As you may have guessed from the title, today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)! If you don’t know what GAAD is, it is “to get everyone thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.” And, if you are coming to our site to learn about accessibility, you are in the right place! Interactive Accessibility is known globally for being the experts in digital accessibility.
Throughout the day, we are going to have a trivia contest. We’ll be posting the questions to our social media feed, and all of the answers will be posted on this blog post. Whether you are new to accessibility or a seasoned veteran, get ready to strut your stuff and show off your knowledge about accessibility throughout the day! We’ll be posting a new trivia question every hour on the hour. Submit the right answers and you could be the winner of Global Accessibility Awareness Day Trivia!
Are you itching for the first question? Let’s start with something easy. Ready? Set? Go!!!
What is the generic term for software used by people who are blind to access a computer or tablet?
If you said “screen reader,” you are correct! Don’t know what a screen reader is? It is software that runs on a device that transmits information on the screen to the user via speech and/or Braille. A screen reader user accesses the device using only the keyboard. Or, in the case of a mobile device, special gestures are used to read information from the screen. For Braille readers, a refreshable Braille display can be connected to the computer. The display is an electro-mechanical device that pushes up a series of pins to display Braille in real-time, which reflects the data present on the screen.
Do you know what JAWS, NVDA, and WCAG stand for?
JAWS and NVDA stand for Job Access With Speech and NonVisual Desktop Access. Both of these are screen readers that we discussed in question one. If you want to try one of them for yourself, you can get a demonstration version of JAWS or download NVDA for free.
WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. WCAG is part of a series of web accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the Internet. Click here to learn more about WCAG. Bonus points will be given to those who tweet out an accessibility best practice that was just used in the previous sentence. <smile>
True or False – Websites only need to be accessible for people who are totally blind?
False. Accessibility covers people with all types of disabilities, including people with low vision, cognitive disabilities, and more.
What is the generic term for software used by people with low vision to use a computer or tablet?
Screen magnifier is correct! People with low vision can use software to magnify a screen. This software can do more than simply magnify. It can also reverse colors on the screen, enlarge mouse pointers, track cursors with special visual effects, and so much more. ZoomText, MAGic, and Zoom on iOS are a few examples of this software you can check out. If you want to learn more about screen magnifiers from a user perspective, check out our blog post, Driving While Blind.
According to WCAG 2.0 AA, what is the correct color contrast for people with low vision?
This is probably our hardest question yet! Remember how we discussed earlier that accessibility is about people with all types of disabilities? This is an example of how WCAG can help people with low vision. And, without further ado, the answer is. . .it depends, because size matters. Text that is smaller than 18pt, or bolded text that is smaller than 14pt must have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 with the background color. Text larger than that only needs to have a contrast ratio of 3:1. Are you wondering how to find that information? Shameless plug - One way is to hire Interactive Accessibility as your company’s consultant. <smile>. Another resource is on the W3C website regarding contrast.
What is one of the types of hardware devices that enable people who are deaf-blind to access the web?
The answer was hidden in one of our earlier trivia questions, which is “refreshable Braille display.” If you have been following along today, you’ll remember that a refreshable Braille display is an electro-mechanical device that has metal dots that pop up to transmit what is on the screen to a Braille reader. Many people who are deaf-blind depend on a Braille display to communicate to the rest of the world. There are a number of Braille displays available on the market. Humanware is one of the manufacturers of Braille displays, and you can view information about their Braille displays on the Humanware website.
True or False – Accessibility only impacts people with disabilities and has no effect on anyone else.
This is a completely false statement. Making your site accessible can positively impact usability for people without disabilities, as well as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Accessible design often makes web pages more usable by everyone. For example, ensuring errors with a form submission and suggestions for fixing those errors makes the form more usable for everyone. Providing captions for videos is useful if you are watching videos in a noisy environment, if the video you are watching is not in your native language, or if you are a student wanting to search for something your professor said in the video lectures from the past semester. Accessible design affects everyone on the planet. Cool, huh?
When using a screen reader, what is the general term used for the voice it uses?
If you answered “speech synthesizer” or “synthesizer”, then you are correct! There are many times that people will refer to a synthesizer incorrectly as “the JAWS voice” or “the NVDA voice.” But, the reality is that a synthesizer is completely separate from the screen reader software. Want to learn more about this topic and how it can impact development when implementing accessibility? Stay tuned to the Interactive Accessibility Access Matters Blog.