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How Tech Solutions Help Expand Accessibility to All Customers

Tim Springer, Level Access May 24, 2022

The hospitality industry has made great strides in making physical hotel properties accessible for people with disabilities. However, online bookings are another story. And according to the CDC, 26 percent of adults in the United States live with a disability. That’s one-fourth of the population that hospitality businesses are potentially barring from digital customer experiences.

Inaccessible travel sites can negatively impact the experience of people with disabilities including those with visual or auditory disabilities. They also can hinder people with less-visible conditions such as color blindness, arthritis, autism, or dyslexia. When customers access websites, whether it’s a hotel reservation system or the home page for a hotel resort, all populations deserve equal access to these resources.

Accessibility is Excluding the Neurodivergent

Clare McDonald
Business Editor
Published: 18 May 2022

GUEST BLOG: In this contributed blog post, Craig Abbott, head of accessibility for DWP, explains the pros and cons of the current guidelines around web accessibility, and shares what companies need to do to include neurodivergent people in their web accessibility considerations.

Over the past few years, accessibility has definitely become a hot topic.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 are great. They’ve been around for around 20 years, and thanks to the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations 2018, more and more digital services, websites and mobile apps are now adhering to these standards.

Manitoba Government Enacts Accessible Information and Communication Standard Regulation

Regulation Supports Government’s Commitment to Significantly Increasing Accessibility by 2023: Squires

The Manitoba government has enacted the Accessible Information and Communication Standard Regulation under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act, Families Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for accessibility, announced today.

“The ability to receive information and communicate effectively are fundamental aspects of our society, and it is imperative that all Manitobans are able to receive information and communicate in accessible ways,” said Squires. “This regulation supports our government’s commitment to making significant progress towards addressing accessibility by 2023.”

AMI Announces the Opening of The Disability Screen Office

NEWS PROVIDED BY Accessible Media Inc. (AMI)
Apr 28, 2022

Disability Screen Office will support and amplify the creative voices of Canadians with disabilities nationally and internationally

TORONTO, April 28, 2022 /CNW/ – AMI, in partnership with the Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Telefilm Canada, is excited to announce the launch of the Disability Screen Office (DSO).

With our commitment to establish and support a voice for Canadians with disabilities, AMI is currently facilitating the creation of this industry office with funding from the CMF and Telefilm Canada.

The DSO will provide services that:

  • increase accurate and meaningful disability representation on and off screen throughout the Canadian media landscape

New Website Accessibility Guidance a Welcomed Tool for Businesses and Agencies

DOJ Has Declared Enforcement of Website Accessibility is Priority

The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) has issued web accessibility guidance under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While many courts have historically held that business and public agency websites are required to be accessible under respective provisions of the ADA, there are no enforceable standards on website accessibility, as there are under Section 508 for federal government websites. Because the DOJ has noted that enforcement of website accessibility is a priority, businesses and public agencies should immediately become familiar with this new guidance and ensure that all components of their websites are in compliance.

ECU’s New Accessible Parking Icon Paints a Different Picture of People With Disabilities

By Kim Grizzard Staff Writer Apr 9, 2022

On a campus where people usually like to “paint it purple,” it might come as a surprise that no one said no to the blue and white painted on pavement near the Fifth Street entrance of East Carolina University.

Instead, those colors drew cheers from dozens of supporters Friday as the university rolled out a new active icon for accessible parking. Following a ceremony outside Wright Auditorium, three spaces bearing a 54-year-old symbol for accessible parking were painted over with a new design.

David Loy, associate professor in College of Health and Human Performance, said the new Accessible Icon Project logo is a step forward from the International Symbol of Accessibility.

Improvements to Cochlear Implants Could Make Them More Accessible

A cochlear implant is a device that can help someone hear.
But, for years, the devices have not been compatible with MRI machines. This is because these devices rely on magnets and MRI machines operate on magnetic fields.

So, thanks to improvements, these implants are now an option for patients who couldn’t use them before. A person says this implant with its changes is now producing life-changing results.

Toni Iacolucci’s struggle with hearing started 25 years ago when a no-cancerous tumor blocked the hearing in her right ear. Then, in 2006 she went to her son’s high school band concert and, for that night, didn’t wear earplugs.

OPINION: Does Technology Provide Accessibility for All?

Seniors, those with disabilities often being left behind
Author of the article:Gene Monin
Publishing date:Mar 28, 2022

Many seniors and disabled people have not adapted well to technology, and often find themselves left out.

Is technology ignoring the needs of seniors and people with disabilities to access the same services as the majority?

Are the changes in methods of serving customers violating their personal human rights?

Have seniors and people with disabilities ever been consulted by the designers prior to introduction of these technologies?

I doubt it, since field testing of new products today is often done by foisting them on an unsuspecting public to work out the bugs in the race to be first in the market..

Technology Can’t Solve the Problems Ableism Creates

by Cricket Xiao Jiu Bidleman
Braille Monitor March 2022

“Did you read that story in the Stanford Report about the affordable “smart cane” that uses robotics? Wasn’t it cool?”

Whenever articles about disability technology come out, I’m asked for my thoughts and feelings on the innovation at hand. People expect me, a blind person, to share their excitement. Most find my frustration and lack of enthusiasm perplexing. They don’t understand that, in the midst of the excitement that comes with applying technology to the disability community, the true harm, ableism, is often overlooked.

Justice Department Breaks its Silence Regarding Website Accessibility

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued Guidance on Web Accessibility and the ADA (the “Guidance”) regarding website accessibility under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“Title III”).

The Guidance explains at a high-level how state and local governments (entities covered by Title II of the ADA) and places of public accommodation (entities covered by Title III of the ADA and virtually any business that sells goods and services to retail consumers) can make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities.