6 Free Tools for Evaluating Web Accessibility — from boia.org

Excerpt:

Can you evaluate your website’s accessibility on your own?

Not necessarily. To ensure conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), you’ll need to test your content regularly by using both manual and automated tools. Ideally, manual tests should be performed by human testers who have disabilities.

However, as you learn about the concepts of WCAG, you can use free tools to test your website for common barriers. If you’re a web designer or developer, online tools can be a vital resource as you incorporate the best practices of inclusive design.

Below, we’ll discuss six free tools that can help you make better design decisions.

 

Understanding the Overlap Between UDL and Digital Accessibility — from boia.org

Excerpt:

Implementing UDL with a Focus on Accessibility
UDL is a proven methodology that benefits all students, but when instructors embrace universal design, they need to consider how their decisions will affect students with disabilities.

Some key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Instructional materials should not require a certain type of sensory perception.
  • A presentation that includes images should have accurate alternative text (also called alt text) for those images.
  • Transcripts and captions should be provided for all audio content.
  • Color alone should not be used to convey information, since some students may not perceive color (or have different cultural understandings of colors).
  • Student presentations should also follow accessibility guidelines. This increases the student’s workload, but it’s an excellent opportunity to teach the importance of accessibility.
 

Why Businesses Struggle with Web Accessibility (And How to Fix It) — from boia.org

Excerpt:

An accessible website means more traffic, better search engine optimization (SEO), reduced exposure to lawsuits, and better brand perception — but despite the benefits, most businesses fail to adopt the principles of accessible design.

In their 2022 report on the state of digital accessibility, WebAIM (Web Accessibility In Mind) found that 96.8% of the internet’s top 1 million homepages had detectable accessibility errors. That number was actually a slight improvement from previous years: WebAIM’s 2021 analysis found that 97.4% of websites had potential barriers for users with disabilities.

For businesses, those numbers should be a wakeup call. But despite growing awareness of digital accessibility, many organizations struggle to make concrete changes.

Below, we’ll explain the key factors that prevent businesses from taking the right approach — and provide some tips for overcoming those challenges.

 

10 Websites to Have Fun With Your Photos — from Hongkiat.com

Excerpt:

Getting a little bored with how your photos are presented online? How about injecting some fun and humor into it? You don’t really need to be Photoshop literate to edit and add effects to your photos. There’re some really great sites out there that allow you to add effects to your photo by using their existing effect templates.

The best part is – they are free, output is shown immediately on the fly,, and no installation of apps is required. Here’s a collection of ten websites to have fun with your photos, we’ve come to know. You know they don’t really have to be your photos 🙂

 

Graphic Design Trends 2023 Are Shaping the New Reality — from graphicmama.com by Iveta Pavlova

Excerpt:

Dive into the hottest current graphic design trends in 2023! Read a thorough review of what awaits on the stage of graphic design – well-known or completely revolutionary approaches that are about to shape our new reality.

Remember the times when the world was all about flat, subtle design? “The plainer, the better” was the norm. Well, things have changed. The reign in the graphic design world was slowly but very firmly taken over by big voluminous shapes in screaming colors that offer an alternative reality to the viewer – more vivid than ever!

The newest graphic design trends in 2023 offer us a ride to the future and invite us to observe a world of new depths, colors, and shapes that push the limits.

To-Tem / Pop from My Name is Wendy on Vimeo.

 

4 Tips for Choosing Accessible WordPress Plugins — from boia.org

Excerpt:

WordPress plugins can change how your website operates — typically, that’s why you want to install them in the first place. If you need to add a form or a video player on your WordPress site, you’ll probably look for a plugin before attempting to code your own solution.

But unfortunately, some plugins can alter your content in unpredictable ways and create accessibility barriers. Needless to say, you’ll want to avoid those issues if possible. Fortunately, WordPress is a fairly accessibility-friendly platform — and by following a few simple tips, you can reach a wider audience.

Are Hamburger Menus Bad for Accessibility? — from boia.org

Excerpt:

In web design, a hamburger menu is a button — usually with three horizontal lines — that typically opens a navigation menu.  The icon vaguely resembles a hamburger (or any other sandwich), hence the name.

Like many trends in web design, hamburger menus are controversial: They can cause accessibility issues, depending on their implementation, and they might obscure important navigational information. However, they’re extremely common — and while they pose a few potential issues for users with disabilities, sidebars can be accessible with appropriate markup.


Addendum on 10/18/22:


 

4 Ways That Web Developers Can Learn More About Accessibility — from boia.org

Excerpt:

As a web developer, you know the importance of writing clean code — and limiting trouble tickets as much as possible, particularly in the first stages of product development.

An inclusive approach can help you meet those goals. When you consider the needs, preferences, and expectations of users with disabilities, you can serve your content to the broadest possible group of people. Accessible design can also reduce the time you spend on remediations and help you build components that work better for all users (including those who don’t live with disabilities).

By building your knowledge of digital accessibility, you can start enjoying the benefits. Here’s how to get started.

 

Fresh Resources for Web Designers and Developers (September 2022) — from hongkiat.com by Thoriq Firdaus

Excerpt:

In this round of the series, we’ll feature a list of new libraries, frameworks, and tools that I’m pretty sure front-end developers and designers will appreciate. We have a new advanced CSS tool, a handy tool and library for animation, and some new resources for icons. Let’s jump in to find the full list.

 

Instructional Audio: 4 Benefits to Improving It — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
Ensuring every classroom has instructional audio capabilities helps all students hear what the teacher is saying.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Sound is a key component of education. If students can’t hear their instructor well, they’re clearly not going to focus or learn as much. That’s why more and more schools are investing in instructional audio systems, which are high-tech public address systems designed with classrooms, teachers, and all students in mind.

Terri Meier is director of education technology for Rio Rancho Public Schools in New Mexico where all new classrooms are being built with voice amplification systems in place and many existing classrooms are being retrofitted with similar systems. These systems are key for schools in their accessibility efforts and in providing quality instruction overall, she says.

And speaking of accessibility-related postings/items, also see:

 

Arts Integration and STEAM Resources for K-12 Educators

Unlock the power of creativity -- arts integration and STEAM resources for K-12 educators

Official Trailer (Art Works for Teachers)

Excerpt:

Introducing the Art Works for Teacher Podcast Trailer! Get a quick sneak peek at what you can expect from this new show, launching September 22, 2022. New episodes will be available each Thursday on your favorite podcast platform, on YouTube, and right here on our site.


From DSC:
Along these lines, also see WEST MICHIGAN CENTER FOR ARTS + TECHNOLOGY. Such a learning environment builds skills and creativity while supercharging participation and engagement!

 

 

Fresh Resources for Web Designers and Developers (August 2022) — from hongkiat.com by Thoriq Firdaus

Excerpt:

The front-end development is fast changing, with new things to explore every month. There’s always a new methodology, approach, and framework introduced in the web development world that you need to update yourself with.

In this edition of the series, we’ll feature some frameworks and resources for web designers, testing tools, and a lot more. If you are a front-end developer or designer, I’m pretty sure you’ll love what we have on the list. Let’s take a look.

 

Top Tools for Learning 2022 [Jane Hart]

Top Tools for Learning 2022

 

Top tools for learning 2022 — from toptools4learning.com by Jane Hart

Excerpt:

In fact, it has become clear that whilst 2021 was the year of experimentation – with an explosion of tools being used as people tried out new things, 2022 has been the year of consolidation – with people reverting to their trusty old favourites. In fact, many of the tools that were knocked off their perches in 2021, have now recovered their lost ground this year.


Also somewhat relevant/see:


 

Impatient for workers, businesses help students take college shortcuts — from hechingerreport.org by Lilah Burke
Employers and states are adding faster-paced skills training for people who want to forgo college

Excerpt:

It’s part of an accelerating movement of noncredit, short-term training programs, not just in technology, but in many fields for which students are impatient for jobs and employers for workers who want to leapfrog their way to careers — and do it without necessarily spending the years and money it takes to earn a university degree.

These are among the ways “employers are creating the solutions they need in order to deal with their talent demands,” said Bridgette Gray, chief customer officer at Opportunity@Work, a nonprofit that encourages employers to hire more people without degrees.

Now some companies, motivated by a mix of corporate social responsibility and the need for talent, are edging toward a new model in which they create their own, or hire from other, training programs.

 

Optimizing Your Website for Screen Readers and Other Accessibility Tools — from hongkiat.com by Jori Hamilton

Excerpt:

But what is web accessibility, and how, exactly, can you prioritize this on your website?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what web accessibility means and tips for how to design a website that is more accessible to all users.

 

Coursera’s Global Skills Report

Excerpt from the Executive Summary:

Here are some of our top findings:

  • Digital skills are the shared language of the modern economy.
  • Women’s participation continued to rise.
  • The developing world had the highest rate of learner growth.
  • Lower levels of internet access mean lower levels of skills proficiency.
  • Courses in human skills had more learners from developed countries, while those in digital skills had more from developing ones.
  • The U.S. held steady in its overall skills proficiency ranking—yet it lost meaningful ground in core technology and data science skills.
  • Europe leads the world in skills proficiency.
  • Proficiency in technology and data science skills varies widely across the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Learners used Coursera to understand the pandemic.
 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian