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Web accessibility videos

Web Accessibility Matters (4-part playlist)

Part 1: Why Should We Care

Part 2: Now is the Perfect Time

Part 3: Difficulties and Technologies: Avoiding Tradeoffs

Part 4: Assistive Technologies Drive Innovation

Part 5: coming soon! (join our mailing list to make sure you’re notified)

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Web Accessibility Matters: (with Audio Description) (4-part playlist)

 (for both typical and audio description version)
Transcript | Web Accessibility Matters: Why Should We Care

This is a transcript of the video Web Accessibility Matters: Why Should We Care.

 
(Image of a computer keyboard with a wheelchair symbol on one of the keys. David Berman appears on screen and faces the camera for the duration of this video. David is wearing a dark grey suit with a black shirt and tie. David is also wearing goggles, which he will explain during the video.)

Hi, I’m David Berman and I’m eager to share with you why accessibility matters.

You’ve picked the perfect time to learn about why online accessibility matters so much. And this is the first of a series of segments where we’re going to learn about the type a difficulties people are up against in the amazing assistive technologies that we’ve invented to overcome those difficulties.

We’re going to talk about how we can create online presences with no trade-offs at all and what’s the best way to organize ourselves to get it done.

But first, I’d like to tell you about these glasses I’m wearing. These glasses are part of a kit that’s designed by a friend of mine, George Zimmerman. He’s a doctor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

To think about disabilities we tend to think about extreme disability someone has been blind since birth. Someone who can’t hear at all. But in fact the vast majority of disabilities actually are more subtle and perhaps more temporary.

Now on my left eye I’m wearing a lens which limits my vision to about 3 degrees. On my right eye more of a… this is a 20/200 lens that kind of gives me a Trailer Park Boys Coke bottle glasses kind of experience of the world. With this kit George’s made it possible for people with more typical sight to simulate all sorts of challenges.

Here’s my tiger; she’s wearing for instance a lens on her left eye that simulates cataracts and on the right eye she’s also limiting her eyesight to more of a 10 degree view. You’ll see more of her later.

Now before we get into this though, I’d like to examine why we should care about accessibility. Surely we all think of course, you know we want to have a loving society where we don’t leave anyone behind. But in fact I see five clear reasons why there’s never been a better time for us to care about online accessibility.

The first reason is that there’s simply so many of us. On our planet today there’s perhaps seven billion people. And people make various estimates of how many people have disabilities: substantial disabilities. Some say 15 percent… 20 percent …25 percent. Even with the lowest of those numbers, with seven billion people, we’re looking at leaving perhaps a billion people out.

Now you and I are both on the Internet right now. But yet for seventy percent of humanity today the Internet remains a rumour as Nicholas Negroponte reminds us. But this is the decade where that all changes. By the end of this decade the majority of humanity will be online. We’ll all be online together. And we have the opportunity then to liberate millions upon millions of people. If we can create an Internet where we leave no one behind.

The second opportunity is…regards search engines. Because although we’re talking about billions of human beings in fact the most frequent visitors to most of our public facing websites aren’t human at all. They’re machines such as search engine robots. And whether its Google or Yahoo or Bing, the Google search engine robot has severe disabilities. It can’t see, it can’t hear. It’s got the cognitive abilities perhaps of a four-and-a-half year old and yet the majority of online searches where people are looking to buy a product begin with the search. So if we want great SEO if we want high search rankings, that also starts with creating accessible web presences.

The third reason is about human resources. It’s about our colleagues. It’s about making sure that even in our workplaces no one gets left behind. If we want to attract and retain the best people available we don’t want to lose out on perhaps 25 percent or more of the potential people that could be working in our organization. We want everyone to be able to collaborate in way that’s effective. And so we want our presence to be accessible as well.

The fourth reason: the social responsibility argument. Certainly…especially as Canadians we’re known for demonstrating how one can create a civilization where we measure our success by how we treat those who either are permanently or temporarily our weakest. And certainly then there’s a lot of the love in making sure that we leave no one behind.

But the fifth reason and perhaps this is the reason that compels us to be dwelling on this today is a regulatory reason. More and more jurisdictions around the world are passing laws and regulations saying you must make sure your website maintains a minimum level of standards about web accessibility document accessibility, PDF accessibility. Whether you’re in a region where laws have been passed, where litigation is becoming more popular, it’s good business sense to keep ahead of web accessibility.

Now here in Ontario, I’m proud to say we live in a country where at a federal level there’s a history of leadership. Our federal government has been a leader in web accessibility since the 1990s And a court decision in 2010 compelled us to up our game. And right here in Ontario, Ontario is the first place in the world where not just government but any organization — private sector, nonprofits, anyone with at least fifty employees is required by law to have a public-facing web presence which exceeds a certain minimum level of accessibility. A very well defined level.

And it’s an exciting time to be alive. And in fact if you’re if you’re here in Ontario, were finding that the tools and the techniques that are being developed here are being used around the world.

I had the privilege of working with the World Wide Web Foundation this past year on this year’s Web index.
I’m not sure if you ever check it out: webindex.org. This is an annual benchmark program, where we compare how different countries are doing in terms of various aspects of making the web a better place. And one aspect of this is web accessibility. And my job was to audit dozens of countries’ results as to how they were doing in terms of their banks, their telecommunications companies, their governments at how they’re doing with web accessibility.

I’m very proud to see that Canada year-over-year always is in the top five of dozens of countries.
But I even found legislation that was pointing back to actually naming Canadian standards as the one to follow.
So we have found the perfect time: we live in a time when we can take the skills and the techniques and this movement in our society to embrace web accessibility.

I find is similar to how ten years ago, if I suggested to you there would be a recycle bin in every room in a government office you’d say it’s crazy. Yet in 10 years time we’ve seen this whole shift towards green.

Well this is the decade we shift towards accessibility. This is the decade we do better business… we do better civilization…by all learning how to create a more accessible web.

>>NARRATOR: Appointed a high-level advisor to the UN, David Berman has traveled to over 50 countries, inspiring professionals on how we can design a better civilization. Rated number one in North America as a speaker on accessibility he’s presented at the largest design conferences on four continents. David has audited websites of 40 countries for the World Wide Web Foundation. His book “Do Good Design” is published in five languages. Expert speaker David Berman
Links to resources mentioned can be found at: www.davidberman.com/accessibility#resources

(Text on screen: Produced by David Berman Communications
Ben Armitage; Jennifer Beharry; Veronica Feihl; Simone Flanaghan, Cynthia Hoffos; Steven Kimball; Maciek Kozlowski; Khadija Safri; Justin Stratton.
Copyright 2014 David Berman Communications.
Sources and intellectual property rights available upon request.)

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Transcript | Web Accessibility Matters: Now is the Perfect Time

Transcript of “Web Accessibility Matters: Now is the Perfect Time”

This is a transcript of the video Web Accessibility Matters: Now is the Perfect Time.

 
(Image of a computer keyboard with a wheelchair symbol on one of the keys. David Berman appears on screen and faces the camera for the duration of this video. David is wearing a dark grey suit with a black shirt and tie.)

So here we are living in the decade where online accessibility will become ubiquitous. And I think it’s amazing that after ten thousand generations of humanity we get to live in this decade. But the history of creating technology that helps people overcome disability and challenges actually goes back over a hundred years.

Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 was not trying to invent the phone that we all know him for; he actually was trying to create technologies that would help teachers in a school for the deaf in Massachusetts simply be able to do a better job. And in doing so he ends up inventing the microphone, the amplifier, the transducer, the loudspeaker all things that we take for granted and we find in so much technology today were all invented to overcome an extreme disability.

Now Alexander goes on to create Bell Labs and of course Bell’s still around today, but in New Jersey, Bell Labs in the 1930’s was continuing to work on helping people deal with challenges having to do with hearing and they had develop hearing aids which were an absolute wonder. But in in the thirties, a hearing aid was a big thing that you wore around your neck, it was heavy; the signal to noise ratio was not so great; used up a lot of power; it was very obvious you were walking around with kind of a small billboard on saying I have a challenge. And, so they were working on how to make a better hearing aid. In fact after the 1940’s, physicist at Bell Labs mashed up quantum physics and they invented something called the transistor. Now the transistor was invented as something to create a better hearing aid. They need a hearing aid that would be small; that would have a great signal to noise ratio; would take very little power. And so, they make their hearing aid in they create the
transistor and they figure they were done.

Except that then in post-war Tokyo this guy Mr. Morita decides to buy the worldwide rights for the transistor. He figures hey if people who can’t hear are enjoying the idea of being able to walk around with a device that can make it easier to hear, wouldn’t everyone like that? He comes up with the idea of a radio that you can carry anywhere. He invents the transistor radio. He invents a company we now know as Sony.

And although his family may have thought he was crazy to spend his life savings for the rights for this transistor of course the transistor goes on to become ubiquitous in all our technologies.

In the current version of Alexander Graham Bell’s phone which none of us… I’ll drive back home if I realize I’ve forgotten my phone and there’s millions of transistors in here. There’s transistors in all these devices we love so much: our tablets, …and our laptops, … and well transistors got us to the moon and back. And yet it all starts off with designing for extremes. And the key here is that when we design for the extremes everybody benefits. Considered these traffic signals I’m showing — typical traffic signals. These are some photos I took in Seoul Korea, but they could be they could be downtown Toronto at night.

(Two almost identical images, side by side of Korean streetscape and traffic lights at night. The image on the left displays green traffic lights, and the image on the right displays red.)

The key is that we have the standard signals for red for stop green for go and yet if I press my magic button I’ve simply removed all the colour for those lamps. And now you’re seeing the experience of someone who has a complete colour deficit. Now that’s what it looks like at night to approach a traffic signal. Slightly over 10 percent of men in Canada have some level of colour deficit; and the largest source of accidental death in our country is due to traffic accidents. And this is true all over the world. So it’s seems a little crazy to me that we have this system that relies solely on colour.

Now we have a made-in-Canada solution for this. In Quebec most of Quebec uses traffic signals that don’t rely solely on colour. There’s three cues: there’s the classic colour system green for go, red for stop, but also the lamps for stop are squarish where as the go are roundish and the caution is diamond-shaped; and as well there’s two lamps for stop and one for the others. So we have three cues. We’re using colour for the legacy users but we’re also using the number of lamps as well as the shape of lamps. And by giving people various ways of knowing information we don’t have to rely on just one sense, which is brilliant. And everyone prefers these lamps. As you come closer to the intersection just the parallax effect of the twin lamps being further apart as you come forward allows you to know how far away the intersection is at night.

We tend to think often of design as simply a matter of better decoration but in fact design can be life and death. The great thing is that we live right now in a time where it’s never been easier to make everything accessible for everyone. The technologies have never been less expensive the innovations are coming more and more quickly. And so I don’t want you to worry at all if you don’t know that much about web accessibility. Because frankly this is the perfect time to get involved. Even in the past ten years the amount of effort it takes to make a website let’s say or PDF file accessible is a fraction of what it was back then. So this is the perfect time to learn how to get this done.
(music comes up)

>>NARRATOR: Appointed a high-level advisor to the UN, David Berman has traveled to over 50 countries, inspiring professionals on how we can design a better civilization. Rated number one in North America as a speaker on accessibility he’s presented at the largest design conferences on four continents. David has audited websites of 40 countries for the World Wide Web Foundation. His book “Do Good Design” is published in five languages. Links to resources mentioned can be found at: www.davidberman.com/accessibility#resources

(Text on screen: Produced by David Berman Communications
Ben Armitage; Jennifer Beharry; Veronica Feihl; Simone Flanaghan, Cynthia Hoffos; Steven Kimball; Maciek Kozlowski; Khadija Safri; Justin Stratton.
Copyright 2014 David Berman Communications.
Sources and intellectual property rights available upon request.)

(music extro)

 

Transcript | Web Accessibility Matters: Difficulties and Technologies: Avoiding Tradeoffs

This is a transcript of the video Web Accessibility Matters: Difficulties and Technologies: Avoiding Tradeoffs.

 
(Image of a computer keyboard with a wheelchair symbol on one of the keys. David Berman appears on screen and faces the camera for the duration of this video. David is wearing a dark grey suit with a black shirt and tie.)

The best way to get the best results from from web accessibility is to understand the type difficulties and the kind of technologies we use to mitigate those challenges. And so my plan now is we’re going to walk through the type of difficulties people encounter.

I’ve found that we can create an accessible website without trade-offs. You see often people think if I make my website accessible I’m going to have to make the experience worse for my typical users. And that could be true if you don’t understand why or how we’re doing this. But if you truly understand the difficulties and the type of technologies were using to overcome them, then it’s possible to create an accessible site, accessible product that has no trade-offs at all.

In fact chances are we’re going to make things better for everyone because when we design for the extremes everyone benefits. When we think of the type of challenges people are dealing with I find it useful to consider disabilities in categories.

The first one being permanent disabilities. We tend to think about the permanent disabilities first. Someone who’s blind since birth and may never see at all in their lifetime. Or someone who can’t hear at all and may never hear. But in fact the vast majority of difficulties and challenges are more subtle and temporary.

Temporary disabilities include everything from maybe you’ve just been to the eye doctor and there’s drops in your eyes, or maybe you’ve got the flu, or maybe you’re pregnant, or maybe you’re drunk. These are all things the come and go.

You may have a post-traumatic stress disorder where at times of day you don’t have your typical cognitive faculties. And we need to consider the whole breadth of disability when we’re designing the truly accessible product.

We also have acquired disability as we age our eye sight tends to go. We tend to have more mobility challenges as we get older as well, you know.

The typical life expectancy of a man in the Middle Ages in Europe was perhaps 36 years old. And yet all of us plan to live much longer than that. And so there’s acquired challenges that are important as well.

And then finally we have societal challenges as well. We have things that shouldn’t be a disability at all perhaps like being left-handed. This also can be a challenge in some parts of the world.

Now when we think of the different types of impairments people are challenged with, it’s useful to simply think about the different human senses. And I’m going to march through the human senses and look at the challenges in each area in the order that they tend to be the biggest challenge for us on the web.

The most common type of difficulty we tend to dwell on is the visual challenge: people having problems seeing. And it makes sense because for most of us the largest bandwidth pipe for information coming into the human brain is the eye. And whether someone has an extreme situation where they can’t see at all or perhaps they see fine but they don’t see certain frequencies of light so certain colours are left out for them. Perhaps they have a constraint on their vision.

We have a whole host of assistive technologies — which I’ll get into more deeply later — which helps balance off this challenge of not being able to see.

The second group of challenges most prevalent when we’re designing products online are dexterity or mobility challenges. And again this can be of a range from the extreme of perhaps someone is a quadriplegic who has no use of their limbs from the neck down. Or could be as subtle as someone who has complete use of all of their limbs but it hurts to move in certain ways and so they prefer not to.

And so from those two extremes we have a continuum of mobility challenges and we have a great range of assistive technologies that help us mitigate for mobility challenges.

The third group of assistive technologies range around hearing difficulties and again there’s a range. Some people just got a little too close to the left speaker at a Genesis concert younger in life and don’t hear so well in one ear than the other. Others maybe don’t hear at all. Some people can’t hear certain frequencies and in fact we find in the acquired category as we get older there are certain frequencies which simply drop off completely. Again we have technologies which overcome this.

Now your web product, your website may have a lot of sound or may have not at all. But if you have audio content, we do have a variety of techniques to help overcome the challenge that some people either all the time or some other time can’t hear.

The fourth group are language and speech difficulties. And that’s quite a range of challenges here. It could be simply someone didn’t learn how to speak the language of your site early in life. And you know we humans were designed to acquire language at the age of three or four, so if someone acquired let’s say English or French later in life it’s never going to be as natural as if they learned it as an infant. As well some people are just wired differently.

For some people language comes in a different way. For some they experience language in a typical way but the way comes out, the way they express themselves is very different. And so we have quite a range of technologies which can also help mitigate for language and speech problems.

Kind of a sibling to this are cognitive and learning challenges. And there’s quite a range here as well: everything from an extreme dyslexia from simply subtle challenges of being able to remember certain facts.

One of the really big challenges we have with cognitive difficulties is that they can be quite subtle and not present apparently. For instance, if someone has a severe visual challenge they may arrive with a service dog or a white cane. It’ll be apparent to you fairly quickly that they don’t see or they don’t see that well. However with cognitive challenges usually there aren’t readily apparent, in fact the person who has the cognitive challenge may not even know themselves that they have them.

You know we do work at Carleton University and we find that the students we help with disabilities… over eighty percent of the kids we’re helping out are those with cognitive challenges.

So again we have a variety of technologies that can help overcome learning disabilities. In fact, I’m convinced we all have dyslexia to a certain degree and attention deficit disorder to a certain degree. And we do something to kids in our society, which is rather tricky, you know. Consider this. If you meet a tiger in the wild and …you know this is a tiger …and if I rotate it’s still a tiger …and this is a tiger …and this is a tiger. That’s the reality of living in the forest. And yet we teach our children an alphabet where if you take a letter a lower case ‘b’ and you rotate it, it becomes something completely different: a ‘d’. And then you flip it downward it becomes a lower case ‘p’ you flip it again it’s a lower-case ‘q’. This type of symbol — it’s brilliant — but you know we we’re running on fifty thousand year-old hardware and yet the idea of written language is only perhaps 6 or 7 thousand years old.

We all struggle then with symbols that change their meaning. Just those that struggle enough with it that it falls outside the norm we have a label for that. The last group have difficulties are ones we invent, as if we don’t have enough already in our society.

Some parts of the planet are still very harsh on people who try to write with their left hand as children rather than with their right. And we stigmatize some disabilities. We make it difficult to be honest with each other about the challenges we have. And it really depends. And we’re getting better and better at this.

You know, a lot of people I know wear glasses. And you don’t tend to think glasses as an assistive technology. But I’m sure the first time someone wandered out into the streets in seventeenth-century Europe with lenses strapped to their face, people must have pointed and said that guy’s crazy. And yet today we feel completely comfortable letting others know that we don’t see so well. And yet for other disabilities we’re not quite there. And this is part of the challenge.

As a society we’re quickly evolving to be more caring and more accepting of our differences and when we accept our differences and recognize them only then are we able to do the best job we can of communicating with everyone and leaving no one behind.

(music comes up)

>>NARRATOR: Appointed a high-level advisor to the UN, David Berman has traveled to over 50 countries, inspiring professionals on how we can design a better civilization. Rated number one in North America as a speaker on accessibility he’s presented at the largest design conferences on four continents. David has audited websites of 40 countries for the World Wide Web Foundation. His book “Do Good Design” is published in five languages. Links to resources mentioned can be found at: www.davidberman.com/accessibility#resources

(Text on screen: Produced by David Berman Communications
Ben Armitage; Jennifer Beharry; Veronica Feihl; Simone Flanaghan, Cynthia Hoffos; Steven Kimball; Maciek Kozlowski; Khadija Safri; Justin Stratton.
Copyright 2014 David Berman Communications.
Sources and intellectual property rights available upon request.)

(music extro)

 

Transcript | Web Accessibility Matters: Assistive Technologies Drive Innovation

This is a transcript of the video Web Accessibility Matters: Assisstive Technologies Drive Innovation.

 
(Image of a computer keyboard with a wheelchair symbol on one of the keys. David Berman appears on screen and faces the camera for the duration of this video. David is wearing a dark grey suit with a black shirt and tie.)

There’s been more people liberated in all the history of civilization by information technology in the last 35 years then all the wars and revolutions in human history.

And now I’d like to show you what some of those technologies are because we have such a panorama of human ingenuity going on that are bridging the challenges and making it possible for people with a variety of challenges or disabilities or even temporary impairments to be able to perceive and participate in ways that simply weren’t possible before.

Living in a digital age means that everything’s now digitized it means that things that — words ideas innovations — that couldn’t be perceived before can now be perceived by everyone.

Let’s look at what some of those technologies look like. When we talk about an assistive technology we’re talking about something that helps us has overcome a disability or impairment. Some assistive technologies are designed specifically to take care of a disability. For instance when we think let’s say if I had a wheelchair in front of me… a wheelchair is something you really wouldn’t use for anything but a mobility challenge.

On the other hand, there’s other technology, say something like Skype… lots of people use Skype for typing back and forth to overcome various disabilities, even though Skype was not designed as an assistive technology. Now when we talk about electronic assistive technologies we’re talking about assistive technologies that were specifically designed to overcome challenges in a digital world. And we can think of them generally in two categories: as hardware assists and software assists.

Let’s look at some of the ones that are most prevalent, keeping in mind that in general when we identify an assistive technology typically we’re either substituting one human sense for another for a sense that isn’t that isn’t available to us right then or we’re taking a sense and magnifying it. So for instance let’s say someone can’t read. And maybe they can’t read because they don’t know how to read or maybe they can’t read because they can see the letters. Either way we can use the ear instead of the eye. And so we have technologies that read things out loud. A screen reader then is often the most common example of an assistive technology that’s accommodated through good web design. And so a screen reader will simply read the content out loud, if the website, if the product, if the PDF, if the document is designed to be read out loud.
And so one of the key things we do with websites is make sure that they work well with screen readers.

We have a number of other technologies though that can help us as well: for instance we have software that’s actually designed to optionally read out loud. If someone can read, but they can’t read little things, we have technology that magnifies: makes things a larger. And one of the great things about Windows 8 over windows 7 or Mac OS is that they’re screen magnifiers built right into the technology, so that the operating system helps you enlarge things so you can see them better.

Instead of reading we can use the sense of touch and so we’ve all heard of braille, and so here’s a case where someone can’t see, but they can still read by being able to feel the letters. But that technology has manifested itself in the online world through using innovation in Braille. So for instance if you have an iPhone, this clever guy in the United States, designed this thing called Speed Dots and what it is a screen protector that goes right here on your iPhone and lets you feel where the keyboard is, as well as protecting the phone at the same time.

We have much more sophisticated technology as well though for instance refreshable Braille display is a technology that has a series of dots which pop up to be just like Braille and they just keep popping up and showing different information depending on what’s going on right now. And in this case this is integrated into this entire device, which is a smart phone for people who can’t see. So of course it’s got no visual display, but has all the other attributes: a camera and braille line display.

Now if you can’t type and maybe you can type because you don’t know how to touch type. Or maybe you can’t type because your hands shake or or perhaps you don’t have use of your fingers at all, hence we have technologies that allow you to speak.

Now here’s another case where design for the extremes is benefiting everyone. Because of course in the last few years the ability to direct our smart phones — and who knows if sometimes soon perhaps our automobiles — through voice has become something that we’re all enjoying. But the technologies behind Siri and Google Now started two decades ago as technologies being developed specifically for people with extreme difficulties.

Now if you can’t type as well, you could perhaps use different parts of your body to be able to simulate typing. I’m showing a picture for child and she’s wearing a SIP puff device. This is a device that let’s say you’re quadriplegic you have no use of your limbs below your neck, but wearing this headset she can sip and puff on a straw and that’s just like left clicking or right clicking a mouse. And by moving her head around that’s like moving the mouse around. So using this device, she can navigate any website in the world. Well, not any website, she can navigate websites that have been designed according to the standards that are becoming ubiquitous. And these are the very standards that are link to the legislation that we’ll be speaking about later.

The key is if you create your website to be accessible, then your website is going to work with all of these technologies; as well as technologies and haven’t even been invented yet. See the key to future-proofing your website, the way of inoculating it against future innovation is to follow the standards. Anyone designing new technologies today new assistive technologies is designing them in such a way that they’re going to comply with the same standards. So we can’t anticipate what’s coming next but we know that if we follow these standards, our sites will already be compliant with browsers and technologies that haven’t even yet been invented.

Here’s another example: something coming down the pipes hard. Instead of using a mouse you can just look and blink. This is a technology called the Nouse — nose and mouth — because what it does is the camera in the laptop tracks where your nose is and by tracking where your nose is it knows where your eyes are. So the idea is you just look at what you want and then you blink. And it can tell the difference between a clearing-my-eyelids blink and a let’s-launch-the-missile blink so the nouse — this type of technology is becoming is becoming so attractive that Lenovo is planning on building mouse-like technology into all their laptops over the next couple of years. Imagine people walking around with their with their with their tablets blinking and stuff. It’s coming coming to a tablet near you.

Now when you combine that with the ability to have an on-screen keyboard it means that you can potentially choose letters as well. So it means someone can type just by looking and blinking. That opens up all sorts of possibilities for people with extreme situations as well as anyone who would enjoy the efficiency of that.

Another swap is if you don’t have the ability to hear at a certain time or the ability to speak, we have alternatives using gestures of using typing, of being able to watch someone as they do sign language. There’s so many different techniques we’ve come up with to overcome (difficulties) and the new ideas are just propagating — as more and more people are able to develop — for tablets and all sorts of new touch-based technologies. This is all about paddling towards an ideal situation.

Our goal is simply to paddle towards a common ideal. That ideal is that no matter what your disability, no matter what you difficulty, no matter your skill level, no matter what browser you’re using, what operating system you’re using, what type of technology you’re using, what speed your Internet connection is; no matter what, that you should be able to access everything all the time. And you know what, we’re never going to achieve that. And I don’t want you to be intimidated by that. Because we don’t have to do a perfect job. We simply have to do a better job than we’re doing today. And if we simply exceed these minimum standards that have been established for us, we can include everyone. We can not just accommodate everyone, we can have the ability to delight everyone. And that’s worth doing.

(music comes up)

>>NARRATOR: Appointed a high-level advisor to the UN, David Berman has traveled to over 50 countries, inspiring professionals on how we can design a better civilization. Rated number one in North America as a speaker on accessibility he’s presented at the largest design conferences on four continents. David has audited websites of 40 countries for the World Wide Web Foundation. His book “Do Good Design” is published in five languages. Links to resources mentioned can be found at: www.davidberman.com/accessibility#resources

(Text on screen: Produced by David Berman Communications
Ben Armitage; Jennifer Beharry; Veronica Feihl; Simone Flanaghan, Cynthia Hoffos; Steven Kimball; Maciek Kozlowski; Khadija Safri; Justin Stratton.
Copyright 2014 David Berman Communications.
Sources and intellectual property rights available upon request.)

(music extro)


Web Accessibility Matters: Why Should We Care

For a fully keyboard-accessible alternative of this video player, either view in Chrome or any Android or iOS device, view in Firefox with the YouTube All HTML5 add-on installed, or disable Flash in Internet Explorer.

Web Accessibility Matters: Why Should We Care (with Audio Description)

Transcript | Web Accessibility Matters: Why Should We Care

This is a transcript of the video Web Accessibility Matters: Why Should We Care.

 
(Image of a computer keyboard with a wheelchair symbol on one of the keys. David Berman appears on screen and faces the camera for the duration of this video. David is wearing a dark grey suit with a black shirt and tie. David is also wearing goggles, which he will explain during the video.)

Hi, I’m David Berman and I’m eager to share with you why accessibility matters.

You’ve picked the perfect time to learn about why online accessibility matters so much. And this is the first of a series of segments where we’re going to learn about the type a difficulties people are up against in the amazing assistive technologies that we’ve invented to overcome those difficulties.

We’re going to talk about how we can create online presences with no trade-offs at all and what’s the best way to organize ourselves to get it done.

But first, I’d like to tell you about these glasses I’m wearing. These glasses are part of a kit that’s designed by a friend of mine, George Zimmerman. He’s a doctor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

To think about disabilities we tend to think about extreme disability someone has been blind since birth. Someone who can’t hear at all. But in fact the vast majority of disabilities actually are more subtle and perhaps more temporary.

Now on my left eye I’m wearing a lens which limits my vision to about 3 degrees. On my right eye more of a… this is a 20/200 lens that kind of gives me a Trailer Park Boys Coke bottle glasses kind of experience of the world. With this kit George’s made it possible for people with more typical sight to simulate all sorts of challenges.

Here’s my tiger; she’s wearing for instance a lens on her left eye that simulates cataracts and on the right eye she’s also limiting her eyesight to more of a 10 degree view. You’ll see more of her later.

Now before we get into this though, I’d like to examine why we should care about accessibility. Surely we all think of course, you know we want to have a loving society where we don’t leave anyone behind. But in fact I see five clear reasons why there’s never been a better time for us to care about online accessibility.

The first reason is that there’s simply so many of us. On our planet today there’s perhaps seven billion people. And people make various estimates of how many people have disabilities: substantial disabilities. Some say 15 percent… 20 percent …25 percent. Even with the lowest of those numbers, with seven billion people, we’re looking at leaving perhaps a billion people out.

Now you and I are both on the Internet right now. But yet for seventy percent of humanity today the Internet remains a rumour as Nicholas Negroponte reminds us. But this is the decade where that all changes. By the end of this decade the majority of humanity will be online. We’ll all be online together. And we have the opportunity then to liberate millions upon millions of people. If we can create an Internet where we leave no one behind.

The second opportunity is…regards search engines. Because although we’re talking about billions of human beings in fact the most frequent visitors to most of our public facing websites aren’t human at all. They’re machines such as search engine robots. And whether its Google or Yahoo or Bing, the Google search engine robot has severe disabilities. It can’t see, it can’t hear. It’s got the cognitive abilities perhaps of a four-and-a-half year old and yet the majority of online searches where people are looking to buy a product begin with the search. So if we want great SEO if we want high search rankings, that also starts with creating accessible web presences.

The third reason is about human resources. It’s about our colleagues. It’s about making sure that even in our workplaces no one gets left behind. If we want to attract and retain the best people available we don’t want to lose out on perhaps 25 percent or more of the potential people that could be working in our organization. We want everyone to be able to collaborate in way that’s effective. And so we want our presence to be accessible as well.

The fourth reason: the social responsibility argument. Certainly…especially as Canadians we’re known for demonstrating how one can create a civilization where we measure our success by how we treat those who either are permanently or temporarily our weakest. And certainly then there’s a lot of the love in making sure that we leave no one behind.

But the fifth reason and perhaps this is the reason that compels us to be dwelling on this today is a regulatory reason. More and more jurisdictions around the world are passing laws and regulations saying you must make sure your website maintains a minimum level of standards about web accessibility document accessibility, PDF accessibility. Whether you’re in a region where laws have been passed, where litigation is becoming more popular, it’s good business sense to keep ahead of web accessibility.

Now here in Ontario, I’m proud to say we live in a country where at a federal level there’s a history of leadership. Our federal government has been a leader in web accessibility since the 1990s And a court decision in 2010 compelled us to up our game. And right here in Ontario, Ontario is the first place in the world where not just government but any organization — private sector, nonprofits, anyone with at least fifty employees is required by law to have a public-facing web presence which exceeds a certain minimum level of accessibility. A very well defined level.

And it’s an exciting time to be alive. And in fact if you’re if you’re here in Ontario, were finding that the tools and the techniques that are being developed here are being used around the world.

I had the privilege of working with the World Wide Web Foundation this past year on this year’s Web index.
I’m not sure if you ever check it out: webindex.org. This is an annual benchmark program, where we compare how different countries are doing in terms of various aspects of making the web a better place. And one aspect of this is web accessibility. And my job was to audit dozens of countries’ results as to how they were doing in terms of their banks, their telecommunications companies, their governments at how they’re doing with web accessibility.

I’m very proud to see that Canada year-over-year always is in the top five of dozens of countries.
But I even found legislation that was pointing back to actually naming Canadian standards as the one to follow.
So we have found the perfect time: we live in a time when we can take the skills and the techniques and this movement in our society to embrace web accessibility.

I find is similar to how ten years ago, if I suggested to you there would be a recycle bin in every room in a government office you’d say it’s crazy. Yet in 10 years time we’ve seen this whole shift towards green.

Well this is the decade we shift towards accessibility. This is the decade we do better business… we do better civilization…by all learning how to create a more accessible web.

>>NARRATOR: Appointed a high-level advisor to the UN, David Berman has traveled to over 50 countries, inspiring professionals on how we can design a better civilization. Rated number one in North America as a speaker on accessibility he’s presented at the largest design conferences on four continents. David has audited websites of 40 countries for the World Wide Web Foundation. His book “Do Good Design” is published in five languages. Expert speaker David Berman
Links to resources mentioned can be found at: www.davidberman.com/accessibility#resources

(Text on screen: Produced by David Berman Communications
Ben Armitage; Jennifer Beharry; Veronica Feihl; Simone Flanaghan, Cynthia Hoffos; Steven Kimball; Maciek Kozlowski; Khadija Safri; Justin Stratton.
Copyright 2014 David Berman Communications.
Sources and intellectual property rights available upon request.)

(music extro)

 


Web Accessibility Matters: Now is the Perfect Time

Web Accessibility Matters: Now is the Perfect Time (with Audio Description)

Transcript | Web Accessibility Matters: Now is the Perfect Time

Transcript of “Web Accessibility Matters: Now is the Perfect Time”

This is a transcript of the video Web Accessibility Matters: Now is the Perfect Time.

 
(Image of a computer keyboard with a wheelchair symbol on one of the keys. David Berman appears on screen and faces the camera for the duration of this video. David is wearing a dark grey suit with a black shirt and tie.)

So here we are living in the decade where online accessibility will become ubiquitous. And I think it’s amazing that after ten thousand generations of humanity we get to live in this decade. But the history of creating technology that helps people overcome disability and challenges actually goes back over a hundred years.

Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 was not trying to invent the phone that we all know him for; he actually was trying to create technologies that would help teachers in a school for the deaf in Massachusetts simply be able to do a better job. And in doing so he ends up inventing the microphone, the amplifier, the transducer, the loudspeaker all things that we take for granted and we find in so much technology today were all invented to overcome an extreme disability.

Now Alexander goes on to create Bell Labs and of course Bell’s still around today, but in New Jersey, Bell Labs in the 1930’s was continuing to work on helping people deal with challenges having to do with hearing and they had develop hearing aids which were an absolute wonder. But in in the thirties, a hearing aid was a big thing that you wore around your neck, it was heavy; the signal to noise ratio was not so great; used up a lot of power; it was very obvious you were walking around with kind of a small billboard on saying I have a challenge. And, so they were working on how to make a better hearing aid. In fact after the 1940’s, physicist at Bell Labs mashed up quantum physics and they invented something called the transistor. Now the transistor was invented as something to create a better hearing aid. They need a hearing aid that would be small; that would have a great signal to noise ratio; would take very little power. And so, they make their hearing aid in they create the
transistor and they figure they were done.

Except that then in post-war Tokyo this guy Mr. Morita decides to buy the worldwide rights for the transistor. He figures hey if people who can’t hear are enjoying the idea of being able to walk around with a device that can make it easier to hear, wouldn’t everyone like that? He comes up with the idea of a radio that you can carry anywhere. He invents the transistor radio. He invents a company we now know as Sony.

And although his family may have thought he was crazy to spend his life savings for the rights for this transistor of course the transistor goes on to become ubiquitous in all our technologies.

In the current version of Alexander Graham Bell’s phone which none of us… I’ll drive back home if I realize I’ve forgotten my phone and there’s millions of transistors in here. There’s transistors in all these devices we love so much: our tablets, …and our laptops, … and well transistors got us to the moon and back. And yet it all starts off with designing for extremes. And the key here is that when we design for the extremes everybody benefits. Considered these traffic signals I’m showing — typical traffic signals. These are some photos I took in Seoul Korea, but they could be they could be downtown Toronto at night.

(Two almost identical images, side by side of Korean streetscape and traffic lights at night. The image on the left displays green traffic lights, and the image on the right displays red.)

The key is that we have the standard signals for red for stop green for go and yet if I press my magic button I’ve simply removed all the colour for those lamps. And now you’re seeing the experience of someone who has a complete colour deficit. Now that’s what it looks like at night to approach a traffic signal. Slightly over 10 percent of men in Canada have some level of colour deficit; and the largest source of accidental death in our country is due to traffic accidents. And this is true all over the world. So it’s seems a little crazy to me that we have this system that relies solely on colour.

Now we have a made-in-Canada solution for this. In Quebec most of Quebec uses traffic signals that don’t rely solely on colour. There’s three cues: there’s the classic colour system green for go, red for stop, but also the lamps for stop are squarish where as the go are roundish and the caution is diamond-shaped; and as well there’s two lamps for stop and one for the others. So we have three cues. We’re using colour for the legacy users but we’re also using the number of lamps as well as the shape of lamps. And by giving people various ways of knowing information we don’t have to rely on just one sense, which is brilliant. And everyone prefers these lamps. As you come closer to the intersection just the parallax effect of the twin lamps being further apart as you come forward allows you to know how far away the intersection is at night.

We tend to think often of design as simply a matter of better decoration but in fact design can be life and death. The great thing is that we live right now in a time where it’s never been easier to make everything accessible for everyone. The technologies have never been less expensive the innovations are coming more and more quickly. And so I don’t want you to worry at all if you don’t know that much about web accessibility. Because frankly this is the perfect time to get involved. Even in the past ten years the amount of effort it takes to make a website let’s say or PDF file accessible is a fraction of what it was back then. So this is the perfect time to learn how to get this done.
(music comes up)

>>NARRATOR: Appointed a high-level advisor to the UN, David Berman has traveled to over 50 countries, inspiring professionals on how we can design a better civilization. Rated number one in North America as a speaker on accessibility he’s presented at the largest design conferences on four continents. David has audited websites of 40 countries for the World Wide Web Foundation. His book “Do Good Design” is published in five languages. Links to resources mentioned can be found at: www.davidberman.com/accessibility#resources

(Text on screen: Produced by David Berman Communications
Ben Armitage; Jennifer Beharry; Veronica Feihl; Simone Flanaghan, Cynthia Hoffos; Steven Kimball; Maciek Kozlowski; Khadija Safri; Justin Stratton.
Copyright 2014 David Berman Communications.
Sources and intellectual property rights available upon request.)

(music extro)

 


Web Accessibility Matters: Difficulties and Technologies: Avoiding Tradeoffs

Web Accessibility Matters: Difficulties and Technologies: Avoiding Tradeoffs (with Audio Description)

Transcript | Web Accessibility Matters: Difficulties and Technologies: Avoiding Tradeoffs

This is a transcript of the video Web Accessibility Matters: Difficulties and Technologies: Avoiding Tradeoffs.

 
(Image of a computer keyboard with a wheelchair symbol on one of the keys. David Berman appears on screen and faces the camera for the duration of this video. David is wearing a dark grey suit with a black shirt and tie.)

The best way to get the best results from from web accessibility is to understand the type difficulties and the kind of technologies we use to mitigate those challenges. And so my plan now is we’re going to walk through the type of difficulties people encounter.

I’ve found that we can create an accessible website without trade-offs. You see often people think if I make my website accessible I’m going to have to make the experience worse for my typical users. And that could be true if you don’t understand why or how we’re doing this. But if you truly understand the difficulties and the type of technologies were using to overcome them, then it’s possible to create an accessible site, accessible product that has no trade-offs at all.

In fact chances are we’re going to make things better for everyone because when we design for the extremes everyone benefits. When we think of the type of challenges people are dealing with I find it useful to consider disabilities in categories.

The first one being permanent disabilities. We tend to think about the permanent disabilities first. Someone who’s blind since birth and may never see at all in their lifetime. Or someone who can’t hear at all and may never hear. But in fact the vast majority of difficulties and challenges are more subtle and temporary.

Temporary disabilities include everything from maybe you’ve just been to the eye doctor and there’s drops in your eyes, or maybe you’ve got the flu, or maybe you’re pregnant, or maybe you’re drunk. These are all things the come and go.

You may have a post-traumatic stress disorder where at times of day you don’t have your typical cognitive faculties. And we need to consider the whole breadth of disability when we’re designing the truly accessible product.

We also have acquired disability as we age our eye sight tends to go. We tend to have more mobility challenges as we get older as well, you know.

The typical life expectancy of a man in the Middle Ages in Europe was perhaps 36 years old. And yet all of us plan to live much longer than that. And so there’s acquired challenges that are important as well.

And then finally we have societal challenges as well. We have things that shouldn’t be a disability at all perhaps like being left-handed. This also can be a challenge in some parts of the world.

Now when we think of the different types of impairments people are challenged with, it’s useful to simply think about the different human senses. And I’m going to march through the human senses and look at the challenges in each area in the order that they tend to be the biggest challenge for us on the web.

The most common type of difficulty we tend to dwell on is the visual challenge: people having problems seeing. And it makes sense because for most of us the largest bandwidth pipe for information coming into the human brain is the eye. And whether someone has an extreme situation where they can’t see at all or perhaps they see fine but they don’t see certain frequencies of light so certain colours are left out for them. Perhaps they have a constraint on their vision.

We have a whole host of assistive technologies — which I’ll get into more deeply later — which helps balance off this challenge of not being able to see.

The second group of challenges most prevalent when we’re designing products online are dexterity or mobility challenges. And again this can be of a range from the extreme of perhaps someone is a quadriplegic who has no use of their limbs from the neck down. Or could be as subtle as someone who has complete use of all of their limbs but it hurts to move in certain ways and so they prefer not to.

And so from those two extremes we have a continuum of mobility challenges and we have a great range of assistive technologies that help us mitigate for mobility challenges.

The third group of assistive technologies range around hearing difficulties and again there’s a range. Some people just got a little too close to the left speaker at a Genesis concert younger in life and don’t hear so well in one ear than the other. Others maybe don’t hear at all. Some people can’t hear certain frequencies and in fact we find in the acquired category as we get older there are certain frequencies which simply drop off completely. Again we have technologies which overcome this.

Now your web product, your website may have a lot of sound or may have not at all. But if you have audio content, we do have a variety of techniques to help overcome the challenge that some people either all the time or some other time can’t hear.

The fourth group are language and speech difficulties. And that’s quite a range of challenges here. It could be simply someone didn’t learn how to speak the language of your site early in life. And you know we humans were designed to acquire language at the age of three or four, so if someone acquired let’s say English or French later in life it’s never going to be as natural as if they learned it as an infant. As well some people are just wired differently.

For some people language comes in a different way. For some they experience language in a typical way but the way comes out, the way they express themselves is very different. And so we have quite a range of technologies which can also help mitigate for language and speech problems.

Kind of a sibling to this are cognitive and learning challenges. And there’s quite a range here as well: everything from an extreme dyslexia from simply subtle challenges of being able to remember certain facts.

One of the really big challenges we have with cognitive difficulties is that they can be quite subtle and not present apparently. For instance, if someone has a severe visual challenge they may arrive with a service dog or a white cane. It’ll be apparent to you fairly quickly that they don’t see or they don’t see that well. However with cognitive challenges usually there aren’t readily apparent, in fact the person who has the cognitive challenge may not even know themselves that they have them.

You know we do work at Carleton University and we find that the students we help with disabilities… over eighty percent of the kids we’re helping out are those with cognitive challenges.

So again we have a variety of technologies that can help overcome learning disabilities. In fact, I’m convinced we all have dyslexia to a certain degree and attention deficit disorder to a certain degree. And we do something to kids in our society, which is rather tricky, you know. Consider this. If you meet a tiger in the wild and …you know this is a tiger …and if I rotate it’s still a tiger …and this is a tiger …and this is a tiger. That’s the reality of living in the forest. And yet we teach our children an alphabet where if you take a letter a lower case ‘b’ and you rotate it, it becomes something completely different: a ‘d’. And then you flip it downward it becomes a lower case ‘p’ you flip it again it’s a lower-case ‘q’. This type of symbol — it’s brilliant — but you know we we’re running on fifty thousand year-old hardware and yet the idea of written language is only perhaps 6 or 7 thousand years old.

We all struggle then with symbols that change their meaning. Just those that struggle enough with it that it falls outside the norm we have a label for that. The last group have difficulties are ones we invent, as if we don’t have enough already in our society.

Some parts of the planet are still very harsh on people who try to write with their left hand as children rather than with their right. And we stigmatize some disabilities. We make it difficult to be honest with each other about the challenges we have. And it really depends. And we’re getting better and better at this.

You know, a lot of people I know wear glasses. And you don’t tend to think glasses as an assistive technology. But I’m sure the first time someone wandered out into the streets in seventeenth-century Europe with lenses strapped to their face, people must have pointed and said that guy’s crazy. And yet today we feel completely comfortable letting others know that we don’t see so well. And yet for other disabilities we’re not quite there. And this is part of the challenge.

As a society we’re quickly evolving to be more caring and more accepting of our differences and when we accept our differences and recognize them only then are we able to do the best job we can of communicating with everyone and leaving no one behind.

(music comes up)

>>NARRATOR: Appointed a high-level advisor to the UN, David Berman has traveled to over 50 countries, inspiring professionals on how we can design a better civilization. Rated number one in North America as a speaker on accessibility he’s presented at the largest design conferences on four continents. David has audited websites of 40 countries for the World Wide Web Foundation. His book “Do Good Design” is published in five languages. Links to resources mentioned can be found at: www.davidberman.com/accessibility#resources

(Text on screen: Produced by David Berman Communications
Ben Armitage; Jennifer Beharry; Veronica Feihl; Simone Flanaghan, Cynthia Hoffos; Steven Kimball; Maciek Kozlowski; Khadija Safri; Justin Stratton.
Copyright 2014 David Berman Communications.
Sources and intellectual property rights available upon request.)

(music extro)

 


Web Accessibility Matters: Assistive Technologies Drive Innovation

Web Accessibility Matters: Assistive Technologies Drive Innovation (with Audio Description)

Transcript | Web Accessibility Matters: Assistive Technologies Drive Innovation

This is a transcript of the video Web Accessibility Matters: Assisstive Technologies Drive Innovation.

 
(Image of a computer keyboard with a wheelchair symbol on one of the keys. David Berman appears on screen and faces the camera for the duration of this video. David is wearing a dark grey suit with a black shirt and tie.)

There’s been more people liberated in all the history of civilization by information technology in the last 35 years then all the wars and revolutions in human history.

And now I’d like to show you what some of those technologies are because we have such a panorama of human ingenuity going on that are bridging the challenges and making it possible for people with a variety of challenges or disabilities or even temporary impairments to be able to perceive and participate in ways that simply weren’t possible before.

Living in a digital age means that everything’s now digitized it means that things that — words ideas innovations — that couldn’t be perceived before can now be perceived by everyone.

Let’s look at what some of those technologies look like. When we talk about an assistive technology we’re talking about something that helps us has overcome a disability or impairment. Some assistive technologies are designed specifically to take care of a disability. For instance when we think let’s say if I had a wheelchair in front of me… a wheelchair is something you really wouldn’t use for anything but a mobility challenge.

On the other hand, there’s other technology, say something like Skype… lots of people use Skype for typing back and forth to overcome various disabilities, even though Skype was not designed as an assistive technology. Now when we talk about electronic assistive technologies we’re talking about assistive technologies that were specifically designed to overcome challenges in a digital world. And we can think of them generally in two categories: as hardware assists and software assists.

Let’s look at some of the ones that are most prevalent, keeping in mind that in general when we identify an assistive technology typically we’re either substituting one human sense for another for a sense that isn’t that isn’t available to us right then or we’re taking a sense and magnifying it. So for instance let’s say someone can’t read. And maybe they can’t read because they don’t know how to read or maybe they can’t read because they can see the letters. Either way we can use the ear instead of the eye. And so we have technologies that read things out loud. A screen reader then is often the most common example of an assistive technology that’s accommodated through good web design. And so a screen reader will simply read the content out loud, if the website, if the product, if the PDF, if the document is designed to be read out loud.
And so one of the key things we do with websites is make sure that they work well with screen readers.

We have a number of other technologies though that can help us as well: for instance we have software that’s actually designed to optionally read out loud. If someone can read, but they can’t read little things, we have technology that magnifies: makes things a larger. And one of the great things about Windows 8 over windows 7 or Mac OS is that they’re screen magnifiers built right into the technology, so that the operating system helps you enlarge things so you can see them better.

Instead of reading we can use the sense of touch and so we’ve all heard of braille, and so here’s a case where someone can’t see, but they can still read by being able to feel the letters. But that technology has manifested itself in the online world through using innovation in Braille. So for instance if you have an iPhone, this clever guy in the United States, designed this thing called Speed Dots and what it is a screen protector that goes right here on your iPhone and lets you feel where the keyboard is, as well as protecting the phone at the same time.

We have much more sophisticated technology as well though for instance refreshable Braille display is a technology that has a series of dots which pop up to be just like Braille and they just keep popping up and showing different information depending on what’s going on right now. And in this case this is integrated into this entire device, which is a smart phone for people who can’t see. So of course it’s got no visual display, but has all the other attributes: a camera and braille line display.

Now if you can’t type and maybe you can type because you don’t know how to touch type. Or maybe you can’t type because your hands shake or or perhaps you don’t have use of your fingers at all, hence we have technologies that allow you to speak.

Now here’s another case where design for the extremes is benefiting everyone. Because of course in the last few years the ability to direct our smart phones — and who knows if sometimes soon perhaps our automobiles — through voice has become something that we’re all enjoying. But the technologies behind Siri and Google Now started two decades ago as technologies being developed specifically for people with extreme difficulties.

Now if you can’t type as well, you could perhaps use different parts of your body to be able to simulate typing. I’m showing a picture for child and she’s wearing a SIP puff device. This is a device that let’s say you’re quadriplegic you have no use of your limbs below your neck, but wearing this headset she can sip and puff on a straw and that’s just like left clicking or right clicking a mouse. And by moving her head around that’s like moving the mouse around. So using this device, she can navigate any website in the world. Well, not any website, she can navigate websites that have been designed according to the standards that are becoming ubiquitous. And these are the very standards that are link to the legislation that we’ll be speaking about later.

The key is if you create your website to be accessible, then your website is going to work with all of these technologies; as well as technologies and haven’t even been invented yet. See the key to future-proofing your website, the way of inoculating it against future innovation is to follow the standards. Anyone designing new technologies today new assistive technologies is designing them in such a way that they’re going to comply with the same standards. So we can’t anticipate what’s coming next but we know that if we follow these standards, our sites will already be compliant with browsers and technologies that haven’t even yet been invented.

Here’s another example: something coming down the pipes hard. Instead of using a mouse you can just look and blink. This is a technology called the Nouse — nose and mouth — because what it does is the camera in the laptop tracks where your nose is and by tracking where your nose is it knows where your eyes are. So the idea is you just look at what you want and then you blink. And it can tell the difference between a clearing-my-eyelids blink and a let’s-launch-the-missile blink so the nouse — this type of technology is becoming is becoming so attractive that Lenovo is planning on building mouse-like technology into all their laptops over the next couple of years. Imagine people walking around with their with their with their tablets blinking and stuff. It’s coming coming to a tablet near you.

Now when you combine that with the ability to have an on-screen keyboard it means that you can potentially choose letters as well. So it means someone can type just by looking and blinking. That opens up all sorts of possibilities for people with extreme situations as well as anyone who would enjoy the efficiency of that.

Another swap is if you don’t have the ability to hear at a certain time or the ability to speak, we have alternatives using gestures of using typing, of being able to watch someone as they do sign language. There’s so many different techniques we’ve come up with to overcome (difficulties) and the new ideas are just propagating — as more and more people are able to develop — for tablets and all sorts of new touch-based technologies. This is all about paddling towards an ideal situation.

Our goal is simply to paddle towards a common ideal. That ideal is that no matter what your disability, no matter what you difficulty, no matter your skill level, no matter what browser you’re using, what operating system you’re using, what type of technology you’re using, what speed your Internet connection is; no matter what, that you should be able to access everything all the time. And you know what, we’re never going to achieve that. And I don’t want you to be intimidated by that. Because we don’t have to do a perfect job. We simply have to do a better job than we’re doing today. And if we simply exceed these minimum standards that have been established for us, we can include everyone. We can not just accommodate everyone, we can have the ability to delight everyone. And that’s worth doing.

(music comes up)

>>NARRATOR: Appointed a high-level advisor to the UN, David Berman has traveled to over 50 countries, inspiring professionals on how we can design a better civilization. Rated number one in North America as a speaker on accessibility he’s presented at the largest design conferences on four continents. David has audited websites of 40 countries for the World Wide Web Foundation. His book “Do Good Design” is published in five languages. Links to resources mentioned can be found at: www.davidberman.com/accessibility#resources

(Text on screen: Produced by David Berman Communications
Ben Armitage; Jennifer Beharry; Veronica Feihl; Simone Flanaghan, Cynthia Hoffos; Steven Kimball; Maciek Kozlowski; Khadija Safri; Justin Stratton.
Copyright 2014 David Berman Communications.
Sources and intellectual property rights available upon request.)

(music extro)

 

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Reviewed January 30, 2016


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