My Next Talk is Scheduled for April

 

I’m happy to be invited to speak at an event for the American Marketing Association (AMA) in April. The “Experience Design: The New Imperative” conference is scheduled for April 13-15, 2021.

I’m expected to speak on April 15. More details to come, including the talk title and time.

It’s been 10 years since my last talk for the AMA, when I delivered a webinar on how user centered web design techniques enhance online marketing. I’m thrilled the AMA remains focused on usability for marketers.

I’m excited at the opportunity to speak on accessibility and share my passion for embracing inclusive design practices that benefit everyone.

Let me convince you why.

The Dismantling of Civil Rights Protections Continues

 

“The most significant shifts in civil rights enforcement in generations”

While the country is distracted with unrest associated with the ending of the Trump administration, the public was excluded from the Justice Department’s request to change Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits recipients of federally funded housing programs, employers, schools, hospitals, and other organizations and programs  from discrimination based on race, color, or national origin.

The New York Times reports that, “The Trump administration has embarked on an 11th-hour bid to undo some civil rights protections for minority groups, which could have a ripple effect on women, people with disabilities and L.G.B.T. people, according to a draft document, in a change that would mark one of the most significant shifts in civil rights enforcement in generations.”

Instances where a policy or practice has a “disparate impact” on minority or other groups will no longer be enforced if this change passes. A disparate impact includes employment practices that may appear to be neutral but result in the elimination of minorities or other discrimination.

Related civil rights infringement changes include the removal of affirmative action guidelines by the Justice Department and President Trump’s executive order to remove diversity training programs.

Source: New York Times

Website Accessibility Design Does Not Disregard This Human

Website Accessibility Design Does Not Disregard This Human

 

Web accessibility may sometimes be the road less traveled. The only way we can truly invent technology to provide equal access to the web is to experience being shut off from it.

This Person Is Not Welcome

This is the pain point from websites developed for a small percentage of humans disguised at perfectly abled. There is no such thing as a limitless human.

It makes more sense to meet everyone else on the planet.

How do you design to accommodate them? The strongest super powers we can possess are compassion and empathy.

The road less traveled is design for accessibility.

Web designers and developers can’t learn how to meet accessibility compliance success criteria and best practices if management and key stakeholders shove inclusive design to the side. There are maddening myths still held to this day that:

  1. Everyone has access to and can use the web.
  2. Everyone can use their website, software or mobile app.
  3. Everyone will share their website, software or mobile app.

Whatever gave them those ideas? Why are civil rights hard to understand?

What would make a company choose to disregard anyone wishing to use their digital product or website?

Missed Opportunities

Persons with disabilities are not waiting around for businesses to figure out they are using the web. They find, use and share digital services built to include them.

It does not make business sense to ignore an enormous segment of the world’s population (20% globally), or even the simplest of human physical hurdles that come with aging such as eyesight, hearing and mobility.

  • Test your colors. Do they pass color contrast tests? Avoid light gray text.
  • Allow text to be magnified on mobile devices. Avoid tiny text.
  • Add clear focus state identification for people who navigate without a mouse.
  • Add proper alt text to images. Use the Alt Decision Tree to help you.

Sure, these criteria are basic. But, it’s these basics that are common WCAG2.1 failed success criteria errors found during accessibility testing. Automated testing does not catch all accessibility errors. Manual testing is necessary.

Testing with assistive devices that persons with disabilities rely on must be part of every business plan if a digital product is planned.

Companies that pretend to care about accessibility buy accessibility products with impossible claims such as preventing ADA lawsuits and using AI to make web pages legally compliant. This is an impossible claim.

Web accessibility may be an entirely new way of design thinking for some folks. It means getting out of your personal mini-world. Learn about the folks who are pushing back against the barriers thrown up when they try to read a page, use a form, or experience a video or podcast their way.

Nobody should be left out of the online user experience.

Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

Make Accessibility Your New Year’s Goal for 2021

 

CYA: Avoiding Legal Pitfalls with Your Website

Please join Kim Krause Berg and Ruth B. Carter, Esq. on January 12, 2021 at the SEJ eSummit 2021, where we are presenting a joint session on ethical website practices.

My presentation, How to Avoid Website Accessibility ADA Lawsuits, will cover the alarming rise in website ADA accessibility lawsuits, common reasons why online businesses are targeted and three actionable steps to take to help prevent them.

YouTube Promo Video for SEJ e-Summit Session by Kim Krause Berg

Register for the SEJ eSummit 2021 today. We are planning a highly informative session for business website owners, developers and anyone interested in protecting their website assets. There will be a live Q&A, so bring your questions.