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We write about Digital Accessibility. This includes topics related accessibility news, accessibility events, accessibility techniques, reviews of websites and applications, tips related to accessibility and in simple words all possible things about digital accessibility.

Posted in

August

2018

App review: 6by6 by BarrierBreak

This is another innovation in the assistive technology space from India. 6by6 By BarrierBreak has 3 amazing features to assist people with low vision and vision impairment. Here is a review of it’s 3 features and how they could help users.

  • Currency Identifier: In the recent past, In India, Reserve Bank of India has released several new currency notes and all of them are inaccessible to people with blindness. Almost all of them has same sizes and difficult to find difference. Currency identification feature comes handy in dealing with money. All that use needs to do is open 6by6 app, Tap on currency detector; this will open an in-app camera, place currency note about 4 – 5 inches away and tap anywhere on the app; this will read aloud currency. Though several lakhs of currency notes are trained to the app, it’s better to scan more than a few times to ensure accuracy. My tests show accuracy of about 85%.
  • Magnifier: Being a person with low-vision,  this is my most favourite feature. I have personally used this feature for reading menu in a restaurant, name of conference rooms at my work, signages at a bus station, labels in a retail store. One of the fabulous feature of this magnifier is that using freeze option, user can freeze a specific area of text and read at user’s comfort level. User can choose his/her desired magnification level using the slider. 
  • Light Detector: Imagine user is a person with vision impairment and checked into a hotel. How would he or she would know if lights in the room are turned-on. Light detector will assist by providing if lights are on, if there is dimmed light or bright light etc.,   

To begin with, these are great set of features and am sure, innovation at BarrierBreak continuous and more tools get added in days to come. Congratulations team and best of luck! 

Get the 6by6 app from Play Store

Prioritising Accessibility issues

I was recently asked by a friend if there are any standard rules to set priority for accessibility issues for a website and that triggered me write-in this piece. 

In general, for an accessibility tester and when we read failure statements, everything sounds important, but it’s essential to prioritize issues since not all of the issues could be addressed one go; It’s fair for product managers to prioritise the effort. 

Why is it important to prioritise?

If we do not prioritise at the time of testing, we will be either asked to do it at a later stage or product team has to work on prioritising. If product team prioritise without consultation of accessibility team, chances are more for misinterpretation of what is important and what’s not from accessibility prospective. Prioritising is important because developers may not be able to address all of the issues at one go. 

How to set priority?

To begin with, leverage of “Levels” defined in Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 since they are set as Level A (minimum), Level AA (should be achieved) and Level AAA (maximum level of compliance). This could be first consideration. 

Next consideration should be importance of the feature. This needs to be decided in consultation with business owners. Let’s if issues falls under WCAG’s Level AA but feature is very important and/or frequently used, then it should be flagged as high priority. If an issue falls under WCAG’s Level A but doesn’t really bother user’s usability, then it’s priority can be set to moderate. 

Another consideration should be effort needed to fix. Specially when accessibility practice is new in the organisation, it would be worth to have developers fix easy things first; that gives them an opportunity to taste the benefits of writing accessible code and provide them enough time to understand ways to write accessible code. Getting started with easy things will provide developers a sense of encouragement.  

In conclusion, it’s essential to prioritise Accessibility issues and should be in-line with business priorities.