Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling: images of pack shots

Image showing the design and content of good product labellingAs an adjunct to the Inclusive Design Toolkit, the Inclusive Design Team at the University of Cambridge are publishing success stories of inclusively designed products and packaging in a regular bulletin. Included in the latest bulletin is a really interesting demonstration video of e-commerce image recommendations (see below for video). When the shopper is trying to work out the brand, the format, the variant and the size of a product on a mobile phone or tablet, the images just blur and it is often pot luck with choosing. They claim Mobile Ready Hero Images are better than conventional pictures of packages in fast vertical scrolling. The video was made by Cambridge University in conjunction with Unilever. More detailed information and image recommendations can be found on this link.

Woolies supermarket trolley showing two types of handle gripsAlso in this latest issue they have published an article based on the final panel session from the 2016 Australian UD conference, The Economics of Inclusion. It showcases the Woolworth’s supermarket trolley with two types of handle grip and a cup holder.

Note: I found the upright grip good for controlling an empty trolley and the horizontal grip good for controlling a heavy trolley. So having both types of handle was great – very convenient and easy to use! Jane Bringolf

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Writing your material for websites

logo of Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in Ireland, purple colour circular design.It’s all very well having web designers familiar with the accessibility requirements in their designs, but what about the people who post content on the website? In many organisations staff write their own material and send it to the webmaster for uploading. But is their writing also accessible? It is easy to post a document that might have been originally meant for another reader, such as a submission to a government body, but perhaps an Easy English version should be considered for the ease of access for all readers?

The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design in Ireland has some easy tips to follow for those who write content or upload documents. 

Another good example is the Easy English version of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

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Accessible websites: debunking the myths

Stylised picture of a group of computer monitors in various shades of blueIn a straightforward fashion Cris Broyles addresses five common myths about what you can and can’t do to make websites accessible. So no, they don’t have to be boring with just plain text and no images. Yes, you can use images, videos, and audio clips. And no, it is not enough to ask a blind friend to check the website. And it doesn’t have to be difficult – with the right resources it can be done.

 

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Cognitive disability digital accessibility guide

Front cover of the cognitive disability media access guideMedia Access Australia has produced yet another great media guide. The latest is for people with cognitive disability. If you are looking for specific information about how best to accommodate and interact with people who have a cognitive disability, this Guide is for you. 

The Cognitive Disability Digital Accessibility Guide is designed to provide practical, step-by-step information for designing and delivering effective best-practice web and digital communication. It provides useful information on:

  • Guidance on policies and technical standards that best apply to people with cognitive disabilities in an organisational context.
  • Creating websites that support people with a cognitive disability.
  • Developing documents structured and written in ways that support people with cognitive disabilities.
  • Preparing communication messages for people with a cognitive disability.
  • Understanding how best to support people with cognitive disabilities in their ability to use computers and mobile devices.

The Guide also covers traditionally-implemented accessibility guidelines of WCAG 2.0 Level AA as well as looking at the increasing relevance of Level AAA requirements. The guide also delves into the role of affordable consumer devices such as tablets and helpful apps.

Of course, if the design is suitable for people with cognitive disability, there is a very good chance it is going suitable for everyone.

People with cognitive disabilities or impairments include: acquired brain injury, autism, dementia, developmental disability, Down syndrome, intellectual disability, dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, and learning difficulties in general.

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Learning is for everyone: free technical article

Wayfinding picture yellow background and black symbols show toilet and baby change The eLearning Industry website has some interesting articles for anyone interested in inclusive learning ideas. “Designing eLearning that is accessible for people with disabilities isn’t easy. The key is to find ways in which basic principles of good web design, along with the principles of Universal Design, can improve access to and the experience of eLearning for all learners, regardless of ability.” In their free technical article they examine several important issues related instructional design and accessibility: 

  • Legal requirements for accessible web sites.
  • Problems encountered by people with disabilities who use educational sites.
  • Guidelines for accessible design from various government and private organizations.
  • Assistive technologies that aid learners with disabilities.
  • Developing accessible eLearning using the guiding principles of Universal Design for Learning.
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Diverse Personas

Picture of front cover of version one of the toolkit with cartoon characters depicting the various disabilitiesI previously posted an item about “Diverse Personas” to help businesses understand the diverse needs of their current and potential customers.  Version two of this useful toolkit is now available with more personas, or archetypes, of people including those with osteoarthritis, dementia, ADHD, Down syndrome, and more. It outlines a life script and through this we can understand the individual is capable of doing and how they prefer information to be presented. Sponsored by Barclays Bank, it has a banking focus.

You can access the pdf version of version 2 or go to the Technology Taskforce website for the full story and access version one and version two in both pdf and Word.

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7 tips for smart Word doc accessibility

Graphic of Microsoft Word with a cartoon person scratchng their head Your website might be W3C and WCAG compliant for accessibility, but what about the documents you upload? In some organisations operational staff are expected to write material such as fact sheets, promotional flyers, and other documents for uploading to the website. Larger organisations might have an editor or someone in charge of media and communications. But do they all know what is required to make these documents accessible?

Media Access Australia provides Seven Simple Tips for smart Word doc accessibility. While some of the advice looks a bit technical, most of it is fairly basic such as creating Alt-text for images so that a screen reader can identify the picture or graphic. Another good point is not using terms such as “Click here” to go to a link. Instead, embed a hyperlink within the name of the file that is in the text. And the perennial one, avoid jargon. Note that .doc files don’t have the same accessibility features as the newer .docx (Word 2010).

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