It’s easy for people to dismiss online activism as somehow fake, or at least not significant. When it comes to disability in particular, that’s a mistake. Twitter is the most accessible real-time conversation. It is not perfectly accessible, but its text-based public nature allows people to talk to one another who have radically different modes of interacting with the world. People who have difficulty leaving their homes for reasons of physical or social disabilities, people who are blind or deaf (or both), who do not speak verbally and communicate by typing (regardless of appendage used to type), and those with other disability-related access needs can all use Twitter to talk to each other. I have been in wildly accessible physical spaces, with captioning, ramps, sign, and warnings about a lack of scent. It is possible to make accessible spaces, but Twitter brings us together by design. It’s a space, therefore, where the disability community can manifest as a powerful constituency. And it doesn’t hurt that both journalists and political operatives also hang out on Twitter.
if you are not budgeting for events to be accessible, what are you prioritizing over the inclusion of everyone?
Possibly the most helpful adaptation for autistic people is the provision of information.
Forced intimacy is a sign you failed to design for inclusion.
“VoiceOver is on the iPhone. They did it. They did it. They did it.”
“Here in one, one day, in one fell swoop, they’ve changed everything.”
“I went to the AT&T store and I bought myself an iPhone, and I was so mesmerized,” Sawczyn says. “I was able to do this at the same time as other people were buying their phones. I didn’t have to wait for a new version of software to come out, or an update to be made, or someone sighted to help me. I could just go to the AT&T Store, buy my device, go home, plug it in, and with iTunes, I could start up VoiceOver and the thing just worked great.”
“The accessibility of the iPhone changed my life, because now I’m working as a professional software developer,” Quinn says.
Great piece on the addition of VoiceOver to the iPhone ten years ago.
Instead, the college admissions scandal should draw attention to a different problem: That the companies that develop and administer standardized tests have no empirical basis for placing such an emphasis on speed. Yet these companies do put a terrible premium on speed, even though the notion that faster is better has been debunked: In fact, a student’s scores on such exams correlate in a perfect linear relationship with socio-economic status rather than with a student’s ability to solve difficult problems.
Stringently timed, high-stake tests have an adverse impact against racial minorities, women, those with low socio-economic status, non-native speakers of English, older applicants, and people with disabilities. Of course, that adverse impact is further exacerbated when the ultra-wealthy cheat to inflate their children’s scores.
Resources on everyday digital accessibility framed for teachers? Looking for stuff that covers ground such as: using Cmd|Ctl+a within your weekly newsletter to find un-selectable (and thus screen reader inaccessible) text, enabling and invoking Speak Screen to test classroom materials.
The moment schools decide they – and not the students – must choose the personal technology the young will use in the classroom they forgo any hope of assisting grow the nation’s young being digital, having the digital invisibly underpin all school learning, of moving the school from an analogue to digital operational mode, and having it join and assist grow a networked society.
The decision relegates the school to the digital backwater.
In announcing its unilateral control of the technology, the school is proclaiming that it intends to maintain its traditional ‘control over’ ways, and that any use of the digital must fit within those ways. It is saying to the students and their families that not only do we know best, but we distrust you, are not willing to empower you, and we don’t value or recognise the lead role you have played – and are playing – in learning with the digital.
It is saying being digital is unimportant, and that a digitally empowered young – working with their teachers – are incapable of using the digital astutely and creatively in enhancing their learning in all areas of the curriculum, at all stages of learning.
Schools and governments worldwide seemingly don’t appreciate the very powerful messages they send when they make seemingly innocuous management decisions about the control of the digital technology.
Digitally empowered young are never going to going to embrace a highly structured ‘control over’ approach to learning with the digital where they are disempowered, devalued and subservient.
- SpeEdChange: Toolbelt Theory for Everyone
- The right to learn differently should be a universal human right that’s not mediated by a diagnosis. – Ryan Boren
No child within the Albemarle County Public Schools should need a label or prescription in order to access the tools of learning or environments they need. Within the constraints of other laws (in particular, copyright) we will offer alternative representations of information, multiple tools, and a variety of instructional strategies to provide access for all learners to acquire lifelong learning competencies and the knowledge and skills specified in curricular standards. We will create classroom cultures that fully embrace differentiation of instruction, student work, and assessment based upon individual learners’ needs and capabilities. We will apply contemporary learning science to create accessible entry points for all students in our learning environments; and which support students in learning how to make technology choices to overcome disabilities and inabilities, and to leverage preferences and capabilities.
Source: Seven Pathways
Accessibility isn’t optional. “The right to learn differently should be a universal human right that’s not mediated by a diagnosis.”
Educators, using images as text in your documents is an a11y road block. Use iOS “Speak Screen” (Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech > Speak Screen) on your docs. Is all content spoken? Is all text selectable? Unselectable text is usually inaccessible text.