Thinking of adding festive cheer to your site? Will everyone appreciate your Christmas plugin?

Christmas is coming fast. So how does Santa relate to accessibility? The Christmasify WordPress plugin allows web sites to add a selection of Christmassy items: snowfall, Santa on his sledge moving across the screen, some Christmassy tunes playing, festive decorations for images, and a Christmassy font for the headings. A bit of seasonable fun? Yes. But adding this plugin (and others like it) can cause serious accessibility issues for significant numbers of your site visitors. So can the plugin’s accessibility (and Christmas) be saved?

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What I wish I’d known when I got into accessibility – Digital Accessibility Experts Podcast Episode 1

We often meet people who are desperate to gain knowledge in accessibility. In our team at Hassell Inclusion we’re lucky to have international experts who have over 70 years of accessibility experience between us. We’ve created accessibility standards and help a diverse range of clients to apply those standards to their work every day of the week. We wanted to start opening up some of that well of experience, so people who want to know more about accessibility can benefit. That’s why we’ve created the Digital Accessibility Experts Podcast. Here’s episode 1…

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The importance of process: why you may be wasting some of your spend on accessibility

Is accessibility becoming an important part of your digital product development? Something that you’re spending increasing time and effort on? In this blog, Hassell Inclusion’s CEO Jonathan Hassell interviews Debra Ruh from Ruh Global Communications on how embedding accessibility in your processes may be more effective than just chasing compliance – anything else is just not sustainable

WCAG 2.1 is here – what’s in it for you?

WCAG 2.1 has now been published. Many people are talking about what’s in it. But the more important question is: what’s in it for you? Here’s a background to why we needed a new accessibility standard, what we recommend organisations should do about moving to it, and some hints and tips from our experience of helping our clients use it so far…

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Relearnability – how to keep your disabled users through a website redesign

Despite our aversion to change, new versions of websites and apps are being released at an increasing rate. Product Managers do this to add new functionality, restructure creaking information hierarchies, or just to keep up with current design trends. However, whenever you change a digital product there will be a period in which your users will feel uncomfortable, as they have to re-learn how to use it. Even if the new site is more accessible than the previous one, if it’s structured differently you can actually lose disabled users, as the challenge of re-learning how to use a site can be a big challenge. So how can you prevent this?

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The importance of text accessibility: how IBM’s Content Clarifier shows us what we’ve forgotten

in 2001, when I first started working in accessibility at the BBC, one of the key things we thought about was the aim to make text as simple as possible. Using Plain Language. In WCAG 1.0, this was a single-A requirement, recognising it as one of the most important aspects of web accessibility. But WCAG 2.0 downgraded it to be AAA, which everyone forgets. So can IBM’s Content Clarifier remind us of the key text accessibility requirements we’ve forgot?

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Browser Extensions can Deliver Landmark Navigation for All Keyboard Users

Landmark navigation is really useful for screen reader users. They can jump around pages from landmark to landmark, and heading to heading. However, lack of native browser support for landmark navigation prevents sighted keyboard users, for whom browsing busy pages can be a bit of a slog, from getting this help. In this article we’ll look at two browser extensions that can make this functionality available to all keyboard users…

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5 accessibility tests you can do in 5 minutes

Accessibility testing is a specialist skill. However, just because there are tests that require detailed knowledge and tools or expensive assistive technology, it doesn’t mean that it can only be done by experts. There are several a11y tests which can be done by anyone, in quite a short time without requiring any specialist knowledge. Importantly, they also do not require that you to have access to any specialist tools. Here’s 5 you can do in 5 minutes…

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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…