Assistive Technology and Accessibility

Join the challenge! What is your +1?

May 16th, 2024, marks the 13th anniversary of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). GAAD aims to stimulate thinking, learning, and discussion about digital access and inclusion. This year, we challenge you to engage with digital access and inclusion by selecting and acting upon your +1 (plus 1): the one step or action you can take, whether it involves learning about or deepening your understanding of a niche, watching a video, reading an article, or engaging on social media related to digital access and inclusion. 

By Chad Lamb, Senior Test Engineer

Global Accessibility Awareness Day, May 18th, was launched in 2021 to promote awareness for digital accessibility, access, and inclusion. As Accessibility Consultants, New Editions is focused on and passionate about improving digital accessibility. We partner with organizations to help them improve their digital products and we play an important role in the maturation of their accessibility programs. In a world of emerging technologies and new standards, we convert complex ideas to simple, implementable tasks.

There has been an appropriate emphasis in recent years to educate developers on accessibility requirements outlined by the Revised 508 standards and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The development of a repeatable test process, like the Trusted Tester methodology New Editions helped develop, helps to ensure developers receive a consistent message as to what constitutes accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT). These have been positive steps forward in creating accessible products.

When Section 508/accessibility testing comes to mind, the first thought is typically electronic content, such as websites and documents. Certainly, ensuring that different types of electronic content is accessible is important, however, there is another major type of testing that plays a large role for individuals with disabilities that often becomes an afterthought. What is it, you may ask? Hardware testing. Hardware is another form of information and communications technology (ICT) that also needs to be tested for accessibility.

The current accessibility mantra we hear repeated, and repeat ourselves to development teams, is to “bake in accessibility” and “shift-left,” yet accessibility needs, design, development, training, testing, reporting, goals, and metrics historically are siloed (and thus fosters no collaboration) within the overall Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). SDLC refers to a methodology of defined processes to create high quality software for the lowest cost in the shortest time possible.

On Thursday, October 14th, New Editions had the opportunity to present as a vendor during the 2021 Interagency Accessibility Forum (IAAF) sponsored by the Federal Chief Information Officer Council’s Accessibility Community of Practice. Since 2013, the U.S.

New Editions provides WCAG 2.1 AAA accessibility testing services and Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) generation for UiPath Cloud and On Prem products. UiPath is a global software company for robotic process automation (RPA). The UiPath platform (web and software applications) helps automate enterprise experiences, discovering what can be automated, building automations, managing and deploying automations at the enterprise level, running automations through robots and provides a collaborative mechanism where automation and team members work together.

At New Editions, we believe designing and developing accessible information and communication technology should be a normal course of action. We pride ourselves on being Section 508 and WCAG 2.1 experts and leaders in the accessibility field.  New Editions provides accessibility consulting and support services to our clients to help them gain the necessary knowledge and expertise to develop fully accessible products.