ACCESSIBILITY TESTING: How to Enable Keyboard Accessibility on a Mac

Illustration of keyboard tab keys

Did you know that keyboard accessibility is NOT enabled by default on a Mac?

As a result, your accessibility and screen reader test results will be inaccurate.

Check out Deque University’s tutorial on how to enable System Preferences and Safari Preferences for keyboard accessibility on the Mac.

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ACCESSIBILITY NEWS: DOJ Issues Web Accessibility Guidance Under the ADA

Department of Justice Logo

On Friday, March 18, 2022, The Department of Justice published guidance on web accessibility and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It explains how state and local governments (entities covered by ADA Title II) and businesses open to the public (entities covered by ADA Title III) can make sure their websites are accessible to people with disabilities in line with the ADA’s requirements.

Find out more about the March 18 DOJ announcement.

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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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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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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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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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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

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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.

Download now.

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