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

Be My Eyes, Creative Pro Week and Loo Bell Woo!

Dax Castro
Welcome to another episode of checks 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. today’s podcast is sponsored by Axaio Software makers of Made to Tag which is a plugin for Adobe InDesign that helps us to make compliant tables right out of InDesign, as well as a host of other great features to extend our ability to create accessible PDFs from InDesign. So we thank them for being our sponsor on today’s podcast.

Chad Chelius
Dax how are you doing today?

Dax Castro
Chad, I’m doing great man. update from the farm. We have new baby angora rabbits. Oh, wow. Yeah. So we are other litter, they call them kits, right? So our other litter of of kits, which is eight are now eight weeks old. And we bred it rabbit gestation is only 30 days. So they literally 30 days from the time they have relations babies are coming. And so we’ve got another another litter of of six that are that are all nice little skinless, their skin skin only just colored little little fluffs there.

Chad Chelius
I think I did see that video on your on your Facebook page. I guess that’s why they say you know, they reproduce like rabbits, right?

Dax Castro
But mom’s doing good. And we’re watching out so that’s good. A good thing and my allergies are killing me, man. I don’t know. Your East Coast but hearing Yeah, well, it is brutal.

Chad Chelius
Yeah, we have pollen bombs. So like the oak trees, the sweet gum trees, the maple trees. There’s like these tumble weeds in the streets. The pollen is I mean, my deck is coated with this. We it’s funny. We see these pictures everywhere. People take pictures of their car, and they’re covered in like green yellow powder. Oh, it’s Yeah, it’s it’s legit.

Dax Castro
Anybody joining our podcast, listen to this intro. What the heck did I…

Chad Chelius
What am I? Yes. So for all the pollen sufferers out there, we feel for you. But anyway, so so back to accessibility, right.

Dax Castro
Chat Chat, guys. Welcome to Chax Chat. And and thank you so much for joining us today, we’ve got some really cool topics. It’s kind of not so much document accessibility focus. But I think it’s some good stuff. And I think that you’re going to you’re going to enjoy, right, because you can’t grow. If you don’t stretch, right? We have to think outside of our you know, sphere and realize that there is more to life in the disability world or the accessibility world, whichever half empty half full. That you that you come from, then document accessibility.

Dax Castro
And but I did have a moment on my so the PDF accessibility Facebook group is great. And all those people are great. We’re like 1200. Now we’re well over 1000 Yeah, that’s fantastic. And someone paid me the other day and and they were they asked about the PDF/UA identifier? Yeah. Right. And so they said, Hey, I how do I remove the PDF/UA identifier? Because my files locked.

Dax Castro
And I went, hmm, file doesn’t lock because of the PDF identifier. But what it did do what it did do, she had actually secured the file, right? had nothing to do with the PDF you identifier. But we showed her where it was in the preflight fix up, you go in and you can add or remove it. But one thing I think people fail to understand is the PDF/UA fix up the adding the PDF/UA identifier doesn’t certify anything. It is not a you know, you don’t do it when you’re well. I mean, of course you do. Add it when you’re all done with all of your your PDF/UA requirements, but it doesn’t like…

Chad Chelius
It doesn’t make it compliant. Yeah, right. That’s what you’re what you’re trying to say. Right. And yeah, you know, yeah, it’s like, you know, just because you put a stamp on something and say this is good. doesn’t really mean it’s good. Right, you know, and…

Dax Castro
The other thing. The other thing is, is that when you put that seal in there, it says status. unverified.

Chad Chelius
Yeah, yeah. And, and, and we’ve gotten questions about that, right, you know, where people are like, Okay, well, how do I get it to be verified? You know, you can’t, you know, and that is very frustrating, you know, and I don’t know what the that’d be a good future podcast, or we could find somebody to explain that to us. Because You know, however that was implemented, you know, it’s like okay, yeah, yes, this complies to PDF/UA. You know, again, not guaranteeing that it is. But you’re basically putting your seal of approval saying that it does conform, but it does say status on verified and we all are trying to check all the boxes, right? We all want everything to be, you know, “yes, this this is good.” But you get that that message it says “Status unverified” and I did research in the past on that too. And and I think I actually,

Chad Chelius
I don’t want to miss speak, but but I might have reached out to Leonard Rosenthal, a while back who’s like the PDF guru, if you will. And I think he was the one to explain to me there currently is no way to set the status to verified that there’s just no mechanism. It’s so odd to me. Right? You know who we should have? This guest is Adam Spencer, who from AbleDocs who is you know, there, they were a sponsor last year, he’s on the PDF Association Board. Maybe he’s got some answers as to why why that’s why that is. We should have him on as a future guest.

Dax Castro
Yeah, interesting. Hey, I wanted to ask you about your handout for Creative Pro Week. Creative Pro week is coming up. It’s on the 17th. Right. And I have I just finished by not too long ago. And, boy, it was it was kind of a tough thing. Because you know, there’s so much stuff to include, and then you have to kind of call through and figure out what’s meaningful. And I ended up with nine pages of content. I don’t know what what what is your handout and

Chad Chelius
My handouts varied? Right. I mean, I can’t remember how many pages I ended up having having there. But you know,

Dax Castro
Oh you’ve got 10. I’m looking it right now.

Chad Chelius
Okay, so I win.

Dax Castro
So I win, you win, right?

Chad Chelius
Well, you know, the, here’s this, you know, in the last year, right, we’ve all been dealing with COVID. Right? And this is the second creative pro conference that is virtual, right? I mean, it was just, you know, the, the stars didn’t align is a little too early to kind of be back in person. And, you know, I think you would agree with me, Dax, that the misconception with these virtual conferences is that it’s, it’s less effort, or it’s not as hard to do because you’re not in person. It’s more effort. It’s the opposite, right? Because what people don’t understand is, we need to pre record our sessions before the event.

And then we also have to have the handouts prepared. And I actually reserved all of last week and Monday of this week. So I’m in six days, and recording, editing, creating handouts, and not that anybody cares about, you know, what, what, what’s involved on the back end of things, but there’s definitely a lot of effort in there. And yes, I I was late with my last hand out. Marci, if you’re listening, I apologize.

Dax Castro
Oh Marci, I love her to death. And let me tell you, she probably wants me to find a warm, fiery place to spend all of eternity because I’m giving her heart attacks. I did three sessions this year. Right. So this year, I’m doing a three sessions, accessibility Basics for InDesign, it’s not really titled that I forget what it’s titled. And then the Next Steps in Accessibility for InDesign, which is kind of the the actual stuff that you do. And then I’m doing a session on PowerPoint for Accessibility, which is really great, because I do a lot of work in PowerPoint. And there are a lot of people out there using PowerPoint, but not quite in a very accessible way. And there’s some glitches about how Office Suite exports to PDF, artifact tag (cough cough),

Dax Castro
You know, yeah, that’s stupid artifact tag. But then I’ve got some useful tools, some accessibility tools, which accessibility standards to follow, I kind of call out a few standards and give you some guidelines on what’s there. And then WCAG 2.1 in Plain English, which is basically a rundown of all of the document, the WCAG principles that apply to document accessibility in just really plain English, right?

Chad Chelius
Because they’re not written in plain English.

Dax Castro
No. I wish they were. it would be nice, but you know, sometimes you just need it worded in a little way. You know, they’ve got you know, they’ve got the Bible’s got different versions where you’ve got one is the King James version and the new the NIV translation, then yeah, where it’s just plain English, and sometimes people understand that better, right. (Yeah). Um, and then some techniques for WCAG 2.1, which are in the back of the, WCAG website. I don’t think a lot of people know they’re there.

Dax Castro
And they are things like applying alt text to images, creating bookmarks, ensuring correct tab order hiding decorative images. And it walks you through some examples of how to do that in a PDF specifically for PDF, rather than you trying to understand the web version of accessibility. And how do I how do I apply that to PDF? It’s directly just talking about PDF.

Chad Chelius
Are you talking about the PDF Techniques for WCAG? Yes, right. Yeah. I mean, I usually literally just Google that. Right, it pops up. But But yeah, I mean, a lot of times people will ask me for, like a checklist, you know, and it’s a natural question, you know, but, you know, the reality with PDF remediation, is you need to be able to pivot, right? Because every documents unique, and I know everybody wants a step one, step two, step three. That being said, I mean, I do sort of have that process. And I think you do, too. But but sometimes you’ve got to pivot and adjust because, oh, you’ve got this scenario. And you have to kind of make some adjustments there.

Dax Castro
Well, you know, it’s funny that you bring that up the checklists, because our podcast is the vanity URL is chaxchat.com. And if you if, you know, our listeners have typed in Chaxchat.com. They know that it forwards to accessibilitychecklists.com which is something you Chad, you and I are working on as a future benefit for our listeners. And we wanted something that was a little bit more searchable, that had to deal with accessibility rather than… Chax Chat is great. And I love it. I love you, Chad. You’re awesome. But it’s I don’t think it’s the first name people are thinking about when they’re thinking about accessibility yet.

We’ll get there. (right, right.) But But accessibility checklist is something that is coming. And the awesome thing is I so I’ve got 20 tips for more accessible tables. And and then the very first page of my handout is the ultimate WCAG checklist for InDesign, and Acrobat. all that to say, the handout is going to be awesome for creative pro week. It’s the one I’ve worked the hardest out of all creative pro weeks, this one I spent the most time compiling. So I am. Yeah, and I see your 80/20 rule here in the very first page of your handout, which is awesome. Yeah, um, you know, which we talk about a lot. And you’ve got some metadata here and read order and recognizing content or reorganizing content. You know, it’s interesting Chad, I was remediating a document just last night. And this happens in Word sometimes, where a heading level will just get converted to an image. Where…

Chad Chelius
In Word…

Dax Castro
Yeah, in Word. So you’ll, you’ll export to PDF, and everything that was the H3, which in this document had happened to be 5.2 dot one, right? It was a series of numbers, it’ll say, ROM, 5.2, dot one section, whatever, whatever, whatever the title is, and that 5.2 dot one got converted to an image. every instance of it.

Chad Chelius
Well, there’s that preference in Word.

Dax Castro
What? There’s literally a preference in word for to do that. Okay, where is that? Because I need to know, because Dude, I’m stuck. I’m literally going through each one artifacting it and then adding actual text to make it not be an image.

Chad Chelius
I have kind of pivoted to the Save as PDF method versus the Acrobat tab.

Dax Castro
I do both. I do one. If it doesn’t work.

Chad Chelius
I do the other on the same way. Right. But But here, you know, when I’m saving as a PDF, if I go to more options, and then I click the Options button, right down here is bitmap text when fonts may not be embedded…

Dax Castro
I don’t know, I don’t have that.

Chad Chelius
Really?

Dax Castro
I don’t I don’t have that. Where is that? Let’s see.

Chad Chelius
So you did a Save As. And they chose PDF as the format

Dax Castro
File, Save as PDF files, and only Oh, no, no, no, no, I did file save as PDF. You’re saying file, save a copy, right? Save As, right.

Chad Chelius
And then in the format drop down, choose PDF.

Chad Chelius
Ah, and then click More Options. And then click the Options button.

File > Save a Copy >Change File type to PDF > Click Options > Uncheck Bitmap Text when font may not be embedded.
File > Save a Copy >Change File type to PDF > Click Options > Uncheck Bitmap Text when font may not be embedded.

Dax Castro
Oh, dude, I love you! We gotta go back and do this. Well, well, we’re recording we’re recording. So that’s all…

Chad Chelius
Well, I mean, are you able to test to see if it fixes it?

Dax Castro
Well, it’s checked right now it’s checked, (right) So it’s,

Chad Chelius
I mean, I would assume, I mean, I don’t understand why those numbers can’t be embedded. But I mean, that’s a whole other question, right?

Dax Castro
So guys, we just took, we just took a quick break. And Chad just showed me something that I had never known was in there. So for those of you who’ve ever run into this problem, you have an outline format, it’s in a number sequence 1.2, dot three dot whatever, right? For some reason, at some point, a number will you generate a PDF, and that number becomes a, an image for just what seemingly is random. And Chad just showed me that if you’re in Word, and that happens to you, open up the File, Save as not save as PDF, but File, Save As, and then change the drop down for the file type to PDF. And then in that go to, then underneath that, you go to more options. And then under that when that new screen pops up, under more options, there is an another Options button. Enough options, right. And then there is a there is literally a PDF options checkbox that says bitmap text when fonts may not be embedded, holy cow, Chad! Thank you sooooo much!

Chad Chelius
You’re very welcome.

Dax Castro
I still have eight more of these to go. And this is going to save my keister, because last night at 12 o’clock at night, I am right clicking Create tag from selection, artifact tag doing that whole thing! Dude! I didn’t know this, this was in there.

Chad Chelius
Well, hopefully that helps out somebody else too. Because, you know, I had run into that myself in the past. And it’s the most bizarre thing when you see it, because to your point, you run the whatever checker you’re running, and you’ve got a million figures with no alternate text, and you’re like, Wait a second, you know, what, where are these coming from, and you realize all of those numbers in those paragraphs have been converted to figures. And, you know, when I first saw that I was using actual text on those figures. But God, what a manual process that is,

Dax Castro
That is exactly what I was doing, I was using manual text, I was separating the image from the graphic, and then doing manual, doing actual text and thinking about it. Now, I probably didn’t even have to separate them. But I did. So you know, the other thing in this, this report that I’m dealing with is that they they used all of their tables, their bar charts and pie graphs as live bar charts and pie graphs. And the problem that you have with that is, although you can assign alt text inside word, and it stays, and it’s repeatable, and you can, you know, cycle through object to object and have that alt text, when you export to PDF, it doesn’t go with the file. But it’s so frustrating because you you want to use Word the right way and add the alt text the way you’re told to. But then you have to tell people Oh, but if you want to export this correctly, and have the alt text day, you’ve got to copy this out and paste it back in as an image. And then they’re like, what? Yeah, you know, now you’ve ruined the live editability of your file. So now you’ve got to save this new file out. It’s so frustrating. I wish I wish Word would would find a way to fix that. It’s, it’s, um,

Chad Chelius
And to that point, you know, that there’s been scenarios. I mean, I, I prefer not to do this. But there are occasions like that, where I will save a version of the file strictly for accessibility output, like every now and then I have to do that just because of the requirements. And so So to your point, I mean, you don’t want to lose the lie that editability in the actual file. But you may need to do this step to facilitate the output of the accessible PDF.

Dax Castro
Right. And the hard part is, is if you don’t do it, if you don’t use the right process, if you don’t, it’s order of operations, right, because now I have a file with 60 pieces of live charts that have all text applied. So I’ve got to go back, cut the graphic out, paste it back in as an image and reapply the alt text, which is a pain in the butt, right? I mean, it’s just, you know, it is what it is, but it’s uh, it’s interesting. Oh, man, you know, some days you just kind of pull your hair out with accessibility it is it is a other days like today, literally in 30 seconds. I went from, oh my gosh, this is the greatest solution ever to Wow, I still have this other document I have to remediate.

Chad Chelius
Well, you know, talking about you know, you know, making it easier, right? You know, making the process easier. You know, our sponsor this this episode is Axaio software who makes Made to Tag and I have actually been putting made to tag through its paces. And I have to tell you, I’m I’m really impressed. Well, yeah, because, you know, we’ve always talked about in all of these source applications, there are inherent limitations, right? I mean, the, you know, it’s just the nature of the beast. And like, some of the things that Made to Tag brings to the table is, you know, it gives you the option, you can click this checkbox, and it highlights, anywhere that you have a tag, mapped to the text, right? So anything that you have like assign an H1, or H2, or a list or whatever, it’ll highlight those objects in your document. That’s a really cool, yeah, it’s like a quick check to make sure you know that you have tags assigned to that content.

And some of the other things that made the tag gives us is, you know, you have a tagging preview, right, for faster review of the reading order. You know, you can add alt, you can review your alternate tags, and they have their own shortcuts that you can use in the process as well. So I will tell you, like what’s really cool is, you know, made the tag has like a little wizard that kind of, well, it’s almost like a checklist, right? We’re just talking about the checklist, and it kind of walks you through, make sure you do this, make sure you do that. And at the end, you can turn on a checkbox that says, make PDF ua compliant. And I export that PDF and run it through pack three. It’s fully compliant. Everything passes. I mean, it’s amazing. You know, normally, we’re in a previous episode, we talked about the pre flight panel that I offer I use to kind of get all of those extra things taken care of.

But so and then a little segue that I found really interesting. There’s a product called math tools that is made by a company called movemen that the gentleman’s name is Ferdinand Scheuer, a really super nice guy, super intelligent guy, by the way, and he makes this Math tools that allows you to create a math equations inside of InDesign. And what what move Nan has done is they’ve partnered with Zeo software. And they now can work in conjunction with each other. So made the tag works with math tools to properly tag math equations in an exported PDF. Now, I have not tested this out yet. And that’s something maybe we’ll try to do for a future episode. But But I thought that was fascinating.

Dax Castro
Yeah, I’d love to because you know, math, definitely, math equations are one of those things that we all struggle with. Because right now the only way to do it really is to create a image and apply alt text to it, right, which can be definitely now I don’t think this really changes any of that. But you’re just not having to change the source to an image, which is nice, right? You can (right) keep it the live text and get the annotation on top of it. So I think that’s the big benefit is that it doesn’t it doesn’t force you to create a bunch of images in your you know, it’s not destructive editing. Right, right, y’all, we all talk about that.

Chad Chelius
Right? Absolutely. Yeah. Awesome. Well, hey, you know, another thing I wanted to bring up, Dax, um, you know, what I have found, right, that the more you know, when I first started doing PDF accessibility, it was just kind of more about, I was intrigued. And I was kind of fascinated by the process, and I kind of geeked out on it. But sure, you know, it has turned it for me, it’s turned into more of a holistic or philosophical you know, and like, what when I, when I realized that, that I’m actually helping people with this process, it kind of made me think about this in a whole other light.

And now I see accessibility everywhere, like in everything I do, you know, in my day to day, you know, goings about, I just see it everywhere. And one of the things I wanted to bring out, you know, we we talk about, you know, representing, you know, the blind in media, right, and I recently watched a show on Apple, it was called Apple TV or Apple TV. Um, it’s called See and it stars Jason Momoa, which is, you know, he’s a great actor, you know, Aquaman, and you know, you know that, but, but the premise of the movie, um, it’s a little bit of a dystopian movie, but the premise of the movie is that a virus came came on Earth and everybody who got infected ended up being blind.

And so everybody in the movie, pretty much everybody in the movie with the exception of maybe a half a dozen or something like that is is blind. (huh). And the way they are represented in this movie and I certainly don’t want to speak for anybody, but but I felt the way they were represented in the movie was really fascinating and, and, to my knowledge fairly accurate. I mean, they’re fighting battles with each other and they’re blind, you know, and and they’re, you know, that they’re going about their day to day life and it’s, it’s then, you know, doing their their day to day and everyone’s blind and I just found it very fascinating. It’s really good show.

Dax Castro
So while you were talking, I just googled and looked it up and Bree it says Bree Klauser is one of the many visually impaired actors and actresses starring on See. So my worry as you were talking was, okay, great. We’ve got a movie about blind people. How many blind really having in this house right? Yeah, cuz normally they have the one token blind person, you know, and and that’s it, but it seems like it says she’s a New York based singer, actress and voiceover artist songwriter who happens to be born legally blind. clauser earned her BFA in acting from college. He she said it was really kind of an ensemble cast closer tells me even though we had some big names, no one acted like a star, especially us who worked with the owl caney tribe, which we spent many days in the wilderness and sometimes in the cold and rain and mud, trekking through the water. It was a really bonding experience.

Dax Castro
So sounds really cool. I’m gonna have to check it out.

You know, I’ve got one for you, though, Chad. Oh, I’ve got one. I was watching. I was on LinkedIn. And I know I’m pretty active on the hashtag accessibility. And then there was an accessibility podcast by www.bemyeyes.com. And it was a movie called Feeling Through. And it stars Robert Tarango, who is a deaf blind actor. And I thought, Wow, that’s really interesting. Because the movie, The premise of the movie, is it’s a movie short. And this deafblind guy is sitting on a bench waiting for a bus. And this young African American guy walks up, he’s homeless, they kind of foreshadow that he’s homeless. And it’s this interaction between the two. And the, you know, Robert Tarango is just trying to get home. And he just needs to know when the bus is coming. And they go through a series of you have to watch it. I don’t want to tell you too much. But you have to watch it.

There are some there are some great aha moments. It really was a great movie. And it’s, again, this is Robert Tarango and the movie is called Feeling Through and we’ll link it in the in the podcast note. Yeah, yeah. As well as See, right. We’ll link both of those. And so for anybody listening on, not on Chaxchat.com if you’re listening on Apple podcast, or Google Play, or Spotify, we’re now on Pandora. By the way, I didn’t know if you know that we’re now on Pandora. But if you’re listening on those channels, go over to chat, chat calm because you get the transcript with the links to anything we mentioned in our podcasts. But this is a great video to watch. I highly recommend it. What was interesting, Chad is the podcast. How do you interview someone who’s deaf blind?

Chad Chelius
Oh, wow. Fascinating. Oh, yeah.

Dax Castro
How do you how do you communicate with someone? Now obviously, he had a script that he was reading in the movie, right or acting out in the movie, but from a live interview standpoint, I mean, it’s how it’s almost How does the deafblind person interact day to day, right? But in a podcast environment, you’re you’re probably not in the same room. Right? You’re you’re in different locations. So he, Robert had a translator and i will say I don’t want to speak directly to what was happening. But a lot of times what happens is the the translator will sign with their hands and I’ve seen this happen where someone who is deaf blind will put their hands overtop of the person signing and feel the other person signing. Now I just thought of something else to chat. If the person listening the the assistant listening was typing into a text to Braille device. And Robert was listening through the text to Braille device that He could take back his responses. Sure, but I have no idea how it went. But either way, great guests really cool. If you haven’t seen his feeling through, go see it, I highly recommend it. It’s not very long of a movie. I think it’s 20 minutes. I’d have to look but Chad, part of what was so amazing was this be my eyes podcast his spot is is on bemyeyes.com, right. And I started kind of just doing some detective work on on be my eyes and what it is. AndI think we should play this this thing because, you know, initially I thought it was a basically it’s an app. Be My Eyes is an app for your phone that allows you to see through the camera, what’s in front of you. And I thought there was a voice detection that read what was on the screen. But let’s go ahead and take a second and, and play the advertisement that they have. They’re not a podcast sponsor, guys, this is just, I want you to understand, you need to be aware of assistive technology that’s out there for other users, because you never know when that’s going to be useful. And understanding how other people digest information is part of what we do is document accessibility specialist. Right. Yeah, that’s what we do. Yeah, let’s go ahead and play that.

Video
(Youtube Video) You might wonder how blind people deal with everyday challenges. Well, normally, the answer is simple. They are not that different from you. We play music. We go to school. We go to work. You get the picture. But sometimes the simplest things can be difficult. And we need a pair of eyes. Connect to first available number. That’s where you come in. Establishing what video connects through your smartphone. Be my eyes connects the blind was sighted people through a live video connection.

Video
Simply choose if you need help, or want to help by the click of a button? And the nice picture of you and your family?

Dax Castro
No way

Video
Yes. For my parents,

Chad Chelius
That is not what I was expecting…

Video
And we’ll notify you when someone needs your help.

Dax Castro
Wow, I’m going to stop it right there. Holy cow. It’s like like it like you were saying?

Chad Chelius
Well, you know, it’s basically like crowdsourcing for for visually impaired users.

Dax Castro
I mean, is so a genius. I thought it was going to be about like it’s a an AI that looks at the text on the screen or trying to identify with it. But how much more useful? is it to have a real person that can just sit there and be like, Oh, yeah, that’s a picture of your family. I’m installing that I’m installing that right now.

Chad Chelius
Absolutely. Well, you know, the The other thing, you know, I mean, this, this, like, makes me think of so many different things. But like, you know, a lot of us want to find ways to, you know, volunteer our time. Yep. And you know, to help other people and what an easy way. I mean, if you’re, if you’re like, you have 10 minutes, and you’re waiting for your kid to get done with soccer practice or some young lot, you know, download this app and log in and see if you can, you know, help somebody out. I mean, I think that’s fantastic

Dax Castro
It’s not just somebody Chad. I’m looking at the stats on their website, they have 302,722 users on their roll blind, low vision. Lovely, more than a quarter of a million people.

Chad Chelius
Well, let’s, let’s tell him everything. There’s 302,717 blind and low vision people. There’s 4,682,000 volunteers in 150 plus countries, and 180 plus languages.

Dax Castro
Wow, I didn’t even think about the languages part. Yeah. Right.

Chad Chelius
Thats Phenominal.

Dax Castro
Because, you know, you definitely, you know, if I’m English speaking, I’m not going to be able to help somebody who’s speaking Chinese. Sure, you know, but but how cool dude, I’m so downloading that right this moment. So anybody listening to this podcast, you want to do something meaningful to help somebody out? Be my eyes calm, man, these guys are great. We should be having them out as a guest.

Chad Chelius
That’d be super cool. Yeah,

Dax Castro
I’d love to actually, if anybody’s listening in you use this service. I’d love to know your experience and your feedback. We’d love to have you on as a guest. What a great, great service. Who’s on Twitter, man. We need to figure out…

Chad Chelius
Who is on Twitter. Yeah, so it’s funny. I recently last week, I did a really great, I did a training session for a university. But long story short, I had a question from a friend of mine, it was actually a friend of mine was in the training, he moved to that university A while back. And he had a great question. He said to me, Chad I’m curious , how are comic books made accessible? And, you know, it was a really fantastic question. And what I think what I loved about the question is that the training was making people think, you know what I mean? Like, like what we’re doing, it’s just making them think about this, and that’s half the battle. And my answer to him was, and I kind of showed him a technique in InDesign. A lot of times those comic books are, you know, one big image of the page, right?

Because a lot of times they’re drawn, you know, and then they’re scanned in, or sometimes they’re done natively in Illustrator or whatever. And I said, Well, probably what they’re doing and I kind of showed him a technique where you basically, in InDesign, you break each frame of the comic, into its own graphic frame, where you can assign alternate text to each frame of the comic. And they say, and I didn’t know the answer, to be quite honest, but I said, this is probably what they’re doing. This would make the most sense. And then you just have those frames read in the correct order. And the alternate text on the images describing what’s happening. So but but I’m getting back to you, Dax, you know, who’s on Twitter. We have Lucy Bellwood, who is a who specializes in making comic books accessible. Is that right?

Dax Castro
No, absolutely. And she has this her comic book is called 100 Demon dialogues, and baggywrinkles and her Twitter handle is L U B E L L W O O. @Lubellwoo. And it’s Lucy Bellwood is her name. And she writes, she’s an adventure cartoonist. And she has this little character, that’s a little nemesis. And it reminds me a lot of the Spy versus Spy kind of style of cartooning. And what it is, is a series of situations where Lucy’s doing something or explaining something, and it’s the little Nemesis on the shoulder saying, oh, you’ll never be good enough, oh, you’ll never this, you’ll never that or stopped doing that no one cares. And it’s really kind of inspiring her messages. And I thought what was interesting is, is that she has made a very concerted effort to go through all of her images and make sure that they have very descriptive alt text for what’s going on.

And so I thought, Wow, how cool is that? That she really took the time? Because she wasn’t my understanding is she wasn’t an accessibility advocate to begin with. She was a cartoonist, and she took the opportunity to research and reach out and try to figure out how do I make How do I reach a broader audience with my visual media, that will, that will impact more people because people who don’t have sight are just people who don’t have sight, right? And we go, they go through the same struggles every single day is as we and many more. And so the idea that her comics were were not accessible to other people.

And I’m not sure that they ever were at a point not accessible. But the idea that she could develop a comic that wasn’t accessible, excludes an audience that she felt was important enough to, you know, I don’t want to put words into her mouth, but I’m sure she probably felt was important enough to just make sure that it was accessible, right? And it’s more than just right voicing the thought bubbles. It’s describing what’s going on in the scene, which I thought was really great. And and this happens to be kind of a simpler one, but there’s others that are far more complex. And I thought were really well done. You know, Chad, we should definitely try to try to find someone who’s first who’s who, either her either Lucy or someone else who do creates comics that

Chad Chelius
I think that would be great. And you know, it would probably, you know, one of the challenges that people often encounter is, how do I write good alternate text? And, and this is probably an area I mean, even if you’re not into comic books, it might be a great lesson on how to write good alternate text in various situations.

Dax Castro
Yeah, no, absolutely. Well, Chad, we are at the end of man. We have donet it once again. We have another one in the can. Another great episode, you know, I love doing these with you, it’s so great to be able to sit and just kind of, you know, grab a coffee and just kind of sit back and, and relax and and hopefully everybody listening is getting as much out of it as we are.

Chad Chelius
Yeah. Likewise man and, you know, to our to our audience, we you know, we want to know what you think so, I mean, we’d love to hear back from you, you know, good or bad.

Dax Castro
We’ve gotten some good good yes ideas, actually from a couple of different people who’ve listened to the podcast and said, Hey, they reached out on LinkedIn or send us a left the comments on Chaxchat.com and said, Hey, can you talk about this topic or talk about that topic and so on. We’ve got some of those coming up for sure.

Chad Chelius
Once again, we want to thank Axaio software makers of Made the Tag for Adobe InDesign for being our sponsor for today’s podcast.

Dax Castro
Alright guys, well, I am Dax Castro,

Chad Chelius
And I am Chad Chelius

Dax Castro
And we are Chax Chat. Thank you so much for joining us on this journey where we unravel accessibility for you.

Chad Chelius
Thanks, guys.

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