jesse_the_k: those words in red on white sign (be aware of invisibility)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Keidra Chaney has posted a most excellent essay on her process of coming to terms with progressive vision loss. You may know her as part of The Learned Fangirl. She addresses the barriers fandom erects as well as her own shame and confusion.

But I didn’t anticipate how much my vision disorder would eventually affect my own view of myself, my work, and my life in fandom.

In pop culture, disability is a trope, especially visual impairment.


http://uncannymagazine.com/article/living-working-fangirling-chronic-illness
[personal profile] jazzyjj
Hi everybody. I'm pasting a link to a post about Apple. I just read about this this morning but I am so excited about it. I haven't yet watched any movies in iTunes, and in fact I'm waiting to download any until I see somebody at the Genius Bar about the decreased free disk space on my hard drive. But I have previewed some of these movies.

-http://www.applevis.com/blog/apple-news/apple-highlights-audio-described-movies-new-itunes-room
jesse_the_k: Woman holds camera overhead, captioned "capturing the stars" (photographer at work)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Monroe Street Entrance

Here's what I have so far...

Photo: Photo shows entry of retail brick building sited at intersection. The corner store sits back from the sidewalk in a five by twelve foot rectangle (knocked out of the very corner). In this alcove, there's a recessed entry door swinging out, handle on right side, next to building. On the right of the door assembly is a two-foot wide vertical window (side light). A three-shelf display (topping out just at handle height) runs diagonally from the edge of the door frame to the outside wall, completely blocking access to anything aligned with the the handle side of the door. A narrow wooden bench extends from the wall's juncture with the shelf to the forward edge of the building. The display and bench combine to require a person to stay precisely behind the door to open it.

Image descriptions

Sun, Jun. 8th, 2014 11:16 am
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Hello hello!

At Access Fandom we like to encourage folks to use image description, and this post is to give a shout-out and big thank you to people who do.

If you want to learn more about how to create image descriptions, our own [personal profile] lightgetsin wrote an excellent post on this subject.

[personal profile] eruthros created a spreadsheet listing Tumblrs that use image descriptions. Check out these Tumblrs! You can also add to the spreadsheet if you know of others!

If you want to start using image descriptions and feel like you need help, we at access fandom are here to help you. Ask questions!

Image descriptions benefit many people. They are beneficial for people who use screen readers (such as blind and vision impaired folks), people who have a hard time parsing images, and people who don't know what fandom or celebrity your image is referring to. Probably other folks as well!

Image descriptions: Love them, use them, don't strip them from your posts.
jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
It IS exciting to see kids interested in engineering, and I know [personal profile] selkiechick posted with the best intention.

However, that announcement pushed a whole row of my Assistive Technology Geek buttons, and I gotta rant. I'll can use the "BRAIGO" to illustrate why I get so hot under the collar. (My cred: I've hung out with people who use assistive technology since 1982; I designed and sold braille translation software and embossers in the late eighties; and I've personally depended on assistive technology since 1991.) Based on thirty year's close attention to the development/PR/funding/purchasing/abandonment cycle for assistive technology, here's my take on the BRAIGO announcement.

DESIGNERS GET COOKIES FOR PROTOTYPES, NOT AFFORDABLE PRODUCTS )

DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT EXPERT ENDUSERS IS POINTLESS  ) That's why the BRAIGO can't create useful braille.

PR BECOMES DISINFORMATION ) A $350 embosser would be an amazing thing. Hundreds of well-intentioned editors and readers are willing to take the inventor's word for it. But this device is not a embosser.

EXPERTS ARE AVAILABLE on REQUEST! ) We live in a press release culture: what the company wants to say is what we hear. Or in this case, what a 12 year old (who mentions absolutely no contact with braille users) says gets broadcast.


FAST FACTS RE EMBOSSERS & BRAILLE )

Start from the first dot at the RNIB's Learning Braille site or pick an excellent start for adults at the Achayra firm in India. Teach more at the National Federation of the Blind's Braille is Beautiful resource for kids.

tl;dr Just because assistive technologies are tools for people with disabilities doesn't mean we must accept only good intentions. We want the best engineers working on our designs, the best marketers making them affordable, and the best politicians making them subsidized.
sasha_feather: dolphin and zebra gazing at each other across glass (dolphin and zebra)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
[personal profile] kate_nepveu: Arisia Panel: Blindness: More than Metaphor

Description:

Blindness has been used as a metaphor in fiction for centuries, a way to talk about knowledge, enlightenment, ignorance and agency. But for some people it is a simple fact of everyday life. We have moved away from using gender and appearance strictly as metaphor in stories (pretty = good, ugly = bad). Are we ready to look at disabilities as part of who people are, and start including them in more kinds of stories and in more diverse roles?

Gann Monroe, Sarah Smith, Rachel Tanenhaus, W. A. (Bill) Thomasson, Tanya Washburn (m)
sasha_feather: dolphin and zebra gazing at each other across glass (dolphin and zebra)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
[personal profile] lightgetsin: Alt text

The point I'm getting to is if it's a question of utilitarian vs. evocative, I go evocative every time. Descriptions are opinions, yes. So have an opinion! Have fun with it. Embrace the personal nature of describing someone's art or photo. Become a participant in a pretty cool transmedia project.
sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
[personal profile] sqbr
Hi! I decided to try making a Twine (text based html) version of my most recent visual novel since visual novels aren't very accessible, and want to make sure it actually is more accessible.

So! I would love feedback from people with screenreaders/colour issues/other visual issues that make using visual novels difficult on this game, "SOON". ("SOON" is the name of the game, you don't actually have to be super fast)

I'm still bug fixing, so you may or may not be able to actually finish the game, but just looking at a page or two is enough, and no download is required. Letting me know about bugs would also be great but I'll track them down myself eventually :)

I didn't mess with the default fonts/colours etc, on the assumption that anyone with specific needs will probably have custom css. Is that a reasonable assumption?

By the way, the game's protagonist is disabled themselves, and there's a little snark about accessibility in there amongst all the time travel :) Also, making a Twine version of a Renpy game turned out to be a pain and a half so I don't know if I'll do it again.
jesse_the_k: Well nourished white woman riding black Quantum 4400 powerchair off the right edge, chased by the word "powertool" (JK powertool)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
My goal in reprinting these links is to encourage all cons to provide best access to all members.

Stephanie Saulter has an informative old-timer post
http://stephaniesaulter.com/2013/11/05/what-i-thought-of-wfc-2013/
with these notes on access:

2. ACCESSIBILITY. Whether it’s for fans or professionals, or fans and professionals, WFC needs to be much more committed to providing full, uncomplicated accessibility. It’s not good enough to simply say, ‘oh, it’s an old hotel’ and throw your hands up. It is not acceptable for people who have paid their membership like everyone else, who have just as much to contribute and just as much to learn as anyone else, to be unable to access large parts of the con, to have poor to no directions on how to get to the parts they technically could reach, or for the hotel staff to whom they were referred to appear baffled by the question. And I also want to point out that disabilities and constraints are not only around mobility. If there were provisions for sight- or hearing-impaired members, for example, I saw no sign of them. (Maybe that’s because the con knew no one with those constraints would be coming. Fair enough. But is that because people with those constraints know there’s no point trying to come? That would not be fair. I don’t know which it is, but it troubles me.)

Joely Black comments on a mundane but crucial missing access feature: chairs.
http://joelyblack.com/2013/11/06/wfc2013-stories-chairs/

Other than panels, the events at the convention were remarkable for their lack of chairs. You’d think this was a minor issue, especially as you could sit down during panels. Most of the big events were in the evening, and were chairless.
[... snip ...]
It made networking hard. Standing in a group of people, we’d agree that we needed a sit down. Just as we set off to find chairs, somebody would join the group and we’d all be pressed into fresh conversation. After hours of standing, walking, standing, we’d all grimace at them as they brought new party flotsam into the group as fresh opportunities to sit down slipped away.


From my con-running experience, there's a constant tension between enough chairs for folks to take a load off their feet versus fewer chairs for smoother traffic in functionally wider hallways. Joely points out their importance for everyone. Universal design, our friend!
sqbr: "Creative genius" with an arrow pointing to a sketch of me (genius!)
[personal profile] sqbr
I make the odd visual novel (both original and fannish): interactive games told through text and static images (mostly of sprites with varying expressions). Some use sound but mine don't. As an example, here's a fan game I made for Mass Effect.

It bothers me how inaccessible my Visual Novels are given that the story is mostly told via text. The creator of Renpy (the language I and many VN creators use) has said he would add text reader support if he could but it's not practical.

So I was wondering: if you are someone who finds visual novels innaccessible but would otherwise be interested in playing them, what would be your preferred approach to an accessible version of the story?
Read more... )
sasha_feather: dolphin and zebra gazing at each other across glass (dolphin and zebra)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Would Helen Keller Be a Marvel Zombie? A Presentation



Accessibility as professional practice. Franny Howes presents. Computers & Writing 2013, Frostburg, MD.

Thanks to [personal profile] jesse_the_k for the link.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Hi,

Does anyone have resources or guidelines on how to make slides for presentations accessible?

Thanks!
jesse_the_k: barcode version of jesse-the-k.dreamwidth.org (JK OpenID barcode)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Body of Work is an 11-day festival in Chicago this May 15-25, 2013, with scores of events across many venues. Films, spoken word, 2D art, theater, dance etc, check details at
http://www.bodiesofworkchicago.org/festival/festival-schedule.html

The festival's access resources points to the best cultural access manuals I've ever seen:
http://www.bodiesofworkchicago.org/resources/access.html

This looks like the TL;DR summary:
http://www.bodiesofworkchicago.org/images/Documents/bow_manualUpdated.pdf
which explicitly includes the 2010 ADA standards.

This manual provides backing (to wave in the face of US decision-makers: it's the law!) and also implementation details (how wide should the aisle be? minimum size type on signs?).

Awesome tool!
sasha_feather: dolphin and zebra gazing at each other across glass (dolphin and zebra)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
teafeather in [community profile] ebooks: crosspost: ablism rant A post in defense of ebooks and how they are a boon to people with various disabilities.

Same post at teafeather's journal>

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