ACCESSIBLE WORDLE: Get the Chrome Extension

Wordle is an online word game that you can play every day. It’s simple, enjoyable, and, like a crossword puzzle, can only be completed once per day. There’s a new word of the day every 24 hours, and it’s up to you to find out what it is.

wordle screen

Want to make Wordle accessible to your screenreader?

Install this Chrome extension on your Mac, Windows or Linux PC.

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TESTING TOOL: SQLime – Mobile-Friendly SQLite Playground

Illustrations of Limes

SQLime is an online SQLite playground for debugging and sharing SQL snippets. Kinda like JSFiddle, but for SQL instead of JavaScript.

SQLime console window

SQLime’s features include:

Mobile friendly
Most playgrounds are not meant for small screens. SQLime was specifically designed and tested on mobile devices.

Full-blown database in the browser
SQLime is backed by the latest version of SQLite, provided by an excellent sql.js project. It provides a full-featured SQL implementation, including indexes, triggers, views, transactions, CTEs, window functions and execution plans.

Connect any data source
Connect any local or remote SQLite database. Both files and URLs are supported. For example, try loading the Employees database from the GitHub repo.

Save and share with others
SQLime saves both the database and the queries to GitHub so that you can revisit them later or share them with a colleague. The database is stored as a plain text SQL dump, so it’s easy to read the code or import data into PostgreSQL, MySQL, or other databases.

Secure and private
There is no server. SQLime works completely in the browser. The GitHub API token is also stored locally. Queries are saved as private GitHub gists within your account. Your data is yours only.

Dead simple
SQLime has zero third-party dependencies other than SQLite (sql.js). Good old HTML, CSS, and vanilla JS — that’s all. No frameworks, no heavy editors, no obsolete and vulnerable libraries. Just some modular open-source code, which is easy to grasp and extend.

Use SQLime now.

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

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ACCESSIBILITY TESTING: taba11y Chrome Extension

Illustration of keyboard tab keys

Tab order is important for a wide range of website visitors, from keyboard-only to screen reader users. By ensuring that the tab order is logical, you can provide a great user experience for as many people as possible.

taba11y is a Chrome extension that calculates the tab order of all elements on a web page and displays it visually, either by drawing a path or by highlighting the elements.

taba11y visual sample of tab order

Add the taba11y extension to your Chrome browser now.

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

Whether you have limited experience with the PDF remediation process, are expanding your knowledge on how to remediate PDFs, or simply need a resource that can help remind you how to fix a frustrating error, the info provided in this e-book can help.

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GRAPHICS TOOL: Remove Image Background

Remove background image

Remove.bg is a free web-based service that enables you to remove the background of any photo.

It works 100% automatically – no need to manually select the background/foreground layers to separate them. Just select your image and instantly download the result image with the background removed.

The free “preview” version allows you to download a good quality version of your original image. A “subscription” or “pay as you go” plan allows you to download the full size HD version of your uploaded image.

The tool desktop versions are available for:

Windows: Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit)
Mac: macOS 10.10 or newer (64-bit)
Linux: Ubuntu/Debian (64-bit)

There is also a Photoshop extension that supports Adobe Photoshop CC (2021) 22.0 for Mac and Windows.

Get a transparent background for any image. Try Remove.bg now.

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

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ACCESSIBLE DEVELOPMENT: Does Your Code Work with Assistive Technologies?

Aria attribute testing results

Will your code work with assistive technologies?

Check out Accessibility Support.

It’s a community-driven website that aims to help inform developers about the code that is supported according to WCAG 2.x level AA guidelines.

The information provided on the website is not to tell you what you can or cannot use, but is designed to help reduce the amount of manual research that needs to happen in order for developers to make good decisions.

You will also find info on how to use different assistive technologies and detailed instructions about how to perform accessibility testing.

Go to Accessibility Support now.

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

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ACCESSIBLE CSS: EightShapes Contrast Grid

EightShapes Contrast Grid Example

To be in compliance with the WCAG 2.0 Guideline 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum) (Level AA), the visual presentation of text color against background color has to have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1.

Use the EightShapes Contrast Grid to test many foreground and background color combos for compliance with WCAG 2.0 minimum contrast.

The tool’s legend diagram explains the pass/fail codes:

Contrast grid legend

Once you have created a contrast grid that pertains to your project, you can copy the grid HTML and CSS for your use.

Copy HTML and CSS from grid

Take the EightShapes Contrast Grid for a spin.

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DISCOVER: Sign Language Interpretation Video Requirements

Four individuals using sign language

NOTE FROM MARY: This is the fourth post of a four-part series related to the WCAG 2.1 Guideline Success Criterion 1.2.6 Sign Language (Prerecorded) (Level AAA). Though not currently required, adopting Level AAA guidelines now and going forward can provide a better user experience for persons with disabilities.

by Emma Mankin
Guest Blogger

Thanks to today’s technologically savvy world, many of us have seen videos of ASL interpretation. But what happens behind the video cameras to make these presentations look professional?

Interpreters can sign simultaneously (live, or in real time) or on a pre-recorded video. Besides being ready to interpret what speakers are saying, they, along with their videographers, need to consider more filming logistics as they prepare for any type of video interpretations.

Visual Recommendations

  • Lighting: Lighting conditions should not interfere with interpreters’ visibility. When they are filmed on a set location, lighting conditions should give them good visibility. However, if the lights are too strong, they can blind the interpreters and provide a less attractive image for Deaf and hard of hearing videos.
  • Location and Background: Interpreters can be filmed in a live setting or in a studio against a backdrop. If a neutral background is needed, light colors work better than dark colors (i.e., light blue and gray over other colors). Also, reflections from shadows, glare, scenery, glasses, and jewelry should try to be avoided because they could cause a major distraction to the interpreters’ visibility and/or signing.
  • Clothing: No matter the background, there should be a good contrast of colors between interpreters’ hands and face, their clothing, and the background – ideally, neutral, solid colors without distracting designs or patterns.

Filming Interpreters

  • Signing Space: ASL interpreters’ body locations and movements provide a syntactic function in sign language. While filming, videographers need to make sure that their shots, angles, and visibility are captured well in interpreters’ signing space against their background. Every interpreter’s signing space will be different; but typically, their chest or waistline up are visible as they stand in front of the camera.
  • Distance Between the Camera and the Interpreter(s): Facial expressions, as well as arm and hand movements, are important when signing. Closeups are rarely used to prevent risking interpreters’ hands from leaving the signing space. Similarly, long distance shots are rarely used because their faces and signing would not have the best visibility. Overall, interpreters address the camera. They should stand or sit (depending on the setting) as close to the camera as they can, without risking cut-offs, to ensure real interaction and eye contact with their Deaf and/or hard of hearing viewers.
  • Camera Movements: Most times, camera movements are typically avoided when filming interpreters. However, sometimes, they may be intentional. For example, interpreters may tell stories with extensive subject-, movement-, and detail-oriented signing. When these situations arise, videographers must carefully and functionally film interpreters’ signing so they do not interfere with the visibility quality.
  • Closed Captions: Closed captioning acts as a second language feature that can help Deaf and hard of hearing individuals watch filmed interpreters’ signing if they miss certain details and/or are not physically seated near them. Because sign language interpretation provides various intonation, emotional, and audio abilities, it provides richer and more equivalent access to synchronized media. If captions plan to be included along with the interpretation, there should be some extra room on camera (particularly below the interpreters’ signing space) reserved for them.

[SOURCE1]
[SOURCE2]

BIO: Emma Mankin is a freelance blog and technical writer located in St. Augustine, Florida who specializes in explaining technical topics so that they are easy to understand. She holds a B.A. in English with a minor in American Sign Language from George Mason University. Email Emma.

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

Whether you have limited experience with the PDF remediation process, are expanding your knowledge on how to remediate PDFs, or simply need a resource that can help remind you how to fix a frustrating error, the info provided in this e-book can help.

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DISCOVER: How American Sign Language Interpreters Help Deaf People

NOTE FROM MARY: This is the third post of a four-part series related to the WCAG 2.1 Guideline Success Criterion 1.2.6 Sign Language (Prerecorded) (Level AAA). Though not currently required, adopting Level AAA guidelines now and going forward can provide a better user experience for persons with disabilities.

by Emma Mankin
Guest Blogger

If you have ever been to live events or watched them on television, there’s a good chance that you have probably seen sign language interpreters before.

American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters can also freelance and/or work for schools, universities, hospitals, agencies, social welfare, the government, courts, private businesses, and communities to make sure that Deaf and hard of hearing people have the same access to information and communication as hearing people. Thus, they play an important role in developing healthy and trustworthy deaf-hearing relationships by interpreting spoken language into signed language for deaf and hard of hearing audience members.

How long does it take people to become Nationally Certified ASL Interpreters?

No matter if aspiring interpreters are deaf, native ASL users or hearing people who have taken ASL classes, they must receive formal training in ASL, Deaf culture, and, most importantly, interpreting competencies to provide well-produced interpretations. The National Deaf Center states that it takes people who hold Bachelor of Arts or of Science degrees about 19 to 24 months after graduation to become nationally certified ASL interpreters. While Associate of Arts or of Science graduates can become certified in about 25 to 36 months. Here is a list of U.S. colleges that offer ASL Interpretation Certification programs.

Can people who are hearing, deaf, and/or fluent in ASL become interpreters?

Yes, but the answer can vary.

Interpreting requires a high level of fluency in at least two languages (in this case, English and ASL) and a strong ability to focus on what speakers around them are saying.

Hearing people who are fluent in ASL are not always qualified to be ASL interpreters. But it is important that they are qualified and skilled in formulating accurate translations.

Deaf people may also become Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDIs) by working to ensure that the spoken language is translated and comprehended in cultural ways (i.e., a wide range of visual language, vocabulary complexities, and communication forms) that Deaf recipients may not pick up on from hearing interpreters’ communication. They engage in the same tasks as hearing interpreters and often work as part of a deaf/hearing interpreter team. CDIs often work in legal and healthcare settings. They also work well in situations when hearing interpreters cannot adequately meet individuals’ communication needs; for example, when a deaf person uses a different signed or has little or no language proficiency.

Why are sign language interpreters often hired to work in teams?

ASL interpreters are often hired in teams to guarantee effective communication that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires. This also reduces the interpreters’ risks of miscommunication factors, such as overuse injuries, mental and physical fatigue, and interpreting errors. Here are two important factors to consider if team interpretation is necessary:

  • Class length and complexity: Class content and structure must be considered. Generally, classes that are over one hour long should have a team of interpreters, especially if the material covers complex content with technical terminology. However, a three-hour-long light lecture class that contains independent work may require only a single interpreter. Overall, it all depends on how long the class time runs and how complex the lessons are.
  • Deaf and/or hard of hearing individuals’ unique needs and preferred communication modes: Regardless of time length and topics, tactile interpreting is labor intensive and often requires a team. One example is interpreting for individuals with weak language proficiency. In such cases, a team of interpreters can take turns and work together to accommodate their special communication needs.

Hiring a team of qualified interpreters will help people prove that they have made the best efforts to provide deaf and hard of hearing individuals with the most effective communication that they need. Yes, this may cost more than hiring just one interpreter, but it is a much better investment than having to pay unwanted costs that could be caused by medical misdiagnosis, court mistrials, educational failure, and other unfortunate outcomes.

[SOURCE]

BIO: Emma Mankin is a freelance blog and technical writer located in St. Augustine, Florida who specializes in explaining technical topics so that they are easy to understand. She holds a B.A. in English with a minor in American Sign Language from George Mason University. Email Emma.

Instant Download!

PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

Whether you have limited experience with the PDF remediation process, are expanding your knowledge on how to remediate PDFs, or simply need a resource that can help remind you how to fix a frustrating error, the info provided in this e-book can help.

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DISCOVER: How to Learn Sign Language

Four photos of individuals learning sign language

NOTE FROM MARY: This is the second post of a four-part series related to the WCAG 2.1 Guideline Success Criterion 1.2.6 Sign Language (Prerecorded) (Level AAA). Though not currently required, adopting Level AAA guidelines now and going forward can provide a better user experience for persons with disabilities.

by Emma Mankin
Guest Blogger

Did you know that American Sign Language (ASL) is the third most-used language in the United States, behind English and Spanish?

Have you ever wanted to learn sign language? Now, you can! Here are some easy ways to help you start learning sign language.

  • Take a sign language class: ASL is taught as a foreign language in many American high schools and colleges. Having Deaf teachers and/or students as language models in the classroom will help you learn about the language from a cultural background. If you have a busy schedule during the weekdays, you can even take an evening or online ASL class. This allows you to learn and practice signing as much as you want without feeling pressured with deadlines.
  • Watch online sign language videos and DVDs or download applications on your phone: In today’s technologically savvy world, there are free videos on YouTube and other signing websites and phone applications, such as Signing Savvy, Handspeak, and Pocket Sign, that can watch as many times as you want to help you learn and practice fingerspelling, signs, expressive and conversational skills, and more. Many ASL workbooks, such as DawnSignPress’ Signing Naturally, include DVDs that you can watch as you teach yourself each lesson. If you would like to find other options, please contact your local library, or research available resources online.
  • Read sign language books: If you don’t want start by watching videos, sign language books are a great way to read about how it is used around the world. The history of how signed language and Deaf culture have evolved is fascinating! There are sign language dictionaries, children’s books, step-by-step learning books, and more. However, drawn handshapes with directions may not be as helpful as watching videos.
  • Attend Deaf events or cafés: These are great ways to practice your signing skills outside of your class and individual studies. You’ll meet plenty of Deaf people, ASL students, teachers, and more, in your local Deaf community. Everyone you meet at Deaf events is willing to help you practice and improve your signing skills as you communicate with them. You can contact local Deaf organizations or search for an ASL social group through websites such as Facebook or Meetup.com. Here is a list of deaf-owned restaurants as well.
  • Hire a private certified sign language tutor: If you don’t want to take an ASL class, you can research and hire a local private tutor who can help you learn the language. You can ask for one-on-one or group instruction if your family and/or friends would like to learn sign language, too.
  • Ask Deaf friends or family members to teach you: If you have Deaf friends and/or family members who are fluent signers, consider them to be great resources! As personal teachers, they will help you learn and practice signing, as well as teach you what being Deaf is like from a cultural perspective.
  • Watch and mimic sign language interpreters: If you have ever been to or watched live events, you have probably seen sign language interpreters before. Their job is to interpret spoken language into signed language for deaf and hard of hearing audience members. It may not be the best option as you are first learning, but depending on their signing speed, you can always watch them to test your knowledge and try to learn some new signs.

Once you’ve found your preferred way(s) to learn sign language, here are three key things to remember:

  1. Practice your fingerspelling: This will be one of your first lessons. Proficiency in expressive skills (spelling out) is more attainable than receptive skills (reading fingerspelling) at first. After you learn and master fingerspelling, you are ready to move on to the next levels of signing!
  2. Facial expressions are important: Sign language is more than just talking with your hands. You must also use your facial expressions, eyebrows, and other body movements to indicate the mood and character of your topics and conversations.
  3. Use real-life situations: As previously mentioned in the Deaf event point, practice your conversational signing skills with your teachers, classmates, friends, family, and other members of the Deaf world. As a result, you will gain a greater means of identity, interaction, values, customs, and information by meeting and communicating with other members of the Deaf community.

By learning ASL, you are bound to learn a lot and make new friends as you navigate a new and exciting language and culture. Happy signing!

[SOURCE]

BIO: Emma Mankin is a freelance blog and technical writer located in St. Augustine, Florida who specializes in explaining technical topics so that they are easy to understand. She holds a B.A. in English with a minor in American Sign Language from George Mason University. Email Emma.

Instant Download!

PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

Whether you have limited experience with the PDF remediation process, are expanding your knowledge on how to remediate PDFs, or simply need a resource that can help remind you how to fix a frustrating error, the info provided in this e-book can help.

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DISCOVER: A Quick, Fascinating History of Sign Language

Hands forming sign language letters that spell love

NOTE FROM MARY: This is the first post of a four-part series related to the WCAG 2.1 Guideline Success Criterion 1.2.6 Sign Language (Prerecorded) (Level AAA). Though not currently required, adopting Level AAA guidelines now and going forward can provide a better user experience for persons with disabilities.

by Emma Mankin
Guest Blogger

Even though there is no archeological proof of when people first developed hearing loss, scientists claim that Deaf history started at the beginning of mankind.

Deaf people are often credited for gesturing early human language by pointing and signaling “come here”. Their grunting eventually evolved into communicable speech. Throughout history, anthropologists believed that spoken language evolved from gestures and signs that were created millions of years ago.

Sign language is not universal

Deaf people created sign language as a visual-gestural, nonverbal language to express their feelings with their bodies. It is important to remember that sign language is not universal. There are hundreds of dialects around the world. Sign language’s grammar involves signers’ eyes, face, head, body posture, hands, and arms.

Sign Language Hand Signals Letters A through F

Their fingers and hands represent three-dimensional shapes’ depths and definitions, demonstrate changes in size, and describe height, width, interior/exterior space, people, and objects in action. Similarly, signed words include handshapes and hand orientation, movement, and position parameters. Like spoken languages, signed expressions have evolved over time.

“Deaf” vs. “Hard of hearing” – what is the difference?

Throughout history, the Deaf World has been composed of deaf and hard of hearing individuals with common identity, interaction, values, customs, experience, and information. But how are ‘Deaf’ and ‘hard of hearing’ defined?

Deaf people cannot hear many sounds because their ears do not work well.

Therefore, hearing aids do not usually help. However, not all deaf people are born deaf or have the same degree of hearing loss. Some who cannot hear have good speech, while others prefer to sign or write.

In contrast, hard of hearing people can hear some, but not all sounds.

Hearing aids are often helpful, even though they cannot hear everything. Some have good speech and understand many words, while others only understand a few words and do not speak clearly. Both deaf and hard of hearing people are considered ‘hearing impaired’ because of their hearing problems, but they would rather identify themselves as deaf or hard of hearing.

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts is one of the oldest and largest American deaf communities

Map of Martha's Vineyard

Signing in the United States has dated back before the 1600s. At the time, deaf people who were poor farmers living in eastern England migrated to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, which is home to one of the oldest and largest American deaf communities. By 1880, one in nearly 6,000 U.S. residents was deaf.

However, in Martha’s Vineyard, the statistics were higher – one in about 155 people. Here, Islanders created a signed language for both hearing and deaf people and treated deafness as a difference instead of a disability. As a result, geography, attitude, and access to communication sustained the Martha’s Vineyard signing community. Martha’s Vineyard Sign Language was likely absorbed into current-day American Sign Language.

How Modern American Sign Language Evolved

Laurent ClercASL originated from French Sign Language when Laurent Clerc, the first deaf teacher for the deaf in America, promoted deaf education and trained teachers how to educate deaf students. He could read, write, and communicate in sign language.

He initially taught in French sign language, but his literacy skills in French and English proved that deaf people could be educated around the world. After Gallaudet University, the first permanent institution for the education of the deaf in Washington, D.C., opened in 1864, more schools for the deaf opened in D.C. thanks to the Gallaudets, Clerc, and other educators for the Deaf.

The first permanent school for the Deaf

Dr. Mason Fitch CogswellIn 1817, Clerc, along with Dr. Mason Fitch Cogwell and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, founded the first permanent school for the Deaf, the Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons, which still stands today.

Gallaudet: “Alice could learn just like hearing children”

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet was inspired to educate deaf individuals when he realized Dr. Mason Cogswell’s deaf daughter, Alice, learned to write HAT in the mud and point to his hat. He was convinced that she could learn just like hearing children.

Thomas Hopkins GallaudetAfter learning the manual alphabet from Abbé Sicard’s Theorie des Signes, he taught Alice and many other children to sign and fingerspell. Throughout his life, Gallaudet advocated for secondary and postsecondary education for the deaf. He helped open the first permanent school for the deaf in America and helped many states establish schools for the deaf. Gallaudet University was named in Gallaudet’s memory.

[SOURCE]

BIO: Emma Mankin is a freelance blog and technical writer located in St. Augustine, Florida who specializes in explaining technical topics so that they are easy to understand. She holds a B.A. in English with a minor in American Sign Language from George Mason University. Email Emma.

Instant Download!

PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

Whether you have limited experience with the PDF remediation process, are expanding your knowledge on how to remediate PDFs, or simply need a resource that can help remind you how to fix a frustrating error, the info provided in this e-book can help.

Download now.

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