Accessibility

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 »

508 Accessible Videos—Why (and How) to Make Them

Jun 30, 2014 | , ,

Making Web content and video accessible to people with disabilities is the law. Ensuring a video is accessible requires planning. Taking steps from day one will save you time and money. To verify that a video is accessible you’d need to incorporate three elements: Captioning Audio descriptions An Accessible video player Why Accessibility Matters Many government Read »

508 Accessible Videos – Use a 508-Compliant Video Player

Jun 30, 2014 | , ,

When you watch a video on your computer, the window that displays your video is called a “video player.” It usually has start, pause, and other buttons. You might not be aware that you’re using a player at all—you just watch your video. A fully-accessible video player (e.g. Section 508-compliant) Read »

508 Accessible Videos – How to Make Audio Descriptions

Jun 30, 2014 | , ,

What are Audio Descriptions? Audio Description, also called descriptive video or video description, is an additional audio track that describes and gives context for essential visual information. Audio Description makes videos and multimedia accessible to people who have “low vision” (very poor vision), or who are blind, by capturing what Read »

508 Accessible Videos – How to Caption Videos

Jun 30, 2014 | , ,

What are Captions? In a video, captions collect all audio information and describe them using text. They include not only spoken content but also non-speech information such as sound effects, music, laughter, and speaker identification and location (for example, audio spoken off-screen). Captions appear transposed over the visual elements in Read »

Social Media: Accessibility Issues and Solutions

Jun 30, 2014 |

The more public information is digitized, the more it lands on or sprouts from social media channels. This is why there needs to be a greater level of awareness and consideration for those who can benefit most from that information—people with disabilities—since they have the least access to it. Like many websites, social media platforms Read »

U.S. Gov Releases New Collaborative Social Media Services

Jun 30, 2014 |

The Federal #SocialGov Community, a collective of almost 700 digital engagement managers from more than 120 government agencies, marked the 2nd anniversary of our program by releasing a suite of new collaborative services to help us better work together and with partners in Read »