Good article on Title III and how attended kiosks and unattended kiosks can be affected differently. The article starts however with referring to “spate of suits” but doesn’t identify those suits. At one point vending machines dispensing drinks is referenced. Those are meant for unattended use however customers can always request assistance. Does that fulfill DOJ requirements?
Sometimes having an employee assist the customer can serve as opportunity for the employee to take advantage of the disabled (typically blind) customer.
Reasonable accommodation effort would seem to be called for in these situations. Having a POS terminal that allows for a headphone would make it possible for a blind person to materially verify the desired assistance was the actual assistance rendered.
A recent spate of suits against several major retailers has raised questions about whether self-service checkouts and other kiosks must comply with the requirements of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Generally, Title III requires that places of public accommodation be equally accessible to all individuals, regardless of physical limitations. In these suits Plaintiffs, who are blind, allege that the retailers’ self-service checkouts or kiosks are inaccessible to blind and visually impaired individuals and, therefore, violate the ADA. Businesses, in turn, have countered that the provision of staffed registers and kiosks through which blind customers can complete purchases with the aid of store personnel satisfies their obligations under the ADA. As an ever-increasing number of businesses turn to self-service kiosks for all manner of customer interactions, the degree to which these kiosks must be accessible to disabled users presents an important issue.
1 28 C.F.R. § 36.303(c)(1).
2 28 C.F.R. § 36.303(b)(2).
3 See sections 707 and 811 of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design set forth at 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Subpart D (2011) and 36 C.F.R. Part 1191, Appendices B and D (2009).
4 See West v. Moe’s Franchisor, LLC, No. 15-CV-2846, 2015 WL 8484567, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 9, 2015); West et al v. Five Guys Enterprises., LLC, No. 1:15-CV-02845, 2016 WL 482981 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 5, 2016).
Special thanks to Matt Feldman for his contributions.
From airports and train stations to government offices, restaurants, grocery stores and retailers, the use of kiosk machines is widespread as a convenience for customers and an alternative to human service by the kiosk provider. Long gone are the days where an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) was the only form of kiosk a person might need to use. It is now commonplace to find common service functions are now performed through kiosk solutions. As the use of kiosks grows, so does the need to ensure they are accessible and usable for all people, including those with disabilities.
The application of accessibility standards to kiosk machines
While there is no universal set of standards that provide specific guidance around making kiosks accessible, there are standards that may be useful. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 standards provide direction in making web content accessible. These standards will be most applicable when the kiosk interface is presented in an HTML or web-based format. For example, a bank kiosk may allow customers to access account information from their online banking portal or a hotel might provide a kiosk to allow a customer to manage their stay or account information.
In addition, the U.S. government Section 508 standards may also be used to guide interface development. Specifically, these standards may apply to government related kiosk machines. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) contains standards for physical design considerations that may be useful in determining the physical requirements of a kiosk machine.
In addition to the broadly applied standards such as WCAG 2.0 and the ADA, specific industries may adopt or create specific standards unique to their environment. For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation created the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) which provides requirements around the accessibility of airline industry technologies. The ACAA identifies specific standards on how and when their kiosks should be made accessible. Other industries may wish to use standards such as the ACAA as a starting place when developing their own regulations or standards.
Most Kiosks are considered stand alone or closed system, meaning users won’t have the flexibility to use personal assistive technology to access or interact with content or elements. This requires vendors to consider the needs of individual with varying abilities.
Unlike WCAG and Section 508, which provide precise guidelines and technical specifications related to accessibility, the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) has taken a different approach with performance based objectives, more like the functional requirements in Section 508.
These objectives ensure a wide variety of user needs are built into these closed systems.
Generally – Manufacturers and service providers shall ensure that equipment and services covered by this part are accessible, usable, and compatible as those terms are defined in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section.
Accessible – The term accessible shall mean that:
Input, control, and mechanical functions shall be locatable, identifiable, and operable in accordance with each of the following, assessed independently:
Operable without vision. Provide at least one mode that does not require user vision.
Operable with low vision and limited or no hearing. Provide at least one mode that permits operation by users with visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200, without relying on audio output.
Operable with little or no color perception. Provide at least one mode that does not require user color perception.
Operable without hearing. Provide at least one mode that does not require user auditory perception.
Operable with limited manual dexterity. Provide at least one mode that does not require user fine motor control or simultaneous actions.
Operable with limited reach and strength. Provide at least one mode that is operable with user limited reach and strength.
Operable with a Prosthetic Device. Controls shall be operable without requiring body contact or close body proximity.
Operable without time dependent controls. Provide at least one mode that does not require a response time or allows response time to be by passed or adjusted by the user over a wide range.
Operable without speech. Provide at least one mode that does not require user speech.
Operable with limited cognitive skills. Provide at least one mode that minimizes the cognitive, memory, language, and learning skills required of the user.
Kiosk Considerations when making kiosks accessible
The following considerations are broadly useful when incorporating accessibility into a kiosk.
Kiosk Physical design
Are all controls on the kiosk tactilely distinguishable? For example, is it possible to identify the audio headphone jack by touch or by a tactile symbol?
Do controls have braille or large print labels? While putting braille labels on all keys on a standard QWERTY keyboard may not be necessary, it may be important to label special function keys or controls that are not standard on a traditional keyboard.
Is the height and spacing of the screen and controls appropriate for different types of users? An individual in a wheel chair may be viewing the screen from a lower angle than someone who is standing up.
Is there sufficient physical clearance around the machine for users with assistive mobility devices? A person in a wheelchair, scooter, or other mobility device may need more room to maneuver when approaching or leaving the machine.
Kiosk Interface design
What types of controls are needed to use the interface? For example, is a physical keyboard needed along with a touch screen in order for someone to enter text? Should a mouse, track ball, or touch pad device be present if a pointer is needed to use the interface? A person with a motor skills challenge may find it difficult to move their hand around a touch screen but may have no trouble using a track ball or touch pad pointer.
Can the visual presentation of the interface be customized? For example, can someone with a visual impairment zoom in or out to change the size of the onscreen font? Can someone who is color blind determine the functionality of controls by a method other than color alone?
Does the interface provide speech output? For someone who is blind or low vision, speech output (text-to-speech) may be the only way they can interact with the device. Does the text-to-speech function activate when headphones are inserted into the jack? If not, is there a clearly communicated way such as a braille sign for the user to know how to activate the text-to-speech function?
Does the interface reset to a standard configuration after each person uses it? The interface should always return to a default state after each user completes their tasks.
Accessible Kiosk Conclusion
In addition to the considerations listed above, it is important to ensure that the kiosk design is tested by people with various types of disabilities. This may include testing at various stages during the design and development process but at a minimum, user testing should be done once the design is complete. In addition, it will also be important to ensure that staff who may assist people using the kiosk understand what accessibility features are present and how to help someone use them. An accessibility feature is only as good as a person’s ability to use it and their knowledge that it exists in the first place. Staff may also wish to periodically test the accessibility features to verify they are always working as expected.
An accessible and well-designed kiosk machine can provide an efficient and independent experience for all users. As with all things related to accessibility, it is important to consider an accessible design from the very beginning. It is generally much more costly and inefficient to add accessibility after a product has been developed or is already in use.
U.S. Access Board to Conduct Webinars on Website Accessibility (September 5 and 24)
Access to websites is essential in today’s digital environment for obtaining information, downloading data, sharing media, obtaining goods and services, and making other transactions. Many websites, however, remain off-limits to people with disabilities, particularly those with sensory impairments, because they are not structured and coded properly for accessibility. The U.S. Access Board, which maintains accessibility standards for information and communication technology in the federal sector under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, is conducting free webinars in September on how to evaluate websites for accessibility.
An introductory webinar on September 5 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) will cover online barriers to accessibility and explain how to check that web content is accessible to all visitors using the Board’s Section 508 Standards. Presenters will review key components of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines issued by the World Wide Web Consortium, which are incorporated by reference in the Section 508 standards. They will also discuss common problems and easy solutions and share practical tips for improving website accessibility. Attendees can pose questions in advance or during the live webinar. This session is intended for both a general audience as well as website designers and content managers who are experienced, but new to accessibility.
For more information or to register for this session, visit www.accessibilityonline.org. This webinar series is hosted by the ADA National Network in cooperation with the Board. Archived copies of previous Board webinars are available on the site.
Advanced Session – Webinars on Website Accessibility
A more advanced session will take place September 24 from 1:00 – 2:30 (ET) as part of the Board’s Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series. This session is intended for federal employees involved in procuring web services and products who may not have a technical background but who are responsible for compliance with Section 508. It will follow the “user story” of a non-technical federal employee who has been recently assigned 508 oversight responsibilities for a web services contract. Presenters will review requirements for web content in the 508 Standards and address technical requirements for procurement contracts, how to verify that procured services and deliverables are fully compliant, and available resources and tools for evaluating website accessibility and fixing access issues.
Visit www.accessibilityonline.org/cioc-508 for further details or to register. The Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series is made available by the Accessibility Community of Practice of the CIO Council in partnership with the Board.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG provides technical Mobile specifications to improve the accessibility of web content, websites and Improves support for touch web applications on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile devices for people with a wide range of disabilities, including auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech and visual disabilities.
What’s Different About WCAG 2.1?
WCAG 2.0, released nearly 10 years ago, contains 12 guidelines for digital accessibility, divided among four principles with the acronym P.O.U.R: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust. Each guideline has a list of “success criteria,” or requirements (61 in total), for making content – including text, images, sounds, code and markup – more accessible. In addition, WCAG 2.0 has three levels of conformance: A (minimum accessibility), AA (addresses the major, most common accessibility issues) and AAA (the highest standard).
WCAG 2.1 Level A Checklist
Success Criteria Description 1.1.1 – Non-text Content Provide text alternatives for non-text content 1.2.1 – Audio-only and Video-only (Pre-recorded) Provide an alternative to video-only and audio-only content 1.2.2 –Captions (Pre-recorded) Provide captions for videos with audio 1.2.3 – Audio description or Media Alternative (Pre-recorded) Video with an audio has a second alternative 1.3.1 – Info and Relationships Logical structures 1.3.2 – Meaningful Sequence Present content in a meaningful order 1.3.3 – Sensory Characteristics Use more than one sense for instructions 1.4.1 – Use of Colour Don’t use presentation that relies solely on colour 1.4.2 – Audio Control Don’t play audio automatically 2.1.1 – Keyboard Accessible by keyboard only 2.1.2 – No Keyboard Trap Don’t trap keyboard users 2.1.4 – Character Key Shortcuts Do not use single key shortcuts or provide a way to turn them off or change them 2.2.1 – Timing Adjustable Time limits have user controls 2.2.2 – Pause, Stop, Hide Provide user controls for moving content 2.3.1 – Three Flashes or Below No content flashes more than three times per second 2.4.1 – Bypass Blocks Provide a “Skip to Content” link 2.4.2 – Page Titled Helpful and clear page title 2.4.3 – Focus Order Logical Order 2.4.4 – Link Purpose (In Context) Every link’s purpose is clear from its context 2.5.1 – Pointer Gestures Users can perform touch functions with assistive technology or one finger 2.5.2 – Pointer Cancellation This requirement applies to web content that interprets pointer actions 2.5.3 – Label in Name The name contains the text that is presented visually 2.5.4 – Motion Actuation Functions that are trigged by moving a device or by gesturing towards a device can also be operated by more conventional user interface components 3.1.1 – Language of Page Page has a language assigned 3.2.1 – On Focus Elements do not change when they receive focus 3.2.2 – On Input Elements do not change when they receive input 3.3.1 – Error Identification Clearly identify input errors 3.3.2 – Labels or Instructions Label elements and give instructions 4.1.1 – Parsing No major code errors 4.1.2 – Name, Role, Value Build all elements for accessibility
WCAG 2.1 Level AA
1.2.4 – Captions (Live) Live videos have captions 1.2.5 – Audio Description (Pre-recorded) Users have access to audio description for video content 1.3.4 – Orientation Requires authors not to rely on a screen orientation 1.3.5 – Identify Input Purpose Ensure common names are provided using the HTML autocomplete list 1.4.3 – Contrast (Minimum) Contrast ratio between text and background is at least 4.5:1 1.4.4 – Resize Text Text can be resized to 200% without loss of content or function 1.4.5 – Images of Text Don’t use images of text 1.4.10 – Reflow Your website must be responsive 1.4.11 – Non-Text Contrast High contrast between pieces of text and their backgrounds 1.4.12 – Text Spacing Text spacing can be overridden to improve the reading experience 1.4.13 – Content on Hover Focus Ensuring content visible on hover or keyboard focus does not lead to accessibility issues 2.4.5 – Multiple Ways Offer several ways to find pages 2.4.6 – Headings and Labels Use clear headings and labels 2.4.7 – Focus Visible Keyboard focus is visible and clear 3.1.2 – Language of Parts Tell users when the language on a page changes 3.2.3 – Consistent Navigation Use menus consistently 3.2.4 – Consistent Identification Use icons and buttons consistently 3.3.3 – Error Suggestion Suggest fixes when users make errors 3.3.4 – Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data) Reduce the risk of input errors for sensitive data 4.1.3 – Status Changes Distances between paragraphs, rows, words and characters must be able to be increased to a certain value
WCAG Overview 2.1: What is Next for Accessibility Guidelines
By Glenda Sims June 06, 2018
WCAG Overview – Are you staying on top of your digital accessibility game? Don’t be caught by surprise that a new version of W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is on the horizon. In fact, the next “minor” version of WCAG was formally published on June 5, 2018! The W3C has researched user needs and written WCAG 2.1 success criteria to fill known gaps. There is also a parallel effort in motion to create a major revision of digital accessibility guidelines. View non-AMP version at deque.com
History of WCAG
Before we look into the future, let’s understand the past. May 5, 1999 the first international standard for digital accessibility (WCAG 1.0) was published by the W3C. It was technology specific focusing on html. December 11, 2008, WCAG 2.0 more) have adopted WCAG 2.0 as their legal digital accessibility standard. By October 2012, the International Standards Organization (ISO) even established WCAG 2.0 as the digital standard for accessibility. ISO/IEC 40500:2012
” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” /> Despite being almost a decade old, WCAG 2.0 continues to be a viable standard for digital accessibility. However, in internet years, 2008 is ancient. So, it should come as no surprise that known gaps exist in WCAG 2.0 and need to be filled. Parallel efforts are underway to address the evolving needs of digital accessibility. The first short-term effort is WCAG 2.1, which is a very focused release. The second longer-term effort has a code name of Silver. Silver is the reimagining of digital Accessibility Guidelines (AG) from the ground up.
Since it is likely that the future version of the Accessibility Guidelines will drop the “WC” for “web content” and simply be known as the “Accessibility Guidelines” (AG), it has been given the nickname of “Silver” because “Ag” is the symbol for the chemical element silver on the periodic table.
What is WCAG 2.1?
If you are already familiar with WCAG 2.0, you probably have a number of questions. And we’ve got answers!
Is WCAG 2.1 backward compatible with WCAG 2.0? Yes! WCAG 2.0 is still a valid and very useful standard. WCAG 2.1 works in concert with WCAG 2.0.
Does WCAG 2.1 continue to use the WCAG 2.0 the A, AA, and AAA conformance levels? Yes. WCAG 2.1 uses the same A/AA/AAA conformance levels
What are the main areas of focus for WCAG 2.1? The three biggest gaps in WCAG 2.0 are related to:
mobile technology – mobile phones were not very smart back in 2008, and this platform evolves rapidly. It is no surprise that there are accessibility needs related to mobile that must be addressed. The Mobile Accessibility Task Force (MATF)was created to address accessibility challenges for mobile.
For any technical standard to be successful it must be clear, distinct, testable, technically possible and reasonable. The new success criterion in WCAG 2.1 had to meet all of the following:
Testable – requirement must be reliably and consistently testable using an automated or manual process.
Condition – requirement must describe a condition to be met, not a method. Conditions are technology agnostic.
Applies to all content – requirement applies to all types of content by default. Any exceptions must be explicitly identified.
Applies across technologies – requirement applies across all types of digital technology formats including web, mobile, desktop, digital documents, email, software applications and more.
Implementable – requirement must be possible to implement today. Sufficient techniques must be documented using readily available formats, user agents, and assistive technologies.
What was the timeline for publishing WCAG 2.1?
Creating an international technical standard is not something you do overnight. But with the rate that technology changes, taking too long to update a standard can be a problem too. It has been over 9 years since WCAG 2.0 was released in December of 2008. Recognizing this, the W3C adopted an incremental approach to developing WCAG 2.1 in 18 months. WCAG 2.1 timeline:
August 22, 2017 – stop accepting new SC proposals (Done!)
September 2017 – 6th Public Working Draft (Done!)
December 2017 – 7th Public Working Draft (Done!)
January 2018 – Candidate Recommendation (Done!)
April 2018 – Proposed Recommendation (Done!)
June 5, 2018 – WCAG 2.1 Recommendation (Done!)
Who created WCAG 2.1?
Everything related to the development of WCAG 2.1 was done where the public could see and comment. Over 150 people from all over the world were involved in creating this next version of WCAG. Check out the current list of W3C Accessibility Guidelines Working Group participants. If you aren’t already involved, there are lots of ways to jump in and contribute.
Talk about open and inclusive! Anyone in the world could watch WCAG 2.1 evolving. You could jump in and make comments, volunteer and help create a better web for all.
Where is the Final version of WCAG 2.1?
The final version of WCAG 2.1 can always be found at this URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/ The <h2> list the date of publication. Links let you navigate to all previously published versions. The June 5, 2018, version, known as official W3C Recommendation is the final version.
What in the world is a W3C Recommendation? How is it different than a Working Draft, Candidate Recommendation or Proposed Recommendation?
A W3C Recommendation is the official final publication for a technical standard that has reached full maturity and is ready to be used. There are many review steps and refinements required before the W3C determines a standard is ready to be published.
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The W3C has a well-defined process for publishing quality technical standards that can stand the test of time. Here are the basic steps:
First Public Working Draft (FPWD) published
MUST encourage early and wide review.
Revised Public Working Draft(s) (WD) publish zero or more
MAY publish additional drafts based on input.
Candidate Recommendation (CR) formerly known as Last Call Working Draft
MUST specify deadline for additional comments.
The technical standard is believed to be stable and appropriate for implementation.
The standard MAY still be modified based on implementation experience/feedback. Modification SHOULD be minimal
Proposed Recommendation (PR) call for review
A formal request for approval of the technical standard by the W3C Advisory Committee.
MUST show that the proposed technical standards have received wide review
MUST show that all issues raised during the Candidate Recommendation have been formally addressed
W3C Recommendation (REC) published
The decision to advance a document to Recommendation is a W3C decision.
The standard has reached full maturity. It is a formal Recommendation from the W3C.
Getting to Know the WCAG 2.1 Proposed Recommendation
On June 5, 2018, the W3C published the WCAG 2.1 Recommendation. Here is a summary of the new success criteria:
New Success Criteria in the WCAG 2.1 Proposed Recommendation
WCAG Overview – Remember, WCAG 2.1 includes all of WCAG 2.0, and adds 17 new requirements. Everything you already know and do to meet WCAG 2.0 is still valid and necessary. WCAG 2.1 adds 17 new success criteria to fill in known gaps, especially in the areas of mobile, cognitive and low vision.
How Do You Feel About WCAG 2.1 Right Now?
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Before we go any further, I want to ask you, “How are you feeling?” Are you anxious, worried, stressed? Or are you as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve? Either way, I want you to stop and take a deep breath. Remember, none of these WCAG 2.1 success criteria are required by law today (June 2018). They are all really good things to do for digital accessibility, but your list of things you must do today is not about to get longer based on this.
The 17 WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria
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Let’s take a closer look at WCAG 2.1 A and AA Success Criteria based on the W3C Recommendation 5 June 2018. For each I’ve added a persona quote to help you understand the accessibility need. The persona quotes are from my imagination.
Persona Quote: “Landscape or Portrait? Don’t make me turn my device 90 degrees.”
Why: (Perceivable) Some users have their device mounted in a fixed orientation (e.g. on arm of power wheelchair). Therefore, digital applications need to support both orientations by making sure content and functionality are available in both landscape and portrait.
“Content does not restrict its view and operation to a single display orientation, such as portrait or landscape, unless a specific display orientation is essential.”
Identify Input Purpose (AA)
Persona Quote: What is this input field for?”
Why: (Perceivable) To help people with cognitive disabilities understand and use form inputs. Personalization based on metadata will allow the use of familiar terms and symbols for input labels. Having familiar terms and symbols is key to being able to use the web. However, what is familiar for one person may be new or confusing for another requiring them to learn new symbols. Future personalization tools could include the ability for a user to load a set of symbols that is appropriate for them, ensuring that all users find input fields simple and familiar.
The content is implemented using technologies with support for identifying the expected meaning for form input data.”
Persona Quote: “Horizontal scrolling is evil!”
Origin: Low Vision
Why:(Perceivable) A significant proportion of people with low vision need more than a 200% increase in the size of content. The impact of horizontal scrolling can increase the effort required to read by 40-100 times. Avoid designs that require horizontal scrolling.
“Content can be presented without loss of information or functionality, and without requiring scrolling in two dimensions for:
Vertical scrolling content at a width equivalent to 320 CSS pixels
Horizontal scrolling content at a height equivalent to 256
Except for parts of the content which require two-dimensional layout for usage or meaning.”
Non-Text Contrast (AA)
Persona Quote: “Did you want me to see that important image/user interface control, or not?”
Origin: Low Vision
Why:(Perceivable) To extend the color contrast requirements for text (in WCAG 2.0 SC 1.4.3) to include important graphics.
User Interface Components: Visual information required to identify user interface components and states, except for inactive components or where the appearance of the component is determined by the user agent and not modified by the author;
Graphical Objects: Parts of graphics required to understand the content, except when a particular presentation of graphics is essential to the information being conveyed.”
Text Spacing (AA)
Persona Quote: “Curse Word! This text is so hard to read! I need to change the spacing to read it.”
Origin: Low Vision
Why:(Perceivable) Ensure that people with low vision can override paragraph spacing, letter spacing, word spacing and line height.
“In content implemented using markup languages that support the following textstyle properties, no loss of content or functionality occurs by setting all of the following and by changing no other style property:
Line height (line spacing) to at least 1.5 times the font size;
Spacing following paragraphs to at least 2 times the font size;
Letter spacing (tracking) to at least 0.12 times the font size;
Word spacing to at least 0.16 times the font size.
Exception: Human languages and scripts that do not make use of one or more of these text style properties in written text can conform using only the properties that exist for that combination of language and script.
Content on Hover or Focus (AA)
Persona Quote: “Get out of the way! I can’t see or use the content/control I need!”
Origin: Low Vision
Why: (Perceivable) New content that appears only on focus or mouseover can present many challenges for users with low vision and others whose mouse accuracy may be low.
“Where receiving and then removing pointer hover or keyboard focus triggers additional content to become visible and then hidden, the following are true:
Dismissable:< A mechanism is available to dismiss the additional content without moving pointer hover or keyboard focus, unless the additional content communicates an input error or does not obscure or replace other content;
Hoverable: If pointer hover can trigger the additional content, then the pointer can be moved over the additional content without the additional content disappearing;
Persistent: The additional content remains visible until the hover or focus trigger is removed, the user dismisses it, or its information is no longer valid.
Exception: The visual presentation of the additional content is controlled by the user agent and is not modified by the author.”
Character Key Shortcuts (A)
Persona Quote: “Alexa! Stop! I did not mean for you to…!”
Why: (Operable) Help users who rely on speech-to-text technologies to interact with content without inadvertently triggering some functionality based on a shortcut.
“If a keyboard shortcut is implemented in content using only letter (including upper- and lower-case letters), punctuation, number, or symbol characters, then at least one of the following is true:
Turn off: A mechanism is available to turn the shortcut off;
Remap: A mechanism is available to remap the shortcut to use one or more non-printable keyboard characters (e.g. Ctrl, Alt, etc.);
Active only on focus: The keyboard shortcut for a user interface component is only active when that component has focus.”
Pointer Gestures (A)
Persona Quote: “You expect me to do that complex hand gesture? Are you kidding me? What is this? The finger Olympics???”
Why: (Operable) Help users who cannot accurately perform complex pointer gestures. Touchscreen swipes or multi-pointer gestures such as a two-finger pinch/zoom may be impossible for some users.
“All functionality that uses multipoint or path-based gestures for operation can be operated with a single pointer without a path-based gesture, unless a multipoint or path-based gesture is essential.”
Pointer Cancellation (A)
Persona Quote: “Oh Noooooo! I just accidentally activated X just by touching it!”
Why: (Operable) People with various disabilities can inadvertently initiate touch or mouse events with unwanted results. Help reduce the chance that a control will be accidentally activated.
Why: (Operable) Users with disabilities may be unable to perform particular actions dependent on sensors (like tilting or shaking) because the device may be mounted or users may be physically unable to perform the necessary action.
“Functionality that can be operated by device motion or user motion can also be operated by user interface components and responding to the motion can be disabled to prevent accidental actuation, except when:
Essential: The motion is essential for the function and doing so would invalidate the activity.”
Status Messages (AA)
Persona Quote: “I can’t tell if anything has happened.”
Why: (Robust) Some error or success messages are so subtly added to a page, it is hard to notice them. Users who are blind, low vision or have cognitive disabilities may have trouble finding a status message that has been added to the page.
I predict that most US organizations (including businesses and governments) will not require WCAG 2.1 compliance for years. The EU is likely to make WCAG 2.1 a requirement as early as 2019. Smart developers, designers, and accessibility experts are already considering WCAG 2.1 as documented best practices that can be implemented today. Want to future-proof your web? Start using the principles of WCAG 2.1 today!
How Will You Get Involved?
Now is the time for you to spend some time thinking about how WCAG 2.1 will impact you. Ask questions. Volunteer to help write Understanding Documents, Sufficient Techniques and more.
Is this work easy? Nope. Is it deeply meaningful and important? Absolutely! This is my first time to work on WCAG. And I gotta tell y’all…this…..THIS…. is the most intellectually stimulating work I’ve ever done. There are times over the past year where I thought my brain was going to melt. But, I figured it was my turn to make a positive impact. Great people went before me and dared to create the first screen reader and the first and second versions of WCAG. Time for me to step up to the plate and help create the solutions that are needed today (while benefiting from the brilliant work done before).
(Goodwitch holds out her hand to you.) Come on and join us. I promise you will be grateful you did. How are you going to be part of the solution?
They open the world. They eliminate discrimination. They ensure people are defined by potential. They change lives.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an idea that became reality, which is why it’s important each year to pause to recognize the importance of this landmark law and what it means to so many of our fellow New Jerseyans and people across our nation.
uly 26 will mark the 29th anniversary of the ADA. That’s 29 years of changing lives and perceptions, of equal access and of making clear that we as a society will always stand for the rights of our family members, friends, neighbors, and countless people we’ve never met to live fulfilling lives, no matter their personal situation.
The ADA allows individuals with disabilities to participate in the world around them, and has likely changed lives in ways many could not have imagined when it became law in 1990, but while we pause each July to remember the benefits of the ADA and its importance, we also must honor its ideals each and every day of the year.
Understanding people with disabilities starts with empathy
We must move to address the social stigma surrounding this community.
The ADA provides clear and comprehensive national standards to eliminate discrimination against individuals with disabilities. As a result, individuals with disabilities, as is their right, can live in their home and have equal access to education, jobs, recreation, shopping and entertainment. It has helped shape our nation, but the work is not done. We must remain steadfast to the principles, aiming for greater inclusivity, equality and fairness.
I have the honor of being the director of New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Disability Services, which works to streamline access to services and information to promote and enhance independent living for individuals with all disabilities.
Our goal is to promote maximum independence and full participation of people with disabilities within all aspects of community life.
Through our toll free hotline, 1-888-285-3036, the division responds to requests for assistance. Certified Information and referral specialists are available to confidentially discuss issues, provide information, assist with problem solving and refer individuals to appropriate agencies or services.
We also publish New Jersey Resources, a comprehensive guide to services available throughout the state. I urge everyone to download a copy.
We also administer some great programs such as the Traumatic Brain Injury Fund, and the Personal Assistance Services Program, both of which offer vital assistance to help individuals with disabilities live as independently as possible within our communities. Additionally, we can help people to access NJ ABLE, which allows individuals with disabilities to save for expenses without losing eligibility for their Medicaid and other benefits. And we work with our partners at Human Services, including the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Division of Developmental Disabilities, which serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The ADA rightfully opened the world to individuals with disabilities. We must ensure that equal access remains a priority, while doing whatever we can to assist individuals with disabilities to live full and independent lives. We are here to help. Give us a call or visit us at nj.gov/humanservices/dds/services/ to learn more. Together, we can continue ensuring people are defined by their potential. We can change lives.
Peri Nearon is the director of the New Jersey Division of Disability Services with the Department of Human Services.
New know-how being examined by the Lengthy Island Rail Street goals to provide riders with disabilities additional help when boarding a practice.
The LIRR’s Glen Head station is the primary to host the brand new “Help Point” kiosk function, which assists riders with special wants in getting the eye of railroad personnel on an arriving practice.
The kiosk includes a button marked “boarding assistance” that, when pressed, prompts a flashing yellow beacon that notifies practice crew members who may help the client, together with by establishing a bridge plate to help get wheelchair customers onto a practice.
The kiosk additionally has buttons for patrons to inform authorities of an emergency, or to communicate immediately with LIRR personnel for info.
LIRR president Phillip Eng, speaking about this system at a Might MTA Board assembly, stated it stemmed from suggestions from clients with particular needs, including those who stated that they had specific problem getting crew members’ attention during nighttime hours.
“This can give them extra confidence that they will be observed,” Eng stated. “It’s a method of displaying that we’re listening to clients.”
The Department of Justice today announced payments by Greyhound Lines, Inc. totaling $2,966,000 to over 2,100 individuals who experienced disability discrimination while traveling or attempting to travel on Greyhound. The payments were part of a broader settlement from 2016 resolving the Department’s complaint that Greyhound, the nation’s largest provider of intercity bus transportation, engaged in a nationwide pattern or practice of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide full and equal transportation services to passengers with disabilities. The $2,966,000 amount is in addition to $300,000 paid by Greyhound in 2016 to specific individuals identified by the Department, bringing the total distributed to individuals to over $3,250,000. To read the press release regarding this event, click here. For more information about the ADA, call the Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (TDD 800-514-0383) or access the ADA website at www.ada.gov.
It is also a reminder of why it’s important to keep the pressure on government and private entities to make public places accessible to all.
“The sort of run-of-the mill storefronts, restaurants, retail store, those really should be accessible now and a lot are but too many still are not,” said Kenneth Shiotani, senior staff attorney for the National Disability Right Network, which is based in Washington, D.C.
He said outdoor spaces, such as beaches and trails, pose more challenges than man-made structures when it comes to accessibility and for that reason, new guidelines were set for them in 2013. But Meridian Hill Park, which boasts of having the largest cascading fountain in the country, seems much more structured than other outdoor spaces, he said.
“I think the wedding party had reasonable expectations that 30 years later [after the ADA was passed] a federal park would be accessible,” Shiotani said. “It’s a public park, it’s paid for by public dollars, it should ultimately be accessible for everybody.”
Every day, websites and mobile apps prevent people from using them. Ignoring accessibility is no longer a viable option.
How do you prevent your company from being a target for a website accessibility ADA lawsuit?
Guidelines for websites wanting to be accessible to people with disabilities have existed for nearly two decades thanks to the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative.
A close cousin to usability and user experience design, accessibility improves the overall ease of use for webpages and mobile applications by removing barriers and enabling more people to successfully complete tasks.
We know now that disabilities are only one area that accessibility addresses.
Most companies do not understand how people use their website or mobile app, or how they use their mobile or assistive tech devices to complete tasks.
Even riskier is not knowing about updates in accessibility guidelines and new accessibility laws around the world.
Investing in Website Accessibility Is a Wise Marketing Decision
Internet marketers found themselves taking accessibility seriously when their data indicated poor conversions. They discovered that basic accessibility practices implemented directly into content enhanced organic SEO.
Many marketing agencies include website usability and accessibility reviews as part of their online marketing strategy for clients because a working website performs better and generates more revenue.
Adding an accessibility review to marketing service offerings is a step towards avoiding an ADA lawsuit, which of course, is a financial setback that can destroy web traffic and brand loyalty.
Convincing website owners and companies of the business case for accessibility is difficult. One reason is the cost. Will they see a return on their investment?
I would rather choose to design an accessible website over paying for defense lawyers and losing revenue during remediation work.
Another concern is the lack of skilled developers trained in accessibility. Do they hire someone or train their staff?
Regardless of whether an accessibility specialist is hired or in-house developers are trained in accessibility, the education never ends.
Specialists are always looking for solutions and researching options that meet guidelines. In other words, training never ends.
Many companies lack an understanding of what accessibility is and why it is important. They may not know how or where to find help.
Accessibility advocates are everywhere writing articles, presenting webinars, participating in podcasts, and writing newsletters packed with tips and advice.
ADA lawsuits make the news nearly every day in the U.S. because there are no enforceable regulations for website accessibility. This is not the case for government websites.
Federal websites must adhere to Section 508 by law. State and local websites in the U.S. are required to check with their own state to see what standards are required.
Most will simply follow Section 508 or WCAG2.1 AAA guidelines.
If your website targets customers from around the world, you may need to know the accessibility laws in other countries. The UK and Canada, for example, are starting to enforce accessibility.