have captions by March 2014. Read more about support for digital accessibility in Australia.
In addition to reevaluating the tools used to judge the accessibility of a website, the accessibility guidelines mandated by the US government, known as Section 508, will include a requirement for human-based testing. Read more about how human-based testing is required in the Section 508 refresh.
July 26, 2013 marks the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). On July 26, 1990 President George H. Bush signed the Act, giving civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. If you want to help celebrate, check out the ADA Anniversary website created by the Southeast ADA center, a member of the ADA National Network and a project of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University.
A student with a low vision disability sparked allegations that the University was in violation of the ADA. The student fell behind in coursework due to a lack of accessible course materials, prompting the student to dropout early in the quarter.
In a Justice Department announcement yesterday, it was said that a settlement was reached with Louisiana Tech University and the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System to remedy the alleged violations to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The University agreed to implement several policies that require they deploy learning technology, web pages and course material that meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA.
In an effort to commit to persons with disabilities and ensure that they are treated equally with dignity and respect, Singapore has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCPRD). On August 18, 2013 the Convention will come into effect for Singapore marking a significant milestone. Singapore’s Masterplan, which gives Singapore a roadmap for an inclusive society where persons with disabilities are empowered to contribute to society, is credited for making it possible through the 3P (People, Public, Private) collaboration. Read more about Singapore committing to persons with disabilities.
At the 6th Conference of States Parties on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities the Global Alliance on Accessible Technology and Environments was congratulated for its successful Side Event. The Side Event covered several major challenges and issues that will be address in the near future. This included raising awareness around Universal Design as part of the disability and development agenda, training and global capacity building of persons with disabilities and forging collaborative efforts between organization and institutions. Read the GAATES article here.
The User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) serve as a guide to developers and user-agent vendors. It outlines the process for making Web browsers, media players, and assistive technologies (software that some people with disabilities use in interacting with computers) accessible to people with disabilities.