Tech accessibility

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Group: Sarah (facilitator), Tamayo, Andrea, Jordan, Lori

Interested in learning/talking about:

We build websites and have worked on projects for people with disability and learned a lot of what and how we left folks out. Aware and conscious when developing.

What is accessibility? Defining and knowing solutions.

Accessibility of information between departments - best practice for sharing information

Drawn to projects that need to consider infrastructure limitations, physical limitations, tech limitations, language limitations

Bandwidth accessibility, slow connection and accessibility. Want to start building what to think about and what we aren't thinking about.

Maintaining and sharing information and using tools, how do we make sure information is available and accessible. Comparability and data portability.

Build list of all things accessibility could mean


  • Physical & Cognitive ability
  • Bandwidth
  • Power
  • Access to technology (computers, phones, mail)
  • Access to internet
  • Tech literacy
  • Language and Culture
  • Age
  • Data portability / ownership
  • Compatibility

Break it down in considerations of delivery systems / medium / content / coding

Document solutions

  • Physical & cognitive
  • Content
  • Design
  • Development
  • Hardware

Color & contrast

Resource-constrained environment

1. Slow (low bandwidth)

  • lots of connections can be good

2. Latency (small tube)

  • lots of connections can be problem

Understand users and think of solutions accordingly in terms of: power, physical access to computers/phone/tech access to internet

  • have to build capacity to use technology
  • touch
  • kiosks
  • easy print
  • how much power does site use?
  • gender differences in tech use
  • social power vs. watts
  • intermittent electricity
  • what is hardware environment

Technical literacy

  • symbols - standard and related to culture and language - X usually means no Circle means ok
  • test with real diversity
  • test early
  • watch people
  • provide with good CMS so can interact with their site and it's intuitive, like wordpress and make sure interface is friendly and easy to use without code. Visual for backend users
  • don't make people write code
  • don't hard code
  • self-document
  • comments and feedback
  • before you start engage with stakeholders
  • visual interface


  • Multilingual- switch language buttons - clear how to change language (ex. LA Metro)
  • Google translate has got a lot better, depends on which language are "compatible"
  • translate back again and see what you get
  • no matter how many languages, not going to cover every language in LA, how to serve people you will inevitably not serve best
  • breathing in one language could be smoking in another
  • some universal - arrows, circles, exes
  • colors have different meanings
  • cell phone as main form of gathering information
  • what direction text read - right to left; left to right; up and down
  • sports references - using cultural references can be restrictive - test with audience

Data Portability

  • comparability
  • security
  • ownership
  • privacy
  • can I get my data back out?
  • interoperability
  • export
  • remove / delete / really delete
  • many department platforms - sales force,zoho, google
  • open-source vs open data
  • web scraping
  • backing up
  • technology policies - tool to meet common needs - management
  • viewing vs. using information
  • data policy vs. tool

Anything additional to share:

Someone at Sacramento Techfest developed SMS for deaf / blind code touch a letter and get morse code vibration ( SMS haptic morse code)

  • flexsy