The Internet Is Everything. But Is It Accessible?
We spent some time digging into just how crucial Internet access is during the pandemic. But even if you have access to the Internet, many parts of it are still not accessible this summer, the Americans with Disabilities Act the ADA turned thirty years old and a lot of the tech that makes things convenient for everyone can be game changing for people with disabilities, screen readers that help visually impaired people read websites and software that lets us type with our voice, Nicholas? Dean, how does a Web accessibility consultant and trainer? He says that? That despite these advances, some products that claim to help actually make things worse. There is no doubt in my mind that we must include people with disabilities at every stage of any project. An example here there's a solution for web accessibility that his being pushed really hard lately, and those are overlays. So you you go, you pay for a service, they inject one line of code and your site, and they claim that it makes the site accessible. When in fact, it reduces accessibility, it is not reliable it conflicts with users. assistive technologies, and we have a solution that is really appealing to people that don't have a disability. They're appealing to people think that can get quick fix. But in fact, it's breaking things. So. When you are advising companies, what features do you tell them that they should include in their websites to make those sites more accessible while there's there's a few things to to focus on to look at making sure you can use the site with keyboard. Only you WANNA, make sure your color contrasts are sufficient something that's been very fashionable as great text on grey background That's really Really, really hard to beat for people that have low vision, and incidentally, if you try to read it on your cellphone outside in full sun chances are you're not gonna be able to read it either, and this is where I'm saying accessibility is good for everyone. Those are really good tips for companies designing their websites. But what can we do to make say our social media posts more accessible. Twitter now offers the ability to add descriptions or alternate text for images and I urge everybody to actually take a moment and described image. They're posting be careful about using emojis too much screen reader users are really going to struggle always think as to how is this? GonNa. Be perceived and how can I make sure that more people can get the message? What kind of innovations in tech are you excited about? As it pertains to the disability community? There's a lot of things happening when we're looking at tick a lot of the excitement, Ron that right now is Rhonda. Emergence and there's a lot of that that can be leveraged for for accessibility. For example, you may have heard of using a I to. Interpret. What a photo is and be able to give her a description of that fo four screen reader users or using air. I. For automating transcription for shows like the one we're having right now. So there's there's a lot of promise in in that field at the same time I. Think we have to be aware that there's there's promise, but it's not quite ready. For Primetime, a lot of the automated transcription or automated captions. You may see on, Youtube, for example, are not one hundred percent accurate. Especially if people have a bit of an accent or use a tech lingo. The accuracy is not perfect. So as a result, people who rely on captions or transcripts will not get. All the information. So they may get eighty percent or eighty, five percent and those ten or fifteen percent missing can be crucial. So. That's that's exciting. There's stuff moving. It's going to, it's going to help, but it's going to. It's not helping now because we can't rely on it and I think that's That's probably a a trap that we have to be careful not to fall into, is that while the technology is there, the technology's not perfect yet? So we can't rely on twitter can't decide well, I don't need to bother. Describing my images when I post on social media, because there's no intelligence that can do that yet while we're not quite there yet. So we have to be careful to. Not Get carried away with excitement as to what's new and shiny and make sure that we still you ju-, diligence to make sure accessibility is taken care of by humans. Nicholas? Is A web accessibility consultant and trainer.