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Getting There and Back Again: Air Travel for People with Disabilities

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When booking air or ground transportation, travelers with disabilities come across myriad problems. Today, we’ll look at the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and the important functions of the air travel experience that should be accessible to all travelers, regardless of disability. Air Travel & the ACAA Requirements Website accessibility requirements are in effect for airlines operating flights within or to the U.S. or selling tickets to the U.S. public. Under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), these airlines are required to ensure that the public-facing content of their websites conforms to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level… Read More

Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day

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Today, people from around the world are celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), a community-driven effort to raise awareness and discussion about digital accessibility. GAAD was created in 2011 to get people talking, thinking, and learning about the importance of digital accessibility for users with disabilities. GAAD was inspired by a blog post by co-founder Joe Devon, who noticed that web developers were not doing enough to make websites and mobile apps accessible. There are public events to celebrate GAAD in 18 countries on six continents, including 16 in the United States and six in Canada. Even if there is not a… Read More

Making Travel Websites Accessible to People with Disabilities

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Travelers with disabilities come across many barriers when planning, booking, and taking a trip, whether for business or pleasure. Some of these may only be minor inconveniences, but others can make travel extremely difficult or even impossible without help. When thinking about disability, organizations think first about those who are blind, deaf, or in a wheelchair. However, it is important to consider the full range of disabilities, including “invisible” ones like colorblindness, arthritis, autism, or dyslexia. These conditions can affect how travelers interact with your websites, mobile apps, kiosks, or other information and communications technology. While the Americans with Disabilities… Read More

Section 508 Timeline Comes Into Focus

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With the final rule of the Section 508 Refresh now published, we now have a fairly clear picture of the timetable for Section 508 compliance. The compliance date for conformance to the revised standards for information and communication technology (ICT) that is used, maintained, or developed is January 18, 2018.  The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR) has not issued a new procurement policy, establishing the compliance date for procured ICT, but is required to do so within six months of the final rule being published. We anticipate that the date for compliance will be the same date January 18, 2018,… Read More

Accessibility and PDF Table of Contents

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If there is a Bible for PDF accessibility, it is the 14th chapter of ISO 32000_2008, the ur-text of the PDF standard. For any Scripture, of course, there is commentary, and the latest is ISO 14298-1-2016. Nowhere in the core documents defining PDF accessibility is there any complete, definitive description of how to create a table of contents. That is why, when we review PDF tables of contents, there are so many variations in how they are tagged. ISO 32000 describes the tags used to make a table of contents: (From ISO 302000 14.8.2 table 333) TOC (Table of contents)… Read More

Tagging Complex Tables

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Complex Tables are to be avoided at all cost, as I stated in yesterday’s post, The Trouble with Tables: A Brief Introduction. The reason is that they will create 3 to 6 hours of work apiece for authors, developers, or remediators.  I’ve spent a considerable amount of time searching my cache of problematic PDFs, looking for complex tables to use as an example, such as the following: This sure looks like a complex table, and it is – but only due to the author’s desire to attach two separate tables together.  A Section 508 remediator might send this back to the… Read More

The Trouble with Tables: A Brief Introduction

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This is the first in a three-part series of blog posts that is dedicated to the many people in Government agencies who deal with PDF files on a daily basis, and encounter Section 508 requirements for these files. The Federal Government generates tens of thousands of PDF documents annually, and all of these must be made accessible. This task often falls to Section 508 departments, individual remediators, or even content authors. The goal of this blog series is to highlight special issues (and headaches) that you all will encounter. The topics I will be addressing will be based on some of… Read More

Complex Cooking Is Now Accessible for the Blind Using Bluetooth

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Typically I’m well known for ripping products apart, but not really for endorsing a product due to the amazing level of its accessibility. Since this subject is so important though, I thought this would be a needed exception. It’s called the Bluetooth Enabled Instant Pot. First, food is one of those things that is so obviously, part of our daily existence that we overlook certain aspects of it regularly. We need it to survive, therefore cooking is an activity that is a critical part of our lives in one way or another. This also presents important challenges for people with… Read More

SSB BART Group Receives $40 Million Strategic Growth Investment from JMI Equity

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VIENNA, VA – April 24, 2017 – SSB BART Group, the leader in digital accessibility solutions in the United States, announced today a strategic growth investment from JMI Equity, a growth equity firm focused on investing in leading software companies. SSB BART Group, which will launch its new corporate brand as Level Access in the coming months, has 20 years of experience and a robust client roster that includes some of the world’s best known brands, educational institutions, and federal, state, and local government agencies. SSB’s cloud-based, scalable SaaS, the Accessibility Management Platform (AMP), allows companies to manage their accessibility… Read More

Use Case Testing: What is it, where does it fit, and is it right for your situation?

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As a member of the Accessibility Services team at SSB BART Group (SSB), I work with many types of industry and government clients, some of which include use case testing in their engagement. This blog post will explain what use case testing is, what it can tell you, and when it is most effective to use. What is use case testing? At the end of the day, use case testing is real-world testing. That is, it seeks to simulate – as closely as possible – a  “real” user’s experience with various facets of a client’s product, whether it be their… Read More

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