Film: Virtual Reality, Disability and Inclusive Design (Ability Net 2017)

Disability Co-operative Network
There is an excellent talk by AbilityNet on the accessibility of Virtual Reality, particularly barriers to consider (i.e. motion sickness) as well as opportunities.
Speakers are:  Raphael Clegg-Vinell, Senior Accessibility and Usability Consultant, AbilityNet and Mark Walker, Head of Marketing and Communications at AbilityNet
Here is a link: 

News:  Do you have or are you planning a digital project in the next 12 months? New Law on Website Accessibility

Disability Co-operative Network

New law to replace EU Directive on Website Accessibility

  • Are you planning a digital project which involves an app or a website?
  • Are you funded by Government (local authority, national etc).
  • Are you aware that the EU Directive on website accessibility is now UK Law?

What is happening?

There is now a law for website accessibility in the UK.  These are called ‘The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018’ and implement the EU Directive on the accessibility of public sector websites and mobile applications.

If you are an organisation which is funded by Government (National, Local Government), it is expected that your website should reach WCAG 2.1 AA or European Equivalent EN 301 549.

The Government Digital Service have provided resources and sharing opportunities to support organisations to do this. These resources have links to meet ups and information, which you can find on this post.
We at DCN are also here to support you in setting up user groups and help you create and implement your access into your organisation.

Further information Government Digital Service:  https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2018/09/24/how-were-helping-public-sector-websites-meet-accessibility-requirements/

Government Digital Service:  What does Accessibility Mean?

Ok, how long have I got?

There are key dates to consider in relation to this law:
You, as an organisation need to comply from 23 September 2019.
All existing public sector websites (this includes any externally funded community projects by a Government funded i.e. public sector organisation) by 22 September 2020.  All mobile applications by 22 June 2021.

What’s coveredDeadline to comply with the regulations
New public sector websites (published after 22 September 2018)22 September 2019
All other public sector websites22 September 2020
Public sector mobile applications22 June 2021

Source: https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2018/09/24/how-were-helping-public-sector-websites-meet-accessibility-requirements/

What do I have to do?

Meet the accessibility standard and provide an access statement (there will be a template for this in early 2019).

Scroll to ‘How to do this and how GDS can help’ via this link https://bit.ly/2qrL4ya on information regarding procurement and evaluation.

Check your website:  Does it reach the AA standard?
There are resources on this post to help you.  Also it is important test your website via a user group.

We at DCN can support you with developing user groups and there are companies such as Ability Net and those listed in resources that can help you.

Write an access statement for your website.

There will be a template available in early 2019.  Subscribe to https://gds.blog.gov.uk/subscribe/ for further details.

I’ve used a consultant, and it says some does, some doesn’t.  What shall I do?

Your organisation needs to provide an access statement to tell the web visitor the areas that don’t meet AA standard and where they can get tools and information in order to make it to AA.

Ensure that your digital project has accessibility from the pre-planning and throughout the project, enabling time to test with users. See link: https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/technology/testing-for-accessibility

What happens if I don’t?

There are opportunities here to develop your website offer to increase engagement to your organisation.  Your organisation may be in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

There are specific tasks that are low cost and simple such as captioning and use of accessibility settings on social media: https://www.musedcn.org.uk/2017/11/19/captioning-your-films-and-videos-stagetext/ and using captions on Youtube https://www.musedcn.org.uk/2018/06/07/how-to-be-more-accessible-on-social-media-snapchat-vimeo/

Organisations using tweetdeck:  https://9to5mac.com/2018/07/03/tweetdeck-image-descriptions/

Using podcasts? Each podcast should have a script, remember to transcribe this as part of your online offer.
There is also new software that transcribes audio information which is available online.  Ensure to check for accuracy.

Resources: Government Resources for Accessibility

Join the government accessibility google group

Over 800 civil servants with an interest in accessibility from over 50 government departments, agencies and organisations:

Accessibility community

> Accessibility Community Google Group

Upcoming accessibility regulations

Accessibility requirements for public sector websites and apps

Read the accessibility guidance in the Service Manual

Overview

Making your service accessible: an introduction

Requirements

  1. Meet level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) as a minimum

Understanding WCAG 2.0

Testing for accessibility

  1. Work on the most commonly used assistive technologies

Testing with assistive technologies

  1. Include people with disabilities in user research

Running research sessions with people with disabilities

A team responsibility

What each role does in a service team

US Gov: Accessibility for teams

Guidance for User Researchers

Find user research participants

Write a recruitment brief

Getting users’ consent for research

Choose a location for user research

Doing user research remotely by phone or video call

Using moderated usability testing

User research in discovery

User research in alpha

User research in beta

User research in live

Home Office Poster: Researching Access Needs – who to include when?

Guidance for Content Designers and Publishers

Writing for user interfaces

Writing for GOV.UK

Writing content for everyone (Blog)

How to create content that works well with screen readers (Blog)

How to make PDFs more accessible

Why GOV.UK content should be published in HTML and not PDF (Blog)

Guidance for Designers and Developers

Accessibility for developers: an introduction

Using progressive enhancement

Design Patterns

Improving accessibility with accessibility acceptance criteria (Blog)

What to do when

How the discovery phase works

How the alpha phase works

How the beta phase works

How the live phase works

Home Office Blog: Working together to achieve accessibility

Internal services

Services for government users

Getting help

Accessibility community

Understand common access needs early

Understanding disabilities and impairments: user profiles

GDS Accessibility Blog: Accessibility and Me Series

Home Office Posters: Dos and don’ts on designing for accessibility

Resources to help you design, build and test accessible interfaces

Design System

Introducing the GOV.UK Design System

GOV.UK Design System

Testing a website

How do automated accessibility checkers compare?

18F Accessibility Guide: Checklist

BBC: Accessibility and Testing with Assistive Technology

Creating the UK government’s accessibility empathy lab (blog)

Technology requirements

Technology Code of Practice

> Make things accessible

Learn more about accessibility

GDS Accessibility Blog

> What we mean when we talk about accessibility

> Consider the range of people that will use your product or service

Accessibility Community: Community Resources

Accessibility resources

Sign up for accessibility workshops

Cross-government events and training in the User-Centred Design Community: Accessibility

Come to the government accessibility meetups

The meetups happen every 3 – 4 months and are promoted in the Google Group

Write ups of previous events

 

Sensing Culture: Resources and Information supporting blind or partially sighted visitors

Sensing-Culture

Sensing Culture has been a three-year multi-partner project with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) as the lead partner, and funded by £438,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with one mission at its heart – to remove the barriers that prevent blind and partially sighted people (BPS) from accessing their heritage.

It was born from an identified need within access organisations’, as well as the heritage sector at large, that more could and should be done to facilitate good museum experiences for people who experience sight loss.

Link to information, case studies and films here: https://www.sensingculture.org.uk/

Creating Accessible Conferences and Presentations

Disability Co-operative Network

Accessible Conference Guidance
These guidelines and tips come from Government Digital Service:
https://accessibility.blog.gov.uk/2018/03/13/advice-for-making-events-and-presentations-accessible/

Evacuation Plans
What evacuation plans do you have in place in getting people safely out of the building?
See: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/422202/9446_Means_of_Escape_v2_.pdf

Assistance Dogs Guidance:
https://www.musedcn.org.uk/2018/01/12/assistance-dogs-uk-information-the-law-and-what-your-organisation-can-do/

For further information on captioning and BSL go to:
Stagetext:  http://www.stagetext.org/

Presentations:
Vocaleyes:  Making your presentations more accessible to blind and partially sighted people.
http://bit.ly/2M4FCi9

Ensure that handouts are available for neurodivergent people in advance.
Ensure that people are able to record the presentations to support their note taking.

AROUND THE TOILET: A research project report about what makes a safe and accessible toilet space (2018)

cropped sinks in public toilets

This new report was published in May 2018 and written as part of the AHRC funded Connected Communities project: ‘Around the Toilet’.

Around the Toilet has key findings taken in collaboration with groups of people between April 2015 to February 2018 in what makes an accessible toilet space.

The original consultation group consisted of people who identified as trans, queer and disabled, carers, parents, workers and people whose religious beliefs impacted on toilet use. As well as urban planners and architects in the context of environmental design.

Key Findings (from aroundthetoilet.com) include:

  • Toilet provision in the UK is currently inadequate for a wide range of people, due to both relational and functional flaws. We need more public toilets, more accessible designs, and different attitudes and ways of understanding the space and our fellow occupants.
  • Many trans and disabled people experience significant difficulties in accessing a safe, usable and comfortable toilet away from home.
  • Toilets labelled as ‘accessible’ are often in fact inaccessible for many disabled users for a range of reasons.
  • There is a lack of toilet research, particularly in the UK, which takes seriously trans people’s experiences of harassment and violence in binary gendered toilets.
  • There is a need for more all-gender toilet provision (sometimes known as ‘gender neutral’ toilets). This would benefit a range of people including: parents with children of a different gender; those who care for people of a different gender; some disabled people who have a personal assistant of a different gender; and some people whose gender is questioned in the toilet, including some trans and non-binary people (and, to a lesser extent, some cisgender people).
  • A ‘one size fits all’ approach to toilet design doesn’t work – there is no one toilet design to suit all users’ needs. Nevertheless, consideration of all users and moves towards improvement are crucial.

The report features potential solutions and designs, however as recommended in the report.  All designs must be in consultation with relevant agencies.

The full report is here:http://shura.shu.ac.uk/21258/1/Around%20the%20Toilet%20Report%20final%201.pdf

 

 

Vocaleyes: Guidelines for Digital Accessibility

Vocaleyes

Guidelines for Digital Accessibility (including Audio Description on film): 
http://vocaleyes.co.uk/services/museums-galleries-and-heritage/resources/guidelines-for-digital-accessibility-film/

See also Stagetext guidelines for adding captions to increase further access: https://www.musedcn.org.uk/2017/11/19/captioning-your-films-and-videos-stagetext/

 

Disabled People and Terminology ~ Michèle Taylor

Terminology is important, because words reflect our attitudes and beliefs. However, some of the terms we tend to use may not reflect how some disabled people see themselves. Using the right words matters.

This is not about ‘political correctness’ but using wording and language which disabled people and disabled people’s organisations working to promote the social model of disability find acceptable.

Some negative terminology to be avoided includes the following examples

  • Afflicted with This conveys a tragic or negative view about disability.
  • Suffering from This confuses disability with illness and also implies that a disability may be a personal burden. Increasingly, disabled people view their disability as a positive rather that negative experience
  • The blind Lumping everyone together in this way is felt by many to take away their individuality. The most appropriate term to use here is ‘people with visual impairments’, or ‘blind people’
  • Victim of This again plays to a sense that disability is somehow a tragedy
  • Cripple or crippled by Use the term ‘the person has …’
  • Wheelchair bound Disabled people are not tied into their wheelchairs. People are wheelchair users or someone who uses a wheelchair. A wheelchair offers the freedom to move around and is a valuable tool
  • Deaf and dumb This phrase is demeaning and inaccurate. Many deaf people use sign language to communicate and dumb implies that someone is stupid. Use ‘a person with a hearing impairment’, or ‘a deaf person’, or ‘sign language user’
  • The disabled There is no such thing as the disabled. Use the term ‘disabled people’
  • People with disabilities The term ‘disabled people’ is the preferred term within the social model of disability. ‘People with disabilities’ suggests that the disability ‘belongs’ to the disabled person, rather than ‘disabled person’ which accurately infers that society disables the individual, thus adopting the social model of disability
  • Handicapped This term is inappropriate, with images of begging and disabled people being cap in hand
  • Invalid The term literally means not valid
  • Able bodied The preferred term is ‘non-disabled’. ‘Able -bodied’ suggests that all disabilities are physical and ignores unseen disabilities, and that disabled people are not able

Some phrases are perfectly acceptable. People who use wheelchairs do ‘go for a walk’. It is perfectly acceptable to say to a person with a visual impairment ‘I will see you later’. Deaf people are unlikely to take offence at ‘Did you hear about…’ Common everyday phrases of this kind are unlikely to cause offence.

 

Michèle Taylor,
Disability and Equality Consultant and Trainer
www.micheletaylor.co.uk

Adapted from Manchester City Council’s website: www.manchester.gov.uk/disability/language/