The Dollars and Sense of Enterprise Access

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This week I attended the 2014 US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) conference in Orlando, Florida where I was honored to speak on the subject of accessibility. I took part in a panel discuss where I spoke with a number of very knowledgeable people from a number of organizations that included Sprint, Verizon, and IBM. I of course represented Northrop Grumman and I focused on policies and procedures around accessibility. If you are interested in this subject, you will find the PowerPoint deck at the end of this post. Today more than ever, we conduct our lives in a digital medium. …

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Tools provide a false sense of accessibility compliance

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When you set out on the journey to achieve accessibility you will naturally turn your attention to tools to help facilitate they journey. If you paid attention, you had noticed that I stated journey and this is for a very good reason. The fact is, today’s websites are not your father’s website, which is to say they is little to no content that is static. The dynamic state of a website means that the content changes at any given interval and for this reason, accessibility is a continuous process. Although the tools are worthwhile and enterprises should procure and use …

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Alternative text for images

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Text alternatives are a primary way of making visual information accessible, because they can be rendered through any sensory modality (for example, visual, auditory or tactile) to match the needs of the user. Providing text alternatives allows the information to be rendered in a variety of ways by a variety of user agents. For example, a person who cannot see a picture can have the text alternative read aloud using synthesized speech. The alt attribute on images is a very important accessibility attribute. Authoring useful alt attribute content requires the author to carefully consider the context in which the image …

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A short introduction to creating accessible Microsoft PowerPoint documents

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PowerPoint documents are typically used for presentations – in which case tips such as the ones below will allow you to create a truly coherent presentation for all those who are attending it. By using large point text and avoiding cluttered screens, you are making the presentation easier to read for people with visual disabilities as well as people without. If you are planning on transmitting the PowerPoint electronically (such as putting it on a website), make sure that it is adequately structured and configured as to allow screen readers to read the information and understand the PowerPoint as it …

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A short introduction to creating accessible Adobe PDF documents

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Creating or converting existing documents into accessible formats is a somewhat simple process. if you are not familiar with accessibility, particularly with PDF documents, then a great place to learn about the specifics is the PDF Techniques for WCAG 2.0 from W3C.  Before you begin, set the styles for titles, headings, and text in your document. By setting the styles before you begin creating the document, you can simply select the exact style of text you want without having to modify every section. These styles provide the document’s structure for the tagged PDF file. Also before you begin, set the …

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Creating accessibile documents

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Creating or converting existing documents into accessible formats is a simple process. This post provides instructions on how to take advantage of the accessibility features in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Adobe Acrobat to create accessible documents. Before you begin, set the styles for titles, headings, and text in your document. By setting the styles before you begin creating the document, you can simply select the exact style of text you want without having to modify every section. These styles provide the document’s structure for the tagged PDF files as well. Also before you begin, set the overall format and spacing …

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