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Chax Chat Accessibility Podcast

Education Podcasts

Join Chad Chelius and Dax Castro (CHAX) as they chat about important document accessibility topics, trends and maybe even complain a little now and again.


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Join Chad Chelius and Dax Castro (CHAX) as they chat about important document accessibility topics, trends and maybe even complain a little now and again.



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InDesign Accessibility Tips we wish we knew sooner!

Learn our favorite tips, tricks, and shortcuts to creating accessible documents in Indesign! Every application has hidden secrets, some so good you wish you knew them sooner. Join Chad Chelius and Dax Castro as they share their experiences behind these shortcuts, how they found them, and how each tip can help you become a quicker, more proficient document accessibility expert. In this episode, we will cover how to name and outline heading levels, adding styles to headers, editing all export tags, different techniques to add Items to the articles panel, using the escape key to select the table cell, creating an object style for artifacting, and creating shortcuts to assign a heading level. Find the Accessible InDesign Starter Template by visiting: Get a demonstration of MadeToTag by visiting: Time Stamps


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Accessibility Lawyer Eve Hill and the Risks of Non-Compliance

Avoiding a lawsuit is as easy as implementing accessibility correctly the first time. But as many of us know, we still aren’t quite there yet. There is a lot of work that needs to be done if we are going to truly have an internet that is accessible to everyone. Many businesses and public entities offer services, products, and information that everyone needs access to, regardless of their ability, and sometimes it feels that a lawsuit is the only way to jumpstart that process. To get an inside look at the legal system, we have invited a special guest to join us of CHAX Chat! Eve Hill of Brown Goldstien & Levy is an ADA lawyer and consultant. In this episode, we are going to hear firsthand what happens in an ADA lawsuit, the step-by-step process when a complaint is filed, and steps you can take to start preparing your company now for success, enabling your company or organization to serve everyone.


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7 Things that Fail Document Accessibility but will pass your Checker

“Automation does not guarantee compliance!” is the inspiration behind today’s episode. Here at CHAX Accessibility Training. Accessibility Checkers are one such tool. They check for particular issues, but just because a checker does not flag accessibility issues does not mean your documents are compliant. Today we are going to unravel the 7 things that Fail Accessibility but will pass your Checker! Passing the PAC Checker or Acrobat Checker is only the first step to remediating a document. Once you master these 7 items that your checker will miss, you will be ready to test your document with NVDA or JAWS to ensure everyone has the user experience you intend.


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Part 2: Top 10 Accessibility Questions Newbies Ask

There is no doubt that the subject of accessibility and remediation can be a confusing landscape for those just starting out in this wonderful industry. Today, we tackle part two of our Top Ten Questions in accessibility and remediation! Some of these answers might surprise you, as we both learned something new in this episode, too. We discover new tools, like PDFix, review our top applications, discuss some of the oddities in the industry, and so much more. Whether you are new to document remediation or a veteran, there is something to learn every day. This is part 2 of our Top 10 Questions Accessibility Newbies Ask. Part 1 of this two-part episode originally aired Dec 2023.


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Accessibility Usage Survey Results Unraveled

Understanding how people use accessibility technology is essential to creating accessible media. In this episode, Chad Chelius and Dax Castro dive into the 2024 WebAIM “Screen Reader User Survey #10 Results” to get an inside look on who uses screen reading tools, and where they use them. They cover age, location, favorite reader, and more. Even though we are exploring a relatively small sample size, the information here is invaluable. So sit back, grab your favorite drink, and get our take on the data! Watch the video on our YouTube Channel @A11Y


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Understanding the User Experience of Assistive Technology

In this episode Chad Chelius and Dax Castro discuss what it means to understand the user experience of a screen reader as well as accessibility technology at large. Creating documents and digital media has its challenges, but what if your product does not respond the way you expect it to? Learn about how to adapt your understanding to the end user experience in today's episode. We are also excited to share two new A11y terms just for you! Introducing Chax-ified and Chax-essible! Other topics we cover today include our new partnership with Tamman, Inc, the experience of being an accessibility specialist on the Mac series of M1, M2, and M3 computers, our upcoming classes, CSUN, and more!


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Revealing Nested Tag Structure Secrets

In this episode, we unravel nested tag structures. Chad and Dax break down lists, TOC, footnotes, and tables. Learn what the most basic way to create a list structure is and how Dax had to hit the books once again to make sure he wasn't telling tales. Chad talks about footnotes and references and why you might hear "Link Link" in your TOC elements. If you struggle to understand which tags get nested inside others, then you definitely want to listen to this episode!


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Adopting Document Accessibility: How to get your boss to listen

In this episode, we interview Kelly Swanson and Sherri Smith from the Center for Schools and Communities to understand how Sheri was able to initiate interest in document accessibility and start a successful document accessibility program within their organization. Kelly shared key insights from a manager's perspective that can help others in their quest to implement accessibility at a program level.


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Accessible QR Code Structure Revealed

In this episode, Dax Castro and Chad Chelius talk about the troubles with creating QR codes and reveal the common mistakes people make when trying to make them accessible. They show you how to create them, how to set the placement correctly, and what your options are when it comes to making accessible QR codes for your documents. Chad even shows how you can use InDesign to make your QR codes right in the program. If you struggle with accessible QR codes definitely tune into this episode!


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The Top 10 Questions Document Accessibility Newbies Ask: Part 1

In this final episode for 2023 we look back at the most frequently asked questions by people just starting out in document accessibility. We also dropped a major announcement about the future of Chax Training and Consulting. So you definitely don't want to miss this episode. Top 5 Questions: If you felt like we missed any or want to post a final message for the end of the year, please feel free to post in the comments. We read every single one!


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Can you have forms in Tables?

In this episode, Chad and Dax discuss the merits of having form fields inside tables. When is it okay? When should you avoid tables as a means of laying out accessible form-based documents? Listen in and you will learn what to ask and how to determine if it is okay to put your form in a table. We also take a quick look at the new PAC 2024 interface and our thoughts on the new release.


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An Accessible Alternative to Canva: Venngage CEO Eugene Woo

You have heard us mention Venngage a few times and have featured it on our podcast. Now we thought it would be great to invite Venngage CEO, Eugene Woo on the program to talk about is journey in creating this accessible online design tool. We talk about the struggles and costs of going down the road of accessibility but more importantly, the cost of NOT going down that path. Eugene also discusses how they took the opportunity to teach unfamiliar users about accessibility as they create their documents with the hope of getting more people thinking about accessibility from the start. Definitely great to hear Eugene talk about how they made a comittment to make their design tool accessible and able to produce accessible PDFs.


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Accessible Pie Charts: Can they be TOO accessible?

Chad and Dax take this session to talk about the possibility of having too much accessibility in the form of multiple patterns in pie charts. They discuss the merits of several approaches to making pie charts visually more accessible. Stick around to hear them give out some secret sauce for troubleshooting tables that just don't seem to want to pass accessibility. Their tip might just save you hours of needlessly hunting for the mislabeled property. Oh, and if you want to skip the koi pond banter, skip ahead 7 minutes. Watch this podcast on YouTube:


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Colorblind Considerations when Creating Accessible Charts and Graphs

Are you using accessible color contrast and colorblind-friendly designs? Chad answers the question: "Does it really Matter if I make my designs colorblind compliant?" Learn some important colorblind statistics and find out who needs to make their designs accessible? We share some things you can do to make your graphic colors accessible and review the WCAG success criteria 1.4.1 Use of Color. Dax gives you some easy ways to make your maps more accessible and Chad shares the color contrast ratio for Graphics and his preferences for making line graphs more accessible.


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Who does the Reading Order affect? This Guest: Sonya Lewis!

Senior UX Researcher, Inclusive Designer and Accessibility Design Lead Sonya Lewis agrees to be our guest this week to talk about how the Reading Order in PDFs impacts her ability to apply for heathcare enrollement, participate in her workplace and overall online presence. Chad and I loved her response when we asked the question "What do you say to people who think the Reading Order in PDFs doesn't really matter?" Be sure to listen in to hear Chad ask an important question about Snoop Dogg and his role in accessibility. This episode is one of the best we've had this year! Don't you dare miss it!


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An Accessible Alternative to Canva?

We stumbled on to an online design tool that is giving Canva a run for their money. We show you our first impressions about the product and the accessibility features it has and a few ways we might suggest improving it. We also reveal the new EASY way to set the PDF/UA Identifier in Adobe Acrobat. Dax mentions the upcoming guest and their struggles with reading order in PDF documents. Finally, Chad reveals some insights on Form Tags: Before or after the text label?


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Is Alternate text for hyperlinks really required?

Listen to Chad and Dax talk about alternate descriptions for hyperlinks and what WCAG has to say about it. We mention PDF/UA-2 set to remove the mandatory requirement for alternate link descriptions. Chad shares a users comment "I want users of assistive technology to have the same crappy experience a sighted person has when reading long URLs." You will get a chuckle out of our "Six Degrees of separation from Dyson," and why where the link takes you matters. Later on we discuss how visual cues reduce our cognitive load and share the PDF for the Do No Harm Guide on Design Visualization found at Chad explains "Reading through a rectangle" and Dax discusses at what point is the level of effort too much or enough? We end with balancing "no significant barrier" and level of effort in documents. Definitely an information-packed episode.


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Do I really need to set the Reading Order in my PDF?

CAUTION: Highly controversial accessibility topics in this podcasts: We discuss a real-world situation where someone's barrier to information in a PDF is not vision. However, because of a traumatic event this person has dyslexia and requires audio input to fully understand the content on the page they are reading. We discuss how reading order is affected by the source document. We look at MS Word and InDesign and discuss the challenges with each when considering reading order. We also discuss designing with accessibility in mind to account for setting the reading order as the content is developed rather than addressing it in the end. Once again we approach perspectives on using the Title tag as the title on the cover of a document even though screen readers today only announce it as a tag which doesn't declare any structure or importance. We also discuss the potential risks and benefits of manually "fixing" the title tag or the H1. Buckle up for this one! You will either love us or start yelling at your phone or computer! No worries. We can take it.


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7 Questions to ask yourself before creating an accessible infographic

This week's podcast is truly an amazing goldmine of information if you struggle with creating accessible infographics? Chad Chelius and Dax Castro walk through 7 Questions to ask yourself before creating an accessible infographic: Stay tuned toward the end, where we talk about how certain bullets are voiced by JAWS and the info on how to download the PDF that lists a ton of them. I bet you will be surprised at more than a few. I hope you find this podcast useful because it is definitely one of my new favorites we have recorded this year!


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Recosoft Plugin that converts Powerpoint to InDesign with accessibility tags

In this episode we talk with Recosoft Founder, Paul Chadha about Decks MoveIn. This is a great plugin for creating InDesign documents from PowerPoint slides. We all know that PowerPoint was never meant to be a desktop publishing software. It is a presentation tool. However, there are times when we need to push the content limits. Instead of spending an hour or more fixing your PDF, just move from PPT to InDesign and let the Decks MoveIn plugin from Recosoft help speed up the process. Stick around to learn more about how Decks MoveIn can even convert Keynote, Canva and Google Slides to InDesign as well.