The 34th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference is a wrap!
UsableNet team members were on-hand, speaking on panels and meeting with like minded-peers on the exhibit floor. For those who couldn't make the trek to Anaheim, we've pulled together the Web Accessibility highlights.
Web Accessibility as a civil right
ADA Web Accessibility lawsuits are on the rise. 2019 data continues the 2018 trend. Read the 2018 recap here.
Plaintiff lawyer and Disability Civil Rights Activist, Lainey Fiengold delivered her "2019 Digital Accessibility Legal Update" offering her take on the uptick in the ADA Website Accessibility lawsuit landscape. In the absence of legislation and regulatory standards, ADA Website accessibility lawsuits protect the civil rights of the disabled. Cases like the 2008 settlement by the National Federation of the Blind with Target are the work of Civil Rights Attorney’s with deep ties to the blind/deaf communities. The NFB v Target case made a strong business case for digital accessibility while dramatically improving the lives of people in the disabled community.
Demand for User Testing on the Rise
Many settlements made in these ADA Website lawsuits require that the companies involved perform user-based testing. Using members of the disability community to perform this user testing or before launching a new website makes good business sense.
Several organizations make it easy to find qualified members of the disability community for user testing and helps recruit them.
- Access Works connects businesses to users with disabilities through usability and accessibility testing
- The World Institute on Disability serves small startups and Fortune 500 companies in a wide range of industries, including finance, telecommunications, and information development and technology.
- National Federation of the Blind provides expertise through its Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access that “enables businesses, government, and educational institutions to more effectively provide accessible information and services to the blind community.”
- LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers “blind and visually impaired user testers of all backgrounds and levels of vision.”
Moving Accessibility Testing to the Left
Companies are increasingly looking at accessibility as an activity performed at the beginning and during development. Many sessions discussed the increased need for organizations to have the ability to do full user flow regression testing, strong and flexible APIs, JIRA integration and release management integration. Tools that allow a developer to integrate testing of their code as they build it ensures that accessibility is part of the build, not just a test at the end of the life cycle.
Screen Reader Testing Delivers REsults
The manual review requirements of WCAG 2.1 and the dramatic rise in ADA lawsuits are driving an awareness and need for companies to be able to test their Websites with screen readers. More companies in 2019 want to make automated screen reader-testing tools part of the Website development process. Testing with screen readers is a quick and practical way to test a site for accessibility. Deciding which combination of browser and screen reader technology to use for testing remains a challenge.
Test your Website now
No industry is immune from ADA lawsuits. Test your site for free now with UsableNet AQA. Our accessibility platform can help improve accessibility and reduce costs. Learn more about this and other solutions.