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Welcome to The Shining Lamp

Montage of people making up a diverse vibrant community, including multiple ages, races, genders, and disabilities

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By Mike Thompson, 27 June, 2024

Systemic ableism refers to the pervasive, institutionalized discrimination against People with Disabilities embedded within community structures, policies, and practices. This form of ableism is ingrained in institutions, cultures, and norms, leading to persistent barriers that exclude People with Disabilities. Community administrators and members have a responsibility to remove these barriers to ensure full participation in community activities and foster a truly inclusive environment.

Physical Accessibility Barriers

One critical barrier is the lack of essential accessibility features such as ramps, accessible parking, and adequate restroom facilities within community event locations. These barriers prevent People with Disabilities from navigating spaces independently and participating in community gatherings and events.

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By Mike Thompson, 26 April, 2024

As we strive to remove barriers that prevent us from building Vibrant, Diverse, Inclusive, Accessible Communities, it is imperative for our Institutions and their subsidiaries to center their efforts on Inclusive Design when disseminating content and information. Otherwise, the published content would only be available for an exclusive, elite subgroup of the community.  Excluding marginalized community members because of discriminatory and unusable publication design should never be tolerated!

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Clip Art representations of People with Various Disabilities on All Continents of the Globe

On May 16, 2024, we celebrated the 13th Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). This day is dedicated to raising awareness about digital access and inclusion for people with disabilities. But the conversation doesn't have to stop there—join us in continuing to spread awareness and drive change.

The GAAD Foundation, established in 2021 for GAAD's 10th anniversary, aims to revolutionize the tech industry by making accessibility a fundamental aspect of digital product development. Their mission underscores the importance of considering accessibility from the start, ensuring digital spaces are inclusive.

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By Mike Thompson, 23 March, 2022

How to tell if an Email Message is Accessible -  email icons and people networking overlaid with hands typing on a laptopYour Blind friends will instantly be able to tell if an email message is accessible or not.  That's because they are using the Screen Reader technology which the accessibility standards are designed for.  If these standards were followed, then things work.  If not then there are usually problems.

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by Alex Chen

What is an image description?

An image description is a written caption that describes the essential information in an image.

Image descriptions can define photos, graphics, gifs, and video — basically anything containing visual information. Providing descriptions for imagery and video are required as part of WCAG 2.2 (for digital ADA compliance).

It’s sometimes referred to as alt text since the alt attribute is a common place to store them. The alt attribute appears in the HTML code like this:

<img src=”link” alt=”text goes here”>

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By Mike Thompson, 21 March, 2022

Write Inclusive Accessible Email Messages -  email icons and people networking overlaid with hands typing on a laptopCommunication plays a vital role in building diverse and inclusive communities. Email messages are a common means of sharing information within the community, but if they exclude certain groups, they can create a sense of "otherness" and hinder community building. It is crucial to remove barriers and promote accessible and inclusive communication to build vibrant and inclusive communities.

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Nasa Added Amazing Alt Text Image Descriptions to James Webb Space Telescope Photos

There was a ton of excitement when the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was launched into space last month. What made the excitement exponentially larger was when NASA made the first few photos received from JWST public. The pictures were gorgeous and stunning, and the world was captivated by the sheer beauty of our universe as shown by these photos.

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by Tolu AdegbiteTolu Adegbite

Why it’s important in 3 examples

Designers and developers have huge power in shaping societal norms (when was the last time you met a couple in their 20s who didn’t meet on a dating app?). We also have a huge impact in creating a story and crafting a sort of reality for people that consume the content we put out into the world. Alt text forms part of that storytelling of a designed reality.

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