Welcome to Hassell Inclusion

Hassell Inclusion is an inclusion and accessibility consultancy founded and directed by internationally renowned accessibility expert Professor Jonathan Hassell. Hassell Inclusion provides: strategic thought-leadership in inclusion and accessibility; training and consultancy to embed inclusion in organisations’ business-as-usual processes; leadership to set national and international inclusion standards; and facilitation of innovation in inclusion.

Does web accessibility really “place ruinous obligations on websites”? – analysis of Internet Association brief

Last week a brief filed by the Internet Association, which represents Google, Amazon, Facebook, AOL and eBay, stated “Applying the ADA to all Web sites may place uncertain, conflicting, burdensome, and possibly ruinous obligations on (our) members.” As many of those member websites include accessibility statements that tell a very different story, Jonathan Hassell asks why such overblown statements are made, what scares website owners about the link between WCAG 2.0 and disability discrimination laws, and whether standards like BS 8878 that advocate an approach based on ‘reasonable accommodations’ may help lower anxiety and restore sense in the debate around accessibility cost-benefits…

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5 things you should know before buying accessibility audit and accreditation services

From WCAG 2.0 AA and Section 508 VPATs to RNIB/AbilityNet Surf Right, DAC and Shaw Trust accreditation, there are a lot of accessibility conformance badges out there. As a free scheme to accelerate accessibility of websites is introduced by the Hong Kong government, using yet another new set of metrics, Jonathan Hassell asks what the true value of accessibility badges is, both to the organisations that buy them, and to the disabled people who use their sites…

The future of WCAG – maximising its strengths not its weaknesses

2012 was a year of real ups and downs for the de-facto Standard for accessibility, WCAG 2.0. It’s finally become ratified as an international Standard. It’s been included in legislation in Europe, Canada and the USA. At the same time it’s also had its value questioned by academic research, and the achievability of its AAA level questioned by some voices in the accessibility community. Calls for it to be updated are becoming louder and louder. And frameworks like BS 8878, in which WCAG 2.0 can be more successfully integrated with the practicalities of real-world web product development, are gaining support in the commercial and academic worlds. So, with the growing movement for WCAG 2.0 to replace national standards and thus harmonise accessibility standards globally, it’s a good time to summarise WCAG 2.0′s strengths and weaknesses, what strengths other national standards have that it may lack, and what will be needed to make it a much better ‘harmonised Standard’ for the future…

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A clear EU accessibility law proposed? At what cost?

Early this month the European Commission issued a proposal for a directive on “Accessibility of Public Sector Bodies’ Websites”. This will require twelve categories of EU public-sector websites to comply with W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 at the AA level. The directive could establish a law centred around a clearer definition of ‘the objective set of criteria for determining what an accessible website looks like’ that many accessibility advocates have been wanting for years. So what does this proposed directive mean for developers, disabled & older people, and website owners in the UK? Is it going to get disabled and older people the benefits they want, without burdening website owners with unreasonable costs that prevent them implementing it? Find out more…

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Everybody Technology – innovation through inclusive design

From the typewriter to ‘Zombies, Run!’, some of the greatest mainstream products were originally created in response to the needs of a disabled person. And many companies are finding that innovation can spring from considering how disabled people might use their products. Those were my messages last Friday when I spoke alongside IBM, Panasonic, Ribot, the BBC and AbilityNet at an event staged by the Royal London Society for Blind People, advocating ‘Everybody Technology’ – mainstream technology that can meet the needs of 100% of the population. Find out more…

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Netflix captions lawsuit settlement – how the perception of why you’ve improved your accessibility is vital for ROI

The captions lawsuit between NAD and Netflix has now been settled, with an agreement for Netflix to achieve 100% captioned programmes within 2 years and to pay costs of $755,000 in legal fees. So what does this mean for Netflix, NAD, the hard-of-hearing people that organisations like NAD represent, and the web industry in general? What will Netflix have to do to gain the maximum return on investment for their extra captioning work? And what can all organisations learn from the case about how to portray their accessibility decisions to disabled audiences?

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Line in the sand – getting past the legacy content accessibility problem

Organisations are often embarrassed about their fragmented history of dealing with accessibility. They reckon some parts of their website (or sites) might be accessible, other parts really concern them, and yet others they haven’t got a clue about. They’re worried that they have to make everything accessible, right now. And they can’t see how to make legacy content accessible without great expense, even if it’s not really that important to them and their users any more. Find out how ‘drawing a line in the sand’ can free up organisations to move forwards with accessibility, without legacy issues holding them back…


Paralympics 2012: paralympic legacy, inclusion and accessibility

Now the wonder of the Paralympics is over, thoughts turn to its legacy. Have the Paralympics changed the way people feel about disabled people for good? Or did all that sweat and inspiration just create a temporary summer without cynicism? In the world of web accessibility improvements are often temporary. Accessibility testing finds problems to be fixed in a product, but often no changes happen to the way products are created, so problems re-occur in the next version. Learning from your mistakes is great. But not forgetting what you’ve learnt is even better. Read how BS 8878 was designed to help organisations do this, to secure the legacy…

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Paralympics 2012: Do you have to be ‘superhuman’ to be an inspiration?

The Paralympics are great at giving the whole world a huge dose of inspiration from disabled athletes showing what they can do – their capabilities not their disabilities. But not all disabled people are ‘Superhuman’ athletes, and it’s not only Paralympians who have amazing stories to tell about overcoming challenges. Yves Veulliet – a diversity manager from IBM – has written an amazing book telling one of these inspiring stories with humour and brevity. We loved the book so much Jonathan Hassell interviewed Yves so he could bring his key messages to you – the need for a more business-focused view of accessibility, whether the Paralympics and Olympics should be integrated to achieve real inclusion, how rehabilitation should care more for the emotional side of becoming disabled, and why being human should be enough…


NAD vs Netflix captions lawsuit: is LoveFilm in the UK even more exposed?

Last week, a U.S. federal judge allowed a lawsuit that would require Netflix to include closed captioning on all its Watch Instantly content to move forward, denying Netflix’s request for the dismissal of the case. However, possibly as a result of this lawsuit, Netflix is already doing more than almost any other video-on-demand supplier to enrich its content with captions / subtitles. So are other VOD suppliers like LoveFIlm in danger of facing similar lawsuits in the UK?

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