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16 December 2021

How to use tech to create productive work environments

The lack of inclusive technology makes navigating in a digital world harder, and aside from designing products that are inclusive of those with disabilities, it increases the overall user experience. We can think of it as having automatic doors or ramps when entering a business. For those with wheelchair accessibility needs, having ramps ensures safety and ease of use. Yet, it also provides greater accessibility for parents with strollers or delivery people wheeling in a truckload of packages. The inclusive design doesn’t impact only one group of people. It improves all of our lives.

That’s why on December 8,  the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT) hosted part one of its inclusive technology series. Accessibility: Using Technology While Blind” webinar provided the opportunity to experience tech and those who are blind or have a visual impairment do. The 60-minute webinar provided insights from two blind technologists on how to create technology that’s inclusive and usable for all. They showed how they navigate the internet with assistive technology.

In addition to the information from this month’s webinar, we’ve listed three additional resources you can use to create inclusive products.

Adobe Color

Adobe Color has added a “Contrast Checker” to its arsenal to help designers create accessible themes. You can verify if your color choices are visually accessible by checking the contrast ratio of your background and text colors. Adobe uses the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to help you remain compliant. The tools check for the three most common types of color blindness: Deuteranopia, Protanopia, and Tritanopia.

Website scan

The Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BoIA), an organization dedicated to helping make the Internet accessible for all people, gives free graded reports of how accessible your website is for various users. The free analysis gives a Compliance Summary of how your web pages fare when tested with different checkpoints.

Federal resources

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) works to bring accessible technology to the workplace. The institution offers several tools such as how to make virtual meetings accessible, accessibility training, and how to handle captioning & ASL requests.

Register for part two of “Accessibility: Using Technology While Blind.” The webinar is on January 12, 2022, at 3 p.m. CST.