Accessibility Under a State of Emergency
Diamond recently hosted a panel of experts from the Digital Accessibility community for a conversational reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Are your services accessible in the event of an emergency?
The full transcript presented below and is available as .txt for download.
Jonathan de Armas: [00:00:00] Welcome to Diamond Webinars. We'd originally planned to present on the State of Accessibility Report today, but in light of the COVID 19 pandemic, we've changed the content format and invited guest panelists from the digital accessibility community to join in a conversation about handling this crisis with respect to people with disabilities.
I'm Jonathan, a partner here at Diamond. Diamond is a digital agency built by developers with a commitment to well-crafted, inclusive software built on best practices. We support media companies and large brand names who rely on us every day for product strategy, experience design, and full-stack development services.
Diamond proudly sponsors global accessibility awareness day, founded in 2012 and occurring on the third Thursday each may. The purpose of GAAD is to get everybody talking, thinking and learning about digital accessibility, access inclusion for people with different disabilities. GAAD has turned into a global event with the Twitter reach of 195 million people on the GAAD hashtag and celebrated by companies large and small.
Diamond has launched our accessibility practice to marry our love of building great software with our commitment to the accessibility community. We offer assessments, audits, and general consulting, but also the hands-on development for remediation efforts. Of course, any Greenfield project is built with A11y accessibility in its DNA.
With all that in mind, it's my pleasure to introduce our moderator for today's event. I've had the honor of walking with this man on the red carpet a few times. He's been a tech community builder in the LA area for over 15 years. In 2012 he cofounded both GAAD and diamond. Welcome, Mr. Joe Devon. Joe, take it away!
Joe Devon: [00:01:46] Thank you, Jonathan. Before I do the intros, I'd like you all to know where you're going to do about a 20-minute panel and then open things up to the audience for Q. And. A. And Sheri may have to leave after 30 minutes, so we will be mindful of that.
Okay. For the introductions, we have Sheri Byrne Haber, who is the head of accessibility at VMware and a member of the IAAP global leadership council. She's a leading expert in the accessibility and disability field in both education and business. She's known for launching digital accessibility programs at fortune 200 companies such as McDonald's and Albertsons and is currently running the accessibility initiative at VMware.
And on the side, Sheri, I don't know how you do this. Somehow, almost on a daily basis, you write an incredible, awesome article about accessibility, really high quality, and quite prolific. I'm pretty jealous of that.
Sheri Byrne Haber: [00:02:42] Twice a week.
Joe Devon: [00:02:43] Twice a week. Okay.
Sheri Byrne Haber: [00:02:46] Not every day. Don't make me out to be something.
Joe Devon: [00:02:49] It's still, it's still pretty impressive. And, and it feels to me like it just comes one after the other. So, I thank you for it.
Second up, we have Ted Drake, who is an experienced engineer, developer evangelists and accessibility expert who leads the accessibility efforts for Intuit's. Desktop web and mobile products. He cofounded Intuit special needs and abilities, network for employees and promotes Intuit's diversity and hiring programs.
Prior to Intuit, Ted cofounded, the Yahoo accessibility lab and worked on some of the Yahoo's largest websites, and he is a big leader in the accessibility community.
Last, but certainly not least as John Hertzog, who is a lead accessibility solutions engineer at AT&T's corporate accessibility technology office.
He previously, which is amazing cause he's a friend of mine and we've done a fair bit of CVA work. Previously he was an attorney at the FCC where he drafted the new accessibility regulations for TV and internet providers known as the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, otherwise known as CVAA. And now he does a lot of work together with DirecTV to make sure that their solutions are accessible.
So I would like to start with a personal question.
We have some craziness going on right now, and I'd like to know how are you all doing?
Why don't we start with, Sheri.
Sheri Byrne Haber: [00:04:12] Okay. I am doing fairly well under the circumstances. in addition to being a wheelchair user. I've also have several autoimmune issues, and so that's been interesting. I've stopped taking all my immune suppression medication. That's not fun. but, you know, the rest of it is, is going fine.
I'm lucky that I live, on a farm. I'm wishing I'd gotten in a cow last fall, but other than that, pretty good.
Joe Devon: [00:04:37] Good. John, how about you?
John Herzog: [00:04:39] Thanks, Joe for asking. I'm doing relatively well. My situation's a little different from Sheri's. I, I live in the suburbs of Los Angeles but I'm taking some safety precautions.
I am a blind individual and I don't drive and although rideshare services are still working and grocery delivery is still working, I'm actually choosing to go home to Chicago to be with family in the event that they make tighter travel restrictions, because if they do that, my concern is that the delivery services would stop.
The ride share would stop and groceries would be very hard to come by. so I'm a little concerned. I'm changing my daily routine as a choice, but, you know, for right now, everything is going well, and now I'm asymptomatic, which is great.
Joe Devon: [00:05:24] Yeah. Thank God. Thank you John. And Ted.
Ted Drake: [00:05:29] So far everything's going pretty well for me.
I've been focusing more on other people, how I can help them out. It seems like now that I'm working from home, I'm working 20 hours a day instead of only ten.
Joe Devon: [00:05:41] Ha ha ha ha. You need to get some sleep.
So. As a nation. Somebody told me this line, which I thought was really apt. He said that as a nation, we're going through an organizational accessibility stress test right now, as John can attest, I guess as everybody can attest. So now, if you are in charge of communications for an organization, what do you think might be missed in order to be inclusive to people with disabilities?
And this is an open question.
Sheri Byrne Haber: [00:06:10] So I think it's taxable communications are clearly an issue. I saw a PDF files yesterday, released by San Diego County and, and Georgia Division of Public Health, and even the World Health Organization where they were, you know, untagged PDF files with graphics with no alt text. And I think in the rush to get out information, that people with disabilities are being left behind.
And this is not something new. People with disabilities always likely to fare more poorly in natural disaster types of situations. We had all kinds of problems with PG&E during the power system, shutoffs last summer. And captioning is really important. You know, you may have somebody who has unilateral hearing loss and can get by in a face to face setting.
But if they're totally isolated and working at home and maybe can't speech read the whole time, you know, they, their comprehension might go off a cliff. So I think it's important to be thinking about that as well.
John Herzog: [00:07:09] You know, Sheri, just to add an echo what you said. one other potential problem is that companies are starting to put together web portals with the latest comment 19 information.
And of course, because they're rushing to put the portals out, they may not have tested for things like keyboard accessibility, screen reader accessibility. So in some cases you may even have trouble getting to the unlabeled PDF file in the first place. I, I smile, I don't mean to make light of the situation, but, uh, you know that that is another concern as well.
Sheri Byrne Haber: [00:07:39] Yeah. I tell people, for God's sakes, just use a WordPress accessible template and worry about making it pretty later. You know, branding should be taking a second seat to accessibility today. Not the other way around.
Ted Drake: [00:07:51] This is Ted working with a colleague. She's deaf. And, as we're moving more and more of our presentations and meetings to, blue jeans and zoom, we're coming across the problem of where, where can she use VRS video relay service? Where do we use video remote interpreting? Where do we use live captioning?
Hasn't been been as much of a problem in the past? But you can't use VRS if the meeting is more of a presentation. It's gotta be a two way dialogue in order for it to be used. John, you might have more information on that since you're from the FCC originally, but, so we're, we're trying to figure out, we're doing a lot of transcripts for meetings, This would also affect our, we have, people that work within, in our extended team that have other hard of hearing or have communication disabilities.
Sheri Byrne Haber: [00:08:48] I was really pleased to see a new release of MS Teams come out a couple weeks ago before everything hit the fan.
And I found that their accuracy rate for automatic captioning is vastly improved. called "autocraptions" for a reason, because you don't identified who's the speaker. but Microsoft is actually gotten it to the point where it's almost usable with those two caveats in mind.
So if nothing else, use MS Teams, because that you'll always have available. You don't have to worry about, well, do I have, you know, 75 bucks an hour to pay the, the live captioner or, You know, anything else related to cost? It's, it's just flip a button and it's on
John Herzog: [00:09:32] The other suggestion I might have is depending on what chat software your business uses, sometimes you can have a team chat rooms and, it, you know, it might be useful to conduct meetings that way so that everybody is typing.
And that allows somebody with a hearing disability, to be able to read and make sure that they understand what's being said in real time as well as communicate in real time. you know, I know that it's tough because you have people typing over each other and it's not perfect. But, that might also be a short term alternative as well.
Ted Drake: [00:10:04] Our team uses Slack for communication.
Sheri Byrne Haber: [00:10:07] So Slack for the win, it's, it's really accessible. and, and it's a great way, in fact, we have a Slack channel just for our team called, you know, teamwork from home where we post pictures of our lunch and, you know, pictures of our pets.
You normally talk about, on a day to day basis in the office instead of eating lunch together. So, yeah, I am definitely a big believer in Slack.
Joe Devon: [00:10:32] Yeah. I actually invited, I'm their head of accessibility to this one and he only got back to me this morning that, that he couldn't, that he didn't catch my, requests.
So we may get him in the future cause it's certainly going to be interesting to make sure that Slack is fully accessible and nobody's having trouble.
And I also like to do a shout out to the LA City. all the TV, at least that I've seen coming out of there, they always have, someone doing sign language, right next to the speaker.
So there are some folks definitely getting it right, which is, which is really good.
Now the question for you, Sheri, you wrote an article about online education with respect to inclusiveness. A lot of folks are, have to obviously take their classes online with all the schools closed. what particular challenges do you think online educator face, and what kind of tips would you have for, them as they are switching to online version.
Sheri Byrne Haber: [00:11:26] Thanks Joe. So before I became, a digital accessibility, professional I, I did do a lot of IEP or Individualized Education Plans with a primary focus on children who are deaf and children with autism. I think I did 200 of them, not counting the ones that I did for my own child.
And, I think the biggest problem is that the teachers aren't getting great direction, from the administrators and the school setting. And the teachers don't really have budget to spend a $1.25 a minute, for rev.com for transcripts when it seems perfectly reasonable for a corporation to pick up the cost for that.
And, captioning manually is really painful and really time consuming. Well, I think the best thing that teachers can do is, you know, talk to the parents of the kids that are struggling and maybe they're struggling, you know, if you have an IEP or a 504 plan already in place, you know, continue to follow that plan, to the, to the best of your abilities.
But you're going to have kids fall through the gaps. And those are the kids that were, you know, like the person with maybe unilateral hearing loss in the classroom setting. They were, okay. But in an online setting, not so much. So, again, using MS Teams, which everybody, you know, largely has available to them.
There's a couple of, there was a a captioning system just for teachers for classroom lectures that I saw that's being made available for free now during the crisis. I'm spacing on the name of it, but what he wants to know, they can all dig it out of my archives. Making sure that the, you know, graphics have appropriate descriptions, making sure that you're checking in on the kids' mental health, all these silly, that's going to be really important as well.
You're going to have children who are going to be doing more poorly because they react badly to change, and that's typically going to be your children on the autism spectrum. But you're also going to have children who just don't do well with the isolation, in general. And a lot of that is going to depend on, on their family settings and what they have going on.
I think the teachers need to ask the right questions, but then parents also need to demand from the schools, you know, I want to reopen my IEP for this particular, situation and make sure that their kids are getting the appropriate support.
Joe Devon: [00:13:45] Thanks. Yeah. It feels like communication is really important, both from the parents to reach out to students that they, they feel might be having some kind of issues and, and check in on them proactively.
Cause sometimes, some families may not feel comfortable bothering teachers, especially during this time, but at the same time, parents should not be shy about reaching out to the teachers. I think that's great advice.
Sheri Byrne Haber: [00:14:07] Exactly! And putting my litigator hat on for a second. If you're going to ask for extended services later on as a result of not getting what your kid needs now you have to ask, but they may not get it.
So, the parents can't expect to be able to say, in six months, I need special services, you know, extended services. If you didn't ask for them during the time when it was happening
Joe Devon: [00:14:30] Right. Yeah. Makes sense.
So, John, you wrote the CVAA as we mentioned, and if I were you, I'd probably feel really good right now having done that because, it covers things like closed captions for live TV, as well as for OTT platforms.
And it really matters when all these, these emergency messages are going out. Do you feel like the, the law is comprehensive enough the way that it was passed, or do you feel like there might be other disabilities that might be missing or other aspects of the law that could be improved?
John Herzog: [00:15:05] What a great question, Joe.
So, the answer is both. The CVAA seems to provide a lot of support in some ways to individuals with disabilities. And in other ways, I'm still concerned about a number of things. the fact of the matter is, for live TV, if a user has a cable or satellite subscription. it's pretty straightforward.
You know, the rules say that you have to have captions for any live content, and you have to have captions for, emergency information. So that would be like, any real time updates that, give the community information about where to go and what to do. And you know, what the new restrictions are. and so if somebody, for example, who is deaf.
it doesn't see those captions. They could easily let the FCC know, the FCC would let the TV service provider know, and then they would correct the problem. They would negotiate with the network that broadcast the, the feed and correct the problem. Similarly, if someone is blind, and they have, the, the CVAA says that the emergency information has to be made available through a secondary audio stream.
So again, if you're a cable or satellite provider. The path is pretty straightforward. If you have a problem, you can go directly to the FCC and they will then open up, an inquiry and they will talk with you and, and the network and figure out exactly what went wrong.
What concerns me though is, when we get to Over The Top video services because some of these services, they're aimed toward cord cutters and they don't necessarily, they're not necessarily part of a traditional cable or satellite subscription. And what concerns me there is those services that are streaming content specifically over the internet, they might be using national feeds of, of network stations rather than local feeds.
And that's a problem for every user, not just users with disabilities. But also, I've heard the argument before that some of these services are making that they don't count as an MVPD or they don't count as a cable or satellite provider so therefore , the requirement to caption in emergency information or, you know, provide secondary audio doesn't necessarily apply to them. And so what concerns me then is that a user who is using a cord cutting service, for example, while they might see captions for, prerecorded content, it's not exactly as clear what the process is if they're missing captions or audio descriptions for live emergency events.
Because number one, these core cutting services may not even provide that. and number two, if they do, the question then becomes, well, they're brought to the, you know, they're not broadcasting TV over their own proprietary closed networks, which is one of the key parts of the definition of a cable or satellite provider.
They're just streaming it over the internet. So I'm, I'm very concerned to see how the FCC would, would react to, claims from users if they don't see or hear the emergency information. Another thing, Joe, it's worth mentioning here is that, You know, the CVAA does a very, very good job of mandating that, information on television receives captions.
But my concern is that, I, I've seen some newsletters and things and some bulletins go out that companies may share with their employees and they may have links to YouTube videos that are auto captions. We've touched on that before. or they might, have in house produced videos that are produced without captions or without sufficiently describing what's going on, on the screen for users who might be blind.
In terms of whether or not we're missing any groups of people with disabilities. My, my thought, my first thought when you asked that question goes to users, with, learning disabilities and cognitive impairments. Because oftentimes, the jargon and the words that are used are written at an eighth grade reading level, which is fine, but sometimes you might need to convey the information visually, for example, as opposed to a wall of text.
Or you might need to, make it a little bit more easy to understand the exact steps you're asking the person to perform.
Joe Devon: [00:19:16] It's actually a good user experience practice to convey information in multiple ways, visually, , audio of textual, since different people, process information differently,
John Herzog: [00:19:28] Correct. Yeah.
Joe Devon: [00:19:29] So now I'm going to ask you a question, Ted. the two of us had, had spoken recently at a conference to each other. You had conveyed that there is a 3D printing effort.
I think it was like a hackathon, related to printing devices that would be helpful for people with disabilities. And now 3D printing is having a moment because there's this company in Italy that. Figured it out. How to 3D print vows for ventilators, which is pretty much everybody knows there's not enough of now.
I actually, took that as inspiration and got some friends to, start working on some webinars to try and crowd source, 3D printing the valves and other things that might be needed. What do you feel we can do beyond what's being done now with respect to people with disabilities?
Ted Drake: [00:20:15] Intuit has been a sponsor for the Westboro conference, which is a conference for research and there's been a number of papers that were written about 3D printing. a really good one from Stony Brook university where they created a stand that basically you put your, your iPhone into it actually like this, and it sends out, uses the camera to look at a form.
So a person that was blind but actually be able to write their signature on a piece of paper because the phone would be able to identify the signature block on a check or something like that.
And that's an example of something that could be 3D printed en mass by people around the world. There was another research paper that looked at Thingyverse and Thingyverse is an open contribution platform for, basically like recipes to 3D print stuff.
What they found was that there's a lot of recipes for assistive technology, but most of them fall into the camp of this looks cool, but it doesn't actually work. So what would be helpful as , an organization like the Lighthouse or the Center for Independent Living to curate, maybe a weekly or a monthly project that people around the country or around the globe could print and then ship them to their local nonprofit. It could be a, a device that helps people open doors. I've seen things that hold the key so that you can open up a door with a key and you don't have to touch the small key. You've got like a big thing to hold. it could be something like that phone stand, just an opportunity that we can use the downtime that people have, around the world.
Joe Devon: [00:21:54] Is there a URL that you can share about that
Ted Drake: [00:21:56] I can share some of the research papers and also, Thingyverse. I have a link that I can share with you on how to search for accessibility elements within Thingyverse.
Joe Devon: [00:22:07] So. I'm going to ask the final question. We, Sheri, how to drop. Unfortunately, I'm going to ask the final question for both of you, but as I'm doing that, folks that are, that have joined the attendees, if you click on the Q&A button down below, start to ask some questions, which will go to as, as we finalize this panel.
So, I was reading a report on the psychological effects of being stuck in doors and let alone the stress of, of going through a pandemic. There's a lot of people concerned about, depression and people being suicidal. So can you speak to what we can do to mitigate these effects and how it impacts people with disabilities?
Ted Drake: [00:22:46] I can start, if you don't mind, .
We have a colleague at Intuit has the child with Autism and just wrote a really like, good article on medium about raising a child with special needs during the pandemic. And some of the key takeaways is that his child had a support system of nurses and, caretakers, teachers, and they've all been taken away from him for one reason or another. Not only that, but the places he liked to go, the zoo, the park, the mall, he's not able to go to those places. So he said one of the difficulties. With a child that's on the spectrum is that sudden changes and disruptions to normal schedules is difficult. So he's been working on how to, explain to his son why they can't go to the zoo.
I'll share the link later on. The other thing is, we've started a series of lunch and learns at work. So, it's a virtual seminars every day from 12 to 1. And one of them leads one of our local, employee networks for disabilities.
She's talking about sobriety in the workplace and a mental health. And a lot of people that are in recovery depend on face to face communications, the support circles, going to meetings. And a lot of those meetings have been canceled because they're in churches or they're in store fronts or they're in, you know, elk lodges or places like that. So there's a need for, how do you fill in the gaps for people that are in recovery.
I did find an article on online meeting spaces that are trying to be used for recovery.
John Herzog: [00:24:35] You know, it's interesting you talked about people relying on others and relying on face to face and the thing I immediately thought of are. People who might utilize personal care attendance for one reason or another.
There are people with substantial physical disabilities who might rely on somebody to help with cooking or cleaning or other household errands and things. And of course, if you have this whole. Social distancing phenomenon occurring. then what happens when people with disabilities might lose their care attendance?
You know, in, in some cases, I, I'm not trying to exaggerate or use hyperbole here, but it could be a matter of life and death. Because if you're not really able to do those things for yourself, and yet, obviously we need them. what are you going to do when people, start to distance themselves or they may not feel comfortable exposing themselves to another person and, and going over, amidst the Corona virus risk?
You know, we, I talked about this a little bit, but, the same is true even for transportation. You know, you're either at an extremely high risk by taking public transit or, taking Lyft and Uber, but if those services stop running at some point, that also leaves the people with disabilities at a disadvantage because anybody who can't drive, even the elderly, they're now looking at being completely shut into their houses as opposed to, the rest of the demographics who are able to go out and go to parks at least if you know, go in and take walks around the neighborhood, at least those sorts of things. So it's, it's really a complex issue,
Joe Devon: [00:26:18] That's for sure.
All right. I'm going gonna go to Q. And. A. So we've got, let's see. Courtney Taniguchi asks, are you aware of any research reports or ethnographic studies looking at how users use OTT apps for various accessibility needs?
I've been very keen on conducting this sort of research, but would be great to know if anything like this already exists.
Ted Drake: [00:26:43] Sorry for the acronym. What does OTT mean?
John Herzog: [00:26:45] OTT means over the top. It means things that you basically install on your own device. I as a user, are things that you would utilize, that are not included or maybe not even originally intended for the functionality of the device.
Joe Devon: [00:27:00] Like Hulu, Netflix, those would be OTT apps.
I don't know the answer to the question about ethnographic studies. Do you, John.
John Herzog: [00:27:08] I think it depends on the disability type. so, you know, the, the question that's being asked is rather broad and, I can point you to a few resources. I'll have to do it after the meeting, but I can point you to a few resources for people who have visual impairments.
I know this personally from experience. There's also, An effort going on by Microsoft, which is the accessibility research center where they conduct polls and surveys of users with different disabilities. But the problem there is that it's a self-selecting survey. So in other words, it relies on the people to say, yes, I'd like to be a part of this as opposed to conducting a real world research model.
What the real demographics are as opposed to the self-selecting. I, I would suggest for Courtney, I would suggest that you get a, a better idea of exactly which disabilities you might be particularly interested in and then, we might be able to help you a little bit more with a little bit greater specificity.
I mean, that's, I'm not trying to get out of answering the question, but it's just, there's so many different things.
Ted Drake: [00:28:15] My colleague, she submitted a paper for CSUN on, the intersection between accessibility and, socioeconomic, factors.
Joe Devon: [00:28:24] Thanks, Ted. Now we've got a question from Sagar Barbhaya and I hope that I got your last name right.
Sidebar. do we have stats of how many CEOs are working on bringing initiatives to support underprivileged people during this COVID-19 crisis?
John Herzog: [00:28:38] I don't know, unfortunately. It's a great question. I don't know.
Ted Drake: [00:28:42] I think there's a lot of CEOs that are sending out statements about how the companies are reacting. but I don't know how many companies are directly able to, impact people that are affected by this. I know that it, Intuit, we've created websites for small business taxpayers and accountants. , To file their taxes on time and support , their clients that need accounting help. And as a small business provider supporter, I mean, we're, we're also looking at how we can, how we can surface more information for small businesses, but that's not necessarily for, low income families.
Joe Devon: [00:29:23] Thanks.
All right. I am going to end with one more.
What are some things that people normally don't do but can do in their everyday lives to help others who rely on accessibility services?
John Herzog: [00:29:37] You know, Joe, I've seen this floating on social media and, it's the concept of helping your neighbor. You know, one of the things that would be the most helpful is if you know somebody in your social circle or at your work circle, and you're relatively close to them from a geographic perspective, ask them if there's something that you can do to help them out.
You know, ask them if you can grab some groceries for them. Ask them if you can, assist them in some way. I mean, I think that's a good thing to do normally, but I think it could be more vital to people who have physical disabilities and for whom traveling , is made much tougher by this Corona virus.
And similarly, allow people with disabilities to help you. Obviously nobody wants to feel like a charity case. Nobody wants to feel like a third wheel, or like a burden. So, you know, certainly allow them to, to help and be helped. but the sense of community is what I would say is one of the most vital things.
And, and really looking out for each other and seeing and asking questions. You know, a lot of people are kind of afraid. When it comes to people with disabilities, they're kind of afraid to ask questions because they don't want to ask it the wrong way. They don't want to say the wrong thing. They don't want to do the wrong thing.
And I, I would suggest being perhaps a little bit less reserved in these times, because if you don't ask, you never know.
Joe Devon: [00:31:00] Charles Hall says, Oh my God, thank you for saying that John allow people with disabilities to help you. So that was a big shout out there.
John Herzog: [00:31:09] Nice.
Ted Drake: [00:31:10] I'll say don't call him up and say, Hey, can I. Do you need anything? Or, Hey, how are you feeling? But saying, Hey, Nick, can I come over and do your laundry?
You know, have like concrete actions that you can do. The other thing is also pay attention to people that don't necessarily consider themselves to have a disability, and I'm thinking about people over 60 70 80 people that. may not think that they need help.
Also think about people that don't consider themselves to have a disability, such as people that are aging and ask him if they need, help, volunteer to bring them groceries. there's a lot of people out there that, that need help but don't necessarily have the support systems.
John Herzog: [00:31:51] It's a phenomenon known as invisible disability. And it's something that we didn't really address here on this panel, but it was a great that you mentioned it. Ted, because a lot of people, you know, they, they might be using magnification features, but not realize that they're using magnification.
You know, especially among the elderly, as you said. The other suggestion that I would have in terms of how to help or, or how to be of help is, You know, maybe establish little groups of people. Obviously, you know, the groups of 10 or more are they're suggesting not to have groups of 10 or more, but you know, maybe, establish a group of friends or something where you, you go and you have a dinner night or something like that.
So it, it moves the relationship beyond the realm of helper versus helpee. You know, it's more like, okay, we're just kind of hanging out now. We're just kind of getting some much needed person to person contact. And that's true. Regardless of whether you choose to play video games like cards or just play Netflix all night.
You know, because physical contact and friendship is comradery, I guess is the best word I would use there.
Joe Devon: [00:32:57] That's a great point. We literally, it was like last night or the night before, we literally did a dinner, like a Facebook live dinner party, with a couple of friends. So that's a great idea.
I'll also share something just. To give other folks ideas. my, I have two neighbors who are ICU nurse and I was so excited because I thought maybe I can actually do something. And and I asked them if they let me shop for them when things get a little bit worse. So that when they're done from a long day, they don't have to.
And I had to repeat it a few times until they felt comfortable with it. But I feel like it's something that can help, you know, like, like I'm doing something for them because they're doing so much for us. And, Don't. Don't be shy about, you know, checking around with your neighbors and see what you can do.
Cause there's always people that can use help. But it's a two way street.
And, with that, I would like to thank all the panelists, including Sheri, even though she had to leave early.
Before we wrap up, I would like to do a couple of end notes.
One of them is the GAAD pledge. So last year we did, What we're calling the soar report, the state of accessibility report where what we're trying to do is GAAD, usually global accessibility awareness day does really well. Lots of companies talk about it. But , we felt that it's really important for it to make a difference. So we created a baseline last year to see how accessible , the web was and digital products.
And unfortunately, the numbers aren't great. So we started this GAAD pledge idea last year. Here you can see the URL is diamond.la/GAADPledge. We would like to invite folks to join the GAAD pledge and do something for making the world more accessible. We'll issue a new report on May 21st which is Global Accessibility Awareness Day. This way we can all be a part of making the web more accessible.
A couple of other notes. We have two more webinars in the next two months coming up. Please Mark your calendar. April 16 and May 21st, which is Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
We may change the topic of the next one and do another one of these panels. It depends how things go, with COVID. But do mark the dates and if you have any questions or would like to follow up with any of the panelists, we have a slide here where you can reach them. I'm email@example.com.
You have firstname.lastname@example.org and then you have two links of Sheri and John on their LinkedIn, and. we're going to share the info as well as a follow up. So thank you again to all of the panelists and thanks to the attendees. I can't believe how many people have stayed in. So thank you all for hanging in there and we will see you next month.
Aired on Thursday, March 19th, 2020
With the recent events and the many questions around the coronavirus and our digital state, we decided to shift this week's webinar to focus on how to manage accessibility under these circumstances. Join our panel of executives from AT&T, VMware, and Intuit moderated by the Co-Founder of Global Accessibility Awareness Day in a conversational reaction to the current crisis.
Co-Founder of Diamond & Global Accessibility Awareness Day
Sheri Byrne-HaberHead of Accessibility
Global Accessibility Lead
Lead Accessibilities Engineer
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