Leaving no one behind online: WCAG, Section 508, ADA, AODA, Office, InDesign, PDF/UA, sensitivity
We love to teach what we know. In speeches, courses, and training material that we continuously improve so that you can continuously improve … so that you can inject universal design thinking into everything you create.
“Best webinar/training session I have participated in. David was fantastic, easy-going, passionate, friendly, and an expert.”
– Mary Foley, US Department of Agriculture
Shaw Media talks about David Berman Communications onsite accessibility course
Our 1-day and half-day why-and-how courses in accessible documents (PDF, Word, PowerPoint, InDesign…) for managers, writers, editors, translators, designers, and everyone who contributes to your documents
Our 1-day and half-day why-and-how course in accessible instructional design and e-learning (Articulate Storyline/Rise, Captivate, Moodle, Saba, HTML, Flash …) for managers, instructional designers and developers
Our 1-day and half-day why-and-how courses in accessibility for mobile, tablets, and touch (iOS, Android, Blackberry) for managers, designers, and developers of mobile apps and browser-based experiences
Our 1-day and half-day why-and-how hands-on course on Accessible PDF with Adobe Acrobat Pro for writers, editors, designers
What we can do for you
We motivate and train your team as to why Web accessibility matters, and how to get it done, demystifying regulations into satisfying easy-to-follow steps. We provide public and onsite courses and manuals, as well as one-on-one coaching using your documents.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA): AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards (Ontario Regulation 191/11, April 2011)
Lesson excerpt from Accessibility for Instructional Design with Michel Daw on August 22, 2018
Transcript | Lesson excerpt from Accessibility for Instructional Design with David Berman Communications
This is a descriptive transcript of the video Lesson excerpt from Accessibility for Instructional Design with David Berman Communications.
(TEXT ON SCREEN: Lesson excerpt from Accessibility for Instructional Design – Michel Daw | August 22, 2018 – David Berman Communications)
(Instructor appears on screen and faces the camera for the duration of this video, standing in front of black curtain. Also on the screen throughout the video are slides he is speaking to: the instructor audio describes all relevant slide content throughout the presentation, as well as a blurred inset of a small audience.)
Even now, we get a development cycle where we do all of the user requirements experience research, information architecture, wire framing, alpha, beta, testing against the requirements. OK, we’re ready to ship. Let’s test for accessibility.
Wrong. Right? That is not the time to be doing it. Same as you need to explain to the client, I can’t just show you what it’s going to look like today, because we don’t even know how many functions are going to be in this thing. It’s the same thing with accessibility.
It will be one more minute. We’ll take a quick break. And we’ll come back.
You’re going to bake a cake. And the recipe calls for you to put strawberries in the cake mix– chop them up, put them in the cake mix, and bake the cake with the strawberries inside. And you forget to put the strawberries in.
When the cake comes out of the oven you can still put strawberries on it, right? You can even cut the cake in half and put some strawberries in the middle with icing. So it’s not the same as if you put them in at the beginning. But it’s close, right? It’s passable. You’re still going to take it to the anniversary party, whatever it is.
If you forget to put the baking soda in the mix, when you take it out of the oven later you can’t just sprinkle baking soda on the top and have the same cake. So there are fundamental things. It’s the same with accessibility.
Some things you can tack on later. Some things you can just use a shiv and jimmy them in there. But some things you can’t do it if the thing is baked.
So from the inception– from the first time a client says to you, we need this– that’s when you need to incorporate accessibility. Content providers– so if you have an image in your web page and you don’t have alt text for it, whose job is it to write the alt text? Not the developer, right?
The content owner is responsible for it– the people who would write the copy, the actual copywriters. You have to explain this to them in a way. You have to say, look, would you want a code monkey writing your copy for you? No. Would you want us to actually write the copy, the instructions for this application, the description? No. OK, well, then we shouldn’t be writing the alt text either.
It’s not a web job. Writing content is not a web job, or a developer’s job. It’s the job of the person that intimately knows the content, that even understands why they picked that picture in the first place. Why is it even there? I don’t know.
My job is to make sure when your phone goes like this, it doesn’t break. That’s what I do. I go, OK, good, nothing went off the screen. We’re sold.
I don’t know why you picked that image. So the content providers, even, have to be involved in this process. They should be writing the alt text.
How many people in this room learned something today? Yay! Just for the record, every hand went up. How many people learned nothing? Well, you were sleeping. That doesn’t count. No, I’m just kidding. There was nobody sleeping. I’m just joking.
So if it doesn’t touch your life, it’s not at the forefront. Also, too– oh, I got five minutes. I can tell one more story.
Do you want to hear another cake story? Or do you want to hear a monkey story? How many people vote for cake? Cake story? How many people want a monkey story– everybody, monkey story.
All right, you may have heard this one. Five monkeys in a room, and they put a stepladder in the room. And they put a banana in the room. And I loosely base this on Return from Planet of the Apes– the old ones with Roddy McDowall. Look it up.
So one monkey goes up the ladder to get the banana. And they spray all the other four monkeys with a firehose. So the monkey at the top of the ladder is like, yay. I got a banana. And the other monkeys are like, dude.
So they do this a couple of times. A monkey goes up. They spray the other monkeys. The next time a monkey tries to go up that stepladder, the other four monkeys grab them and yank them off the stepladder because they don’t want to get sprayed with a firehose. It seems pretty straightforward.
They take one of the monkeys out and give him a nice life for all the cruelty that they’ve done. And they bring in a new monkey. And the new monkey sees a banana. What’s the first thing he does? Goes to run up the stepladder.
And the other four monkeys grab him and yank him off. And he has no idea why. He does not know why they are doing this. They yank him off the ladder, basically saying, we don’t go up that ladder, dude. He tries again. They yank him off again.
You can systematically replace every monkey in that room. When they replace the second monkey, he tries to go up the ladder, the first replacement monkey that tried to go up the ladder, he joins in. He grabs the monkey and pulls him off.
He doesn’t know why they did it to him. He also doesn’t know why he’s doing it to this other person. It’s just what we do. That’s what we do here. We don’t go up that ladder.
You can systematically replace every monkey in the room. And you’ll end up with five monkeys all sitting in the corner, not going up this ladder to get the banana. And none of them know why. That’s your client.[LAUGHTER] [APPLAUSE]
You have to teach them not to be that monkey, because this is the way we’ve always done it. They have these systems that are already in place. They might even– they might even be on the forefront of UX and be really concerned about user experience. They have all of these use cases and so on.
But if it has never touched their life in any way, they have this whole system built that did not include accessibility in it. That’s why the most compelling thing you can ever do for your client is give them a demo of a real person with real assistive technology. And if you can’t do it live– live is always the best.
There’s nothing better than watching a client’s eyes open when they see somebody having trouble using their own product, because then it hits home. I had no idea this person was sitting at home trying to buy a sweater. And they can’t buy it. Let’s help them buy that sweater.
But you can also– there are tonnes of videos, just even on YouTube, that you can go– of people using their assistive, and testimonial with Sarah McLachlan singing, in the arms of an angel. I don’t mean to make fun of it.
Actually, it’s tragic. It’s true. You can find videos of students who are saying they can’t do their homework because they’ve been told to go read the lesson on this website that’s not accessible. And you think, how can this happen?
How can this happen? Well, it’s because the systems are old. We need to update them.
So to get buy-in from your client, the technical way to do it is simply make it be a requirement. When they come to you with their business case and their user case and their legal case, you say there’s one more requirement we need in here. And that’s the accessibility.
It’s just another group of users, right? It’s just another persona. We have a persona, only uses a keyboard. Visually, they see, hear everything. But they only use a keyboard for input. That’s one of our personas for our use cases.
We have a persona of a person who’s blind using a screen reader, a persona of a person who has low vision who zooms in on the screen– not using a screen-reading device, not changing the document colours or anything. But they’re only looking at a small portion of the screen at a time. So when their alert box comes up over here, guess what? They’re not going to see it.
So you have to make sure it comes to the focused area of the screen. You have to make sure it’s some sort of modal dialog box that will– just some way that you have to make sure that they’re alerted to that same thing. Or better yet, just put it right where they already are, right where they’re already looking.
(TEXT ON SCREEN: David Berman Communications)
Lesson excerpt from Accessibility Power Hour with David Berman Communications’ Michael Cooper
The following video needs no audio description because all meaningful content is already spoken.Transcript | Lesson excerpt from Accessibility Power Hour with David Berman Communications' Michael Cooper
This is a descriptive transcript of the video Lesson excerpt from Accessibility Power Hour with David Berman Communications’ Michael Cooper.
(TEXT ON SCREEN: Lesson excerpt from Accessibility Power Hour – Michael Cooper | August 15, 2019 – David Berman Communications)
(Instructor appears on screen and faces the camera for the duration of this video, standing at a podium. Also on the screen throughout the video are slides he is speaking to: the instructor audio describes all relevant slide content throughout the presentation.)
When you ask a question in an e-learning, in most cases you’re not asking to test. You’re asking to teach. There are cases in which you’re asking to test. But the vast majority of times, you’re using formative testing, formative questions, right?
You’re looking to help people learn, not to triage people who don’t know how to do things– saying hey, you answered this wrong. You’re fired. It’s more of, oh, you got this wrong. Let’s look at where you went wrong on this and try it again.
There’ll be times when you will have to do an evaluation. If that’s the case, you’re going to want to consider how the errors are being reported. If it’s an error in process– you clicked the wrong button; you clicked things out of order; you failed to click something– these are all errors that need to be identified.
Now, in most cases, the response– a badly clicked thing is no response at all. If I miss the Next button, then I’m not going to get a little hand that goes, uh-uh, you missed the Next button. It’s down here. Nothing’s going to happen.
And that’s cool, because there’s no consequence. As soon as there is consequence, that’s when you have to start thinking about, OK, how do I help them succeed without giving them the answer, if I’m testing for comprehension or acquisition of skill. So with that in mind, error identification becomes really important.
(TEXT ON SCREEN: David Berman Communications)
Impressions on David Berman e-Accessibility course at OCAD, 29 June 2015
“As an accessibility professional myself, I often seek out opportunities to stay current and refresh my own skills. On Nov 17, 2017, I had the pleasure of taking part on the eAccessibility workshop offered by David Berman Communications which provided me with great insightful tips on how to further influence leaders to understand the value of accessibility and inclusion in their business and organization. The workshop was well structured and paced, provided a great opportunity to interact with the trainer and left one with a useful resource that could be referenced moving forward. I would strongly recommend training offered by Berman Communications to individuals or organizations seeking to improve or deepen their understanding of accessibility.”
-Pina D’intino MDes, PMP, CPACC
Reviewed January 19, 2016