Guest Post: DVW & Netflix – Described Video Enhancement Survey, Due Date July 8, 2019

On Thursday, July 04, 2019 at 4:53 PM Nigel Mojica [mailto:nigel@descriptivevideoworks.com] said:

 

Hello!

 

Nigel from Descriptive Video Works here.

 

As you may know, we have been working with Netflix on improving the quality of the Described Video services on their streaming platform.

 

We are hoping you can assist us with this work! We have created a survey with a few questions about how we might be able to improve your experience of Described Video services for movies and TV. We ask that you please complete this survey at your soonest convenience.

 

You can access and respond to the survey questions via this link:

https://forms.gle/LTPPSs9MVo5G7SsL9

 

If you know other blind or partially sighted individuals who regularly access Described Video services for movies and TV, please go ahead and forward the survey link, or this email, to them. Or send me their contact information if preferred.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch any time. Completion of this survey by end of day Monday, July 8th would be very much appreciated.

 

Thank you for your help with this important and ongoing project.

 

Best regards,

Nigel

 

Nigel Mojica

Client Services Manager

Descriptive Video Works

 

E: nigel@descriptivevideowork.com

C: 1 604 603 3853

W: descriptivevideoworks.com

 

 

A proud member of the Netflix Post Partner Program

 

 

Guest Post: You are invited to participate in the Government of Canada’s Accessibility Survey/Le gouvernement du Canada vous invite à participer à son sondage sur l’accessibilité  

On June 25, 2019 at 2:35:36 PM EDT <ACCESSIBLE-CANADA@HRSDC-RHDCC.GC.CA> said:

You are invited to participate in the Government of Canada’s Accessibility Survey/Le gouvernement du Canada vous invite à participer à son sondage sur l’accessibilité

**French follows English **

 

To whom it may concern,

Employment and Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) Accessibility Secretariat has engaged Quorus Consulting Group to conduct a survey measuring Canadians’ awareness and experiences with accessibility and disability issues. The results of the survey will be used to help shape future federal accessibility policy.

We are inviting you to participate. The study is open to all Canadian citizens at least 18 years of age who have had a disability in the past or are currently living with a disability.

The survey should take about 15 minutes of your time, depending on how much feedback you want to provide. Your decision to participate is up to you and will not affect your relationship with the Government of Canada or the services they provide you in any way. The information you provide will be managed according to the requirements of the Privacy Act. The final report on the survey will be available to the public through Library and Archives Canada, and shared with the disability community.

Quorus is accepting survey submissions until July 5th, 2019. There are many ways you can participate in the survey:

  • You can complete the fully accessible online version of the survey by clicking on the following link: online survey
  • You can schedule a telephone interview by calling the following toll-free number: 1-866-875-5470. You will be prompted to leave a message describing when you would like to be called by an interviewer.
  • You can use your VRS, IP relay or TTY service to call the toll-free number: 1-866-875-5470 to schedule a telephone interview. When you are prompted to leave a message, please include your VRS, IP relay or TTY contact number, preferred language and time you would like to be called by an interviewer.
  • You can also email discussions@quorusconsulting.com to request a VRS, IP relay or TTY interview. In your email please include the following information:

o       If requesting VRS, your preferred language (ASL or LSQ) and your VRS contact number.

o       If requesting IP relay or TTY, your preferred language and service contact number.

If you have any questions or concerns about this survey or need it in another format, please contact the team at Quorus at discussions@quorusconsulting.com.  If you would like to contact someone at ESDC regarding this study, please email ACCESSIBLE-CANADA@HRSDC-RHDCC.GC.CA

The team at Quorus and at ESDC want to thank you for your involvement in helping to shape the future of accessibility in Canada. Feel free to share the information about this survey with other people who might be interested in participating.

 

Avis aux intéressés :

Le Secrétariat de l’accessibilité d’Emploi et Développement social Canada (EDSC) a retenu les services du groupe‑conseil Quorus pour faire enquête sur le degré de connaissance et d’expérience des Canadiens et Canadiennes face aux questions d’accessibilité et aux handicaps. Les résultats de cette enquête aideront à orienter les politiques fédérales sur l’accessibilité.

On vous invite à participer. L’enquête est ouverte à tous les citoyens et citoyennes du Canada âgés d’au moins 18 ans qui ont eu un handicap dans le passé ou qui vivent présentement avec un handicap.

Le questionnaire devrait prendre environ 15 minutes, selon le nombre de commentaires que vous voulez partager. Vous êtes entièrement libres de participer ou non au sondage et votre décision n’aura aucune conséquence sur vos interactions avec le gouvernement du Canada ou sur la prestation de services que vous recevez. Les renseignements fournis seront traités conformément aux exigences de la Loi sur la protection des renseignements personnels. Le public aura accès au rapport final du sondage auprès de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada; le rapport sera aussi partagé avec les communautés des personnes handicapées.

Quorus accepte les questionnaires dûment remplis jusqu’au 5 juillet 2019. Votre participation au sondage peut se faire au moyen d’une des méthodes suivantes :

  • Cliquez sur le lien suivant pour remplir la version en ligne entièrement accessible du questionnaire : sondage en ligne
  • Composez le numéro sans frais 1-866-875-5470 pour fixer un rendez-vous pour répondre au questionnaire par téléphone. On vous demandera de nous dire à quel moment vous voudriez qu’on communique avec vous pour faire l’entrevue.
  • Composez le numéro sans frais 1-866-875-5470 avec votre SRV, votre relais IP ou votre service ATS pour fixer un rendez-vous pour répondre au questionnaire par téléphone. Lorsqu’on vous demandera de laisser un message, veuillez donner les renseignements suivants : vos coordonnées téléphoniques de SRV, de relais IP ou d’ATS, la langue dans laquelle vous préférez répondre au questionnaire et l’heure à laquelle vous voudriez qu’on communique avec vous pour faire l’entrevue.
  • Faites parvenir un courriel pour demander une entrevue par SRV, relais IP ou ATS à l’adresse discussions@quorusconsulting.com. Assurez-vous de fournir les renseignements suivants dans votre courriel :
    • Si vous utilisez le SRV, précisez votre langue de préférence (ASL ou LSQ) et les coordonnées téléphoniques de votre SRV.
    • Si vous utilisez le relais IP ou ATS, précisez votre langue de préférence et les coordonnées téléphoniques de votre service.
  • Demandez ou téléchargez un exemplaire papier, un exemplaire papier ou numérisé en braille, ou un format DAISY du questionnaire en vous rendant sur le site quorusconsultations.com ou en faisant parvenir un courriel à discussions@quorusconsulting.com.

Si vous avez des questions ou des préoccupations concernant cette enquête ou si vous avez besoin d’un autre format, veuillez communiquer avec l’équipe Quorus à l’adresse discussions@quorusconsulting.com. Si vous désirez communiquer avec une personne d’EDSC au sujet de cette enquête, veuillez faire parvenir un courriel à ACCESSIBLE-CANADA@HRSDC-RHDCC.GC.CA

L’équipe Quorus et EDSC désirent vous remercier de votre contribution au développement de l’avenir de l’accessibilité au Canada. Nous vous invitons à partager les renseignements concernant le sondage avec d’autres personnes qui souhaiteraient y participer.

 

 

Guest Post: Tell the Government What You Know About Disability and Accessibility, Survey available until June 28, 2019 , FALA

From: Federal Accessibility Legislation Alliance [mailto: fala@civicrm.ca

Subject: Tell the Government What You Know About Disability and Accessibility

 

Hello Partners and Members of FALA / Bonjour partenaires et membres d’ALFA:

français à suivre

Here we are still in the afterglow of the passing of the Accessible Canada Act. In a few weeks, it will receive Royal Assent. Ahhhhhh… this feels good.

Meanwhile, there is still work going on to get the Accessible Canada Act up and running. Interviews are happening for the positions in the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization (CASDO) as well as for the Accessibility Commissioner and the Chief Accessibility Officer. Government staff are searching for office space for CASDO. The goal is to have CASDO up and running by mid-summer.

The Government of Canada wants to be able to measure change caused by the Accessible Canada Act. The only way to do this is to measure where we are at right now. So, they have developed a survey asking about awareness and experience with accessibility and disability issues.

Obviously, people with disabilities are going to know WAY more about disability issues than the general public, so we have our own part of the survey. Both groups will be surveyed to give the government an idea of where Canada is at regarding accessibility and disability issues – and where Canada can improve.

Your feedback is really important to mark where we are today and where we need to go in the future.

The survey is open to all Canadian citizens at least 18 years of age who have had a disability in the past or are currently living with a disability. The survey takes about 15 minutes and is open until June 28.

Here are all the ways you can complete the survey: (The FALA leadership team worked hard to ensure there were multiple ways to complete this survey.)

You can complete the fully accessible online version of the survey by clicking on the following link: online survey:

https://na1se.voxco.com/SE/85/W1309/

 

You can schedule a telephone interview by calling the following toll-free number: 1-866-875-5470. You will be prompted to leave a message describing when you would like to be called by an interviewer.

You can use your VRS, IP relay or TTY service to call the toll-free number: 1-866-875-5470 to schedule a telephone interview. When you are prompted to leave a message, please include your VRS, IP relay or TTY contact number, preferred language and time you would like to be called by an interviewer.

 

You can also email: discussions@quorusconsulting.com to request a VRS, IP relay or TTY interview. In your email please include the following information:

If requesting VRS, your preferred language (ASL or LSQ) and your VRS contact number.

If requesting IP relay or TTY, your preferred language and service contact number.

You can request or download a paper copy, Braille paper copy, digital Braille, or DAISY version of the questionnaire by visiting: www.quorusconsultations.com

or by emailing:

discussions@quorusconsulting.com

 

If you have any questions or concerns about this survey or need it in another format, please contact:

discussions@quorusconsulting.com

 

Nous sommes encore tous sous le coup de l’adoption de la Loi sur le Canada accessible. Dans quelques semaines, elle recevra la sanction royale. Ahhhhhh… que ça fait du bien.

Entre-temps, il reste encore du travail à faire pour que la Loi sur le Canada accessible soit opérationnelle. Des entrevues ont lieu pour les postes au sein de la Société canadienne d’élaboration de normes d’accessibilité (ACSSO), ainsi que pour le commissaire à l’accessibilité et le chef de l’accessibilité. Le personnel gouvernemental cherche des locaux pour CASDO. L’objectif est que CASDO soit opérationnel d’ici mi-été.

Le gouvernement du Canada veut pouvoir mesurer les changements causés par la Loi canadienne sur l’accessibilité. La seule façon de le faire est de mesurer où nous en sommes en ce moment. Ils ont donc mis au point un sondage sur la sensibilisation aux problèmes d’accessibilité et de handicap.

De toute évidence, les personnes handicapées vont en savoir beaucoup plus sur le problème des personnes handicapées que le grand public, nous avons donc notre propre sondage. Une enquête sera menée auprès des deux groupes afin de donner au gouvernement une idée de la position du Canada en matière d’accessibilité et des questions relatives aux personnes handicapées – et des domaines dans lesquels le Canada peut s’améliorer.

Vos commentaires sont très importants pour marquer où nous en sommes aujourd’hui et où nous devons aller à l’avenir.

L’enquête est destinée à tous les citoyens canadiens âgés de 18 ans ou plus et qui ont déjà eu une déficience ou vivent avec une déficience. Le sondage est d’environ 15 minutes et sera affichet jusqu’au 28 juin.

Voici toutes les façons dont vous pouvez remplir le sondage (l’équipe de direction de l’ALFA a travaillé fort pour s’assurer qu’il y avait plusieurs moyens de répondre à ce sondage):

Vous pouvez compléter la version en ligne entièrement accessible du sondage en cliquant sur le lien suivant: sondage en ligne: https://na1se.voxco.com/SE/85/W1309/

Vous pouvez planifier une entrevue téléphonique en composant le numéro sans frais suivant: 1-866-875-5470. Vous serez invité à laisser un message décrivant à quel moment vous souhaitez être appelé par un intervieweur.

Vous pouvez utiliser votre service VRS, relais IP ou ATS pour composer le numéro sans frais 1-866-875-5470 afin de planifier une entrevue téléphonique. Lorsque vous êtes invité à laisser un message, veuillez indiquer votre numéro de contact VRS, relais IP ou ATS, la langue de votre choix et l’heure à laquelle vous souhaitez être appelé par un intervieweur.

Vous pouvez également envoyer un courrier électronique à: discussions@quorusconsulting.com. pour demander une interview VRS, relais IP ou ATS. Dans votre courriel, veuillez inclure les informations suivantes:

Si vous demandez VRS, votre langue préférée (ASL ou LSQ) et votre numéro de contact VRS.

Si vous demandez un relais IP ou un téléscripteur, votre langue préférée et le numéro de téléphone du service

Vous pouvez demander ou télécharger une copie papier, une copie papier braille, une version braille numérique ou une version DAISY du questionnaire en visitant: http://www.quorusconsultations.com ou en envoyant un courrier électronique à: discussions@quorusconsulting.com.

Si vous avez des questions ou des préoccupations concernant ce sondage ou si vous en avez besoin dans un autre format, veuillez contacter: discussions@quorusconsulting.com.

On nous a demandé de vous dire que votre décision de participer revient à vous et qu’elle n’affectera pas votre relation avec le gouvernement du Canada ni les services qu’il vous fournit de quelque manière que ce soit. Les informations que vous fournissez seront gérées conformément aux exigences de la Loi sur la protection des renseignements personnels.

Le rapport final du sondage sera disponible au public par l’intermédiaire de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada et transmis à la communauté des personnes handicapées.

 

Yes, Alexa, Siri, and Google are listening — 6 ways to stop devices from recording you by Janet Perez, Komando.com

Yes, Alexa, Siri, and Google are listening — 6 ways to stop devices from recording you

komando.com

 

Yes, Alexa, Siri, and Google are listening — 6 ways to stop devices from recording you

Janet Perez, Komando.com

Full text of the article follows this URL:

 

Seems like we owe the tinfoil hat club a big apology. Yes, there are eyes and ears everywhere in just about any large city in the world. Here in the good,

old U-S-of-A, our smartphones, tablets, computers, cars, voice assistants and cameras are watching and listening to you.

 

We don’t know what is more troubling — that these devices keep track of us or that we shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh well?” That attitude of surrender

may stem from an overwhelming sense of helplessness. ”

Technology is everywhere.

Why fight it?”

 

Truth is, it’s not a fight. It’s a series of tap-or-click settings, which we’ll walk you through.

 

You can take control of what your devices hear and record, and it’s not that hard. We have 6 ways to help you turn off and tune out Alexa, Siri, and Google,

as well as smartphones, third-party apps, tablets, and computers.

 

How to stop Alexa from listening to you

 

Weeks after the public discovered that Alexa, and by extension Echo devices

are always listening,

Amazon announced a

new Alexa feature that’s already available.

It allows you to command the voice assistant to delete recent commands. Just say, “Alexa, delete everything I said today.”

 

Sounds great, but there’s still the problems of Alexa always listening and your old recordings. Let’s tackle the old recordings first. Unless the delete

command is expanded to include all recordings, you still have to remove old files manually. Here’s what to do:

 

list of 4 items

  1. Open the Alexa app and go into the “Settings” section.
  2. Select “History” and you’ll see a list of all the entries.
  3. Select an entry and tap the Delete button.
  4. If you want to delete all the recordings with a single click, you must visit the “Manage Your Content and Devices” page at amazon.com/mycd.

list end

 

As for Alexa and Echo devices always listening, well you could turn off each of the devices, but then what’s the point of having them? The real issue is

that we discovered Amazon employees around the world are listening to us and making transcriptions.

 

Here’s how to stop that:

 

list of 7 items

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap the menu button on the top left of the screen.
  3. Select “Settings” then “Alexa Account.”
  4. Choose “Alexa Privacy.”
  5. Select “Manage how your data improves Alexa.”
  6. Turn off the toggle next to “Help Develop New Features.”
  7. Turn off the toggle next to your name under “Use Messages to Improve Transcriptions.”

list end

 

For extra privacy, there’s also a way to mute the Echo’s mics. To turn the Echo’s mic off, press the microphone’s off/on button at the top of the device.

Whenever this button is red, the mic is off. To reactivate it, just press the button again and it will turn blue.

 

How to stop Siri from recording what you say

 

Alexa isn’t the only nosey assistant. Don’t forget the ones on your iPhones and Androids. On your iPhone,

“Hey Siri” is always on

waiting to receive your command to call someone or send a text message, etc. Apple says your iPhone’s mic is always on as it waits for the “Hey Siri”

command, but swears it is not recording.

 

If it still makes you nervous, you don’t have to disable Siri completely to stop the “Hey Siri” feature. On your iPhone, go to Settings >> Siri & Search >>

toggle off “Listen for Hey Siri.”

 

Note: “Hey Siri” only works for iPhone 6s or later. iPhone 6 or earlier has to be plugged in for the “Hey Siri” wake phrase to work.

 

How to delete your recordings from Google Assistant

 

Google Assistant has the

“OK Google” wake-up call,

but the company introduced the My Account tool that lets you access your recordings and delete them if you want. You can also tell Google to stop recording

your voice for good.

 

Here’s how to turn off the “OK Google” wake phrase: On Android, go to Settings >> Google >> Search & Now >> Voice and turn “Ok Google” detection off.

 

How to control third-party apps that record you

 

Even if you do all these steps for your Apple and Android devices, third-party apps you download could have their own listening feature. Case in point:

Facebook (although it denies it. But it’s still a good practice to check to see if third-party apps are listening).

 

Here’s how to stop Facebook from listening to you:

 

If you are an iPhone user, go to Settings >> Facebook >> slide the toggle next to Microphone to the left so it turns from green to white.

 

Or, you can go to Settings >> Privacy >> Microphone >> look for Facebook and slide the toggle next to it to the left to turn off the mic. You can toggle

the mic on and off for other apps this way, too.

 

For Android users go to Settings >> Applications >> Application Manager >> look for Facebook >> Permissions >> turn off the mic.

 

Tricks to disable screen recorders on tablets

 

Certain Apple iPads have the phone’s “Hey Siri” wake-up command feature. They are the 2nd-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Other iPad

and iPad Touch models have to be plugged in for the “Hey Siri” wake phrase to work.

 

The bad news for privacy seekers is that iPads come with a screen recording feature that also records audio.  It may pose issues in terms of both privacy

and security.

 

You can disable the screen recording feature through another feature, “Screen Time”:

 

list of 4 items

  1. Open the Settings app, and then tap Screen Time. On the Screen Time panel, tap “Content & Privacy Settings.”
  2. Tap “Content Restrictions.” If you don’t see this option, turn on the switch next to “Content & Privacy Restrictions” to unhide it.
  3. Under “Game Center,” tap “Screen Recording.”
  4. Tap “Don’t Allow” and then exit the Settings app. The screen recording control should no longer work, even if it is enabled within the Control Center.

list end

 

Screen Time is available in iOS 12 and above. If you are still using iOS 11 or iOS 10 on your iPhone or iPad, the above steps can be found under Settings

>> General >> Restrictions.

 

Android tablets also can record video and audio. However, you have to use a third-party app to disable the camera.

 

On your Android device, go to the Play Store, then download and install the app called “Cameraless.”

 

list of 5 items

  1. Once installed, launch the app from your app drawer.
  2. On the app’s main menu, tap the option for “Camera Manager On/Off.” By default, the camera manager is set to “Off,” so you need to enable the app first

as one of your device administrators before you can switch it “On.”

  1. Once your camera manager is “On,” just tap the option for “Disable camera” then wait until the notice disappears on your screen.
  2. Once you’re done, just close the app then go to your tablet’s camera icon.
  3. If successfully disabled, you’ll immediately get a notice that your device camera has been disabled due to security policy violations. This is the notice

that you’ll get from the “Cameraless” app. If you click “OK” you’ll be taken back to your home screen.

list end

 

Desktop and laptops are watching and listening too

Computer monitor and keyboard

 

We’ve been warned for years about hackers taking control of cameras on your computer screen. No need for elaborate instructions on disabling and enabling

the camera. Just slap a sticker on it and only remove it if you have to use Skype. Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones.

 

Unfortunately, you do have to root around your computer a bit to turn off mics.

 

For PCs running Windows 10, the process is actually quite painless. Right-click on the “Start Button” and open “Device Manager.” In the “Device Manager”

window, expand the audio inputs and outputs section and you will see your microphone listed as one of the interfaces. Right-click on “Microphone” and select

“Disable.” You’re done.

 

For Macs, there are two methods depending on how old your operating system is. For Macs with newer operating systems:

 

list of 5 items

  1. Launch “System Preferences” from the Apple menu in the upper left corner.
  2. Click on the “Sound” preference panel.
  3. Click on the “Input” tab.
  4. Drag the “Input volume” slider all the way to the left so it can’t pick up any sound.
  5. Close “System Preferences.”

list end

 

If you have an older operating system, use this method:

 

list of 5 items

  1. Launch the “System Preferences.”
  2. Click on “Sound.”
  3. Click on the “Input” tab.
  4. Select “Line-in.”
  5. Close System Preferences

list end

 

Now you know how to take control of your devices and how they listen and record you. It’s a pretty simple way to get your privacy back, at least some of

it.

 

Stop Facebook’s targeted advertising by changing your account settings

 

Let me be frank: I only keep a Facebook account to engage with listeners of my national radio show. I don’t use my personal account. I stepped away from

the social media platform, and I never looked back.

 

Click here to read more about Facebook advertising.

 

Please share this information with everyone. Just click on any of the social media buttons on the side.

 

list of 14 items

  • Fraud/Security/Privacy
  • Alexa
  • Amazon
  • Android
  • Apple
  • Echo
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • iPad
  • Mac
  • PC
  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Siri

list end

 

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Re-post: Alt-texts: The Ultimate Guide by Daniel Göransson

Alt-texts: The Ultimate Guide

Author: Daniel Göransson

Date Written: Oct 14, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Date Saved: 5/14/19, 1:43 PM

This post contains everything you need to know about alt-texts! When to use them and how to perfectly craft them. By me, Daniel, a web developer with vision impairment who use a screen reader in my day-to-day life.

 

My experience of images on the web

I use a combination of magnification and screen reader when surfing the web. As a rule of thumb, I use magnification on larger screens and a screen reader on smaller devices.

I, like everyone else, come across many images when surfing the web. If I’m using a screen reader I depend on getting a description of the image – the alt-text – read to me.

Many times the alt-text is not helpful, often even a waste of my time because it doesn’t convey any meaning.

Let me illustrate this on The Verge’s startpage. This is what it looks like for sighted people:

 

Below is what I see. I’ve replaced the images with what my screen reader reads:

 

Not very useful, huh?

Here are some common alt-text-fails I come across:

  • “cropped_img32_900px.png” or “1521591232.jpg” – the file names, probably because the image has no alt-attribute.
  • “” – on every image in the article, probably for improving search ranking (SEO).
  • “Photographer: Emma Lee” – probably because the editor doesn’t know what an alt-text is for.

Alt-texts are not always this bad, but there’s usually a lot to improve upon. So whether you are a complete beginner or want to take your “game” to the next level, here’s our ultimate guide to alt-texts!

What is an alt-text

An alt-text is a description of an image that’s shown to people who for some reason can’t see the image. Among others, alt-texts help:

  • people with little or no vision
  • people who have turned off images to save data
  • search engines

The first group – people with little or no vision – is arguably the one that benefits most from alt-texts. They use something called a screen reader to navigate the web. A screen reader transforms visual information to speech or braille. To do this accurately, your website’s images need to have alt-texts.

Alt-texts are super important! So important that the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) have alt-texts as their very first guideline:

All non-text content that is presented to the user has a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose.
– WCAG guideline 1.1.1

How do I add an alt-text?

In html, an alt-text is an attribute in an image element:

HTML

Most content management systems (CMS), like WordPress, let you create the alt-text when you upload an image:

 

The field is usually named “Alt-text”, “Alternative text” or “Alt”, but in some interfaces it’s called “Image description” or something similar.

Let’s create the perfect alt-text!

Here are the steps to crafting fabulous alt-texts!

It might sound obvious, but an alt-text should describe the image. For example:
“Group of people on a train station.”
“Happy baby playing in a sand box.”
“Five people in line at a supermarket.”

Things that do not belong in an alt-text are:

  • The name of the photographer. This is very common, but makes absolutely no sense.
  • Keywords for search engine optimization. Don’t cram alt-text with irrelevant words you’re hoping to rank high on Google with. That’s not what alt-texts are for and it will confuse your users.

Content of the alt-text depends on context

How you describe the image depends on its context. Let me give you an example:

 

If this image was featured in an article about photography, the alt-text could be something along the lines of:

“Close up, greyscale photograph of man outside, face in focus, unfocused background.”

If the image is on a website about a TV-series, an appropriate alt-text could be completely different:

“Star of the show, Adam Lee, looking strained outside in the rain.”

So write an alt-text that is as meaningful as possible for the user in the context they’re in.

Keep it concise

Reading the previous section, you might be thinking to yourself: “I, as a sighted user, can see many details in the image, like who it is, how it’s photographed, type of jacket, approximate age of the guy and more. Why not write a detailed, long alt-text so a user with visual impairment gets as much information as I do?”

Glad you asked!

Well frankly, you can also get the necessary information from the image at a glance, and that’s what we’re trying to achieve for users with screen readers as well. Give the necessary information in the alt-text, but make it as short and concise as possible.

One of the few times you should write long alt-texts is when you’re describing an image containing important text. Ideally, you should not have images of text, but sometimes you need to. Like on some screenshots or photos of signs.

But the general rule of thumb is to keep it concise and avoid a verbose experience.

Don’t say it’s an image

Don’t start alt-texts with “Image of”, “Photo of” or similar. The screen reader will add that by default. So if you write “Image of” in an alt-text, a screen reader will say “Image Image of…” when the user focuses on the image. Not very pleasant.

One thing you can do is end the alt-text by stating if it’s a special type of image, like an illustration.

“Dog jumping through a hoop. Illustration.”

End with a period.

End the alt-text with a period. This will make screen readers pause a bit after the last word in the alt-text, which creates a more pleasant reading experience for the user.

Don’t use the title-attribute

Many interfaces have a field for adding title-texts to images close to where you can add an alt-text. Skip the title text! Nobody uses them – they don’t work on touch screens and on desktop they require that the user hovers for a while over an image, which nobody does. Also, adding a title-text makes some screen readers both read the title-text and the alt-text, which becomes redundant. So just don’t add a title-text.

When not to use an alt-text

In most cases you should use an alt-text for images, but there are some exceptions where you should leave the alt-text blank. Important note: never remove the alt-attribute, that would mean breaking the html-standard. But you are allowed to set it to an empty string, that is: alt=””. Do that in the following cases.

Repeated images in feeds

Pretend you’re scrolling through your Twitter feed. Everytime you want to read a new tweet, you first have to listen to “Profile picture of user ”. In my opinion, that would be super annoying!

Other examples of feeds are:

  • A list of links to articles. Like the one on our page Articles.
  • Chat or messaging feeds
  • Feeds of comments

So for an ideal user experience, leave the alt-text blank for images that are used repeatedly in feeds.

Icons with text labels

You should always have text labels next to icons. Assuming you do, the icon should not have an alt-text. Let me explain why!

Let’s take a social media button as an example:

 

If you would write an alt text to the Facebook icon, a screen reader would say something along the line: “Facebook Facebook.” Very redundant!

OK, this is technically not about alt-texts but still important: make sure both the icon and the link text are in the same link-attribute, to get a smooth experience. Like this:
HTML

  

  Facebook

 

Another common mistake with icons is on menu buttons:

 

If the menu button has no visual text label – which, by the way, is really bad for the user experience – then it needs an alt-text (or another way of describing its function in code, like aria-label). Explain the icon’s function, like “Menu”. Don’t write “Three horizontal lines” or “Main hamburger”, which sadly are real examples I’ve stumbled on.

If the menu icon has a label, you should leave the alt-text blank. I often find menu buttons which are read as “Menu menu”. Once I even came across “Hamburger menu menu”. Somewhat confusing wouldn’t you say?

Images in links

Usually an image within a link is accompanied by a link text. Like in the example below:

 

In this case, the image and the link should be in the same link-tag in the html. In this case, you can just leave the alt-text blank. The important thing for the user is to hear the link text. An alt-text of the image would only distract by adding information that the user will not find necessary. The image is probably found on the page that is linked, and then you can give a good explanation of it in the alt-text.

If you really, really have to have an image in a link without an accompanying text, then the alt-text should describe the link destination, not the image.

Preferably, decorative images that do not convey any meaning to the user should be placed as background images in css. It probably goes without saying, but this means you don’t need alt-texts on them at all.

I’d classify most images that you place text on as decorative. You don’t need an alt-text on them. One example is the background image on Netflix’s startpage:

 

Special cases

Logos in the banner

Logos in the banner almost always link to the websites start page. The opinions vary a bit on the topic of alt-texts for logos.

Some say it should include the company name, the fact that it is a logo and the destination of the link. Like such:

“Axess Lab, logotype, go to start page.”

In my opinion, this is a bit verbose. Too much noise! Since my screen reader already tells me it’s an image and a link, I only feel I need to hear the company name. From the fact it’s an image I assume it’s a logo and from the fact it’s a link I assume it follow conventions and links to the start page.

Svg

Scalable vector graphics (svg) is an image format that’s becoming more and more popular on the web. And I love them! They keep their sharpness while zooming and take up less space so websites load faster.

There are a two main ways of adding an svg to an html-page.

  1. Inside an img-element. In that case, just add an alt-text as usual:
HTML
  2. Using an svg-tag. If you use this method, you can’t add an alt-attribute because there’s no support for that. However you can get around this by adding two wai-aria attributes: role=”img” and aria-label=”.

Actually, for the second case, you’re supposed to be able to add your alt-text as a title-element in the svg, but there is not enough support for that from browsers and assistive technologies at the moment.

Can’t a machine do this for me?

Although machine learning and artificial intelligence is improving quickly and can describe some images quite accurately, they are not good enough at understanding the relevant context at the moment. On top of that, machines are not good enough at deciding what is “concise”, and will often describe too much or too little of the image.

Facebook has actually built in a feature that describes images automatically. But I feel like the descriptions are usually too general. One image in my feed right now is described as: “Cat indoors”. The actual photo shows a cat hunting a toy mouse.

So I’m sorry, you still have to write alt-texts yourself!

Thanks for making the web better!

I’m happy you read this far! It means you care about making the web a better place for all users. Spread the knowledge and keep being awesome!

Get notified when we write new stuff

About once a month we write an article about accessibility or usability, that’s just as awesome as this one (#HumbleBrag)!

Get notified by following us on Twitter @AxessLab or Facebook.

Or simply drop your email below!

 

 

 

Study on the use of remote, video-based assistance

The following is a message from Envision Research Institute and Wichita State University faculty member Vinod Namboori: 

We are conducting a study on the use of remote, video-based assistance by blind and visually impaired (BVI) individuals. We want to survey BVI individuals who have used mobile apps like Facetime, Skype, BeMyEyes, AIRA to receive remote, video-based assistance from a sighted person. Results of this study will help us understand how mobile apps might best offer remote, video-based sighted assistance to BVI individuals in overcoming challenges faced in performing routine tasks. 

If you are someone with blindness or low vision, and have received remote, video-based assistance in the past, we invite you to complete an anonymous short survey on your experience and preferences. Completing this survey should not take more than 15 minutes using a computer, tablet, or smartphone with reliable Internet connection. Link to survey: https://forms.gle/33NmDtFptnYTVyy26

If you have any questions, please contact Vinod Namboori at vinod.namboodiri@wichita.edu  

 

Resources: Breaking barriers: accessibility at home a costly process, by Blair Crawford, Ottawa Citizen

Breaking barriers: accessibility at home a costly process

Author: Blair Crawford

Date Written: Mar 29, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Date Saved: 3/30/19, 9:34 PM

Source: https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/ottawa-firm-specializes-in-accessibilty-renovations

 

Jennifer and Eli Glanz with daughter Emilia in the master bathroom they had modified to accommodate Jenifer’s wheelchair.

It’s just a few centimetres high, but the sill of the sliding glass door that leads to the back deck of her Barrhaven home is a mountain to Jennifer Glanz.

“It’s little, but I can’t get over it,” said Glanz, who has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair. Glanz and her husband, Eli, have already installed a $4,000 electric lift in their garage so that Jennifer can get out of the house, and recently completed a renovation to make their bathroom barrier free.

They moved with their daughter Emelia, 3 1/2, to a bungalow a few years ago when Jennifer’s deteriorating condition made it impossible for her to manage the stairs in their former two-storey home. The small ramp over the door sill is the next item on their reno list for summer — “if we ever get a summer,” Jennifer jokes.

“It’s the next project. And a ramp down to the grass. Emilia will be playing on the grass this summer and it would be nice to be there with her.”

Whether it’s a senior who wants to age in place in her own home, a person battling a debilitating illness, or someone injured in a sudden, catastrophic tragedy like the Westboro OC Transpo bus crash, those facing disability find that barriers abound in the home. In fact, 22 per cent Canadians live with some sort of physical disability, according to Statistics Canada.

Story continues below

“The older you get, the more likely you are to have a disability,” says Patrick Curran, national executive director of Independent Living Canada, a national non-profit agency that advocates for those living with disabilities and promotes independent living.

“And if you live long enough, you will have a disability.”

Many of the modifications needed to make a home accessible are obvious: a wheelchair ramp to the front door, for example. Others aren’t so apparent.

“One item that’s a really big, especially for someone with head injuries, is lighting,” said Sean MacGinnis, co-founder BuildAble, an Ottawa company that specializes in building and renovating homes for accessibility. “You want lighting that won’t put a strain on your eyes. Or if it’s for someone who has a visual impairment, better lighting will eliminate shadows and help them see any changes in elevation in their home.”

MacGinnis founded BuildAble five years ago with partner Kyla Cullain, a registered nurse. The company works closely with their clients’ medical teams — their family doctor or occupational therapist, for example — to develop an appropriate construction plan, he said.

“We started the company out focusing on people who are aging in place, but we’ve found the majority of our clients are people who have had a medical crisis, MS or a stroke or something like that … and we do have a lot of people who’ve been in vehicle accidents too. They’re in mid-life and they want to stay in their homes or they have family that they don’t want to move.”

For Eli and Jennifer Glanz, that meant redoing their bathroom to make it accessible. BuildAble installed a barrier free bathroom that Jennifer can roll up to and swing herself into a spare wheelchair that stays in the shower. The tile floor slopes gently to a drain and a waterproof barrier under the entire bathroom floor means spills or floods cause no damage.

The old sink and vanity was replaced with a “floating sink” that lets Jennifer wheel up to it like a desk. Three heavy-duty handrails give support and stability at the toilet.

“For the longest time we had a standard tub and shower that you see in most showers. Jennifer can’t transfer herself into a standard tub, even if there’s a shower seat. It would be me physically lifting her up and into the tub. That was hard for both of us,” Eli said.

“She keeps reminding me, I only have one back.”

“It brought more independence to me,” Jennifer said. “Before, I would have to have him home and helping me have a shower. Now I don’t. He doesn’t know how many times I shower.”

It cost $15,000 to renovate the bathroom, about 80 per cent of which was paid for with grants from March of Dimes. The family had to cover the cost of the garage lift on their own.

Another clever addition are offset hinges that allow doors to swing completely out of the way, adding a crucial extra five centimetres width to the doorway for Jennifer’s chair to pass.

The simplest and most common modification to a home is to add grab bars and handrails, MacGinnis said, including railings on both sides of a staircase. In the kitchen, countertops and cabinets can be made to lower to wheelchair level, while full-extension drawers are easier to access without awkward reaching.

One of BuildAble’s biggest jobs was to add a full elevator to a home for a man with Parkinson’s Disease, he said.

The cost can vary widely. The cost of home modifications are often included in the insurance payout for accident victims or — as in the case of an Ottawa Public servant who is suing the city for $6.3 million for injuries in the Westboro bus crash — part of the lawsuit claim. Others are helped with the cost through grants from the March of Dimes and other charities or through tax breaks.

“There’s a lot of low-cost things we can do that have a high impact,” MacGinnis said. A grab bar might cost $100. A second staircase railing $1,000. A wooden ramp to the door can range from $500 to $5,000, while a more aesthetically pleasing ramp of interlocking brick could cost $15,000 to $20,000.

A barrier-free bathroom costs between $12,000 and $15,000 while a full reno to make a kitchen full accessible can run up to $30,000, he said.

In Ontario, someone who has suffered catastrophic injuries in a car crash is eligible for $1 million in under the province’s the province’s Statutory Accident Benefit Schedule. But for non-catastrophic injuries, that benefit is capped at $65,000 and will only last five years, said lawyer Najma Rashid, a partner in Howard Yegendorf & Associates.

“Just because someone’s injuries aren’t catastrophic, doesn’t mean they’re not serious,” Rashid said. “Many people with serious injuries might be stuck with that $65,000 and it’s only available for five years so they have to make a judgment call as to whether they’re going to use part of the money for changes to their home or for ongoing treatment needs.”

Additional costs could become part of a lawsuit claim, she said. Lawyers would work with their clients medical team or hire an occupational therapist or consultant to determine what renovations are needed and their cost.

“And if they do claim it in a lawsuit, they have to wait for that lawsuit to be over. Or self fund it and look for a reimbursement, but most people don’t have the money to pay for it themselves.”

Those looking for more information on improving accessibility will be able to find it Independent Living Canada’s AccessABLE Technology Expo on May 30 at the Ottawa Conference and Events Centre on Coventry Road. The one-day expo will bring together 20 exhibitors with a broad range of products for disabilities such as visual or hearing loss, cognitive impairment and mental health issues. Admission is free, Curran said.

“We’re doing this to build awareness for Independent Living Canada,” Curran said. “But we also want to give to hope to people who have disabilities — to show them that there are people out there doing research and introducing new products that will be of interest to them.”

For more information, visit ilcanada.ca

Twitter.com/getBAC

Trending Videos

 

 

 

Guest Post: Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-67

Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-67

Date Written: Mar 10, 2019 at 8:00 PM

Date Saved: 2019-03-11, 8:35 PM

Source: https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2019/2019-67.htm

Call for comments on an amendment proposed by Bell Media Inc., Corus Entertainment Inc. and Rogers Media Inc. to their condition of licence that requires prime time programming to be broadcast with described video

The Commission calls for comments on an application by Bell Media Inc., Corus Entertainment Inc. and Rogers Media Inc., on behalf of their licensees (the Licensees), requesting that the Commission amend their condition of licence that requires prime time programming (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.) to be broadcast with described video effective 1 September 2019.

Specifically, the Licensees requested an exception to that condition of licence to be allowed to air non-Canadian programs received less than 72 hours prior to broadcast without described video. For such programming, repeat airings with described video would be scheduled in prime time at a time greater than 72 hours from delivery.

The deadline for the receipt of interventions is 25 April 2019. Only parties that file interventions may file a reply to matters raised during the intervention phase. The deadline to file replies is 13 May 2019.

Introduction

  1. The Commission is committed to improving the accessibility of the broadcasting system for persons with disabilities. This objective of Canada’s broadcasting policy is prescribed in section 3(1)(p) of the Broadcasting Act, which states that programming accessible by disabled persons should be provided within the Canadian broadcasting system as resources become available for the purpose.
  2. Television plays an important role in shaping Canadian society. It is a primary source of news, entertainment and sports programming, and plays a critical role in making Canadians aware of the wide range of ideas and perspectives that make up the rich fabric of our society. As a result, it is important that all Canadians have access to what television has to offer.
  3. Described video is a narrated description of a program’s main visual elements, such as setting, costumes and body language. It helps to make television programming accessible for people with visual disabilities by allowing them to better understand what is occurring on the screen. Described video thus enables accessibility of broadcast information, entertainment, ideas and perspectives that all Canadians enjoy.
  4. Recognizing the importance of described video, the Commission has incrementally increased the availability of programming with described video in the Canadian broadcasting system since 2001 to ensure the continual availability of a greater diversity of described video content.
  5. In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2015-104, the Commission stated that it would implement a tiered approach to the provision of described video. This approach would ramp up described video requirements over time in accordance with the size and resources of broadcasters. Specifically, by 1 September 2019, broadcasters currently subject to described video requirements, as well as those that belong to vertically integrated entities, will be required to provide described video for their prime time programming (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.) that falls under the identified program categories1 seven days per week.
  6. In Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2016-436, the Commission established standard conditions of licence to that effect that would be imposed during the subsequent television licence renewals. However, the Commission also noted in that regulatory policy that requirements relating to the provision of described video for undertakings for which more substantial levels are appropriate would be discussed with those undertakings at licence renewals and imposed on a case-by-case basis. Accordingly, when the Commission renewed the broadcasting licences for the English- and French-language stations and services belonging to large ownership groups in 2017, it imposed the described video requirement as a standard condition of licence, which reads as follows: The licensee shall, by 1 September 2019, provide described video for all English- and French-language programming that is broadcast during prime time (i.e., from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.) and that is drawn from program categories 2(b) Long-form documentary, 7 Drama and comedy, 9 Variety, 11(a) General entertainment and human interest and 11(b) Reality television, and/or is programming targeting preschool children (0-5 years of age) and children (6-12 years of age).

Experience of Canadians

  1. Users of described video have consistently expressed to the Commission the value of traditional and conventional television programming. Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have stated that television continues to be their primary source of media and that described video programming directly contributes to a higher quality of life.
  2. In past proceedings, Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have requested that the Commission increase described video programming specifically during prime time hours, arguing that such programming aired solely at daytime and/or nighttime hours neither meets their viewing needs nor provides for an equitable level of programming available to other viewers. They stated that while they often pay the same price for programming as other television subscribers, they can access only a fraction of the programming.

Application requesting an exception to described video requirements

  1. On 28 November 2018, Bell Media Inc. (Bell), Corus Entertainment Inc. (Corus) and Rogers Media Inc. (Rogers), on behalf of their licensees (the Licensees), filed a Part 1 application requesting that the Commission amend their condition of licence that requires prime time programming (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.) to be broadcast with described video effective 1 September 2019.
  2. Specifically, the Licensees requested an exception to that condition of licence to be allowed to air non-Canadian programs received less than 72 hours prior to broadcast without described video. For such programming, repeat airings with described video would be scheduled in prime time at a time greater than 72 hours from delivery.
  3. The Licensees argued that the exception is necessary because a significant amount of U.S. content arrives without embedded described video very close to the time of broadcast and that there is insufficient time to produce or outsource described video in these circumstances. They added that live described video is not a viable option.
  4. Without being granted this amendment, the Licensees stated that they would be unable to meet the prime time described video requirements by 1 September 2019. They also proposed that broadcasters be required to keep a log detailing the receipt date of all U.S. programs received without described video and broadcast in prime time, and provided a template for that purpose.
  5. The application includes letters from described video production houses and various U.S.-based production/distribution studios that specify timeframes for delivery to Canada for first-run television series. The application and supporting letters can be found on the Commission’s website.

Call for comments

  1. The Commission calls for comments on the Licensees’ proposal to amend the condition of licence on described video,2 as follows (changes are in bold): 
The licensee shall, by 1 September 2019, provide described video for all English- and French-language programming that is broadcast during prime time (i.e., from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.) and that is drawn from program categories 2(b) Long-form documentary, 7 Drama and comedy, 9 Variety, 11(a) General entertainment and human interest and 11(b) Reality television, and/or is programming targeting preschool children (0-5 years of age) and children (6-12 years of age) with the exception of non-Canadian programs that are received less than 72 hours prior to air. Such programs will be broadcast with described video for repeat airings scheduled in prime time greater than 72 hours from delivery.
  2. Further, the Commission is seeking comments regarding issues raised by the application, such as:

◦           the specific first-run prime time programs that are at issue in this application;

◦           the impact on viewers;

◦           the manner in which viewers could find accurate information concerning the scheduling of repeat airings of the programming at issue;

◦           the reason(s) why a significant amount of non-Canadian programming arrives without embedded described video;

◦           the commercial arrangements that the Licensees have with their suppliers of non-Canadian programming to procure first-run prime time programming with embedded described video;

◦           alternative approaches that would allow the Licensees to meet their described video requirements; and

◦           measures the Commission should take, if any, to be satisfied that the Licensees would be compliant with the proposed exception, should the Commission grant it.

  1. 
Though the specific questions are set out in the appendix to this notice, interventions may address any issue relevant to the proposed amendment.

Disposal of application

  1. The Commission considers that the requests made by the Licensees would be better addressed through this notice of consultation. Bell, Corus and Rogers are therefore made parties to this proceeding, and their 28 November 2018 application and supporting letters referenced above are made part of the record of this proceeding.
  2. Consequently, the application is closed, and the matters raised therein will be dealt with according to the procedure set out in this notice.

Procedure

  1. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (the Rules of Procedure) apply to the present proceeding. The Rules of Procedure set out, among other things, the rules for content, format, filing and service of interventions, answers, replies and requests for information; the procedure for filing confidential information and requesting its disclosure; and the conduct of public hearings. Accordingly, the procedure set out below must be read in conjunction with the Rules of Procedure and related documents, which can be found on the Commission’s website under “Statutes and Regulations.” The guidelines set out in Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2010-959 provide information to help interested persons and parties understand the Rules of Procedure so that they can more effectively participate in Commission proceedings.
  2. The Commission invites interventions that address the issues and questions set out in the appendix to this notice. The Commission will accept interventions that it receives on or before 25 April 2019. Only parties that file interventions may file a reply to matters raised during the intervention phase. The deadline for the filing of replies is 13 May 2019. The Commission may request information, in the form of interrogatories, from any party to the proceeding.
  3. The Commission encourages interested persons and parties to monitor the record of the proceeding, available on the Commission’s website, for additional information that they may find useful when preparing their submissions.
  4. Submissions longer than five pages should include a summary. Each paragraph of all submissions should be numbered, and the line ***End of document*** should follow the last paragraph. This will help the Commission verify that the document has not been damaged during electronic transmission.
  5. Pursuant to Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin 2015-242, the Commission expects incorporated entities and associations, and encourages all Canadians, to file submissions for Commission proceedings in accessible formats (for example, text-based file formats that allow text to be enlarged or modified, or read by screen readers). To provide assistance in this regard, the Commission has posted on its website guidelines for preparing documents in accessible formats.
  6. Submissions must be filed by sending them to the Secretary General of the Commission using only one of the following means: 
by completing the
[Intervention/comment/answer form]
or
by mail to
CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
or
by fax at
819-994-0218
  7. Parties who send documents electronically must ensure that they will be able to prove, upon Commission request, that filing, or where required, service of a particular document was completed. Accordingly, parties must keep proof of the sending and receipt of each document for 180 days after the date on which the document is filed or served. The Commission advises parties who file or serve documents by electronic means to exercise caution when using email for the service of documents, as it may be difficult to establish that service has occurred.
  8. In accordance with the Rules of Procedure, a document must be received by the Commission and all relevant parties by 5 p.m. Vancouver time (8 p.m. Ottawa time) on the date it is due. Parties are responsible for ensuring the timely delivery of their submissions and will not be notified if their submissions are received after the deadline. Late submissions, including those due to postal delays, will not be considered by the Commission and will not be made part of the public record.
  9. The Commission will not formally acknowledge submissions. It will, however, fully consider all submissions, which will form part of the public record of the proceeding, provided that the procedure for filing set out above has been followed.

Important notice

  1. All information that parties provide as part of this public process, except information designated confidential, whether sent by postal mail, fax, email or through the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca, becomes part of a publicly accessible file and will be posted on the Commission’s website. This information includes personal information, such as full names, email addresses, postal/street addresses, telephone and fax numbers, etc.
  2. The personal information that parties provide will be used and may be disclosed for the purpose for which the information was obtained or compiled by the Commission, or for a use consistent with that purpose.
  3. Documents received electronically or otherwise will be put on the Commission’s website in their entirety exactly as received, including any personal information contained therein, in the official language and format in which they are received. Documents not received electronically will be available in PDF format.
  4. The information that parties provide to the Commission as part of this public process is entered into an unsearchable database dedicated to this specific public process. This database is accessible only from the web page of this particular public process. As a result, a general search of the Commission’s website with the help of either its own search engine or a third-party search engine will not provide access to the information that was provided as part of this public process.

Availability of documents

  1. Electronic versions of the interventions and of other documents referred to in this notice, are available on the Commission’s website at www.crtc.gc.ca by visiting the “Have your say!” section, then selecting “our open processes.” Documents can then be accessed by clicking on the links in the “Subject” and “Related Documents” columns associated with this particular notice.
  2. Documents are also available at the following address, upon request, during normal business hours. 
Les Terrasses de la Chaudière
Central Building
1 Promenade du Portage, Room 206
Gatineau, Quebec
J8X 4B1
Tel.: 819-997-2429 
Fax: 819-994-0218
Toll-free telephone: 1-877-249-2782
Toll-free TTY: 1-877-909-2782

Secretary General

  • Rogers Media Inc. – Licence renewals for English-language television stations, services and network, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-151, 15 May 2017
  • Corus Entertainment Inc. – Licence renewals for English-language television stations and services, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-150, 15 May 2017
  • Bell Media Inc. – Licence renewals for English-language television stations and services, Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-149, 15 May 2017
  • Standard requirements for television stations, discretionary services, and on-demand services, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2016-436, 2 November 2016
  • Filing submissions for Commission proceedings in accessible formats, Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2015-242, 8 June 2015
  • Let’s Talk TV – Navigating the Road Ahead – Making informed choices about television providers and improving accessibility to television programming, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2015-104, 26 March 2015
  • Guidelines on the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure, Broadcasting and Telecom Information Bulletin CRTC 2010-959, 23 December 2010

Appendix to Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2019-67

Questions regarding described video requirements

Questions for Canadian viewers

Q1. In a scenario in which the Commission grants the amendment proposed by the Licensees, what would be the impact on your viewing experience? Include in your answer any steps that the Licensees could take to address these impacts.

Q2. How would granting the proposed amendment affect your ability to find out about when and how the programming at issue will be rebroadcast with described video? Include in your answer any actions that the Licensees could take to address this concern.

Questions for Bell, Corus and Rogers

Q3. This application raises what appears to be a procurement issue that could be resolved through amendments to existing procurement/licensing agreements with suppliers or in future negotiations. As such, the need for an exception as proposed by the Licensees would appear to be temporary in nature. Provide comment on the period of time required for the proposed exception, with supporting rationale.

Q4. Should the Commission agree with the need for an exception, the amended condition of licence, as proposed, would exclude “non-Canadian programs that are received less than 72 hours prior to air.” The proposed wording would, in theory, include non-Canadian programming that contains embedded described video. Provide comment on whether the proposed wording of the condition of licence accurately reflects the exception sought and, if not, propose alternative wording.

Q5. In a scenario in which the Commission grants the proposed amendment:

  1. Describe the approach that your organization would take to schedule the repeat programming at issue during prime time. In your response, specify the proximity of the repeat airing with described video to the first-run airing without described video in hours, days, weeks or months, as applicable for each program.
  2. Describe how you will clearly communicate the repeat airings of the programming with described video to your customers who rely on described video to ensure that they know when and how they can access this programming.
  3. Identify the reporting requirements, if any, that in your view would be appropriate to satisfy the Commission and Canadians that you have met the scheduling and communication commitments that you have detailed in your response to 5a. and b.

Q6. Provide your assessment of the impact of the proposed amendment on the viewing experience of your customers who rely on described video in accessing and enjoying first-run prime time programming. Include in your response input from consultations held with these customers.

 

Guest Post: On Behalf of CNIB, Connected autonomous vehicles – stakeholder survey

On Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 4:45 PM Lui Greco Lui.Greco@cnib.ca asked on behalf of CNIB:

Re: Connected autonomous vehicles – stakeholder survey

 

Good afternoon:

 

Over the past several months, I may have spoken with you regarding a project being undertaken by CNIB. Funded in part by the Government of Canada, we are working towards developing policy recommendations as to the introduction of connected and autonomous vehicles.

This project is looking at both international best practices/research as well as the possible impacts on pedestrians with sight loss as both infrastructure considerations change and vehicles start to become “smarter”; quotes on smarter.

Phase II of this project is to undertake a wide reaching stakeholder survey to understand how persons with sight loss or who are blind perceive the opportunities and barriers which will be brought about by vehicles that exchange data with one another and vehicles and infrastructure interacting digitally.

The stakeholder engagement phase of this work involves requesting persons with sight loss who are blind to complete an online survey. The survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. It can be found here.

 

Thank you for taking time to complete this survey and, if you can, please share it with others.

 

 

Lui Greco

Manager, Regulatory Affairs

CNIB Foundation

10 11A Street North East

Calgary, Alberta, T2E 4Z3

T: (403) 261-7234 ext. 6226 | M: (403) 629-3522

mailto:lui.greco@cnib.ca | http://www.cnib.ca

www.twitter.com/CNIBAdvocacy

 

Advocacy: The Americans with Disabilities Act and The boutique Avanti Hotel

I wonder if our Accessible Canada Act will allow for this level of action?  The article pasted below can be found at this link:

 

Nov. 11–The boutique Avanti Hotel is known for its poolside, dog-friendly rooms. Yet its website uses the valuable opening page not to highlight the Palm

Springs inn’s amenities, but to explain, in stark black letters on a plain white background, that the Avanti violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

Like thousands of other businesses in the United States, the 10-room hotel on East Stevens Road has been sued because it hasn’t fully complied with the

1990 law that requires public places — hotels, restaurants and shops — to be accessible to people with disabilities.

 

But Avanti isn’t being accused of failing to build a wheelchair ramp or install handrails — common charges in the scores of ADA lawsuits in years past.

Instead, the lawsuit contends that the hotel’s website can’t be used by people who have problems seeing or hearing.

 

Avanti Hotel and others have been caught up in a recent wave of ADA lawsuits targeting websites across the country. The Trump administration’s decision

to stop drafting rules for website ADA compliance is widely seen as opening the floodgates to legal action.

 

Nearly 5,000 ADA lawsuits were filed in federal court for alleged website violations in the first six months of 2018, according to an analysis by Seyfarth

Shaw, a law firm that specializes in defending such cases. The firm predicted that the number of lawsuits will climb to nearly 10,000 by the end of the

year, a 30% increase from 2017.

 

With online sales, reservations and job postings now a huge part of modern commerce, advocates for the disabled say websites need to be as accessible to

everyone, just as brick-and-mortar stores, restaurants and schools are.

 

“We have been dealing with website issues for a long time,” said Jim Thom, past president and government affairs director for the California Council of

the Blind. “We want compliance. It is a serious problem, no question about it.”

 

For a website to be accessible to disabled people, the content must be coded so that screen-reading software can convert the words to an audio translation.

Video that appears on a website must include descriptions for the deaf. Also, all interactive functions must be operable through keyboard commands for

people who can’t use a mouse.

 

No formal government standards exist for private businesses to follow to ensure their websites comply with the ADA, although a consortium of web innovators

has created guidelines, known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, to make websites more accessible to disabled people. Government websites already

follow those guidelines, but private business websites, which are typically loaded with images and video, tend to be more difficult to overhaul to meet

the guidelines, experts say.

 

The cost of making sites accessible ranges from several thousand dollars to a few million dollars, depending on the complexity of the site, according to

trade groups and business owners.

 

ADA lawsuits, filed in federal and state courts, have targeted the websites of retailers (including Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. supermarkets), restaurants (including

Domino’s Pizza Inc.) and universities (including Harvard and MIT).

 

The Hooters restaurant chain was sued last year, even after the chain agreed to fix its website as part of a settlement of a previous lawsuit. A federal

appeals court ruled that Hooters remained vulnerable to lawsuits until it fixed the website under the previous lawsuit settlement.

 

Earlier this month, the American Council of the Blind announced that it had reached a settlement with the streaming service Hulu to make Hulu’s website

and software app more accessible to blind users.

 

The cost of defending such lawsuits can be burdensome for small businesses such as the Avanti Hotel.

 

Fixing the site would cost about $3,000, which hotel manager Jim Rutledge said he is willing to pay. But the lawsuit demands the hotel also pay damages

to the plaintiff, and Rutledge said his lawyers advise him that he may have to settle for between $8,000 and $13,000.

 

“I would really like to fight it, but it just comes down to finances,” he said, estimating that he could be forced to pay up to $25,000 in damages, plus

lawyer fees, if he fights the suit and loses. In the meantime, several pages of the hotel’s website have been replaced with plain type because “no access

is equal access for everyone, per the ADA requirements,” the site notes.

 

Some trade groups say the lawyers and plaintiffs who file many of these lawsuits are only interested in using the law to pocket hefty court-imposed damages.

 

“Simply put, for those who are abusing the system, it’s about money, not about expanding access,” said Peter Clerkin, a spokesman for the Asian American

Hotel Owners Assn., which is advising its members to make websites ADA-compliant and not wait to get sued.

 

Since it was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act has been cited thousands of times in lawsuits

filed against hotels, restaurants and shops to remove physical barriers for disabled people.

 

As early as 2009, the act was cited in lawsuits that targeted the websites of businesses and universities, saying the online portals must be just as accessible

to disabled people as the buildings that house businesses and schools.

 

In 2010, the Justice Department began to draft formal regulations for websites to meet ADA goals. But last December, the agency announced it was withdrawing

its “rulemaking process,” at a time when the Trump administration was calling for a rollback of federal regulations.

 

The department said it was killing the regulations because it was “evaluating whether promulgating regulations about the accessibility of web information

and services is necessary and appropriate.”

 

In a June 20 letter, 103 members of Congress — Republicans and Democrats — urged then-Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to adopt website regulations, saying the

absence of such regulations “only fuels the proliferations of these suits.”

 

Lawyers who defend ADA lawsuits say the Justice Department’s actions to pull the plug on adopting new regulations may have instigated the latest surge

in lawsuits.

 

Business owners who are sued under the ADA complain that the law allows plaintiffs to demand huge payouts in damages without first giving the business

owner the opportunity to fix the websites.

 

California leads other states by far in ADA lawsuits filed over website accessibility, according to the Seyfarth Shaw analysis. That may be because a California

law sets a minimum dollar amount for damages of $4,000 plus attorney’s fees for each ADA violation, a minimum not imposed in most other states. The minimum,

according to lawyers who defend such lawsuits, makes suing in California more lucrative.

 

The lawsuit against Rutledge’s hotel was filed by Manning Law in Newport Beach. The plaintiff was Kayla Reed, who is described as a resident of Montana.

Manning Law has filed 355 ADA cases, primarily in California, in the last 12 months, according to court records.

 

In an email, Joseph Manning, an attorney at Manning Law, declined to comment on the case against the Avanti Hotel, but rejected criticism that his lawsuits

are intended to enrich him and his clients.

 

“This case will not be resolved without addressing the accessibility concerns in the complaint, of that I can assure you,” he said.

 

Reed, who is described in the Avanti lawsuit as visually impaired, is listed as a plaintiff on more than three dozen lawsuits in federal court and in state

courts in Ventura and San Bernardino counties, court records show. The defendants in her lawsuits include Kmart, Hugo Boss, David’s Bridal and CVS Pharmacies.

 

The Los Angeles Times couldn’t locate Reed, and Manning said she would not comment on her lawsuits. But he said that money is the “least important issue

for her in these cases,” adding that “private enforcement of these laws is also the means devised by Congress to enforce these laws without burdening the

taxpayer.”

 

Manning was listed as Reed’s lawyer in a Ventura County Superior Court suit against CVS in 2017, according to court records. In the suit, she is described

as a resident of Ventura County who was seeking $75,000 in damages, saying that the CVS website was not accessible to blind people.

 

The case was eventually transferred to U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The case was dismissed Dec. 8, 2017, when the court was notified that a settlement

had been reached. The details of that settlement were not disclosed.

 

Manning declined to comment on the settlement.

 

Asked to comment, CVS issued a statement saying the company is “committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws and regulations

related to assisting individuals with disabilities.”

 

___

 

(c)2018 the Los Angeles Times

 

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