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2017 CSUN The Art of Language in Accessibility


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Presentation covers 9 key areas related to language and accessibility:
1. Person-First Language
2. Plain Language
3. Flesch-Kincaid Readability
4. Captioning
5. Transcription
6. Audio Description
7. Alternative Text
8. Long Description
9. Language Attribute

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2017 CSUN The Art of Language in Accessibility

  1. 1. © 2016 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, Globe logo, Mobilizing Your World and DIRECTV are registered trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. March 3, 2017 The Art of Language in Accessibility Crystal Baker, Web Accessibility Solutions Engineer AT&T Corporate Accessibility Technology Office (CATO)
  2. 2. 2 The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. -Mark Twain
  3. 3. Person First Language  Good manners  Respect  Golden rule  Changes the way we see a person  Changes the way a person sees themselves
  4. 4. Examples of Person First Language SAY: People with disabilities Communicates with her… Cognitive disability INSTEAD OF: Handicapped or disables Is non-verbal Mental retardation
  5. 5. 5 The most valuable of all talents is never using two words when one will do. -Thomas Jefferson
  6. 6. Plain Language Communication that your readers can understand the first time they hear or read it.
  7. 7. Plain Language Myths 1. Baby talk 2. Stripping out necessary information 3. Just editorial “polishing” 4. Imprecise 5. Just using pronouns in a Q and A format 6. Something the lawyers will never go for 7. Easy
  8. 8. 8 Goals of Plain Language  Help the reader find the information  Help the reader understand the information  If you your document doesn’t do both, it’s not plain language
  9. 9. 9 Jakob Nielsen’s Eye Tracking “F” Pattern Research
  10. 10. 10 Plain Language & Web Things to Use  page titles  short paragraphs  short sentences  everyday words  consistent terms  lists  appropriate link names
  11. 11. 11 Plain Language & the Web Things to Avoid  unnecessary words – Doublets  hidden verbs  Latin terms  abbreviations
  12. 12. 12
  13. 13. 13 I know all those words, but that sentence makes no sense to me. -Matt Groening
  14. 14. Flesch-Kincaid Readability
  15. 15. 15 Turn on Word Readability Statistics 1. Click File 2. Click Options 3. Select Proofing 4. Check “Show Readability Statistics” 5. Click OK.
  16. 16. 16 MS Word Readability Statistics Window
  17. 17. Testing Recommendations • Sentence by Sentence • Paragraph by Paragraph • Sampling
  18. 18. 18 Testing Recommendations Sentence by Sentence Test individual sentences. Example: IVR, AO, SMS, Bill Messages Justification: The examples provided are generally standalone single sentences. IVRs/AOs (Automated Outbound messages) are designed to be short, concise and crisp. SMS messages have a character limit. Bill messages are limited to a small area of the bill.
  19. 19. 19 Testing Recommendations Paragraph by Paragraph (for more than one paragraph of content, but fewer than 2 pages of content) Test full paragraphs. Test individual sentences if the paragraph is higher than 9.9. Example: Website content, Mobile Application content, Bill Insert, E-mails, Forms Justification: Many documents contain items that may skew results. These may include bulleted lists, section headers, etc. For this reason, it makes sense to select the individual paragraphs that contain full sentences, and test those for readability.
  20. 20. 20 Testing Recommendations Sampling (for more than 2 pages of content) Test sample pages of content from the beginning, middle, and end of the document. Example: User manuals Justification: Many multi-page documents contain items that may skew results. Theses may include picture captions, bulleted lists, chapter titles, etc. For this reason, it makes sense to select sample pages that contain full sentences, and test those for readability.
  21. 21. 21 Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge. Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words when short are best of all. -Winston Churchill
  22. 22. Captioning Open vs. Closed
  23. 23. 23 Logical Captions Preferred: MY, WHAT DANGEROUS GAMES WE USED TO PLAY IN THE RUINS OF THIS CITY. To be avoided: MY, WHAT DANGEROUS GAMES WE USED TO PLAY IN THE RUINS OF THIS CITY. When a sentence must be divided, break it at a logical phrase.
  24. 24. 24 Captioning Considerations  Editing  Identification placement  Timing  Sound Effects  Typography  Italics and Underline  Music
  26. 26. 26 The most important lesson in the writing trade is that any manuscript is improved if you cut away the fat. -Robert Heinlein
  27. 27. Transcription Textual version of the content
  28. 28. 28 The trouble with so many of us is that we underestimate the power of simplicity. -Robert Stuberg
  29. 29. Audio Description A.K.A. video description A.K.A. visual description
  30. 30. 30 Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. -Leonardo da Vinci
  31. 31. Alternative Text - Represents an image in any situation where it can’t be seen or displayed. - Is the textual alternative to non-text content in web pages. - Is the first principle of web accessibility.
  32. 32. Alternative Text Basics  Functions  Avoid repeating  Don’t confuse alt with title  Positioning of alt  Blank alt
  33. 33. 33 Image Classifications for Alt Text  Eye candy (decorative images)  Clip art and stock images  Images that express a concept  Functional images  Graphs, complex diagrams and screen shots
  34. 34. 34 You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say. -F. Scott Fitzgerald
  35. 35. Long Description
  36. 36. 36 Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. -C.S. Lewis
  37. 37. Language Attribute Styling pages Font selection Search Spelling and grammar checkers Translation Non-text readers Parsers and scripts
  38. 38. 38 Presentation Resources – Person First & Plain Language     asan/identity-first-language/ 
  39. 39. 39 Presentation Resources – Flesch-Kincaid    ility_tests
  40. 40. 40 Presentation Resources – Captioning, Transcription, and Audio Description   
  41. 41. 41 Presentation Resources – Alternative Text  state/training/     hows-and-whens-alternative-text
  42. 42. 42 Presentation Resources – Language Attributes   language-declarations 
  43. 43. 43 Tool Resources
  44. 44. 44 Upcoming AT&T Presentations at CSUN FRIDAY A11y Lab: Conquering Mobile Accessibility though Device Analysis Cory Cain and Glenn Bradford 3:20PM, Balboa C, 2nd Floor, Seaport Tower
  45. 45. 46