Welcome to the Great Lakes ADA Center's quarterly Accessible Technology Bulletin
Technology Trainings & Events
Join Us for Next Accessible Technology Webinar
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 July 25, 2013 1:00 – 2:30pm CST
Update on Accessible Information and Communication Technology Policy with Speaker Jim Tobias, Inclusive Technologies
This presentation will provide an update on US policy regarding accessible information and communication technology (ICT). It will cover the current status and activities of major policy initiatives, largely in the federal arena, such as Section 255, Section 508, Section 503, Communication and Video Accessibility Act, and the ADA. It will include information that will let attendees participate in making policy through public comment processes.
Jim Tobias has thirty years of experience in accessible and usable technology in both public and private sectors. He has focused on how technologies are designed and used in education, employment, and civic participation.
Jim has a Master's Degree in Industrial Design and is President of Inclusive Technologies, a technology analysis consulting firm specializing in accessible information and communication technologies.
He has served on several advisory committees, including co-Chairing the Access Board's committee on updating accessibility requirements in Sections 255 and 508. Jim co-directed the accessibility element of California's review of voting technologies in 2007-2008, and led the user testing component. He chaired the Alliance for Telecom Industry Solutions's Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Accessibility Forum. He participated in the April 2008 meeting of ITU's Global Initiative for Inclusive ICT, and served on ISO's JTC1 Special Working Group on Accessibility (SWG-A).
The Accessible Technology Webinar series is free, but participants must register at http://www.ada-audio.org
- September 19, 2013 Creating Accessible PDFs - Part 1 with Judith Stark
- November 21, 2013 Advanced Accessible PDFs - Part 2 with Christy Blew
FireFox Mobile Accessibility
Firefox OS was developed to build the Web as the platform for mobile devices and is based entirely on open standards and the source code is accessible to all. Mozilla, creators of Firefox, included many accessibility features in the new mobile OS to help users with various abilities navigate the web on mobile platforms easier.Firefox has the best HTML 5 support of web accessibility standards http://html5accessibility.com/ and their Mobile OS platform incorporates that high level of standards support.
Assistive technologies such as screen readers provide speech and audible feedback that represents the visual state of the application. Or they may also provide alternative interaction modes that make more sense for blind users. For example, with Firefox OS a user can explore the visible items on a screen by moving their finger across the screen and have the screen reader tell them what is under their finger. The Firefox accessibility options are installed automatically with no additional setup steps or addons required. When Firefox launches for the first time on a blind user's device, it should start talking and be responsive to the user's input.
Web pages can be very big, complex, and contain a lot of content. The Awesome Screen gets you where you want to go quickly by giving you a list of your most often visited sites along with the ability to browse through your bookmarks and history. When a screen reader user visits a large page it can be tiring and time consuming to step through every item on the page until they find what they are looking for. Firefox OS has Quick Navigation Keys. With the help of a physical keyboard or the Eyes-Free Keyboard, a user can press "k" repeatedly to step through all the hyperlinks on the page. Similar keys are available for headings, list items, and various form fields. This type of feature is familiar to desktop screen reader users. But the Android screen reader does not have this kind of functionality, so the mobile OS goes beyond what the Android OS does. Firefox for Android is the first Android Web browser that integrates tightly with Android's native accessibility framework and supports TalkBack, Android's screen reader. This provides a consistent feel with the rest of the device, and the user's specific screen reader configuration.
There are no extra steps to take to make Firefox for Android work with TalkBack. If your phone is already set up to talk to you, you can just install Firefox for Android from the Google Play store and start surfing the web right away.
Firefox Android supports both devices that have hardware keyboards and a hardware directional controller as well as devices that only have touch screens and use software on-screen keyboard and a virtual d-pad for directional navigation. It integrates well with the Eyes-Free keyboard for typing and navigation.
Additional advanced settings for accessibility include, the ability to Always use the cursor keys to navigate within pages. When this option is enabled, Firefox will display a movable cursor in web pages, allowing you to select text with the keyboard. You can toggle this mode by pressing F7.
The ability to search for text when typing is started. When this option is enabled, Firefox will find within the current web page what you type as you type it. While you are finding typed text in the page, the Find Toolbar will automatically display at the bottom of the window to show information about what you've found.
Finally, there is the option to have a warning when websites try to redirect or reload the page. When this option is enabled, Firefox will prevent websites from redirecting you to another page, or automatically reloading.
For more information of FireFox Mobile accessibility, check out the following articles and websites:
- How to access the Firefox Marketplacehttp://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-access-firefox-marketplace
- Firefox for Android for Accessibilityhttp://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-use-talkback-support-firefox
- Advanced settings for Accessibilityhttp://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-use-talkback-support-firefox
Online Symposium: User Modeling for Accessibility
The User Modeling for Accessibility is an online symposium that invites researchers, practitioners, and users with disabilities, to explore current and past research experiences related to user modeling for accessibility. User modeling is an approach for generating and adapting user interfaces to address particular user needs and preferences. The goal of the symposium is to analyze different methods and implementations of user modeling and their potential usage for improving accessibility for people with disabilities. This includes the design, creation, storage, and usage of user models, in particular in web browsers, applications, authoring tools, and other aspects of the Web. Registration opens July 2, 2013.For more information:http://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/2013/user-modeling/
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