Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Best Android Apps and Options for Persons with Disabilities

With the swiftness with which technology has drastically changed over the years, it can be easy to get so caught up in all the hype and excitement of how the latest gadgets have transformed how we live. For techies and the younger generation, getting up to speed and adapting to the change in our lifestyles is a breeze. But, for some others, catching up is somewhat akin to a chore, and so they are, quite sadly and unintentionally, left in the dust. Not to worry, though. Android and app developers are becoming more and more sensitive to the special accessibility needs of our friends with disabilities. Apps and mobile operating systems are now designed with these users’ ease of use and convenience in mind. Read more about this at Android Authority, including options for the visually impaired, options for the hearing impaired and options for the mobility impaired.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Advanced Academics makes online learning accessible to students with disabilities

OKLAHOMA CITY: Advanced Academics, a nationally recognized online learning provider, announced today that it has modified more than 100 courses to become compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, making them accessible to hearing and visually impaired students. The organization plans to release 50 additional courses compliant with Section 508 by the end of January 2012. The revised courses have been approved as section 508 compliant by the Digital Learning Department of the Washington state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“We are proud that Advanced Academics is leading the effort to offer online courses compliant with Section 508,” said Jeffrey A. Elliott, President, Advanced Academics . “This project was an enormous undertaking that involved people from across our organization. Making our online courses available to hearing and visually impaired students supports Advanced Academics’ mission to help all students graduate from high school and succeed in life.”

Accommodations for hearing impaired students include the addition of closed captioning to audiovisual course content. Transcripts of audiovisual content are also available, allowing hearing impaired students to read information contained in videos and audio clips.

More at: Global Accessibility News

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Designing Accessible Web Forms On-Line Course starts November 14th, 2011

• Course Dates: November 14th to December 6th (3.5 weeks)

• Times: Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:00-4:00pm Central Time (Chicago Local Time)

• Location: Online using Elluminate web conferencing software

• Instructor: Jon Gunderson, University of Illinois

• Cost: $295 for general public ($245 for WOW members, educators, and government employees)

• Registration Link: http://webprotraining.org/accessible-forms-course

• More information at: http://formsonline.cita.illinois.edu/

Problems of Accessible Web Forms

A recent survey of over 26,000 web pages found from 188 university websites found that less than 50% of the web pages that have form controls use proper labeling for accessibility. Creating web forms that are accessible to people with disabilities requires understanding of the labeling features of HTML markup and how browsers interpret labeling markup for assistive technologies like screen readers. The course will start by using simulations to help participants understand the issues people with disabilities face when using the web. Participants will learn the basics of labeling form controls, how to indicate required controls and provide feedback on invalid responses in a way that is usable to people with disabilities. Examples of more complex labeling of form controls for dates, phone numbers, validation codes and high density surveys will be included in the course. Participants will learn CSS techniques to layout form controls without using tables and how to highlight the active form control using CSS pseudo elements. The last part of the course will provide a preview of the form labeling capabilities of the new Accessibility Rich Internet Accessibility (ARIA) specifications which provide new capabilities to label form controls and provide accessible feedback on form validation as required by the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.

Who Should Participate in the Course?

This course is designed for web developers interested in learning about the disability access issues faced by people with disabilities in using the web and how web forms can be designed to be accessible to people with disabilities. Participants should be familiar with HTML coding and the form elements. Knowledge of basic CSS techniques and javascripting will be helpful, but not a required part of the course.