That means it’s (probably) now the de facto default against which your website or apps will be judged if a case is brought against you.
Although I would guess most jurisdictions will give you 6-12 months to catch up, depending on the scope of your organisation.
Update your accessibility statements, if you need to. Basic standards are still:
Under the hood, not much has changed. Biggest updates are on :focus styles, and the visibility of focused elements. Oh, and authentication. Not being able to rely on cognitive challenges is going to be a big change for many organisations.
I recently ran a session with some of our content developers covering alternative text, and the difference between alt text and captions. It seemed to be well received, so I thought I’d write it up.
“Text alternatives” is the first guideline of the first principle of WCAG 2.1. It’s literally the first thing to think about – and the reason why is pretty simple: not everyone can see images.
That may be because they have a vision disability. But it could also be because the image has been deleted, renamed or moved. Maybe their network connection is poor. Or their browser doesn’t support the format. Or they have disabled images in their email client because they have a 500MB monthly limit.
Whatever. It happens. Text alternatives are what users rely on when images are not available. Like this one right here:
The alternate text needs to replace the image. So your question becomes very definite:
What text do I need to provide if this image is not available? How might I describe the appearance, purpose, function, or meaning of this image to someone who can’t access it?
An accessible document is a document that people with a range of physical and cognitive impairments can read and understand.
An accessible document is, typically, also a document that people with no physical or cognitive impairments can read and understand better, and faster.
Also typically, an accessible document is easier for content authors to maintain. Because it uses tools that are baked in to Word and other MS Office applications to support accessibility and improve workflow.
So, here are some tips on creating accessible Word documents.
As an organisation we are committed to do more testing with people with accessibility needs. This will ensure that our services can be easily accessed by everyone and to meet our legal obligations as a public sector organisation. We aim to recruit participants with accessibility needs in every round of research that we do to ensure that accessibility is considered at every stage of the project.
We tested extensively the prototype for the Green jobs grant which was launched in the summer of 2021.
We had a number of aims for this research:
To test the application journey with users who have a range of accessibility needs and to find what the challenges were for them in our journey
To get clarity on what areas worked well
We wanted to discover if different needs give conflicting priorities
As an enterprise agency, our role is to support economic development, and this includes offering support and information to businesses in Scotland. This sometimes results in the misconception that our users are simply ‘businesses’.
But that’s not strictly the case. Even though our services are aimed at businesses, it’s still individual people that read our content, navigate application forms or contact our experts. They could be business owners, CEOs, accountants, finance directors, department heads, or any other individual within an organisation. And, being real people, there are a whole range of different needs and situations we need to consider when writing for them.
Heather Hepburn is the Accessibility Lead for Skyscanner and has been running their accessibility programme for just over a year.
Stéphanie Krus works as a Service Designer and is a member of the ‘Disability Positive’ group at Scottish Enterprise.
We ‘met’ virtually in October 2020 after a talk at the UCD Gathering from Heather Hepburn (Skyscanner) and Adi Latif (AbilityNet): “Digital Accessibility – How to get your organisation on the right track”
We realised we had a lot we could share regarding how we address and improve accessibility in our organisations. So we planned a knowledge sharing session which was held online on 27 January 2021 with about 20 people.
When I started at Scottish Enterprise in May 2019, my team had a whole day of Accessibility training with Hassell Inclusion. This was all the User Researchers, UX/UI designers and Service Designers being trained.
The developers and QA testers also got their own training and the content authors had a full day of training as well.
We were not starting from scratch. A lot of people in the team are really into accessibility. But it should be everyone’s responsibility. We should not rely on just a few people with a keen interest to make sure we deliver on Accessibility.
Neurodiversity is not a well known term. It’s used to reflect one the diversity of ways people’s brain functions. There is no ‘normal’ or ‘right’ way. People with autism, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or dyslexia are part of this neurodiversity.
Thursday, May 21 2020, marks the ninth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.
The Digital team celebrated the day with a session opened to all the Scottish Enterprise staff.
To reach our audience, we need to do better to make sure everyone can access our posts on social media. We are planning to raise awareness within Scottish Enterprise of what needs to be done so that our communications are accessible.