Knowbility and G3ict will present the detailed score cards of various mainstream digital services evaluated by a Knowbility’s national panel of user testers and rank some of the most significant issues that affect user’s experiences in the current digital environment.



Session Co-Chairs: Martin Gould, Director of Research, G3ict and Jillian Fortin, Communications Director, Knowbility


Panelists:


Sheri Byrne-Haber, Head of Accessibility, VMware

David Fazio, Founder/President, Helix Opportunity

Matt King, Accessibility Specialist in UI Engineering, Facebook

Harrison Lynch, Technology R&D Associate Principal, Accenture Technology Vision Team, Accenture Labs

Transcript

Jillian: Good morning, everybody.
Good morning!
We are at -- microphone?

Your microphone --
It needs to go up.
Hello, hello? There we go.
Awesome. Good morning, everybody!
FROM THE FLOOR: Good morning.
Jillian: I hope you're all having a wonderful day two here at M-Enabling.
We -- on behalf of Knowbility and G3ict, we are really excited and happy to be here, this morning, we are going to be presenting the results of a study we did, from March to April, but in fact, it -- if you heard Sharon, and Axel's presentations yesterday, this is something that we have been talking about for quite some time, prior.
And we are not only very excited to review the results with you; but we are also excited to be joined by this amazing panel that you can see here, to my left.
But before I begin, I would first, like to introduce myself, and my amazing cochair, my name is Jillian Fortin. I am with Knowbility.
We're a nonprofit based in Austin, Texas, though we have a team, scattered all across the world. We were founded in 1999, so we've been around for 20 years as a training nonprofit that also provides consulting and auditing services.
And I would also like to introduce my cochair, Martin Gould, with G3ict, and would you like to say something, Martin.
Hello, everyone, thank you for joining us today. I appreciate the opportunity to work with Matt King David Fazio and Harrison Lynch, we have a 4th member of the panel who we hope will be with us shortly. Sheri, we have an excellent panel as you-all have heard and we have a great deal of information to share with you, particularly, from the panelists' perspective so without further ado, turn it back to Jillian, and we'll start!
Jillian: All righty! So I'm briefly going to introduce our panelists over here.
To my left, this first gentleman is Matt King, Matt is a technical program manager for Facebook Accessibility. And chair of the WCAG task force, that develops guidance for web engineers, who are using the accessible rich Internet application standard. He has been deeply-involved in Accessibility technology, and advocacy since his days as a student of electrical engineering, and music, at the university of Notre Dame, in the 1980s, accessibility became his profession more than 20 years ago, when he took on the leadership for accessibility programs for IBM's chief information officer.
Now at Facebook, he is shaping programs, and organizational structure, to strengthen product teams' abilities to ensure people with disabilities, enjoy the same power to connect, and build community that others have.
Welcome, Matt!
[APPLAUSE]

Jillian: Yeah. Yeah! All righty!
Next, to Matt, we have David Fazio, Helix opportunity. He is the founder and president of Helix Opportunity, where he provides user experience design consulting, aimed at eliminating the unintentional stigmatization of individuals by their differences.
He specializes in neurophysiology and cognitive design strategies, and invited expert to the WCAG's accessibility guidelines working group, and cognitive task force.
He survived a traumatic brain injury, at the age of 13, from a softball sized hemorrhagic stroke, welcome, David!
[APPLAUSE]

Jillian: (Continuing) and last but not least we have Harrison Lynch, with Accenture, he is a contributing author of the Accenture technology vision.
Accenture 3 to five-year outlook on the technology trends shaping the future.
His work also includes amplify accessibility, and the accessibility advantage.
Two pieces exploring the business impact of accessible technologies.
Welcome, Harrison!
[APPLAUSE]

Jillian: All righty! So, before we begin the panel discussion, Martin and I wanted to talk about the survey -- the survey we ran.
So Axel approached Sharon, and brought Martin and I in, in January, with the idea -- that they wanted to run a survey, about how people with disabilities use technology, specifically, the digital innovations that come out every single day.
And so, they approached us specifically, because of one of our programs called Access Works, Access Works, is an employment program that we um... that we have that contains 600-plus active users; and through Access Works, we connect people with disabilities, with opportunities for them to earn additional income as Web site testers.
And so they were a great population sample for us to run the survey with. The breakdown of users within the database, the majority 63% is vision.
Hearing is 10.4%.
Cognitive is 21.2%.
And mobility is 5.3%.
We spent a few months writing the questions, we had 69 questions overall; 45 of which were specific limited-choice options; and then 24 were open-ended questions, where we invited respondents to provide as much feedback as they wanted and trust me -- they provided a lot of feedback!
[LAUGHTER]
Jillian: And that was fantastic!
So we -- we formatted the questionnaire using a platform that, in and of itself, had some really interesting accessibility -- accessibility issues for us to work with; so that was another thing.
But in composing the questionnaire, we had to be extremely mindful of the different types of users we had, and how we were going to format them on the Web site.
We distributed the questionnaire to the database, trying to figure out the best way to incentivize their participation; and then, we collected the responses over a two-month period.
And of the 600-plus active users, in our Access Works database we are very fortunate to have received 159 responses from them.
And so, I will pass it on to Martin, to discuss the amazing things that we were able to glean from those responses.
Martin: Thank you very much, Jillian.
Of the questions and the items on the survey, 40 -- 49 of them, I believe, were closed-choice questions. Yes or no.
Rank this, item or not, and 24 were open-ended questions. We got a rich source of responses from the people who completed this survey.
You-all have a copy of the survey report and research in your registration packet on a thumb drive.
The report, itself, is also posted on the G3ict Web sites and we'll be posting it to M-Enabling's Web site as well.
I will take just two minutes, to provide a very thumbnail sketch of the report which is 38 pages in length, and it's 9 figures and 8 tables that are involved and I couldn't possibly do it justice, but let me just give you a couple of the key findings.
First: Users are really clear about what works and what doesn't. But they want leaders to integrate accessibility features throughout the product, and service life cycle development, design, implementation, and launch.
Second: Innovations have a positive uh, impact, for the past five years, 58% of respondents were involved with existing project and product and service innovations.
And 23% of respondents were involved with new product innovations.
The main source of concern for users, no surprise are the use of images pictures graphics without alt text, inaccessible form controls, lack of captioning and privacy, and cybersecurity roles.
Fourth: Among the most impactful innovations they listed, are seeing AI, with realtime text recognition, iPhone, iPad, and voiceover, visual interpretation services such as AIRA, and voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
The company's leading innovations, they -- they listed as... Apple, Microsoft, and Google, and then to a lesser extent Facebook, AIRA, and Vispero from an operating system perspective, respondents were most satisfied with features from iOS.
88%, windows, at 82%, mack OS with 54% and Android(tm) 48%, from a sectorial perspective, bank Web sites provide the best level of accessibility. The map apps are well received but map Web sites were not.
In terms of cognitive accessibility and usability Web sites -- and apps, where they provide a great opportunity for progress innovation, according to respondents. One respondent, in particular, says, "At any given time, at least 50% of tech users are struggling with this, and this failure to innovate in cognitive and usability, is why most people aren't using tech more regularly."
Finally, for future innovations to succeed, most respondents say that industry and IT vendors should do a combination of several things to guide their decision-making.
First, involve users and employees with disabilities, throughout the product and service life cycle, from A to Z; second, understand what changes make a difference to users.
Third: Don't overclaim about potential value-added. Check it out on a regular basis and use the information, to make changes and adjustments as needed.
Fourth: Be transparent about the reasons for change. And fifth and finally: Verify innovation outcomes experienced by users and employees with disabilities, every time.
We'll now turn to the Panel, and we have a series of questions, we would like to pose to them.
And I have the honor of taking the first question.

Q. Among the G3ict Knowbility survey results, which are the three data points or comments most important to you?
And we'll start with David.
A. David: Check, check, can everyone hear me? Hello? Okay, good, thanks.
Okay so I only picked two because my second is pretty lengthy, but the first one, is the question of what types of aassistive technologies or disability accommodations are the respondents most familiar with? Now, the alarming thing that I found is that it is overwhelmingly, visual accommodations, versus technologies.
Now, I understand that the Web is a very digital medium. So it does make sense that that would be the case, but there's no -- nothing even comes close, not cognitive, not physical, and not hearing -- nothing else.
So it's almost -- everything else is forgotten and left by the wayside. So this means a couple of things.
One) there's major room for innovation, and opportunity for disruption for those innovators and disrupters out there.
And 2), you know, it's time to start paying attention to these things.
You know, these are major web users as well.
Second thing I noticed: Is there is a very, very large recurring theme on cognitive accessibility. Like the quote you said 50% of technology users experience some kind of cognitive inaccessibility.
There's been other studies that have been done that shows that users with disabilities have extreme tech anxiety.
And that tech anxiety comes from a lot of different reasons, primarily one of them is the cognitive accessibility of devices, and, you know, a lot of the other comments talk about that. One of them was about mobile banking.
And how frustrating and cognitively taxing that can be on the mental resources of people, when accessing mobile banking.
And let's think about how important money is to all of us, you know. There are scientific studies that show that once you become mentally fatigued you're more apt to commit errors, in doing things.
Well, pyou accidentally transfer $1,000 to somebody when you meant to transfer $100. Have you ever tried to get money back from a bank? You know, I made a mistake, give me my money back!
They don't do that. They say, sorry that's your luck, Sheri and I have done, wish she were here, she and I are close, we have done studies together and that's one of the things we found with our testers, and our users is that, there are very reluctant to even engage on ecommerce because of security issues.
And security isn't just -- is my password going to be stolen? It's do I feel secure and confident of the transactions that I'm making? You know, do -- do -- am I sure that I'm buying this for $100 am I sure I'm buying the right pair of shoes? Am I sure I entered my information correctly. These are all cognitive accessibility things.
So I guess I can not go on too much about that, but I could go on forever about cognitive accessibility, and things like that. But I think those are the two most important take-aways from this survey.
One, is all the other disability subsets are left out. So it's time to start paying attention, there's opportunity there.
And two: Cognitive accessibility is huge!
It's time to start paying attention to it; and it impacts everything.
All right. So something that jumped out to me from the study was some comments that individuals had made about their involvement or inclusion, in a product or service development cycle.
So someone briefly made a comment about -- not only wanting to... be included in those processes, but also, see it go beyond to education, to colleges and high schools, and industry as well to see how can you start to bring inclusion and accessibility into trainings to make sure that more people are aware of these topics, so that when you go through the technology, your development cycle, you're not leaving accessibility out.
Something else -- a number relating to that, 70% of respondents said that they "had been involved in some capacity, in terms of product or service development".
So something that we've explored at Accenture is how can -- you bring people with disabilities into the R&D process? And if you're going to start exploring new technology spaces, and explore some of the product and services that companies want to be building how can you do that with the lens of accessibility and can you get accessibility kind of on the ground floor so that as these technologies scale and grow, you're paying attention to the fact that, this isn't an area that you can overlook, and address later in the design process.
And then, what Martin mentioned at the end of some of the general principles companies can carry forward, I think it's a strong message from the survey specifically about, again, involving persons with disabilities, throughout the product or service development cycle, if you're going to seek to build these things, you need to get more perspectives. You need to broaden your horizons as to the kinds of solutions people want.
And the approaches they might take to use a certain technology.
And then also, just seeking out, and using, feedback to improve outcomes for everyone.
Once you're done developing something, it is rarely complete, and making sure those channels exist for individuals to provide their feedback; use that feedback; and, again, just create these systems of continuous improvement, is going to be key.
Thank you, Harrison? Matt?
There we go.
The first thing that jumped out at me, was actually probably confirming a viewpoint or perspective that I've had for a long time, about accessibility, in general, for the last... 20 or 30 yours.
If you look -- so when respondents were asked a question, which of these do you think, is effective, or how effective do you think -- in your opinion, how effective are these technologies?
And these were really basic technologies.
Voice recognition, dictation, text-to-speech -- and then some newer things, like, um.... voice assistants.
If you look down the column for somewhat, 25% of people said, TTS is only somewhat effective.
And that was the lowest of all of them, most of them were in the 30% of people saying these things are only somewhat effective.
Imagine if we asked people who use a visual display and a mouse, with a -- say, Windows or Mac computer, and we gave them the exact same question, you know, is it extremely effective? Very effective? Somewhat effective?
It's hard for me to imagine that the vast majority of people, are going to be saying that these things are only somewhat, or even very effective.
So I see a really huge gap between how well our basic technologies, the ones that we've been relying on, in some cases for decades now, to provide access to people; and they're still saying they're only somewhat effective.
The second thing, and this dovetails with the first, but it's coming at it from the other end of the spectrum. Is from the developer's point of view.
So while users are saying things are somewhat effective, the basic technologies that they rely on, web developers, are also saying, that what they rely on is only somewhat effective.
And, in fact, there was a comment in there, and the one that sort of gets right at the work that I do -- saying that, you know, how many developers do you find that are not accessibility experts, that can get even one line of AIRA code correct?
And they say none.
Answering their own question.
[LAUGHTER]
And I was, like --
FROM THE FLOOR: Oh!
-- great! I mean, that's exactly, why I do a lot of the work that I do, is because, essentially, people who don't work with accessibility every day, is so easy for them to get it wrong; and so the other comments, in that space, were about how all of the basic toolkits, available to developers, do just as much to confuse developers, and help them get things wrong -- as they do to help get things right.
So I think these are two really big areas for innovation.
Both in the basic technologies, like, why is it that some of these technologies that we use, like, dictation, and TTS -- they haven't really changed much, in the last 20 years.
And the same thing: We're still seeing the same thing for developers in the last 10 to 20 years, we keep try to make it better for them, but they still keep getting it wrong as often as they get it right.
Thank you, Matt, Harrison, and David.
The second question.
Q. Respondents noticed some of the companies that are heavily into video are not using captioning and therefore leaving out a wide audience.
How could social media platforms associated with your company and ones you may collaborate with, further motivate, educate, and help those entities and individuals posting content to make them more accessible?
We'll start back with Matt!
A. Matt: Okay. So one of the things -- it sounds like -- okay.
(Referring to microphone) one of the things that we don't know from the survey, is, why, why is it that some of these organizations, are not providing captions. Based on the kind of organizations that were mentioned and in the comments, we have to assume that it's probably not the complete lack of -- it's not inaffordability. It's not like these organizations couldn't afford to do it.
If they wanted to.
So the very first thing, that I think, we need to do, in order to tackle this problem, is actually better understand where is the friction, of what is the problem? Is it a need for education?
It's really hard for me to believe, in this day and age, that there are -- that many people that don't realize how important captions are.
But I suppose that's a possibility.
Is it some form of a neglect? Is it some form of, you know, cost-cutting in the wrong places?
So a lack of priority in policy?
So before we can nudge -- or is it friction in the process?
I -- I think for a lot of smaller-time video producers, that we need to do a lot more to make it easier, to produce good, and accurate captions. But when you're talking about major organizations that could afford today's approaches and technologies and they're still not doing it, I think we need a much richer or deeper understanding of where the friction points are, and what it is that we could do to help move them forward.
Do you have more to say on that?
I have more to say about everything, yes,.
[LAUGHTER]
Jillian: Let's hear it.
First of all, not to put anyone on the spot. I'm curious, how many people -- if I said I could give you all the resources and tools you need to do captioning, how many people would actually know how to do it? Just a show of hands, a few of you but not too many, I think that is part of the cases, a lot of people don't know what tools do I need, what software, how do I create captions? It's really not that hard. It's supereasy, I will admit it's tedious because it's typing and copy pasting whatever, all you need is final cut pro video editing software, I know this because I was a film major in college and actually do it myself, but you have these, you know, these midwestern drawls, these, you know, southern twangs and, you know, the -- I don't know what this East Coast accent is, but on the West Coast we're, like, the only intelligible speech in the country!
[LAUGHTER]
Yeah!
Obviously -- obviously, you know, obviously, close-captioning is a God-send for all of us, and, you know, we all use it when the dishwasher is going, I can't hear my TV for crap, I put on the captioning to make sure I'm following my good shows and everything, but I don't know how much clearer we can be with our customers and partners and stuff like that. But if they just don't know how to do it right, or how to do it. When I do focus groups a lot of the times the clients, the customers they want transcription, they want a transcription of the -- of the -- all the video and stuff like that.
And it's, like, a dollar a minute, so the cost can go up there, you know, so that I think, wow that's so expensive. If I've got to caption all my videos, this might be astronautical. You just need the video editing software, there's also another thing: Captioning -- like, I absolutely cannot stand when I'm watching something and they throw up as many lines of captioning as they can per screen and per screen.
Because that throws me off. I'm blind in the left half of each yea because of my brain injury, so I see a chunk here to the left skip a middle and see a chunk to the right. When I read a sentence, I scan to the left, to the right and I go back to the whole thing to put it all together, right? If you've got two three lines of captioning, I can't follow in the correct order, what's going on, so when I caption, I actually go along with the speech pattern of whoever is speaking.
And sometimes it's one word at a time. Sometimes it's two or a sentence, you know what I mean? It all depends on the pattern and style of the person speaking.
So there is an actual art to captioning you should learn, because not only does it help people that can't hear; but it also helps increase the cognition of those that are auditory learners and visual learners and vice versa, it helps us, you know, take in the information in two separate ways all at the same time. If you're providing training content, it's incredibly important.
Or if you just want people to remember you, or what the content is, and say it's a promotion for your company or for a service you provide -- it's important in that regard also.
And, again, I wish Sheri was here, this is her thing, she has a daughter who has a hearing impairment and this is what she advocates on this all the time. She's gotten on me, for posting videos on YouTube and using the autocaptioning and there's so many errors, but I understand not having the time or resources but as soon as you do, you need to get to those things.
A. Just to add on some of the work that's going on at Accenture, we see things like captioning and using Microsoft accessibility checkers, as kind of this cultural shift we need to be moving towards.
So we have a large knowledge management system that oftentimes just gets described as this pit that you can't get out of and it's tough to find things and that's even worse when you think a lot of the documents being shared videos being uploaded are really not being made accessible.
So what we've started to do is shift the language that gets shown -- to people as they go to upload documents, your reminders, that kind of give some stats around the number of people who are experiencing disabilities and encouraging you, requiring you, to use the accessibility checker to make sure that the documents you're sharing, are going to be compliant, and able to be used by whoever.
Another thing that we're doing is when we have live webcasts, or events that are streamed, anywhere, only recently, has -- captioning been made mandatory; so it's good that we're taking these steps, but on the other hand, there's still a lot of work to be done.
There's a lot of content out there, already that... we know is inaccessible, and internal sites that we know are inaccessible, but it's work that our CIO team kind of sees as -- as a big challenge for us, and something we have to rectify, but just from the perspective of someone who's kind of creating, public-facing material for a large company, when we started to move into writing pieces on accessibility that kind of raised awareness, at least on our team, that these assets we create, these things we share -- it -- there needs to be more awareness; we need to be doing more.
So it's the small cultural shifts that aren't necessarily solving the problem all at once, but we need to be moving towards a state, where these things are just done, and done correctly.
Jillian: Yeah, exactly, if I can add to that too, we're a nonprofit; so, you know, the media that we do post, you know, we don't have huge production budgets for them, but there are tons of different tools out there, that -- any organization can use, to start getting into captioning; that are not intimidating at all.
You know, you brought up the YouTube autocaptions and you know, we all have feelings about that right?
But it's a great place to start, and if you get comfortable, going into the YouTube editor, the -- the autocaptioning tool is a great foundation, and start for you to be able -- and, you know, I'm not support- -- YouTube is not paying me to say this or anything like that. I'm just saying it's a great tool. But you can go in and start learning about captioning, by using the built-in tools.
And you can edit them, and -- and all that good stuff.
And the majority of folks who use social media, they have the sound turned off, as they're scrolling through their news feeds but the videos are still autoplaying.
And you can still capture users' attention because the captions start to portray the message.
So, it goes along the lines of if you design for the margins, you're designing for everybody, because everybody can benefit from captions.
So we're going it move on to our next question, question No. 3:
Q. The results of this survey reveal that cognitive accessibility appears to be one missing link, in providing usable, and meaningful experiences for persons with disabilities.
Where do you see either progress or opportunities for innovation to bridge this gap?
And David, since you had a lot of really great things to say about this earlier, let's go ahead and start with you?
A. David: Thank you, so in terms of innovation, I don't really see that, you know, we need to innovate and create assistive technologies for people with cognitive issues.
What I -- what I see, being a person with these cognitive issues, is we really need to see change in design culture.
You know, cognitive accessibility, is about less is more; it's about intuitive, elegant, simplicity.
Okay? And making things easy to understand.
, you know, where I see the real opportunity for -- it's more, like, lean enterprises for those of you, familiar you provide meaningful content at the point it's needed. Called point of view, nothing more nothing less, anything more than that and you start to confuse people, start to stress them out and you start to wear down their cognitive resources.
So where I see the real opportunity for innovation is something called neuropsychological.
So we have the scientific field of neuroplasticity that came about in the 1970s when scientists learned that the brain never stops reorganizing itself. You never stop creating neural connections in the human brain it goes throughout all our life, and there's actually ways you can tap into that. There are ways you can tell your brain to remember things stronger than other things to do this behavior more than that behavior.
Or it -- I mean, the list goes on and it's really infinite. But the issue is most designers are unaware of how their designs are affecting the human brain.
There is some companies that have done -- have embraced concepts like Facebook for one, the early Facebook executives have admitted to creating the dopamine feedback loops.
And dopamine, is a neurotransmitter that's responsible for learning and remembering.
It is also responsible for our prohistoric ancestors learning new information to necessary for survival.
For instance, when you would go out and look for a new patch ofberries for food or hunt an animal for food, something like that. Whenever you found it or killed it you would get a dopamine surge and that tells your brain and body this is an activity that's necessary for my survival. If I don't do this, then I'll die.
And that's still very much ingrained in our psychology, physiology today, so when you get the down mean bursts you get the same reaction to your body, this is necessary for me to do. That's why drug addiction is so real, right? There are companies where these things are -- are active in.
Things like, these GPS dating sites, and I don't know -- I'm not going to ask who is on Tindr, you know, a site called Scout, and there's -- you know, Pokmon go as well! As you're searching through potential partners and things like that, once you find one, whether you're looking for it or not or whether you know what you're looking for, but your brain gets a dopamine surge and that tells you look, you need to keep doing this so you stay on the sites and you keep on online dating and finding partners and stuff like that.
You know, Pokmon go the same thing, it sends you on a search for, you know, Pok balls or battles, and when you find one or within a battle you get a dopamine surge and it tells your brain, this is something you need keep doing, if you were to attach information to that. Let's say it takes you to Gettysburg, where is that Pennsylvania, I'm bad. It takes you to Gettysburg and it teaches you the Gettysburg address when you're doing Pok battle and you win, that solidifies information in your brain this is necessary information for your survival. Just by creating the dopamine burst at the end of it.
The possibilities for this stuff, is infinite. And right now, the only types of organizations that have really latched onto it, are brain-training video game and rehabilitation industries, you know, there's one called Posit Science I did some stuff for a long time ago which is how I got familiar with these things, and rehabilitation technology is really the only place where this stuff has actually taken off but it has so much potential, the designers need to really understand how their designs affect the way that we think we remember, and the way that we interact with our environment.
(Pause).
What I find ironic, in this space, is that, I think that, most assistive technologies , are some of the absolutely most complex software that you can find anywhere.
And people who use assistive technologies, whether or not they have a cognitive disability, everything that you were saying earlier, David, like, when you were completing a transaction, or going through a task flow -- you need -- you need confidence to know that what you're doing is -- that you're completing the task, that you want to complete.
And all of this gets so much more complicated.
For anybody using an assistive technology, even the simplest assistive technologies for people who are blind, like, a screen reader, on a touch device; you have to know at least four times, the number of gestures, that somebody who does not use a screen reader and if you go to a desktop screen reader, the situation is magnified even more, where most people, all they have to do is point and click, and kind of, you know, at most, you have three or four different kinds of interactions, between single-click, double-click, drag, drag-and-drop.
Whereas the screen reader, user, I mean, typical screen reader user has to know at least a few dozen commands to survive; but many know a few hundred, and there are, literally, thousands available in some screen readers.
And -- and just keeping track of these in your head is an amazingly complex -- sort of tasks for software that is aimed at people of any age.
You may learn this when you're 6, or 66.
You may have to learn this software regardless of whether or not you have other disabilities.
So I think, there's huge opportunity for innovation, and I was using screen readers as just one example. I can't think of any other assistive technology, that I have ever seen or experienced, that's designed to be general-purpose, AT.
That's any better. It feels like, to me, like, it's all designed by well-meaning engineers, very little is designed by people who are employing the kind of design techniques, that David was just talking about.
Where it's made -- it's simple is what you need. It understands what you need in the moment and in the context, and it can help you complete a task.
So I think there's a lot of room for innovation, in the accessibility world, even when the technologies that have been around for decades.
(A pause).
Just add one thing:
Off of what David said, I think there is definitely room for innovation around cognitive accessibility but there's still a question of how do you do this responsibly?
And how -- as an organization, are you thinking about some of these unintended consequences of technology design; so I think, as cognitive accessibility continues to grow, as a field, these questions are going to become more and more important, and to apply some amount of ethical thinking, to that technology design process is going to be really important here.
And one extra thing, to dial it back to what Matt was just saying about the remembering of information, that is actually one of the current success criteria on the cognitive task force, and the accessibility guidelines that have taken the lead to work on.
Is not requiring users to remember information, whenever they're going through tasks, because it is really hard and like I said, you know, the more tasks that you have to complete, the more mental fatigue that you are, the more apt you are to commit errors, if you have to remember things from three screens back or information from the beginning whether you're filling out a job application or medical forms or whatever, whenever you experience stress it blocks your brain from creating the cells, that create memories.
This is a real thing.
So think about this when you're designing: If you're creating a stressful design or if you're unintentionally stressing your customers out by too much content on the page, you're blocking their brain from creating the cells necessary to make a memory.
And that's working memory, so that means to continue on with what they're doing.
So it's really important step, and that's what I mean by designers need to understand how they're affecting the human brain, anyway, I'm done nerding out over this.
Jillian: No it was really fascinating. I wrote it down, I'm nerding out over it too! All righty. Gentlemen, last QUESTION:
Q. Overall, what would be your recommendation for organizations interested in monitoring users' experience from a disability and accessibility perspective?
A. I get to go first, on this one too.
So usability studies: You know, I've seen a lot of companies talk about, we do usability studies and they explain them to you and it's really accessibility testing.
So there's a difference between accessibility testing, and usability studies.
Usability studies are way more abstract. They get to more about how do you feel about this experience? And what opportunities are there for us to make it better for you? And what barriers are there as well? And, like, how do we address these barriers and stuff like that?
But with my company, when I do consulting, and design work, I teach a concept called "define and design".
Okay? Define means, you create a bold statement of intent that stretches beyond the status quo.
And we call it a provocative purpose, what kind of experience do you want to deliver to your customers? Okay?
And that is the starting point.
Okay? And when you figure out what that experience is -- and it needs to be a moonshot. It needs to be something unattainable. Because it's it's the old adage when you shoot for the moon you land on the stars, and I don't want to be superquirky or anything, but, you know, it's that thing.
Once you figure that out. Design ways engaging all of the human senses if somebody is living and breathing they have at least one human faculty they can experience, right? If you can deliver that design to as many of the human senses as possible, you're going to engage the broadest range of users as possible without unintentionally stigmatizing them. Two things usability studies and define and design the provocative purpose.
A. So the two things I would kind of close with, first like I mentioned earlier including as many perspectives as you can in that R&D process and trying to involve, people with disabilities, as early as you can, as you start to explore, new technology how that might involve into a product or service, just figuring out what are some of the ways that others who you might not typically consider, how are they using that technology, what work-arounds are they finding? And how can actually build the work-arounds into a product? Because oftentimes designing in this inclusive way makes the product or service better for everyone.
The second thing I would add is: If you're interested in kind of chairing out experiences there's a lot of opportunity for kind of turn stories of employee experiences, issues, brought up, and then resolved within a company, turn that into Thought Leadership to share company's perspective on how you're either changing as an Organization, the kinds of things you're embracing regarding accessibility or usability; and finding a platform to get the stories out there.

I just wanted to add something to that on the tail end. Something we talked about during our conference call when we were talking about doing this presentation together; is it's never too early, to include people with disabilities, in your design process.
You know, Matt was saying that you guys start from the development stage, and that's superimportant. Whether it's a wire frame, or a proof of concept or just a brainstorming session -- you can always and should always -- invite whether it's your -- employee resource group of people with disabilities, or just the general public, but invite those people in to contribute.
And really, take their -- their considerations into account.
And/or their recommendations their perspectives and opinions -- that no matter what you do, that's going to help you create a more inclusive design, no matter what comes out of it.
[APPLAUSE]

I agree with that!
Thank you!
So... um, this area -- so I look at this entire survey, by the way, as just looking at all the things that are happening in the accessibility space, how well is it working? Is the real-world, end-user experience, an experience -- the experience that we want people to have? Is it an equitable experience as, say, giving the same level of benefit, to everyone?
And we can clearly see from the survey results, that, obviously, nobody thinks that there are very many equitable experiences, out there; that certainly -- a lot of us, are aiming to achieve through our development, design and development.
And software delivery life cycles; and I think we find that -- it's a really difficult thing to do.
And I think there are a lot of assumptions that we've had in the accessibility world, that, you know, given the kind of persistent data that we see, year over year, saying the same kind of thing -- that we do kind of have to start questioning some of our basic assumptions.
Such as, you know, is -- how achievable is universal design, having one single user interface that works for a six year old a 16-year-old a 26-year-old, go on up through the decades, right? We clearly see from data that people do not engage equally, across, all these different cohorts.
Cohorts. And in some cases, that's how well -- how good your design is, how universal the design is.
And in some cases, it, literally, seems -- it more has to do with... could that design, like, is it even feasible to serve all those different kinds of groups, with a single user interface? And I ask myself that question a lot.
This comes up all the time.
So, one of the challenges, that I see, in a monitoring, but the nature of the question here, monitoring how well we're doing, with software development, and delivering user interfaces -- that actually work for people, one of the things we always have to ask is, like, you know, what are -- how do you know if you're doing a good job?
So, user research, usability research -- I should say -- the kind that David was describing, where this is not accessibility testing to find out if it's accessible by putting it in front of somebody with a disability and asking them, you know, does this work?
Now, this is actually looking at the usability, the efficiency, effectiveness, and enjoyment of the user interface for that person. How well does that compare to people who do not have a disability. That kind of usability research.
We can also look at engagement, but this is a really tricky thing, because... it... it involves privacy issues; and so, you know, you can look at anonymized engagement data for people using certain assistive technologies and find out, like, how does that compare to people who are not using those assistive technologies ?
That's an area that, I think, I wish have a lot more open discussion about and get into figuring out, like, is this, something worth figuring out how to do, at scale? So that we can start to employ the same kinds of science that have been used to improve user interfaces for people who do not have disabilities, and use that same kind of science to improve it for people who do have disabilities.
And until we have those kind of tools available, I think, we're going to continue to be shooting in the dark, when it comes to accessibility.
And to put it into research terms, it's qualitative research.
Thank you.
Not quantitative is what you guys want to do qualitative research for quality.

Thank you, everyone, before we turn it over to the audience for questions, I just want to put in a prompt. We want to continue to heighten had research, we want to bring you into the research base, and so you-all, should have received a note, asking you to please participate in the M-Enabling Summit user experience survey.
It's a very short survey.
And I'm very pleased to be able to say that I completed my answers, in advance, I cheated!
[LAUGHTER]
But I really do hope that you-all participate and given how many of you have stayed with us throughout the Session, we really look forward to the vast number of your responses, to keep the momentum going.
Jillian... and I have to say one other thing, so we have a few -- PowerPoint presentation that was just introducing some of the topics today.
Is a lean version of a beefier presentation, that has more information about the 12 key findings broken out -- easier, to understand, as well as more information about the Access Works database, ATUs, more about their user profiles -- all that good stuff, that will be uploaded to the Knowbility Web site by the end of the day today, and then shared with the G3ict as well, to be put in their publications area, I guess.
I believe so.
Jillian: Yeah, if not we'll let you know on Twitter, okay? All right.
It's a kickin' presentation, thank you, Jillian, thank you, everyone, audience questions? And there's a gentleman in the back, with his hand raised. Please let us know, who you would like to direct the question to in particular, if you know.
Q. Hi, my name is Rob, F, I'm web accessibility specialist at Virginia Tech.
And we've tried to work with the folks who are responsible for the university Web site to get accessibility considered early in the process.
You know, very early, you know, wire-frame stages, and so that's progress for us.
But, you know, we would also like to involve people with disabilities, at that early stage, and I'm curious, if you have ideas for how to do that. Because if you're testing with sighted people, a lot of times, you'll have wire frames like interactive wire frames, you know, where they'll click on something, and it will take them to a different page.
But it's not really page; it's, you know, just -- you know, a picture that has some click regions.
So if you're trying to design an interface, that has multiple, like, you're -- trying to decide well, I want to have maybe a menu here or maybe I want to have a tree or some other interface pattern that requires some coding behind it for somebody who is blind, to even be able to use it, it's sort of a cost upfront, for something that may not work, in a way that it's not -- if it's just a picture that has click regions?
A. You're highlighting an opportunity for innovation, and work that -- like I dream of building a rapid prototype tool that actually generates screen reader-accessible prototypes -- we've done a little bit of this when we've done collaborative research on mobile -- or collaborative design, I should say, where we're having people who are blind participate in the design process.
And we actually just coded up some throw-away mobile apps, just for that purpose, but most people don't have those kind of resources.
So at this point, I think you would be looking at some kind of manual process, and I don't know if either of you guys have done that really research.
Yes, so all you really need to do is understand the mechanics of the screen reader okay? First of all, so somebody needs to have that kind of expertise, and you can get this up online from jaws, read tutorials of voiceover how a screen reader reads information on the screen, what it prioritizes first and what's the reading order? That way whenever you explain your proofs of concept or wire frames to the users who don't have sight they know what order that's going to pop up in and so do your designers, that's going to help the designer design better and also explain to your audience of users with disabilities and how it's going to be presented to them in how they're using them. A lot of people who have disabilities who use screen readers encounter this on a daily basis, they understand this, they know what it pops up, they tell you that wouldn't work, what are you thinking? Don't be afraid to engage them and see what happens.
There's many, in many state there's different disability service organizations, all you have to do is tap into one of them and invite them to your table. Pay them. Don't just say hey, come for free. Pay them $50 for their time, and whatever, and invite them to the table, and see what happens!
Thank you, any other questions from the audience? We have a little bit of time. Okay.
Q. Hello?
I'm helping, he's technology director of the Latin America union of blind people. He will do his question in Portuguese, after I will translate.

Good morning.
Provocacao, uma, pergunta, como, in relacao, das, imagens.... porem, existe, unafronteira, principalmente, central idade, privacidade.
Q. He asked how can we advance, the -- the issue, of the use of images by blind people, considering the ethical, the ethical issue regarding to the privacy, and all this stuff, how can we advance the use of images for blind people, without -- without facial recognizing, and pictures, all the routes and legislation -- and ethical principles, that we -- we need to observe, in facial recognition?
A. Well, I don't know if I understand, everything in the question.
I -- I actually am really, really happy, that we started using facial recognition, in automatic alttext and Facebook photos.
But it's limited, in the countries -- it's limited to countries, and parts of the world, where it is legal to do that.
So the way you respect a privacy there, is that if you post a photo, and it has some of -- let's say the photo has -- let's say I post a photo.
And you look at it; and there's five people in the photo, and three of them, are your friends, and two of them are not, then our -- and if those friends have allowed their face to be recognized by Facebook, then, then we'll tell you, who your friends are, in the photo, but we -- even though we may know the names of the other people, we won't tell you who they are, that, to me, is very similar, to what it would be, like, for a sighted person, when you look at a photo, you may recognize, some of the people, but not the other people, the people who are your friends, are presumably, the ones that you would probably recognize.
Unless, of course, you're a public figure.
We don't actually tell the names of public figures, in -- um, automatic alttext, yet, but that's something that I would like to do, but that's how we're respecting, privacy, with facial recognition, at this point.
Does that answer the question.
FROM THE FLOOR: Yes, yes.
Thank you, we have time for one more question, there's a gentleman in the back please, got his hand raised.
Q. Anil Lewis national federation of the blind, I just want to offer a resource to the gentleman who asked the question prior, we recognize the benefit of having actual blind users test in a design process so we develop, what we called, our blind users innovating and leading design group.
So -- build a group, where we bring individuals novice intermediate experts with respect to screen readers and we offer the resource up for individuals who want to create focus groups or test groups across the spectrum of blind users to give both the usability piece, and accessibility to that whole experience?
What was the name of your group again.
The national federation of the blind, our build program. B-u-i-l-d. I thank you for the gentleman who says you should pay them because so many times people come to us, as a free resource, but these individuals dedicating their time, to get this done, so thank you, very much for that piece.
[APPLAUSE]

Jillian: Thank you, guys --
I just wanted to say something to the gentleman, from Brazil, and speaks Portuguese, yeah, so in order to advance legislation, it's all about economic opportunity for and empowerment. Whenever president George H. W. Bush, was in a office as vice president, Reagan came to him and said look into legislation to slash, and they were looking at disability rights legislation and it wasn't until they met with disabilities rights leaders they learned people with disabilities don't want to be given handouts, they don't want to be welfare citizens okay? They want to be empowered to participate in the economic and be economically self-sufficient, once the administration recognized that, they decided to keep, the -- the legislation but change it, and that's how the ADA started. That's how the groundwork began on creating legislation that lead to the economic empowerment of people with disabilities.
Not the support and welfare of people with disabilities, before that, they had the rehabilitation act, which was supporting welfare for people with disabilities.
This was the beginning of the birth of the ADA.
So it's -- whenever you talk to your legislators, your governments, your agencies and your population, it's about creating a a new economic boom, people don't participate in economic activity, but active in informal economy, street vendors.
Jillian: Thank you so much, David, it looks like we are being infiltrated by lunch, which is a wonderful to be thing to be infiltrated by, so we thank you so much for your time, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Thank you!
Thank you, Harrison.
Jillian: Thank you, everybody, and our wonderful panelists.

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Posted on June 19, 2019
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