Accessibility

Making Federal Employment Accessible thru DOD’s CAP App

Nov 5, 2015 |

“My Disability is One Part of Who I Am” was the theme of the 70th National Disability Employment Awareness Month this past October. We celebrated the many contributions of our friends and co-workers with disabilities and recognized the diverse skills and talents they bring to our workplace. However, the real question is: how do we create a Read »

Why Your User Experience Must Include Design for Accessibility

Oct 16, 2015 |

Too often, usability and accessibility are confused with each other by our clients (stakeholders). They shouldn’t be, because while they are related, they are very different. So, how do you bring these two concepts together? They should really be working side-by-side throughout the ENTIRE process. This might seem like a no-brainer but it can be Read »

PDFs: A Digital Content Detour

Jul 23, 2015 |

The Portable Document Format, or “PDF” file, is one of the staple productions of many communications professionals. It’s compact, prints exactly as formatted, and allows for clean, multiplatform distribution. However, it’s the old “U.S. Route” on the Digital Interstate. Let’s take an average user of a U.S. government website: a 45 year old PC user Read »

Trends on Tuesday: Global Efforts Underway to Update Mobile Accessibility Guidelines

Jun 23, 2015 |

Federal agencies do not get a free pass on accessibility for mobile—as we stated earlier this month, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act applies to ALL information and communication technology (ICT). Luckily, there are a number of organizations working on guidelines and practices to help the private and public sectors create accessible mobile websites and Read »

Using Section 508 Guidance to Improve the Accessibility of Government Services

Jun 5, 2015 |

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires federal agencies to use accessible information and communication technology (ICT), whether procured, developed, or maintained. Since the U.S. Access Board issued regulations for the law in 2000, much implementation guidance has been prepared by various agencies. While the regulations are being refreshed to account for changes in ICT over Read »

Usability Testing with People Who Have Vision Impairment

Apr 10, 2015 |

It’s a forgone conclusion that usability studies are effective in identifying weak points within a website, but what about testing people who are visually impaired? How hard is it to accommodate them? There are some additional challenges that you may encounter when conducting testing with people with disabilities; however, these challenges should not be considered Read »

Usability Design for Kids: Things Federal Workers Should Know

Mar 24, 2015 |

I used to teach 8th grade science in inner city Denver in the 1990s. After that, I supported special education students and their teachers in North Carolina. Around that time (mid-late 1990s), the Internet wasn’t really designed for kids –most of the electronic materials I Read »

GoodGovUX Addresses UX of IT Contracts

Mar 13, 2015 |

How do you define user experience (UX)? That was the question posed to more than 100 people at the GoodGovUX event at the Artisphere in Arlington, Virginia, on February 24th. Attendees learned how government can improve the user experience of digital products, from Read »

Accessibility Is (Not) Scary

Feb 20, 2015 |

The word accessibility breeds misconceptions. Why? Because accessibility is something that scares you. Accessibility is hard. Accessibility needs people with specialized expertise. Accessibility problems often depend on the context of the website or Web application in question. Accessibility takes time. Accessibility is a legal mandate. Accessibility is a moral obligation. These statements are both true Read »

6 Digital Media Trends for 2015: You Can Make Them Accessible!

Jan 28, 2015 |

Resolutions and predictions abound this time of year. If you’ve already lost the fight to finally give up sardine ice cream, you can always resolve to maintain or improve your digital media accessibility. Some people say that accessibility and Section 508 compliance squashes Read »

Social Media and Accessibility: Resources to Know

Jan 2, 2015 |

When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990, there was no Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Since then, the number of social media channels, and their use for communication among all demographics, has grown exponentially. Unfortunately, however, despite newer ways to reach individuals living with disabilities, many individuals in this community face challenges Read »

Crowdsourcing for Accessibility

Dec 29, 2014 |

While we’re anticipating the Section 508 refresh, many government digital media teams are facing the task of incorporating WCAG 2.0 standards (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) in their projects despite having limited staff resources and budget constraints. We can use creative solutions, such as crowdsourcing, to overcome those challenges and make our works accessible. Our teams Read »

Results: 2014 Federal User Experience Survey

Nov 21, 2014 |

The cream of the crop of the top of the mountain of ALL of the surveys I run has to be the Federal User Experience (UX) Survey. It’s the second time I’ve had the privilege of running it with Jean Fox, research psychologist extraordinaire from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. When I start thinking about learning Read »

User Experience Impossible: The Line Between Accessibility and Usability

Nov 17, 2014 |

Bob goes to a popular federal government site, using his assistive technology, and starts reading a teaser for an article. Just below the teaser, there’s an embedded video on the page. He presses the tab key, trying to navigate to a link for the full article, but suddenly he’s trapped—he can’t tab past the video. Read »

Celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508

Aug 7, 2014 |

Happy anniversary, baby! Seventies pop songs aside, July 26, 2014, was the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and on August 7 of this year, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998, will have its 16th anniversary. Sometimes these two laws are mistaken one for the other, Read »

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