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WCAG 2.0 and Reading Level

It is always a good idea to make content as readable and understandable as is suitable for the audience. For complex content (defined as that which requires a reading ability more advanced than the lower secondary education level), WCAG 2.0 Success Criterion 3.1.5 (Level AAA) requires that a more simplified and readable version of the content be provided. Much content cannot be made perfectly understandable at these levels (consider a college-level chemistry class, for example), thus it’s a Level AAA success criterion. Regardless of the limitations for some content, for a page to be optimally accessible, it should be written so as to be easily readable and understandable to the target audience.

The National Federation of the Blind and the Maryland Technology Assistance Program


Web Accessibility Training Day

September 9, 2014


National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute
200 E. Wells Street
at Jernigan Place
Baltimore, Maryland 21230


The National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute is thrilled to announce that on September 9 we will be co-hosting another Web Accessibility Training Day with the Maryland Technology Assistance Program. We will have general sessions in the morning and technical and policy tracks in the afternoon. Here are some of the topics we’ll be covering:

Session schedule:

General sessions:

8 am: Introductory Remarks by the National Federation of the Blind and Maryland Technology Assistance Program Executives
8.30 – 9.25 A.M.: Accessibility: The Natural Outcome of Innovative and Inclusive Business, Eve Hill (Department of Justice)
9.40 – 10.35 A.M.: Panel on Enterprise Implementation of Accessibility, Tony Olivero (Humana), Peter Wallack (Oracle), Steve Sawczyn (Deque)
10.50 – 11.45 A.M.: Panel on Education Implementation of Accessibility, Kara Zirkle (George Mason University), Janna Cameron (Desire2Learn), Cheryl Pruitt (California State University)


11.45 A.M. – 1.15 P.M.: Lunch break and Exhibits

Afternoon sessions (policy):

1.15 – 2.10 P.M.: The Trusted Tester Program, Bill Peterson (Department of Homeland Security)
2.35 – 3.30 P.M.: Making an Accessible Online Ballot Marking System, Nikki Charlson (Maryland State Board of Elections)
3.45 – 4.40 P.M.: The Section 508 Refresh, Timothy Creagan (US Access Board)


Afternoon session (technical):

1.15 – 2.10 P.M.: PDF Accessibility in an Enterprise Setting, Steve Estabrook (Actuate)
2.35 – 3.30 P.M.: HTML5 Accessible Design, Paul Bohman, Preety Kumar (Deque Systems)

3.45 – 4.40 P.M.: Google MOOC Introduction to Web Accessibility, Louis Cheng (Google)

Closing remarks:

Anne Taylor, Director of Access Technology (National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute)


Registration: To register, please visit the registration page. The admission fee is $80.

We’ve got two weeks worth of AT news, so, in the spirit of keeping this short and simple, here are the highlights! To read all the latest news, visit us on Twitter @MDTAP.

AT in the news for the weeks of 6/30 thru 7/11

Tapping into technology to reduce social isolation

Students Spend Summer Perfecting Robotic Arm to Help Patients

Can Digital Devices Replace Interpreters?

Inside Accessibility: Apple advances iOS 8 & OS X Yosemite as Android users

New rules require disabled drivers to pay for handicap spots

Eye-Tracking Wheelchair Helps the Severely Disabled Steer New Course

New Aircraft-Friendly Wheelchair Defies Damage

Autism study suggests iPads may provide 16% boost in kids speaking skills

Blind voters suing elections board in hope of online ballot

How Paro the robot seal is being used to help UK dementia patients

3-D printing technology to produce braille books and other objects for people w/disability

ReWalk exoskeleton puts the disabled back on their feet

Eye-tracking wheelchair helps the severely disabled steer new course

Young, Active War Wounded Pushing Medical Science

Innovative eye-tracking technology could transform communication for those paralysed

Will Uber Serve Customers With Disabilities?

Neurobridge Device Bypasses Spinal Cord, Moves Paralyzed Limbs

Sign language and Braille concepts show future of assistive tech

Space-tested robot inspires medicine and manufacturing uses

New York Public School First in U.S. to Feature App for People with Disabilities

Technology, creativity allow children with hearing loss to grow, thrive


CommonLook, a document accessibility remediation tool, has recently released its free Document Accessibility Primer, offering information on PDF accessibility.

Document Accessibility Primer
Everything You Need To Know About PDF Accessibility

Download your copy now!  

Text Readability

Keep the following guidelines in mind for displaying text:

  • Avoid very small text. This not only impacts some users with low vision, but many users with cognitive disabilities as well.
  • While serif fonts (e.g., Times) are more readable when printed, both serif and sans-serif fonts are appropriate when displaying body text onscreen, as long as the font is clean and readable.
  • Underlined text should be avoided, except to designate links.
  • Minimize the number of different fonts used on a page. Two to three fonts is optimal.
  • ALL CAPS should be used minimally. It is more difficult to read and is often interpreted as “shouting”. Additionally, screen readers may read all-caps text letter by letter (like an acronym) rather than as full words.

CareerConnect is a free mobile app the American Foundation for the Blind developed to help blind and visually impaired persons explore its CareerConnect online resource center. The AFB CareerConnect site provides information on career exploration, job seeking skills, transitioning from school to work, e-mentoring, and navigating the employment process. The CareerConnect app is optimized for iPhone 5 and is designed to leverage iOS accessibility features such as VoiceOver.

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