Lainey Feingold is a disability rights lawyer focusing on digital access, an international speaker, and the author of Structured Negotiation, A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits. Lainey’s book is packed with win-win stories of accessibility advocacy with some of the largest organizations in the U.S., all without lawsuits.
In 2017 Lainey was named one of the 13 Legal Rebels by the ABA Journal, the national magazine of the American Bar Association. That year she was also named the individual recipient of the John W. Cooley Lawyer as Problem Solver award, given annually by the Dispute Resolution Section of the ABA.
Lainey has twice been recognized with a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) award (2000 and 2014) for her digital accessibility and Structured Negotiation legal work.
Welcome to the third annual Information and Communication Technology Accessibility Testing Symposium. My name is Chris Law, I'm the Chair. My first thought this morning was it feels like a tie what happened last night. And I'm from England where we watch the, where the FA Cup Final, it used to be that you could end in a tie, so this is the big soccer thing, it's our Super Bowl equivalent, it could end up in a tie. And then, so it would be played on a Saturday and then it would be replayed on a Thursday evening, for some reason. And I think in Australia, isn't that right, where I'm sort of not from, I think in Australia, the grand final can have a tie, and then be replayed the next week, right? Can't do that in the Super Bowl, but it kind of feels that way, doesn't it? It feels like well, we got one, but not the other, so anyway, but forget the election now, let's move on, let's think about accessibility testing instead. You might have seen this, it was in the news recently, I got a photo that says this AI generated portrait just sold at auction for $432,000, but not without controversy. And then there's a picture of the portrait and a couple of people standing there. My thought on the controversy that came to mind was this, the AI didn't generate its own alt text, yeah? I mean, you put that much work into it and it can't generate its own alt text? Hmm, so it seemed to be a little bit emblematic of what's going on. Okay. I want to bring up a picture of of our friend Jon Gunderson. Jon Gunderson was scheduled to be here yesterday to deliver a workshop on ARIA. Unfortunately, Jon's mother-in-law died on Friday. It meant that he couldn't make travel plans to come here, he's dealing with family issues, but Jon has been a supporter of the symposium from the beginning, from the first year. Always gives great lectures on ARIA and other matters. So we all miss Jon and miss having him here, so what I thought we would do as a gesture for Jon is I'm gonna give him a copy of his proceedings with everybody signing it, okay? So we're gonna pass this around, keep the same pen with it. If you're a presenter, please sign where you are in the proceedings. Just sign your name. I think if everybody tries to write a sentimental message, it won't go through, it'll take all day. So we're just gonna hand it around, and just during the session, please pass it on to the next person, thanks. Okay, social media. We do have a Twitter hashtag, #A11yTestingSymposium. The account is @A11yTesting18. Tomorrow is actually World Usability Day. Peter McNally, where's Peter? Peter is one of the World Usability folks who comes out of Bentley University where he is. So tomorrow, we are part of World Usability Day events tomorrow, so if you want to tweet there, it's @world_usability, and the hashtag is #WorldUsabilityDay. Okay, if you want to connect to WiFi while you're here, the instructions are at the back, the last page of the program that you have, okay? It's a little bit of an involved process, it involves giving your name and they can send you a password and things like that, so probably better to do it during one of the breaks, there's no need to do it right now. Okay, so a little picture popped up with the cover of the proceedings. That is my reminder to remind you the permanent record of this event is in the proceedings. That's what lives on our website. We don't post anybody's presentations, okay? So at the beginning of every presentation, it seems like somebody puts their hand up and says, "Will the slides be available?" No, not from us, okay? We do put the email address of the presenter in the paper, and their contact details. So what I would suggest is if you want the slides, either talk to the presenter after, or email them. It's up to the presenters whether they wish to make the slides available, okay? But the proceedings is the permanent record. We do have a few sponsors. We have sponsors of our awards. The Best Paper is sponsored by Karl Groves at Tenon. The Competition Winner is sponsored by RedShelf. The Best Student Paper and the Student Travel Stipend is covered by Siteimprove. Laura Renfro of Renfro Consulting is sponsoring the Best Presentation. Now, who gets to decide the best presentation? It's your time to vote again. So before the last session, you'll be asked to do a text vote for best presentation. And so to vote amongst us, and the only ones that are not eligible are the Competition Winner and what is already decided as the Best Paper, which will be later this morning. So it's all the papers in the dual track sessions of this afternoon and tomorrow morning. So make a mental note, make a note in your proceedings, make a note in your program which you feel is the best presentation that's, gave you the best info that you're gonna take away from here. The competition and the student winner's registration is sponsored by myself. I am Accessibility Track Consulting. We are also recording the keynote this year courtesy of WebAbleTV, so thanks to them. We're just gonna be recording this one section. And we will be posting that online sometime in the next week or so, so if you want to share that with your friends. The proceedings, EPUB conversion, we gotta thank DAISY Consortium for doing that. And then each of you, when you registered, you would probably have gotten a flyer for the Digital Accessibility Legal Summit. This is my event, so I'm kind of sponsoring it as well, I'm sponsoring this event with that event. But we really, this is a brand new event, the Digital Accessibility Legal Summit. Lainey is talking about legal. Legal is the number one issue now, I'll also be talking about this in a presentation tomorrow morning, but legal is now becoming the dominant driver of industry activity in this area. So the Legal Summit is really trying to get people together and try to think about best practices and share a platform for discussion and dialogue around this area. Any questions about the Legal Summit, just come up and chat to me anytime. Okay, I do a bit of an annual update of where we are because we're still young and we're still growing. So I have a bar chart here. Let's talk about workshops first. 2016, when we started, we had two workshops. And then we've gone through the next years, four to six. And we had a really good turnout for the workshops this year, half the people who registered attended the workshops, so that's good for us. The papers went from 12 to 14 to 18, respectively, so that's growing. We actually 20, 21 submitted, we had a couple of people that decided at the end that they were unable to make it, so 21 accepted papers, so we are growing pretty well there. And then in terms of registrations, we have gone from 75 in our first year, our first year was six months to figure out, okay, we're gonna start a conference, start a symposium, and we went from 75, and we almost doubled that to 135 in the second year. We've added maybe 20% this year, we're at 168 registrations for this year, so that's good. The committee is also growing as well. The committee grew 21, 25, 34, respectively. But you see from this chart, the one line's going up on the committee, and one line's sort of leveling out. Somebody suggested maybe that we even want to cap this at 200 to keep it small and intimate, though the committee will have to discuss that for next year, but you see that if those lines kept growing, they'd eventually meet in the middle, so we don't really want to have 200 committee members. But that doesn't mean that you can't join the committee. The committee is open to anybody who wants to put in the work to review and peer review the papers that are in here. All of the papers that are in the proceedings are peer-reviewed. So we send out something at the end of the conference along those lines inviting people to join. Networking opportunities. We have, this event, from the first time that we did this it clearly became, networking was one of the key reasons that people come here. So make new contacts, make new friends, and start new ideas. So you can do networking in the multi-purpose room. Some of that is baked into the schedule in your program. Dinner tonight, if you don't have dinner plans tonight, go to the multi-purpose room, which is where the coffee was, and that's where all the breaks and all the lunches will be. Gather at five o'clock and find other people who want to go to dinner and make new friends. There's nothing formal about that. And then lunch tomorrow is our networking lunch. There is a easel in the multi-purpose room, and on that easel is a number of, well, 10 cards. And if you are interested in leading a conversation, and you've got a particular interest and you want to invite new people into your conversation, fill out a 10 card, and then you will be a discussion leader, okay? And the people that are discussion leaders, we want them to sit in the one table for the duration of the lunch. Everybody else, move to as many discussions as you want throughout the lunch period. So if you want to discuss topics A, B and C, go to tables A, B and C. Okay, does that make sense? It's open to anybody to suggest, you don't have to be a presenter, you don't have to be a kingpin, you just really got to have an idea and you want to discuss the topic. I will be leading a topic on legal. That's my thing right now. Okay, finally, I was reading this book earlier this year. It's called "Behave: The Biology of Humans "at Our Best and Worst". Not sure what prompted me to pick this up. Maybe it was because people were behaving at their worst. It's by Robert M. Sapolsky. This book, it's about the neurobiology of the brain and what happens when people make decisions. It's fairly common knowledge that you have your sort of ancient brain, and then your more developed prefrontal cortex, and somewhere along the lines, things go up the chain, so fight or flight is your ancient brain. But there's actually, this book is really talking about all the processes that go on, and he discusses what happens one second before you make a decision, five seconds before you make a decision, a week before you make a decision, five months before you make a decision, and what are the various factors that are going on. And the, I started making notes about the symposium, I found myself writing notes in the side, so one of the things he was saying, that social complexity expands the prefrontal cortex. So when you take, when you experiment with monkeys, the larger the group of monkeys that you put together, the larger the prefrontal cortex becomes. So that means the more you interact with others, the more you socialize with others, the bigger brain you have, okay? Automatic responses we think of in terms of sport, right? Learned behaviors. LeBron James is only LeBron James 'cause he's done it 10,000 times, or more, a million times. And we think about that in sport that things are automatic, to shoot a free throw or something like that, but we don't necessarily think about that as automatic behaviors at work. And how many times have we gone to somebody at a management or an executive-level and talked about accessibility only for there to be an automatic response of, "No, no, no, we're not doing that, "we don't have time for that, "we don't have the budget for that." And it's an automatic response. Why is it an automatic response? The sort of thing that you start learning when you're reading books like this, you start thinking, "Ah, okay, when I'm talking to somebody, "if I think about the things I've seen here, "maybe I can get one up there", okay? So people who've seen my talks before will see, will know that I've talked about swim lanes. Among this picture, I have somebody standing in front of a large pool with a question mark, we'll get to the quote in a second, and each of the swim lanes is labeled accessibility, business, organizational behavior, psychology, change management, resistance and motivation. And I have encouraged people to start thinking about different swim lanes, but if you work in the accessibility field, in order to succeed in the accessibility field, you're dealing with people that don't live in the accessibility field, and you have to know how they think and how they operate. So I would like to encourage everybody in this two days, reach out to people that you maybe wouldn't reach out to in the networking event, go to conversations that maybe you wouldn't ordinarily go to, find a presentation that you wouldn't ordinarily go to and attend that presentation, okay? Sheryl Burgstahler, I hope I pronounced that properly, from one of her books from 2015, "Universal Design in Higher Education" she said, "From what what disciplines, including disability studies, "special education, rehabilitation, computer science, "engineering, policy studies, social sciences "can we find the best research methods "for analyzing the impact of Universal Design practices?" But I would like to change that as well, not how do we analyze the impact of Universal Design practices, but how we influence Universal Design practices? How do we learn from all those different disciplines on how to change, because I'm the sort of person who keeps arguing that most of the technical problems about accessibility have been solved, it's now a people problem. How do we get the people at the top to change? That's it for my opening remarks. I'm going to invite Norman Robinson, our Co-Chair, to give a couple of opening remarks too.
Is this one on?
Yeah, that one's on.
Wonderful. I just want to make sure they recorded that information. Good morning everyone, I'm Norman Robinson. I'm fortunate enough to be the Co-Chair, which means that Chris does all the work and I get credit for riding along with all the other wonderful people that have helped contribute to making this thing happen. Chris did mention earlier about the proceedings. I just want to point out one thing that I'm most proud about, and that is the proceedings are an avenue for people to be published. So if there's something about accessibility that you want to get out there, and in a forum like this, it's important to provide a venue for that, and we do that. And I'm looking for any opportunities to make sure that the proceedings are available to everyone, as many people as possible, everywhere. I say that as being an IEEE member, and having to pay many hundreds of dollars for papers about accessibility and technology that is related to our field that are hidden by paywalls. And I just want to say personally, I understand the professional need to do that, you've got to have money to put this all together, but I'm most proud of the work that Chris has, and everyone has done in making sure these proceedings are available so that we can share our knowledge with everyone. With that said, I want to mention that with my grandfather being a preacher, and my mother being a preacher, I am not a quiet person. So, and with a large family, if you need anything, I was listening in a few conversations with people coming in, I'm not really that shocked. So if you are, if you need help with anything, please, as Co-Chair, my job is to fill any need. So if you guys have any need, personal, whatever, while you're at the conference, please reach out to me, I'm glad to help. With that said, I think Chris--
Yes, oh. Thank you very much, Norm. So, thank you Norm, and yeah, Norm has been a great help and great supporter, even though he doesn't get to do all the tasks, 'cause he's actually pretty busy with his regular job. So, thanks Norm, and thanks to all the committee. If you're on the committee, could you just wave right now? We have quite a lot of our committee members here. The committee members have a blue ribbon. We're always looking for feedback, and this is the best place to give the feedback, so chitchat with the committee members, go up and talk to the committee members and tell them what you think, what your questions are. The yellow ribbons are the sponsors, please be sure to go up and find our sponsors and shake their hands. Thank you very much for helping out. I want to introduce Lainey Feingold. Lainey Feingold I've known for quite a while now. I've been in the accessibility field for 26, 27 years now and I think I've known you since the late 90s. I think that one of the first times that we actually met was when ATMs were on the legal block, as it were. The first accessible ATMs came in around about 2000, 2001, if I'm not mistaken. That was 10 years after the law said that they should be accessible. So it took until, finally, legal action caused that change. So when you see headphone jacks on ATMs, yes, it was in the ADA in 1992, it took 10 years. And I think about the comparison with websites. Here we are, it's at the time, it's 2018. We are 20 years past when WCAG 1.0 came out. We've had plenty of time, we've had a long time since section 508 came out, and we still get the occasional survey of government websites that pretty consistently comes up with the same result, things are not accessible. So there has been a proliferation of lawsuits, and lawsuits and laws only happen when people are not doing what you want them to do as a society. Lawsuits are typically the last resort. So it's the big topic of conversation right now. It is growing at many hundreds of percent per year it seems, the number of lawsuits that are coming out. So we decided we would invite Lainey Feingold to come talk to us about testing and legal.
Good morning everybody.
Crowd Member: Good morning.
We're here, everybody--
Is this working? Okay, I just proved it, I'm tired, because I stayed up too late watching election results. Is anybody else tired 'cause they stayed up too late watching election results? I'm happy to be here, thanks, Chris. Yeah, so in the program, it said we're gonna call this a lawyer walked into an accessibility testing conference, no joke, but I'm not really that much of a jokey person. So I'm gonna talk about law and the accessible testing journey. I put my Twitter up there, which is @LFLegal. For those of you who are not on Twitter, I really recommend Twitter and the accessibility space, I get a lot of my information from Twitter. If you have any questions that don't get answered, I'll be around today and also tomorrow, you can always send me a tweet, and I will put the slides up somewhere and make them available and let everybody know, so you can take pictures, but I'll also put 'em up. Okay, so I have been having the privilege and honor the last two years to speak twice in Australia, a couple of times in Canada, and once in New Zealand, and in those countries, they always start the public talks with an honor and a recognition of the native people that were in the space before we are, so I have adopted that as my practice. The picture up here is a picture of Virginia in its native state. And I just list a couple of Native American Indian tribes, Paspahegh and Kiskiack, back to 1560. Back to 1560, and that's the land we're on here, and where we're gathered, and I like doing this not just to honor native people, but also to remind us where we are in the flow of history, because back in 1560, there were not websites, there was not WCAG, there were not mobile apps, the people were doing other things, but our time is now and our time is a digital age, and if you're in the room, you are an accessibility champion. I don't say that lightly, but if you are spending two days thinking and talking and making connections around accessibility, you're a champion, and you are really leading in this time. So I was gonna do a little thing, I had a slide about the election and this is also so, it's such a pregnant moment, but I took the slide out because, but I'll just say one thing about politics. Accessibility is partisan and nonpartisan. It's nonpartisan in that the work we are all doing is for everyone, regardless of political affiliation, regardless of who they voted for, we want an accessible world, you wouldn't be in the room if you didn't, for everyone. However from the legal space, and as we'll talk about, it's partisan because policies and laws and judges influence the work we do and have impact on the work we do, so in that way, it is partisan, and in that way, the results last night where we turned the tide a little bit and hopefully we stopped some of the direction of hate and fear. And so, we are not in 1560, we are here gathered to talk about accessibility and how the law impacts it and why the legal space is so prevalent and is that good, is that not good? So I always have this slide at the start that, the not-so-fine print of this talk is that it's not legal advice. And I put the little Twitter bird up when I say, okay, if you quote me, you don't have to say every time it's not legal advice, but just know anything I say in a talk or I write, it's not legal advice. I usually just breeze by this slide, but you know, the truth is, like Chris said, that many of you are probably here because you're worried about getting hit with a lawsuit, maybe you got hit with a lawsuit, maybe you're not sure what to do if you get hit with a lawsuit, so it's really important to know that my role has been, for many years now, it's kind of a bridge from the legal space to the accessibility space, to the developers and the tech people and the policymakers, the accessibility consultants and experts to try to share what's going on in the legal space so you have it, that you can use it in a constructive way in your work. I can't guarantee that the information I share or really anything you learn in the next few days is going to stop your organization from getting a lawsuit, but I can pretty much guarantee that if you don't do any of the things that you'll learn here, it's not gonna help you if you do get a lawsuit. Okay, so I want to talk about four things. I want to talk about how the law is good, and then I want to talk about how the fear is bad, how fear is bad, and too often, law and fear are too intertwined. The law has its limits, and one of those limits is fear, and we're gonna talk about that, but big picture, the law is good. I want to talk about where does the law belong if we don't want fear of lawsuits to be the primary driver, and I want to talk about how collaboration tools can help. So Chris is right, I've been in this space since the early 1990s, first working on talking ATMs, then doing website accessibility as of 1997, and I've done all that work without once filing a lawsuit. Well actually, that's not true, once I had to file a lawsuit, but I've done it in a collaborative process called structured negotiation where we bring people together from big companies or government agencies, and people with disabilities, primarily, blind people have been my clients, to work on accessibility issues. So I'm a big believer in collaboration, and I've written a book about this, I've spent the last couple years traveling around sharing the tools of collaboration that I think can be of help to you where, as Chris said, you're the ones trying to get the budget for the work you do and get the resources and get the staff power. So let's start with the law is good. The law is good, that's why I put it in emphasis in purple. The law protects people's rights. That's why the background of this slide is people. The law allows participate. When you're working on accessibility, you're working on making sure people with disabilities can participate in the digital world, and the law prevents discrimination. So why do people always turn up their nose at lawyers, and why do people always say, "Oh my God, the law, "we might get a lawsuit, it's all bad"? The whole reason that law is in the accessibility space is to protect people's rights, to allow participation, and to prevent discrimination, and that's why in pretty much every slideshow that I do, I have this slide, which is a picture of a march leading up to the ADA. How many of you have seen this before? Many of you have. There is people with disabilities at the front and they're holding a big banner that says, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." And I even got this cool PowerPoint feature that kind of shows it as a march moving forward. It's a Martin Luther King quote, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." And that's because accessibility is a civil right of disabled people. A civil right or a human right, if you're outside the United States, usually it's referred to as a human right. Accessibility is a civil and human right of disabled people. So when you're doing whatever job, whatever your role is in this space where it can get really lost that this is what you're doing because accessibility is in all details, as we know. The testing, this is a testing symposium, the Q and A, the development, the design, the policy, all of that, what's that word, the evangelisting, I'm seeing Jennison in the audience, being the accessibility evangelist, it takes a lot of detail, but at the core, at the bottom, it's because accessibility is a civil right of disabled people. And the law's also involved because accessibility is also about confidentiality and security and privacy and the right to information. So, I have had so much of the work I've done start because blind people have been asked by government agencies or private sector or higher ed, "Can't somebody help you with that?" When things are not accessible, they are not confidential, they are not private. So this is some of the languaging that we can use, like Chris said, we gotta get, we've got to change our hearts and minds because we know how to do accessibility. I read a great thing that if you don't make it accessibility, you're basically breaking it because inherently, technology can and should be accessible to everyone. So confidentiality, security, privacy and information, that's what accessibility is about, that's why the law is in this space, and judges are starting to agree. We're starting to get some court cases, I'm gonna talk about that in a little bit, but there's a great quote that, I don't usually like to put a lot of text on slides, but I wanted to put this on so I could read this. Today, and this is from a federal judge, "Today, internet technology enables individuals "to participate actively in their community "and engage in commerce from the comfort and convenience "of their home. "It would be a cruel irony, a cruel irony, "to adopt an interpretation of the ADA espoused", this was in a case against Blick Art about their website, "It would be a cruel irony to adopt an interpretation "of the ADA espoused by Blick "which would render the legislation", the Americans with Disabilities Act, "Intended to emancipate the disabled "from the bonds of isolation and segregation obsolete "when its objective is increasingly within reach." Increasingly within reach. That is from a decision by a judge named Jack Weinstein, who is 96 years old. I love this quote, I love Judge Jack Weinstein, and I love driving home the point that without accessibility, people are excluded and isolated. So if you have a role in accessibility testing, which you must, because you are here at a testing symposium, you are a civil rights defender. And maybe you can make a little yellow sticky and put it on your desk or just put it in your pocket to remember that this is all bigger than the individual roles we have. One of the reasons I'm so frustrated with some of the new lawyers coming into the space and filing so many cases and treating this as just a legal issue is that accessibility is so much bigger. Look at this whole room, there's probably not another lawyer in this room, and I try to tell these new lawyers, okay, there's civil rights and lawsuits have been important, but this is not an area to be driven by lawyers. You guys are doing the work, you guys are the civil rights defenders by making sure you're not putting out content and information and new technology that doesn't work for disabled people. So you have a choice in every single decision you make whether you're gonna keep the door open for participation, or whether you're gonna keep the door locked. Every single decision, how you test, what tools you buy, whether your procurement is solid, you're gonna keep the door open, or you're gonna keep the door shut. Another way to think about it besides being civil rights defenders, this is a picture of a dreamcatcher. And for those of you who haven't encountered a dreamcatcher, traditionally, it's six-inch hoop, and it's woven in the middle, and it has ceremonial feathers and beads on the outside, and it's a Native American technology. It's a Native American technology. I looked up the word technology to make sure that it's really true, and I invite you to look up the word technology in an etymological dictionary online because the work we're doing today in technology, our kind of technology goes back to craft and weaving. And so the dreamcatcher was a Native American invention, technology, because they believed that in the night, dreams, both good and bad, were floating around, and they didn't want bad dreams coming into their heads and the heads of their children. So they came up with this very ingenious technology to catch the bad dreams, and only let the good dreams through. And I started to be thinking about accessibility in this way that really, accessibility is akin to a dreamcatcher because there's a lot of bad code out there and there's a lot of bad design, but there's a lot of good design and good code too, and you guys are making that happen. And so, with every decision, it's not to say you're a civil rights defender, but you are doing the work so that people's dreams can be good because the truth is, whether they're big dreams about being able to get a college education and use higher ed tech, or whether they're small dreams about being able to get in and out of a finance site without the hassle of having to call someone because some button wasn't labeled properly, you are building dreamcatchers in your jobs. So let's talk a little bit about the nuts and bolts of where the law's at. This is not a legal update, I often do a legal update, I invite you to look at my speaking page on my website, lflegal.com. I try to do webinars at no charge, you can look at that, and of course, there's a legal symposium coming up here in the East Coast in December and in March, so there'll be a lot of opportunities to get deep into the legal. I'm gonna a break, even though we're on camera, to ask Chris, I said, "Chris, tell me exactly when "we start so I don't go over", and I forgot to write it down.
Chris: We started about 9:20, 9:25.
Lainey: Okay, good.
You got plenty of time.
Okay, good. I got plenty to say too. Okay, so-- This isn't a big legal update, but I am a lawyer invited to a testing symposium, so I want to give you both a big picture, which I personally find motivating to think about the civil rights and to tie it into civil rights history and think of the dreamcatcher, but also a little bit of the details. So US laws and policies, very strong on accessibility, there's a very strong foundation. The Americans with Disabilities Act covers the public sector, the private sector, higher ed, employment. Federally-funded activities are covered, which means that federally-funded technology has to be accessible. Federal employment, sections 501 and 503, federal procurement, which is section 508, which so many of you are familiar with. There's a special law for airlines to be accessible. And there's still the Affordable Care Act, section 1557, requiring healthcare, #HealthIT, to be accessible. So we have an extremely strong foundation in the US, and don't be intimidated by someone who says, "Oh, it's a great area, we don't really know what to do." No, we know what to do because all these laws are basically civil rights laws. They're basically laws that say, "You know what? "We're gonna have a country where "if we spend federal dollars, "we're not gonna exclude disabled people "from the benefits of that spending. "If we have a program that the public's invited to, "the whole public has to be invited to it." So the law foundation is very strong. Do we have web regulations? We do not. We do not have any specific regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act that specifically say you have to meet WCAG, you have to make your websites, you have to make your mobile apps accessible. We do have 508, and that's for procurement. Again, we have 504 for federal spending. Those of you in government and higher ed are impacted by those laws, but we don't have ADA regulations. Have any of you ever been told by anyone in your organization, "Well, there's no regulations, we don't know what to do"? Yes, many nods, so people do know what to do, include and participate, include and participate, and the only way to do that is to design to standards, and we're gonna talk about that in a minute, and have web accessibility standards. So I have a couple of things I say about that. ADA web regulations are inactive, but the ADA is not. And there's a whole history of why we don't have regulations which we don't have time for here, but it's safe to say we're not gonna have regulations for a while, and we don't want regulations under the current administration. So even though I know inside your organizations, it would be so good to say, "Well, here's the regulation, here's the page, "here's the section, do it", in fact, in this political climate, we do not want this Department of Justice issuing any regulations because they won't be regulations that support accessibility in the broad way that everyone in this room wants them to be. So ADA web regs are inactive, but the ADA isn't, and web regs are dead, but the ADA is alive and well. So, those are my sort of shorthand things for that, which is why I put the little Twitter bird. And I used to say those, and you can go back on my website for many years because we started trying to have regulations in 2010, and I always said these things, they didn't matter 'cause the ADA is strong, but now, we have so many lawsuits, we're starting to have judges agree with it, and here's just one example. There was a case against 1-800 Flowers about their website and the judge said the DOJ, Department of Justice's rulemaking process has no impact on the fitness of this case for adjudication, which is a fancy way of saying just because there were no regs, this case can still stay in court, and we're still gonna be able to proceed under the ADA. Even the current Department of Justice agrees that the fact that there are no regulations does not mean the ADA does not cover websites. So the, is anyone here in the credit union world? Well, so the credit union world is an area of great frustration to be right now because the very first talking ATM in the entire United States was from the San Francisco Federal Credit Union in San Francisco City Hall. And recently, the credit union in Washington State, I think it might be called Boeing, I'm not exactly sure, did a wonderful web accessibility agreement with the National Federation of the Blind. Is it called Boeing?
I think it was Boeing.
Yeah. A really great agreement, they didn't need a lawsuit, they collaborated really good. San Francisco Federal Credit Union collaborated with another set of lawyers and did a really great agreement a couple years ago. However, there are a certain group of lawyers who are suing a lot of credit unions, and the Credit Union Association of America, I'm not sure that's what it's called, they're not happy about that, and they asked, they organized Congress to ask the Department of Justice to write regulations to say, "We can't have these lawsuits, you gotta write regulations." And so, Congressman Budd wrote the letter on behalf of 103 congresspeople, and just in the last, I think, month and a half, on the home page of my website, you can read the article I wrote about it, the Department of Justice said, "We're not gonna do regulations. "We've said for 20 years that the ADA covers websites. "We've said for 20 years that the ADA covers websites. Now, they do also say in that letter that technical violation of WCAG what might not be a violation of the ADA, but all lawyers like myself recognize that as well. So, the fact that there are no regulations does not mean disabled people do not have the right to have accessible websites. Okay, we're gonna have more news on this whole regulations thing soon. I have a picture of pizza up here because there been several lawsuits against pizza chains, one of them against Domino's. The judge threw the case out of court and said, "Without regulations, we cannot proceed in court." That was different, most judges are saying, "We can go ahead in court", but Domino's Pizza judge said no and this is one of the frustrations with law, and one thing I need to give over to you that you're gonna read in the paper, some lawsuit won, some lawsuit lost, and you have to stay focused and steady on, the ADA's been around for 27 years, and it's solid: 508, 504, civil rights. Meanwhile, the Domino's Pizza judge said, threw the case out of court, it just got argued in the ninth circuit, which is the federal part that covers California, it was argued about two weeks ago on this issue of whether cases can go ahead and go without regulations. So you can stay tuned, I talked to the lawyer yesterday, she had absolutely, there's no prediction with courts. The decision could come in three months, it could come in a year. Okay, so we're talking about at the foundation, and how it's strong with nuts and bolts, we also have laws in a lot of states. I have a map of the United States here, different colors, every state, because every state has different laws. They have laws about procurement and state funding and anti-discrimination, it's part of the strong foundation that we have. We also have an international foundation for this. So not only are you all civil rights defenders, but you are part of a global movement and a global community and a global community supported by laws around the globe. We're very lucky to have Shadi right here in the front row from the Web Accessibility Initiative of the W3C, so if you're curious about what's happening around the world, you can talk to him. You can network him in the break. Shadi, raise your hand up there, right here in the front row. The United Nations conference on the rights, convention on the rights of people with disabilities, very strong on accessibility, very strong. If you're really curious about international, the Web Accessibility Initiative has a really good page, W3.org/WAI/Policy. If you're not having a robust program, if you're running into opposition in your internal organization, there are many places to point to say we're not in this alone, this is a global forward movement. Like Martin Luther, I was thinking about Martin Luther King last night, "The moral arc of the universe is long, "but it bends towards justice", and I really believe in that and the international is one of them. So the law foundation is super strong. What does the law say about accessibility testing? Not that much, not that much. We don't have any web regulations, we don't have anything specific about accessibility testing. And most of the lawsuits you hear about, like Chris says, there's a lot of lawsuits there. We are on track for 2,000 federal lawsuit in 2018 about web accessibility. Pretty much web accessibility, we'll get to that in a minute, not mobile, not all the other technology that we're working on, but just web, which we'll see why the law's so far behind in a minute. So the cases are in the early stages, most of them are settling, most of them that don't settle, they go to court, they fight about whether or not the case should be thrown out of court. In most of those cases, the judges are saying let the cases stay in court, and then they settle. But there are two that did talk about testing, since this is a testing symposium, I wanted to share that with you. So Winn-Dixie was the first trial in the United States to go all the way through under the ADA on web accessibility and the blind plaintiff won the case. That case is also an appeal in the 11th circuit. That was argued about two months ago. I checked with that lawyer yesterday, also no ETA on when we're gonna get an answer, but the judge did, it's just a little bit of data points, I guess you could call them, about what will happen if these cases go all the way. I mean, it breaks my heart honestly to see, you should read some of these court orders. If you haven't read them, I have a legal update tab and you can read a lot of them, and you see the amount of money and argument that goes into things that would be so much better spent working on accessibility. So they did the Winn-Dixie trial, and one piece of the injunction was the following that at least once every three months after a certain date, Winn-Dixie shall conduct automated accessibility tests of its website to identify any instances where the website is no longer in conformance with WCAG 2.0. So the judge there recognized that accessibility testing is part of the picture. The plaintiff had to have an expert in that case. I mean, one thing about structure negotiation I have a whole chapter in my book, we don't have our own experts and then the company has its own experts and then the experts fight, we have joint experts, many of whom are in this room with great skill to help organizations work on accessibility in a forward way, so we start winning the hearts and minds. They had to hire a big expert, and that expert was in the court decision. He used automated and manual means, the automated means called AccessLint, searches for source code of the website. He also used manual testing including using the NVDA Screen Reader software to test whether the software allowed one to successfully obtain information on the website. So these are the kind of details that we'll get into if you end up in an argument. There will be talk of accessibility testing. Now, the other thing is once you get into, once these issues get into the legal space, judges don't know as much about this as we all do, as your organizations do, and that is a big risk of litigation, not just the money, but losing control. So there's a line here, all of the main internet browsers such as Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari comply with WCAG guidelines. If your, I mean this-- I read this over last night, I'm like, really? I have to tell people this? 'Cause this is what happens when the legal space mucks with accessibility. If your website is accessible through one of those browsers, it should be accessible for anyone using the main browsers. So that's good, right? That's good, but it doesn't show the depth of knowledge of what accessibility really is about, so there's that. Okay, so Winn-Dixie, and then the other one is GNC, which is a vitamin company. That case was one of those early-stage cases where they just talked about whether they should throw the case out of court, and the part I want to tell you about there was that they had a whole big fight and probably spent, really, tens of thousands of dollars fighting about whether the expert was qualified. And the company hired an expert, a guy named Dolegowski, who I guess is, based on this, I'm sure he's not in the room but don't identify yourself if you are. There's a test, I mean honestly, I haven't had to go to court since, except for that one time, since 1994, so even I, when I read these, it feels like traveling to a different planet, but there are standards for experts, and it's called Dobert, you can't, or Daubert, I don't know, you can't have an expert unless they meet these Daubert standards. So this guy, Dolegowski, who was the expert for GNC failed the Daubert test. First, he lacked specialized knowledge or experience on web accessibility. His professional training is an e-commerce, which at best tangentially relates to web accessibility. I don't know about that. Dolegowski does not know the success criteria of the accessibility checking software he relied on, nor does he usually run those tests personally. Because he is not at least minimally qualified to opine on web accessibility, he does not satisfy the Daubert analysis. And then the court went on to say, the court acknowledges that testimonial website accessibility would be helpful in deciding the case, however, this guy's lack of experience in web accessibility and the unreliability of his opinions outweighs any potential helpfulness. Now, this is what happens in law sometimes, like why'd the company hire this guy? There's a million, not a million, there's not enough of us, but there are some qualified people who could be experts to help companies, but when you get into the law space, it's kind of like common sense goes out the door. So if you need to hire an expert, if you do get with a lawsuit, treat it like you would treat any other hiring, like the great presentation yesterday on procurement by the folks from UMass. Are they here this morning? Yeah, Kelsey. If you want to know about procurement, I think I have that in a slide, or go talk to Kelsey. Anyway, she said vet before you get, which is a great thing for procurement, it's also true for legal experts. So those are just two of the cases that talked specifically about accessibility testing, just to kind of give you a taste of really why you want to stay away from the conflict side of this space. So that's why I think, well, hmm, that's the end of my section on law is good, but I just actually told you law is bad but-- I should have but the divider slide before, but yeah, law is good for the civil rights reasons and the inclusion reasons we talked about. So let's talk about fear, fear is bad, and law is limited. So, fear. Here's my fear sound. Okay, fear. Fear is bad. I really, we do have elections on our mind, we can't really put it aside, I'd really invite you to listen to Beto O'Rourke's concession speech last night. Did anybody hear it? It's beautiful, I mean, it's so beautiful, and one of the things he says, it's like, we are not gonna be motivated by fear. We are not, we're not gonna be motivated by fear, and that is a big part of what's happening here in the accessibility space, not with you, champions in the room, but with the people you have to report to in the legal departments, like, "Oh my God, we might get a lawsuit, "we have to constrict, we have to go narrow." Fear is not a good motivator. Fear is not a good motivator. And while the law is good, we have to figure out how to use the law in a way that's motivating and not fear-inducing. Oops, sorry. Yeah, so yeah, that was playing the Jaws theme. Yeah, sorry, I should have mentioned that. Yeah, so one thing about focusing too much on compliance when compliance is a driver, it leads to what I call the 65% question, which is the following: I was doing a webinar, and at the end of the webinar, somebody asked a question, they were in higher ed, and the question was this, "Our captions are about 65% compliant. "Do you think that satisfies the Americans", no, no, I blew the punchline. That's being tired. "Our captions are 65% accurate. "Do you think that complies with the ADA?" I was sad, as a speaker, I can't laugh at an audience member but-- Yeah, this is a kind of question that comes up when you're only thinking through the legal lens, when you're only thinking through the legal lens. So obviously, would you want to watch a movie if you can hear with 65% of the dialogue? Would you want to read a book with 65% of the words? Not a good question, not a question that would ever be asked if you are focusing on people. Another thing about fear, fear is a liar. Fear causes you to worry about what other people are saying, make up stories in your own head that aren't true, we'll talk about that in a minute, fear is a big liar. One of the reasons I like structure negotiation is because it has been able to break down fear between blind people and the organizations I've worked with over the years that is just sort of a natural part of things when people don't know each other, where relationships aren't built. Also, fear is a very poor motivator, and this is Jared's slide. I didn't know, Jared, isn't this your slide? Yeah, and Cindy's slide. Fear is a poor motivator. I've always loved this, and last night I realized, oh wait, I can stick this in my PowerPoint. WebAIM's Hierarchy for Motivating Accessibility Change. What's on the bottom? Guilt, punish, require. What's on the top? Reward, enlighten, inspire. So fear, which is really part of guilt and punish and require, next time you guys update this, you can put fear on maybe a little shark in the corner. So yeah, I started thinking about fear as I was writing my book, and I could, it's nice to get a bird's-eye view of the work I've done over 25 years in this space, and I realize fear is so often, when we worked on accessible pedestrian signals, traffic engineers were truly afraid that if there were audible signals, blind people would mishear them, step into the street, and get hit by a car. We worked on talking prescription labels. Pharmacists were truly afraid that if they gave audible information, blind people would take the wrong, they would mishear it, take the wrong pill and get sick. We of course thought that was ridiculous because a pedestrian signal without any audible says nothing. What could be more dangerous? A prescription bottle without a talking label says nothing to a blind person. What could be more dangerous? But these were real fears, and when you get into litigation, and there's other fears too. I'm sure if we had more time, I could take from the audience. What do you think fear, what fear do you think is in your organization? I would invite you to think about that, maybe just make a few notes. Is it fear of money? Is it fear of how much it will cost? Is it fear of wasting money, no one will use it? Is it fear of, oh, accessible design is ugly? Whatever the fear, if you don't meet and talk with people with disabilities and involve them throughout your process, there is no way to really break it down. Another part of the law, the law is limited. I have two pictures here, a snail and a dinosaur. The reason for that is this; The law is slow. I mean, what I just told you about the Domino's Pizza case where we may not get a decision for a year, this is just on the question of whether that case should stay in court. It's not about whether the website's accessible. It's not about what standard to use. The law is very slow. These companies that are getting sued and deciding to fight, because remember, it's a choice on all sides, deciding to fight, they could get the damn thing fixed faster than they're gonna get anything out of a court. Also, dinosaur, the law is limited. The law right now is pretty much only talking about websites. They're not talking about mobile, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, smart boards in hospitals, robots in museums giving over tons of information, they're still talking about websites. And for that, I remembered another great slide, the law is slow, the law is really slow. And this is something called the Pace Layers by Stewart Brand. Have any of you guys ever seen this? This is from a slide deck that Whitney Quesenbery did. She's a user experience person, works on voting cases. And it's based on a book called "The Clock of the Long Now". The outer rims are fast, the inner rims are slow. She adopted it for accessibility. Technology is fast. Habits, work processes get slower, attitudes. Laws, standards and regulations are very slow. I mean, Chris mentioned the talking ATMs. We started working on talking ATMs in 1994. We got the first one in 1999. We didn't get the final regulations until 2005. No, 2012. 2012 on the regulations. So we cannot wait for the law to be more clear than it already is, that disabled people can't be excluded. So yeah, that's what I, I could talk a lot more about fear, but I'm gonna, I'm gonna be very careful with the time. Okay, where does the law belong? I'm gonna run through this quickly. The basic answer is the law belongs in the cookies. Last year at CSUN, I did a presentation with Microsoft, and it was so great to see eye-to-eye, is anyone here from Microsoft? Microsoft, hats off, it was so great to see eye-to-eye with the head lawyer for accessibility, Sue Boyd. She's moved to a different Microsoft position as the time, but we agreed, my entire life of being a lawyer, I have, in disability rights, represented blind people, I initially represented labor unions and workers in unions, I did traditional civil rights, but we agreed entirely on how to bake accessibility into an organizational structure. So, law cannot be the primary motivator. It's not the only ingredient. It takes a lot of ingredients to bake the cookies. Really quick, transparency and accountability. That's the baking soda. I picked some ingredients just to go with the cookie theme, but the particular picture is not that important. Yeah, so many organizations now are afraid of lawsuits, so they don't want to say anything about the accessibility initiatives 'cause somehow they're afraid that by speaking affirmatively and proudly about them, then somehow, they'll get hit by a lawsuit worse, but the Microsoft lawyer and I agreed, that's not true. And look at how transparent, if you're not following Microsoft's amazing efforts in accessibility right now, I really invite you to do so. Accountability, making sure that people responsible for accessibility, not just devs, but everyone across the organization is evaluated on those skills, given feedback, treating it like any other important aspect of their job. Yeah, so I have this Microsoft, this has a little, yeah. I like, this is Satya Nadella and someone from the Microsoft 365 team, where the first line is video, I won't play it now, says, "Accessible presentations are top of mind." I love how he says that. The CEO of Microsoft said, "Accessible presentations are top of mind "for anyone giving a presentation today." How important is that? Accessibility statements. The Web Accessibility Initiative has done tremendous work to help you do accessibility statements. You can look on their website, you can talk to Shadi about that. The job evaluations, the performance reviews. Hiring disabled people, so important to accessibility. And this I learned from Microsoft. I of course always knew hiring disabled people is so important for diversity and better products and designing with people with disabilities, but it wasn't until I did that presentation that I learned and realized and said, "Oh my God, I can't believe I didn't think of that", that hiring disabled people is part of the accessibility program, because when you have a person with a disability in the next cubicle over that can't hear, you are not gonna put out a video without captions 'cause you're going to be thinking of that person. So hiring disabled is a really important part of the cookie. And beyond just employees getting feedback, including disabled people in your focus groups. Don't forget, accessibility, civil rights of people with disabilities have to be included, looking at your contractors, and your vendors, your testing, working with NGOs, nonprofits. Testing, of course, this whole symposium is devoted to testing. It's a key ingredient. I'm not gonna say too much about it except timing has to be from the beginning and throughout, not at the end. It has to be integrated, and I almost feel I shouldn't say anything about testing, 'cause you're all the experts and the other speakers in this incredible conference, but it has to be integrated throughout and fixing is part of the testing, part of the testing protocols, not just testing for testing's sake. And testing beyond websites, you know, mobile apps, and here's a picture of the robot. There's a big story in the New York Times that this robot whose name apparently is Pepper is being used in major New York City art museums to provide a ton of information to visitors. This particular one, this Pepper guy gets around, this is at a pizza place to go with the pizza theme where you can order, so all these things have to be tested and part of your testing program. Beyond automation of course, including disabled people, is critical. Designing and coding, of course, an ingredient in the cookie, but not the only ingredient, and too often, we just put all of accessibility on the shoulders of the developers and the designers, and not so true. I like the, again, the Web Accessibility Initiative's Essential for Some, Useful for All. Are you all familiar with those videos? If you're not, look it up, Essential for Some, Useful for All, great videos on how design and development for accessibility helps everyone. Don't under-assume, don't picture your user as a person who looks like you necessarily. The person who's using your product, I'm doing work with a blind musician who can't use this really cool technology that lets guitar strings sounds like a trumpet, why? 'Cause the technology developer, when they were thinking of musicians, didn't think of blind musicians. End of story. Training. What do I got, five more minutes?
Okay, okay, good. Training, I could do a whole talk on training. So important, which is why I put my favorite picture of the colored sprinkles as the training ingredient picture. Who has to be trained as part of the accessibility program to help, if you get the lawsuit, to say, "This is what we do for training"? All customer-facing staff, all customer-facing staff, and that avoids this. This is a picture of a woman speaking sign language, helping her child. This is how mothers should and do help their children. However, I had a client who needed a free credit report, and when she called because it wasn't accessible online or in braille, the company said, "Can't your mother help you?" And my client said, "Well, I'm 45, "and actually, my mother's dead." And then the person said, "Well, don't you have a neighbor "who can help you with that?" This is a credit report, what could be more confidential? Fortunately, the credit reporting agencies worked with us in structured negotiation and worked on their website and braille in mobile, that was all good, but it started because those customer-facing people were not trained that people access information in different ways. So, procurement officers, to avoid this, not my fault, "It's not my fault, I didn't know, "somebody else built it, we just bought it." Who needs to be trained in your organization? Again, I invite you to just sit down and brainstorm with a colleague or two who, in any way, touches accessibility, and I would bet you come up with the conclusion who doesn't need training? Who doesn't need training? Procurement policies, like I said, important ingredient as the chocolate chips. I invite you to talk to the UMass folks who did a fantastic job yesterday. Culture has bigger chocolate chips 'cause it's more important. Having accessibility culture can really shift, can really shift things, and like I said, you can look at Microsoft, Microsoft has Chief Accessibility Officer Jenny Lay-Flurrie. If you don't follow her on social media, I invite you to. I invite you to read the book of the CEO of Microsoft, it's a great book, get refreshed about how to create the culture. And it's not just from the top up, also from the bottom down. Legal compliance, I gave it to salt because salt is required for baking, for those of you who are bakers. If you don't put in the salt, the sugar doesn't taste sweet, but it can't be the only driver. And like the Microsoft lawyer said in the other presentation if you do all the other things, chances are that the compliance is gonna be there. It's not like you're, the accessibility should not start or reside in the general counsel's office, although I do know there's a lot of good general counsel who are champions in their organizations. So what do disabled people think? When I was putting together this presentation, I was feeling a little bit, well, I am not an expert in accessibility testing. What can I really say? I shared with you my fears about the law and all the good that the law does, but I thought I need to, I was having casual conversation with a friend, I said, "Oh, by the way, what do you think "the three most important things I should tell this audience "about accessible testing?" And then I realized, wow, I should ask a few other people, "What should I tell this audience about accessible testing?" So like I said, having disabled people in your process are critical, and here are some thoughts from the disabled people I asked. This is Josh Miele, who many of you probably know. He's an inventor, he works at Smith-Kettlewell. This is a picture of him which, I want to give Josh a shout-out because many of you know me as LFLegal, that's how I am on Twitter, and that's my website, lflegal.com. When I was getting my website in 2008, I was talking to Josh about it and I said, "I think I'll be laineyfeingold.com", and he's like, "No one can spell Lainey, no one can still Feingold, "and it won't fit on a line of braille." He said, "You should be LFLegal." So this is about listening to your users, or your friends with disabilities. LFLegal was like before Twitter. I'd work for myself, I didn't have a branding department, and yeah, that really worked out well. So Josh is also the one who told me on my website where I have a picture, I said, "Do I have to put alt text, or could I call it decorative?" 'Cause after all, it's my website, and he said, "I want to know you're the kind of person "who would put a picture of herself on her website." So before I put this up here, I said to Josh, "What do you want me to say about the alt?" And he said this. "Smiling 40-something man with one blue eye "and facial burn scars wearing casual purple shirt "and sports jacket." So that's Josh, that is my friend Josh, and this is what he said, "If I was speaking to the testing symposium, "I might say some of the following: "Accessibility is not what you build, "it is what happens when you use it. "It doesn't matter what guidelines were followed "if it doesn't provide a reasonable experience "for the user." And really, isn't that the goal of testing, to make sure if it doesn't provide a reasonable experience for the user? "All engineers working on blindness accessibility "should be their own first line of testing. "They should all be expected to be "at least intermediate screen reader users. "It shouldn't be considered accessible "if it only works with one screen reader browser combo." So that's what Josh had to say, and that turned out so well, I said, "Okay, I'm gonna ask Lucy Greco", who's another friend of mine at Berkeley, works in higher ed. Oh, I have Josh's Twitter up here, it's @BerkeleyBlink, if you want to tell to him I did a good job with his description, no, just kidding. And Lucy is @AccessAces, and Lucy had one of the best ones, "Testing tools aren't worth anything "if you don't actually use them." Take that back. "Also, reiterate, iterate, iterate, iterate "throughout the project. "Throughout the project." Again, the user has to be able to get the job done. This is Ashlea McKay, a woman I met when I was in Australia last month. She gave an amazing presentation, she's autistic and she's a content writer. "I'd love to be part of this", she said, and here's what she said, "Accessibility testing is not about doing the right thing, "it's about acknowledging the fact that everyone "has a right to feel like they belong." I really recommend her, Ashlea McKay, and also Jamie Knight at the BBC. They're two autistic people involved in accessibility, really, I have personally really learned a lot from them. Ashlea's Twitter is @AshleyMcKay, spelled M-C-K-A-Y. "Don't view accessibility testing "as something extra you need to do. "Accessibility is about human equality." And I want you to know, some of these people said, "Well, what did the other people say?" And I said, "I'm not gonna tell anybody "what anybody else said", because as you can see, there's overlap, and I wanted straight feeling. Okay, this next person is JP Jamous. He's a, his LinkedIn is here, it's J-P J-A-M-O-U-S, and he's a senior digital accessibility engineer. And he raised a point that I think is really important, especially for our field which is many testing tools are not screen reader accessible. And he needs a screen reader to do the job, and how are we gonna get disabled people working next to us if the tools they need to use are not accessible? "How are we working with the browser manufacturers to ensure "that their DOM inspectors are accessible "to screen reader users?" And then the last one is Michael Stein, he's a deaf lawyer at a firm called Steinvargas.com. They do a lot of great work with the deaf community on accessibility as well as other issues. And he said, "There is always a risk of choosing a bad vendor "to do the captioning." So again, how many have ever hired, well, you'd have to raise your hand, "There is always a risk of choosing a bad vendor "to do the captioning. "To guard against this, companies should do "what they would do when choosing vendors "for other types of services; "Check references, compare bids." Again, this is where fear comes in. I've had cases, even in structured negotiation where we don't start with a lawsuit, we write a letter, and it's like, "Uh oh, a lawyer, fear. "Run out and hire a vendor. "Throw good money after bad", without really taking the time to get a vendor who can meet the needs of your organization and your customers. So, the law is good, the fear is bad. The law belongs in the cookies with hiring of people with disabilities as maybe the most important. How can collaboration tools help? So advocating for the cookies, I'm just gonna really quickly, I have cookies here that say bake accessibility into an organization's culture. I did this talk, not this talk exactly, but a similar talk in New Zealand, and they actually bake these gorgeous-looking cookies to go with the talk. So I'm sorry, I'm sure Chris has a nice snack for us, but he doesn't have homemade cookies. So the first thing I want to say about advocating for the cookies and for accessibility culture and baking accessibility into organization is my hat is off to each of you in the room because I know many of you, you may be the only person in your organization, or you may be in a tiny little group in a huge organization being the voice of civil rights for disabled people in the digital world in your organization. So I think the skills that I have been able to use in structured negotiation that I talked about in my book can be useful in all contexts. And I just want to share a few of those. And the main thing about that is in negotiating for accessibility, you don't have to be a shark. I haven't had to be a shark. I've worked with Bank of America, Walmart, Major League Baseball, Humana, I've worked with CVS, many, many large companies who were known to be, won't settle a case, won't work with people, but when approached in a collaborative way without fear have been willing to sit down and work with us. So in negotiating for accessibility, you don't have to be a shark, you don't have to act like a shark. I love this cute little picture of the goldfish with the shark fin, 'cause so many of us are not comfortable being a shark, but we think we have to be, and I think especially when rights are involved in things we're passionate about like all of us in the room, we feel like, somehow if we're not aggressive and shark-ish and sharp, we're not serving the issues that we're fighting for, but I haven't found that to be true. So I use a theme, Beat Fear: Be a Dolphin. And for many reasons, I have a whole three-hour presentation on this if anybody wants it, but in short, dolphins communicate, they collaborate, they work together, and dolphins, there's a book out called "Teaching Baby Sharks to Swim", and it's for new lawyers. And this guy, I'm sure it's a great book, he has a website, he does training, "Teaching Baby Sharks to Swim", and I said to myself, "I cannot be a shark, "I need another sea mammal, sea creature." And I'm lucky to have two friends who are fish biologists, and they said, "You should be a dolphin." Yeah, so I've been trying to be a dolphin for 20 years. I started in web accessibility after the talking ATMs. Again, this is a client-focused process, you need to bring disabled people into your organizations however you can, even just a focus group, if you're not yet ready for employment. I was privileged to work with very tech-sophisticated blind people on the ATMs in 1998, they came to us and said, "Oh, great job doing talking ATMs, "but guess what? "There's a new thing, it's called online banking. "And if we don't make that accessible, "we're gonna be back so square one "about having to share our confidential information." So in 1998, we started working with Bank of America who had been a great partner on the ATMs. We started working with them on their web, and in 2000, they signed the very first settlement agreement in the US using, like Chris said, WCAG 1.0 which was so new, we had to say, "WCAG 1.0 or other means "of making websites accessible." Now, over the years, we've dropped that, we've dropped 1.0, now we're on 2.0. Last week, there was a settlement reached with Alameda County about their voting website, which, as far as I know, is the very first settlement in the country to use WCAG 2.1, which is new. So I haven't had the opportunity to incorporate 2.1 in any of my work, but this settlement, again, done without lawsuits did incorporate 2.1. So a few things, just really quick, dolphin-y things that I give over to you that might help you be the champion and grow what you're trying to grow in your organization: Value small steps, appreciate small steps. Whenever anybody does anything good, isn't that great? And the reason I have the Harry Potter picture is 'cause we were working with a movie theater on accessible audio description, and we were really not getting anywhere because patience is another whole huge part of this, you need to be patient. You need to be so patient in this work, you need to take the long view. Yeah, so the mom said, "Well, do you think "we could get the movie chain to install "the audio description equipment in just one theater?" So our client, who was 10 at the time, I think, or eight could go to the Harry Potter opening. And that's why I always carry around the Harry Potter magic wand, to remember that we said, "What the hell? "We're not getting anywhere yet." So we asked, and they did it, and then we so appreciated it afterwards, and the little girl wrote about how it was so great, they got the popcorn, they sat in the front row, and eventually, the company did install it in every theater in the country. And you can, I have a whole thing about the small steps in the book about companies that started, you cannot do this work overnight, you cannot expect people to commit to the whole ball of wax overnight, so valuing small steps. Don't make assumptions about what's motivating people, try to really form relationships. Isaac Asimov said, "Your assumptions are the windows on the world. "Clean them off every now and then to get a better view." I really like that. There's so many assumptions about disabled people. My experience is with blind people, but it's also true with people with cognitive disabilities, deaf, mobility. You've got to dismantle the assumptions. This is illustrated with a stamp that says don't believe the braille. And the aforementioned Josh Miele had made this stamp in the 90s before ATMs talked, and he went around in Berkeley, the statute of limitations has probably already run for his crime, so I'll tell you, stamping on the ATM screens, "Don't believe the braille", because the American Banking Association made an assumption. They made an assumption that braille would make ATMs accessible, and they made that because they didn't include blind people in their activities. So we were able to work with the banks and break down those assumptions, and you can do the same thing in your own ways, bringing disabled people in for testing, having speakers with disabilities come and talk about their experience. Learn how to listen, so important. Framing accessibility as something good for your company beyond just accessibility. This is a picture of an ad that CVS put up in an airport that said, "For those who can't see, pill bottles that talk." And they did this after we got our, we're still working with them on expanding the program, but they're talking labels and they could see, oh, customers who don't need talking labels would feel good about the company if they advertised that they were doing talking labels. So what do you have in your company? Here's another similar idea, match the mission. This is a cat looking in a mirror, seeing a lion, because organizations see themselves in certain ways. You can go on the websites of your organizations and you can probably find language that will help you, you can go, we went to American Cancer Society and we said, "That is so great, "you have your cancer information in 50 different languages. "You're the leading cancer provider. "Now let's provide it in braille "so blind people can have it too." So those two ideas of speaking to how the decision makers see themselves and making them feel good about accessibility as something that will advance their mission. And then this last one, what is your Microsoft box? I love this. As many of you know probably, Microsoft came up with an adaptive controller for video games. If you don't know about this, I would look it up. And then they realized, were any of you involved with this? I love this, they realized, "Oh, well, if we're making a controller "for people with limited hand use, "we better put it in a box they can open "to get to the controller." And they came up with this accessible box. And I love this, like, what are you doing now that you can leverage to do something bigger? We're already doing this, we need to do this to keep on this path. So what is your, what is your Microsoft box? Yeah, so that's what I wanted to share, I have a couple resources up here on testing. The Web Accessibility Initiative has test-evaluate, which has incredible resources. And the Accessibility Switchboard has accessible, has incredible resources. Legal resources. The Bi-Coastal Law Symposium, which you all got a handout, I really encourage you, this is the first year that I'll be speaking on the West Coast version, really encourage you to help us spread the word about that within you organizations, outside. I do legal updates, I post, I used to do, I used to just, every six months, summarize every case that was going on. No, can't do that anymore, but I do try to keep up and share both on my web and in the webinars. And also, adatitleiii.com which is a blog of a defense firm named Seyfarth Shaw, and here's another thing I want to say. Structured negotiation is deciding not to do a lawsuit and approaching a company in a collaborative way, but if you're on the receiving end of a lawsuit, you also have a decision, whether to be collaborative, or whether to fight it. And these lawyers only represent companies, but I have worked with them in many of my cases, and I know them to be honest and fair, and so I always like to share their information 'cause they do a very good job. If you really want to know the gory details and the metrics, how many lawsuits, what's happening with them, adatitleiii.blog. So in closing, I would say skip the fear, choose dreams instead, choose the open door, choose inclusion, and choose the cookies. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Lainey. Thank you.
That was on two hours' sleep.
The Q and A session is actually the lunch session, so the Q and A for this is lunch with the keynote, that will be happening later. So would you believe me if I said that we thought about cookies, but with all the talk about swim lanes, we were worried that the cookies would get soggy? We don't have cookies, sorry. We do have snacks though, but next time that I have Lainey speak, I'm gonna do cookies.
Lainey: I should have given you a heads-up.
We do have some snacks and all the coffee and teas and everything will be in the multi-purpose room. We would like you back here for 11, so, 'cause it's a half hour break. If you didn't get to sign the book for Jon, we will, I think leave it at the, put the book at the registration table. If you haven't had a chance to sign it, please do so. And we'll see you back here in half an hour, thanks.