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Clive Loseby had a chat with Sarah Williams from Action Coach  

Clive Loseby  Owner, TEDx Speaker

It is always really nice to be asked to give an interview and I recently had a lovely chat with Sarah Williams from Action Coach, over Zoom.

I felt sorry for the poor chap who had to edit it afterwards because it was scheduled for 15 minutes or so and ended up going on slightly longer!

Anyway, I explain why I am so passionate about what we do and why I would not swap it for the world.

However, it is not just about accessibility, being Action Coach, it is also very much business-focused. Having made every conceivable mistake myself over the last 16 years, there are a few tips in there that might be useful to anyone who is thinking of taking the plunge and starting their own business.

The subtitles are auto-generated and not within my control but it is not too bad. The other thing of note is that, since this was recorded,  I have had another fab addition to my accessibility audit team, Krista Giannak!

Access by Design
Award-winning Accessible Web Design, Chichester
Outstanding Website Accessibility Audits

 

I am a keynote speaker at the Art of Entrepreneurship! (RESCHEDULED)  

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It is great to be on the road again - although not quite yet.

*** The Art of Entrepreneurship has been postponed due to the Queen's funeral. It has been rescheduled for Monday 21st November.  ***

I am so pleased to be speaking at what will be my 2nd public speaking gig this year, following on from my TEDxTalk in February and it is being held at the Milton Keynes Bowl on Monday 19th September!

It is going to be an amazing event, including a business expo, two networking events and 8 speakers.

It has been put together pretty much single-handedly by the amazing Angela McCall, owner of McCall Media and I have to say a MASSIVE thank you to her for all her hard work, it is a pretty thankless task, putting on something like this and she has done an amazing job!

Running a small business takes up every minute of your time, it can be incredibly challenging and Angela wants the event to be part of a wider resource for small business owners everywhere with plans to expand it in 2023.

You will be completely unsurprised to learn that my Keynote speech is about websites, and what you need to have one that will truly help you grow your business in 2022 and beyond.

You can find all the details by following this link. It is free to attend the main event but only if you register in advance.

#Accessibility #WebDesign #AccessByDesign #TAOE2022

Caption: Photo of Clive Loseby. Keynote Speaker. 11.30am Main Conference Room 19th  September The Art of Entrepreneurship 2022 Conference and Business Expo Double Tree Hilton MK Dons Stadium

Clive Loseby

Access by Design.  Accessible Websites, Beautifully Designed.

Outstanding Website Accessibility Audits

Award-winning web design, Chichester.

Keyboard shortcuts. Do you use them?  

Accessibility-Keyboard

I asked this question nearly a year ago. It was a straightforward poll. I asked people whether they used a mouse or a keyboard for copying and pasting. It had nearly 10,000 impressions, the highest number I have had for any of my posts.

The answer was 4 to 1 in favour of using a keyboard rather than a mouse.

There is nothing wrong with using either method. They are both different ways of achieving the same thing. I use it all the time, to ensure accuracy. I am a bit ham-fisted, especially when it comes to using a laptop keyboard like I am at the moment, whilst I have my post-op knee up to reduce the swelling.

This is especially important when it comes to things that cannot be typed easily anyway, such as passwords, email addresses and web links.

It is great that we can use a keyboard or a mouse countless times in this way. I suspect that many of us just do it without even thinking about it.

Now think of a website. The majority of us will use a mouse to navigate one, again without even thinking about it. We just do it.

What about if you cannot use a mouse? What would you do then?

Use a keyboard of course!

That is where the problems begin. Over 97.4% out of 1 million websites tested last year failed to meet basic web accessibility standards. Being able to use a keyboard to navigate a website instead of a mouse is one of those basic tests.

When you consider that the guidelines covering this have been around since 1999, do you think that perhaps it is about time that more websites were able to achieve at least this basic level of accessibility?

Think about this next time you use a keyboard to copy and paste. If you want to know more about this, please follow this link watch me explain The Tab Test.

If you would like to find out more about website accessibility, we now have a website dedicated specifically to the subject! Please follow this link to visit it: https://accessibilityaudit.co.uk/

If you are interested in a free initial review of the accessibility of your website, why not book yourself a consultation? Please follow this link to do so: https://calendly.com/cliveloseby/accessibility-audit-free-initial-consultation

Clive Loseby

Access by Design. Accessible Websites, Beautifully Designed.

Outstanding Website Accessibility Audits

Award-winning web design, Chichester.

What does website accessibility mean to you?  

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I asked the question

I posted this on LinkedIn the other day because I was genuinely interested into what this meant to other people. Here are some of the responses:


My superficial understanding

My superficial understanding of website accessibility is that it's a process to ensure that everyone can benefit from the value provided on a website. I'm guessing it's never done but always improving


Accessibility means

For me, accessibility means that both the FUNCTIONALITY and the CONTENT of the website are inclusive for EVERYONE.

Too many times, the content is good, but the functionality is bad. Things like drop-down menus that aren't static and either go away or flip to a different menu if you scroll a bit too far. Or tables that aren't introduced so that screen readers suddenly start speaking gibberish. And my personal pet peeve, alt tags that tell me NOTHING about the image, but make for "good" SEO.

Other times, the useability of the site is right on, but the content's language is exclusionary. Especially in attempts at normativeness. People tend to forget sometimes, even among ourselves, that the disabled community wears many faces - sexual identities, races, religions, etc. In our attempts to include their DISABLEDNESS, we often trample their HUMAN-NESS.

So for me, it's not JUST about disability. It's about making our internet world open and welcoming to ALL, both IN and OUT of the disabled community.


Accessibility is giving

Accessibility is giving disabled people access to navigating a website without barriers and giving them their independence.

Nowadays with assistive technology there are so many features that can be put on to make a website accessible and inclusive for everyone

To me it means including as many people as possible by default. For example, my son needs to use accessible swings at the playground and if we’re lucky there are one or two at a playground. Most of the time there are none. If we included them at all playgrounds by default that would be accessible, instead of waiting for a community to request and fundraise for it.

When we add image descriptions to pictures on social media without waiting for people who use screen readers to ask for one.

When books are just as accessible in audiobook or Braille format as they are in paper or ebook format

When it’s just as simple to get a wheelchair-accessible Uber or Lyft as a non-accessible one (it doesn’t even have to have a lift. My dad’s wheelchair folded up and fit in a trunk, requiring no extra effort from the driver, but multiple times the driver saw him and cancelled the ride, refusing to even acknowledge him).

When disabled and neurodivergent people can exist in society just as easily as able-bodies and neurotypical people.


Wheelchair users shunned by taxis

I hate hearing stories about how wheelchair users lift rides are cancelled as soon as they see a wheelchair. Its disheartening.

Even if it took 5 seconds to put the wheelchair in the truck after the user transferred to the car, is the least someone can do, and take it out.

Where I live, there is a train station where a lot of the taxis line up in the taxi rank. I remember one evening I saw someone in a wheelchair approach the taxi rank and suddenly, the first 3 taxis all sped off. Perhaps all 3 of them suddenly got calls about someone a new booking. I fear that may not have been the case.

It is not actually that hard to do, grab a portable ramp and put it in place. Many taxis even have them built in.

taxis are different than uber/lift though as they arent personal vechicles.

Nontheless, if I were still an uber driver I would rather help a wheelchair user than drive a bunch of drunks from a bar. They are loud, onbxious, and sometimes don’t like getting out at the end.

Sigh


What it means to me

Website accessibility to me means
Text is in a easy read format.
No pop up that distract you from reading.
No flashing images that are A distracting and B possibly able to set off seizures.
Not too much information crammed into one space, too much to take in at once.


An endless series of barriers

For me, Accessibility has meant barrier after barrier.

Whilst it should mean access, it has meant an uphill battle. Shouting that little bit louder, feeling frustrated when I can't access something because of yet another barrier. Educating and advocating until I can see the change.

I hope for the day when accessibility means ease of access for all and an inclusive accessible society.

Until then accessibility is an uphill battle and we all have to hold ourselves accountable to resolve.


Accessibility means

Accessibility means able to read, hear & see things clearly. Any videos to use captions, booking elements to be accessible for all, especially hotels, - many dont advertise accessible rooms. Ensure all groups are able to view as a non disabled person can.

Any website where a person with cognitive, mental, or physical disabilities can seamlessly navigate, and be as functional as it is to anyone without a disability.


Would you like to find out more about this?

My TEDxTalk explains, in a very non-techy way, what website accessibility for disabled people actually means, how it affects your own website and what you should do about it. Please follow this link to watch it: https://youtu.be/i_Tjr6Mli4s

If you would like to find out more about website accessibility, we now have a website dedicated specifically to the subject! Please follow this link to visit it: https://accessibilityaudit.co.uk/

If you are interested in a free initial review of the accessibility of your website, why not book yourself a consultation? Please follow this link to do

so: https://calendly.com/cliveloseby/accessibility-audit-free-initial-consultation

Clive Loseby

Access by Design.  Accessible Websites, Beautifully Designed.

Outstanding Website Accessibility Audits

Award-winning web design, Chichester.


The true definition of EDI... ... #Every#Disability#Ignored  

Definition of EDI image

Equality. Diversity. Inclusion.

Please do not tell me your company cares about Equality if disabled people cannot access your website because it was not built properly.

Please do not tell me your company cares about Diversity if disabled people cannot send enquiries from your website because it was not built properly

Please do not tell me your company cares about Inclusion if your disabled employees cannot use your online training platform or staff portal because it was not built properly

Please do not tell me your company cares about any or all of these if you use an overlay or a plugin to “make” your website accessible to disabled people because they do not work.

Repeat. They do not work. They make matters worse.

Start the journey now.

My TEDxTalk explains what you need to do, in layman’s terms. Follow this link to watch it: https://youtu.be/i_Tjr6Mli4s

We also have a website which gives more detail. Follow this link to visit the Access by Audit Website

Caption: a small dog is looking directly at the camera. It is strapped to a harness with wheels as it is unable to use its hind legs. There is a big button with the word Ignore in the middle of the photo, obscuring the image.

#Equality #Diverstiy # Inclusion #WebsiteAccessibility #A11y

If you would like a free initial review of the accessibility of your website, please follow this link:

https://calendly.com/cliveloseby/accessibility-audit-free-initial-consultation

Access by Design.  Accessible Websites, Beautifully Designed.

Outstanding Website Accessibility Audits

Award-winning web design, Chichester.

Talking about text, does size really matter?  

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How do you change the size of text?

Every modern browser allows the user to change the text size on most web pages and has done so for a very long time. Websites often do not have any accessibility icons that allow the visitor to change the text size with the click of a mouse or the stroke of a key, relying instead on the expectation that visitors will know this fact for themselves.

We have accessibility buttons on every website we have ever built since our first one in 2006 and there has always been at least one button to make the text larger.

We have had people comment as to whether this is even good practice, and that is what prompted me to write this today.

Why do we have buttons that can do it?

There are two reasons why we will always offer buttons to change the text size:

  • Not everyone who visits a website knows that they can change the text size within their browser. Offering visible Text Accessibility Buttons at least increases the likelihood of such a person changing the text size and finding it easier to read your website.
  • It is a public statement that you really want to welcome all visitors to your website, regardless of their ability or disability.

How welcoming are you really being by expecting your visitors to change the text size themselves on their browsers?

A simple comparison

It is a little bit like those lovely old inaccessible theatres where the wheelchair entrance is round the back, down a side street, coming through the backroom storage area, the kitchen and having to navigate all sorts of hazards along the way, whilst everyone else serenely walks up the very short flight of steps that allow you to enter through the majestic front doors.

Making part of those short steps into a ramp might make the building look a bit different but it also tells the world that you do not just talk about #diverisity #equality and #inclusion, you want to shout about it!

Accessibility and Design NOT Design and Accessibility!

We are called Access by Design because we believe these two concepts can and should co-exist but Accessibility should always come first. Our new website will, we hope, take this concept further than we have seen anywhere else. It is coming soon…

Would you like to find out more?

My TEDxTalk on website accessibility has been watched over 22,500 times on the TEDx Channel! If you would like a clear, easy-to-understand explanation of what website accessibility actually is, how it affects you and what you can do about it, please follow this link: https://youtu.be/i_Tjr6Mli4s

If you would like to find out more, why not follow this link to visit our website dedicated specifically to the subject? https://accessibilityaudit.co.uk/

If you are interested in a free initial review of the accessibility of your website, why not book yourself in for a consultation? Please follow this link:

https://calendly.com/cliveloseby/accessibility-audit-free-initial-consultation

Clive Loseby

Access by Design.  Accessible Websites, Beautifully Designed.

Outstanding Website Accessibility Audits

Award-winning web design, Chichester.

Here is how to make your chatbot accessible for everyone!  

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We love Chatbots

Chatbots are great, aren't they? They are those super-helpful bubbles that sit quietly at the bottom corner of a website, that allow you to start a live chat immediately.

They normally say "Chat with us now" or something equally friendly and helpful. They can be really useful to businesses that want to be responsive and accessible to their prospects.

We use one ourselves, it comes with Zoho, which is what we use as our CRM. They are lots of other chatbots available, of course and they all appear to function in the same way, as a helpful javascript overlay.

Given my last post (which was about overlays in general), you can perhaps guess where I am heading with this.

Except...

Overlays are inaccessible. Chatbots use overlays. Chatbots are inaccessible. QED.

As I explained in my recent TEDx Talk, website accessibility for disabled people is not always about making every part of your website, as long as there is an alternative available. Rather than replacing a flight of stairs with a ramp, you put one next to the other instead.

In my Website Accessibility Statement, I also explain that although our own code meets WCAG Standards, there may be cases where the 3rd party code we use does not. This is one of those cases.

There are always alternative ways to contact us (email, phone, social media etc..) so I felt this would be OK but it has always been at the back of my mind.

Was there another way it could be used?

So, today I did something different. The code required to start the chatbot was available in many forms. One of them was if the code was needed as a direct link, such as in an email.

The offending code has been removed from my 3 websites and has been replaced by simple links instead. Guess what? That chatbot is now accessible for visitors using screen readers as you can now fill in your details and start the chat without needing a mouse!

OK, you now leave our website and go straight to the website hosting the chatbot but I consider that is a very small price to pay!

By the way, we also use Calendly to allow visitors to book themselves for a consultation at a time convenient to them. We used to integrate their code into the sidebar of one of our home pages. That has now also been removed that as well and we just link to it instead!

We are called Access by Design for a reason. In this case, it was Access by someone else's Design!

Which would you rather have? A nice shiny overlay that doesn't work for disabled people or a simple link to another website that, whilst not perhaps being as shiny, works perfectly well for everyone!

I am going to war against overlays! Who is with me?

#Accessibility #Equality #Diversityinclusion #Webdesign #A11y

Would you like to find out more about website accessibility?

My TEDxTalk explains, in a very non-techy way, what website accessibility for disabled people actually means, how it affects your own website and what you should do about it. Please follow this link to watch it: https://youtu.be/i_Tjr6Mli4s

If you would like to find out more about website accessibility, we now have a website dedicated specifically to the subject! Please follow this link to visit it: https://accessibilityaudit.co.uk/

If you are interested in a free initial review of the accessibility of your website, why not book yourself a consultation? Please follow this link to do

so: https://calendly.com/cliveloseby/accessibility-audit-free-initial-consultation

Clive Loseby

Access by Design.  Accessible Websites, Beautifully Designed.

Outstanding Website Accessibility Audits

Award-winning web design, Chichester.

 

 

 

July is Disability Pride Month  

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Events are important

We need events to remember the crucial issues that affect large groups of people. Whether it is a specific awareness day, week, month or a live event such as a rally or a march, it is vital that we have them. There are so many things going on in our lives, all of them competing and demanding our immediate attention, they will drop off our radar otherwise.

I understand that. Everyone who works in raising disability awareness understands this, this is why we keep posting and sharing each other's posts because we all have the common aim of getting the message out there. For us all, every day, every week, every month is about Disability Pride.

We have such a long way to go

I have talked incessantly about website accessibility for disabled people for 15 years, whether people really wanted to hear about it or not.

I have talked to business owners about the huge economic benefits of making your website accessible for disabled people, 80 billion quid, after all, is quite a decent chunk of money to tap into.

I have talked about the legal requirements and the need to avoid litigation.

I have seen lights turned in people's eyes as the penny drops with them but still no action is taken.

And this is why

I am reminded of the following I came across recently:

  • No one changes unless they want to.
  • Not if you beg them
  • Not if you shame them
  • Not if you use reason, emotion, or tough love.
  • There's only one thing that makes someone change:
  • Their own realisation that they need to do it
  • And there's only one time it will happen:
  • When they decide they're ready

So until then, we just have to keep putting it out there!

Would you like to find out more about this?

My TEDxTalk explains, in a very non-techy way, what website accessibility for disabled people actaully means, how it affects your own website and what you should do about it. Please follow this link to watch it: https://youtu.be/i_Tjr6Mli4s

If you would like to find out more about website accessibility, we now have a website dedicated specifically to the subject! Please follow this link to visit it: https://accessibilityaudit.co.uk/

If you are interested in a free initial review of the accessibility of your website, why not book yourself a consultation? Please follow this link to do so: https://calendly.com/cliveloseby/accessibility-audit-free-initial-consultation

Clive Loseby

Access by Design.  Accessible Websites, Beautifully Designed.

Outstanding Website Accessibility Audits

Award-winning web design, Chichester.

 

 

 

 

 

Should we rid the world of overlays?  

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What is an overlay?

In this article, I will discuss overlays, what they are and why they can be a very BAD idea!

An overlay is code that creates a graphic element that allows for some kind of interaction with a website. It will often bring in code from another website and allows websites to have extra functionality without the entire website having to be re-coded.

A good example of this might be an online chat facility or a booking calendar, such as Calendly. We use both of these ourselves.

Why can they be a problem?

The difficulty is that overlays can often be completely inaccessible for disabled people. This does not have to be an issue, provided you have always provided an alternative that can be accessed by anyone. You do not need to replace a flight of stairs with a ramp figuratively speaking, you can put a ramp next to a flight of stairs instead.

The problem occurs when there is no alternative available and an overlay is used for core functionality in a website.

Take something as simple as filling in a form. It could be a simple contact form or a complex form in several parts, with buttons to go backwards and forwards. We test forms wheb undertaking our website accessibility audits and they can be very challenging for my amazing team, just because no thought has been given to the basic functionality.

Overlays do not work with screen readers

Mede, one of my team, is blind and uses a screen reader. She will fill in a form and a message will pop up, informing her that the form has been submitted successfully. She was, however, unaware that this had happened because JAWS (her screen reader) was not able to pick this message up, she was just presented with the blank form again and assumed she had to fill it in again because it had not worked.

That is a simple example and easily fixed. However, there is another kind of overlay that is at the other end of the spectrum which, whilst being well-meaning, causes more problems than it fixes.

Overlays DO NOT fix accessibility issues! They cause them!

I am talking about overlays that “make” websites accessible for disabled people. They do not, by the way. They make the website less accessible, not more accessible. They simply do not work with screen readers. They introduce all sorts of additional conflicts and issues because they are a porous sticking plaster that does not fix poor code.

In a situation like this, you really do need to look at getting your website coded properly The guidelines are out there and freely available to the world and have been since 1999.

How about this for an idea you can do today?

However, you may not have the budget for a website rebuild right now, so how about this for an idea in the meantime? In your website accessibility statement, explain the challenges that disabled people may have with your website and take this as an opportunity to reach out to disabled people by offering them an alternative way of contacting you? This could be as simple as a priority phone number or email address but the mere fact that you are reaching out can make a world of difference to how inclusive you are seen to be.

Caption: Woman holding up a drawing of a sad face in front of her own face, as an illustration of why an overlay can be a bad idea.

Would you like to find out more?

My TEDxTalk on website accessibility has been watched over 22,000 times on the TEDx Channel! If you would like a clear, easy-to-understand explanation of what website accessibility actually is, how it affects you and what you can do about it, please follow this link:

If you would like to find out more about website accessibility, why now visit our website dedicated specifically to the subject? Please follow this link: https://accessibilityaudit.co.uk/

If you are interested in a free initial review of the accessibility of your website, why not book yourself in for a consultation? Please follow this link:

https://calendly.com/cliveloseby/accessibility-audit-free-initial-consultation

Clive Loseby

Access by Design.  Accessible Websites, Beautifully Designed.

Outstanding Website Accessibility Audits

Award-winning web design, Chichester.

What is a website accessibility statement and do you need one? (Part 2 of 2)  

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Your perfect opportunity!

Do you want to be inclusive? Do you want to tell the world about it? Here is your perfect opportunity, through your website accessibility statement!

There is SO much misinformation about accessibility statements, I am not at all surprised that there are so many misunderstandings about them. Publicly funded organisations need to have them, to satisfy Government Guidelines. It does not help that these Government Guidelines are in themselves well-meaning but misguided.

The idea that fulfilling a narrow set of criteria is immediately going to make your website accessible and get you “off the hook” is just wrong and completely misses the point.

I see accessibility statements that have been copied and pasted from other websites that simply do not reflect the true accessibility of the website they appear on. I think there should be a different approach.

Start with saying sorry for messing up!

Unless your website has been designed by a web design agency that specialises in accessible websites, it safe to assume that there will be parts of your website that are inaccessible for disabled people. So why not start with an apology? An apology goes a long way to make people feel listened and understood, even if you cannot solve their issues.

Once you have done this, why not immediately offer an alternative way for disabled people to get the information they are looking for? This could be a priority phone line and / or a priority email address?

You do not need to replace a stairway with a ramp, just put them next to each other! This is all that you are doing, figuratively speaking, and it will speak volumes about your desire to be inclusive and reach out to disabled people, regardless of the accessibility issues there may be with your website.

Would you like to find out more?

My TEDxTalk on website accessibility has been watched over 22,000 times on the TEDx Channel! Please follow this link to watch it:

https://accessbydesign.uk/my-tedx-talk-on-website-accessibility-for-disabled-people-is-now-online/

If you would like to find out more about website accessibility, why now visit our website dedicated specifically to the subject? Please follow this link: https://accessibilityaudit.co.uk/

If you are interested in a free initial review of the accessibility of your website, why not book yourself in for a consultation? Please follow this link:

https://calendly.com/cliveloseby/accessibility-audit-free-initial-consultation

Clive Loseby

Access by Design.  Accessible Websites, Beautifully Designed.

Outstanding Website Accessibility Audits

Award-winning web design, Chichester.

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