This week our team was excited to launch the first inaugural issue of Focus State, a twice-a-month accessibility newsletter.
We’ve been hearing from customers and clients that it’s hard to keep up with all the news and events related to website accessibility, and, since a major part of our B Corp certification is sharing knowledge and giving back to the community, we thought sending a regular email newsletter that collates current web accessibility information would be a great way to solve that problem.
On Wednesday of this week, we sent out our first issue and we have received great feedback so far, so we wanted to share it here and invite anyone who wants to stay on top of accessibility news and events to subscribe.
Subscribe to Focus State and on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, you can look forward to a detailed digest of web accessibility news, events, and resources arriving in your inbox. Accessibility is a journey and I hope we can provide you with helpful resources as we all strive to build a more accessible web, together.
Subscribe to Focus State
Read Issue 1
During the WordPress Accessibility Meetup on November 4th, Glen Walker, Principal Accessibility Architect at TIAA, provided a detailed walk-through of key settings for popular, open-source screen reader for Windows, NVDA. If you want to get started with screen reader testing, NVDA is available for free download. Watch the recording of the meetup and read our recap blog post if you want to learn more about how to configure NVDA for testing websites.
In other exciting news, WordPress Accessibility Meetup has been officially approved to count towards Continuing Education Accessibility Credits (CAECs) for certifications through the International Association of Accessibility Professionals. You can get both Professional Development and Sharing Your Knowledge CAECs through the meetup.
Make Accessibility Testing Easier
Accessibility Checker is the ideal tool for WordPress developers, designers, and content creators to improve their accessibility auditing practices.
Web Accessibility News & Resources
- Web Accessibility Tools Survey on Equalize Digital
We’re gathering information about how organizations approach accessibility for use in a future research article and meetup presentation. Please take the survey if you haven’t yet. You can enter to win a $200 Amazon gift card after taking the survey. Please share it with your network – our goal is to get at least 200 participants, and they do not all have to be people who know about accessibility.
- How to Make Your Website Accessible for Colorblind People on Equalize Digital
Colorblindness is, unfortunately, an often forgotten disability that can make websites challenging to navigate, use, and read. This article provides an overview of how you can create websites easily perceived and understood by people who are color-blind.
- Accessibility of Remote Meetings: Call for Review on W3C Blog
The First Public Working Draft of “Accessibility of Remote Meetings” has been published and the W3C committees who produced it are requesting public feedback on the guidelines for making remote meetings accessible and who is responsible for that. The draft is sectioned into different audience groups and includes guidance on vendor procurement planning, including captions and remote meeting platforms choices, among other things. If your organization runs remote meetings or events, it would be good to review the draft and submit comments now.
- Myths About Web Accessibility by Alvaro Montoro
There are many misconceptions surrounding Web Accessibility, most of the time fueled by a lack of knowledge (or interest) in the matter. This article is a collection of some of those accessibility misconceptions or myths and is a great quick read. Thank you to Alex Stine for sharing this in our WordPress Accessibility Facebook group!
- Why Automated Tools Alone Can’t Make Your Website Accessible And Legally Compliant on Forbes
A reaction to the class action settlement against Eyebobs, a company that got sued for lack of website accessibility despite having AccessiBe on their site.
- Legal Update: Accessibility Overlay Edition by Lainey Feingold
For a legal perspective on the Eyebobs settlement, this article by Lainey Feingold, a respected attorney specializing in disability rights for more than 25 years, is a must read. She thinks that the case is a step in the right direction towards website owners realizing that a single line of code is not the answer to inaccessibility. (Notably, if you go to the Eyebobs website, AccessiBe is no longer present.)
- Is the Tide Turning on Website Accessibility Claims? California Court of Appeal Upholds a ‘Bona Fide Intent’ Requirement on The National Law Review
Another look at accessibility in the U.S. courts. The court found that the plaintiff had not actually intended to use the website in question and that “a plaintiff cannot sue for discrimination in the abstract, but must actually suffer the discriminatory conduct.” This may be a hopeful sign for business owners that some protection is available against “drive-by lawsuits” but the author concludes that businesses should still probably continue with their website remediation efforts.
- Is there a minimum font size on logos? Facebook Discussion
A recent discussion in the WordPress Accessibility Facebook Group provides practical guidance for using fonts within logos. Join the Facebook Group and share your thoughts on the discussion!
- DOJ Settlement Makes Rite Aid Vaccine Registration More Accessible on The Hill
Access to vaccination scheduling websites has been particularly lacking for people with disabilities. Rite Aid pharmacy’s website was unusable for blind people and people with difficulty using a mouse. They will now be reworking the site to ensure all people can use it, which is a great win.
Accessibility Checker Updates
Accessibility Checker is a WordPress accessibility scanning tool to help you quickly find accessibility problems on your website. Here are the latest updates you need to know about Accessibility Checker:
- We launched an early Black Friday Sale! Now through November 30, 2021, get a 50% discount when you buy Accessibility Checker.
- Monthly pricing is now available! After listening to feedback, we’ve launched a monthly pricing plan for people who prefer more flexibility over annual plans.
- Update your bookmarks: our account website for affiliates and license holders has moved from the products subdomain to a new web address: my.equalizedigital.com. This change will make it easier for affiliates to get credit for referrals across the entire site and was an important first step to some bigger changes.
- Update your plugin: with the domain change, we released a minor version update to Accessibility Checker Pro so it knows what domain to check for your license key on. Please update the plugin to ensure continued functionality.
Upcoming Accessibility Events
- Building a Custom Plugin with an Accessibility First Approach: Phil Webster – WordPress Accessibility MeetupMonday, November 15, 2021, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM CSTPhil Webster, a Senior WordPress Developer at Delicious Brains, will discuss the steps to build a custom plugin that for a client site that has accessibility top of mind. Topics will include design considerations, using semantic markup, vetting third party extensions, preventing accessibility issues by using validation, and when to use aria attributes.
- TechShare Pro 2021 – AbilityNetNovember 16, 17 and 18 2021, 10 AM to 7 PM GMT
TechShare Pro brings together digital accessibility and inclusion specialists from Europe and beyond to connect and learn from each other.
- Shattering Assumptions About Deafness – A11y Talks
Tuesday, November 30, 2021, 11 AM CSTDo all deaf people know how to read lips? Know sign language? Can they drive? Meryl Evans, a digital marketer, speaker, and writer who is deaf, will set the record straight on common misconceptions.
- How to Create Accessible Captioned Videos for WordPress Sites & Beyond: Meryl Evans – WordPress Accessibility Meetup
Thursday, December 2, 2021, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM CSTA perfect follow up to the A11y Talks presentation! Meryl Evans will be discussing the importance of captions and how to ensure yours follow best practices.
If you found this news and events round-up helpful, make sure you subscribe to Focus State. Beyond this sneak peek, we won’t be publishing Focus State issues to our blog, it’ll be sent via email only so you’ll need to subscribe to read more in the future.
Have thoughts or ideas about the content you would like to see? Contact us and share your ideas.