The State of Accessibility Report Findings
Each year Diamond issues the State of Accessibility Report. The SOAR report identifies specific accessibility deficiencies of top websites and includes a list of actionable steps developers can take to address accessibility issues now. GAAD Co-Founders were joined by other accessibility experts to discuss this year's findings.
The full transcript presented below and is available as .txt for download
Jonathan de Armas:[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to Diamond Webinars
We just open the attendee doors and people are starting to gather will be with you in just a moment. And we'll get started. As a note we have closed captioning available and an ASL interpreter. So please, configure your own zoom settings to pin Kate, the interpreter Or enable closed captioning from the bottom bar.
We'll see you in just a moment.
Welcome to Diamond Webinars
We're here on the ninth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
Diamond has once again put together our State of Accessibility Report which will be reviewing soon. But first a little bit about myself a little bit about Diamond. I'm Jonathan de Armas partner here at Diamond.
Diamond is a digital agency built by developers with a commitment to well crafted software built on best practices. We support media companies and brand names, who rely on us every single day for Product Strategy experience design and full stack development services.
Everything we do has inclusive design and its core and accessibility from the beginning If we start it with the DNA from the start we can have applications for everyone.
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 everyone talking thinking and learning about digital access inclusion for people with different disabilities.
GAAD has turned into a global event. Ninth year now heading into the tenth.
I know that some of the panelists on the show today will be coming from various events and going to others. It's quite exciting to see how GAAD has grown.
Diamond launched our accessibility practice to marry our love of buildings great software with our commitment to the accessibility community. We offer assessments audits general consulting also development for remediation efforts.
With all of that in mind, we have a lot to cover today. A lot of amazing panelists from across the industry.
I would like to introduce Joe Devon.
Who's the co-founder of Global Accessibility Awareness Day and also the co-founder of Diamond.
Joe Devon: [00:02:51] Thank you, Jonathan.
Trying to turn on the video, but it's not working.
I think I need that to be done from you, Jonathan.
Oh, there we go.
Oh hello there I am.
Can we turn on the slide deck, please.
So to start, I just want to say thank you to everyone for joining us for the ninth Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Next slide please.
The agenda here is Jonathan who just started and then I'm going to welcome the panelists. We're going to talk about the state of accessibility.
We're going to get a special guests in Genesis and my co founder at Diamond sorry at Global Accessibility Awareness Day and then Matt King from Facebook and I will end off with some final thoughts.
Next slide please.
GAAD has taken off far beyond anything that Genesis and I could have ever expected. Last year, we've hit a Twitter reach of 195 million unique users and just scanning the the GAAD hashtag today. It feels like it's going to be bigger this year.
And every year we think it can't get any bigger and it always does. And we've had, I think 175 or 180 events posted on the GAAD website.
So it's incredible to see that this year. Everybody is able from just about anywhere to access most of those events and yet I always like to keep my eye on the ball and It, it always strikes me as GAAD rolls around, I always come back to this tweet that I saw in 2015 you have most of the folks that that know anything about GAAD are just posting all this celebration and positive things and and it's really a joy to watch.
However, there was one tweet by the Blind Onion, which is a satirical Twitter account and and they tweeted out the world eagerly anticipates participating in the next 364 days of global accessibility oblivion hashtag GAAD and it didn't hurt when I first saw it, but I always mention it when I talk
about GAAD, because the goal of GAAD was to get awareness among originally was among the developer culture because that's where I came from, but we've kind of grown that to designers and product people as well and if it's if you get a tweet like this coming out of pain, where the rest of the year is inaccessible where you have all these folks talking about accessibility. But we're not changing the state of the Internet and the state of the web and apps as well, then we're not really achieving the goal and it, it just made me think we need to create a state of accessibility report.
Next slide please.
So that in last year we did the first state of accessibility report, you're going to hear from some folks that collaborated with us on the second year, Jared Smith has been with us both years and and he does an analysis of the top million websites and the numbers are not great.
And I'll let him speak to that. But on the Diamond side we have internally done some research and please. The next slide or the actually the infographic.
On the top left there you see a little blurb from the Diamond part of the report of the Alexa top 100 websites. And this has come from speaking to people that use assistive technology that have a common issue, which is
You might have some sites that actually tried to do their best with accessibility. But if you don't think about the user journey you're missing something big and and something that happens frequently is right at the gate.
What is a service worth if you're not able to register, if you're not able to then login and logout. Imagine you you can log in and then you can't log out and then you're tracked every time you go there and you can't switch accounts to another user account.
This is obviously problematic. So what we've done is we created. We did a manual test of the Alexa top 100 websites for their accessibility and their ability to register login and logout.
And what we found is that 40% of the top 100 websites are fully accessible on all platforms tested.
Now, I wouldn't call this a good score, but my whole goal with this with a state of accessibility report, otherwise known as SOAR, is that it should improve every single year. And this is one of the few bright spots, is that we've seen some improvement in the Alexa Top 100 because if if this year 40% of the sites are fully accessible.
Last year that number was 29% so excuse me, it went up 11%
So that's, that's a good number. And then in terms of the sites that were inaccessible. This year we found 39% of the top hundred websites are fully inaccessible on all platforms tested and although that number is too high.
It is better than last year. Last year it was 43% and we actually, you can see that the 40% bubble is bigger than the 39% bubble and we've at least cross the chasm, where there are more sites fully accessible than sites fully inaccessible.
Now again, this is the top hundred websites. It's not, this is not wonderful news, but at least if we're going in the right direction, then, personally, I can feel better about it because I'm people constantly say thank you for doing Global Accessibility Awareness Day, but I can't accept that thank you, until I see that the numbers are improving and that we've actually made a difference.
So I don't want to see that that blind onion tweet again because I'd like to see that we've actually changed and changed the culture, the developer culture and and digital product creation culture.
To make things better, I'll end off by just also saying that in addition to that 40% we have 21% that are accessible with difficulties.
So last year rate is at 21%
Yeah, I think that's the right number. And I think last year was 28%
So there's, there are less sites that are accessible with difficulty and the improvement went to becoming fully accessible. So we've definitely had a decent degree of improvement in the last year when it came to the top manual sites.
Now I'm going to pass it on to Jared. So I'd like to invite you Jared To turn on your video.
And please introduce yourself and speak through your numbers.
Jared Smith: [00:09:52] Sure. Um, thank you for the invitation to be here and opportunity to
speak a little bit about WebAIM's work on accessibility and some of the research that we've done happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day to
everyone and thank you Jemison and Joe for your vision and and really your efforts to try to change the culture and the environment of accessibility. So I'm from Webaim, which is the web accessibility in mind project we're a nonprofit consultancy that does web accessibility.
One of our missions at Webaim is to provide research on web accessibility to help inform the state of accessibility where we're at and help effect change.
One of those efforts that we started a about a year and a half ago was an analysis of the homepages for the top 1 million websites.
So we had a pretty good sense of accessibility and what some of the some of the difficulties were the route there, but we didn't have really good data and generally the accessibility field.
Needs more data. So we conducted this analysis, it used automated processes to check these 1 million homepages, our first analysis was in February of year. This year, we also added 130,000 other pages deeper pages, within the top 1300 websites so over the course of just over a year. We now have about a billion data points of accessibility for web pages we collect lots of information about accessibility.
About technology usage site metadata language and just a lot of things that we then analyze to see what's happening when it comes to accessibility.
The result we have an overview report available on the webaim.org website and they encourage you to go check that out.
So this year is we conducted our analysis of these 1 million homepages we found about 61 million errors. So these are detectable errors via an automated process using our wave accessibility evaluation tool.
So that's about 61 errors per homepage, on average, so if you think about that on an average homepage user with a disability might expect to encounter 61 barriers, on average, that was an increase of about 2% from 2019.
Now that does bring up an interesting question of, does that mean that accessibility is getting worse. I don't know. There were more detectable errors.
Joe and his team their research on functional accessibility for some of the top websites for registration log in and log out found that things had improved which is wonderful. Our analysis was primarily automated accessibility data.
We found 98% of those homepages had detectable failures with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines that was an increase of little increase from the year before.
So, because these are automatically detectable issues, I would suggest that the overall compliance or conformance rate of homepages with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines is Probably very, very low. I think certainly under 1%
But, you know, we have guidelines as a foundation is a good measure for at least some aspects of accessibility. So we have even though the conformance rate is very low. It's great that we have guidelines out there to help us move that needle, a little, little bit closer towards accessibility.
One thing we did find this year was pretty alarming very interesting was a 10% increase in the number of page elements. Over the course of one year.
That's a big big increase 10% in one year, 10% more paragraphs div spans buttons, whatever, you know those page elements might be as suggests, I think a real increase in the complexity and weight of homepages and I think begs the question as to whether accessibility can keep up with that level of increase in complexity. It's an interesting question.
As we analyze the types of issues that were detected 86% that's So text that did not have sufficient contrast with the background as defined by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
On average, there were 36 instances of low contrast text per homepage, 66% of pages were missing alternative text. So they had images that did not have appropriate alternative text. 66% of pages had empty links or buttons.
So these are things that say a screen reader user could navigate to but there would be no presentational text to identify the function of those links are buttons. 54% of homepages had inputs form inputs that we're missing label. So, over half of all inputs on homepages are missing. Property associated labels that would describe the functionality of those inputs 28% of pages did not have a document language identified.
Little tiny snippet of code, you can add to a page that would ensure that the language that a screen reader reads that page in is correct for the content. These are all pretty impactful accessibility issues they're all readily detectable. And they're all readily fixable. That is one thing that gives me some optimism, even though there are a lot of accessibility issues that are present. The vast majority fit into these five categories.
In other words, if we were to systematically address just these five
issues the positive impact for users with disabilities would be just enormous we're talking about millions and millions of potential barriers removed on these these top homepages.
We also this year aligned accessibility information with site categories. So there are a lot of different categories that we analyze and we noticed we found that there were pretty significant differences.
In accessibility issues, based on the type of content that those pages were presenting for instance news websites had over twice as many detectable errors as government sites, so news sites where the absolute worst category which is a little alarming, especially in the age of Covid and all of these other things that there are so many barriers to getting news information government websites fair, the best, but there's a big disparity.
Between those, now knowing that information might allow us to better target particular categories or to see what models that are who's what types of sites are doing a good job that we can maybe generate models and patterns that can best address accessibility more globally.
And we also analyze technologies that are present on home pages. So there were just hundreds of technologies that were detectable on homepages things like PHP WordPress react doodle Maps, Google ads, things like that.
And if those technologies were president, we then did comparisons to see you how things were different with those pages we found some interesting things there were certain technologies that align with a lot more accessibility errors, some technologies that align with fewer errors and that's really an increased focus for us for Joe and the the Diamond team is to see what technologies are doing well, which ones need appear to need some some work.
So we can start to effect change. We know that addressing accessibility in those frameworks and building a culture and environment of accessibility around those tools can have a really really big impact.
So there's a whole lot more available at webaim.org we have our full report there. Our intent with this is to help set a benchmark for where we're at and a metric for where we're going with accessibility.
And does start to affect change. Even though this can be a little discouraging seeing the prevalence of accessibility issues.
If we focus on just those primary issues and those technologies and frameworks we can make a difference. And that's part of Global Accessibility Awareness Day and the pledge
And for those of us that have taken the pledge that are committed to this maybe today could be global accessibility action day we can go out and start to do something about this to make a difference.
Joe Devon: [00:18:59] Oh my god, I love that Jared hang hang tight for a second. I'm going to ask you a question, but first I'd like to tell the audience that if you see below, there's a Q & A button and if you ask the Q & A, we are going to call on some questions later on. Now, Jared I... first of all, I love that global accessibility action day. Oh my god, that's fantastic.
I don't know how, but we got to use that one.
Could you speak for a second to the comparison between last year and this year, you're still on mute, by the way.
Jared Smith: [00:19:34] Um, yeah. Like I said, we saw some shifts in accessibility data itself, not only overall errors and conformance rates with the accessibility guidelines.
But also in particular areas and categories we did see some fairly notable shifts in the technology correlations are correspondences of technologies to accessibility issues.
What was most interesting is, is that we saw more a broader disparity of those issues. In other words, some technologies are getting much worse more detectable errors other technologies are neutral or are getting better. And again, I think that serves as a bit of a framework. What I just want to highlight a little bit is Gatsby, Gatsby has a you know framework.
Based on react and and if they're better than any of others of the frameworks and technologies that we that we analyzed. It's a technology I think that has helped build a culture and an environment of accessibility and inclusion.
And that is being reflected in the actual accessibility to the pages that use that technology and if more work to embrace that type of thing. I think we could really make a difference.
Joe Devon: [00:20:51] That's, that's awesome. Do you, I took the results that you had and I use that as a springboard to start reaching out to different folks and try and get them to take the GAAD pledge, which we'll talk about a little bit later. Just one more quick question.
How do you think is the best approach to change developer culture because I feel like the the frameworks are good place to start and coding boot camps, though I don't know quite how to influence them. Are there any others or any approach to the bootcamps that that you could think of.
Jared Smith: [00:21:26] Well, that's a big question. I'll try to answer it quickly.
I think our experience, you know, and doing this work for now 20 years at Webaim has been that when accessibility becomes real. When it becomes personal for somebody that's designing, developing and building things then it, that's when we start to see better change more positive influences for that accessibility change and you know, we spent a lot of time focusing on guidelines and techniques and numbers and precents that I've talked about.
I think it's important that we not lose vision that we're talking about people, about individuals that are significantly impacted. And I think when our, when our, you know, our frameworks are tools, the environments that communities that we're building when they really become human focused. That's when we start to see that better changing.
Well, I think we can do a better part of that in these communities, in the documentation, you know, things like that to help build that type of human awareness as opposed to just technical
Joe Devon: [00:22:35] Great. Thank you so much. Jared for all of your work over the years and your vision as well. Really appreciate you joining
Now I'd like to introduce Sharon Rush, who is another legend in the accessibility space.
Sharon just came out of running a two week conference that that she turned to be virtual in a very short period of time turned on a dime basically and she collaborated with us on talking about accessibility in ED tech specifically K to 12. So Sharon please introduce yourself.
Speak through to the report and also give us a bit of a report on how access U went
Sharron Rush: [00:23:19] Well, as you know, Joe. We just had to two days and two days last week of access, you were. We had to move our conference completely online.
And I'm getting ready to write a book about what to do when all your connectivity explodes and you, you want to go forward and talk about accessibility and they're just so many aspects of it that we learned over this time and I well I wanted first of all to thank you and the team.
I was really, really pleased to be asked to contribute to this report, I was honored and really grateful To talk about this particular aspect of the state of accessibility, because I think it's one that's that's been overlooked as I was listening to Jared talk about all the you know the different tools and the frustrations that people have.
And when you think about kids in school and what's at stake in that environment, it becomes really even more important, and I, I don't know if you've already introduced me, but I'll just tell people that , I'm Sharron Rush. I'm the executive director of Nobility.
We are a nonprofit advocacy training and consultancy organization based in Austin, Texas and working all over the country. In some parts of the world.
As I said, I'm really grateful to be talking about this particular aspect of the state of accessibility and I'm with you. Jared about, you know, let's let's do global accessibility action day from this
One of the things we do, we do more community based research, I would say, then then Webaim and we certainly have nowhere near a billion points of data, but we have been looking at the K 12 space for many years in our communities and found that the accessibility of web based tools in K 12 has really been a neglected topic. And when you think about what happens the that oversight has really profound results on learning outcomes and as a result of that, the lives of students with disabilities and there are from the, the closest estimates from the UN is that there are around 93 million children with disabilities who were at school age, not all of them make it into school and certainly many of them don't graduate. So this chart shows a few of the examples of the outcomes by selected countries.
But nowhere in the world. I mean I we we show these these few countries, but there was nowhere in the world where we found anything close to the equity, the educational equity that's promised to kids with disabilities and we'd hope and expect improved outcomes and improved access as learning tools are delivered digitally, we have this flexible, adaptable medium of the web
We have laws in place all over the world that say students with disabilities get full access to opportunities and to educational supports. We have these digital tools that can make learning experiences fully accessible. We have laws we have guidelines as Jared pointed to
So with all these standards and laws and promises that we make to students with disabilities, what's happened, what's missing.
And so we did a lot of literature research we we read quite a bit. We interviewed some educators and administrators from different districts from educational agencies from state educational agencies and a lot of that research. I think it ended up in the annotated bibliography here of the SOAR and what we found was that there's a basic lack of understanding of what accessibility means. And there's a almost I shouldn't say complete there's an almost complete lack of systematic support for accessibility. So we have the stated commitments we have legal requirements that all students will have educational equity but almost no scaffolding in place to support those commitments in a digital world.
So what we see is that teachers aren't trained, you know, they give these assignments and tell kids to use these digital tools. They're not trained about accessibility, we educate according to law. I mean, the law requires that kids with disabilities students with learning disabilities visual impairments, emotional and behavioral disorders. They're all to be educated in the most inclusive environments possible so that means they're for the most part, in general education classes.
With educators who are not trained in any of the accessibility aspects of the digital tools that they use in the classroom every day. Instructional designers aren't trained, they don't they don't they make these curriculum products lessons math exercises. They're not taught about accessibility. They don't know how to prompt for alt text. Students are asked to do their homework and turn in, you know, make a web page for this or use these various frameworks, open source frameworks, as you mentioned, and create digital examples of the of what you're learning but nowhere are the accessibility aspects or features of those tools taught because the teachers themselves instructional designers themselves aren't aware of them.
So the result is that we have in the classrooms. We have these learning management systems curriculum content. They're all put in place schools increasingly gratefully receive tablet and software donations from large tech companies. But nowhere along that the training that they get are or is there any consideration of how these required classroom materials can be equally used by students with disabilities. So it's not surprising that the outcomes are so dismal for students with disabilities and that we have the the outcomes that you see in that chart the dropout rates are you know, is far, far in excess of what you see among their non disabled peers. And that's not because of intellectual disabilities because more than 80% of students with disabilities have no intellectual disabilities and there's no reason why they should not succeed.
So You know I was really envious that Jared was able to say, but we do see these improvements and we do see these improvements and I'm trying to think of what can I say that's hopeful. And I think the hope is that as we do integrate accessibility into the the open source frameworks, as it becomes more generally integrated into the tools that that will make its way into the classroom.
But we had some specific recommendations as well that we put into that we put into the report and it starts with planning with, you know, our US Department of Education, almost every country's Department of Education has planning for how they're going to use technology in the classroom. And so, as those technology plans are developed, we need to through advocacy through more legal actions through legislation, we need to require those technology plans explicitly include ideas and mandates for accessibility. They need to have requirements procurement requirements.
They need to include training for instructional tools. So, for if I'm going to buy if I work for a district that I'm going to purchase tools. Then I need to have guidelines for how do I how do I decide if these meet accessibility requirements all schools have requirements. Now for security. They need to have equally supported requirements for accessibility.
We also need to think as we train instructional designers, the people who are making the curriculum products that end up in our classrooms. Those designers also must be trained to understand accessibility.
What the requirements are and and how to implement them properly, so that the materials that end up in the classroom are, in fact, at least meet basic requirements. And I think when sorry. No.
Joe Devon: [00:33:28] This is great stuff. Sharon and I'm so glad that you spoke about this. It's that Ed Tech is not my specialty. And as as we're watching the entire world and all the schools move online within a period of two weeks.
Everything is is now about accessibility. So there's an opportunity here, you were looking for something positive, there's an opportunity here where we can we can see that if things are fixed for the different platforms that impact all of these students at once. So that's the only hopeful thing is that maybe we can come out of this with with some improved Accessibility if if we, you know, basically approach these these these vendors that are that are providing these virtual tools.
So thank you so much for for joining and for providing this report and I recommend everybody read it, it was, it was really eye opening. So, so thank you.
Sharron Rush: [00:34:29] You bet.
Joe Devon: [00:34:30] Thanks. And now we have Jennison who joined us. The co founder of Global Accessibility Awareness Day Jennison, can you turn on your camera.
Happy GAAD my friend.
Jennison Asuncion: [00:34:47] Good morning somewhere.
Joe Devon: [00:34:50] How are you doing,
Jennison Asuncion: [00:34:52] Uh, this is the first year because we're in this virtual world, by the way. Happy GAAD everyone because we're doing everything virtually
People have been asking us to to attend different sessions and the the unintended consequences. Lack of sleep and stuff. But see I was in Azerbaijan and then I was across the continent of Africa.
And then I'm here with you all that Genesis people from around the world. And then we've got two more things, including wrapping up here in the Bay Area tonight for an event, but
How are you?
Joe Devon: [00:35:33] I'm doing okay I'm doing all right.
Jennison Asuncion: [00:35:36] It wasn't sure if we were just going to riff here, what
Joe Devon: [00:35:38] Yeah I we have a couple of minutes more. I really just wanted to
know if you've had a chance to check out what's going on today.
Jennison Asuncion: [00:35:47] Twitter's gone crazy as usual, yeah. Hashtag GAAD hashtag has been going nuts and I still see Joe and I get copied on when the forms are submitted for people are still up until now, submitting events for GAAD this is, I don't know if you already mentioned, Joe, when you kick things off for your for the session year but we are amazed every year at how big this is gotten and we neither of us, for sure. This year, what was going to happen with with COVID and like what was all going to happen, but everyone flipped the virtual, the advantage of course being that we can all kind of travel around the world and and and and join these zoom or other conferencing software means, you know, but this just have more access right in a capital A for access
So, yeah. Now that it's been it's been it's been different this year, but it's been different, but the same
Joe Devon: [00:36:53] Yeah I agree 100% and this is really the moment for accessibility to shine because either you're making it accessible for the billion people with disabilities, though, I think that number really
Jennison Asuncion: [00:37:05] Should be higher
Joe Devon: [00:37:06] Yeah, it's really higher one of the, the new numbers. And I don't know if I can say his name, but yeah, maybe I won't say it. But basically, a friend of mine, a friend of ours highlighted that that there's some new research out that the number of folks with a disability is pretty pretty high. So
Jennison Asuncion: [00:37:35] It's a lot of Visually impaired people
Joe Devon: [00:37:37] Yeah, it sure is. It sure is so Jennison and I'm going to ask you to stay on as I introduce Matt.
So let's talk about the GAAD pledge, a little bit. So we've taken the numbers that we gotten from Jared and We were we're just a little bit shocked to see 98% of the web being inaccessible and 60 errors per page and seeing those numbers go up. So really like we came back and said, All right, how, how can we affect and change those numbers. And as I said earlier coding schools was one of them. And another one of them is is open source projects, we really wanted to focus on the open source projects.
Okay, so the GAAD pledge the concept here is that organizations and developers can make a commitment that they will make accessibility a core value in all of their digital products and
You know, in a sense, we're opening it up to everyone that anyone can take the GAAD pledge, but we decided that we were trying to kind of focus it a little bit and try and get actual strong results, rather than then making it too wide of an approach.
And so what we've done is we've gone out and spoken to a lot of different organizations and I'm super excited about what's coming down the pike. But one of the big targets for me personally that I wanted to see was seeing React Native take the pledge. So I called 1-800 Facebook and said, hey, guys. How would you guys like to take the pledge and was so excited and happy to see that they said yes.
So Facebook does take the pledge and to that end, they are committing to making React Native accessible and they have brought us Matt King from Facebook has joined us. And I'm gonna ask you, Matt. If you can turn on your video.
We're gonna do the the proper intro, so can you please introduce yourself and describe your role at Facebook.
Matt King: [00:39:47] Yeah. So my name is Matt King I am an accessibility technical program manager at Facebook and what that really means is I spend my time helping our teams build up their capabilities to deliver accessible products.
And I also spent a lot of time working on what I refer to as the accessibility ecosystem infrastructure of the world.
And things like React Native are part of the bedrock of the ecosystem as well as all the accessibility standards like Web Content Accessibility Guidelines ARIA Rich Internet Applications standard and so forth.
Joe Devon: [00:40:36] Thank you.
So you guys have taken the the GAAD pledge and React Native is going to have some serious effort behind it to make it more accessible. So, so what do you think React Native will look like a year from now.
Matt King: [00:40:53] That is a pretty interesting question because I think part of the problem is that we don't know if what it looks like right now. We do know there's a lot of accessibility and React Native already there. If you go to the GitHub repo and just search on accessibility, you find there's been more than 100 issues related to accessibility closed. There's currently about 10 that are tagged with the accessibility API info label in there and only two of them are open. So a lot of work has been done but what we really haven't done yet is like fully understand where the gaps are and that's one of the reasons why there will be an accessibility Bug Hunt coming up for React Native and so what I hope is that we'll have a much more solid picture of what needs to change and React Native to create truly robust accessibility and we will see a positive trend toward getting those gaps closed.
Joe Devon: [00:42:05] But that's very cool and you know I think people would be surprised at how quickly this came together because there is so much that so much work that goes into just making an announcement of this type, and kudos to the accessibility team over at Facebook for without hesitation going in and saying, yes, we, we are committing to to make React Native accessible.
And and it's really important because I believe this can provide some leadership to the other frameworks to say, you know what, we'll have the courage to say this as well and and having spoken at different frameworks.
I sent, they won't say it out loud, but I sense that there's some fear.
About coming out there and saying, yes, we take the pledge because what if what if they don't quite get there, or are they going to get criticism from the community and that type of thing. So I'd love to hear from you.
How do you feel would be would be a way for us to approach other frameworks and can you address that, that fear and and and how to bridge that gap because I believe there is a desire by most developers to to actually make their work accessible.
Matt King: [00:43:19] Well, I think an important part of this. First of all, is we have to help people understand there really isn't that much to fear. I mean, the the only way we can make progress in these important initiatives is just by taking one little step at a time. And often the first step is in any project.
The scariest step when you're stepping into an unknown space. You don't know what you're doing. You don't know what kind of troubles are ahead of you. And so I think letting people know that one. We have some experience to build on with projects like what's happening in React Native
So there's a model to follow and you can learn from that we can help and support other projects in following along in the journey and it's going to be different journey for every project.
But there's going to be a lot of common lessons and things that we can learn from all of them that will elevate the whole industry.
Joe Devon: [00:44:34] Thank you. Now, do you think there's anything else that we can do like it really has to be the developer culture, the maker culture that
That that changes that makes this a stronger focus, do you, what do you feel needs to happen or do you have any other ideas of how to improve the numbers because 98% inaccessible is just it's just a horrifying number and it got worse, not by much because there isn't much room to get worse, but you know what I mean.
Matt King: [00:45:10] Yeah, I mean, you can. I mean we should cry, but sometimes you just gotta be honest. It's so awful at times. That is ridiculous. I think we're gonna check a lot of our assumptions at the door. So I have this feeling that a lot of people think Accessibility is solved in the sense that we really know how to do it. And there is a big difference between knowing how to make an image accessible by putting Alt text on it. That's great. Do that for one image. Now do it through a trillion images like there's a difference between knowing how to do it and then knowing how to make something work at scale in large companies across entire industries and people also assume that just because we have technologies like screen readers and screen magnifier, and all kinds of other assistive technologies like that we know you know how to make things accessible to people who are blind. This is just simply not the case.
Like, fundamentally, I still see Accessibility in a lot of ways, as is super complicated for engineers is super complicated for end users is super complicated for everybody still and this is where number one, starting with awareness, we had to get not thousands not 10s of thousands not hundreds of thousands, but millions of people thinking about how to solve these problems.
The only way it became feasible to create software on the web is because hundreds of thousands of developers started doing things like building react and all the other toolkits that are out there that speed up development. We have to do that same kind of work in the accessibility space starts with awareness. Number one, commitment, number two.
And then, you know, kind of just broad based support like deep levels of support across organizations. And so we just need to keep building the up. Keep checking our assumptions at the door and keep our eyes on the goal.
Joe Devon: [00:47:40] Yeah, I love how you're saying that because we're reaching apparently 195 million users on on the hashtag and somebody is going to have an idea that's gonna that's going to change somebody's going to take an action.
And one of the biggest lessons I've learned from GAAD, is that if you attach vision to community. You can affect change. I wrote a blog post on my SQL talk .com
Which had maybe 10 users and today we're reaching about 200 million users for just an idea. So let's not let's not be fatalistic and say, well, what can we do to approach the developers that are are basically that are leading the industry that that people learn from and start to change the culture. Let's, let's be positive about it. Let's give everybody a chance to improve things but you are the change, whoever can hear what I'm saying, You are the change, think about this problem. Look at that report and and think about how can we solve this and so now, without, I would like to invite all of the presenters to turn their cameras and and come back on and we're going to do some Q & A and I want to get to as many questions as possible so if we can kind of keep the answer brief and whoever has the answer. Go for it.
And let's keep it brief. So Jamison and Sharon and Jared, please come back in.
And the first question is from Melissa, Del Rio, what kind of tools are out there for testing if our website is fully accessible are there Google Chrome extensions for this or something.
Jared Smith: [00:49:30] And take a stab at that one because I
Joe Devon: [00:49:31] Thought so
Jared Smith: [00:49:31] A little self promotional, we do have the Wave that's W A V E accessibility tool that's one of many tools that are out there. We have an online version of Chrome extension.
Axe there's a lot of tools out there. The I do want to address one part of the question, and that is that no tool can tell you if you're a web page or website is accessible.
It can identify accessibility or compliance issues manual testing you know, functional testing is always going to be necessary, but we have good accessibility guidelines that that can help inform and drive that type of testing.
Joe Devon: [00:50:03] Thanks, Jared. Next up from Kristin Chasm Mackey hope I pronounced that correctly. Love the GAAD action day idea as a UX researcher and designer.
I can have influence with within a web development teams our community could be well I lost it. There are community, whereas could be a good place to do more outreach. I'm looking to get more training to be able to communicate human user customer accessibility needs and connect with others who have the same desire.
So I guess this is a training question.
Sharron Rush: [00:50:39] Well, I can take a stab at that one. We just finished four days of AccessU, which is our annual conference to provide training across all kinds of roles.
And we have regular webinars every month we do quite a bit of training here at nobility. And in fact, that's kind of how we started was as a community training and awareness organization so that said, there are also online DQ University has a number of courses I double AP also is a great place to find training and WebAIM.
Webaim website is is a great place to start with a lot of free resources as well as The Web Accessibility Initiative at the W3C see they have a course that they just released a video course that's just really terrific and it's completely free.
Joe Devon: [00:51:30] Thank you. Next up, Christopher Dobson. Has there been recommendations for authoring OER content. OER comments, open author, merlo content builder, press books. I have no idea what all this means, but I'm sure one of you do.
Or maybe you don't. All right. There, there are no recommendations. I know, I'm sorry, Chris.
Brian Sletten. Do you see, good to see your, your face here. So do you see the potential for extended or periodic schooling from home in the pandemic putting pressure on the tool developers to improve accessibility.
Sharron Rush: [00:52:11] I would hope that that's the case. I mean, the whole thing about school about schools was that directed to Brian
Joe Devon: [00:52:19] Know, Brian is the question or he's a World class speaker, but I would like you.
Sharron Rush: [00:52:24] Yes. And I do, I do think that the the the Covid crisis has really brought
a lot of attention to this problem because kids with disabilities
when they're in the classroom, they have more support than they do at home. And so the fact that we're so reliant now on the on the web and the digital tools has brought that to to a greater awareness. But again, there's a difference between awareness and action. So I'm taking that away. We've got to make that into a plan of action.
Jared Smith: [00:53:02] I would say that. Also, many of the frustrations that many of us, especially our kids have experienced in transitioning to a digital environment.
Are the types of frustrations that those with disabilities experience every day. And so I hope it's bringing more light to this, what we need to do is, it's more pressure on those vendors to to change improve
Joe Devon: [00:53:23] Thank you Chadwick Turner VR guy asks, Sharon, Joe. Are you aware of XR experiences that can help teachers and or legislators And or tech executives understand what an inaccessible world is like, I guess it's open to everyone.
Matt might want to take that one.
Matt King: [00:53:44] Yeah, um, I have heard of some people working in the space. There's a lot of work going on in an organization called XR access on the Facebook and the Oculus team are are part of In terms of, you know, what's immediately available right now. I am not on that up for this specific use case.
But I believe if you just go to XR access. I think I'm pretty sure sector access.org that you, you can find the resource or for that matter. Follow up with me directly afterwards.
Jennison Asuncion: [00:54:33] There's also a meeting. There's also a Meetup group recently started by Thomas Logan who's now out in Tokyo, you might want to tweet @TechThomas to ask him the question because he's also he's also involved with the XR access but he's just another resource, but there is this a11y VR meetup group that's sup up that might be useful as well.
Sharron Rush: [00:55:02] I would also really highly recommend our keynote, one of our keynotes at access to this year was Jamie Knight from the BBC and the research that he's done and the VR experimentation that they've done. There is also really fascinating. So I would look up Jamie Knight and at the BBC and look into the work that he's doing because it's it's exciting and fascinating.
Joe Devon: [00:55:31] Thank you Sharon. Somebody asked about the web. Sorry about the the SOAR report.
That the was asking about the statistics there that that it only went from 2015 but what we've got here is I think you were probably looking at the old school report.
The actual numbers are. It went all the way up to 2258 lawsuits and 2018 and 2019 at went down a little bit by two to 2256 website lawsuits but 2020 look very different because a lot of people are affected by Covid
So the last question that we have time to take is and we're probably too late already linked to Sharon's report so Sharon's report was actually part of the entire state of accessibility report.
And that will be available at diamond.la/soar S O A R and I think we have a slide that mentions it as well. So thank you to the panelists for joining us. It was really an honor to have you share your insights.
Now let's go up one and I'm going to try and get through the next section. So for me, GAAD is really about my father, his inability to bank independently led to the creation of GAAD.
My dad survived Auschwitz and Dachau and and saw the first GAAD but did not survive to the second one. His very last wish as he was dying of cancer was to make sure we took care of our mom.
Who suffer from dementia. I can proudly say my brother and I gave every last drop to honor that wish and on the eve of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, yesterday, we needed to put my mom on hospice
Accessibility is personal. It's personal for me and it's personal for billions, and sooner or later it will hit everyone please learn about accessibility for your future self for your loved ones and for your fellow human.
I love you mom and happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day to everyone.
Aired on Thursday, May 21st, 2020
GAAD Co-Founders were joined by other accessibility experts to discuss this year's State of Accessibility Report findings. Moderated by the
Co-Founder of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Joe Devon, the panel included experts from LinkedIn, Facebook, Knowbility, and WebAIM.
Co-Founder of Diamond & Global Accessibility Awareness Day
Jennison AsuncionCo-Founder, GAAD
Head of Accessibility Engineering Evangelism, LinkedIn
Accessibility Specialist in UI Engineering
Sign Up to Join our Next Webinar
Thursday, June 25, 2020
* = Required