Writing an Accessibility Statement for your organization

Having an accessibility statement on the website shows your commitment towards persons with disabilities. With the increase in awareness on the need of inclusive  digital content, either you have a website or a mobile app, showing your commitment towards accessibility is important.

While having relevant information on an accessibility statement acknowledges the commitment towards accessibility and improve the brand image of your business,  providing irrelevant or false information may damage the reputation.

Is it important to have an accessibility statement?

While showing your commitment towards accessibility and persons with disabilities, accessibility statement provides you an opportunity to speak about the effort you have put in for the commitment. In addition you can briefly talk about the accessibility enhancements, accessibility standards followed and the supported assistive technologies, browsers and operating systems. The accessibility statement will also give you an opportunity to be open on any inaccessible content and can share your justification or alternate methods to use such content. This statement also opens up the door for the users to share feedback which of course is the best input you can ever get.

What’s include in the accessibility statement?

The Education and Outreach group of world Wide Web Consortium WAI developed an interesting accessibility statement generation tool. According to this the following can be included as part of your accessibility statement

  1. Basic information: A brief information about your business, accessibility standards applied and contact information for feedback.
  2. Your efforts: In this section you can explain the efforts you have taken and will be taking in the future to make the website accessible. Further you can also explain the long term goals you have for the website or mobile app accessibility.
  3. Technical information: This section can explain about the technology used such as HTML, CSS JavaScript etc and how you used them to make your application accessible. This will also give you an opportunity to talk about the compatible assistive technologies, browsers and operating systems and  any known compatibility issues. You may also document the evidence for your accessibility claims such as link to an accessibility report, external quality check information, certifications if any.
  4. –Approval and complaints process: I believe it might not be possible in many situations but It will be worth mentioning the team within the organization that approved this statement. In addition if the organization have any complaint hierarchy for accessibility, this is the place to provide it.

 

Writing the accessibility statement

Writing the accessibility statement is often same as writing any other content of the page, however the Education and Outreach group of W3C have developed a wonderful tool to generate the same. All that you need to do is to provide as much information as you could on the tool and create the accessibility statement. Download the HTML file after the preview and update your website.

Have a look at the Accessibility statement generating tool and update your website today.

Sample accessibility statements

Here are few sample statements generated from the tool.

Maxability example

Minimal example

Complete example

WCAG 2.1 color contrast analyzer

During June 2018, W3C WAI recommended the new accessibility standard Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 i.e. WCAG 2.1. Along with many new success criteria specific success criterion is added that speaks about color contrast for non-text content. While the existing 1.4.3 contrast (minimum)  and 1.4.6 contrast (Enhanced) still exist.

1.4.11 Non-text contrast

The success criteria says

the following have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 against adjacent color(s):

User Interface Components

Visual information required to identify user interface components and states, except for inactive components or where the appearance of the component is determined by the user agent and not modified by the author;

Graphical Objects

Parts of graphics required to understand the content, except when a particular presentation of graphics is essential to the information being conveyed.

Read more about 1.4.11 non-text contrast.

Most of the color contrast testing tools still show the WCAG 2.0 success criteria only. The new color contrast analyzer from The Paciello group can identify the contrast between the non-text content and their background and analyze the conformance including the new WCAG 2.1 success criteria.

About the WCAG 2.1 Color Contrast Analyzer

The new WCAG 2.1 color contrast analyzer was released late 2018 to match with the new success criterion 1.4.11 Non-text contrast. The tool was rebuilt from the scratch using electron. Interestingly most of the features of the tool are accessible by screen reader and keyboard. More keyboard access is added in the future release I believe. Since the user interface is built with HTML elements, using the tool is usable and accessible compared with the old version of CCA.

Screenshot of color contrast analyzer showing the result as 6.71: 1 with foreground color #801243 and background color #d2d2d2
Screenshot of color contrast analyzer with color names foreground green and background red selected and contrast ratio detected as 1.3: 1. Failed for all the 3 success criteria.

Features of WCAG 2.1 Color Contrast Analyzer

The most important feature I believe is that allows the users to pick the foreground color and background color from the existing web page, design or any other digital format and find the contrast between them. This feature allows to identify the accurate contrast for existing UI. The other interesting features of the validator are

  1. Option to provide the foreground and background color values in any of the following formats to identify the contrasts in various WCAG 2.1 success criteria.
    • Hex: #FFF, #FFFFFF, #FFFA, #FFFFFFAA
    • Names: blue, grey, orange, …
    • RGB: rgb(200,200,200), rgba(200,60,60,0.3)
    • HSL: hsl(360,100%,50%), hsla(360,60%,50%,0.4)
  2. Alpha transparency support for foreground colors.
  3. Color blindness simulator.
  4. Option to switch foreground and background colors.
  5. Support to WCAG 2.1 conformance checks.
  6. Available for both Windows and Mac OS.

Where can I download WCAG 2.1 Color contrast analyzer?

The new CCA tool is developed by The Paciello Group. Additional information of the tool can be found at the  Color contrast analyzer page. The code and other information including Mac and Windows versions are at download CCA page.

Download and run the exe file to install. Once the tool is installed it will create an icon on desktop to start using it.

Switch access on Mobile

Switch Access allows the users with dexterity impairments to use their mobile device without touching the screen. Because dexterity impairment can limit individuals strength, speed, endurance, and

coordination. Persons with such difficulties cannot use their fingers to interact with a touch screen. To overcome such ability mobile operating systems have built in assistive feature called Switch access. Switch access is an assistive feature available both in IOS and Android operating systems.

Types of Switch Access

Though switch access is a built-in feature in both Android and IOS devices, to use it an external switch device is required or a feature within the device can be set as a switch. Connecting the switch access is discussed later in this article with individual operating systems.

Switch Access in Android

Switch access can be connected to external switch device keyboard or the hardware keys of volume can also be mapped to the switch access. If an external device is used then  connect it to the device either via USB or a bluetooth.

Note: Once you connect the switch device the onscreen keyboard will be hidden automatically. Users need to re-enable the keyboard from the settings > language & input.

Connecting Single, double or group switch controls

Navigate to Settings > accessibility > switch access > settings

Auto scan : When you are setting up single  switch control,  select auto scan In the switch access feature. Various options are available in auto scan, after selecting the required options tap on auto scan on.

In this method the control moves one after the other item on the screen. User is expected to select it by pressing the switch again.

Step Scan : Step scanning should be selected when you have two or more switches. While one switch navigates through the screen the other switch selects the item.

Group selection: Even a group selection can be enabled when there are two or more switches. Group selection option enables users to navigate and select items on the screen faster than auto scan and step scan.

Here are the setting up steps for switch access on Android.

Using switch Access on Android

Switch Access on IOS device

Similar to switch access in android, IOS also allow external devices to be mapped with the device While the external switch control need to be connected to the IOS device before activating it as a switch. In addition the screen or front camera  can be set as a switch control.

  • Screen: Tap the screen to use a switch or press and hold.
  • Camera: Move your head to use the iPhone front-facing camera as a switch. You can use the camera as two switches: One when you move your head to the left, and the other when you move your head to the right.

Connecting the switch controls

Once you decide which control to use for switch access,

  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Switch Control > Switches.
  2. Tap Add New Switch and choose a source.
  3. Follow the onscreen steps to choose how you want the switch to work.
  4. Remember to turn on Switch Control, so you can use your new switch.

Here are  the steps to setup and other features for switch access on IOS.

Connecting and using switch access on IOS

See also 5 ways of typing with voiceover

1.4.11 Non-text Contrast

the following have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 against adjacent color(s):

  • User Interface Components
  • Visual information required to identify user interface components and states, except for inactive components or where the appearance of the component is determined by the user agent and not modified by the author;
  • Graphical Objects
  • Parts of graphics required to understand the content, except when a particular presentation of graphics is essential to the information being conveyed.

 

Description

1.4.11 Non-text contrast is similar to 1.4.3 Contrast minimum. People with low vision will have tough time reading and understanding the content that has poor contrast. As regular text requires 4.5 : 1 contrast between the text and background, large text requires 3 : 1 ratio between the text color and it’s background, in WCAG 2.0 non-text elements such as actionable controls, focus indicators, selection identifiers are not specifically mentioned to meet the contrast requirements. In WCAG 2.1, these active controls i.e. buttons and form fields, text on action controls, visual effects such as focus indicators,  selection identifiers, boundaries of controls indicating the hit area require a minimum contrast ratio of 3 : 1. This is equal to that of the contrast requirement of large text in 1.4.3 Contrast minimum in WCAG 2.0.

 

People with low vision should be able to identify meaningful non-text controls and visual effects without relying on any color enhancing features or applications. The clear identification of selections, focus indications and hit areas even help those who have cognitive difficulties.

1.4.11 Non-text contrast required and exceptional elements

The following are some indicative elements and exceptions. On websites the list may be more.

  • Text embedded controls, graphics, text / placeholders in text boxes need 3 : 1 contrast ratio.
  • Developer defined focus indicators require 3 : 1 contrast ratio.
  • Actionable controls require 3 : 1 contrast ratio.
  • Visual effects to notify the selection need 3 : 1 contrast ratio.
  • A focus indicator required to have a contrast ratio of 3 : 1 with its adjacent background if the focus indicator is modified by the developer. If the  focus indicator is the default supplied by the browser, contrast is not required to be 3 : 1.
  • IF the state of a control is identified by means other than color change alone, the control and the visual selection identifier does not require 3 : 1 contrast ratio.
  • The visual boundary of any control that indicates the hit area is not a requirement of this success criteria 1.4.11 Non-text contrast, however if the visual boundary is the only way to identify the control when the user focus, then the visual boundary must have a 3 : 1 contrast ratio with the adjacent background color.
  • Inactive controls on the page such as a disabled button is not required to meet 3 : 1 contrast ratio.
  • Parts of graph, controls, text or icons are not required to meet the 3 : 1 contrast ratio if they have content available in another forms such as a table in addition to text on graph, if the graphics or icons are just for aesthetic purposes or that are part of logo / brand names.

 

Happy New Year 2019

Dear accessibility enthusiasts, well-wishers, subscribers and visitors of Maxability – On behalf of Maxability family we wish you a very prosperous and happy New year 2019.

2018 has been a wonderful year for Maxability. We had 30% additional visits compared to 2018 touching the visitors almost every corner of the world. We started the quarterly webinars in 2018 and will be continuing in 2019 too. The next webinar is scheduled on January 23rd, 2019 and the topic is “Web accessibility testing with screen readers, register here. We contributed to Mobile Accessibility practices for Indian Government Websites, these are published formally in the recent past. Our Youtube channel was also started in 2018.

 

Exciting thoughts are in the process for 2019, stay tuned for the updates.

Maxability highlights in 2018

  • We reached 156 countries in 2018 with highest visits from United States. This means we are able to touch almost every corner of the globe.
  • 57049 total visits in 2018 which is 30% more than 2017.
  • Average visits per day is 156 in 2018, in 2017 this is 122 average visits per day.
  • The total visitors to Maxability in 2018 was 36493 with 9000 additional visitors compared with 2017.
  • Almost 50 articles are published in 2018 that covered few best practices, WCAG 2.1 updates and ARIA 1.1 properties.

Thank you

Thank you for reading our blogs, applying the knowledge shared by us to make web a better place. We will continue sharing the knowledge through articles, webinars and any new methods all of us think appropriate in 2019 and beyond. If you wish to see any other initiatives, for feedback and suggestions drop a note through our contact form.

Please subscribe to our Youtube channel, like Maxability on facebook, follow Maxability on twitter and subscribe with your email to our blog. Thank you if you already are following us.

Once again, A Very Happy New Year 2019, let us together make web a better place for everyone.

 

 

 

NVDA 2018.4 is released, Download and What’s new

NVDA the free Windows screen reader by NVAccess released the next version for 2018 i.e NVDA 2018.4. The release include few new features, bug fixes and developer enhancements.

What’s new in NVDA 2018.4పాతఝ

  • Performance improvements are made in using NVDA with the recent versions of firefox.
  • NVDA is now able to read descriptions for emoji as well as other characters that are part of the Unicode Common Locale Data Repository.
  • Interacting with combo boxes on the web in Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer has been improved.
  • Moving the mouse to the navigator object will now much more accurately move the mouse to the browse mode position in Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Acrobat Reader DC.
  • Performance improvements when navigating large pages with lots of dynamic changes in Mozilla Firefox.
  • In ARIA menus on the web, the Escape key will now be passed through to the menu and no longer turn off focus mode unconditionally.
  • NVDA no longer reports clickable multiple times in a row when navigating clickable content in Browse Mode.

A complete list of improvements, changes and bug fixes are available at What’s new in NVDA.

Download or update to NVDA 2018.4

Visit the NVDA download page for NVDA 2018.4. If already have an older version update to the latest version.

updating to NVDA 2018.4

  1. Press NVDA + n to open NVDA settings.
  2. Navigate to Help by pressing down arrow until you hear Help.
  3. Press right arrow to move into the help menu.
  4. Press down arrow until you hear Check for updates.
  5. Press enter Check for updates and follow the onscreen instructions.

NVDA is an open source and free screen reading solution for Windows operating system. Support the cause by donating to the NVDA project.

 

Web Accessibility Suits & Settlements in 2018

Maxability is bringing together the web accessibility suits and settlements since 2014. 5th year in a row, this article highlights some web accessibility suits and settlements in 2018.

Plaintiffs filed 4965 federal ADA Title III lawsuits in first 6 months of 2018. Among this large numbers are web accessibility suits and settlements. If the trend continues, it is expected to reach 10,000 cases with an approximate increase of 30% from 2017 according to  ADAtitleIII.com

The major web accessibility suits are reported on

  • clothing and apparel stores
  • telecommunications companies
  • restaurants
  • consumer goods
  • e-commerce stores

Web Accessibility suits and settlements in 2018

All the links below navigate to external websites.

Related links

Below are the links from past year on web Accessibility suits.

Webinar January 2019 -Web Accessibility Testing With screen Readers

We are excited to have our first webinar in 2019. The webinar is on “Web accessibility Testing With screen reader” scheduled on 22nd January, 2019. Thank you for supporting us and taking part in our last 2 webinars.

For this webinar we have Alan Smith, Web Accessibility Expert from Humana. Know more about Alan in the about the speaker section below and when you join the webinar.

Webinar Topic

Web accessibility testing with NVDA screen reader
Alan's picture in orange shirt

About the speaker Alan Smith

  • Over 25 years of software testing and management experience and 5 years in the field of accessibility.
  • Work full-time for Humana and part-time for Criterion 508 as an Accessibility Lead
  • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Invited Expert Taskforce member for Mobile, Low- Vision and Conformance Testing of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group
  • Contributor to WCAG’s Mobile Accessibility: How WCAG 2.0 and Other W3C/WAI Guidelines Apply to Mobile located at: http://w3c.github.io/Mobile-A11y-TF-Note/
  • Recently hired by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) as an adjunct professor to do formal curriculum development and teaching on accessibility and help build their accessibility program
  • My relationship with UNCC started by my personally initiated outreach to the community through guest lecturing web and mobile accessibility sessions at the university for graduate and under-graduate classes
  • Created several online training courses covering WCAG 2.0 Testing and Repair Techniques, Accessibility for Designers and Using JAWS for Testing.

Connect with alan on linkedin.

Key take-aways from the webinar

  1. Learn how simple it is to use the screen reader
  2. Learn the few commands that you need to know
  3. Learn some simple settings for better usage
  4. Learn how to share what the screen reader announces

 

Webinar date and time

On January 22nd 2019. Between

  • 9: 00 PM and 10 : 00 PM IST
  • 10 : 30 Am and 11 : 30 aM ET
  • 7 : 30 AM and 8 : 30aM PT

Web Accessibility and autism

 

 

Autism is mainly a spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders. So, autism is also referred as autism spectrum disorder  (ASD). The conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication are commonly observed in people with autism.

 

Some Statistics of autism

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 59 or 1.7% children has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This is a 2014 data collected in some parts of United States. The data was much higher than the earlier statistics. The data also reveals that male children are reported much higher than female children. The male to female ratio who have ASD is 4: 1. This is definitely an alarming concern for the world.

 

ASD is found regardless of raise, culture or economic background and of course everywhere in the world.

Symptoms of autism

Though the symptoms of ASD typically found between 12 to 24 months, they may be even earlier or later.

The two main categories of symptoms defined by DSM-5 are

  1. problems with communication and social interaction,
  2. restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior or activities.

 

Problems with communication and social interaction include:

  • issues with communication, including difficulties sharing emotions, sharing interests, or maintaining a back-and-forth conversation
  • issues with nonverbal communication, such as trouble maintaining eye contact or reading body language
  • difficulties developing and maintaining relationships

 

Restricted or repetitive patterns of behavior or activities include:

  • repetitive movements, motions, or speech patterns
  • rigid adherence to specific routines or behaviors
  • an increase or decrease in sensitivity to specific sensory information from their surroundings, such as a negative reaction to a specific sound
  • fixated interests or preoccupations

 

Web Accessibility for Autism Spectrum

 

Web is for all, people experiencing autism are part of this user base. How can you make sure that your digital content can be made comfortable for these set of users? The digital content here refers to websites, software and mobile apps.

The world Wide Web Consortium’s, WCAG Guidelines are the superset rules that try to ensure the web content is accessible to everyone regardless of their disabilities. Below are some guidelines from this  WCAG checklist  that meets the needs of people with autism.

 

  • Provide content that is not prone to have seizures.
  • Screens or pages should be consistently identified and have a consistent navigation mechanism.
  • Content should be substituted with pictures for easy understanding.
  • Do not use ambiguous terms or words that have more than one meanings.
  • Use simple and easily understandable sentences.
  • Screens should not be cluttered and busy. The busy and cluttered designs will be over whelming to users with autism.
  • Clearly differentiate the links and the text on the page. Users should not be guessing for the links.
  • Be careful with moving, blinking, scrolling and auto-updating content. There should be a mechanism to control them.
  • Provide clear labels and instructions while filling the forms.
  • Having features such as autofill , auto complete etc. helps while filling forms.

Related Links

aria-rowspan property

aria-rowspan property defines the number of rows a cell spanned within a table, grid or a treegrid. Use host attribute equivalent if available. If both the host language equivalent and aria-rowspan property are defined user agents have to pick the value expressed through the host language attribute and expose it to assistive technologies.

Content authors must set the value of aria-rowspan greater than or equal to 1 and less than or equal to total number of rows of the table. The exact value should be the number of rows the cell is spanned.

Aria-rowspan property used in roles

Values of aria-rowspan property

The value of aria-rowspan property should be an integer greater than or equal to 1 and less than or equal to total number of rows in the table, grid or treegrid. In other words the value should be equal to the total number of cells the author want to span.

Related Links