Accessible Documents: The End-User Experience

Presented by Jimmy Brown, Accessibility Coordinator, KY OVR, DHS Trusted Tester and Lisa McKeown, Personal Care Attendant Program Assistant, Center For Accessible Living

Friday, September 9, 2022
9:00am – 10:15am

Session Description

As sighted users, we often look at a document in “helicopter view”. We tend to forget that not everyone is able to see the whole document at all times (or quickly scan over the document with their eyes). Many users of assistive technologies, such as screen readers and screen magnifiers, have a very limited/targeted view of the document. They may only be able to focus on one element at a time.

Combining accessibility standards and usability processes with real people ensures that your electronic content (websites and documents) are both technically and functionally usable by people with disabilities. This is referred to as “usable accessibility” or “accessible user experience” (UX). It is just as important to understand how your document is read by assistive technology (AT), such as screen readers, and not just that it can be read by AT and/or passes an automated accessibility checker. Getting the perspective of AT users with real world, lived experience is just as important as meeting the standards. In this session, we will be looking at a sample document, starting with a completely inaccessible version and working through the steps to make the document accessible. Along the way, we will be testing the document with a screen reader and visually walking through the tags tree to gain a better understanding of how AT interacts with the documents we create. You will also have the opportunity to hear first hand from users of screen readers and magnification software about their experiences and preferences with accessible documents.

Presenter Biography

Jimmy Brown – Jimmy is the Accessibility Coordinator for the KY Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Prior to his current role, he was the Program Coordinator for the KATS Network (Kentucky Assistive Technology Service Network). He is a Trusted Tester for Website Accessibility from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Accessible Systems and Technology.

Lisa McKeown – Lisa assists with many projects at the Center including the SOUL Louisville women’s group as well as disability sensory training for the local bus system. She utilizes many tools, such as ZoomText and JAWS, to assist in her day-to-day activities and will be drawing on her own personal user experience with Information and Communication Technologies to help participants better understand the benefits of creating content that is accessible and usable by everyone. Lisa has a passion to advocate and serve individuals and currently serves on the Kentucky Assistive Technology Advisory Council (KATS Network) representing Independent Living Centers in Kentucky.