Map of United States with early 2020 presidential election results and predicted results counting predicted electoral votes
Map of United States with early 2020 presidential election results and predicted results counting predicted electoral votes

Universal Design in Voter’s Rights and Reform

The world watched and tried to understand the complexity of the 2020 United States of America election process. This past election caused many Americans and national leaders to consider the need for more uniform federal election standards. Certainly, a proper universal design approach to voter’s rights reform can ensure all peoples’ votes are accurate and legal.

Before we dive in too deep, it is crucial to understand that states and municipalities govern based on their state constitution. States have this autonomy, according to the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution. …


Happy New Year!

From all of us at Braille Works, please accept our heartfelt “Thank You” for allowing us the privilege to serve you this year.

The words, “Happy New Year” in print and braille dots surrounded by Christmas greenery and a present
The words, “Happy New Year” in print and braille dots surrounded by Christmas greenery and a present

And, while we’re ready to see this year go, we’re grateful for some of the accessibility improvements we’ve seen come out of necessity. We’re also excited to see what 2021 has to offer. We anticipate impressive accessibility improvements.

We’ve all experienced this turbulent year which confined most of our daily lives to our homes. With that confinement came the “realization” that accessibility in tech, and elsewhere in life, is necessary and lacking. 2020 also brought the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) 30th anniversary. …


Image for post
Image for post

The holidays are here and few things inspire the Christmas spirit better than a holly jolly outing with your loved ones. What’s the best way to enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas with them? Make a plan of attack with these tips to ensure maximum enjoyment for everyone involved.

1. Do your homework.

Do some research before going to unfamiliar events or activities. Check out the reviews and social media pages. Look for mentions of how hands-on, sensory-stimulating, and child-friendly the Christmas activities are. Having as much information as possible will be a huge help when tackling tip #2.

2. Choose wisely.

When choosing Christmas activities for you and your loved ones, take everyone in your group into account. For instance, if someone has a visual disability, focus more on activities with sound and opportunities to touch and feel instead of exclusively visual experiences. Considering everyone’s abilities allows for a better time overall. …


flour on a countertop along with a rolling pin and cookie cutters
flour on a countertop along with a rolling pin and cookie cutters

With Christmas being just a few weeks away, we thought it would be a perfect time to share some fun Braille-themed activities you can enjoy with your friends and family. Whether you’re a Braille reader or not, we hope that these crafts and treats will bring a little extra happiness to your holiday celebrations.

Here are our favorite recipes, homemade gifts, and holiday attire to help you create a magical holiday.

Braille Sugar Cookies

It’s lovely weather for baking. Unless you’re in Florida, in which case, you’ll have to drop the air conditioning and trust us that it’s December.

Today, we’re sharing one of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes. They are great for Christmas cookie platters, cookie exchanges (totally a thing), or stocking stuffers. The very smell of cookies can usher in the Christmas spirit. And with simple instructions and tactile items, our recipe is fun, easy, and accessible. …


two hands setting a warm turkey on a table
two hands setting a warm turkey on a table

Thanksgiving spurs charitable events, food drives, and “turkey trots.” So, while yes, Thanksgiving will look different this year, that also means there is a great opportunity to do good. And we’re doing it!

Every year, we ask employees to donate what they can-things like boxed mac and cheese, gravy, and cans of vegetables, and we pick a local charity. This year we chose the non-profit Hope For Her. Braille Works employees and their families give graciously every year, and we feel very blessed to help those in need.


4 increasing stacks of coins with plants growing and a final jar of coins with the largest plant growing
4 increasing stacks of coins with plants growing and a final jar of coins with the largest plant growing

During these tough economic times, many businesses are looking for creative ways to boost their revenue. For many companies, addressing a basic need can boost your company’s revenue and prevent future financial headaches. What is that basic need, you ask? Accessibility.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 61 million Americans have a disability. That is more than 25% of the population. Virtually everyone knows or is related to someone with a disability. So, sharing that your organization cares about and services everyone is a benefit.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal accessibility laws can be costly when overlooked and are essential to business growth and a boost in revenue. Overlooking accessibility needs not only excludes a large portion of both the United States and global populations, it can also bring about expensive and time-consuming litigation that could have easily been avoided. …


a hostess holding disposable menus
a hostess holding disposable menus

COVID-19 is an un-welcomed guest for those in the service industry. But, if you keep your doors open for welcomed guests, you have your work cut out for you. We see most diners distancing tables, embracing outdoor seating, increasing safety and handwashing measures, and using masks. But have you addressed your menus and its hand in continuing to reduce the spread of COVID-19?

Restaurants across America are doing their part by coming up with innovative ways to keep guests and staff safe while following the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines.

Avoid using or sharing items that are reusable, such as menus, condiments, and any other food containers. Instead, use disposable or digital menus, single-serving condiments, and no-touch trash cans and doors.” (CDC, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Considerations for Restaurants and Bars, Shared…


A roll of “I Voted” stickers
A roll of “I Voted” stickers

The United States votes on November 3rd, 2020. And despite the back and forth on a few hot ticket items, most Americans are excited and appreciate the chance to exercise their civil liberty. Voting is the time to make your voice heard. Still, over the last few months, we’ve seen many accessibility issues that prevent Americans with disabilities from being as informed as everyone else, and it raises cause for concern.

The Top 4 Accessibility Issues:

Some of these pain points are barriers that can be resolved with help at the voting booth, or a painstaking workaround. But if they aren’t all addressed, you still can’t vote accurately no matter how prepared you are. And that’s problematic because Americans with disabilities are accustomed to coming up with a voting plan and coming prepared. A plan where they pick a route, confirm their means of transportation and call ahead to the polling place. The plan includes asking if they’ll also need headphones, an assistive device, etc. Not to mention researching candidates for positions they are for and against (which every American should do). …


a guitar, harmonica, tambourine and rattle before they’re made adaptive instruments
a guitar, harmonica, tambourine and rattle before they’re made adaptive instruments

At Braille Works, we prepare documents for people with diverse levels of impairments. That includes visual impairments, motor skills impairment, and conditions that make it tough, or impossible, to read a standard print document. The experience of working here has opened my eyes to experiences that I may never fully understand. As a sighted person, I almost always take for granted looking at a document and reading it. It rarely enters my train of thought that “wow, I can see this!”. That’s why accessibility has to be an intention in whatever you do, even in adaptive instruments.

I am also a musician and play the piano and the guitar. In my limited imagination, I thought learning these musical skills was difficult. But, I never considered how hard it would be to have an impairment that affected my ability to play the instrument. Thankfully, perspective is a good teacher! …


One of the most important things when creating accessible documents in braille, audio, large print, or accessible PDF is authoring content that doesn’t rely heavily on visual elements. Photographs, complex tables, charts, or other components that can’t be adequately described in the text should be avoided or reconsidered.

Image content is okay for a sighted reader but brings no value to the braille reader or someone listening to an audio document. With that in mind, we suggest you create your original draft as usual. Then, as an exercise, review your document. Wherever you find an image or a table, try to replace the visual component with a text description. When writing text to describe pictures, use the original Twitter rule, and try to limit yourself to 140 characters or less. …

About

Braille Works

Providing ADA compliant materials for your customers. Braille, Large Print, Audio & Accessible PDF Services. https://brailleworks.com/

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