Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jing: ADA Compliance and New Media

Jing logoImage via WikipediaJing's pro version now includes the ability to add captions. I want to congratulate them on that. No, I want to send them an award or something. I owe them all a College of the Redwoods keyring at the next conference I go to. We use Jing a lot in my department. Jing is a great screen capture tool that captures images and videos of what you are doing on the screen and allows you to voice over at the same time. This is incredibly useful in training materials. The screen capture function lets you insert comments and highlights. If that wasn't enough, it includes a free "Screen Cast" account to store all your images and Flash videos that provides a link and an embed code for all your files. All this for $15 bucks a year. The missing piece was captions. It is against the law to use these videos for student instruction of any kind without captions. There are too many web 2.0 widgets out there that are not compliant. Every day, my Google Reader and email is filled with the latest tool that is supposed to solve all my problems and they are built by programmers who have no understanding of ADA 508 or the legal issues involved around accessibility. I go on Twitter and instructional designers are touting some wonder widget that has no place in education because it is not accessible. Are we still fighting this fight? You can't buy non-compliant software with federal funds and yes, check your state guidelines too. Often, greed is the only thing standing in the way. If a company uses a picture of a table (with no alt tags) instead of a table of data, screen readers cannot see it and the software should not be purchased. Those of you who read this blog know that I choose software carefully and lean heavily towards open source but this is a very useful tool that has now increased its accessibility and they are rewarded with my business. Bravo!

I talked to a salesman recently who said that his company was going to sell non-compliant software because it was not financially viable for them to make it so. We can make it so by knowing the law. How financially viable is it to lose a sale because you don't care about accessibility? The more I learn about accessibility, the more I am discovering that it is laziness and greed keep some companies back.  There is 2 billion dollars of DOL money out there for education and your going to NOT make you work accessible??
Enhanced by Zemanta

1 comment:

  1. Hi Geoff,

    My name is Rachael and I work at TechSmith. I just read your Jing write up and would love to hear more about how you're using it in your school! If you're interested in sharing your story, that would be awesome. My email is

    Thanks and hope to hear from you soon!