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You Can’t Solve Accessibility with 1 Line of Code

March 14, 2021 – Joseph C. Dolson

Accessibility overlays are third-party web scripts that alter the user experience. Providers, which include AccessiBe, Userway, AudioEye, and EqualWeb, sometimes claim that installing their script will prevent lawsuits in the U.S. under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Let me be blunt: These products will not protect you from lawsuits. They may not even help visitors with accessibility needs.

Overlays attempt to address accessibility issues in two ways. First, they analyze the content of the page for accessibility and make automated changes to fix problems. Second, they allow users to make manual changes, such as increased font sizes, higher color contrasts, or removing animations.

Advocates Urge Liberals to Cancel ‘Devastating’ Cut to Services for Canadians With Print Reading Disabilities

$4 million cut comes as shock to those who rely on services to curb isolation during pandemic Richard Raycraft, CBC News
Posted: Mar 07, 2021

Advocates for Canadians with disabilities related to reading printed text have launched a protest campaign after the federal government abruptly announced it would cut their funding – a surprise move they say will be “devastating” in the middle of a pandemic.

Print disabilities include any condition which negatively affects someone’s ability to read traditional print materials. Such conditions include blindness, dyslexia, Parkinson’s and cerebral palsy.

Restoring Funding for Accessible Books: We Need Your Help!

Sustained funding that we can rely on is crucial to our ability to plan and maintain the services we provide to our users. In its Fall Economic Statement, the federal government has indicated that its funding for CELA and NNELS will be reduced by 25% per year in the coming 4 years, down to no federal funding by the year 2024-25.

Poq Partners With eSSENTIAL Accessibility To Help Retailers Deliver Inclusive Mobile App Shopping Experiences

News provided by Poq
28 Jan, 2021

Leading mobile software platform integrates with best-in-class accessibility technology provider to ensure apps comply with digital accessibility laws

LONDON, Jan. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Cloud-based mobile appcommerce platform provider, Poq, today announces an exciting new partnership with eSSENTIAL Accessibility, the pioneering provider of Accessibility as a Service (AaaS).

The eSSENTIAL Accessibility platform helps organizations enhance the customer experience for people with disabilities, maintain conformance with the Web Content Accessibility (WCAG) guidelines and follow best practices for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. The partnership will offer retailers and brands integrated accessibility on-demand to comprehensively test and remediate mobile apps built on the Poq appcommerce platform.

COVID-19 Pandemic Boosts Visibility of Sign Language, Increases Accessibility for Deaf Community

Sign language interpreters said that they hope increased use of interpreters during major events helps increase accessibility for the deaf community. Author: WBIR Staff
Published: January 23, 2021

Updated: 4:44 PM EST January 23, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic changed daily life for people across the world. With new safety guidelines requiring people to wear masks and practice social distancing and companies changing how they do business, people are having to adapt.

However, some of those changes could increase accessibility for the deaf community in Tennessee. As a result of more events being held virtually, officials said that sign language’s visibility has increased.

This Bill Would Make It Harder for People With Disabilities to Access the Internet | Opinion

Posted Dec 15, 2020
By Lydia Smeltz

As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced work, school and social life online, the web has taken on heightened importance. However, many of the online platforms we now depend on to work, take online classes, buy groceries and communicate with loved ones are difficult or impossible to use for millions of Americans who have disabilities.

And even as these Americans a quarter of the U.S. population struggle to engage in online life, Congress is considering a bill that would make web accessibility, the ability to fully utilize and engage with all aspect of a website, worse.

Cyberpunk Adds Epilepsy Warning After Reviewer Warns of Seizures

Published December 11, 2020

The developer of Cyberpunk 2077 is adding warnings to the game, after reviewers and charities complained it caused epileptic seizures.

It thanked one reviewer who said it had triggered “one major seizure” and left them “close” to another several times.

“Regarding a more permanent solution, [the] dev team is currently exploring that and will be implementing it as soon as possible,” it tweeted.

The game is released on Thursday, after months of repeated delays.

What is the problem?

Video games have long been a potential trigger for those who have epileptic seizures and standard warnings have been written in to licence agreements over the years.

Government of Canada Fighting the Alliance for the Equality of Blind Canadians in Court

OTTAWA, ON (December 2, 2020)

The Government of Canada is fighting a small registered charity and not-for-profit organization in court and refusing to ensure that its websites are accessible to blind, deafblind and partially sighted Canadians.

In 2019, the Alliance for the Equality of Blind Canadians (“AEBC”) brought a human rights complaint against the Government of Canada because its websites are inaccessible to blind, deafblind and partially sighted Canadians. In particular, the complaint alleged that blind, deafblind and partially sighted Canadians were discriminated against in the context of a funding application process created by Employment and Social Development Canada (“ESDC”) specifically for organizations for people with disabilities.

Mohawk College and Inclusive Media and Design Launch Captioning Tool

Marking the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Mohawk College researchers and Inclusive Media and Design are announcing the availability a new captioning tool for accessible media production.

This year, the United Nations is recognizing this day by challenging the global community to immediately respond to the challenges of the global COVID-19 crisis through the open, inclusive and innovative use of digital solutions, tools and resources.

The new software, CapScribe 2, can help educational institutions rise to the United Nations challenge. The newly developed tool will make it easier to add closed captions to videos, removing a key barrier to online accessibility for the millions of Canadians who need to read instead of listen to content online.

COVID-19 Information Accessibility Lacking for Blind and Low Vision Australians

Posted October 12, 2020

A Monash University study has found that graphical information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic regularly presented in mainstream media is inaccessible to blind and low vision people (BLV).

Researchers from Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology (IT) found nearly half of BLV people surveyed wanted improved access to information about daily COVID-safe living practices.

The dissemination of information has been a critical component of the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With much of this information presented as visual graphics, a team of researchers from the Faculty of IT examined the nature and accessibility of the information being shared through various media outlets.