Chris Ashton

week11y issue 36

Here’s your weekly a11y news:

Disney+ Honored by the American Council of the Blind for Their Audio Description Tracks

  • Audio descriptions are added to films in order to recreate the visual experiences happening onscreen. Disney+ has received an Achievement Award in Audio Description from the American Council of the Blind (ACB) for their commitment to adding audio description tracks to original programming. Disney+ has already added audio descriptions to their modern catalogue including The Mandalorian, and is now working through older classics like Cinderella.

Missouri woman sews accessible masks with vinyl mouth ‘window’

  • An article from May, but on a subject that still dominates. The introduction of mask wearing to reduce coronavirus spread has had a disproportionate impact on the deaf and hard of hearing community, and many of us rely on lip reading more than we know. Demand for Stacie Amschler’s masks has gone as far as Utah, Maryland and Florida, particularly for doctors trying to reach their patients.

Planning, creating and publishing accessible social media campaigns

  • This guide from the Government Communication Service has great tips, such as testing the readability of your content (aiming for a 9-year old’s reading age), avoiding use of bit.ly links, avoiding baking in text overlays into your video and ensuring voiceovers are at least 20db louder than background music. There are also platform-specific alt text advice for Twitter and LinkedIn.

Building the Woke Web: Web Accessibility, Inclusion & Social Justice

  • A List Apart article by Olu Niyiawosusi, drawing attention to the 40% of the world’s population that still does not have access to the internet. More locally, only 37% of people living in social housing in the UK are online. This further divides the world, as those shopping in person tend to overpay compared to online, and those without digital skills are three times as likely to be in low-income bands. We must continue to offer non-online options for vital services, and attempt to reduce the barrier to becoming digital by building inclusive, accessible sites.

Online retail giant Zappos is now selling single shoes to help those with disabilities

  • American shoes and accessories seller Zappos have started allowing customers to purchase single shoes, or shoes in different sizes. The pilot program, which claims to be the first of its kind, allows amputees and people with physical disabilities to purchase exactly what they need.

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