Tech Notes

Did you know that your smartphone can talk? As accessibility professionals, sometimes we take certain knowledge for granted. We assume people have a baseline awareness of what "accessibility" is, and we spend our time advocating for more inclusively designed apps and websites. But sometimes we skip over one of the most basic questions: how can a person who is blind use a smartphone?

There’s a game which has recently been gaining popularity called Block Quiz. It is a trivia/association game where characters from all sorts of media are transformed into simplified color blocks. There’s also a variation for brands. The goal is to see how many characters or brands you can identify in a set amount of time based solely on their blocked colors. It became so popular, in fact, that it was turned into an Instagram Filter. Needless to say, as someone who is colorblind, I didn’t partake in the trend.

Tech Notes

Have you ever pulled on a door handle expecting the door to open, only to find out you needed to push? Usually these doors are in a public space, have an ambiguous bar, and are never clear if you need to push or pull. If you are lucky, worn letters or braille of “Push” or “Pull” might be marked on the handle. After much struggle, everyone eventually sheepishly opens the door. People sometimes feel as if they should have remembered how the door opens, which is not the case.

Tech Notes

Since its founding in 1921, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has worked to address the most pressing needs of individuals with vision loss and their families, and over the past 20 years, it is obvious that there has been an increasing digital divide created by rapidly developing technology.

A White woman smiles as she looks at a screen with a Middle Eastern man with glasses who is seated at his desk.

Tech Notes

An automated scanner is a special piece of software which is mainly designed to scan and test a single web page or an entire website to determine whether or not a web application is compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) or Section 508 accessibility regulations.

Just as the White House is known as “The People’s House,” the White House webpage should be “The People’s Page,” a digitally inclusive place for everyone. High-profile web pages like this one provide a model for the rest regarding what a website can and should do to be inclusive. Recently, the White House website has been updated to include an accessibility statement. The statement is simple, and serves as a good model to emulate for any organization or company that is committed to digital inclusion.