Weekend Gazette – Link Collection for February 7

Last updated: April 17, 2019

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We present to you a menu of tidbits collected in recent days that are too short for blog posts and sometimes too long for a tweet (when we want to add clarifying comments). Headings provide a light grouping to help you skim the offerings. Bon appétit!

Where to Discuss Accessibility?

The Accessify Forum [No longer active as of 15May16] is an excellent place for accessibility discussions – for developers, technical communicators. All are welcome! A recent topic showing the versatility and importance of this forum discusses who is responsible or accountable for accessibility issues. Stop by soon.

Where to Learn About Accessibility?

It depends. Next question. No, seriously, this is a big topic because it depends on what you mean by accessibility. Do you write code? Do you write policies and procedures? Your accessibility focus will depend on your actual work. However, a good foundation is good for everyone, so stopping by the WaSP InterAct Curriculum at webstandards.org will always be a good choice. Get your bearings on the About page. (By the way, it’ll be time to say Happy Birthday soon. WaSP InterAct was born at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in March 2009.)

Another good starting point is ScrunchUp, the web magazine for young designers and developers.

More resources can be found at The OneVoice for Accessible ICT. OneVoice aims to “assist organisations in embedding accessible information and communication technologies (ICT) as a fundamental part of their diversity and inclusion values and culture.” It is a new, still developing site, so come back frequently to find resources for best practice, tools, and guidelines for web designers and developers, HR and IT departments, and other parts of the organization involved in building accessible ICT.

Text Alternatives

Alt and title attributes are parts of the web content that aren’t immediately visible, yet they are important to know and understand.

Get help from Ian Pouncey’s articles: Alt attributes and Title attributes. Steve Faulkner, The Paciello Group, has been diligently updating the draft for HTML5: techniques for the provision of text alternatives – another resource to monitor. Finally, Vlad Alexander asks how web browsers should render alt text.

Definitely an area for technical communicators to monitor!

Short and Sweet – Abbreviations

Make a note of “a11y” and “tsaccess” for future reference.

“a11y” stands for “accessibility”. A is the first letter, y is the last letter, and 11 is the number of all the other letters in between the a and the y! Some might recognize this model from “l10n” (localization) and “i18n” (internationalization). In the world of Twitter, saving letters counts! Purists will cringe, and others will argue that these terms are not clear, but they are here to stay.

“tsaccess” is a new term that stands for “touch screen accessibility”. Touch screens are getting a lot of attention with iPhones, the iPad, and other devices with touch-sensitive screens. Where is the accessibility in that? Jennison Asuncion coined “tsaccess” as a hash tag that can be used to discuss this topic on Twitter, in conferences, or wherever hash tags are used.

Connect the Dots

Braille for Everyone is an interesting new initiative that could lead the way to less expensive braille devices, which could promote a wider use of Braille. Why Braille? You may recall a recent article in the New York Times about Braille and literacy that went around Twitter. Audio books and videos are convenient to use when we are on the go, and videos seem to be touted as the way for technical communicators to make documentation in the futures. The literacy issue that has been raised in connection with the decline in Braille sounds quite alarming. One blogger even asks can Braille become obsolete. Technical communicators preparing single-sourced material to be delivered in multiple ways should be very concerned about literacy issues for that material. It is a topic worth monitoring.

Employment

The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy has an article about when to consider revealing a disability to a prospective employer. Your mileage may vary depending on your local laws and situation, but the article has some useful insights.

Employers should read People with Disabilities: The Talent You're Missing. No explanation is necessary with that title.

Doing it My Way

The beta version of the accessibility pages for the BBC website is quite impressive. It’s called My web my way and definitely worth a visit, especially for some good old inspiration. The page has links to other great accessibility offerings from the BBC, so grab a cuppa and poke around the site for a while.

An Awesome Newsletter

The University of Minnesota at Duluth has been sending out the Web Design Update newsletter since 2002. Any time news or information is posted to the Web Design Reference site, a newsletter is sent out to subscribers. Get your copy of the newsletter today by following the WDU newsletter subscription information. You can also read past issues on that site. I remember hearing about that site on the STC Lone Writer SIG discussion list years ago. Awesome is the general term used to describe the resources at the Web Design Reference site.

SharePoint and the Technical Communicator

SharePoint is rather notorious among technical communicators – some love to hate it. Offices toss it out on the web because they have it in some package deal. Most could use better training and education, but that requires knowledge about its accessibility. Bruce Lawson wrote about SharePoint accessibility in 2008 and Alastair Campbell wrote about SharePoint 2010 late last year. These two posts should get you talking about accessibility and SharePoint in your workplace.

The Last Word

@gezlemon posted a tweet that was too good to pass up. He writes that it is a true story from Radio 4 (in the UK).

“Right-click on your desktop.”
“Okay.”
“What do you see?”
“Click.”
“What did you do?”
“Wrote click on my desktop.”

Link Contributors

This post was glued together with links or inspiration from many people. They are listed with their Twitter names.

@brucel
@blindperspectiv
@DaveBanesAccess
@gezlemon
@gmcdermith
@ianpouncey
@jennison
@mpaciello
@stevefaulkner
@TCSAssociates09
@webaxe

Mental Health

Last updated: May 26, 2016

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Legal & Human Rights Resources

Last updated: May 26, 2016

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  • ABA Commission on Disabilities
  • ACLU position / briefing paper: Disability Rights
  • ADA&IT Technical Assistance Centers
  • ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities (ADAAG)
  • ADA Guide for Places of Lodging: Serving Guests Who Are Blind Or Who Have Low Vision
  • ADA Hot Links and Document Center
  • Adapt grassroots disability rights organization
  • Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Americans With Disabilities Act Information on the Web
    ADA Information from the Department of Justice
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
  • UC Berkeley's website on the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement
  • Center for Social Change (CSC) provides residential and supported employment services to children and adults with developmental disabilities in the community [Maryland]
  • Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA) is an independent, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization of attorneys, advocates, parents and other professionals. COPAA members work to protect special education rights and secure excellence in education on behalf of the 7.1 million children with disabilities in America.
  • Disability Law and Advocacy Resources
  • Equal Rights Center, Washington, DC
  • EUmap.org from the Open Society Institute (OSI) EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program (EUMAP). This provides resources, news, and analyses on human rights and the rule of law in Europe
  • FCC Disability Rights Office If you have any questions, concerns, or need assistance in regard to disability issues relating to telecommunications please do not hesitate to contact us at email hidden; JavaScript is required. If your disability prohibits you from filing a comment please send your e-filing comments to email hidden; JavaScript is required with your address and telephone number included. If you need to reach a member of the Disability Rights Office please call 202-418-2517.
  • Human Rights Education Associates (HREA)
  • Justice for All
  • Legal Assistance Resource lawyer directory and law-related resources
  • Legislation and Legal Issues resource list
  • Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD) MDOD oversees the restructuring, reorganization of government delivery of services & programs for people with disabilities in Maryland through collaboration with all state government agencies.
  • Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) assures the full participation of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in all aspects of community life
  • Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) assists people in economic need, provides prevention services, and protects vulnerable children and adults
  • Maryland Disability Law Center a private, non-profit organization staffed by attorneys and paralegals
  • Maryland Technology Assistance Program (MD TAP)
  • Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI)
  • National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Through training and technical assistance, legal support, and legislative advocacy, NDRN works to create a society in which people with disabilities are afforded equality of opportunity and are able to fully participate by exercising choice and self-determination.
  • Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. (NLS)
  • Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and Client Assistance Programs (CAP) There is a P&A/CAP agency in every state and U.S. territory as well as one serving the Native American population in the four corners region. Collectively, the P&A/CAP network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.
  • Social Security Disability Information from the Social Security Administration
  • Social Security Disability Advocates of America
  • Social Security FAQ
  • State Laws an overview of State accessibility laws, policies, standards and other resources available online
  • Training and Advocacy Support Center (TASC) is a centralized repository for training and technical assistance information and coordination for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) and Client Assistance Programs (CAP). TASC is a federal interagency project TASC by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA).
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Disabilities Resources
  • U.S. Department of Justice ADA Home Page
  • "U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section works to achieve equal opportunity for people with disabilities in the United States by implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Through its multi-faceted approach toward achieving compliance with the ADA, this Section works to make this goal a reality. The Section’s enforcement, certification, regulatory, coordination, and technical assistance activities, required by the ADA, combined with an innovative mediation program and a technical assistance grant program, provide a cost-effective and dynamic approach for carrying out the ADA’s mandates. The Section also carries out responsibilities under Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, and Executive Order 12250.
  • Workforce Investment Act of 1998 Plain English version
  • Wrightslaw Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities. Begin your search in the Advocacy Libraries and Law Libraries.