Accessibility Tokyo known as A11yTokyo is now active! A11yTokyo is a collaboration between Equal Entry and Infoaxia. Although the first Meetup was online, the monthly Meetup will be hosted in Tokyo, Japan as well as online.
The team is working to ensure the online and in-person Meetup is accessible to everyone in both English and Japanese. Here’s what happened in the first-ever A11yTokyo, which had 127 signups on the Japanese event page on Doorkeeper, and 48 on Meetup.
Top Accessibility News of 2022 in Japan
Makoto Ueki, CEO of Infoaxia, presented the top accessibility news of 2022 in Japan. He conducted a survey that got responses from 75 people.
Japanese Government’s Digital Agency Publishes Accessibility Resources
- The design template in Figma will help ensure the consistency of all government websites. Anyone can view the design file to learn and improve their own content.
- The introductory guide to web accessibility is for everyone learning about accessibility.
Accessibility Efforts Around Japan
- Ekimatope. Japan Railways (JR) started an experiment to make sound visible for the deaf and hard of hearing. Eki means station and it is combined with onomatopoeia, famously used in Japanese comic books to express sound in text.
- CINEMA Chupki TABATA is an accessible movie theater established in 2016 in Tokyo that had a successful crowdfunding campaign.
- Election accessibility. Yahoo Japan attempted to make every candidate’s agenda accessible to screen readers for people who are blind and have low vision. In the past, PDF files were made by scanning paper and given to the person as a single image with no text information. With Yahoo Japan’s work, the PDFs contained text instead of a single image of text. While the PDF file still has room for improvement, it is a step forward to have the text available.
New Books Published
HTML Kaitai Shinsho (Anatomy of HTML), a book about accessibility was published. It’s written in Japanese and is one of the most detailed books on HTML and WAI-ARIA. Majima Sachi, a lightning speaker at this event, also published a new book 見えにくい、読みにくい「困った！」を解決するデザイン (Hard to see, read! Accessible design for everyone.)
- Adding the ALT badge raised awareness of alternative text.
- The accessibility Team is fired.
UDtalk is a voice recognition app for the deaf and hard of hearing to view captions in real time. The app became viral through “silent,” a Japanese TV drama. Major entertainment networks are featuring more people with disabilities and raising awareness.
Events on Accessibility
- Accessibility-related topics are presented at mainstream tech events.
- A webinar on WAI-ARIA got 800 attendees.
- A webinar on accessibility for people with cognitive disabilities and seniors was held.
We are delighted to hear from so many participants that they started learning accessibility and dived into the accessibility community by joining & hosting various events. Some of them were web developers who were assigned to accessibility improvement tasks in their company. Some of them were exploring how they can improve UI in general and learned the concept of accessibility.
WCAG 2.2 Publication
The new version of WCAG was published as a candidate recommendation.
More Companies Learning About Accessibility
“Accessibility” is becoming more and more known. In Japanese, we don’t have the exact translation of the word accessibility. So, we say that word in our pronunciation, “A ku se shi bi ri ti.” Since it is a foreign word for Japanese people, the word and its concept are taking time to catch on. Job listings with the word “accessibility” increased by 171% on LinkedIn in Japan.
Companies Improving Accessibility of Services and Products
Many participants said their companies have started improving the accessibility of their products and services. Some reported their companies are incorporating accessibility in their product development process.
Started Accessibility Study Group
Many respondents indicated that they have started an accessibility learning group in their company. Raising awareness across the company is crucial and should include everyone, not just developers. The sentiment is that more companies are getting serious about accessibility.
Top Accessibility News of 2022 in Japan presented by Makoto. (Only Japanese captions are available.)
Note captions in your languages are available, but they are AI-created translations of excellent Japanese captions. We are not happy with the quality and we are working on evaluating ways to improve. Please reach out if you have ideas.
Kazuhiko Tsuchiya (Twitter)
An accessibility specialist and a contributor for WAIC (Web Accessibility Infrastructure Committee in Japan) to translate WCAG-related documents. He talks about his experience of presenting at #ID24 as a Japanese person.
Sachi Majima (Twitter)
As a graphic designer, she published a book about accessible design, 見えにくい、読みにくい「困った！」を解決するデザイン (Hard to see, read! Accessible design for everyone.)
Shu Takahashi (Portfolio)
He is developing adaptive devices, Magpie Midi, for computers using harmonica taking advantage of his deep knowledge of software, 3D design, and digital fabrication.
Top 10 U.S. Accessibility News of 2022
Equal Entry CEO Thomas Logan did the same survey in the U.S. For the full list, check out the Top 10 Accessibility News of 2022.
For updates, be sure to join the A11yTokyo Meetup group. All events will be available online. If you can’t attend due to the time difference, we publish all recaps here on the Equal Entry blog.
Thanks to UDtalk editors who fixed our auto-generated captions live during the meetup.
- ゆう（Twitter: @yuhyuh__）