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Revised Guidelines for Indian Government Websites and Apps has been published – Accessibility related sections

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has published revised Guidelines for Indian Government Websites and Apps. Ministry has published first version in January, 2009 and after 9 years, Ministry has now published second version to align with current technologies. These guidelines are adopted by Department of Administrative Reforms and public grievances, Ministry of Personnel, public grievances and pension, Government of India. Revised guidelines not only has guidelines for websites but also for mobile applications.

Following sections are related to Accessibiility:

  1.  1.8 talks about Web Accessibility 
  2. 11.4 talks about Mobile Accessibility Guidelines
  3. Compliance matrix has specific set of guidelines for accessibility both for websites and mobile applications

It’s great to see that guidelines are developed based on international standards including ISO 23026, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 (India) etc., 

Guidelines are made into three categories; i.e Mandatory, Advisory and Voluntary. 

  • Mandatory: The usage of the term ‘MUST’ signifies requirements which can be objectively assessed and which the Departments are supposed to mandatorily comply with. It is anticipated that there will be no exceptions for a Department not complying with these. In the case of any Department, these guidelines shall apply to all the WebPages/websites under the ownership of that Department. The websites will be checked against these guidelines when audits for compliance are undertaken or for the purpose of quality certification. It is the responsibility of each Department to address and bring into compliance, any non-compliant issues found in any website under their ownership.
  • Advisory: The usage of the term ‘should’ refers to recommended practices or advisories that are considered highly important and desirable but for their wide scope and a degree of subjectivity these guidelines would have otherwise qualified to be mandatory. Departments are, however, expected to comply with these advisories.
  • Voluntary: The usage of the term ‘may’ refers to voluntary practice, which can be for Indian Government Apps & Websites

Guidelines for Indian Government Apps and Websites has adopted Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and document clearly explains principles of WCAG. 2.0. With having accessibility guidelines in places, GIGAW aims to address the needs of persons with disabilities and ensure that websites and applications are compatible on all major browsers and platforms. One good thing is that accessibility guidelines are embedded into the chapters and not provided as a seperate guidelines. Advantage of doing this is less chances that users do skip these guidelines. Accessibility related guidelines can be found under following sections:

  • Chapter 2 (Indian Government Identity) – guidelines 2.1.6.
  • Chapter 5 (Quality of content) – guidelines 5.3.7, 5.4.2, 5.6.1, 5.6.3, 5.6.4.
  • Chapter 6 (Design) – guidelines 6.2.1, 6.4.5, 6.5.1, 6.5.4, 6.6.1, 6.6.3, 6.7.2, 6.7.3, 6.8.2, 6.8.8, 6.9.1, 6.10.1.
  • Chapter 7 (Development) – guidelines 7.5(a) to 7.5(j), 7.5(m) to 7.5(q).
  • Chapter 11 (Mobile App Guidelines) – most of the guidelines under section 11.4.

Read the full guidelines

Recap of Empower 2018

I have attended Empower 2018 – Assistive Technology Conference hosted by Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi from 25th to 27th October, 2018. Here is a recap of the conference.

Empower 2018 has been kicked off by Prof. Balakrishnan of IIT Delhi. In his address, he has welcomed all the participants, speakers, partners, sponsors and volunteers. 

Then, Dr. TV Raman of Google Research has delivered his keynote where he talked about eyes-free communication access, revolution of technology over the years and what it could be in the days to come. It’s amazing to to know Dr. Raman is an alumni of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 1984. 

Next there was a panel of speakers talking about accessible CAPTCHA solutions, inclusive interfaces. There was also talk about 6 by 6 app by BarrierBreak. In one of the talks, National Institute of Speech and Hearing has talked about how they leverage on technologies to communicate. One of the example is they leverage on WhatsApp web to communicate with people who are hard of hearing. Other method they do is use Google docs to communicate using text while a meeting is happening. One person will type live and someone else keep editing the same. 

Exhibition was awesome. It’s great to see a lot of products from IIT Madras including affordable note takers, Tactile printers etc., Saksham’s experience zone is just amazing where they showcased MI’s 32″ Television that is fully accessible, folder chess board, audio games, talking BP meter, and much more! 

Here are photos from the Empower 2018

Overall, it has been a great conference and I look forward to attending more of such events. I would also like to see it happening in different parts of the country. 

Recap of Intuit Annual Accessibility Summit, Inclusive Design 24 and Bangalore Accessibility Dinner

11th October, 2018 was fabulous day for Bangalore. Intuit hosted their 6th Annual Accessibility Summit in their Bangalore office. 

Summit has began with energiser by Prarthana, Co-founder of GiftAbled. Then summit was kicked off Ted Drake, Sanket and Somnath (leadership of Intuit) India.

Balashandra Shetty
Balachandra Shetty speaking at Intuit Accessibility Summit

First talk is by Bala from Google (ex-Intuit) talked about Next billion users where he talked how “voice” become more popular as an input method. He has also explained how much important the accessibility for Google’s new billion project. 

Srinivasu presenting his lecture with laptop
I’m delivering my #ID24 talk

Soon after a short break, I have delivered by Inclusive Design 24 talk on Building Accessible Websites with WordPress. I have started my talk with a brief introduction to myself, a little about WordPress, reasons as to why I would prefer to use wordpress as a platform, problem statement from accessibility prospective, talked about how one should choose themes from WordPress, my favorite plug-ins and finally some thoughts an author should consider while building websites with WordPress. In case you have missed mine and/or any other Inclusive Design24 talks, head over to Inclusive Design 24’s YouTube Channel and you will be able to listen to all of the talks.

Then we left for lunch break! Food was tasty and awesome conversation with Prarthana… Oh, yes I had desert twice!! (Blame Prarthana, if it’s against rules :-))

Panel on Life Style in Tech environment

After having great lunch, again Prarthana did another energizer to make sure all of the participants are awake and that started first afternoon session with a panel discussion on “Accessible Life Style in Tech environment” moderated by Prateek Kaul, Co-founder of GiftAbled. During this panel, Aleena from Intuit did a demo of and Android keyboard they have created and intend to open source at some point. This keyboard can be used will have a single button interface. Other panelists Hatim from Cisco and Madhumitha from Coco cola shared their experiences in their diversity and inclusion journey. Final panelist Rajarajeswari, Founder of Arteius spoke about technologies they are building in the health care sector. 

Sunil Jain speaking about importance of sports

Then Sunil Jain, Founder Trustee and Chief Enabler of Astha spoke about importance and accessibility in sports. He has discussed about challenges faced while entering in the area of sports. He has rightly pointed out how children of today are not getting opportunity to play sport thus unable to develop power of thinking. He urges irrespective child having disability or not, everyone should be given an opportunity to play. 

Panel discussion on Accessibility achievements, challenges and opportunities

Next panel is about Accessibility achievements, challenges and opportunities; again moderated by Prateek. In this panel, Basavaraju, Commissioner, Persons with Disabilities, Government of Karnataka spoke about what accessibility means to him and what role his department should play for inclusion. Other panelists are Apoorv Kulkarni, Accessibility Lead at Ola, Siddhant Shah, Founder of Access for All and Krishna Kumar, Programme Manager (Accessibility & Technology) of GiftAbled. Each of them spoke about efforts put in by each of them to ensure inclusion both for their internal employees and customers. 

Krish Srikant, speaking at Intuit Accessibility Summit

In the final session, Krish Srikant, VP of Customer Strategy, Prakat Solutions spoke about Autism at work: Exploring new opportunities for employment & services. He has talked about work that Prakat is doing in this area in Denver. 

Whole summit was anchored by Chandrasekhar, Talent Acquisition team member of Intuit. Fabulous inclusion T-shirts and goodies were distributed. Those goodies are crafted by people with disabilities and promoted by GiftAbled. 

Then we all have left for Bangalore Accessibility Awareness Dinner hosted by Intuit. It’s great to see a lot of new people this time. A fantastic networking and of course great food!

All photo credits in this post goes to Prarthana and Ted! 

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

Accessibility inspector is now available in Firefox Developer Tools

Starting version 61, Mozilla Firefox comes with Accessibility Inspector within developer tools. However, Accessibility Inspector is not enabled by default reason being shown that as of now while accessibility inspector is turned on, users are experiencing some performance issues using other developer tools.

It would be a great friend to developers to see what information gets exposed to assistive technologies and what is missing. So that developers would know instantly what they would need to fix. Here is what is said in the announcement on .

The accessibility inspector provides a means to access important information exposed to assistive technologies on the current page via the accessibility tree, allowing you to check what’s missing or otherwise needs attention.

As mentioned earlier, accessibility inspector is not active by default and here is how to activate the same.

  • Open Tools menu -> Web Developer -> Inspector
  • Choose three dots button on the right side top or using F1 key; this will minimise DevTools and open help menu
  • Choose Settings
  • Under Default Developer Tools section, Check “Accessibility” checkbox.
  • Now user will see “Accessibility” in the inspector tabs with a message saying “Accessibility inspector is not active by default and causes some performance issues. Turn off Accessibility inspector before using other DevTools” with a button “Turn ON Accessibility inspector
  • Activate the button

That’s it; now Accessibility inspector is now available to use.

Features of Accessibility Inspector

Screenshot of Firefox Accessibility Inspector

On the left-hand side, there is a tree diagram representing all the items in the accessibility tree for the current page. Items with nested children have arrows that can be clicked to reveal the children, so you can move deeper into the hierarchy. Each item has two properties listed:

  • Role — the role this item has on the page (e.g., pushbutton, or footer). This can be either a default role provided by the browser, or a role given to it via a WAI-ARIA role attribute.
  • Name — the name this item has on the page. Where this comes from depends on the element; for example, the name of most text elements is simply their textContent, whereas form elements’ names are the contents of their associated <label>.

On the right-hand side, you can see further information about the currently selected item. The listed properties are as follows:

  • name — the item’s name, as described above.
  • role — the item’s role, as described above.
  • actions — a list of the actions that can be performed on the item, for example a pushbutton would have “Press” listed, while a link would have “Jump” listed.
  • value — the value of the item. This can mean different things depending on the type of item; for example, a form input (role: entry) would have a value of whatever is entered in the input, whereas a link’s value would be the URL in the corresponding <a> element’s href.
  • DOMNode — the type of DOM node that the item in the accessibility tree represents. You can click on the “target” icon that comes after it to select the node in the Page Inspector. Hovering over the “target” icon highlights the DOM node in the page content.
    DOMNode property in accessibility inspector with target icon highlighted
  • description — any further description provided on the element, usually by the content of a title attribute.
  • help — this is not implemented in Gecko, so it always returns an empty string. This will be removed from the inspector in Firefox 62 (bug 1467643).
  • keyboardShortcut — any keyboard shortcut that is available to activate the element, as specified in an accessKey attribute. Note that this works correctly as of Firefox 62 (bug 1467381).
  • childCount — the number of child items the current item has in the accessibility tree hierarchy.
  • indexInParent — an index value indicating what number child the item is, inside its parent. If the item is the first item inside its parent, it has a value of 0. If it is the second, it has a value of 1. And so on.
  • states — a list of the different accessibility-relevant states that can apply to the current item. For example, one of the links in one demo has states of focusable, linked, selectable text, opaque, enabled, and sensitive. For a full list of internal states, see Gecko states.
  • attributes — a list of all the accessibility-relevant attributes that are applied to the item. This can include style-related attributes such as margin-left and text-indent, and other useful states for accessibility information, such as draggable and level (e.g., what heading level is it, in the case of headings). For a full list of possible attributes, see Gecko object attributes.

Note: The exposed information is the same across all platforms — the inspector exposes Gecko’s accessibility tree, rather than information from the platform accessibility layer.

The Accessibility tab is fully keyboard-accessible:

  • You can tab between the Turn Off Accessibility Features button and left and right panels.
  • When one of the panels is focused, you can move the focus up and down items using the up and down arrow keys, and use the left and right arrow keys to expand and collapse expandable rows (e.g., different hierarchy levels of the accessibility tree).

In addition, a new context menu option is available to inspect accessibility inspector for an element. Read Mozilla Developer Network blog post for more details.

So dear Developers, now you have one more helping hand to consider accessibility right from the development stage.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 is now official

On 5th June, 2018 Web Accessibilty Initiative of World Wide Web Consortium has announced that Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 has become official recommendation as standard. There has been tremendous efforts by Accessibility Guidelines Working Group which includes task forces for Cognitive, Low Vision and Mobile users. This is an evolution of W3C’s accessibility guidance, including expansion of mobile, low vision, and cognitive and learning provisions. It maintains W3C’s accessibility guidance, while maintaining W3C’s standard of implementable, technology neutral, objectively testable and universally applicable accessibility guidance.

New Support in WCAG 2.1

For users of mobile devices, WCAG 2.1 provides updated guidance including support for user interactions using touch, handling more complex gestures, and for avoiding unintended activation of an interface. For users with low vision, WCAG 2.1 extends contrast requirements to graphics, and introduces new requirements for text and layout customization to support better visual perception of web content and controls. For users with cognitive, language, and learning disabilities, WCAG 2.1 improvements include a requirement to provide information about the specific purpose of input controls, as well as additional requirements to support timeouts due to inactivity. This can help many users better understand web content and how to successfully interact with it.

As with WCAG 2.0, following these guidelines will continue to make content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity, and learning disabilities and cognitive limitations. Following these guidelines can also make websites more usable for all users.

Read the complete blog post by Andrew and Micheal on W3C Blog

Here are list of New Success Criterions in WCAG 2.1

Guideline 1.3 Adaptable

Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.

1.3.4 Orientation (Level AA)

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.

Comic with cerebral palsy who uses a wheelchair:

  • Problem:I can’t rotate my tablet — it’s attached to my wheelchair.
  • Works well:The application works whether I attach my tablet horizontally or vertically.

Understanding Orientation

1.3.5 Identify Input Purpose (AA)

The purpose of each input field collecting information about the user can be programmatically determined when:

Supermarket assistant with dyslexia and dyscalculia:

  • Problem:My address is so complicated. There’s lots of numbers and long words. It’s hard to type it all without making mistakes.
  • Works well:I love websites that can automatically fill it all in for me. Then I don’t have to work so hard to get the numbers and spelling right.
    Note: This works because the fields use autocomplete.

Understanding Identify Input Purpose

1.3.6 Identify Purpose (AAA)

In content implemented using markup languages, the purpose of User Interface Components, icons, and regionscan be programmatically determined.

Gamer with language processing disability:

  • Problem:I have software that changes the words in the navigation into symbols. It doesn’t work at all with some websites.
  • Works well:It works pretty good with some websites.

Understanding Identify Purpose

Guideline 1.4 Distinguishable

Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.

1.4.10 Reflow (AA)

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 CSS pixels;

Except for parts of the content which require two-dimensional layout for usage or meaning.

Parent with low vision – 20/400:

  • Problem:It’s nearly impossible to read text if I have to scroll right and left to read each line. It’s disorienting and I lose my place. It makes it hard to understand what I’m reading.
  • Works well:I increase the text size 400% and it reflowed within the width of the window. I can read it easily without scrolling back and forth.

Understanding Reflow

1.4.11 Non-Text Contrast (AA)

The visual presentation of the following have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 against adjacent color(s):

User Interface Components
Visual information used to indicate states and boundaries of user interface components, 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.

Retiree with low contrast sensitivity:

  • Problem:I couldn’t use the “Order Form” — there were no text boxes. After a long call with customer service, I learned there were text box borders that were too light for me to see.
  • Works well:It’s easy for me to see all the icons and buttons and everything — even in the sunlight.

Understanding Non-text Contrast

1.4.12 Text Spacing (AA)

In content implemented using markup languages that support the following text style 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.

Student with dyslexia:
and Retiree with low vision:

  • Problem:Most text is hard to read. It’s so cluttered I can’t keep my focus. Just increasing the space between lines makes all the difference. When I’m really tired, I also increase the space between words.
  • Works well:OK, I know I’m a bit of a geek, but I’ve perfected a user style sheet to make text spacing just right for me. It’s a relief when websites work with my CSS.

Understanding Text Spacing

1.4.13 Content on Hover or Focus (AA)

Where receiving and then removing pointer hover or keyboard focus triggers additional content to become visible and then hidden, the following are true:

Dismissable
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.

Teacher with low vision who uses screen magnification software:

  • Problem:I was moving my mouse around to track what I was looking at on a web page. It helps me keep focused. Then -boom- this little box popped up. It covered what I was trying to read and I couldn’t get it to go away.
  • Works well:I hovered over a word and a box popped up with the definition, but it was mostly off the screen with my magnification. I moved my mouse pointer to the definition box and scrolled the magnified area over to the definition box and it stayed popped up so I could read it.

Understanding Content on Hover or Focus

Guideline 2.1 Keyboard Accessible

Make all functionality available from a keyboard.

2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts (A)

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
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.

Reporter with repetitive stress injury who uses voice recognition software:

  • Problem:When I was using my mail app with voice commands, it kept deleting the messages instead of opening them.
    Note: There was a shortcut key for delete that was triggered by something he was saying, and no way to turn off the shortcut keys.
  • Works well:In my spreadsheet application, there’s a setting to turn off or modify character key shortcuts.

Understanding Character Key Shortcuts

Guideline 2.2 Enough Time

Provide users enough time to read and use content.

2.2.6 Timeouts (AAA)

Users are warned of the duration of any user inactivity that could cause data loss, unless the data is preserved for more than 20 hours when the user does not take any actions.

School playground aide with cognitive disabilities:

  • Problem:I was selecting my Employee Benefits and was comparing the different plans. When I went back to select the Health Plan, it had timed out and lost all the information I had already entered.
  • Works well:When I started the Employee Benefits app, it told me how many minutes I had to complete the forms.

Understanding Timeouts

Guideline 2.3 Seizures and Physical Reactions

Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures or physical reactions.

2.3.3 Animation from Interactions (AAA)

Motion animation triggered by interaction can be disabled, unless the animation is essential to the functionality or the information being conveyed.

Artist with vestibular disorder:

  • Problem:In the online tax app, as I move my mouse around or tab to different fields, this little bubble with the current balance follows me around the screen. Makes me dizzy and nauseous.
  • Works well:I was so glad there was an option to turn off animations.

Understanding Animation from Interactions

Guideline 2.5 Input Modalities

Make it easier for users to operate functionality through various inputs beyond keyboard.

2.5.1 Pointer Gestures (A)

All functionality that uses multipoint or path-based gestures for operation can be operated with a single pointerwithout a path-based gesture, unless a multipoint or path-based gesture is essential.

Comic with cerebral palsy who has limited movement in fingers:

  • Problem:I can’t move my fingers like that. I need another way to zoom in the map.
  • Works well:Good thing there are buttons to zoom in and out.

Understanding Pointer Gestures

2.5.2 Pointer Cancellation (A)

For functionality that can be operated using a single pointer, at least one of the following is true:

No Down-Event
The down-event of the pointer is not used to execute any part of the function;
Abort or Undo
Completion of the function is on the up-event, and a mechanism is available to abort the function before completion or to undo the function after completion;
Up Reversal
The up-event reverses any outcome of the preceding down-event;
Essential
Completing the function on the down-event is essential.

Politician with motor disabilities and low vision:

  • Problem:I went to hit the “Mute” button and accidentally touched the “End Call” button instead. It hung up immediately.
  • Works well:In another web conferencing application, if I accidentally touch the “End Call” button, I can just slide my finger off the “End Call” button and it won’t end the call.

Understanding Pointer Cancellation

2.5.3 Label in Name (A)

For user interface components with labels that include text or images of text, the name contains the text that is presented visually.

Reporter with repetitive stress injury who uses voice recognition software:

  • Problem:It understood most of my voice commands until I got to the Send button. I kept saying ‘Send’ and it didn’t work.
    Note: It was visually labelled ‘send’ but the ‘name’ in the code was ‘submit’. It would have worked if the ‘name’ started with ‘send’.

Understanding Label in Name

2.5.4 Motion Actuation (A)

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:

Supported Interface
The motion is used to operate functionality through an accessibility supported interface;
Essential
The motion is essential for the function and doing so would invalidate the activity.

Comic with cerebral palsy who uses a wheelchair:

  • Problem:I can’t shake my phone; it’s connected to my wheelchair. So there needs to be another way to activate that feature, like a button.
  • Problem:I have tremors, so I need to turn off motion activation — and then be able to do stuff without motion actuation.
  • Works well:My friend has this cool application that looks like a physical spin lock. She rotates the phone to turn to the combination. I can use the same application by typing the numbers directly.

Understanding Motion Actuation

2.5.5 Target Size (AAA)

The size of the target for pointer inputs is at least 44 by 44 CSS pixels except when:

Equivalent
The target is available through an equivalent link or control on the same page that is at least 44 by 44 CSS pixels;
Inline
The target is in a sentence or block of text;
User Agent Control
The size of the target is determined by the user agent and is not modified by the author;
Essential
A particular presentation of the target is essential to the information being conveyed.

Retiree with hand tremor (and big fingers):

  • Problem:The buttons are so small, I hit “Cancel” when going for “Submit”. Then I have to start all over again.
  • Works well:This website buttons are big enough that I don’t hit the wrong button even when I’m riding on the bumpy bus.

Understanding Target Size

2.5.6 Concurrent Input Mechanisms (AAA)

Web content does not restrict use of input modalities available on a platform except where the restriction is essential, required to ensure the security of the content, or required to respect user settings.

Reporter with repetitive stress injury who uses voice recognition software:

  • Problem:When my RSI acts up, I switch back and forth a lot between keyboard, mouse, stylus, voice. This application doesn’t let me use the stylus when I have a keyboard plugged in.

Understanding Concurrent Input Mechanisms

Guideline 4.1 Compatible

Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

4.1.3 Status Messages (AA)

In content implemented using markup languages, status messages can be programmatically determined through role or properties such that they can be presented to the user by assistive technologies without receiving focus.

Accountant who is blind and uses a screen reader:

  • Problem:I selected a class for the conference, but I can’t tell if it got added to my schedule.
  • Works well:When I add a meeting to my calendar, I hear a confirmation.

Understanding Status Messages

Above details are reproduced from What’s new in WCAG 2.1 on WAI Website.

ServeOM Inclusion will be happy to assist community in understanding WCAG 2.1, testing products against WCAG 2.1. Do contact us to have a conversation.

Gratitude to everyone involved in building these standards.

New in Android Accessibility

I was watching What’s new in Android Accessibility? and here is my quick notes. It’s great to see our good friend Victor Tsaran on the stage of Google I/O.

Sound Amplifier – to help increase audio quality on your android and avoid sound disturbances around the user. The way i was explained was amazing that this feature could reduce noise from around the user and help user focus on the conversation.

Accessibility menu – take screenshot, lock screen, power off etc., Easy access to some commonly used features.

Lookout – for blind and low vision – helpful in situations where they need help. Finding chair, etc., Appears this app is similar to Microsoft Seeing AI, but a few tasks may be done without internet access. Looking forward for this app to be available in India.

Select to Speak – Now comes OCR capabilities for camera. Just place camera around a paper and it reads aloud.

Voice Access – use android with voice.

Android Accessibility Suite – combination of various accessibiolity services

I would like to congratulate Winner of Google play award – Be My Eyes, Sesame-enable.com and Audiogamehub.com

There has been great progress for Android over a few years. Way to go!

Simply reading app launched by DAISY Consortium

DAISY Consortium has just announced the launch of Simply reading app (on Android) – a simple and intuitive app to read ePub books. Interface of the app looks rich and simple; works for everyone including users with disabilities. App does include a getting started guide which also has list of gestures that ca be used with and without talk back screen reader.

Simply reading app enable users to access books from wide range of sources including device memory, Bookshare, Dropbox, Sugamya Pusthakalaya and Gutenbergh etc.,

Only improvement it should consider is color contrast for text on few screens such as list of books etc.,

Happy reading!

WCAG 2.1 is now a proposed recommendation

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 has become a proposed recommendation a while ago. This is possibly a last step before a standard becomes W3C recommendation. In short, this process is to confirm if required corrections are made. Here is what it means in the words of W3C.

7.6.4 Call for Review of Proposed Corrections

Document maturity level: A Recommendation, plus a list of proposed corrections. The Working Group should also include a detailed description of how the Working Group plans to change the text of the Recommendation for each proposed correction.

Announcement: The Working Group must announce the Call for Review to other W3C groups, the public, and the Advisory Committee. This is not a formal Advisory Committee review. However, the announcement must clearly indicate that this is a proposal to make normative corrections to the Recommendation and must:

  1. specify the deadline for review comments;
  2. identify known dependencies and solicit review from all dependent Working Groups;
  3. solicit public review.

Purpose: At this step, W3C seeks confirmation of proposed corrections to a Recommendation.

Entrance criteria: The Working Group calls for review when, with respect to changes to the document, the group has fulfilled the same entrance criteria as for a Call for Review of a Proposed Recommendation.

Duration of the review: The announcement begins a review period that must last at least four weeks.

Ongoing work: Same as for a Proposed Edited Recommendation.

If there are no formal objections to the proposed corrections, W3C considers them normative. The Working Group must report formal objections to the Director, who assesses whether there is sufficient consensus to declare the proposed corrections to be normative.

So this should be final and final chance to have any say and contribute to WCAG 2.1. As I see it, there have been a lot of great efforts and WCAG 2.1 looks awesome. Why not we just start implementing it?

Gratitude to all those who have closely involved in putting these standards together.

WCAG 2.1 is now a candid recommendation

Accessibility Guidelines Working Group of W3C has published WCAG 2.1 as a candid recommendation (CR). Purpose of CR is to ensure that standard can be implemented. Results of this exercise will be made available on WCAG 2.1 Implementation report once it’s completed. Working group plans to complete this by June 2018.

What’s new in WCAG 2.1

Addresses more accessibility requirements of people with cognitive disabilities, people with low vision and improves accessibility of mobile. Features of WCAG 2.1 are:

WCAG 2.1 extends WCAG 2.0 by adding new success criteria, definitions to support them, guidelines to organize the additions, and a couple of additions to the conformance section. This additive approach helps to make it clear that sites which conform to WCAG 2.1 also conform to WCAG 2.0, thereby meeting conformance obligations that are specific to WCAG 2.0. The Accessibility Guidelines Working Group recommends that sites adopt WCAG 2.1 as their new conformance target, even if formal obligations mention WCAG 2.0, to provide improved accessibility and to anticipate future policy changes.

The following Success Criteria are new in WCAG 2.1:

Many of these success criteria reference new terms that have also been added to the glossary and form part of the normative requirements of the success criteria.

In the Conformance section, a third note about page variants has been added to Full Pages, and an option for machine-readable metadata added to Optional Components of a Conformance Claim.

What we should do

Apply WCAG 2.1 to our day-to-day work and report when a success criterion cannot be implemented. Do file an issue on Github or write to Chairs of Accessibility Guidelines Working Group.

Let’s do some exiting work! Sincere thanks to everyone involved in building accessibility standards.