Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Something I'm Thinking About - Accessibility

As you can probably imagine my time at the Apple Institute is still resonating through me. I'm not sure if I mentioned in my first post about ADE but one of the sessions we all went to was on accessibility presented by Sarah Herrlinger.  We also heard  Luis Perez , a legally blind photographer, talk about accessibility and it's still ringing around in my head.

 Hearing Luis talk about ways Apple technology has helped him made me realize that there are things that I can do for others that will help make their lives a bit easier too. You see Luis can't see well and for a photographer that is something you need to do to take pictures.  But technology is pretty amazing and he has apps that help him with his photo taking.  You must check out his blog.

I was also tweeting with Will Chamberlain about accessibility and he had some great ideas for me too, many of which I have included here as well. He also suggested I check out Ira Socol's blog.  He also shared his class blog which has many accessibility features built into it as well.

So what can I do as a blogger to help others access my blog?  First off I added the translation widget to my blog.  Why not allow those who don't speak English be able to read my blog too.  While I don't know how great the translation is I'm hoping at least my message is getting out to others.

The other thing I've started to do is make sure to add writing to all the images I add to the blog.  You see when you're blind you can't see the image but with a device like an iPad it can read the description of the image.  It takes very little extra time for me to add these titles but it opens up a world to a blind reader.

I also looked into having a text to voice feature added to my blog.  I was given a couple of suggestions of some good ones but I couldn't seem to get any of them to work for my purpose.  But then after talking with Luis a bit more he reminded me that Apple technology, particularly iPads will read text to a blind reader.

As I create my chapter as part of my ADE responsibility I've also been exploring adding closed captioning to the videos I add.  Everyone doesn't need closed captioning but it would be great to have it for those who do need it.  I haven't done it yet on this blog but it is something I think I could do.  I just need to figure out if a deaf reader can actually turn on closed captioning on blogger. I'm curious if any one knows if this is possible.  It is possible when you create books with iBook Author so it is a feature I have added to my book.

Will and I also talked about type text contrast.  While I haven't revamped my entire blog I am hoping the grey on white is okay.  If it's not please let me know and I'll see what I can do to change that.

As I dive more into accessibility I'll try to share more of what I'm learning.  In the mean time in addition to Luis and Ira's blog posts shared above  here is a blog post to better accessibility to blind readers.


  1. Thanks for sharing what you are learning in terms of making technology and your blog more accessible to all. It is an interesting topic that many people don't think about, but is equally as important as a ramp is to me as a wheelchair user.

    1. Tammy I would agree, I never thought too much about helping a blind or deaf person better access my blog until my session in Austin, and meeting Luis face to face. He was such an inspiring and helpful man. And while I know you are in a wheel chair, I don't really see your wheelchair if that makes any sense. But it is true that we need to do what we need to do to allow everyone access. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment. Karen