Document Accessibility Unraveled
Chad Chelius and Dax Castro during an Accessibility Podcast with the Chax Chat Logo between them.

Chax Chat – Episode 7

Dax Castro
Welcome to another episode of Chax Chat. Join Chad Chelius and me Dax Castro, where each week we wax poetic about document accessibility topics, tips, and the struggle of remediation and compliance. So sit back, grab your favorite mug of whatever. And let’s get started.

Chad Chelius
Welcome, everyone. This week sponsor is CommonLook, since 1999, CommonLook has been the world’s leading provider of professional PDF accessibility software and services. They guarantee standards compliance using their hybrid approach, testing, assessment, remediation, training and support.

Dax Castro
Alright guys, welcome to another episode of Chax Chat. I’m here with Chad Chelius, and we have a special guest today, Whitney Quesenbery, who happens to be the co-author of “A Web For Everyone” and she now runs the Center for Civic Design. Whitney, welcome to the program.

Whitney Quesenbery
Hey, great to be here today.

Dax Castro
Awesome. Well, we wanted to have you on as a guest. Because one of the things that is interesting is, you know, with accessibility being promoted in a lot of companies right now, you know, fighting that pushback of when do you start accessibility? When do you start planning for accessibility in whatever you’re doing, whether that’s web or document, there’s a process to that. And I think your book really has a unique approach to describing what that process is. And I thought maybe you could come on today and we could talk a little bit about that to help our listeners to understand how they might be able to approach designing an accessibility program.

Whitney Quesenbery
Yeah, when we started writing this book, we did not want it to be another walkthrough of Section 508 or, WCAG. What we really wanted to do was think about how a designer or a design team or user experience person would approach building something and think about how accessibility weaves through that from beginning to end. So we organize it around a series of design principles that actually look a lot like the the layers of the user experience, right, starting with purpose and ending with kind of the front layer, on how usable it is and building people in along the way, and navigation and presentation and all the other things that go into making a product design. So that we were hoping that it would bridge that gap between the way a designer thinks about a product and the way the technology side of accessibility thinks about a product.

Chad Chelius
So Witney disability is a conflict between someone’s functional capability and the world we have constructed. What is the accessibility equation?

Whitney Quesenbery
Well, it’s basically the ability someone has, plus a removal of barriers. The environment they’re in is what tells you whether they have a disability. The International Classification of function, which is what we’re stealing this from, in the late 20th century switched from thinking about disability as simply a description of a medical condition, to thinking about it as what we call the social model. And this was, for me, one of the big breakthroughs and understanding how my work in UX and user research could actually affect accessibility because slimming out a lot of the extra bureaucratic words, they said that disability is the outcome of the interaction between a person with an impairment and the environment and attitudinal barriers they may face. And I looked at that, and I went, hmm, interaction people, and removing barriers. That’s what I do for a living. Now I understand how I can connect what I do to actually helping people with a disability interact in the world better,

Chad Chelius
Which fundamentally, is removing barriers, right?

Whitney Quesenbery
Well, yes, when you think about it as remediation it is, but I actually think about it the other way around, I think about it as not building barriers.

Dax Castro
You know, it’s funny, because when I start my my presentations, the first thing I usually do is I go over the barriers that we’re trying to overcome. And some people have actually asked me “Dax why do you spend time on covering these basics, really get to the get to the meat, show me how to remediate inside InDesign or show me how to fix the tag stream inside Acrobat. I don’t want to know about the color blindness and all this other stuff.” And I go, hold on, if you don’t understand the barriers that you’re trying to overcome, how are you going to know how what you’re doing affects the outcome.

If in the end, you’re just trying to meet a compliance level, you’re trying to check a box, but you’re not thinking about how a map can be displayed differently, or what the user experience is going to be like when they’re walking through this form, whether it’s in a table or not in a table, or however it’s comprised with radio buttons or checkboxes or drop down lists, all of those things can be barriers or can be benefits. But if you don’t understand what those barriers are in the beginning, you really are just limiting yourself to I’m complying with this standard. Right?

Whitney Quesenbery
Exactly. And that leads to things like people reading a guideline that says don’t try to communicate Meaning only through color and saying, well, we can’t use color.

Dax Castro
Right? And I find that all the time where people are like, well, if I’m doing accessibility, it has to be ugly or somebody said, you know, you can design for accessibility, but don’t blame your ugly document on accessibility, right? Because, you know, there’s a lot of people out there who think, well, to make it accessible, it can only be black and white, or I can’t use these colors, or I can’t use that color. And I talked to one of those people about a month ago, and I said, Look, the color combinations are endless. You just have to know which ones are good to use and which ones aren’t.

Whitney Quesenbery
Those of us who are visual, are basically training our eyes to think about how other people might perceive something. I grew up using a mouse, the touchpads me, we don’t get along so well. But I use a touchpad on a phone just fine, because the interaction style is different. So it’s really about thinking about the multiplicity of ways of interacting with the world, rather than so much barriers, if we’re starting from design. And I think part of why we’re seeing such a surge in accessibility concerns right now. I mean, sorry, people being actually concerned about accessibility right now, is because all of a sudden, we’re now designing for multiple devices. So the same thing that lets us design across devices, also lets us design across people.

Chad Chelius
Well, I was just gonna say, like, you know, what, you were just talking about Dax, which was really kind of poignant. Because when people first start getting into accessibility, and I’m going to put myself in that same category, when I first started, I was all about, you know, ticking the checkboxes like, what are the physical things I need to do to this file to make it work? But what I’ve learned over over the last several years is, you know, when you’re remediating a document, you’re constantly making choices, right?

You’re making subjective decisions. And, in order to make an accurate decision, or perform an action in an appropriate way, you need to understand the why, behind why you’re doing what you’re doing. You know, and just what you said was really poignant, I think, because, in some ways, it reminds me of how people use InDesign, because like, a lot of really great designers use InDesign, and they can build these these beautiful looking pieces. But fundamentally, the files are a train wreck. Yeah, right. You know what I mean? Yeah, and there’s just a really similar connection, I think, you know, a similar thread between the two, those two subjects.

Dax Castro
Well, you know, I’ll date myself here a little bit, I started doing web design using FrontPage 97.

Chad Chelius
Oh, boy!

Dax Castro
And, you know, iframes, and all that. And, you know, I got to a point, I remember when I talked to someone who was actually an executive for a TV station, and they were looking for a web designer. And he talked to me and he said, Dax, tell me a little bit about how you design websites as well, you know, I really don’t care what the code looks like, I just want the front end to look correct. And, you know, so many people get hung up on what the back end is, and whether it’s code perfect. And I just don’t have time for that. And he looked at me and shook his head and went, okay. And that was the last time I heard from him. And it didn’t dawn on me until years later, now that I’m doing accessibility, that why all that matters. And it matters so much. Because the way you design a file dictates so much more, especially when you’re dealing with accessibility,

Chad Chelius
Well, and to tag on to that Dax. Another thing I run into a lot, when I teach people how to remediate files, you know, they’ll often give me, you know, documents to start with, they’ll give me their documents. And I basically have to go in and show them like, Okay, this was completely the wrong way to do this. Let me show you the right way. And it’s often a technique that they’re not familiar with. And so they tend to get a little bit overwhelmed, right, you know, they’re like, Oh, my gosh, not only do I have to make a file accessible, but I’ve got to re-learn how to use this program. And I’m like, No, no, no, you just got to rethink it. You know, you just have to rethink your approach. That’s all we’re doing.

Dax Castro
Someone asked me a question this morning, on LinkedIn and said, you know, Dax, I’m starting off this remediation, I’m remediating this textbook, and what I’m finding out is that I have to have a heading at the beginning of every page so that the blind person, the person using the assistive technology knows what page they’re on. And I went, um, not so much. So a blind person using assistive technology because they’re not always people that are just blind, but a person using assistive technology does not need to know what page they’re on. The tags tree is a linear list of content separated by anchors, by headings.

So to a person using AT, there is no page, it’s like “The Matrix”. There is no spoon right? And when you start to think about it in those terms, it really starts to make sense. And I find a lot of users are trying to push or tune the, the sighted parameters of what a document is the fact that there’s a page, the idea of a table breaking across pages or, you know, spreads or all of that, they have a hard time conceptualizing what that means to a person who’s using assistive technology.

Whitney Quesenbery
You know, Timi Rahman at Google had said something wonderful that really struck me. Because when I say I’m a designer, I don’t use things like InDesign, I’m really doing broader and more conceptual design and figuring out how to turn that into a physical reality. And he said, think about your phone, right? It’s a sheet of glass. So if you’re about to dial a phone on your smartphone, where’s the five, right, so you can hold on the five key. And what we try to do is we try to take the finger and move the finger to a space, a rectangle that we’ve imaginarily drawn on a piece of glass. But what if we did it the other way around? What if you just touch the phone? And anywhere you touch the phone? That’s where the five is?

Dax Castro
Ah, that’s a great idea.

Whitney Quesenbery
So let’s bring the technology to the people, rather than necessarily trying to force people into the technology. And besides the multiple devices, the other thing I think that’s really helping our design understanding of this is the way that that that smart technology is used in so many different contexts and locations. So, you know, put me on a bouncy car, and try to work the maps on the phone. And I’m the same as someone with a palsy in their finger. Because in this case, it’s not my finger the shaking, but it’s the whole car that shaking, but that means that the relationship between my finger and the screen is is inconsistent. And that’s the problem.

Dax Castro
Whitney, you know, one of the things I really liked in your book, “A Web for Everyone”, is that there’s a whole focus on a people first design. I mean, that really resonates with me, and I love this this approach. Because I tend to take that approach. When I’m doing something for accessibility, I’m really thinking about what is the user experience? And then how can I take that user experience and comply with the known standards? So can you talk a little bit about how you use personas in your book and and maybe why you chose that method of explanation.

Whitney Quesenbery
Yeah, so we wanted to talk about abilities, right. But we didn’t want to do it in a sort of dry, descriptive way. We wanted something that would help people think, well, I kind of really know that person. Or maybe I know someone like that person. You’ll notice that all of our users are web users. It is the web for everyone. So this is not about digital divide, right? And so we decided we would make a story. My other book is actually “Storytelling for UX” so stories come naturally to me.

And we built these personas, or these little mini sketches of people based on what we knew. Some of you know, we picked eight, the important disability groups, or nine, before and disability groups. We also thought about statistics, right? And so they’re based on as much real world that as we could bake into them. And then we went into our own personal experiences. Sarah Horton had worked for a long time in accessibility. I’ve done a lot of work, doing usability testing with people with disabilities, and also collaborating with them. And so thinking about who we knew, and we then hired an artist to create the pictures that go with them.

Dax Castro
Oh, I thought I actually liked the pictures. I thought they were really good. One of the ones here is Jacob, paralegal with a dream to go to law school, proficient with technology, uses computers for everything. A digital native, but has been blind since birth. I thought these little vignettes were really a great way to really for lack of a better word personify different types of users.

Whitney Quesenbery
Well, I’ll tell two funny stories. One is that one of the personas is Emily. Emily has cerebral palsy and she uses a motorized chair and she has a service dog. And the artist drew the dog and the control, the hand using the controller on her chair and this on the same side of her body. And we said no, no, the dog has to go on the other side of her body, it might jerk the controls he said, Really? It messes up the composition and I said yes, really, it has to go on the other side.

And so we work really hard to try to make the pictures realistic. One of my favorite is Trevor who’s actually partly based on a friend of mine’s, son, and she looked at the picture and said, Oh, it’s not just autism. He’s an aspie. Because we’ve lined up the pencil so the the eraser end of the pencil was perfect. They were all sharper.

Dax Castro
I didn’t even notice that now. Now I’m looking at that picture. And I didn’t even notice. But that is a great, it’s those small details because you release the book. And then someone reads it. And immediately the thing that gets put into whatever social media is, look, the dogs on the wrong side of the chairs, they don’t even understand what our real struggle is. It’s not whole nothing with nothing about us without us. And I think these illustrations or what you’re explaining are very well thought out and considered things.

Whitney Quesenbery
And it’s that kind of understanding your audience. So that just goes into me that just goes into general good user experience. I want to say one other thing about the personas, which is that we don’t expect, in the context of the book, they’re really helpful because they let us use them throughout the book to say, well, this thing we’re talking about, that’s really great for this persona, or Emily’s important for this or this is important for Jacob. But, UX people come to me often and ask how they can use the personas.

And by the way, Rosenfeld Media, the personas, a lot of the material from the book, or online, all the images are available under an open license, so anybody can use them. We’ve had universities add student personas, add other things to the set, but they’re really characteristics that you could build into anyone. Right? Jacob’s a paralegal, so if you’re writing software that a paralegal might use, this helps you think, yes, that person might be someone with great eyesight might be someone who has no eyesight at all, might be someone trying to read on the train going home, but you can begin to think about all the different kinds of people, not just the professional function that you’re designing for.

And I’ve been a huge fan of universal design. It’s so misunderstood, right? People think it means sort of either lowest common denominator, or absolutely everything is designed so everybody can use it. And in some sort of vague way, when it really means is thinking about the alternatives needed, and the cues needed. And I think one of the things that’s quite common to almost everybody I know who, who really follows universal design, or universal usability is that you begin to think about not just what one group of people needs, but how a feature that’s good for one person might work for a lot of other people.

And you know, in accessibility, the classic example is curb cuts, because they’re good for people in wheelchairs, but they’re great for someone pushing a baby carriage and so on. But I like to talk about, it’s in terms of digital technology to say that the thing that lets me enlarge the document that I’m writing to 125, or 150%, is the same function that lets someone enlarge it to 200 to 300 to 400%. Right. And so once you’ve got the function built in for 125%, you can take it all the way to, you know, three and 400% for people with low vision.

Dax Castro
All right, so it’s that time of the show, guys, it is who’s on Twitter. So this is sparked by a recent zoom conference that I attended or zoom interview by Brian Switzer, who is a trainer at the Perkins School for the Blind. He interviewed Veronica Lewis and Veronica Lewis, really eloquent person. And it was really a great interview. Brian is completely blind. And Veronica has very low vision. She runs a blog called Veronica with four eyes dot com (https://veroniiiica.com). But she also has a Twitter feed @veron4ica and Veronica is really great, I really enjoyed what she had to say because she talks just from a really plain user experience kind of way.

So Veronica writes this blog, where she talks about kind of her daily user experience with assistive technology. she happens to be low vision, like really low vision, so she magnifies her screen, maybe 400 times or larger. And she talks about her experience in the world with people and her experience out as she speaks and kind of this questions and answers. I really thought it was great. So if you have a chance, go ahead and find her on Twitter @veron4ica and her blog is http://veroniiiica.com.

Chad Chelius
Okay, you know what Dax, I saw you had typed that in the notes. And I was like, did his key get stuck, you know what I was trying to understand, but that makes a lot of sense. I now understand what that was about.

Dax Castro
So her blog has a lot of great posts, ways to support new accessibility advocates, baking banana bread with assistive technology, seven myths about alt text. So I mean, it’s all over the board. And there’s some really great nuggets in there. So if you have a chance, go ahead and check her out. I definitely recommend it. I’m doing a VPAT-ish assessment on a Power BI, which is a Microsoft product. And it’s this dashboard of all these different widgets. And they’re all compartmentalized and each of these little modules kind of like a WordPress module might be, the problem is that the interface is not HTML, it’s these little widget containers.

So where you would normally use AT controls to move from heading to heading to heading, you kind of have to learn the interface, which in this module – Microsoft did a good job of writing a little shortcuts list of here’s all the different shortcuts and how you get to these things. But some of them are like Alt Shift F10, to enter one of the boxes, and you’re like, how would you know that? So what I had to do was I worked with the person who was putting this together on our team, and said, Hey, the alt text, can we include the instruction on how to get into the box. So now when the person goes to that content box for the pie chart, it says to access the content within this module, press Control Alt F10, or whatever the shortcut keys are/

Chad Chelius
That’s great.

Dax Castro
So we’re building in that usability because to bounce out and go look at this list of shortcuts and then have to come back in and try to figure out how to use them is way too cumbersome.

Whitney Quesenbery
We did the same thing with an ideation idea. We were collaborating with IDEO and an ideation exercise for accessible voting. And the problem was that the interface was not so accessible. And we couldn’t do that. You can’t do that accessibility exercise, not on an accessible platform. We also didn’t have very much time. And there were a lot of different sections, they had a Twitter feed, and they had a place where you could see the connections between different ideas.

And there was the center main content idea itself and some things on the side. And without a little map, a little diagram that showed you the process at the top. And we worked on getting the insides of those as accessible as we could in the time we had. But I couldn’t quite figure how to solve the navigation until someone said, “Well, why don’t we just do it with with skip links?” Which sounds crazy. So we started with six skip links at the top of the page that said, you know, here are the places you can go to, and there was a link for each one of them. Because the truth is, it was a kind of overwhelming screen visually. And what everybody I saw use it did was they enlarged the screen until they were just looking at the main content. And so we just did that. And then we wrote in the accessibility page of the site, we wrote an explanation of what the sections were and what was in them. So the shortcuts would make sense.

Dax Castro
Yeah, and that’s a really great idea, and the, the Power BI by Microsoft does have its own shortcut list, but it was a mile long, and trying to figure out how all the shortcuts related to what was on the text. So I talked to the web developer for the module and said, Hey, can we just make our own accessibility page. So at the top, the last tab is an accessibility tab. And we basically cherry picked all of the shortcuts that fit that specific task, so that the user could get the crib sheet version versus the whole encyclopedia.

Whitney Quesenbery
Nice. Just a little bit of contextual help there.

Dax Castro
In chapter three of your book, you talk about a clear purpose. And you know, I found this really interesting, because when I’m doing an accessibility consult with a client, and they usually come to me with a problem. My first question, really, to them is not what you might think, but I always ask them, what is the user experience that you want them to have? What do you expect? Right? And I think that goes right, along with defining a clear purpose, because without that definition of what do I want them to get? How do I want them to to perceive this information without knowing that, It’s not going to be an effective solution.

Whitney Quesenbery
Yeah, I mean, the other half of that is having clear tasks. I think, if I have a criticism of accessibility audits, it’s that they tend to focus on the page as a unit, instead of on a task as a unit. And so you can see, it’s like when you go to a business, it’s busy kind of redoing their site, and they’ve got so they’ve redone the login page, but they haven’t redone the password, the password recovery page, and so you kind of go in and out of it’s like going through history. Because you get the newest thing at one place, and then all of a sudden you’re back in the old days, and then you’re in something that’s in transition. And what you really want to do is be able to go through that task and all of the main branches of it with a consistent experience.

And that’s hard If you’re a really huge site, where lots of different teams are working on things, the coordination of that is really hard. But if you’re not thinking about what people come to your site to do, or the many things that come to your site to do, it’s hard to think about how coherent that experience is. And this is a bad usability problem. But it’s a terrible accessibility problem. If everything works really great, except let’s say you sell t-shirts, sports t-shirts, right, and the whole site is lovely, and it all works wonderfully until you have to choose the size and the color of the shirt you want.

Dax Castro
Laugh

Chad Chelius
Laugh

Whitney Quesenbery
Laugh

Whitney Quesenbery
Right. And all of a sudden, it’s worse than having a site that isn’t accessible at all, because you’ve sort of brought someone along to this penultimate moment, they’ve decided they have to have this shirt, they love the description, everything’s wonderful. And they can’t pick their size. And that’s just a horrible slap in the face,

Dax Castro
I will tell you that I have a very wide foot, and finding shoes, really nice dress shoes that fit my feet, because people are apparently rich people who buy nice shoes. And I’m not rich by any means. But people who buy nice shoes, I guess don’t have wide feet, because there are not out there. And I’ll go through this website, and I’ll start picking Oh, this is a great design. And I really love this color. I get to the end. And now I’m like, Okay, well, where’s the EE? And there’s no such thing. It’s like a punch in the gut, because you’re like, but I wanted this shoe. So it’s almost like a keyboard trap at that point where you now brought them along, and they don’t have it.

Dax Castro
(Laugh)

Chad Chelius
(Laugh)

Whitney Quesenbery
(Laugh)

Whitney Quesenbery
Yeah, it’s like, I don’t know if you remember that the point at which companies where you could buy something started listing their stock so you knew whether they had it in stock. Why wouldn’t you want to do that?

Dax Castro
Yeah, I want to sort by EE. Tell me all the EE’s you have and let me start there. Right. Hey, Chad, you know, I was gonna ask you, the clear purpose forms are one of those instances where purpose is so important to the usability of a form. And I bet you’ve run across instances where you’ve had to solve problems from people related to how they design their forms for usability. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Chad Chelius
Oh, yeah, I mean, well, and keep in mind, you know, whenever I talk, I mean, you think about this. We’re talking about a PDF form, right Dax?

Dax Castro
Exactly.

Chad Chelius
Yeah. So pretty much the only tool available that can do that in a source file is InDesign, right? I mean, if you did it in Word, I still got to do all the work in in Acrobat. So those are your kind of your two options. And both options have had similar pitfalls, right. I mean, InDesign gives us the ability to add form fields that will carry over to the PDF. But you know, if all you’re doing is laying them on top, the one benefit is InDesign automatically tags the form fields, which is phenomenal, right? I mean, we’re already one step above Acrobat. Right? But the downside is those form fields are not nested in the right location in the tag structure. So one of the things I teach people is a technique to add the form fields in InDesign, and position them properly so that they’re properly nested in the exported PDF. And I actually show that technique.

I’m doing a session at CreativePro coming up on May 17, and the session I’m doing on interactive PDF, it’s actually not at all an accessibility session. So if you’re going to go don’t watch it for accessibility. But if you want to see a technique for making those form fields, it would be a good session to see that. But extending that a little bit in Acrobat, if I got to add those form fields in Acrobat, not only do I need to take the next step of tagging all the form fields, but then I also need to take those form fields and nest them within the appropriate tags. So yeah, it’s making fillable forms accessible is is less than stellar for sure.

Dax Castro
Well, you can even very easily paint yourself into a corner. And then you’re like, I’ve designed this but I really haven’t thought about how the user is going to walk through it. And now that I’m at the end, and I’m considering accessibility and what the user experience is, now I’m painted into a corner. Whitney, you You have experienced, I’m sure with with this kind of thing where, you know, the user experience got put off to the end. And you know, now we’re trying to figure out okay, well, how did we want them to use it? Because we’ve made this form, and, and all of that. Can you maybe talk a little bit about some of your experiences there?

Whitney Quesenbery
Yeah, I have a saying, which is that all the ilities need to be up front, right? accessibility, usability, security, which isn’t nearly as close, I mean, there’s virtually nothing that you can build into a piece of software that you don’t have to think at the beginning. But, the world I work in right now has some real challenges for performs, because what I really want them to do is we have them in HTML, right? I want them to be in something that’s native digital, rather than in being in a something that’s paper. But we haven’t figured out a way to get rid of paper yet.

And so we end up with this challenge, where we’re trying to make a great HTML form. And we’re trying to make a great paper form. And we’re trying to make that great paper form accessible. And we’re trying to translate it. So we’re sort of piling all of these, all of these challenges onto something. And when we present them separately, we will, we will come out of this one day, because we will begin to settle into having a really good web form. And the web form is what everybody will use, because it’s so much easier to make accessible.

Dax Castro
And I think as the digital age, this accessibility age, I kind of feel like this really is an accessibility age, becomes more and more tuned, that people will realize, I mean, I love PDF, and I think it’s great, and it keeps me employed. And that’s all good and fine. But one of the things I teach in my sessions is the first thing you need to do is evaluate what’s the best platform to deliver the experience you want, right? Because sometimes PDF is really the best form the best, the best format.

But other times HTML is a much better format, depending upon how complex if you’ve got conditional forms where when they click this, this appears, and maybe they need several different form fields, depending upon how many objects they have, or how many people in their family or, you know, whatever the case may be. And that’s all much easier to do in an HTML form. And keep it accessible than to try to do it in a in a PDF form. I mean, Chad, you know, LiveCylce, right, the format, right? So, you know, talk about that. I mean, because that’s really the only way you can do conditional forms, right?

Chad Chelius
You mean dynamic forms?

Dax Castro
Exactly.

Chad Chelius
Yeah. I mean, So that everybody’s aware. I mean, it was called LiveCycle Designer, Adobe, rebranded it last couple of years to what they call AEM Forms designer, AEM stands for Adobe Experience Manager. Adobe is not really supporting the creation of the dynamic PDFs anymore, although you still can use the product to do it. And believe it or not, a lot of people do it, because it’s a it’s really a great experience. But yeah, I mean, with Forms Designer with LiveCycle, you can basically build a form that that can expand and contract based on user input. Right.

So I mean, you know, you can ask a question, and if the answer’s no, well, then you just keep on going. But if the answer is yes, a new section pops in, pushes all the content in the form down, potentially adding more pages dynamically. And having a section to fill out, you know, questions that pertain to that section. So it’s phenomenal, I mean, I think it’s, it’s the coolest thing, and it is a good experience from a, you know, a person filling out the form. But you know, unfortunately, Adobe is really not supporting it heavily for that purpose anymore.

Chad Chelius
So, Whitney, I wanted to ask you, as we’re closing in on the end of our podcast here, what do you have coming up? Where are you going to be?

Whitney Quesenbery
Well, most of the places I am, are deeply technical election conferences, but I am going to be at nobilities. Access U coming up next month? In May, I’m doing a session on the state of accessible voting.

Dax Castro
Oh, that’s interesting, the state of accessible voting, I’ve got to believe that there’s a lot of focus on that, you know, with COVID. And the electronic information that we’re going through right now, dissemination of that information that of voting forms are more than ever a focus of digital accessibility, correct?

Whitney Quesenbery
Absolutely. I mean, this is a domain that moves very slowly because you buy your voting system and you use it for 10 or 15 or 20 or 50 years. But I think there’s a lot more awareness of the challenges of say voting by mail If you have a discipline especially if you can’t read paper.

Chad Chelius
Yeah, yeah.

Whitney Quesenbery
There’s some very innovative work going on. The challenge is that the future isn’t here everywhere, right. And so it’s nice to think about both where we’re lagging behind, but also where so there’s some real innovation. Los Angeles County launched a new voting system this year, that was designed ground up from a unit with Universal Design Principles used by everyone and fully accessible so there are some bright spots to talk about.

Dax Castro
Awesome. Well, I know that Access U 2021 takes place on May 8 between on May 13, and then the 18th through the 20th. And if you go to nobility.org, you can actually sign up for Access U and in a future podcast here, we’re hoping to have Sharon Rush on who is one of the supporters have Access U creators have and we’re looking forward to having her on as a guest.

Chad Chelius
Absolutely. Well Whitney, thanks so much for joining us today. And thanks everybody for joining us for our most recent podcast. We want to once again thank CommonLook, since 1999, CommonLook has been the world’s leading provider of professional PDF accessibility software and services. They guarantee standards compliance using their hybrid approach, testing, assessment, remediation, training and support.

Dax Castro
Well, thanks a lot guys. This has been an amazing experience. I always get so much out of these podcasts. Thank you again to all our listeners. My name is Dax Castro

Chad Chelius
and my name is Chad Chelius,

Dax Castro
and we are unraveling accessibility for you.

Chad Chelius
Thanks, guys.

CommonLook. Test, Fix and Validate PDFs for Compliance. CommonLook.com

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