Accessibility 101 for the Hardware Industry
Anyone remember VCRs? How about PC LOAD LETTER? Hardware is evolving
nearly as fast as software and people with disabilities shouldn’t be left behind.
Accessible design is good design for every user. Let’s make something beautiful together.
Real Users. Real Issues.
- A cable TV remote lacks a tactile way to distinguish between different types of buttons (e.g., volume, DVR, channel numbers).
- A game system requires two hands to perform a hard reboot.
- An airline kiosk lacks a port to connect headphones for a traveler who is hard of hearing.
Section 508 & you
The Law: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
First passed: 1973
Recently refreshed: 2017
Applies to: Hardware manufacturers selling to the federal government
Requires: Information and communications technology (ICT) must be accessible to persons with disabilities.
The CVAA & you
THE CVAA & YOU
The Law: The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)
First passed: 2010
Applies to: Hardware manufacturers
Requires: Advanced communications services (ACS) and products should be accessible by people with disabilities.
The Business Case for Accessibility
What is accessibility?
Assistive technologies can include:
Screen readers, Braille keypads, or screen magnification software so users who are blind or low vision can read your content.
Voice recognition software that helps those with mobility disabilities (even arthritis) navigate the web and type using only their voice.
Head pointers and switch devices that allow those with more limited movement navigate without using their hands or a traditional mouse.
Yet, those with disabilities are often left out when hardware, software, websites, and apps are designed without a thought for their needs.
A tablet at the doctor’s office has a sign-in program that disables the pinch-to-zoom feature, making it impossible for a woman with low vision to fill out her medical history.
An online learning portal uses automatically-generated captions on their videos, leaving a deaf student at a loss for words. Literally.
A retail website does not include alt text on their product images, so a shopper who is blind cannot “see” what the images show about the laptop bag he wants to buy.
By some estimates, one in five people has a disability that affects their daily life. Having equal access to technology has a profound, enabling effect for people with disabilities.
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