Sep 30th, 2015 by MDTAP Blog
What is web accessibility?
Web accessibility is the practice of not creating barriers for users with disabilities when you’re building or changing a website. You may have heard the term and not really known what it meant, or come across guidelines and regulations (e.g. section 508, WCAG 2.0) and not really known what they were or what to do about them. If you’re looking for a primer on web accessibility, the National Federation of the Blind is here to help. Please join the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute on October 14, 3-5 p.m. for a free introduction. You can RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org; space is limited.
Sep 29th, 2015 by MDTAP Blog
Accessibility in iOS 9
Contributed by Joel Zimba, Special Projects Coordinator, MDTAP
Apple released the latest version of their operating system for their mobile devices, iOS 9.0. It was quickly followed by iOS 9.0.1—the current release. There are lots of little fixes, like the ability to use Siri voices for the speech output in VoiceOver, and Braille text entry working much better. However, there is one huge feature which deserves a bit of attention.
An item called “Text Selection” can now be added to the rotary. This control works a bit differently from most, but it’s definitely worth exploring. After turning to “Text Selection,” flicking up or down will cycle through character, word, line or page. There is even a “Select All” option.
Once you settle upon the desired text unit, swiping to the right will select successive units. Swiping to the left will unselect. Note that you must be at the beginning of the text to be selected. It has been suggested that this functionality should be changed to mimic that of the arrow keys when selecting—meaning the selection can expand from either right or left, and swiping the opposite way will unselect. Look for this change to come in the near future.
This seems convenient, but why is it such a big deal? The best part about this new method of text selection is that it works nearly everywhere. Any webpage for example. No longer is text selection limited to edit fields. It is now trivial to select a few words on a page in Safari and copy them into a new Google search.
As an aside, wanting to do just that is how I came to use an excellent and highly accessible app called Workflow. In under a minute, I wrote a Workflow which appears on the “Share Sheet.” It takes the contents of the clipboard and searches for it. While a Workflow tutorial may be beyond the scope of this blog post, I hope to discuss it here in the future. Workflow has often been cited as an example of an app whose author has done a remarkable job with accessibility.
Sep 28th, 2015 by MDTAP Blog
Caring for Patients who are blind or visually impaired
From: Armed Forces Medicine – 2015
A Fact Sheet for the Inpatient Care Team
This fact sheet is intended to assist all who provide direct inpatient care to blind or visually impaired Service members or Veterans. The bullets below suggest best practices for caring for blind and visually impaired Service members and Veterans while safely maintaining or regaining his or her independence and quality of life during hospitalization. Download or view this pdf document at: http://vce.health.mil/MHSHome/Reference-Center/Fact-Sheets/2015/01/28/Caring-for-Patients-Who-Are-Blind-or-Visually-Impaired-Inpatient —
A Fact Sheet for the Outpatient Care Team
This fact sheet is intended to assist outpatient providers in supporting patients with visual impairment. Visual impairment may not be obvious. Use of a white cane or a guide dog is an apparent sign, but some patients who have remaining vision may only display subtle signs of vision loss such as: trouble walking safely or inability to find a chair; difficulty finding identification (ID) cards or inability to read small print; holding items close to the eyes to see; or not making direct eye contact during conversation. If you suspect a patient has a visual impairment, ask him or her. Awareness of these signs can promote a safe, positive and pleasant experience for the patient and staff. Download or view this pdf document at: http://vce.health.mil/MHSHome/Reference-Center/Fact-Sheets/2015/01/28/Caring-for-Patients-Who-Are-Blind-or-Visually-Impaired-Outpatient
Sep 25th, 2015 by MDTAP Blog
Sometimes, AT is as simple as automated text reminders or phone alerts. And sometimes, it’s full of glitz, glam and ingenuity, like the dbGlove for the deaf/blind community. Or, the smart wheelchair that shares diagnostic medical results, includes GPS, and way more.
There’s a whole lot of incredible happening in the world of AT. This is just a peek at what’s happening this week…9/21 thru 9/25.
Expanding Access to Assistive Technology
Where Does Accessibility Begin for the Internet of Things Ecosystem?
Brown University begins testing of wireless brain sensor
Project to 3-D print for disabled students
Play it your way: how Twitch lets disabled gamers earn a living online
Go Baby Go program puts disabled Utah children on the move
Finally a tool to help people w/ disabilities cast their ballot in privacy
Therapeutic Video Game for Autism
Smartphones, Apps Prove Liberating For Those With Special Needs
Text Reminders Help People Lower Cholesterol, Blood Pressure
Scientists use brainwaves to help disabled gain mobility
How Italian dbGLOVE and Pedius assist the deaf and blind
Filmmaker Jason DaSilva addresses accessibility issues with technology
Smart wheelchairs, newest connected device to share health, repairs, etc
Robotic support brings freedom to paraplegics – Tek RMD (Video)
Sep 24th, 2015 by MDTAP Blog
Using Your Mobile Device During Emergencies
Contributed by Provi Sharpe, Director of Emergency Management and Equipment Reuse, MDTAP
June Isaacson Kailes, Disability Policy Consultant, recently released ”Tips for Emergency Use of Mobile Devices”. In this document she provides guidelines for optimal use of mobile devices before, during, and after an emergency. You will get information on how to program a list of emergency phone numbers in your device; how to enable your device to receive emergency alerts. Know how to send text messages. Know how to use the camera and how to send pictures and videos. Learn how to store important documents in “the Cloud” which can be accessed by any mobile device or computer (especially important if your device stops working.) Learn about evaluating and using emergency apps that make sense for you. Get information about getting a power back-up system for your device. Learn how to bookmark emergency resource mobile sites for quick access. Learn how to prepare a “No Service” backup plan. Get information on how to conduct personal skill drills periodically to refresh your use skills for methods you don’t often use. Learn how to update apps, group lists and your devices’ operating system periodically to insure they will work when needed.
To view the PDF, visit http://www.jik.com/Mobile%20Devices.pdf
Sep 23rd, 2015 by MDTAP Blog
Section 508 Best Practices Webinar: Basic Testing Guide for Making an Accessible PDF (September 29)
The next webinar in the Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series will take place September 29 from 1:00 to 2:30 (ET) and will cover testing of Portable Document Format (PDF) files for compliance with the Section 508 Standards. Presenters will review a draft best practices guide for baseline testing of PDF files prepared by the CIO Council’s Accessible Electronic Document Community of Practice. The guide, “Harmonized Processes for Section 508 Testing: Baseline Tests for Accessible Electronic Documents—PDF Portable Document Format,” establishes testing protocols to determine whether a PDF file satisfies Section 508 requirements. This guidance, which is due to be issued soon in final form, is part of an effort to establish a uniform approach to Section 508 testing among government agencies.
For more details or to register for this free webinar, visit www.adaconferences.org/CIOC/. Registration closes 24 hours before the start of the session.