Sci-fi and Accessibility

We had our monthly team meeting earlier this month. There were introductions (we had new team members) and some ice breakers where people were called on to answer a question from our director. Her question for this meeting was this:

If you had a time machine, where would you go and why?

As people began to answer the question, some wanted to go into the future, some wanted to go to the past. My big “time machine” wish has always been to go back and work with Marie Curie in her lab. As long as I could take all the insulin I needed with me :-) And maybe some Gleevec to cure her leukemia.

One thing became clear as the team members began having side chats in slack — many of us had a surprisingly strong interest in Sci-Fi that we were not previously aware of. While each person was answering their question, background chats furiously discussed favorite authors (Vinge, Hamilton, Stross, and Haldeman were listed) and upcoming adaptations (like Apple’s Foundation). Coincidentally my husband texted me an NYT article later this same day as the meeting talking about how George RR Martin might actually finish the Winds of Winter, a long-overdue wrap up to the Game of Thrones series and has finished three chapters in the last two weeks due to COVID isolation and not being able to take a planned trip to New Zealand.

#scifi #coworkers #science-fiction #accessibility #disability #data science

What is GEEK

Buddha Community

Sci-fi and Accessibility
Lia  Haley

Lia Haley

1598876400

The World Needs Web Accessibility Now More Than Ever

A background with a top view of a laptop keyboard and text that reads, the web has become less accessible.

I attended a talk last year by Mike Gifford where he said, “the web has actually become LESS accessible since 2011.”

It’s cheap and easy for anyone to create a website these days, and hardly anyone considers accessibility. And why would you? If it’s not in your daily purview, it’s not going into your list of website requirements. Heck, most people don’t even think of the end user, Disabled or not, when creating a website. Especially not when they use a “drag and drop” style website creation platform. Nothing against those, just that those platforms often don’t have accessibility built in, and it’s very difficult to make them so, even if you had the desire.

The other aspect working against website accessibility is when you say the word, ‘accessibility’ not every even has a concept of what that means. I asked a website designer recently if he makes accessible websites, and he said, “yes…we add alt-tags to all our images.” Ummmm, OK. Great. But can a screen reader read your website?

So let’s dispel some myths and dive a bit into the world of what it means to implement web accessibility.

First off, it’s important to note that the USA actually has very clear legislation regarding accessibility. It’s called the Americans With Disabilities Act, and it includes websites. US-based companies should be aware that not having a minimally accessible business website can leave you open to a law suit and fines. I’m Canadian with a Canadian registered company, so I do not actually have to worry about getting sued for not having an accessible website, but bonus, I have one anyway! I’ll explain why it’s beneficial to have an accessible website even if you are not a US-based company.

#accessibility #web-accessibility #accessibility-design #accessibility-testing #amazon web services

Sci-fi and Accessibility

We had our monthly team meeting earlier this month. There were introductions (we had new team members) and some ice breakers where people were called on to answer a question from our director. Her question for this meeting was this:

If you had a time machine, where would you go and why?

As people began to answer the question, some wanted to go into the future, some wanted to go to the past. My big “time machine” wish has always been to go back and work with Marie Curie in her lab. As long as I could take all the insulin I needed with me :-) And maybe some Gleevec to cure her leukemia.

One thing became clear as the team members began having side chats in slack — many of us had a surprisingly strong interest in Sci-Fi that we were not previously aware of. While each person was answering their question, background chats furiously discussed favorite authors (Vinge, Hamilton, Stross, and Haldeman were listed) and upcoming adaptations (like Apple’s Foundation). Coincidentally my husband texted me an NYT article later this same day as the meeting talking about how George RR Martin might actually finish the Winds of Winter, a long-overdue wrap up to the Game of Thrones series and has finished three chapters in the last two weeks due to COVID isolation and not being able to take a planned trip to New Zealand.

#scifi #coworkers #science-fiction #accessibility #disability #data science

Ssekidde  Nat

Ssekidde Nat

1618660740

Inverting The Colors on Your PC for Accessibility

Recently when developing styles for accessible form inputs an interesting challenge came up — how to handle the inverted color schemes that are available on Windows computers. But why invert the colors? Those with vision issues may want to invert the colors on your Windows PC for readability and accessibility purposes.

For reference, to switch a Windows PC to use inverted colors, you can use the keyboard shortcut:

By default, form inputs like

<input> and <textarea> will look fine and the colors will invert properly.

#html #web-development #css #css3 #inverted-colors #accessibility #web-accessibility

Lenora  Hauck

Lenora Hauck

1596177720

Improving Accessibility of my GitHub Timeline App

This article shows how I improved the accessibility of a simple GitHub Timeline app I built.

A few weeks ago, I worked on a little GitHub Timeline project. When you enter a user’s username you can view a timeline of their public repositories in a chronological order — the most recent repo on top.

I chose a design, a colour palette, settled on React, and off I was to build my timeline app. Here’s a gif of how it eventually looked like:

GIF of how the app works

GIF of how the app works

Everything worked perfectly, right? I ensured it was responsive, the font and colours looked okay, and I ensured there was feedback when a user wasn’t found or when a user existed but without public repositories. I was ready for deployment, right?

Wrong.

What I described above is the default path of most developers. As long as we feel like the product/app works using ourselves as the standard, we make mistakes. The above application works and looks ready for deploy but let’s do another test. An accessibility test, and let’s see what we find. I will be using WAVE, a web accessibility evaluation tool, and we shall start with the homepage. Here are the errors and alerts found:

Screenshot of Homepage A11Y errors and warnings

#frontend-development #front-end-development #accessibility #accessibility-testing

Roberta  Ward

Roberta Ward

1602323147

Making the Web a Better Place: Accessibility Learnings

“Accessibility” tends to be a word that’s easily thrown into conversations to convey a sense of inclusivity but oftentimes comes with a lack of understanding.

Accessibility, often shortened to A11Y, shouldn’t be confused with usability. Usability refers to how a product is used by its users to achieve certain goals — effectively, efficiently, and with a sense of satisfaction. Accessibility, on the other hand, is the design of products such that it is usable by people with a wide range of abilities. In a nutshell, everyone (and by everyone, I really do mean every one) should be able to use it.

I confess that I did not know much about accessibility for software development. It was a topic that was not covered or mentioned in my bootcamp, but it’s a topic I find to be critically important as I continue to move forward in this space — even as a new developer. I am currently learning, as we all are.

I hope to delve deeper into this topic in my later articles, but for now, here are some quick and simple tips to keep in mind the next time you write that image tag without a descriptive alternate text or create a form/input field with no labels for it.

Note: There are a few different groups of disabilities to keep in mind: visual, hearing, motor, and cognitive. Today’s tips will be more visual-focused.

Visual

The ones that often and easily come to mind are visual — people who are blind or have a visual impairment and low visual acuity. Keyboard navigation is crucial for addressing these issues. Additionally, with visual disabilities, developers should not rely on color as the sole navigational tool or indication of different items. Namely, do not solely depend on the colors red and green to indicate bad or good. Why? Color blindness!

Now, I’m not saying to not use color. Use it! It makes the world come to life! But please add icons, text, and other elements to reinforce the content. Check your color contrast too — a low contrast can prove difficult to read for users.

Lastly, some people prefer a large print text or magnification to help read content, so design the page to allow for a zoomed-in lens with clear communication of the page’s content.

If images are included, and they often are, be sure to include alternative text in the markup/code! It’s a simple addition while you’re writing the code. It’s right there. A caption or descriptive summary close to the image is also a helpful addition. Users with visual impairments rely on assistive tools like screen readers to get information from the page. Screen readers will read out the alt text.

Additionally, let’s say you’re incorporating a form onto the page. For each input field, have a labelattached such that if a user were to click the label, the corresponding input field will focus. This is called an accessibility tree — something that screen readers utilize. It informs the user of various properties of the element (like the type, name, and state). This way, the connection between the label and input field element is clear and helps the user know what they’re answering.

#accessibility #web-development #programming #html #web-accessibility