The Front Page Blog: Blogs on Assistive Technology and Accessibility

By: Kristen Smith-O’Connor, Senior Accessibility Subject Matter Expert

By Kristen Smith-O’Connor, Senior 508 Accessibility Analyst


WebAim performed a survey on a million home pages and found a substantial number of issues centered around what testers would call “easy-picking” tests; those that take little effort to test and where - as a tester - you are sure to find a failure. The top failures were low contrast, images without alternative…

                By Ann Marie Davis, Senior Section 508 Analyst

There are so many methods for accessibility testing. How do you know what is most effective? What is the most reliable?


Instructional design is a systematic process for designing learning experiences and materials to improve learner performance and retention. Whether you’re using Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, Lectora, or other eLearning authoring tools to design online courses, consider broadening your audience to include those with disabilities who rely on assistive technologies.

By Cindy Ryan, New Editions Vice President

National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which lasts the month of October, will celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities and inform employers about the value of including employees with disabilities. 

By: Robert Chaiet, Accessibility Technician, Department of Homeland Security Office of Accessible Systems & Technology (OAST)

By: Kristen Smith and Robert Chaiet

The M-Enabling Summit re-convened in Washington DC in 2018 for its 7th year. We attended the Summit and this blog provides you with some insights into what we noticed.

Today, May 17th, marks the seventh anniversary of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). Held annually on the third Thursday of May, GAAD is meant to promote dialogue, discussion, and awareness of digital inclusion for people with disabilities. Originally begun as a day for developers to share accessibility knowledge with one another, it has transformed in to a day where we all can reflect…

Like many organizations, New Editions has shifted to an Agile development methodology over the past few years. The business reasons are plentiful: quicker delivery and shorter release time for systems; greater collaboration and input among development team members and product owners; and earlier and more frequent review and feedback from clients and end users.

During the first week of August, I attended a conference hosted by Aniridia Foundation International (AFI). Aniridia means “lack of the iris,” which is the colored ring around the pupil of the eye. Advances in research and development have shown that the impact of aniridia extends beyond the eye and can affect the development and maintenance of the eyes, pancreas, central nervous system,…

During May, which is National Stroke Awareness Month, the American Stroke Association strives to educate the public that stroke is the leading cause of serious, long term disability. Here are some important statistics:

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March is designated as National Reading Month. The primary audience for Dr. Seuss’ books is young children, but his writings have insight for adults, too.  As he said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, requires that electronic and information technology developed with federal funding be accessible to people with disabilities. This includes training materials developed with federal funds that are disseminated to users via the internet. Currently, I direct the National Clearinghouse on…

November is National Family Caregivers Month. While caregiving can be a very rewarding experience, caregivers are at risk of fatigue, increased stress, and other negative health consequences. One way to help reduce the stressors faced by caregivers is to learn about and employ helpful tools and resources.

Winter weather evokes mixed emotions in adults. Children love this time of year when school can be cancelled on a Wednesday and snowmen dot the landscape, while adults wrestle between the guiltless joy of having an excuse to stay indoors with a book, hot chocolate and Netflix—and the inevitable loathing of de-icing, shoveling and the worsening of already terrible traffic. Among the black and…

Since my days as a rehabilitation counselor three decades ago, I have worked toward a goal of including people with disabilities into our society—no matter the job that I held.  When I became an employer twelve years ago, I sought and hired people with disabilities. New Editions seeks contracts that focus on historically marginalized populations, trying to create a better society where…

At New Editions we are committed to making electronic information accessible to people with disabilities.  We support the implementation of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that requires Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible. The law (29 U.S.C.

The white cane is universally recognized as a representative marker for blindness and low vision. But many people may not realize that for individuals who are blind or have low vision, the white cane is so much more than a navigational tool. It is a symbol of independence, integration, and triumph. This is why people across the country observe October 15th, White Cane Safety Day, as a day to…

Parents who are gathering backpacks and supplies for the start of the school year, may want to add one more item to that back to school list—an appropriate assistive technology (AT) product. AT can help with many types of learning challenges: listening, speaking, math, organization and memory, reading and writing.

Our lives have become dependent on instant communication. We spend every waking hour talking and texting, so it is hard to imagine a scenario in which you suddenly lose the ability to speak, write, and comprehend what you hear and read. This is called “aphasia” – the loss of language – and most often it is a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or other neurological condition.…

In a recent industry show-and-tell, Paul Schroeder of the American Foundation of the Blind gave us all a good chuckle when he said “I didn’t realize 508 referred to the number of weeks it would take to get the standards updated!”

By Lesley Nesmith, MA, OTR/L, ATP

Get Ready, Set, Snow! Winter sports enthusiasts embrace all that Mother Nature has to offer, whether a snow capped mountain, a frozen ice rink, or the backyard. Snow skiing, ice skating and sledding are winter activities enjoyed by many, including people with disabilities. Good equipment and smart preparation help ensure safe winter fun.