Round up for October, who has been covering online inclusivity?

Oct 19 2021

More articles focusing on digital inclusion have been in the media over the last month. We’ve seen a lot about technologies being rolled out by organizations to improve inclusion as well as the ongoing topic of overlays.

We’ve again compiled some of the most interesting articles covering inclusion from the last month, including new services launched by McDonalds, a concerning lack of inclusion for New York residents wanting to use the NY-Alert website, and more on the legal areas of the ADA.

Federal CIO: Diversity, Accessibility Are Key to Improving Customer Experience

This article highlights the current focus of federal government on encouraging diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization as an employer, but also highlights how the focus extends to citizens experience when interacting with the organisation.

https://www.nextgov.com/it-modernization/2021/09/federal-cio-diversity-accessibility-are-key-improving-customer-experience/185377/ (opens in a new window)

McDonald’s Starts Making Self-Service Easier for Blind Diners

McDonald’s is improving the accessibility of their instore facilities for people living with visual disabilities. The in-store touch-screen kiosks are getting new keypads and headphone jacks to enable customers to use screen-reader technology and tactile arrow buttons to place their orders.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/mcdonalds-starts-making-self-service-easier-for-blind-diners-11631900280 (opens in a new window)

We need to ditch overlay tools in creating truly accessible websites

The topic of overlays has continued to make headlines. In this piece, the use of overlays in the Paralympics 2020 #wethe15 campaign is discussed, as well as the legal risk their use poses and how accessibility should be integral from the beginning of a project.

https://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2021/09/20/we-need-ditch-overlay-tools-creating-truly-accessible-websites (opens in a new window)

Impact of COVID-19 on Accessibility and the Legal Landscape

In this video, produced for the 2021 Digital Accessibility Legal Summit, Jack McElaney, VP Sales and Marketing at Microassist, discusses the impact that the pandemic has had on accessibility. Jack talks about the how the shift to remote working, the new administration and the need for digital services have all made an impact on digital inclusion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNkDS3bfT84&feature=youtu.be (opens in a new window)

Why E-Commerce Companies Need to Prioritize Web Accessibility

Purchasing goods online is now a daily activity that is easy and convenient for many, however, this isn’t the case for everyone. This article addresses the issues people living with disabilities are facing when shopping online and why all organizations with an online presence need to be aware of their moral and legal requirements when it comes to digital inclusion.

https://www.paymentsjournal.com/why-e-commerce-companies-need-to-prioritize-web-accessibility/ (opens in a new window)

YouTube announces new audio features aimed at making videos more accessible

In this recent update from YouTube, creators will have the ability to enable live auto-captions for any livestreams in English. Auto-translation for captions in supported languages on Android and iOS is also to be rolled out and there is more news on the previously announced “Subtitle Editor”.

https://techcrunch.com/2021/10/07/youtube-announces-new-audio-features-aimed-at-making-videos-more-accessible/ (opens in a new window)

Individuals who use screen readers to access visual information could not independently use the NY-Alert website to register for urgent alerts or to choose how to receive alerts, putting them at risk during an emergency

This concerning situation which has excluded people living with visual disabilities from accessing life-saving information seems to be getting a resolution. Critical information on the NY-Alert website will be brought into compliance with accessibility standards within six months. This will enable access to information about emergencies such as pending storms and hazards within the New York state mass notification system for people living with visual disabilities. Time will tell about how inclusive this content will be.

https://www.legalreader.com/lawsuit-provides-blind-individuals-with-access-to-new-york-states-emergency-mass-notification-system/ (opens in a new window)

Reframing Digital Accessibility As An All-Out Business Win, Not A Compliance Burden

This article emphasizes how there is still a long way to go to make digital accessibility a fore-front for all business leaders, and highlights what organizations need to do to be creating inclusive services. Activities needs to include routinely auditing and testing websites as well as convincing stakeholders that there is a cost benefit to producing inclusive products.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/gusalexiou/2021/10/11/reframing-digital-accessibility-as-an-all-out-business-win-not-a-compliance-burden/ (opens in a new window)

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