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

Guest Victoria Richards – Crafting better alt-text

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. today’s podcast is sponsored by AbleDocs, makers of axesWord, axesPDF, as well as document remediation services. So we want to thank them once again for being our sponsor on today’s podcast. My name is Chad Chelius. I’m an Adobe-Certified Expert, an Accessible Document Specialist and a consultant and trainer as well.

Dax Castro
And my name is Dax Castro and I am an Adobe certified PDF Accessibility Trainer, and I am certified by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals as an Accessible Document Specialist, Chad. We are on Episode 17. I think we are 17 right now?

Chad Chelius
I think you’re right. Right.

Dax Castro
That That is amazing. I will tell you, we are doing really… honestly, I’m surprised. You know, when we first started this podcast, it was just us having conversations. Now we’re almost getting 200 downloads an episode, which is really great. That’s great. I’m really excited.

Chad Chelius
Yeah, that’s awesome progress. And and like I said, you know, to our listeners, you know, we want to know what you think we want to know what we’re missing. If There’s anything you want to hear, please let us know, you know. We’re looking for, for more content to add and include in our podcast.

Dax Castro
And you know, what’s funny is I’ve learned so much i thought you know, we’re just gonna be talking about stuff we know. But it’s so funny, where the conversations ended up leading us that I’ve learned stuff about different apps and different people and different technologies that are out there that you know, it’s it’s helped me grow just during the podcast, so

Chad Chelius
Absolutely.I don’t think I don’t think it’s possible not to grow. You know what I mean? Like in the last podcast, you had mentioned that colorblind app, sim doo,

Dax Castro
Sim Daltonism

Chad Chelius
Sim Daltonism, and, and I was showing that to my daughter. And you know, we were we were having dinner one day, and I said, Hey, check this out. And and you could literally see what it was like, you know, to be colorblind, you know, so, you know, and it helps to spread the word, you know, to make people aware of, of accessibility. So, yeah, so today, today’s a very special day, especially for me, we have a lovely guest today, we have Victoria Richards, as our podcast guest today. I’m Victoria, and I go way back, and maybe I’ll tell the story in a minute or so. But Victoria, Vicki, works for a federal agency. That’s all I’m allowed to say. I can’t go any deeper than that. But she does work for a federal agency. She is a Public Affairs Specialist. And she specializes in document remediation and testing. So Vicki, welcome to our podcast.

Victoria Richards
Thank you for having me. I’m looking forward to talk about a topic that’s very dear to my heart. Accessibility.

Chad Chelius
Yeah. And we can’t wait to hear. Yeah, I can’t wait to talk to you. And so I’ll share my story real quickly. I think and Vicki, you can you can check me on this. I think it was around 2005 or 2006. And, and I was presenting I was speaking at at back then it was called the PDF conference. And it was a conference all about the PDF format. I don’t even remember what I was talking about. But it was about, you know, things we can do with the PDF format. And, and I see this hand go up in the back of the room. And I call on on Vicki who happened to raise her hands and and she says to me, she says all of this is great. But is it accessible?

Chad Chelius
And you know, Dax I mean, you’ve done some speaking and, and you know, you know, we typically are knowledgeable to the extent that we really don’t get shaken up too much. But I had no idea what she was talking about. I didn’t have like, unlike uh, you know, I’m sure I’m pretty sure I stumbled pretty well. And somehow I think I talked my way out of it. But, um, but when we were done, I went up to her and and and we started engaging in conversation and she proceeded to begin educating me on what accessibility was and, and to be honest, you know, that’s where my career in accessibility started because I was intrigued by the technology, I was intrigued by, you know, what we can do within the PDF format. And then, of course, intrigued by the idea that somebody who was using assistive technology was able to read these documents based on on what we did. So that’s my story. That’s how Vicki and I met. And and here we are, you know, geez, you know, 12 years later, is it? And, and, and here, we have Vicki as a guest on our podcast, so

Dax Castro
Well, Vicki, so his, his journey started in 2005. Right, and I’ve actually been waiting for the story for quite a while. I’ve told my story. I don’t know how many times seems like almost every other episode. And Chad says, Well, you know, I’ll tell my story. I’ll tell my story to different time. This is that time, I now know where he came from. But Vicki, tell us about your story. 2005, you were already you already had an awareness of accessibility? Where did Where did your journey begin?

Victoria Richards
Okay, so my journey began a couple of years earlier. I want to say about six years earlier, when I started working with the Adobe products – InDesign. I was I was in the printing industry, I went into the federal government. And one of the requirements was that the information that we were producing had to be accessible to people that couldn’t read that were blind or low vision.

Chad Chelius
And not to interrupt you, Vicki. But so that is Section 508. And ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Victoria Richards
Right. Section508 of the American with Disabilities Act. At that time, it just it just meant that information we provided on the internet, in PDF format, or in other formats at that time, that wasn’t included, but at that time, had to be accessible to people who are blind. So I was forced into this position where I was like, okay, the PDFs need to be “508 Compliant.” I’m like, What is 508 compliant? So I started looking it up on the internet, and this was in 2003, 2002. I couldn’t figure out there was nothing out there. Nothing.

Victoria Richards
So you could add tags to the document at that time, and you could “Read Out Loud”, but it wasn’t really accessible. So I started looking into it. I gained some friends at the agency that I work at and outside the agency and I started going to seminars, and I started going to things. And the more I dove into it, the more I saw, there’s got to be more to this. This can’t be this can’t be it. So I went to this conference where I met Chad. And so I asked him, “So what about accessibility?” because you know, there is just like, literally, this isn’t working for me. I was working in many different languages. So there was a lot of issues that I was having with the documents I was creating. So my passion arose from there. And here I am today, I’m an expert.

Victoria Richards
Chad and I have taught many classes together we have talked about this. And all along the way I’ve met a lot of people that are passionate about this. It should not be passionate, just to the people in the federal government should be passionate to everyone that deals with people that have disabilities. So I have become kind of an expert on certain things and just love it. Love it and love to teach others the things that they can do easily without a lot of effort.

Dax Castro
Vicki, what’s your favorite thing to teach? What do you what do you like? What’s your wheelhouse?

Victoria Richards
My wheelhouse is teaching people especially that use InDesign on how to make the documents accessible from the beginning. Especially when we’re dealing with web based documents that, you know, people might want to read like magazines and stuff like that, that come from InDesign. That information is super important for people with with disabilities. So and our early on, I noticed that there was some shortcomings in InDesign and we talked to the folks in Adobe and we got those problems worked out. I think with Creative Cloud 5… when the Creative Cloud first came out there I think we started really working on those things, right, Chad?

Chad Chelius
Yeah, so it was… to kind of, you know, give everybody kind of like a general overview… Like back in the day a the way that you could make a document accessible out of InDesign was that you had to apply XML tags to the content in InDesign. So, which was a feature that they kind of predated accessibility mean XML is still exists in InDesign, but XML is still typically used for content reuse purposes, like you could like import XML into InDesign and flow an entire catalog, things like that. But it was it was InDesign, cc (5.5) Creative Suite, it was Creative Suite 5.5. So CS 5.5 was the first version where Adobe finally added proper accessibility functionality that actually not only applied to accessibility, but also applied to HTML and E-pub export as well. But that was the first version in which we saw anything.

Chad Chelius
And then we got another improvement in Creative Cloud 2015. I was able to work with the developers at Adobe to get them to add some other accessibility functionality, namely, defining or having it to find the document title when it was export and defining the language on export as well. So, you know, we’ve seen some improvements over the years. But as I said before, the wheels of Adobe development turned incredibly slow. So you know that the features we see are kind of few and far between. But little by little, we get some features.

Victoria Richards
So along the way I met a mentor of mine who has got a PhD in accessibility or accessibility studies, I guess. And he kind of turned me on on moving further, don’t just look at what you’re creating, but how you’re creating it, how you’re making it more accessible for folks out there. So we started, I started looking at how we were creating our documents and how we were writing them. The language we were using, [and] how it’s better, how you can say things better for everybody to understand, for non visual person, for example, versus looking at something and being able to see what you’re trying to say with an image, a person that’s blind, obviously cannot see that or cannot assess that. So those are the type of things. So I my focus then shifted more from working on the software [to] working on the actual wording that we’re using in our documents, and how we’re presenting things to people that are people of all walks of life, whether they’re sighted, non sighted, color blind, blind, have bad hearing it stuff, etc.

Chad Chelius
And that’s huge, right? Because, you know, Dax and I teach this all the time. And a lot of times when we go into companies, you know, they look at accessibility as like, “Oh, this is something we do in InDesign,” or “this is something we do in word or or in PowerPoint.” But it really is more of a, I don’t know if I want to say a holistic approach, but definitely more of a team approach. Because it’s not just the role of one person. The content creators, the authors have to change their approach in writing the content. Right, Vicki? So like, you know, instead of, you know, those of us who have been around long enough and may be content authors in the early 90s, they started using verbiage such as “Click here to go to our website,” or you know, things like that. And that’s an area where you’re really passionate about right, Vicki?

Victoria Richards
Right. So, early on, I encountered that if you did a search online for certain things, you wouldn’t find things you would find millions of documents in, which is document document one, document two. So the first thing that that I noticed was that people were not adding information to the documents. So it was important for people to be able to find what you’re looking for, like the title of the document, the subject of the document, who created it, keywords that you can search for. So those are the things that I instill on the folks that create documents now is like the first thing you need to do. Make sure you give your document an identity, make sure you make it finable for those that are searching for it, not just non sighted people, but everybody else right. Obviously everybody else is profiting from it, but so will a person that’s non sighted.

Victoria Richards
Then the other thing was the use of Click here to send somebody to a website. Assistive Technology has the ability to isolate all your links. If you have 100 click here links. Nobody you know a blind person is not going to know what you’re clicking on. Or the fact that you’re saying select the low select the yellow, the yellow, the yellow, the yellow square or select the yellow that select the blue, the blue dot again A non sighted person only sees an image. So you have to make sure that you give that image, that blue dot alternative text. Also a mistake that a lot of people make is they put alternative text inside the alternative, they put links inside the alternative text, it doesn’t work, you have to actually link the image, those type of things is what I’m passionate about is, is making sure that people know how to use proper language. Don’t say click here, say go to our website, x, y, z, or select our website, and and then link the website.

Victoria Richards
And when you say “select our website”, make sure that the understood that the league is understood within the context of what you’re saying. With the, with the refresh of the section 508. In 2019… 2017, oh my God, it was in 2017, 2018. There has been some additional requirements, put on links and those type of things. So you now have to give them alt-text, you don’t have to give them context. So that makes it easier for non sighted people to actually to actually be able to, to, to follow links, for example.

Victoria Richards
And then alternative text. Alternative texts is is also something that I’m very passionate about, simply because most people just say, “image of… picture of a…” You don’t have to use the word image of or picture of, you should describe what you’re trying to convey with your image.

Dax Castro
Vicki, I find one of the things that that is most annoying for me is that they have an image, a figure that has quantitative data, it’s a bar chart, a pie graph, or whatever. And there’s no quantitative data in the alt-text, right. And I teach that over and over again, that if you’ve got, if you’ve got a bar chart or a pie graph that’s illustrating something, there’s you put it in there for a reason, right?

Dax Castro
Then you should be talking about what’s the trend, or what’s the high point or the low point, or what’s the standout item that you’re trying to, to relate with this with this figure. Because just saying bar chart of sales for 2022, doesn’t tell me anything. But if you tell me that is a bar chart showing an increase of 20%, from 2021 to 2022. Now that’s meaningful for me, I may not be able to see every single data point that a visual person might be able to see. But at least I have some quantitative data. And I find that so frustrating over and over again.

Victoria Richards
Yeah, and that’s a that’s a frustrating, that’s a that’s a point that we hear often when we’re talking to people that can’t access certain documents. And so that’s a very important point, especially when it comes to data, charts or documents that are of a of a teach nature of a teaching nature, for universities and stuff like that. It’s important that we not only explain what the chart is about and give points, but it’s also important, especially if it’s a very detailed chart that is very complex and very important to what you’re trying to explain that you give people a an access that are non sighted, you give them access to a linearized version of your chart.

Victoria Richards
So they there so what you can do in those instances is actually create a link to an access document that has got the information linearized explained for the person that’s non sighted. So you can link the chart itself to a different document, also give some pointers in the in the surrounding text about where they may be able to find more detailed data that is accessible to non sighted people, or are colorblind people and people with low vision.

Dax Castro
You know, going back to the the topic of you know, writing excessively, I think this is a point that, you know, Chad, your point too, is that, you know, accessibility isn’t just the the job of the person at the end, to make it accessible, that copy editors need to have a basic understanding of how to write excessively, I’ve written a couple of different papers on, on, on access, you know, writing excessively, and I find that there’s initially there’s a little bit of pushback from those writers because they don’t get it well, that’s not really my job or, you know, I shouldn’t have to change what I’m doing. You just make it accessible at the end. And what I find is, is once they’ve implemented right you know, writing descriptively before they introduce a figure, it not only tells the story more efficiently, it leads the reader to get the right information out of the the visual element and I find that most people sighted or non sighted get more out of it. They’re like wow, this is really well written because There’s that lead in Texas, it doesn’t just say see figure 2.5. Exactly, even up to the reader?

Chad Chelius
Well, no, what I was gonna say is, you know, it kind of goes back to that team effort. And and when everybody has skin in the game, the various people of the team can keep each other in check, you know, and so I get, you know, if a content creator is writing content, and they find themselves saying, if you look at the yellow line in figure 30, you know, what I mean? Like, like a red flag should go out the back, okay, wait a second, maybe the chart is not accessible, and also how I referenced that chart needs to be changed. So you know, it’s, it’s so much of a team effort, you know, this whole topic?

Dax Castro
Well, you know, and you, and you could say, just to take your example a little further, they could simply say, you know, if you look at the yellow line in the graph on in figure 4.5, it shows a trend from x to y, it shows a, an increase of 12%, you give that extra detail, so the user doesn’t have to hunt for it, or doesn’t have to make that decision on their own, you’ve given them the very specific information. Now, it doesn’t matter whether I can perceive yellow or not. I mean, of course, the chart needs its own accessibility. But from a reader standpoint, I got the data, I got what I need.

Chad Chelius
That’s a great point, Dax

Victoria Richards
And i think that’s that’s what I’m trying to get at is that, that, you know, if we take like small steps, eventually becomes a habit. Like, instead of giving page for references in a document, go to the section titled XYZ, you don’t have to change your page reference every time you rewrite it. And, you know, if your section title changes, you’re going to have to change that anyway. So but the person that’s looking at it, and you can put the page number behind it, but the important thing is that, that you look at what’s important, is it important that the line is yellow? Is it important that the trend is 12.9%? Less?

Victoria Richards
So, and that’s what I try to explain to folks when they’re doing alternative texts, look at your image, look at your trend, look at what you’re showing, does it come? Does it give you additional information to what you’re already saying? If not, you can object can just background it because a sighted person can see it, and a non sighted person is not going to get additional information from it. However, if it is important, you need to write that alternative texts in a way that it’s understandable, not rambling on, that it’s understandable to folks, you don’t want to say picture off or or document or you know, you just say whatever the image is saying Sunrise over over the Atlantic. The vase with with a bouquet of roses, you don’t have to give a color necessarily, you can give a color as additional information, but it’s a bouquet of roses, it doesn’t, you know, it doesn’t need to say it’s yellow, or red or green or blue. So those those are the things that and you know, be concise, but be accurate about what you’re trying to say,

Dax Castro
You know, I find I find that if more people who do who write alt text actually listened use the screen reader to test their documents, they would get why you would not use photo of or graphic of, because they would hear that graphic graphic of right, like, Oh, that sounds weird. Why would I say that? Right? So, you know, it goes back to I find so many remediators… I would I would venture a guess… This is just a world according to Dax, right. But I would venture to guess that. Like, I would be surprised if the number of people who do remediation that use a screen reader is above 30%.

Victoria Richards
Honestly, I don’t use a screen reader at all. But I have been trained by a person that taught me how to write alternative text and said, you don’t want to hear it again. And again. And again. You don’t want to hear that there’s a logo on the bottom of each page every time you you get to that section. Why? Because you heard it at the beginning of the document. But you don’t need to hear it 37 more times. You don’t need to tell service somebody what the page number is. So you know, I mean, the The problem is that there are not enough people out there to teach how to write good alternative text.

Chad Chelius
And back to your example of like the logo at the bottom of every page, you know, to a sighted user, we see it, but it’s passive. You know, like what we’re not actively dwelling on that logo. It’s more of just like this subliminal reminder that this is is the company that produced this paper? Or, you know, whatever it might be. But to a non sighted user, it’s this Yes. You know what I mean? Like, because, you know, Dax and I talked about this before, the concept of a page in accessibility is irrelevant, right? I mean, we, they don’t know when they’re leaving one page and beginning another. So if you have that logo read on every page, it’s like randomly reading a logo at a random point in the document.

Dax Castro
They’re gonna hear logo of or whatever, over and over again, they’re gonna know that they just moved from one page.

Victoria Richards
Well, yeah, he’s gonna say page five, Page Six, page seven, but it’s gonna interrupt specially if you have a continuous text that is in the middle of a paragraph. And you have in between there, you have that page number. So those are things to look out for. Also, the way to navigate the document, make sure you use your headings. If you don’t use headings, you just reading one article after the other without being able to see what the headlines are.

Dax Castro
So you know, Chad and I were just speaking of ways to navigate a document, Chad and I were just doing some testing on bookmarks in a PDF. You know, we’re always taught to use bookmarks, but from a screen reader standpoint, right, moving back and forth between the bookmarks panel, and the document panel, the the actual page of the document, in a screen reader is a an effort of gymnastics, I mean, there’s, there’s a five key keystroke combination, you have to press just to get from the content page to the bookmarks area. And and then to get from the bookmarks area, back to the page is almost impossible.

Victoria Richards
So so the the idea of bookmarks, I think came originally from a table of contents, where you would be able to select a table of contents and then go to that section. in HTML, you can easily navigate back because there’s a little button that says, Go back. That is not built into our PDFs that is not built into our documents. So bookmarks, while they are helpful to see what the content is, is a navigation tool, they’re not good friends. However, if you use proper headings, heading one, heading two, heading three, heading four, and five, and you in, you nest them correctly, a most screen readers in I don’t test with screen readers, so I’m not very familiar, but most screen readers can isolate headings, by levels.

Victoria Richards
So that’s, that’s the easiest navigation. And also make sure that your your hyperlinks are clear and well explained to a non sighted user. So when they open up a link, it doesn’t say HTTPS, secure login, and then you’ll have a string of 150 characters, that somebody is not going to remember to enter into their, into their, into their browser. So you know, make it, make it YouTube video on this, link that and then put the hyperlink behind that, or give it alternative text or a context that will give you where you’re going to.

Chad Chelius
Well, and that’s interesting, because in certain documents, and I’m thinking of academic documents, in particular, they, I think it’s standard practice where in the references, so like, if you have endnotes, all of their hyperlinks are implicitly written out. Right? So it’ll say HTTP, colon slash slash, and sometimes they take up two lines, you know, that they’re incredibly extensive. Um, I suppose… Dax, do you know, like, could we add actual text? To those items?

Dax Castro
Yes, but here’s the problem. Well, I guess it’s not really a problem. So when it comes to screen reader, and you’re when you’re trying to display a URL in a footnote, or EndNote, right, you need the full URL, because if it’s ever printed, someone needs to be able to access that information, right. And we’ve, I’ve come across this and a lot of the documents that I’ve dealt with where they’re like, Look, we want the URL, this is going to be printed, we need the URL to be there. Well, that’s fine. You give it alt text, that’s descriptive. What you what you people don’t understand is that as a screen reader, I can stop the screen reader from talking. Right? And so I can hear all hear the alt text, and then I’ll hear the link, and then it’ll start reading the link. I don’t have to listen to the entire link before I hit Enter to go to the website.

Dax Castro
But if you give me good alt text that says, you know, federal website for COVID-19 statistics, and then it starts reading out the URL, I know where I’m going. I’m just going to hit enter and active That link, so I don’t need. So it’s not necessarily a barrier to have that long URL. But if you didn’t have alt text, that’s where that long URL becomes a real issue, right. And then, of course, remember that people using jaws can pull up, they call it the list of links, they can pull up a list inside jaws that said, that lists every single link in the document, but it’s, but it’s listed by the alt text that you’ve used. So if you didn’t use alt text, they’re just gonna see this gobbledygook link that like, like Vicki was talking about earlier, that’s just this long URL that doesn’t give them any context. So again, multiple ways, this goes back to robust of the poor principles, perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. and robust means multiple ways to get around a document.

Victoria Richards
Right. And I think I think if we teach people that that’s the most important thing that they need to think about when they’re doing these these authors, these authoring. And it’s, it’s simple techniques, I mean, you may be adding a couple of words to your document. But ultimately, you become a better writer, I believe, when you write in a way that it’s not “see page 24.” “See section x, y, z,” you’re giving context, not only to the person that’s reading it, but also to the person that can’t see it. And you’re making it more accessible, it’s more accessible, it’s about being more accessible versus less access.


Dax Castro
Absolutely.

Chad Chelius
One of the things you had taught me early on, Vicki, was that we’re always, you know, when people say, is this document accessible? Right, which is, which is a very ambiguous question, right? You know, and you’re the one who taught me, Vicki that there are levels of accessibility, right? You know, like, even even a of a very basic adjustment to your document, can lead to a more accessible document for users of assistive technology.

Chad Chelius
You know, all of us are always trying to get… Dax and I always talk about the checkmarks, right, when we run the checker, you know, getting all the green checkmarks and getting, and that’s all well and good. But we’ve also talked about how checkers are fundamentally dumb, like, they are not very smart tools, you know what I mean? So, to our point, you know, if you don’t have any headings in your document, it’s going to pass, right? The checker is not going to say, hey, violation, you have no headings in your document, all it’s doing is looking to make sure you have a tag, you know, and as long as you got tagged on everything, it’s going to say you’re fine.

Dax Castro
Well, you know, we have to remember that checkers are a mathematic, right, they’re looking for a pass fail, they’re testing for a condition, either the condition exists correctly, or it doesn’t exist, or exists incorrectly, right? So it’s pass fail or does not apply. And and that’s all it can do. Right. So it’s up to us. I see people they, you know, they they test an acrobat, and they always say, why does it always say that I have to manually check my headings or manually check my color contrast? Because it doesn’t know what you mean, it doesn’t know if that’s supposed to be right text, meaningful alt text is one of those things that only a human can check for.

Victoria Richards
Right? And oftentimes, I get that too, like, somebody will send me a document there. And I’m like, yeah, you need to rewrite the alt text. But why it didn’t show that it didn’t have alt text, it did have alt text, but it was the incorrect alt text. So so you know, it had the link to the file name. So it shows Yeah, there is all texts there. But that’s not the all text that should go with that image, or it should be backgrounded. By the same token, you also want to make sure that, that those that you do do checks and balances, again, because you’re dealing with the machine, it’s like, it’s like it’s on or it’s off. It’s like Google Translate, if you put in Google translate to translate certain words or certain phrases. In other languages, it may give you something completely different, because certain words who may have duplicate meanings in other words, so you’re I mean, You’re dealing with a machine. You know, and this is one of the reasons I don’t test with, with assistive technology.

Victoria Richards
I rely very heavily on what I’m looking at, at the wing in my document. Not everybody can do that. And I understand that, but that’s my way of testing. I, I look at every instance of the document, make sure that all the headings are nested, make sure that all that you are also working, going to the intended location, etc, etc. and make sure that the alt text is accurate.

Dax Castro
Well just to give you just, you know, we’re all learning and growing. Just remember that things like I come across this a lot and you only it’s very glaring when you’re using a screen reader. It’s almost imperceptible if you’re just looking at the document, but if you have a table and inside your table, It shows water quality, right. And in the column it says 15 to 15 dash 25. So the range is 15 to 25. Some screen readers will read that as 15 minus 25. Some people will read it, and some will read it just as 1525 it ignores the hyphen altogether, right? So, testing with a screen reader is going to help identify some of those types of issues.

Dax Castro
Right now, obviously, if you you know, you’ve been doing this a very long time, you might look at that and go, Oh, that’s, that’s going to be an issue because you know, that that dash should be a two that you should never the word to, because you know, that that’s a rule, but I find most new newer remediators they’re being without that testing, they don’t have that season’s you know, experience to know that that’s a barrier.

Victoria Richards
Hey, and that goes back to how to teach folks how to do accessibility, and things to look for bullets, bullets, symbols that, that have a different meaning they have a different UTF code, for example, a lot of bullets that that are being used, they convert to letters, those type of things, and again, it comes to experience. I’m not saying that everything’s going to work. But that goes back to where, also, when you’re authoring a document? Is it super important that everything is 100%? accessibility accessible? Absolutely. Not an I even a blind person, a person that’s non sighted will tell you? Yeah, I really don’t care whether that image has correct alt text. I care about the content. However, when you do in academia, where you’re doing things that are the audience is 100%, non sighted, you have to make sure that you have the most accessible document available to them.

Dax Castro
Absolutely. And we know our clients, they’re looking for that perfect score, regardless of whether or not I mean, you know, it’s like reading a menu. There’ll be typos in it, you get the gist of what it is, you know, just as a sighted person. Right, right. And so I mean, I always tell people, you know, accessibility is a journey. And you really just have to start being proactive and doing little things as you go. And you’ll get better at as you go. The more you do, the better. You’ll get. Hey, chat, chat. It is that time for Who’s on Twitter,

Chad Chelius
Who is on Twitter?

Dax Castro
So Who’s on Twitter today is Accessibility News. They are @A11yNews. And they are it says news, including digital accessibility trends, tech litigation, a weekly newsletter subscription, and they’ve got a URL that you can go subscribe. They’re out of Austin, Texas. So check them out.

Chad Chelius
That’s awesome. That’s awesome Accessibility News. I love it.

Dax Castro
Right. So they are a one one why news and they’ve got a post on here that is Jack McElaney, I’m hoping I’m pronouncing that correctly, accessibility in the news email curates the most accessible news items every week, based on US and international blogs. And so this is I guess, his, you know, they’re curating articles specifically about accessibility. We don’t you know, it’s like, Vicky, it’s like human. You mentioned, excessive learning accessibility is so hard, because this information is so spread out, right? Keeping up with the trends can be so hard, because you’re reading blog posts and looking at LinkedIn stuff and trying to follow up on the news. So we have no affiliation with these guys. But you know, anytime I can find a good conglomerate of information on accessibility, it makes it a lot easier for me to keep on keep on track of what’s going on.

Victoria Richards
Yeah, and I think it’s important to follow also the these these symposiums and things that talk about how we can do better testing, how can we can be become more accessible in the way we write etc, etc. So there are there are several symposiums that that go on every year about these things. Accessing

Dax Castro
Accessing Higher Ground coming up right, later this year. Yes. So I heard that’s going to be an all digital event still this year. Right. You know?

Victoria Richards
I haven’t heard I’ve been gone for a while. So I haven’t really checked things. But there is also Accessibility Track is is is a DC-based company that that deals explicit specifically with testing and and rules and regulations about how we should test and then of course, the the thing it’s the Sun…

Dax Castro
Oh, CSUN.

Victoria Richards
CSUN. Yes. But But you know, I mean, not everybody can go to these conferences, but again, if they’re if they offered all Digital that’s that’s a good place to start. And also check your local area training sessions for learning how to make documents accessible. It’s becoming more more of a of a, of a topic, I think, also in the regular communities.

Chad Chelius
Well, Dax I think i think we’re coming to a close here on our podcast. Vicki, is there any last topics that you want to discuss or words of wisdom you’d like to share with our listeners?

Victoria Richards
You wouldn’t want to buy a book that has no words in it. So make sure that you also make it accessible for everybody. Also those people that can’t see the words. I want to thank you both for having me on the podcast It was a great experience. And let me talk about my passion.

Chad Chelius
Well, Vicki, thank you so much for joining us. You know, I value your your knowledge and, and our friendship and and I’m so glad we could make this work.

Chad Chelius
So once again, I want to thank AbleDocs for being our sponsor on today’s podcast. Once again, AbleDocs, are the makers of axesWord, axesPDF, as well as document remediation services. So we appreciate their sponsorship.

Chad Chelius
My name is Chad, Chelius

Dax Castro
And my name is Dax Castro. And together we are Chax Chat where we unravel accessibility for you.

Chad Chelius
Thanks, guys.

No Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *