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Katlynn Sverko
2018-05-25 18:35:58

Accessibility Definitions

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A11y / a11y: Frequently used on social media the term a11y is a short form of term accessibility. The eleven (11) represents the eleven letters between the a and the y.

Accessibility: Designing products, services, and environments so that people with disabilities are able to use, or participate in, various activities and opportunities.

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and ADAAA (Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act): A civil rights law in the United States of America that forbids discrimination against individuals with disabilities in order to facilitate equal opportunities in public life. These opportunities include: transportation, employment, communication, access to services, and accommodation. More information on ADA.

Alt-text: Alternative text for images typically implemented through code or through special tools on website builders such as Shopify, Weebly, Wix, and Wordpress. Alt-text is used to provide information related to images for those with vision loss and is frequently used through screen reader technology.

AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act): An act that aims to make Ontario fully accessible, both online and in physical locations by 2025. More information on AODA.

Assistive Technology (AT): Device or software that helps increase or maintain the functional capacity of an individual with a disability to accomplish a task. AT can be low-tech, an example of this is a communication book. AT can also be high-tech through the use of specialized computers, electronic devices, power wheelchairs.

Auditing: Checking your website, product, or service in various ways to make they meet accessibility criteria.

Captions: The text version of the what is said in video or movie formats. It is used primarily for individuals with hearing disabilities, but it also helps in situations where the audio can not be heard or is unclear. Captions can be either open or closed. Closed captions can be turned on and off by the user, open captions are always on.

Inclusivity: The process of including and purposefully embracing individuals with differing abilities or those that are excluded based on cultural behaviours and practices.

Screen Reader: A computer or mobile device software primarily use by individuals with severe visual impairments. This software application reads back text and icon information that is displayed on a computer or mobile device screen. It is also known as Text-to-Speech software.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization. The ability for a web page to draw visitors through the use of language and keywords used on a site. These keywords are picked up by search engines like Google or Bing in order to produce accurate results for an individual’s search. The better the SEO on a site, the more people and potential customers will find your site as opposed to the competition. SEO brings people to your site organically, rather than having to pay for advertisement space or to be featured first.

Switch Control: iOS built in accessibility feature that allows an individual to control their iPhone, iPad, or computer through assistive switches (i.e. joysticks, push buttons, sip-and-puff). Primarily for individuals with physical disabilities that don’t have the dexterity to touch the screen or access a regular keyboard.

Universal Design: The creation of designs that are accessible by all people on the largest scale possible. By considering the diverse needs and uses of the population, Universal Design creates accessible products and services that can be understood, used, and accessed by everyone in a way that best suits their abilities. Universal Design can apply to buildings, websites, products, services, and much more.

Usability and User Experience: The ability for the user, individual using your site, product, or service, to reach their objective effectively through intelligent design.

W3C: World Wide Web Consortium. W3C is a community focussed on developing international web standards and make the most out of the power of internet for everyone.

WAI: Web Accessibility Initiative. WAI is run through the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) with a focus on creating equal opportunities online for individuals with disabilities. The WAI creates support materials that enable the user to understand online accessibility.

WCAG 2.0: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version two (2). Created through the W3C’s WAI, WCAG 2.0 is a set of technical standards for accessibility online. WCAG 2.0 has leveled tiers of accessibility standards, the lowest acceptable standard being Level A, the next being Level AA, and the highest level of accessibility being Level AAA.

Zoom: Zoom is an accessibility feature created by Apple that allows users to magnify an image on their Mac, iPad, or iPhone. Zoom can be setup through the accessibility panel on these devices.

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