Links from the “Making Sense of Accessibility” Webinar

On Tuesday, June 19, I presented a webinar (sponsored by Adobe) called “Making Sense of Accessibility”. I included several quotes and lots of links in this session, and I thought it might be easier if you could reference them all in one place. (I’ve also added some other links that I thought you might be interested in.)

“People with disabilities constitute the nation’s largest minority group, and the only group any of us can become a member of at any time.”

Disability Funders Network – Disability Stats and Facts

“The rule of thumb in many usability-aware organizations is that the cost-benefit ratio for usability is $1:$10-$100. Once a system is in development, correcting a problem costs 10 times as much as fixing the same problem in design. If the system has been released, it costs 100 times as much relative to fixing in design.”

Gilb, 1988

“Web accessibility is not a legal issue. It’s an equal opportunity issue.”

Rakesh Babu, quoted in To The Blind, The Internet Isn’t Always So User-Friendly

“For people without disabilities, technology makes things convenient. For people with disabilities, it makes things possible.”

Judith Heumann, U.S. Department of Education’s Assistant Secretary of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (quoted in Why Web Accessibility Matters)

In addition, search for the Twitter hashtag: #a11y (and #accessibility). And look at my Twitter favorites and my Delicious bookmarks.

(Disclaimer: I have not received anything from any company for posting these links. I used the links listed here as resources for my webinar.)

June 6 is #captionTHIS Day!

Captioning. Most people ignore it (or think it’s a nuisance) until those times when they really need it. For example: at a restaurant where TVs are showing the latest sports event, in a hospital waiting room, at a really noisy (or really quiet) office, while watching foreign-language films, or any of more than a dozen other examples.

But for some people, it’s a necessity. People who are deaf or hard-of-hearing need captions to understand what’s going on. But dozens of websites do not caption their videos, such as MSNBC, CNN, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Netflix, MoveOn, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and many more.

June 6 is #captionTHIS Day. (#captionTHIS is a Twitter hashtag.) Collaborative for Communication Access, an “advocate for inclusion of quality captioning universally”, is promoting #captionTHIS on their blog. The idea is to contact companies who currently release videos without captions and ask them to add captions so that everyone can enjoy the videos.

I’ve put together some examples that show the differences between videos with no captions, basic captions, transcripts, audio descriptions, and sign-language videos.

  • Only people with no visual or hearing impairments can really enjoy a video without captions, transcripts, or audio descriptions.
  • Captions help those who cannot hear for any reason. They could be deaf or hard-of-hearing…or they could work in a quiet or a noisy environment where they can’t listen.
  • Transcripts display the words being spoken. In addition to the same benefits as captions, they also add search engine optimization benefits. (On YouTube, click Show More under the video to find the transcript.)
  • Audio descriptions further enhance the video by explaining what is happening. It’s like having someone read the script to the person who is listening. For example: [Gibbs slaps Tony on the back of the head.] Tony: Hey!
  • Videos with sign language are specifically designed for those who understand sign language. YouTube has more than 40,000 ASL videos. The IRS has posted several videos to provide tax information.

Thanks to Ken Harrenstien, YouTube videos can now include machine-generated captions. For more information on captions, subtitles, and transcripts, visit Video Management on YouTube.

Spotlight: X-treme Silkscreen & Design

One of our newest clients is X-treme Silkscreen & Design. They offer competitive pricing, quality designs, and quick turn-around time.

We first met the folks at X-treme at one of our son’s first swim meets, as they design and create all apparel for the North Shore Swim Club. The quality is terrific and we love the designs. They came to us after having problems with their old website, and we quickly created a new site so that they could promote the t-shirts and hoodies for the January 2009 Regionals.

The X-treme website is a WordPress blog that uses Thesis for the underlying framework. The rotating screenshots of different samples use the Kimili Flash Embed plug-in, while the Portfolio and Online Ordering pictures use the NextGEN Gallery plug-in.

If you need any kind of apparel for your business, contact the folks at X-treme Silkscreen & Design at +1 781.598.1626. They can use existing artwork or create a custom design for you.