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Tag: Accessibility

The Amóvil website, in collaboration with the Vodafone Spain Foundation, has made available a free online self-training course to help users learn how to test a mobile device for accessibility compliance.

The course provides a set of guidelines that are based on the principles of Universal Accessibility and Design for All. These guidelines describe the requirements mobile devices must comply with in order to be accessible to persons with disabilities. In addition, descriptions of each disability profiles as well as the barriers these users tend to face when dealing with technology are provided.

This course, which is available at Amóvil blog site, aims to be a comprehensive introduction to inclusive mobile design. It is also intended to encourage developers to keep disabled and elderly people in mind when designing mobile devices.

Actual tests of websites on e-accessibility in all EU member states plus Norway, USA, Canada and Australia took place, and were published.

The report is based on the international guidelines WCAG 2.0. This means that the study mainly concerns the technology and doesn’t cover cognitive aspects, content or on how interfaces work on mobile devices nor the accessibility in documents. The report thus can’t be read as an absolute measure of web-accessibility, but more like a temperature check based on cluster sampling.

The overall result of the survey is a disappointment. Relatively easy things fail in many places, for example marking up the headings properly. More recent requirements, which came with WCAG 2.0 in 2008, are even less implemented.

There are differences between the countries, but, there is no country which can be described as good. We were hoping that the EU member states would learn from each other and be inspired from good examples, but that doesn´t seem to be the case.

One conclusion is that the most successful countries are those who have managed to combine several things:
– Legislation or policy which is not too technically detailed but more focused on individual rights;
– A well developed industry with a high level of accessibility competence, also among end user organizations.

Recommended read: Lewthwaite, Sarah (2011) Disability 2.0, student dis/connections: a study of student experiences of disability and social networks on campus in higher education. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

Abstract: For many young people, social networks are an essential part of their student experience. Using a Foucauldian perspective, this qualitative study explores the networked experiences of disabled students to examine how dis/ability difference is ascribed and negotiated within social networks. Data comprises 34 internet-enabled interviews with 18 participants from three English universities. Accessible field methods recognise participant preferences and circumstances. Data is analysed using discourse analysis, with an attention to context framed by activity theory.

Disabled students’ networked experiences are found to be complex and diverse. For a proportion, the network shifts the boundaries of disability, creating non-disabled subjectivities. For these students, the network represents the opportunity to mobilise new ways of being, building social capital and mitigating impairment.

Other participants experience the network as punitive and disabling. Disability is socio-technically ascribed by the social networking site and the networked public. Each inducts norms that constitute disability as a visible, deviant and deficit identity. In the highly normative conditions of the network, where every action is open to scrutiny, impairment is subjected to an unequal gaze that produces disabled subjectivities. For some students with unseen impairments, a social experience of disability is inducted for the first time.

As a result, students deploy diverse strategies to retain control and resist deviant status. Self-surveillance, self-discipline and self-advocacy are evoked, each involving numerous social, cognitive and technological tactics for self-determination, including disconnection. I conclude that networks function both as Technologies of the Self and as Technologies of Power. For some disabled students, the network supports ‘normal’ status. For others, it must be resisted as a form of social domination.

Importantly, in each instance, the network propels students towards disciplinary techniques that mask diversity, rendering disability and the possibility of disability invisible. Consequently, disability is both produced and suppressed by the network.

Public conference of the EuCAN – European Concept for Accessibility Network to launch the new ECA publication: “ECA 2013 – From theory to practice”.

In cooperation with the Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment Berlin, the Fürst Donnersmarck-Foundation, Berlinische Galerie and Design for All – Germany (EDAD)

Venue: Berlinische Galerie – Museum of Modern Art, Photography and Architecture
Alte Jakobstraße 124-128
10969 Berlin
Deutschland
www.berlinischegalerie.de
Date:7th and 8th November 2013
Conference language: English
Audience: Members of the organisers and other interested persons from Europe, with a particular focus on representatives active in the following fields: (environmental) architecture, construction, city planning, crafts, marketing, design, art, culture, communication, entrepreneurship, consumer organisations, organisations of and for Senior citizens and/or people with disabilities, Highschools, training institutes and decision makers in economy, policy and administration.
Accomodations: Advance bookings have been made in Grimm’s Hotel and Best Western Hotel am Spittelmarkt. There are special offers for the attendances of the conference. Please send an email to eca@eca.lu (after September 9th) if you are interested to book a room.
Deadline: Deadline to register for the conference and the hotel rooms: September 30th.
Contact: Silvio Sagramola, eca@eca.lu

More than 100 teachers from across Europe participated in the SMILE (Social Media in Learning and Education) action and undertook a pedagogical journey to explore jointly the challenges and opportunities involved when using social media in learning and education.

The outcomes of the project, funded by a Digital Citizenship Research Grant from Facebook, are now published in a digital handbook. You can find pedagogical materials and resources from the learning laboratory with many valuable reflections and suggestions on some critical aspects of the use of social media as regards school policies, pedagogical principles, professional development, responsible use and challenges to adoption.

Unfortunately, the accessibility aspect was entirely ignored in this project. Improving the Accessibility of Social Media in Government is an excellent article that does address accessibility concerns of social media.

WCAG-EM describes an approach for evaluating how websites – including web applications and websites for mobile devices – conform to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. It covers different situations, including self-assessment and third-party evaluation. It is independent of particular evaluation tools, web browsers, and assistive technologies. This draft has proposed content for all sections. Now is a good time to review it. In particular, feedback is sought on the applicability of this methodology in practice and for input on refining and expanding the guidance provided.

Contact: Please send comments on this draft document to the publicly archived mailing list: public-wai-evaltf@w3.org by 20 October 2012.