Category: High Contrast

IBM’s new open-source tool helps developers make their apps more accessible

When designing an application, developers might not put accessibility on top of their list. Plus, the developer might not have a handy list of what guidelines they should follow when thinking about accessible features. To address this issue, IBM has released a free toolkit and an accessibility checker that will help developers fine-tune their applications for people with disabilities. IBM’s new tools are divided into two parts: a set of public guidelines called IBM Equal Access Toolkit and a Checker that identifies shortcomings in your application from an accessibility standpoint. The guidelines provide byte-sized information to app developers with details on…

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Good design should be inclusive and accessible — but what’s the difference?

Did you know TNW Conference has a track fully dedicated to exploring new design trends this year? Check out the full ‘Sprint’ program here. What does someone who’s hard of hearing, someone with a severe ear infection, and a commuter on a packed subway who forgot their earphones have in common? They would all struggle to interact with audio content in a digital interface. There are two primary ways to approach design that can solve problems such as this: accessible design and inclusive design. Accessible design has guidelines in place to assist people who are hard of hearing. But UX designers following those…

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Blind users struggle with state coronavirus websites

Every state in the U.S. has launched at least one website with updates about the novel coronavirus outbreak. Unfortunately, the majority are difficult or unusable for visually impaired users, according to a survey conducted for The Markup by the web accessibility group WebAIM. Forty-one of the 50 state pages we surveyed contained low-contrast text, which can be challenging for users with low vision, including seniors, who are at higher risk in the outbreak. For instance, South Dakota’s coronavirus website features light-orange text on a white background—a combination that would make even some sighted users squint but renders the page unreadable…

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These are the Web Accessibility Standards designers need to know

The term Accessibility covers a vast field of standards that comes with a confusing myriad of acronyms. In this post, I assume I don’t need to convince you to care about accessibility (check out one of my former manager’s articles if you still need a push!). I jump straight into attempting to summarize the basic structure of Web Accessibility Standards to provide beginners with a high-level starting point to dive into the topic. I highly recommend checking out the free edX course (I found it very helpful) or the W3C resources if you want to dig deeper. Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that…

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