People write a lot about web accessibility. We try to collect as many of these items from The Netherlands and abroad. The most striking and interesting we share on our blog every month. This way you do not have to search yourself and you are always aware of what is going on! Therefore here is the web accessibility news of April 2021!
Developer Brthrs has released the Denken in Beperkingen app that supports app builders in developing apps for people with challenges. The app shows the do’s and don’ts in developing an app for various groups with a challenge. It provides tips for users with physical limitations, speech linitations, visual challenges and hearing challenges.
Read the article on Android World
As a result of corona, council meetings have mainly been broadcasted online the previous year. Surprisingly the meetings are attended much better than in the old situation. As a result of their web accessibility obligations, the municipalities of Bergheze, Oss and Meijerijstad have now started subtitling the meetings. Therefore it is possible now to see automatically generated captions of the spoken words with a CC button in the webcast.
Read the article of Brabants Dagblad
Last month, the water boards decided to renew their digitization approach. A lot of new legislation is being introduced with regard to digitization, so water boards have to go the extra mile to be able to meet all the new requirements. Since September last year, water boards must also have an accessible website or at least have a statement stating how they will make their websites accessible. In the document “Basis op Orde” ambitious goals are formulated for four themes: “digital services”, “digital organization and collaboration”, “digital information provision” and “information security and privacy”. This concerns, among other things, the accessibility of websites, the active publication of documents and the mutual exchange of information.
Read the article on H2O
Since September 2020, (semi) government agencies must comply with the web accessibility guidelines. But commercial organizations will also have to make their websites accessible. According to the European Accessibility Act, companies’ websites will have to comply with the WCAG 2.x standard by June 28, 2025. Jake Abma (ING) and Raph de Rooij (Internal Affairs) discuss in this webinar hosted by Emerce how you can best organize urgency for accessibility within your company and emphasize that this is a process of years. So it is certainly not too early to start now!
Watch the webcast on emerce.nl
This was our web accessibility news of April 2021. Want more news? Then also read the web accessibility news of 2020 (June | July | August | September | October | November and December) and of 2021 (January | February | March)!
People write a lot about web accessibility. We try to collect as many of these items from The Netherlands and abroad. The most striking and interesting we share on our blog every month. This way you do not have to search yourself and you are always aware of what is going on! Therefore here is the web accessibility news of March 2021!
Due to the corona measures, we have become accustomed to video calling via providers such as Teams or Zoom. Zoom already offers the option to have meetings subtitled live. Subsequent to Zoom, Teams now also introduces a live transcription feature.
This provides people with information as they enter a meeting already in progress and to help deaf and partially hearing people better understand what is being said in a meeting. The live speech-to-text feature is based on AI technology and is currently only offered in English.
Read the article on Microsoft.com
In addition to live transcription in video calling, Microsoft has also launched an app that allows you to register a conversation and translate it right away. The app is unique to its competitors because it realizes the live transcription via the recording buttons of all smartphones that are present. It uses the smartphone closest to the person speaking at the time for the transcription and therefore the rendering is the most accurate. Moreover, the app can translate what is spoken in real time into 80 different languages.
Read the article on TechCrunch
When you want to make a website or app accessible, you need to do a test whether there are any accessibility problems. Although some of it can be done automatically, a large part of these test are done manually. It is difficult for a computer to understand the visual context of an item on a site. Evinced has developed software that is able to analyze the visual user interface on a website by means of AI technology and compare it with the underlying code to see if there are accessibility problems. As a result, a large part of the manual testing can be executed automatically. Evinced has now secured around $ 20 million in capital investments to scale up.
Read the article on Computerworld
The most talked about provider of overlays and plugins in the US accessibility market is AccessiBe, a company with a controversial reputation. It claims to make websites accessible with its overlay, thus sparking false promises. In his podcast, Jonathan Mosen discusses the controversy surrounding AccessiBe and gives advocates and opponents the floor. Do take your time, because the podcast lasts 3 hours!
Listen to the podcast on Mosen At Large
This was our web accessibility news of March 2021. Want more news? Then also read the web accessibility news of 2020 (June | July | August | September | October | November and December) and of 2021 (January | February | April)!
Do you use social media a lot for business? Or does your company use social media for its contacts with customers and potential users? Then you may wonder how accessible these channels actually are for people with a challenge. Because although Dutch law requires (semi-) government institutions to make their websites and apps accessible according to WCAG guidelines, social media are excluded. And that is quite strange. Because why would you leave the part of the website that you use to contact your user outside the scope? That’s why we offer you a number of suggestions to improve the accessibility of your social media channels!
First of all, check the information of the social media platforms themselves. Although they do not automatically have to comply with accessibility guidelines, they are busy improving their services. Various platforms are now working hard to make the use of their channels more accessible.
If you want to get started with making your social media channels more accessible, it is useful to stay informed of the developments in those different media:
That of course sounds a bit like a slam dunk. A clear text does not only help people with challenges to better understand what you mean. But before you send your message out into the world, it might be useful to read through the following suggestions.
They often look nice and you probably use them to make your message stand out. Screen readers, however, simply read aloud these types of symbols. So people hear “smiling face with open mouth and closed eyes” or “colon closed parenthesis”. You can imagine that a frequent use of these symbols in your message leads to unclear spoken text for those using assistive technology. Before using an emoji, it is wise to take a look at how this symbol translates into text.
When using a multi-word hashtag, such as #SocialMedia or #VirtualReality, make sure that the single words are separated by a capital letter, called CamelCase. A screen reader recognizes the individual words more easily and there is no confusion with the pronunciation. #Blacklivesmatter is pronounced “black live smatter” by a screen reader.
In any case, make sure to include hashtags and @ mentions at the end of your message. Since screen readers read all punctuation marks, your message will be messy and unclear.
People who cannot see or have difficulty seeing an image depend on descriptive or alternative text (Alt text) to understand what is happening in an image. Missing or incorrectly displaying alt text on an image is still the most common problem with inaccessible content according to WebAIM.
The various social media offer options to add alt text to images:
Some suggestions for when you write an alt text:
A screen reader knows that there is an image and also announces this during the reading. If you start an alt text with “image of” or “picture of”, it will be spoken twice.
It is not enough to add an image to an article about the collapse of the stock market with the alt text “chart with the development of the daily share prices”. It is more understandable to add an alt text like: “line graph of the daily share prices of the AEX, which was still at 600 points this morning at 9:00 am and at 530 points this afternoon at 4:00 pm.”
Color can sometimes give extra meaning to what can be seen. So not “Beautiful sunset” but “Beautiful sunset makes the sky purple, pink, orange …”
Many GIFs have no description. Twitter offers the option to add alt text to a GIF. When a social media platform does not offer the possibility to describe GIFs via alt text, at least describe them yourself in an accompanying text.
Adding a subtitle to a spoken text makes the video accessible not only to people who are deaf or partially hearing. It also helps non-native speakers to follow a video better. Or children learning to read. Or people who want to watch the video message in an environment where no sound is desired or where it is very noisy. Research shows that people remember the content of a video message better when it is subtitled.
With the various social media platforms you can add subtitles to your video as follows:
Do you have an inaccessible website or do you need help making your website more usable? We can help you! Do you want to know more? Please contact us.
People write a lot about web accessibility. We try to collect as many of these items from The Netherlands and abroad. The most striking and interesting we share on our blog every month. This way you do not have to search yourself and you are always aware of what is going on! Therefore here is the web accessibility news of February 2021!
There is a increasing need for products and services that have a positive impact on our society and planet. The time is right for companies to shift their focus from a profit-driven business model to a meaning-driven business model. The digital sector is at the heart of many of the products and services being developed and can therefore be an important catalyst in this transition to a welfare economy. Lennart Overkamp of Mirabeau writes in his article for Emerce why this pioneering role is not a utopia.
Read the article on Emerce.nl
Technology and digitization will become increasingly important in the coming years. Digitization is not always prominent in the plans of the political parties in the run-up to the elections. In December’s Web Accessibility News we already wrote a news item about the lack of ambition among parties when it comes to digitization. In order to gain more insight into what parties stand for on the theme of digitization, the Stichting Toekomstbeeld der Techniek has developed a Technology Kieswijzer together with Het Nieuwe Kiezen. The accessibility of the Kieswijzer has been improved by means of a reading function and the option to receive additional explanations for each theme.
Read the article on Bright
Providing live captions of spoken text is an extremely important functionality for making content accessible. Not only for people with a hearing challenge, but also when you want to follow video content in a noisy environment or when you don’t want to disturb others. Various social media have already made progress on this, such as Facebook. We previously wrote about the developments at Twitter in the Web Accessibility News of September. Live captioning of spoken text is now also possible on Google Chrome. For the time being only on a desktop and reasonably hidden in the settings, but already usable.
Read the article on Android Police
The pandemic has once again proven the importance of digital information being accessible to everyone. This has led to many lawsuits, especially in the US. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has presented a draft document as a follow-up to the WCAG 2 / 2.1: the WCAG 3.0. This is not a replacement but an addition to the current guidelines. Where the current criteria are intended to make content technically accessible, the 3.0 guidelines will be more concerned with creating and presenting that content.
Read the article on CMS Wire
This was our web accessibility news of February 2021. Want more news? Then also read the web accessibility news of 2020 (June | July | August | September | October | November and December) and of 2021 (January | March | April)!
People write a lot about web accessibility. We try to collect as many of these items from The Netherlands and abroad. The most striking and interesting we share on our blog every month. This way you do not have to search yourself and you are always aware of what is going on! Therefore here is the web accessibility news of January 2021!
Microsoft is adding more and more functionalities to Edge, causing its predecessor, Internet Explorer 11, to disappear into the background. Yet many people still use the IE11 browser. How accessible is your website if you are no longer actively developing for this older browser? Hassell Inclusion, an English digital accessibility consultant, wrote a blog about the benefits and drawbacks of accessibility if you keep developing for IE11.
Read the article on Hassell Inclusion
Since September 23, 2020, municipalities are obliged to make their websites accessible according to the WCAG or to indicate how they intend to do so. Six months later many municipal sites are still not accessible. Accessibility statements are also often lacking. The Digital Government Act, which is currently still being discussed by the Senate, stipulates that provinces will supervise the digital accessibility of municipalities and Water Authorities. Research by Knop, a collaboration of independent marketing and communication professionals, shows that only the province of Limburg has started to actively monitor municipalities. Other provinces do not know how to supervise or wait until the Act is passed.
Read the article and the research on Knop.nl
Two of the most common problems with inaccessible websites are the images and the videos. There is often a lack of alt text or captions. Designmodo, a web designer and builder has written a clear blog article on how to get started making the images and videos on your website accessible.
Read the blog article at designmodo.com
Every year, Level Access publishes the results of its research into the current state of digital accessibility. Last year we wrote an article about the results of the 2020 survey. Last year, 1,100 companies took part in the survey and Level Access wants to have a high number of respondents participate in its survey again this year. You can still participate until February 7!
Read the call from Level Access
This was our web accessibility news of January 2021. Want more news? Then also read the web accessibility news of 2020 (June | July | August | September | October | November and December) and of 2021 (February | March | April)!
People write a lot about web accessibility. We try to collect as many of these items from The Netherlands and abroad. The most striking and interesting we share on our blog every month. This way you do not have to search yourself and you are always aware of what is going on! Therefore here is the web accessibility news of December 2020!
Government organizations have recently become legally obliged to ensure that websites comply with accessibility guidelines. This does not mean that all government websites are now accessible. And a good service consists of more than just providing access. It is therefore important that governments offer the right services and that those services are clear and usable. Victor Zuydweg argues in his blog that government election programs lack a clear ambition to make government services really usable for everyone.
Read the article of Victor Zuydweg on his Blogplek
Access to healthcare is becoming increasingly digital. You can for instance make an appointment with the hospital or a healthcare professional via a patient portal. And everyone will soon have access to their own health data via a Personal Health Environment (PGO). Research by the Accessibility Foundation shows that people with a challenge or people of advanced age cannot use these applications easily or not completely. That is why it has written a Digital Accessibility Manual for developers of PGOs and patient portals.
Read the article or download the manual on Accessibility.nl
Kees Verhoeven of D66 has announced that he will be leaving the House of Representatives after 10 years. As a member of parliament he was responsible for ICT, Privacy and Cyber Security, among other things. Digitaal Toegankelijk discussed the importance of digital accessibility and the government’s tendency to be more concerned about the correctness than about the accessibility of information with Kees Verhoeven.
Read the interview on Digitaal Toegankelijk
The corona pandemic has forced many students to complete their studies online. As a result, there has been a significant increase in the use of automatic subtitles and automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology. But how accessible is this technology for deaf students to fully participate in online classrooms, meetings and extracurricular activities? Is automatic captioning comparable to manual speech-to-text services? The National Deaf Center held a webinar on this topic.
View the webinar here on YouTube
Making an existing app accessible is a costly and time-consuming process. Chris Fleizach and Sarah Herrlinger, executives at Apple, explain in an interview with TechCrunch how accessibility has become increasingly involved in the development process over the years. Accessibility on iOS is becoming more and more fundamental with technologies such as Assistive Touch, hearing accommodations, Audio Selections, Dictation, Sound Recognition and more. For example, the latest iPhone 12 Pro adds LiDAR allowing blind and partially sighted people to move freely through unfamiliar spaces.
Read the article on appleinsider.com
This was our web accessibility news of December 2020. Want more news? Then also read the web accessibility news of 2020 (June | July | August | September | October | November) and of 2021 (January | February | March | April)!
When companies get started with web accessibility, one thing is quickly forgotten: making documents accessible. About 25% of the world’s population lives with some form of challenge. How unfortunate if they can’t open, read or understand your text documents, spreadsheets, PDFs and presentations? Moreover, there is now legislation that says that online documents from (semi-) government institutions must be accessible to everyone. This type of legislation will become valid for other organizations in the years to come.
A document is considered accessible if it meets the criteria of WCAG 2.1 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). People with challenges ,blind and partially sighted people for example, should then be able to use it. We recommend that you take accessibility into account while writing or creating a document. That is much easier than if you have to make a document accessible afterwards.
You should pay attention to this, among other things:
The creator of a document can add information in the document properties. Consider the title, author, language and subject of the document. This information helps readers with challenges. They can then find the document more easily and understand more quickly what the document is about. You can also use keywords here, so that the document will come up sooner in search engines such as Google.
It is important that you specify the correct document language. This allows screen readers to read the text in the correct language.
Images and interactive form fields must be provided with a description or alternative text. This way, users of screen readers also understand what can be seen in an image or what a form field is for.
A nice overview of how you can do this in different versions of Word can be found on this link from Microsoft.
The structure of your document is very important for users who navigate with a keyboard or use a screen reader. They jump from element to element. By means of styles and codes you can indicate in your document what kind of element it is, so that screen readers can recognize it. Think of headings, sections, paragraphs, bulleted lists, and tables. For example, it is important that headings are formatted as headings (h1, h2, h3, etc.) and that lists are formatted as bulleted lists.
Does a user have your document read by a screen reader? Then it is nice if your document is also read in the correct order. This sometimes goes wrong. Your heading structure is good if you let your word processor generate a table of contents and your table of contents matches your intended document structure.
The WCAG 2.1 guidelines help you make your documents accessible and usable. Also for users with disabilities. Do you need help making your documents accessible? We are happy to help you through our document service. Knowing more? Please contact us.
This is a republication of the article we wrote earlier for Frankwatching.
People write a lot about web accessibility. We try to collect as many of these items from The Netherlands and abroad. The most striking and interesting we share on our blog every month. This way you do not have to search yourself and you are always aware of what is going on! Therefore here is the web accessibility news of November 2020!
Despite a legal obligation that took effect on September 23, there are still many (semi-) government organizations that have not published an accessibility statement for their website. Important reasons for this are a lack of knowledge and involvement within the organizations concerned. Government agencies that do not yet have an adequate accessibility statement will be approached by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations accessibility teams in the coming months. These teams will provide advice and also point out their obligations to the relevant authorities.
Read the article on Binnenlands Bestuur
Logius, the digital government service and part of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, has set up a reporting point for people to mention government websites that are not yet accessible. Since September 23 of this year, governments are obliged to take measures to make their websites accessible to people with challenges. The reason for such a notification could for instance be the lack of an accessibility statement. Logius will follow up on these reports.
Read the article on Digitaleoverheid.nl
We recently wrote an article on Frankwatching about making your digital documents accessible. One of the tips was about adding alt text to your images and how to do that in Word or InDesign, for example. Microsoft has developed artificial intelligence technology to scan and describe images. This has been available for iOS since 2017: Seeing AI app. The technology behind this app will also be integrated into other Microsoft products, so blind and partially sighted people no longer rely on alt text to understand an image.
Read the article on Customer First
Content for the internet and mobile is more often offered via audio and video files. In the Netherlands alone, there are 1.3 million deaf and hard of hearing people who have difficulty following this type of content properly. Beth Worthy, director of GMR Transcription Services in America, therefore points out what to look for if you want to make audio or video accessible. In transcriptions, for example, avoid words based on sounds (e.g. whistle), because the deaf are not familiar with that sound.
Read the article on Forbes
The gaming industry is often a frontrunner in developing technology that optimally facilitates the user’s movement in an online environment. The developed technological applications are often applied to mainstream web environments years later. At this moment the industry makes such improvements on technology for players with challenges that these developed applications have now become the basis for the new generation of consoles. Reviews of the latest consoles therefore provide a good insight into how online services could develop in the field of accessibility in the coming years.
Read the review of Playstation 5 on IGN.com
Read the Xbox Series X review on IGN.com
This was our web accessibility news of November 2020. Want more news? Then also read the web accessibility news of 2020 (June | July | August | September |, October | December) and of 2021 (January | February | March | April)!
Since September 23 of this year, every (semi-) governmental organization requires to indicate to what extent its websites comply with the guidelines of WCAG 2.1 AA. The legal basis for this lies in the ‘Tijdelijk besluit digitale toegankelijke overheid’ that came into effect on July 1, 2018. This Decree, following from the European Accessibility Act, stipulates that websites and apps of (semi-) government institutions must be accessible to everyone. We previously wrote an article about this. Since the obligation for apps only applies from September 23, 2021, we will limit ourselves in this article to the website. Public and semi-governmental institutions can indicate how far they are in this process for a specific website by drafting and publishing an accessibility statement. But what should this statement contain of? DigiToegankelijk offers an extensive explanation on its website. We summarize the most important elements for you in this article.
In an accessibility statement, you take account for where you stand in the process of ensuring that your website meets the accessibility requirements. You describe the planned or fulfilled measures to make the website comply with the guidelines of WCAG 2.1 AA. You therefore also need to include a time schedule in the statement.
With the statement, a (semi) governmental institute also indicates to what extent it takes the necessary measures to ensure that its website meets the accessibility requirements. This is the so-called compliance status of your website. Your website can have one of the following statuses:
You may find that meeting certain WCAG requirements is disproportionately burdensome for your organization. The ‘Tijdelijk besluit digitale toegankelijke overheid’ gives you the option to indicate in your statement why certain requirements are (temporarily) not applied. However, lack of priority, time or knowledge are no legitimate reasons.
In your statement you need to describe how someone can address accessibility problems of your website and what will be done with such notification. In addition, it must be clear what to someone cab do when you do nothing with the notification.
For a good statement about the current accessibility of your website, you need insight into the current state of the website. To get this information you do an audit. An audit must meet a number of requirements. For example, the audit must be performed manually based on the WCAG-EM evaluation method. The audit report may not be older than 36 months.
You need to include all the above elements in your statement in a well-organized manner. In order to be able to scan accessibility statements quickly and to be able to compare them properly, they must comply with a standard model. Logius has developed a tool, the invulassistent, with which you can draft your statement in the latest version of this model.
The statement is a legal obligation. That is why it must be signed by an officer or director who is responsible for web accessibility within your organization and who can therefore be held accountable for this.
In any case, you publish your accessibility statement on your website. The statement must be easy to find, for example on your homepage. You can also include the statement in the Register of Accessibility Statements. It is sufficient to link from your website to the full statement in this register. Another advantage is that when you are responsible for multiple websites, it is easier to you manage everything from one place.
Drafting and publishing your accessibility statement is just a start. The statement is no more than a temporary report on the state of accessibility of your website. You must of course carry out he measures you describe in the accessibility statement. When you have done this, you process the results of this in an updated version of your statement. You can use the invulassistent again to renew your statement.
Your website is not a static medium. You make technical adjustments and you regularly add new content. It is therefore important to continue to monitor this once your website is accessible. You do this, for example, by means of automatic tests and by regularly carrying out manual audits. In any case, an audit report may not be older than 36 months.
Do you need help drafting and publishing your accessibility statement and conducting an accessibility audit? We are happy to help you! Please contact us!
People write a lot about web accessibility. We try to collect as many of these items from The Netherlands and abroad. The most striking and interesting we share on our blog every month. This way you do not have to search yourself and you are always aware of what is going on! Therefore here is the web accessibility news of October 2020!
Visually challenged people sometimes have difficulty reading certain fonts. The Braille Institute in America has developed a new font that is very legible for the visually challenged. The Atkinson Hyperlegible font is named after the founder of the Braille Institute, J. Robert Atkinson. The font is more usable for partially sighted people than other fonts, because the design takes into account that letter shapes deviate from each other as much as possible. This makes characters easier to recognize and therefore easier to read.
Read the article on Kotke.org
Since September 23, governments must indicate how accessible their website is. In October, the Register of Accessibility Statements included approximately 1,800 statements. That is slightly more than a quarter of the 7,000 existing government sites. Only 5% of the published statements have a “fully compliant” status, but Capgemini research indicates that nearly half of those websites are not compliant. In October, D66 and PvdA raised quenstions in the House of Representatives about the lack of statements from government sites. The reason for this was a study that Jules Ernst and Ron Beenen carried out on the status of accessibility of government websites.
Read the article on Capgemini.com
Read the article by Ron Beenen
Most of us experience daily that corona has major social, societal and economic consequences. For blind and partially sighted people, the consequences have a much greater impact, as keeping a distance or following aisles in a store often requires good vision. ZonMW has subsidized a study that Saxion University of Applied Sciences will carry out in collaboration with Bartoméus, Oogvereniging and Koninklijke Visio, among others. This study will, together with visually and visually challenged people, examine which solutions can ensure that the 1.5 meter society remains accessible and inclusive for these target groups. The AFB, the American institute for the blind, also published a report in that describes the consequences of corona for these groups for accessibility to public transport, health care, education, food supply, employment and polling stations.
Read the assignment on ZonMW
Read the PR Newswire article
Democratic and Republican Representatives introduced a bill called the Online Accessibility Act in Congress on October 1st. This is in addition to the already existing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This supplement stipulates that commercial websites and apps must be accessible to people with a disability. Until now, the ADA has limited itself to commercial physical public spaces. When Congress adopts this proposal, it could lead to a significant increase in lawsuits and fines.
Read the Converge Accessibility article
More and more young people are leaving school with a language deficiency. The lack of basic skills, such as reading, can lead to low literacy. The Leescoalitie, a collaboration between organizations involved in the promotion of language and reading nationwide, is sounding the alarm and advocating an ambitious reading offensive in politics, where reading pleasure comes first. They have drawn up a manifesto for this purpose.
Read the Manifesto of the Leescoalitie
This was our web accessibility news of October 2020. Want more news? Then also read the web accessibility news of 2020 (June | July | August | September | November | December) and of 2021 (January | February | March | April)!