April June 2013
Volume 7 Issue 3 
 
 

Welcome to the Great Lakes ADA Center's quarterly Accessible Technology Bulletin

Technology Trainings & Events
(Central Standard Time)

University of Illinois Web Conference
April 15 16, 2013
Champaign, IL
The 14th Annual University of Illinois Web Conference (formally known as the Illinois Webmaster Forum) will be held April 15 and 16, 2013. The conference brings together web professionals from higher ed and beyond for two days of professional development and networking activities. Content managers, designers, programmers, IT pros, and more. If you work with the web, this event is for you. For more information: http://go.illinois.edu/uofiwebcon
Charting the Cs Cross Categorical Conference
April 20-23, 2013
Alexandria, MN
The Minnesota Assistive Technology Leadership
Team is expands Charting the Cs assistive technology conference to be cross categorical. Keynote speaker: Dr. David Rose, Center for Applied Special Technology. For more information go to: www.lcsc.org
Accessible Interactive Documents HTML, PDF, Word and Excel
April 23 May 14, 2013
Tuesdays 1pm CST
Online
Forms, combo boxes, check boxes and other interactive features are becoming increasingly common both on the Web and in other documents including in email. This series will focus mainly on how to make these interactive features more accessible as well as helping users understand how to interact effectively with them. For more information go to: EASI Webinars.
WCAG Do Screen Reader Users Take full Advantage?
May 2, 2012 1PM CST
Online
WCAG, ARIA and developer best practice guides and recommendations have made the web a better and more accessible place. However, our experience indicates that a significant group of screen reader users are not aware of some WCAG best practice guidelines, particularly in the area of page structure elements (headings, landmarks, tables), and therefore some of the hard work put in by developers and accessibility experts does not fully translate to the optimal end user experience. This Webinar will cover the results of a study and the plan to solve this problem through a central, free, online screen reader user training resource. For more information go to: EASI Webinars
Web Accessibility Training
May 21 22, 2013
Logan, UT
This hands-on training session, sponsored by Webaim, will teach basic web accessibility principles and to advanced accessibility techniques. For more information: www.webaim.org/training
Accessibility with Word Press
May 23, 2012 1PM CST
Online
With well over 5 million web sites using WordPress, it`s obvious that the open-source CMS is a huge part of the web eco-system. WordPress has been developed with great attention to HTML semantics and best practices, but there are still holes to fill if you want best practice web accessibility for your web site. Learn about what you can do to improve WordPress on the front-end, in the admin, and what you need to know about themes and plug-ins to keep your site accessible. For more information go to: Accessible Technology Webinar Series
Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) Annual Conference
June 22 24, 2013
Bellevue, WA
If you are working in the field of assistive technology or rehabilitation engineering, studying or just interested in the field, then this is the conference for you! You will be able to learn about the latest advances in technology solutions for persons with disability and network with others with similar interests while earning continuing education credit. For more information: www.resna.org/conference/
Accessibility of Web Authoring Tools
August 14, 2012 1PM CST
Online
Having access to online interactions is no longer optional but an essential part of participating in society. This session will discuss how authoring and development tools can be designed to support the creation of accessible content, even by authors who are neither motivated nor knowledgeable about accessible Web content guidelines. For more information go to: Accessible Technology Webinar Series.
Challenges to Using Apps as Assistive Technology
August 14, 2012 2:30 PM
Online
The iPad and apps are hot - everyone has one or wants one, but do they meet the needs of Assistive Technology users and the professionals who serve them? What should professionals be looking for when evaluating an App as Assistive Technology? What questions should researchers include in their research evaluation of apps? What should AT app developers be including in the apps that are designed as Assistive Technology? For more information go to: www.atia.org/webinars
Emerging Professional Development Trends for Assistive Technology
August 28, 2012 2:30PM
Online
Finding appropriate Assistive Technology supports for students with disabilities is only half the battle. Once this critical step is complete, the process of training and support for the student begins. Unfortunately, due to time and other constraints, training on implementation is rarely reached, which is likely one of the reasons we see such high levels of AT abandonment across the country. During this session the presenter will discuss emerging trends and practical tips for providing effective professional development and support to those that use Assistive Technology. For more information go to: www.atia.org/webinars

Join Us for Next Accessible Technology Webinar

The Accessible Technology Webinar series is hosted and coordinated by the Great Lakes ADA Center and the Pacific ADA Center on behalf of the ADA National Network.

The ADA National Network provides comprehensive services for up-to-date information, consultation, referrals, resources, and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act for businesses, employers, governmental entities, service providers and individuals with disabilities.

Next Session: Thursday May 22, 2013 1:00 2:30pm CST
Accessibility with Word Press with speaker Joseph Dolson, Independent Consultant

Joseph Dolson

With well over 5 million web sites using WordPress, its obvious that the open-source CMS is a huge part of the web eco-system. WordPress has been developed with great attention to HTML semantics and best practices, but there are still holes to fill if you want best practice web accessibility for your web site. Learn about what you can do to improve WordPress on the front-end, in the admin, and what you need to know about themes and plug-ins to keep your site accessible

Joseph Dolson has been writing and working in web accessibility since 2004, when he founded the web development and accessibility consultancy Accessible Web Design. His articles have been published in Practical eCommerce magazine, QualityWorld, the Accessites blog, and many other places around the web. His work in WordPress includes the authorship of several popular plug-ins and he's active as an editor on the WordPress accessibility task force site http://make.wordpress.org/accessibility

The Accessible Technology Webinar series is free, but participants must register at http://www.ada-audio.org/

Future Sessions:

  • July 25, 2013 Android Accessibility, speaker TBA
  • September 19, 2013 Creating Accessible PDFs Part 1 with Judith Stark
  • July 25, 2013 Android Accessibility, speaker TBANovember 21, 2013 Advanced Accessible PDF Part 2 with Christy Blew

Accessibility Improvements in Adobe Acrobat

While the accessibility of PDFs is still being debated, there have been improvements made in Acrobat XI, the newest version of Acrobat Professional. Acrobat XI includes several new and improved features that make it much easier to create accessible PDF files.

Alternative text for images

Adding alternative text to images has always been a frustrating process in Acrobat. It usually entails viewing the document with the TouchUp Reading Order tool and searching for images that display the text Figure No alternate text exists. You then have to right click on the image, select Edit Alternate Text, and then type the alternative text in the provided box. This is very inefficient and time consuming, especially if a page has numerous images, or small images with overlapping alternative text. Acrobat XI now includes a Set Alternate Text option that allows you to add alternative text to all the images in your document at one time. It even includes the ability to identify an image as a Decorative figure, the PDF equivalent of alt=.

TouchUp Reading Order Tool

There are two solid improvements to the TouchUp Reading Order tool. First, the number of available headings has been upgraded from 3 to 6. This is nice. While documents with sixth-level headings are not very common, I have often wished for an easier way to tag an item as an h4. An even more significant improvement is found in a single radio button that I passed over the first few times using the Acrobat XI. A new option to show Structure types allows you to view the tag structure of the page inline at a glance.

Several Solid Improvements

There are other accessibility features as well, including significant improvements to the accessibility action wizard and accessibility checker. The updated wizard quides you through several commonly-overlooked steps, including adding the document title and language, alternative text for images, etc. The accessibility checker does a better job of identifying issues that need to be checked manually and now provides helpful explanations for each rule. The export to DOC or PPT format is promising as well.

The following are additional resources for Adobe Acrobat Accessibility. If you are interested in PDF accessibility, be sure to catch the upcoming Accessible Technology webinars http://www.ada-audio.org/.

This article by Jonathan Whiting is reprinted with permission from WebAIM.

 

The Great Lakes ADA Center provides expert assistance via a national toll-free information line 800-949-4232 (V/TTY) or Online via Contact Us and presents customized trainings for employers, businesses, government, and individuals with disabilities regarding accessible technology and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

Great Lakes ADA and Accessible IT Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
Department of Disability and Human Development (MC 728)
1640 West Roosevelt Road, Room 405
Chicago, IL 60608-6904
 
 
 
 
 

Last Updated on:
Wed Jul 3, 2013