Accessibility of Digital Payments

This is a presentation have done on the eve of Global Accessibility Awareness Day at PayPal on 18th May 2017.

Slides

Full Text

Full text is work in progress and will be available soon. Apologies – just in midst of too many happenings, couldn’t write full text on time as I usually do.

Photos

Srinivasu speaking at PayPal about Accessibility of Digital Payments on Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Read Tweets about GAAD event at PayPal

Digital Accessibility – what Non-profit, Corporate and Education sector can do?

This is a presentation I have made at a panel discussion held on 19th December, 2016 at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

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Full Text

Thank you for having me here. Good to see many of my old friends!

Firstly, let’s celebrate the passage of The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill; although it’s not very perfect bill, I’m hopeful, with all of our collective efforts, India will be better than before; there are plenty of opportunities that we can work with. While I’m not so happy that bill does not talk about equal opportunities for education in private sector school and few such things, I’m happy that this bill has included Accessibility and mostly in line with The UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Let’s hope for good implementation and see India becomes more inclusive.

So for next about 10015 minutes, we will be discussing about how Non-profits, corporates and education sector can do to promote digital accessibility. I limit my topic and discussion to Digital Accessibility because I have some amount of knowledge in this area and I absolutely not fit to talk about infrastructure accessibility etc.,

What Corporate can do?

Mindset Firstly we need to set our mindset; as one of my friends Subramanyan Murali says “Fixing the mindset is important”; by having mindset to build accessible products will ensure us that our products will be almost inclusive. Because, when we have mindset, we start thinking about diverse users and then thinking goes towards understanding standards etc.,

Have Accessibility as part of product road map and plan We do not prioritize things unless it is in our plan / road map. Having it as part of product planning will enable us to allocate required time.Often we hear that people what they did not have time to address accessibility, but do they have in their agenda? I keep repeating this in almost every presentation of mine that (not only me, any accessibility advocate) – the early consider accessibility, the better for you. It will be less expensive, can be achieved with less effort if accessibility is considered right at the planning stage.

Have PM led accessibility Because PM is the one who would have full visibility to timelines, product planning cycle etc., He or she would be able to fit in required amount of time to ensure product is accessible. Usually PMs are powerful and can made decisions; so their intervention is critical. Often we hear from developers that I’m OK to make it accessible, but my PM does not give me enough time; while the truth is why not did he or she written code that is accessible? So if PMs could own accessibility, they will have opportunity to discuss in regular meetings.

Have Strategy One needs to have a strategy how to address accessibility for legacy, current and future products. It’s not easy to make all legacy products accessible; but a plan and strategy could help to some extent. I’ll be doing a full talk on this at CSUN Conference in 2017; but will be happy to discuss with anyone who are interested in this topic.

Enable Developers and QA Ensure right training is provided for developers and QA. It’s important teams have knowledge about accessibility standards and techniques to build accessible products. They should also know that accessibility is not a rocket science and it’s more about writing semantic code and using the right techniques.

Raise Awareness Whether we like it or not, still there is not really enough awareness about accessibility in the industry. If you believe in accessibility, talk about it within your company and outside. Raise awareness, let people know the impact of accessibility, address myths that people have about accessibility.

What Non-profits can do?

Sensitize community: You could be the voice for many people that serve. Put in efforts to sensitize community about the needs of your people; may it be people with disabilities, elderly etc., In fact, Non profits can create a lot more impact than corporate organizations. But do it in right way. Specially when you are talking about accessibility, think of cross users and not only the section of people that you deal with.

Review and reach out: Review websites / apps as per accessibility standards and share feedback with respective product owners and then follow-up with them. Make it as your project. This is what my colleague Rakesh and I do on our websites.

Last step: Legal approach: After all of your social efforts, if nothing works out, work with courts to approach product owners in legal way. But all of the legal steps should be as a last option. Do not ever start with legal approach.

What education sector can do?

Education sector plays a critical role. Often when I see an inaccessible application, I do not blame developer, but blame the institution who tought them how to code. Most of the institutions do not teach concepts of usability, standards and accessibility. So if you are an education institution, include usability, standards and accessibility as part of your curriculum. Build ability to think from cross user prospective.

Thank you all!

Impact of Inclusive Design

Srinivasu speaking at UX India 2016This is full text of presentation made at UX India on 21st October, 2016.

Thank you for having me here and I’m delighted to talk about inclusive design. Thank you UX India organizers for including this topic as part of this conference.

To begin with, let me quickly introduce myself. I’m an accessibility evangelist, currently leads accessibility efforts at Informatica. Accessibility is something I am passionate about; I live in Bangalore with Hema (wife), Varshi (our angel) and 3 months prince!

Since we have very limited time, let’s get to the agenda – in next few minutes, we will be talking about Impact of inclusive design – beyond disabilities. The reason I specifically mentioned about beyond disabilities is because it’s often we see discussions about accessibility are focused only around disabilities and sometimes even specific to visually impaired. Through this tiny talk, I would want to wipe that myth! Of course, accessibility empowers users people with disabilities but not only people with disabilities.

In this session, we will be talking about:

  • What is Inclusive Design
  • Social Impact
  • Technical Impact
  • Financial impact
  • Legal impact

Please note that it’s not something I worked from scratch but I’m just explaining business case created by W3C.

What is inclusive design?

Inclusive design is not a rocket science; it’s just about building products that are usable to all users irrespective of disabilities, age group, devices used etc., Let’s looks at few things that we commonly use:

  • Elevators: These are mainly designed to help those who cannot use stairs; I can understand, when someone is uses elevator to reach 8th or 10th floor in a building; but today, we see mostly everyone uses elevator even for a floor or two.
  • Ramps: Again, ramps are not only for people with loco motor disabilities; but also helpful to a women with pregnancy, elderly, a person with a heavy baggage. This is a reason we see ramps at most of the super markets at the exit gate.
  • Subtitles: These are actually meant for people who are hard of hearing; but mostly, everyone reads through them specially when watching a video / movie in a language that is other than that we know of.
  • Audio announcements in Rail station: This is quite common, when travelling by train, we await to hear announcements made though same may be displayed on screens. Because screen may be away from where we are standing or it’s the way we habituated for a long time; expecting announcements at rail stations. In-train announcements are not only helpful to blind passengers to know about next arrival station but also to those who are new in that route.

So this means we do not really have to build products for a particular group of users but we need to make sure our product work for diverse users.

Now let’s talk about impact of inclusive design.

Social Impact

By making products accessible, companies could showcase their social responsibility. It increases the brand value and inspire other product companies. It would also brings in respect and trust to your products. Inclusive products create equal opportunities to diverse set of users.

Technical Impact

These are benefits to you, as a company! An accessible product improves quality of your product, inter-operability, reduces site maintenance time – accessible code will be more semantic and hence becomes easy for future engineers to update / modify the existing code, it would also optimize server load time since accessible code will not have junk code in it. And sites that are accessible would work very well on different configurations such as mobile and tablets.

Financial Impact

As your product becomes accessible, number of users would grow thus eventually your users will grow. An Accessible product would be more usable to diverse set of users including those with disabilities, elderly, slow bandwidth connection, mobile users etc., It also saves cost on maintenance as semantic code would be easier to maintain than a lot of junk code. Once accessibility practice is in place and applied through product life cycle, it would reduce investment on accessibility and mobile readiness. Often accessible websites could be easily adoptable to mobile platforms.

Legal Impact

Lastly, building accessible products will avoid dealing with lawsuits. In several countries such as the Europe, US, Australia etc., consumers and advocacy organizations could file a case against products that discriminate inclusion law. Accessible products would not only enable compliance but also build trust among consumers. In addition, accessible products will have added advantage to sell to government organizations. In many countries, procurement policies of government do include requirement of accessibility.

Above all, it makes you as a responsible business. Let’s build inclusive products.

Thank you all!

Slides

Video of talk

Enterprise level tools and solutions for Accessibility – WorldSpace, Amaze and Deque University – Presentation at Techshare India 2016

Disclaimer: This full text is work in progress so some part would be missing.

This has been presented by Glenda Sims and Srinivasu Chakravarthula at Techshare India 2016 on 4th March, 2016. Slides are available on Slideshare and also embedded below:

Good morning, everyone! hope you are having a good time in this sunny city of New Delhi… It is wonderful to meet many of my old friends from across the country and several new faces. Thank you all for joining us. In next 30 to 40 minutes, we will walk you through Enterprise level of accessibility tools and learning solutions.

But before we get started, a quick introduction to both of us… Glenda, why not you introduce yourself?

I’m Glenda Sims, a11y Team lead at Deque Systems. I help organization to set up testing methodology, processes and am responsible for ensuring quality of our work. I’m also associated with Knowability – a company run by my a11y mom, Sharon Rush. Knowability spreads a lot of awareness about accessibility and conducts usability testing for customers to evaluate their products for accessibility. Prior to joining Deque, I worked at University of Texas, helped building accessibility practice at the University. I’m @goodwitch on Twitter. With this, let me hand over back to Srini

… and I’m Srinivasu, works at Deque. accessibility is not only my career but something close to my heart. While working at Deque, I am also a participant of WCAG Working group and accessibility in India Community Group of W3C. I volunteer on the board of The National Association for the Blind, Karnataka Branch to help them improve their IT and empllyment related services. Besides these, I love writing blogs, reading literature, swimming, listens to classical music. Source of my joy are my wife Hema and our 2 years daughter! We are expecting an addition to our family later in this year.

As I said, next 40 minutes, my colleague Glenda and I’ll walk you through some cool accessibility testing tools, discuss how you may fix accessibility problems and finally show you a path to learn about accessibility. We call this presentation as FFL – Find it, Fix it and Learn it!

OK, let’s get started and to begin with, here we talk about aXe. aXe is an innovation by Deque last year. aXe is an accessibility engine, it’s a JavaScript library with WCAG rulesets that can run on any of your frameworks and browser of your choice. It’s light weight, open source.

aXe is an easy to use tool, categorized results are displayed based on the ruleset, consistant and reliable results are shown, false positives rate is minimal and most importantly, it’s secure… runs on your local development server and browser that you use for other functional and unit tests. All of these above, aXe is open source and can be integrated with any testing framework that you choose such as selinium, cucumber, mocha, QUnit, Jasmine etc.,

aXe extensions are already available for Firefox and Chrome. As we say it, these extensions are easy to use. All you need to do is that load your page, choose Accessibility from Developer submenu of tools (Firefox) and hit on “Analyze” button. aXe will load results and you have flexibility to view issue, source code, highlight on the page to see where the issue is etc.,

It’s amazing to see some of the mainstream corporates have integrated aXe into their testing frameworks. A couple of them are PayPal has integrated aXe into one of their open source work “Automated Accessibility Testing Tool” and Microsoft has integrated into their framework “Varlon.js and aXe”

Alright, we found and we have fixed, now let’s look at how to learn. Question: Have any of you attended any accessibility training?

Great… we have an exciting platform for you to learn accessibility. Deque has made a good amount of investment on creating Deque University. This has a loads of courses ranging from basics to advanced level.

Deque University has eLearning modules that enable you to learn at your pace, learn on your own, learn from wide range of topics and most interestly, subscription to Deque University will enable you to have course contents as handy reference at anytime you may need. Even we use this documentation on daily basis while working with our customers.

In addition to eLearning modules, Deque University also offer wide range of instructor-led courses including writing accessible HTML / CSS, accessibility of modern web components, accessibility testing techniques, accessibility testing with screen readers, mobile accessibility and much more… Plus Deque University also offer courses on creating accessible PDF document.

Oh, we have an exciting announcement for you. Starting today, for next 3 months, Deque University offers “Web Accessibility Fundamentals” course for FREE. Use code “TechShareIndiaTrail2016” to avail the FREE course. Remember this offer will expire on 2nd June, 2016. Hope you all will benefit with this opportunity.

We offer our instructor-led trainings both at customer’s location or to avoid logistical issues, we also offer virtual trainings. In addition to specific trainings, we also do conduct open enrollment workshops each quarter. For this year, we are planning open enrollment courses happening in the months of May (during Global Accessibility Awareness Day), August and November. All of these events will happen in Hyderabad.

Before I give charge back to Glenda and let her talk about exciting IAAP certification, I just wanted to bring up and tell you all about Accessibility in India Community group at W3C. Thanks Shilpi for creating this platform and here we meet once in two weeks and discuss things related to accessibility. This will be a great platform for you to share and learn tons of things about accessibility. I encourage you all to join in and spread the word. Over to you, Glenda!

Okay… I’m really excited about upcoming IAAP Certification. The first one will be at base level and will be held on 22nd March, 2016 at San Diego. I’m so excited that this is happening around CSUN conference. As I have contributed preparation of questions for this certification program, I am not eligible to take the examination for next 3 years. Those people who are not at CSUN will have an opportunity to take the examination later part of the year at different centers.

Thank you all for joining us and you may visit us at deque.com, sign up for courses on dequeuniversity.com. Follow Deque on Twitter – @DequeSystems, You may look up for @goodwitch for Glenda and @CSrinivasu for myself to follow on Twitter.

Thanks again and see you around! Don’t forget to drop by our stall to experience our products!

Creating Accessible Forms

Overview

This has been presented as 4th Learning Session to the members and guests of W3C Accessibility in India Community Group. Objective of these learning sessions is to raise awareness about accessibility and enhance network of accessibility professionals.

Slides

Below are the slides presented in the session:

Text Transcript

Hello everyone, Thank you for joining us. In this session, we will be talking about Creating Accessible forms. Agenda of this session will be:

Agenda

  1. About Deque and Me
  2. Setting the Context – Forms
  3. Remembering Basics
    1. Associated Labels
    2. Group Level Form Controls
    3. Labels and Instructions
  4. Making Dynamic and Complex Forms accessible
  5. Error handling and prevention
  6. WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria related to forms
  7. Resources
  8. Questions

About Deque

Deque is a global leader in the area of Accessibility serving Government, Corporate and other organizations for 15+ years. Digital Accessibility is both our mission and vision.

About Me

Am an accessibility evangelist with a decade+ of experience. Started my accessibility journey at BarrierBreak, then worked at several organizations including Yahoo!, PayPal, HCL Technologies and currently works at Deque. Accessibility is not just my profession but something very close to my heart. My hobbies include networking, swimming, playing Chess and Carrom. Currently I live in Hyderabad with my wife Hema and our cute daughter Khushi Varshini.

Setting the context – Forms

Today digital forms are playing a key role in people lives. They are everywhere from school admission to avail retirement benefits. It’s encouraging to see even Government is promoting use of digital services. Moving to digital would be an added benefit to people with disabilities and make them less dependent. They are also safe and secure way to store and easy to retrieve.

Basics – Associated Labels

It’s essential that all form controls are programmatically associated with their respective labels. This can be achieved by using <for> and <id> attributes, <aria-label> or <title> attribute.

View Form Label example

References for Associated Labels:

  1. W3C – WAI’s tutorial on Form labels
  2. Technique H44: Using Label elements to associate text labels with form controls
  3. Technique G131: Providing Descriptive Labels

Basics: Group level form controls

When user has to select options that are provided in the form of radio buttons, checkboxes or when there are a group of form controls such as Date of birth, phone number; those controls usually have a common label. In such a situation, it’s essential to ensure that:

  1. All form controls are programmatically associated with their labels
  2. All form controls are programmatically associated with their common label

View Radio button example

References for Group level form controls

  1. Technique H71: Providing a description for groups of form controls using fieldset and legend elements

Basics: Labels and instructions

It’s recommended that forms labels are visible. Now-a-days, placeholder text is used as form label; but this is not a good practice unless there is a mechanism to make label still visible even when user has inserted data into input field. Otherwise, it would be difficult for several users including those with cognitive disabilities to review the information before submitting.

It’s also important to provide instructions about required fields, if input field accepts data only in specific format or any other information that user should know while filling out the form.

Resources for Labels and instructions

  1. Understanding SC 3.3.2: Labels and Instructions

Dealing with Dynamic and Complex Forms

I’m going to demonstrate you all 3 examples:

  1. Creating Accessible Date Picker where the date picker is completely accessible using keyboard and not with mouse alone, all dates have descriptive labels for user to select
  2. Now-a-days, e-Commerce is trending and often the challenge is to deal with Shopping cart. Shopping carts usually gets updated dynamically as user makes selection of a product. So it’s essential that user gets the updated information about pricing, quantity added, total number of products in the cart etc., So let’s look at an Example of Accessible Shopping Cart <aria-live> tribute plays a key role to make such applications accessible.
  3. Another interesting widget would be Character count. We see several applications will have <texture> input field that allows only a limited number of characters can be inserted. In this case, user should be informed about permitted number of characters along with the <label> and alert user when nearing to end of allowed number of characters. It’ would be annoying to to expose character count right from first character. View Example of an Accessible Character Counter

Error handling and prevention

It’s important that there is a mechanism to identify mistakes that user has made on form submission. It’s also important error messages are conveyed via multiple clues including through text and styling input fields that requires correction.

It’s essential to enable users to prefer from making mistakes. To address this, user should be provided helpful information along with form label for potential fields that require user to input in specific format. For instance, Date of birth field accepts in a specific format or in a user registration form, password field may have some conditions. These need to be informed to user.

Resources for Error handling and prevention

  1. Understanding SC 3.3.1: Error identification
  2. Understanding SC 3.3.6 – Error prevention

WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria that are related to Forms

  1. 1.3.1 Info and Relationships: Information, Structure and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are available in text (Level A)
    1. Associate labels either explicitly or implicitly
    2. Ensure that group related form controls are marked up using <fieldset> and <legend>
  2. 2.4.6 Headings and Labels: To describe topic / purpose (Level AA)
    1. Provide descriptive labels
    2. Provide visible labels
  3. 3.3.2 Labels or instructions: Labels or instructions are provided when content requires user input (Level A)
    1. Identifying required field
    2. Error identification
    3. Providing instructions
  4. 4.1.2 Name, Role and Value: For all user interface components (including but not limited to: form elements, links and components generated by scripts), the name and role can be programmatically determined; states, properties, and values that can be set by the user can be programmatically set; and notification of changes to these items is available to user agents, including assistive technologies. (Level A)

Resources

I have put together some great resources including Code Examples from our Deque University, a nice tutorial from W3C, a couple of articles from WebAIM and my good friend Rakesh.

View Resources

Thanks everyone for attending and looking forward to see web more inclusive. Do feel free to reach out to me for any questions / comments.