Sep 30

Create Accessible Word Documents

There’s a big AODA Accessibility deadline hitting Canadian companies (and American companies that have Canadian customers) on January 1, 2016. All large companies must be able to provide an accessible alternative to public documentation on request. This means that if you are sharing a printed document, an untagged .pdf, or other non-accessible form of information, you need to also have a back up that is accessible.

For many people, the first step towards accessible documentation is creating a semantic, accessible Word document. Once this has been established, you can easily paste it into WordPress and other web applications to create a semantic page. This also helps you generate an accessible PDF document. Keep this Word document handy for those requests from a customer.

The Microsoft Accessibility Team has created a great set of short videos that show how to make your word Documents accessible. Take a few moments to watch this and share with your co-workers. It doesn’t take any longer to do it right. Keeping your documents semantic also makes them easier to style with the Word Themes.

Aug 11

Girls Who Code Summer Camp at Intuit

Intuit sponsored an intensive 7-week camp for Girls Who Code during the summer of 2015. This is a fantastic opportunity for young girls to learn the basics of computer programming and move beyond to product design and development. It culminated with the young engineers presenting their final projects, which were quite impressive.

I had the opportunity to do an hour long presentation on accessibility and we did a follow up session at the Usability Labs to experience the world with limited senses. These sessions had a big impact on the girls and how they perceive their role in developing inclusive products
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Jul 19

Use aria-labelledby to provide context to unordered lists

VoiceOver announces the heading when the list is selected

It’s not uncommon for a web page to include multiple sets of lists. This is especially true for a web site that aggregates information. The Yahoo! Finance home page contains at least 12 lists.

Screen readers allow the user to navigate a page via lists and announce the number of items in each list. But what if we could make this navigation more relevant? This can be done via the aria-labelledby attribute.

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Jul 15

Accessible Android Inputs with Material Design

Google has done an admirable job defining the Material Design style guide. They’ve also begun rolling out new APIs that make it much easier to implement the interaction designs within Android and HTML. However, there are still some gaps. This article looks at the popular Text Input for Android interaction. Please note: the code in this article is not fully documented and the best practice may change as the Google Accessibility team updates their documentation. Consider this a beta pattern and I will gladly update it as we learn better practices.
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Jul 14

Enable full keyboard access on your Mac

This article was originally written by Todd Kloots for the Yahoo! Accessibility Lab. It answers a very common problem for Mac computers and has been re-printed within the Intuit Accessibility blog with permission from Yahoo Accessibility.

Full keyboard access isn’t enabled by default in Mac OS. Often this leaves developers thinking there is something wrong with the implementation of keyboard access for a site or application, when in fact it is just a matter of changing a few system and browser preferences.

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