Learn about EN 301 549 from Funka

Last updated: July 16, 2016

Note:  All links going to other websites will open in the same window. Use the Back button to return to our site.

With sponsorship from Microsoft, the Swedish accessibility company, Funka, recently produced a series of instructional videos explaining EN 301 549. EN 301 549 is a European standard for accessibility requirements in the public procurement of ICT products and services. ICT stands for accessible information and communication technology.

  1. Video 1: What is accessibility in an ICT context. What is the EN 301 549. How does procurement help accessibility. Who should watch this video series.
  2. Video 2: Integration of accessibility and the EN 301 549 into the procurement process. How does it fit into an ICT project value chain. What to expect from ICT suppliers in terms of conformance claim. How to control the deliverable is actually meeting the requirements.
  3. Video 3: Explaining the structure of the EN 301 549. Explaining functional performance statements (chapter 4). Technical requirements (chapter 5-13). The relationship between the two (Annex B) and testing criteria (Annex C).
  4. Video 4: Functional performance
  5. Video 5: Generic requirements

These videos are published under the creative commons license CC BY-NC 4.0. All videos have transcripts.

Learn more about Funka on their website. If you know Swedish, you can visit the Swedish version of Funka. They are on Twitter as @FunkaNu. You might consider signing up for the Funka monthly newsletter called Updated.

Follow the Microsoft accessibility team on Twitter as @MSFTEnable. They were the source and inspiration for this article.

Now, get your popcorn and get ready for video 1. When you watch them on YouTube, you will find links to the subsequent videos in the video navigation section.

Cute puppies and mental health

Last updated: June 4, 2016

Note:  All links going to other websites will open in the same window. Use the Back button to return to our site.

Aww. A topic about cute puppies on campus can draw the attention of many people. However, these puppies are on the MIT campus for a serious reason: mental health.

What are puppies and mental health doing on our site? Well, whether or not you have a soft spot for puppies, mental health is an issue that deserves our attention. Our Accessible Techcomm site looks at topics on technical communication with a special focus on accessibility and usability. Technical communication is a career, and as with any career, stress can rear its head along the way. That is one aspect of mental health and wellbeing. Job seekers can also have mental health issues in their portfolio that should cause no concern for future employers and colleagues. Therefore, mental health topics are perfectly legitimate topics to discuss in our community. We like talking about topics such as alt text, but thinking holistically, as I think we should, our well-being and mental health is also just as important to consider in the daily life of a technical communicator. Discussing these sensitive topics raises awareness and understanding about the issues and prejudices.

Think Beyond the Label works to educate businesses and job seekers with disabilities about making a more inclusive workforce and to create opportunities for taking action to do so. One of the faces of disability is mental health.

  • If you are an employer, are you educating yourself about being inclusive and welcoming employees with mental health issues?
  • If you are a job seeker, are you educating yourself about how to present your mental health issues to future employers?
  • If you are in a workplace, are you welcoming and inclusive toward colleagues with mental health issues?

True, there are many types of mental health issues, but anecdotally, I have had techcomm colleagues who were bipolar and I’ve heard tales of stress and depression caused by the job or by life, which was impacting the job. These are things that are happening in our techcomm world right now. We should not be afraid to talk about these issues so that we can provide support where possible and work together to eliminate those stress-causing work situations. The fact that both the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have sites dedicated to mental health ought to make us stop with the shaming and the stigmas and start with the healing and supporting.

No, I didn’t forget the puppies. What I really like about the puppies is that a high-profile place that is full of stress – an institution of higher education – acknowledges the need to do something to raise awareness and educate the community about mental health.

For the full story about the MIT Puppy Lab, read the article, MIT Puppy Lab to open during National Mental Health Awareness Month.

You can always expect tweets from @accesstechcomm on mental health now and then. The topic is not going away any time soon!

Get your accessibility mojo at AccessU May 9-11!

Last updated: May 17, 2016

Note:  All links going to other websites will open in the same window. Use the Back button to return to our site.

Next week, “Accessibility University”, better known as AccessU, opens for classes from May 9th through 11th. Many people will be attending live in Austin for some great classes covering many different accessibility skills. This is a great opportunity for those of you working with technical communication, user experience, web/mobile development, and any other areas who need to add accessibility skills to your portfolio.

Can’t get to Austin? No problem. AccessU teams up with the great people at Environments for Humans for a one-day, online version of AccessU. The conference is recorded so if you miss any part of the online conference while it is happening, you can catch up with the recording again and again.

The AccessU website has all the details you need to know, so, as they supposedly say in Austin, mosey on over to that site now. The I am accessible Knowbility badge with the URL knowbility.org

Of course this means that #AccessU is the hashtag to follow on Twitter during the conference.

To stay in touch with all the learning opportunities from Knowbility and Environment for Humans, be sure to follow them on Twitter:

  • @knowbility has more AccessU news and loads of accessibility information all year, including news about their OpenAIR – Accessibility Internet Rallies
  • @e4h has information about more great online conferences (like the Accessibility Summit later this year)