CSUN Day 2 Notes

My notes from Day 2 of the International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN)

Here are my notes for Day Two at the 2016 CSUN Conference. Please excuse any weird spelling, grammar, or formatting errors. Reference to pictures are unavailable within this post as I probably shouldn’t have taken them… but I can’t type as fast as people speak.

Accessible Maps

  • speaker: @accessibilityoz at gain@accessibility.com.au
  • Inform the user that there is a long description in the ALT text
  • “this is the Goal Coast Train line an dits X miles long”
  • “there’s a slight incline from the house that such and such built, and you turn left..”
  • Long descriptions are visible to everyone, so it can have additional info to the map itself
  • ALT should not have additional info
  • Developers: label pin markers that are useful “South Fitzroy” etc
  • Alternative: provide a list view of maps if you can’t alter the code
  • Keyboard/touch accessibility
  • “Zoom of zoom” can’t move anything but the map
  • Ensure all actions can be completed using mouse, touch keyboard etc
  • Google Maps you get are very keyboard accessible now (maps.google.com)
  • Press tab to see blue outline, keyboard accessible, see labels
  • When you embed Google Maps there are issues, third parties
  • Blue green colour blindness is common
  • Best practice: colours contrast with white or black and use borders, label sections of map (example: wards)
  • Juicy Studio Luminosity Colour Contrast Analyzer (new to me!)
  • Ensure users can increase the size of the map and map content (interactive maps online)
  • pz.tt/CSUN16-map (speaker slides on maps)
  • Google audience member: problem with embedding, can’t tab through everything, update launching in 2 weeks where you can
  • Answer to another audience member’s question: native apps are difficult as you can’t access the code. You can’t go to the code and apply a label. In this case, include a long description.
  • Work around: link off to Google Maps if your map is not accessible

Diversity Within Accessibility: Workforce and Product Design

  • Speaker: Sassy Atwater, work in fashion and advocacy for PwD; Also works in acoustic physics
  • Not a lot of companies that cater to where I like to shop; Focus of talk on UX
  • We cater to one mindset – not diversity (ex: Stevie Wonder and Braille card at Grammies)
  • We need to be the catalyst; we need to be both the dream team and the orange (Whole foods packaged oranges: accessible packaging but wasteful packaging when it naturally has a peel)
  • Universal design allows customization; can solve diversity issues for employers
  • UX is like underwear: we all use it; all interact with it; we all have that experience
  • Does someone with CP know where openings are and how to get it one; does a blind person know what colour/pattern it is [when shopping online alone]
  • How do races; minorities; people come into that environment; how does minority experience affect the product you’re development
  • Infographic: most people 50+ do not how to use built-in tools; we are designing for a group that cannot utilize the tools we’ve designed for;
  • Universal design interacts with ‘common sense design’

Accessibility for UX Designers

  • Point of talk: UX Designers need to take on the extra work that accessibility brings; Accessible UX design 101
  • Note: the slides were really hard to read even after upping the contrast; body font does not work for distant reading – open, round, thin stroke. Heavy weight worked, light not. Familiar font – look up and note.

The Digital Accessibility Maturity Model

Making Non-English Content More Accessible

  • Speaker: Elizabeth J Pyatt, Penn State, AccessAbility
  • Talk changed topic or title? Not about images for non-english
  • Language Codes: ISO-639
  • Also, 3 letter codes: ISO-639-3
  • Region codes: en-US vs. en-GB (work for spell checker, not doesn’t seem to affect accent)
  • WikipediaTend to use 2 letter code; three letter when available
  • Not great support for less popular languages (ex: Cherokee)
  • Language tags in Word/PPT works well: highlight word Tools > Language > select language used for word)
  • PDF: tags do not carry over from Word/PPT (PDF only accepts one language)
  • JAWS plugin for languages
  • Voiceover: download different voices, but sounds weird is switching back and forth between accents in a document
  • Unicode: A B C D E F in Unicode – screenreader will read the letter (Wingdings)
  • Do screen readers read symbols: (see pic)
  • Need JAWS symbols file: eloq.sbl in settings (see Freedom Scientific) (see pic for URLS)
  • Install script to get JAWS to read unicode correctly
  • VoiceOver: Speech Tab > Pronunciation > modify for what it should say
  • Developing websitess for non-English text: https://t.co/5NeolcUOXl
  • Foreign Language Accessibility resourc: https://t.co/pDCNbNRIcd


  • ARIA is for emergency use only
  • Pretend its an image and give a label
  • Hide an embedded icon
  • If a course, recommend beefing up symbol and font repository
  • Accents present a legibility challenge
  • Speaker feels that sans serif fonts are more legible when it comes to accents over letters
  • Andika is designed for different languages (Others: Charis SIL; Georgia)
  • Non-Western characters: mad need to increase font sizes
  • Really likes Text/Expander/Beevy: simplifies keyboard sequence; customize; robust; can do whole words

Is it a link or a button: ultimate showdown

Wearable Assistive Device Development Tool

  • University project presentation (Japan)
  • AeonKit: development kit without the need for coding language
  • Kit focuses on hardware
  • See handout for summary of session
  • Works on Andrino and Raspberry Pi; mac and pc; Code on GitHub

Accessible Publications with Adobe Digital Publishing Solution

  • Speaker: Matt May, Sr. Program Manager, Accessibility, Adobe
  • Adobe does not sell product in title anymore; focus on Adobe Experience Manager Mobile (AEM)
  • Having a town hall meeting tomorrow
  • AEM possibly best program for accessibility (re-enforces this is not a sales pitch; no commission)
  • AEM used to be known as CQ; digital management
  • Adobe is hiring product dev and managers right now
  • AEM and other products in the Marketing Cloud
  • AEM publishes content as apps; Individual articles, bind as an edition; manages subscriptions and levels of control; content management

Accessible SVG Charts using ARIA

  • Highcharts demo, documentation, downloads: www.highcharts.com
  • Interactive charts for web projects
  • Free for non-commercial use; open
  • JavaScript
  • Works in all mobile and desktop
  • Can generate tables from SVG content study found that tables were preferred
  • complex box plot SVG
  • Too many headings = cognitive overload
  • Chart types themselves need a description (what is a box plot)
  • Data Table usability: if marked up well, they offer more flexibility
  • Best practice: offer both a table and an SVG chart for user preference

Digital Accessibility Training Solutions

  • Review training engagement
  • 5 phase approach: develop plan; dev. design; storyboard; training materials; deliver training; long term strategy
  • Training aimed at policy makers; internal team; could work for outside audience, techy or not
  • Summary of each phase in slides (posted later)
  • SSB Bart does InDesign and Acrobat training
  • Felt slides weren’t very effective; found video training more engaging
  • Videos should last 3-5 minutes; anything longer looses attention
  • Hands-on exercises (Codepen) work well for in-person training to engage the team
  • Codepen is not a fully accessible product
  • SSB Bart uses Moodle for their backend LMS

Between Session Discussion with Microsoft employee:

  • Microsoft Disability Answer Desk: free to PwD, consumer channel
  • Answer Desk: aka.ms/accessibilitysupport
  • Very patience; trained in common assistive technology
  • There is also an Enterprise level for IT teams etc.

Pre-Confference Notes


Thursday, March 24:





WordPress Accessibility

Useful links on improving the accessibility of your Wordpress site.

I love WordPress. Its intuitive, easy to use, beautiful, and free. Sadly, it is not known for it’s accessibility…

As I am not a web developer, I haven’t crafted my own blog out of HTML and CSS with love and joy. Instead, I have been writing ALT tags and hierarchy into my code to make it as accessible as possible. Recently, I started looking into plug-ins to increase the accessibility of my many WordPress blogs. To my surprise, plug-ins are only available to WordPress.org sites – which requires you to have a unique URL and web hosting. So, I created another blog, a travel site in reaction to the success of my China blog, through WordPress.org to utilize WordPress’ accessibility options.

Here are some helpful links to guide you through the process:

The WordPress.org Process

To help you along in setting up your own WordPress.org site, here is step-by-step directions and documentation from setting up my own WordPress.org blog, The Black Beret Abroad.

Initial Set-Up

  1. Set-up a location for your WordPress (WP) installation (if it is a new website then you will need to arrange a domain and hosting).
  2. Decide whether your entire site will be WP or just a part of it.
  3. Load WordPress on your server.
  4. Go to your control panel to determine which database to run WP in.
  5. Input necessary information.
  6. Administer your new WordPress site by going to domain.com/wp-admin (if the entire site is WP) or domain.com/wpfolder/wp-admin (if WP is only part of the site).
  7. Log into your unique URL (ie: http://yourwebsitename.com/wp-admin/) and enter password. (Troubleshooting note: If you get an Error 500 message like I did, contact your server provider and they can fix it for you. Once they’ve fixed it, clear your browser history and re-attempt to log-in.)

Wordpress.org login page

Installing the WP Accessibility Plugin

Wordpress folder on server

  1. Go to the folder on your server where your WordPress folder is.
  2. Click the ‘wp-content’ folder in your WordPress folder
  3. Upload the ‘wp-accessibility’ plugin (link to download the plugin) to your ‘wp-contents’ folder.
  4. Log into your WordPress.org account through a web browser.
  5. In the left hand bar you will see ‘Plugins’ between ‘Appearance’ and ‘Users’. Click it.
  6. You should see WP Accessibility in this list. Select ‘Activate’ – and ta da, it is activated!

    Wordpress Plugin page.

As always, suggestions and comments welcome below. Thanks!