Nevada ADA

Americans with Disabilities Act

HTML5 ranked headings for screen readers

Getting html5 pages right is important, along with flexibility comes some responsibility… good tutorial


HTML5 introduces the concept of relatively ranked headings. The level of a heading in HTML5 depends on its location within one (or more) sectioning elements – specifically the<nav>, <section><article> and <aside> tags. The HTML5 outlining algorithm makes it possible to use only <h1> headings on a page. The level of the heading is then redefined based on the nesting of the sectioning elements it’s wrapped in.

HTML5 ranked headings for screen readers | Tutorial | .net magazine.


Accessibility begins even before the parking spaces

ADA accessibility starts in the parking lot, at least that is what it seems. However, in the case of many businesses the customer interaction frequently starts and is even completed before any physical presence. Being able to book a hotel room online, make changes, find the best deals and even check on availability is done online.  Being able to access the property and its facilities begins at the website.

The trade site Hotel News Resource ran an article that used scare words like drive by litigation and tidal wave of litigation to highlight what is an important issue.

…Charles Schwab, the nations leading securities broker-dealer, reached a settlement with a disability rights organization in which Schwab agreed to implement the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG discussed below to assure that its website is navigable by blind and low vision clients. See, ADA compliance and defense lawyer alert: Charles Schwab settles claim over website accessibilityThe Schwab settlement has far reaching implications for the hospitality industry and all other places of public accommodation. The advocacy group which threatened to sue Schwab, is led by the same attorney who, in 2000, “persuaded” the nations leading banks to install “talking ATMs.” Today, nearly every ATM in the country provides voice activated communications elements to assist blind and low vision bank customers to navigate the machines. Websites are the next frontier of ADA litigation.


There are basically two aspects of website access applicable to hotels; website content, and navigability by blind, low vision and cognitively disabled persons.

via ADA Litigation over Website Accessibility is Poised to Explode :: Hotel News Resource.

Interestingly, the web site hosting the article is not a very accessible site itself—illustrating just how extensive the issue of digital accessibility is.


Bipartisan group of senators announce support for disability treaty

May 25, 2012

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Tom Harkin (D-IA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Tom Udall (D-NM) today announced their support for U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Senate consent to U.S. ratification of CRPD will recognize the fundamental values of non-discrimination and equal access for persons with disabilities in all areas of life and help protect Americans with disabilities who work and travel abroad from discrimination, including disabled veterans.

“As a cosponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the ADA Amendments Act, I have long advocated on behalf of equal access and non-discrimination for all Americans, including our veterans and today’s disabled soldiers returning home from serving their nation in war,” said Senator John McCain. “I support U.S. ratification of the disability treaty, as it seeks to advance these same fundamental values of equality and human dignity around the world.”

“The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities promotes independence, dignity and inclusion while protecting the rights of Americans with disabilities when they travel abroad,” Senator Dick Durbin said. “These basic rights should be promoted and emphasized across the world and that’s why I support ratification of this important treaty.”

“Each person has the inherent right to life and should have the opportunity to pursue happiness, participate in society, and be treated equally before the law,” Senator Jerry Moran said. “The CRPD advances these fundamental values by standing up for the rights of those with disabilities, including our nation’s veterans and servicemembers, and respecting the dignity of all.”

“The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities builds on the U.S. experience implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act and promoting equal opportunity and full participation for all people with disabilities in the lives of their communities,” said Senator Tom Harkin. “As a lead Senate sponsor of the ADA, I look forward to working on a bipartisan basis to ratify the Convention and reaffirm our country’s commitment to improving access and opportunities for people with disabilities around the world.”

“The United States must remain the leader when it comes to providing opportunities and protections for individuals with disabilities,” said Senator John Barrasso. “This agreement will work hard to ensure all Americans with disabilities are guaranteed these same protections while traveling abroad.”

“America has long been a global leader in recognizing and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, and ratification of this convention is an essential step to ensuring disabled persons are protected globally,” Senator Chris Coons said. “All people deserve to be granted full and equal basic human rights, regardless of their physical or mental capabilities. I strongly support ratification of this critical treaty, and urge my colleagues to do the same.”

“The United States is a leader in advocating for the empowerment of disabled Americans, including our veterans who have returned home with life-changing injuries,” said Senator Tom Udall. “This treaty is an important tool to improve conditions for citizens living and working abroad and ensures that we remain a beacon for fairness and opportunity around the world.”

An American delegation under President George W. Bush negotiated and approved the Convention in 2006. The United States signed the treaty in 2009 and submitted it to the U.S. Senate this May for its advice and consent for ratification. The treaty requires no changes to U.S. laws or new appropriations.

via .: United States Senator John McCain :: Press Office :..

OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie

Checkout a good podcast on OC87

View the OC87 trailer in 1080p HD

Can you make a movie while having mental illness? Bud Clayman is doing it. Will making a documentary about your mental illness change your life? Maybe.

OC87 logoMental illness interrupted his dream of a filmmaking career. Thirty years later, he’s making the movie of his life. Bud Clayman is one of films’ most unlikely heroes. This is a personal story with universal relevance—a wildly original documentary of pain and vulnerability, empowerment, and Bud’s quest for belonging.

Throughout his youth, Bud’s future was filmmaking. After college in Philadelphia, he headed to Hollywood in search of a break. Instead, he had a breakdown. As mental illness struck, it stuck. When distress and isolation set in, the diagnoses followed. For eight years, Bud lived in a therapeutic community.

Without waiting for his illness to vanish, Bud has reclaimed his quest as a filmmaker. As his camera chronicles the ups and downs of recovery, we also see the experience of what he calls “the fight inside my head.” Behind the lens, a parallel journey unfolds as Bud the Director grapples with the challenges of making an incisive, highly personal documentary—a movie that he believes will transform his life.

Through video diaries, Bud reveals eye-opening glimpses of his inner world, including OC87, an altered state of mind named by Bud and his therapist. “My mind becomes filled with intrusive thoughts that over-analyze every action and idea,” he says. “As my awareness becomes dominated by themes of control and mental commands, OC87 causes me to lose touch with not only my feelings, but also social connection.” It also gets in the way of ordinary living: riding a bus, getting in an elevator, unclogging a drain. As a long standing struggle, OC87 is embedded in Bud’s pent-up confrontation of a former mentor—a moment that‘s been brewing for thirty years.

When problems hit the fan, Bud sometimes feels defeated. More often, he draws strength and skills from therapy, humor, and relationships. Even so, he feels different, and the stigma of mental illness is fierce. Curious about the roots of healing and recovery, Bud’s journey unfolds. He talks with a psychologist (Jon Grayson, PhD) about his current OCD and Asperger’s problems. After visiting his former residential treatment program, Bud criss-crosses the country to connect with a psychiatrist who had Schizophrenia (Dan Fisher, MD-PhD),

a television daytime drama star with Bipolar Disorder (Maurice Benard, General Hospital), and a radio news anchor with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Jeff Bell). The arc of Bud’s story also includes his parents, whose sharply different views of their son affirm a common struggle—and an uncommon love. On the romantic front, Bud goes speed dating at a local bar. Weeks later, a creative urge sparks him to write (and later star in) a campy sci-fi episode about an inner duel—a conflict familiar to each of us.

Meanwhile, directing this documentary film stretches Bud in ways that ultimately recast his quest. From the shadows of suffering, a portrait of imperfect courage emerges—a testament to acceptance, change, and hope.

Source: OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie

The Intouchables, a depiction of disability

Les Intouchables is interesting French movie portraying a quadriplegic aristocrat who was injured in a paragliding accident and a black Muslim man from the Parisian projects. Nine weeks after its French release Les Intouchables became the second most successful French film of all time in ticket numbers.

“The feel-good dramatic comedy has become a cultural phenomenon in France where it was voted cultural event of the year 2011 by 52% of the French.” (Source: Wikipedia)

The May 25 US release of the the movie will have limited distribution. A Variety review declared the movie offensive,

Though never known for their subtlety, French co-helmers/scripters Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache have never delivered a film as offensive as “Untouchable,” which flings about the kind of Uncle Tom racism one hopes has permanently exited American screens. The Weinstein Co., which has bought remake rights, will need to commission a massive rewrite to make palatable this cringe-worthy comedy about a rich, white quadriplegic hiring a black man from the projects to be his caretaker, exposing him to “culture” while learning to loosen up. Sadly, this claptrap will do boffo Euro biz

via: Variety


The dating world of disabled people

The British network Channel 4 has released a new TV documentary series on disability and dating titled The Undatables. Some early reviews of the show indicate parse for the quality and message, but question the marketing and other aspects of the television medium in conveying what is a complex component of life.

Channel 4s The Undateables features many people with learning difficulties and introduces us to a dating agency, Stars in the Sky, which helps put people in touch with each other.Lydia Jones is one of their chaperones – she makes sure that clients get to the date venue safely and that they meet the right person, but she also helps tackle lulls in conversations.Continue reading the main storyLove at no sightThough love at first sight may happen for people blessed with eyes, love after first discussion is the closest youll get to it if you cant see.Ive often thought that “sighties” might be just a little bit disabled by having vision. Ive seen friends chasing people for their looks yet getting hurt very badly because their beauty is only skin deep, their personality somewhat rotten.But good looks and attraction can be complex for blind people. And oh how Id love to be able to sit here and tell you that blind people are without prejudice: not caring if youre a prince or whether youre plug ugly and that we dont care about such superficial matters. Sadly, thats just not true.Read the full Magazine article by Damon Rose from 2009″Quite often, people with learning disabilities are forced into sharing relationships with people who they dont have a choice about being with,” says Jones. “Their peers are the ones they meet at a day service or in supported living accommodation.”

via BBC News – The dating world of disabled people.

The issue of marketing the series is taken up Francis Ryan

As marketing moves go, Channel 4 has hit a near impressive level of crass in its promotion of The Undateables, a series following people with disabilities in their quest for love. This is a title that looks bad on paper but even worse when put on a billboard, where towering images of people with a facial disfigurement or a wheelchair have the title Undateable emblazoned next to them. You do wonder why Channel 4 didn’t go the whole hog and just use the title “You’re weird and no one wants to have sex with you”..

But if The Undateables seems an offensive title for a show, then that was probably the aim: offence equals controversy, controversy equals ratings. Disabled people are hardly the first subjects to fall victim to such calculations (My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding remains a lesson in avoiding nuance) nor are Channel 4 the only station to have done the sums (BBCThree is now in titling territory that’s almost beyond parody).

via The Undateables? Disability rights, but Channel 4 wrongs | Television & radio |

Not yet distributed in The US, the show’s trailer is available on YouTube

Website accessibility research and experiences

One the best research articles on the meaning and importance of web accessibility. Well worth a read.


For nearly 20 years Australian and international legal requirements have existed around the development of accessible websites. This paper briefly reviews the history of legislation against web disability discrimination, along with the current legal requirements for website development as indicated by current international accessibility specifications, and reports on a manual examination of the accessibility of 40 Australian private and governmental websites. Not one of the 20 largest Australian companies, nor the Australian 20 Federal Government portfolios, were found to have produced a legally accessible website as per Australian standards.


From: Website accessibility: An Australian view. From the Proceedings of the Thirteenth Australasian User Interface Conference (AUIC2012), Melbourne, Australia.

Biting the Hands that Feed

Chris Hofstader answers the question of why the NFB would pursue those that push the boundaries while letting others of the hook.

At the NFB convention in 2010, they gave Apple one of their accessibility awards. In 2011, Apple decided that because of its upcoming Lion operating system release that they would not attend any of what we in the blindness biz call “the summer shows” – including the national NFB convention, the ACB convention, Sight Village in UK and various smaller conferences. Apple representatives explained to NFB that they needed to focus on the accessibility of their new OS release and of numerous smaller initiatives they were preparing for autumn 2011.

Curtis Chong, head of NFB in Computer Science, the portion of NFB responsible for computing issues decided to threaten people at Apple with a resolution of condemnation if they didn’t attend the convention. Then, at the convention, he pushed through a resolution deploring the company that has provided an excellent out-of-box experience that is years ahead of their competition. It seems that Curtis did this because his feelings were hurt or some other completely childish motivation for biting the hand that feeds us best.

via The Hands That Feed | And Daring Fireball

Ignoring accessibility, or how to make an iPhone less useful

Joe Clark throws down the gauntlet:

How many hot-hot-hot! new iOS apps have impressed legions of fans while demonstrating their developers are too irresponsible or incompetent to make them accessible under VoiceOver?

Shall we start a list?

via Hot new iPhone apps by irresponsible developers Personal Weblog of Joe Clark, Toronto.

Joe  hits out at some great apps that just ignore some of the best accesibility API’s in any development environment.

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