PR & Lattes

GAAD Special - A latte with Chad Chelius and Dax Castro

May 16, 2024 Matisse Hamel-Nelis
GAAD Special - A latte with Chad Chelius and Dax Castro
PR & Lattes
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PR & Lattes
GAAD Special - A latte with Chad Chelius and Dax Castro
May 16, 2024
Matisse Hamel-Nelis

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode, Matisse chats with Chad Chelius, ADS, and Dax Castro, ADS, two accessible document experts and host of the accessibility podcast CHAX Chat.

About Chad Chelius, ADS
Chad Chelius is a trainer, author, consultant, speaker, Director of Training Solutions and Principal at Chax Training and Consulting. He resides in the Philadelphia area and has been using Adobe products for over 25 years. As an Adobe Certified Instructor, Accessible Document Specialist, and Consultant, he teaches and advises on all Adobe print and web products, specializing in InDesign and InCopy workflows, Illustrator, automation, and PDF accessibility using InDesign, Word, and Adobe Acrobat. He works with clients, both large and small, in and outside of the United States, helping them to solve design, workflow, and accessibility challenges using Adobe products.

About Dax Castro, ADS
Dax Castro is an award-winning Adobe Certified PDF Accessibility Trainer and certified Accessible Document Specialist (ADS) with more than two decades of experience in the marketing and communications industry. In addition to providing accessibility training to companies worldwide, he and Chad Chelius host a weekly accessibility podcast, Chaxchat, and the “PDF Accessibility” Facebook group. Dax’s training style focuses on fundamentals in a clear and simple way that is both engaging and informational.

Connect with Chad and Dax:
Chad - LinkedIn
Dax - LinkedIn

Websites
CHAX Chat Podcast
CHAX Accessibility Training
Facebook Group - PDF Accessibility

Handout
10 things you can do to improve accessibility without being an expert

Software
MadeToTag
CommonLook
AxesWord
AxesPDF
Grackle PDF

Connect with PR & Lattes:

Website: PR & Lattes
Instagram: @PRAndLattes
Host: @MatisseNelis

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode, Matisse chats with Chad Chelius, ADS, and Dax Castro, ADS, two accessible document experts and host of the accessibility podcast CHAX Chat.

About Chad Chelius, ADS
Chad Chelius is a trainer, author, consultant, speaker, Director of Training Solutions and Principal at Chax Training and Consulting. He resides in the Philadelphia area and has been using Adobe products for over 25 years. As an Adobe Certified Instructor, Accessible Document Specialist, and Consultant, he teaches and advises on all Adobe print and web products, specializing in InDesign and InCopy workflows, Illustrator, automation, and PDF accessibility using InDesign, Word, and Adobe Acrobat. He works with clients, both large and small, in and outside of the United States, helping them to solve design, workflow, and accessibility challenges using Adobe products.

About Dax Castro, ADS
Dax Castro is an award-winning Adobe Certified PDF Accessibility Trainer and certified Accessible Document Specialist (ADS) with more than two decades of experience in the marketing and communications industry. In addition to providing accessibility training to companies worldwide, he and Chad Chelius host a weekly accessibility podcast, Chaxchat, and the “PDF Accessibility” Facebook group. Dax’s training style focuses on fundamentals in a clear and simple way that is both engaging and informational.

Connect with Chad and Dax:
Chad - LinkedIn
Dax - LinkedIn

Websites
CHAX Chat Podcast
CHAX Accessibility Training
Facebook Group - PDF Accessibility

Handout
10 things you can do to improve accessibility without being an expert

Software
MadeToTag
CommonLook
AxesWord
AxesPDF
Grackle PDF

Connect with PR & Lattes:

Website: PR & Lattes
Instagram: @PRAndLattes
Host: @MatisseNelis

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Hello and welcome to PR & Lattes, the podcast where you can fill up your cup on everything communications and PR. I'm your host Matisse Hamel-Nelis. And I am so excited to have you join me today for another special episode in honour of Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Before we get started, make sure you subscribe to this podcast wherever you're listening to it to get notified when a new episode drops, and this week, it's one every day. You can also subscribe to our newsletter by visiting our website prandlattes.com. On the website, you'll find our podcast episodes plus our amazing blogs with new ones being uploaded every Monday morning. And of course, make sure you're following us on social media on Instagram at@PRAndLattes and on LinkedIn, PR& lattes. On today's episode, I'm chatting with document accessibility experts Chad Chelius and Dax Castro. Chad is a trainer, author, consultant speaker and director of training solutions and principle of checks, training and consulting. He resides in the Philadelphia area and has been using Adobe products for over 25 years. As an Adobe Certified Instructor, accessible documents specialist and consultant. He teaches and advises on all Adobe print and web products specializing in InDesign and InCopy workflows, Illustrator automation, and PDF accessibility using InDesign, Word and Adobe Acrobat. He works with clients both large and small in and outside of the United States, helping them to solve design workflow and accessibility challenges using Adobe products. Dax is an award-winning Adobe Certified PDF accessibility trainer and certified accessibility documents specialist with more than two decades of experience in the marketing and communications industry. In addition to providing accessibility training to companies worldwide, he and Chad host a weekly accessibility podcast called CHAX Chat, and they run the PDF Accessibility Facebook group. I'm so excited to chat with both of them about all things document accessibility. So grab your latte, sit back and enjoy. I have been looking forward to this podcast episode for so long. I'm so excited to have Dax and Chad with me today. Welcome

Dax Castro:

Oh, thank you very much. Um, I honestly it's you, both of you. we consider you an old friend. And so it's just like, you know, being able to get together with old friends. We have missed yourself.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Aww... You too.

Chad Chelius:

Absolutely.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

So, before we dive into all the good stuff around accessible documents, let's start off with a simple question. Can you tell the readers about yourself and your journey into accessible documents? We'll start with Dax.

Dax Castro:

Oh, yes, sure. So I am. I'm an Adobe Certified PDF accessibility trainer, and certified by the IAAP as an accessible document specialist. But I got my start, I worked for the California high speed rail project in. In 2016, they came in and said, Hey, all of our stuff needs to be made accessible. I had no idea what that was. And but of course, as a person with ADHD, my superpowers took over, I got laser beam focused on everything I could learn about accessibility. And that started my journey. And I'm still on that road today. And Chad and I, we also have a podcast and, you know, talk about document accessibility and accessibility as a whole. It's called CHAX Chat. But yeah, we just, you know, it's been our passion point since amazing.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

And what about you, Chad?

Chad Chelius:

Yeah, so my journey is a little bit unique, you know, a lot of people expect me to tell them that I have a personal connection to accessibility, the, you know, relative or, or somebody I love who, you know, is disabled. But it's truly not really the case. I mean, I do have friends who are disabled. However, my path to accessibility, you know, the last 20 years of my life, I've been an Adobe trainer, and I specialize in teaching all the Adobe products. And I've been speaking at conferences for over 15 years now. And it was around I think, 2009 when I was speaking at a conference down in Orlando, Florida, on the PDF format, right, and all the cool things you can do with PDFs. And a woman in the back of the room, raised her hand and she said, this is all great. But is the file accessible? And it's kind of like every speakers nightmare right to be asked a question. You have no idea what they're talking about, you know, and I think I danced around the question. And afterwards, you know, she came up to me, and we started talking and we are still to this day. Very good friends. Her name was Vicki Richards. Actually, maybe I shouldn't say that. But her her and her name you know, she she was from The one of the federal agencies, and she was already doing accessibility like way before anybody else was because it's the federal government. And she taught me a lot. And then I just kind of took what I knew and ran with it, and started building my knowledge and learning more and more. And about five years ago, I met Dax at one of those conferences, and we became fast friends, because we're the only two people at the conference who knew anything about accessibility. So So you know, we really kind of hit it off pretty quick. And, you know, from there, we became, you know, quick friends, and he had the idea to create a podcast. So we started CHAX Chat about two and a half years ago, I think. And then, ultimately, we ended up going into business with each other. So yeah.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Amazing, amazing. So we're gonna talk more about the podcast later on, that's for sure. People need to be listening to it. Every time a new episode gets posted, they need to be on that because I find it so useful. Even just certain concepts that may be in a document I haven't done in a in a while just because of the type of document I always get a refresher or I learn something new is a fantastic podcast. So we will definitely be chatting about that soon. But let's get into the good stuff. So can you explain digital accessibility and why it's crucial for professional communicators today to understand?

Dax Castro:

Well, I think Go ahead.

Chad Chelius:

Well, no, I mean, I think you're gonna get roughly the same answer from both of us.

Dax Castro:

Either one of us we have drink the same Kool Aid, I promise you.

Chad Chelius:

I mean, fundamentally, you know, when we're talking about digital accessibility, I mean, you you can create the connection to accessibility in the lived environment as well. Right. I mean, you know, one of the things you'll hear Dax and I say, is that accessibility benefits everybody, you know, and if you if you boil it down to like, a very simple explanation, you know, curb cuts that we're all familiar with, on the corner of every street in every city, you know, we're put there primarily for people in wheelchairs, right. But, you know, moms with strollers, delivery, guys delivering food to restaurants, they all really appreciate those curb cuts. So when we talk about digital document accessibility, it's one of the big reasons why I got into this industry to begin with, because when I realized that documents that I was creating, may not be able to be read by all people. That really bothered me, right? Like, I'm like, Well, why would I not want everybody to read my content. So digital document accessibility is fundamentally building a document. So that no matter who is reading that document, whether they be sighted, whether they be non-sighted, whether they be colourblind, whether they be low vision, mobility impaired, cognitive impairments, they're all going to be able to read that document. Right. And to explain to our listeners, maybe some of you may not be familiar with it. But you know, people with disabilities use assistive technology to read those documents. And it's basically software that, in many cases will read the document to them, right? So certainly, you know, classic example is somebody who's non-sighted, the software is going to read the document and voice it to them. And so that allows somebody without vision to be able to consume that content the same way that a sighted user can. So at its core, it's about creating our digital documents to make sure that anybody, regardless of their impairment, can read those documents.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Excellent. Excellent. So what are some common myths or misconceptions, if you will, when it comes to creating accessible documents that you tend to hear when you're speaking at conferences, or that you know, professional communicators tend to reach out and be like, Ah, this is why we don't make them accessible?

Dax Castro:

Well, it's interesting because we find that you know, a lot of people say, well, accessibility is too hard. Or if I have to make it accessible, I've got to, say, dumb it down or make it plain, or I can't do my fa...fancy graphic design. But the reality is that you can do 95% of anything you want to do in a document and it will still be accessible. You just have to learn the techniques to get there. You can use millions of colours in your document. We see we hear this all the time people like oh, well I have to I can only be black and white or you don't have to make it really plain. No, there's millions of colours you can use. The difference is you can only use certain colours together, right? If I'm going to use yellow as my base font, which is a one we see all the time. Yellow against a white background isn't going to be a compliance situation. session. So you don't use it against the white background, if you want to use yellow text, you got to put it on something a little darker than the white background. And, you know, that goes along with I could cite a bunch of different examples. But it's that kind of thing where, you know, people think accessibility is hard only because they're considering it at the end of their design process, or they're not willing to make a small change to make something they've been doing in the past that's not accessible, accessible for people moving forward.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

So you mentioned that was just some of the, you know, one example. So let's talk about some of those basic steps and making a document accessible from the ground up. What are some easy wins that individuals can start doing today, when they're creating their documents?

Chad Chelius:

Yeah, that's a really good question. And, and so, you know, I think it's important for our listeners to know that not all source applications are created equal, right? Like, you can't, you can't do this from any old application. However, most of the applications that many of our listeners are using can actually do that. And, you know, Microsoft Word is one of the better programs that you can use to generate a accessible PDF from that program. PowerPoint in a little bit, much limited way. Yeah. PowerPoint has some of those features, but it's not nearly as good as word. So I mean, you can, you can boil it down into a couple of simple steps. The first thing we recommend is, when you're building your document, everybody who creates a document, they typically will add headings in that document for different sections of the document. So if you use Styles in Word, so when I say that many people say, Oh, I didn't know word had styles, right? And that's okay. But if you find the Styles pane in Microsoft Word, you're gonna see in the Styles pane, there are default heading styles called Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, Heading 4, if you use those heading styles, and you can customize those styles, by the way, you don't have to keep them the way that they are by default. But anyway, if you use those default heading styles, that will add heading structure in the PDF file that you generate from work. And the reason that's so important, is because if you think about this as a sighted user, when we read documents, we typically scan the headlines, right? Whether it be a newspaper, or an online article, or a flyer, whatever it may be, we typically scan those headlines. Non-sighted users do the same thing when using assistive technology. Right. So they will read the headings to determine if that section is something they want to read more about. The headings create landmarks in the document that allow them to efficiently navigate through the document. Without headings, you're basically saying, okay, read this document from beginning to end. I'm not going to tell you what each section is about, I just want you to read it from beginning to end. And that's not a great experience. So so using Styles in Word, probably one of the biggest things you could do. The second biggest thing I would say, is if you add imagery to your document, so graphics, photos, charts, graphs, you need to describe them. Because somebody who's low vision or does not have sight, those figures, there's no information contained in those figures that tell them what it's about. So you and I, as the author need to describe those figures. And I'll boil it down to those two steps. I would say if you do those two things, it's going to really put you on a very good path towards creating a a fairly accessible file, you know, when you export to PDF. Do you want to add anything Dax?

Unknown:

Well, I think one thing to remember is you touched on this early on is that not every program is ix can be can export accessible content. If you're a lot of companies base all their content on Google on Google Docs, and Google Docs, while there are plugins out there that help you, it is not the best workflow to create a Google Doc and then try to make an accessible PDF out of it. Because it just doesn't come out very well. And you have to do a bunch of extra work at the end to try to make it accessible. And then that's where people are like, well, this is really hard. No, you started with a platform that's problematic. And yeah, it's Canva is another one that's out there right now, that is really hard to it's really easy to use, because people are like, hey, it's an online platform. I can throw together a flyer or a marketing piece really quickly, but try to make that accessible. It's a nightmare. There's a company we know called Venngage, V-E-N-N-G-A-G-E. And they have a platform very similar to Canva. But they they went through a couple about a year ago, they went through a redesign, and they said, Okay, we're at a point where we're going to either go one direction or the other. And so they decided to make accessibility and the content being able to be exported, accessibly, part of their core development path. And so now in their program, you can export that, that, you know, web designed flyer, as accessible as, as you could out of InDesign or any other program. In fact, what I thought was really cool, Chad was just talking about describing your charts and graphs, if you build the charts or graphs inside Venngage, it actually uses AI to come up with that description. And it does a really good job, I'm the first person to say you should not use automatically generated anything. But I will say that because you're developing the charter graph inside Venngage. It looks at trends, it looks at the data, it can analyze your table that you created that line graph from and really give you some pretty incredible results. I was pretty, pretty impressed by that.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Amazing, amazing. And that sort of leads in really well into the next question about tools and software. What do you recommend for professional communicators when it comes to checking the accessibility of documents and also creating them? And on top of that, is it the same for Macs and PCs?

Dax Castro:

Well, I'll talk about the tools and then Chad, you can talk about the Macs and PCs. Right. So the tool, the one tool that we always tell people to start with is the tools that are built in. So word has the Microsoft Accessibility Checker, it is does not mean that if you pass that check your your documents accessible, it means that based on Word's, limited understanding of accessibility, it has passed what we call no significant barrier. So start there use Word's checker, if you're in Microsoft in PowerPoint, you have that same ability to run that checker. If you're an Acrobat, use the accessibility checker inside acrobat. Those are great starting points. But where it starts to get a little bit more complicated is that when you really consider the user experience, versus just simply passing a checker, that's where knowledge starts to come into play. And word trainers like Chad and I can really help your organization's figure out what it means to have an accessible document versus simply passing the check. Chad?

Chad Chelius:

Yeah, so I mean, you know, one of the things that Dax and I say quite a bit is that there are third-party products out there that are designed to help you through this process. I will I'll go on record to say that no program natively does a perfect job. None of them you know, Word, PowerPoint, Adobe InDesign. Amazing program, one of my one of the main programs that I use, they all fall short. And so for that reason, Dax and I both leverage plugins to kind of get us to the finish line, right, so that I so that we could work more efficiently and get the job done faster. You know, some of them do want me to talk about some of those products.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah, for sure.

Chad Chelius:

Yeah. So if you're using Word, Dax and I are both a big fan of a product called axesWord. That's a A-X-E-S Word. It's a plugin for Microsoft Word and really does an amazing job of, you know, kind of getting you to the finish line. Another product called axesPDF. We use that product to to remediate PDF files directly. So sometimes clients will give us PDF files and say make this compliant it's not the ideal solution because we're already... Dax and I would say the cakes already baked right? You know, once we have the PDF file, cakes already baked in now I got to work with what I'm given. So access PDF allows us to fix a lot of the problems in those files. And then, if you're a graphic designer, like me, like Dax, we use Adobe InDesign. There's a fantastic plugin for InDesign called Made To Tag, and Made To Tag is a plugin for InDesign that again, I I do not make PDFs out of InDesign anymore without Made To Tag. So some other ones for people to consider. There's a really cool...So you had also asked me about the platform, right? So every so axesWord, axesPDF, Windows only. The PAC checker, which we use to evaluate our files, Windows only. Another product out there that I would say is like kind of at the top of the capability list would be CommonLook; CommonLook is also Windows only. Another product out there called GracklePDF, Windows only. And that's a fairly new product from a company called GrackleDocs, which is a very great product as well. And then there's one product that is Mac-based, and it's called PDFix. It's a company out of, I'm going to get this wrong, but it's out of Europe. I don't want to say the wrong thing. But it is actually Mac based. So it's the only product that I know of that is actually Mac based, although Made To Tag is both Mac and Windows. So that that can be either or. So those are some of the products that we use, like as as professionals, because trying to do it using the source document and only Acrobat. It's just the hard way, and it just takes too much time. So we leverage third-party products to speed that up and do it more efficiently.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Excellent. And I'll put make sure to have all those tools and software that you mentioned in the description of this.

Chad Chelius:

I know it's a bunch.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Right? That's that's always that misconception of like, well, where do I even begin? I don't even know what the products are. So easy access. That's what we got to do. Yeah, Dax, go ahead.

Unknown:

Well, you know, one thing to remember is all these tools help us do it faster. There, you really need to have a core understanding of the basic concepts of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. And, you know, there, we've got a document called WCAG in Plain English, the web content accessibility guideline kind of explained, in layman's terms for documents. It's a great handout, because it is a little complex. But without that basic knowledge of understanding how to apply these tools, it can really be overwhelming when you jump into a program like common look. And you and there's all these things and you're like, oh my gosh, yes, this is a great tool. But how do I use it. And so remember that you start small, like Chad said, right? You styles, use alt text, you describe your images get that far. And you're 60% of the way there. And then the rest of it is stuff that you will you will learn as you go we we always say some accessibility is better than no accessibility. So being able to find those easy, quick wins is a great way to start your journey without feeling like oh my gosh, how do I do all this stuff? Because it's, it's a lot and it can be overwhelming.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah, that's a, that's a great point. And also that the same progress over perfection, you're not meant to, you're not going to be perfect right out the gate, right. But implementing those steps along the way, you'll get better and better and better. And you may never be perfect, because it's always changing and evolving as the technology and the software changes. But always being part of that evolution and staying up to date, you'll always have that progress in place. So I love that you said that

Dax Castro:

100% Agree.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

So how can organizations ensure that their digital content from either the websites all the way to PDFs meet the accessibility standards?

Unknown:

Well, I think there's a difference between meeting the standard and being a good user experience. No one's ever going to sue you or have an issue with your documents, because you didn't meet a standard, they're gonna have an issue with you or give you a demand letter, or you have their lawyers contact you because they couldn't get access to the information. So the standards help us get there. They give us a common platform or a common level of understanding of what it means to have an accessible document. But really, understanding the user experience I think is the first thing that you should do. Make sure you you have a good concept of how a person using a screen reader would navigate the document. What is it to use a screen magnifier? When you have to use a screen magnifier because not everybody who uses assistive technology is blind, right? Some people just have low vision and they'll use a screen reader to enlarge the screen. And when they do that, your columns and how you align things on the page really can affect how much swiping a person using a screen magnifier has to do if you have a two column layout on a document, you have now doubled the amount of swipes that they have to do to read through that content versus having a single column layout where there's you know have as many swipes to go back and forth to read each of those lines. So again, you know, understanding that user experience, I think is the first thing that you should do to really get an idea of what it means to have an accessible document. The second thing, I think, would be passing those checkers. And And finally, I think, I think not even finally, but along the way, getting the training to really have the knowledge to feel confident because we talked to so many organizations, right Chad, that say, the Acrobat Checker, all we need to do is pass the Acrobat Checker. That's, that's for accessible, right, and they just don't understand that that's a great starting point.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah.

Dax Castro:

But you could be completely still a train wreck of a document, your document could be nothing but paragraph tags in your document, and pass the checker. And it makes a terrible user experience.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

That's very true. I was at a conference recently, and somebody was talking about even PAC the PDF accessibility checker, that their document, which was about 20 pages pass pack, but the only tag that it had were all P tags, because it was tagged and passed, right. So understanding and learning what you need to look for to ensure that it's actually user friendly, not just, you know, passing that check, and getting that checkmark is so key to ensure that your documents are accessible.

Chad Chelius:

One of the things that Dax and I say all the time is that compliance is a combination of automated and manual checks, because neither one of them alone is going to be sufficient. Right? Like as a human. I'm going to miss things, I'm going to make mistakes. And an automated checker, I always say the checkers are fairly dumb, right? Like, like they, they can check for certain things. But as you just pointed out, like, it's only looking for everything to have a tag. And if every tag is a P tag, it says, you're good to go, you know, thumbs up, you're good to go. When in reality, that's not a good user experience at all. So yeah, it's, you know, accessibility is not without its challenges, but it's something that can be learned by everybody. And the more you do it, the more knowledge you gain, the easier it becomes. Right? I mean, Dax and I've been doing this for a long time. And, you know, we we've gotten, I'd like to think we got pretty good at it.

Dax Castro:

Well, it's funny, there's this, there's this point that one of the matrix is one of my most favorite movies. And there's this point where the the operator is sitting there looking at the screens with all of the matrix code, kind of streaming down the screens. And Neil walks in, and he says, How do you? Do you even understand that? He goes, Yeah, I don't even notice it anymore. I just see blonde, brunette, redhead, right? He's like, he just sees the code chat. And I, I really think that when I look at the PDF, and I open what we call the tags tree, or all of the accessibility tags, and the PDF document, I it just sings to me, I can just tell what they did, how they created it, what program they used, if they how they designed a certain element, just based on the tags and the the order of the tags. But that just takes time, right? I mean, that just takes 1000s and 1000s and 1000s of documents, right?

Chad Chelius:

If you can be a fly on the wall, when one of us is evaluating the document will be like going down this accurate, like, wrong, wrong, wrong. What the heck is this? You're definitely that's typically what you'll hear from us, you know? So it's always interesting, you know, when we're when we're going through it, but he's right. I mean, like, we can almost tell which program created the file based on the tag structure. You know, it's kind of bizarre.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

That's...I find it interesting how there are certain telltale signs that different software will put in that you can learn that I know I've had to remediate something from Canva. And I just screamed why are there like so many nested tags just to get to sort of things. So it's really interesting to see that and then getting to the point where you can really tell where things are coming from and all that is a skill set that I'm hoping to get to one day like you too, that's for sure.

Unknown:

Well, you know, there we talked about some of those tools tools like CommonLook, right, so, so think of a PowerPoint file. Anytime you create a piece of text, it gets exported correctly as text, but the moment you give it a coloured box, a background or a stroke or anything to the box. PowerPoint does not understand how to export just the text and leave the box on its own. InDesign does a much better job at that. PowerPoint will export a figure which is the the tag for the box itself. And then inside that figure, it'll export the paragraph or the text. The problem is assistive technology doesn't like that. And it creates a whole series of problems. But if you have a tool like CommonLook, you can save yourself literally an hour's worth of work, moving all those things around and correcting it by simply going into common look and saying, Hey, find all of my paragraphs, who are nested inside a figure tag, and pull them out. And in literally one phrase and a couple of clicks, you've done your entire document, it's that kind of level of understanding that when you can understand how the tags are, how what you want them to be, then you can use these third-party tools to make that hour long job to be literally a minute.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

That's...And I think it goes back to understanding the basics of it so that you know what to look for. And yes, get to that point. So, you know, if some folks may be listening and thinking, oh, you know, well, I'll just get one of these third-party apps to assist me with this. But you need to know the basics to know what you're going to be using that third party app for and yeah, diving in headfirst, and being like, well, what does that?

Chad Chelius:

I mean, CommonLook is a great example of that. And with CommonLook, we always say, with increased power comes increased responsibility, because as powerful as CommonLook, is, you can hose your document equally as fast using common look, if you don't know what you're doing, you know, yep. So you're really, you know, CommonLook is tricky, because it's so powerful, but you really need to understand the tag structure. If you're still not solid on the tag structure, I would not recommend CommonLook for anybody, because it's just, it's like giving a brand new driver, a Ferrari. You know what I mean? You know, it's just too much power. You know, for somebody who's not familiar with it.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah.

Dax Castro:

But the nice thing is, is that when you run the checker in CommonLook, it gives you like, hey, we noticed this, here's three different ways you can fix this, pick one, and usually the first way it tells you to fix it is the right way. But like Chad said, great power comes great responsibility. If you pick one of those other ones, and you apply it to 50 other areas in that document, you have now either done a great thing, or completely hosed your document. And there is no, there is Undo in CommonLook, for sure. But there's no save as just like, such a crazy, like you get in the middle of something you're like, I'm not sure if I should do this or not, can I just save this as a different copy? So that I can go back and have a launching point? And you can't?

Chad Chelius:

Yeah, like every other program in the free world has Save As, right like every program, right? And so like when you use CommonLook, you always have to get into a totally different mode. Like normally what I do is I'll duplicate my file, before I open it in CommonLook so that I always have an exit strategy, in case something goes haywire, right? In case I screw things up. But like in normal programs, you kind of do your thing. And you say, say that right? Save a copy of it. Not in CommonLook. It's bizarre. It's an I, I, I can't believe that programmatically. It's that hard to implement. But it just doesn't exist. It's crazy. Yeah.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Shifting gears a little bit, we talked about the end user experience being sort of the priority and key for a document to really be accessible, right? Because you can say it's accessible. But if the end user can't access it, then is it accessible to them? Not really. What are some examples that you think of how inaccessible content can negatively impact a brand or organization?

Chad Chelius:

Well, I mean, I think we're where we're running into this right now, is with social media, right? You know, there's all these brands out there who are very active on social media, but what a lot of people don't realize, like, you know, Instagram, for example, right? Instagram is entirely image based, right? And, you know, you know, you know, Dax and I have had people, you know, that we've been talking to and they're like, really, blind people are on Instagram. And we're like, Well, yeah, they they enjoy it just as much as we do, right? But, but they can't enjoy it. If we don't describe those images, right?

Unknown:

Or enough for you stuff a million hashtags in your alt text. This is a big problem right now, where people are using what we call Blackhat techniques, like hey, alt texts describe my image, okay? Hashtag this hashtag that like 50 hashtags in alt text. And so if a person using assistive technology wants to hear the description of what the image is They get just a word salad of hashtags, versus the actual description of what's going on in the video. I see this a lot. And like, when there's an action happening in a video that isn't really apparent, right, kids can be playing in a park and the water and you say, you know, or, you know, the description for your social media posts might say, just say, another wet day at the park. And you would think, Oh, they must be playing in the water, but it's really your dog. So it's a picture of a dog slobbering all over a ball, but you didn't describe the image. So the the description of the the, the post doesn't really match the the actual image in the in the thing? So, yeah, definitely social media.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah.

Chad Chelius:

I mean, that's where it could negatively affect the brand, right? Because, you know, if you're, you know, whatever your company is, you know, and you're trying to, you know, portray your brand, and you're not describing, you know, the images that you're posting, you know, you're, you're excluding people from that experience, you know, there was, there was a situation and I can't remember who it was that you might remember, but they were hiding messages in the alt text of their images. Do you remember this Matisse

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

I'm literally trying to Google...

Unknown:

It's McDonald's. So it was, it was McDonald's did a little arrow down to the alt text pointing to the alt text button inside Twitter. And they were using it for an unintended purpose. And they got kind of a bunch of backlash for improper use of alt text like like not, and not understanding that this is a real feature that affects real people, and that it's really important. And they got, they got hoodsport. On the flip side of that, NASA has done a, it's hot and cold. NASA is a big organization. And they post all these great photos of you know, stellar images and things that telescopes have taken. But if you go on their social media, some of their alt text is amazing, very well described. And they've gotten a lot of great social media press for it. But then you look a little farther down. And it's just back to possible image of sunglasses when it's choose to star side by side or something because no one bothered to actually write alt text for the for the description, so your brand can be positively impacted by doing a good thing. State Farm. There's a bank in Canada, it's red. Tell me the banks that ScotiaBank, ScotiaBank does a major great job at doing acts of of incorporating accessibility

into everything they do:

video campaigns, making sure their contents accessible, all of that. As an organization, you can get a lot of really great press if you just consider accessibility as part of your culture, and not just something you talk about on Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah, exactly, exactly. There was also a really interesting example that Dr. Georgia Carroll put out recently on LinkedIn, I've been following it as an F1 fan or Formula One fan, where she talked about how on race day, I think it was some I think it's in like 2% of the content put out from f1. And the individual teams had alternative text to it. So for example, the f1 posted the race schedule, and also the standings from that race, and there was no alt text. And then she kind of sort of called them out on it, and also the teams and then the next race week, they just said, you know, here's the standing and just wrote race standings as the ultimate...

Unknown:

Yeah. Right. It's like, that doesn't tell you anything. Right. Right.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

So it's, it's not just, you know, the small businesses that need to think about this. It's also the larger organizations and companies as well, when it comes to digital accessibility, particularly on social media. You know, you have those fans with disabilities who love F1 and engage with it. But if they can't do that on social because they don't get the information that they deserve, and should be getting through the alt text. So I find that really interesting. And something that you know, when I speak at conferences, and also, you know, Beyonce got sued. Rhianna for Fenty, and they're like, oh, Beyonce, not Beyonce, and you're like, yeah, it's because something as simple as alternative text wasn't there on their website.

Unknown:

Well, and you talk about, you know, kind of moving a little bit to DEI, right Lizzy got, actually someone called her out on social media for using a what we consider, I guess, probably a negative or derogatory term in one of her songs. She immediately went back to the studio and re-recorded that section and re released the song saying, hey, as a large person, I would never want someone to feel that kind of way. And so I took great care to make sure and so it's people like that, that hey, we make mistakes, right? We're gonna say something wrong, you might call someone, you might say, Oh, that's a blind person, when really you should say that's a person who is blind, right? For people first language, you're gonna make mistakes. But if you if you at least learn from them or acknowledge them, I think you do a great service to yourself. And to the idea that this is a journey, we always say accessibility is a journey, you're going to start at one place and be farther along every year as long as you do the work.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So usually, when it comes to legal requirements, businesses and organizations and professional communicators are guilty of this thing. Okay. Well, it's just my website, forgetting that websites also house documents.

Dax Castro:

Right.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Right? So what legal requirements do companies need to be aware of when it comes to their document accessibility?

Unknown:

Well, depends on what you're talking about. Now, I know that you're in Canada, right? So you have AODA, right? AODA says that if your your organization is more than 50 employees, whether it's private or public, your content must be accessible. That includes your documents and your web content. And the United States, currently, the we just had legislation that was released by the DOJ saying that document and web accessibility now was covered under the Title II of Americans with Disabilities Act. So Ada is now absorbed, the the, the I don't know if the teeth is the right way to call it but the acknowledgement that accessibility is now not just federal and state agencies, but but everyone that you as a private as a company could be sued on the grounds of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or even the Unruh Act. And and all of that to say that the short answer is if you're putting content out on the web, especially documents, or, you know, videos, or other things that people are digesting, be prepared, make sure it's accessible, because if not in the United States, you're gonna get sued, in Canada, you get fined. And in fact, one of the situations says that, uh, you are a manager, and you can be personally fined for for knowingly, when it's when you can prove that that manager knowingly thumbed their nose at accessibility up to $50,000. That's a that's a big risk for someone who's a mid-level manager in charge of, you know, content on the web.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Exactly. And that's just not we're just talking North America right now. But like Ireland, for example, their accessibility legislation has jail time associated with it.

Dax Castro:

Wow. I did not know that learn, always learning. Right? That is that is something new. And you know, and then, of course, en 301549, to be very complicated about the title, I wish they'd come up with something different. But the European accessibility legislation is just, you know, they just re-released kind of their new, their new, new thing, but they have a committee that is in charge of reviewing. Whereas in the United States, it's kind of like, well, organizations can hire a lawyer and sue, but in the EU, you can...there is literally is an oversight organization now in charge of reviewing and and managing accessibility rights for organizations and for people.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah, yeah. And I think everyone needs to sort of look at wherever you're listening to this, what is the legislation requirement in your organization, or in your country, and in a lot of cases, it's at least referring back to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG, 2.0. At least, I know, here in Ontario, AODA is from 2.0, because it was created so many years ago. But what CAG is now at 2.2. So if you are just starting to implement, try to create your content in association with 2.2. So at least your future proofing it as much as possible for when, you know, at some point 3.0 comes out.

Unknown:

Right. Well, the nice thing is the difference between 2.0, 2.1, and 2.2, pretty small. There are things about reflow and or... repeating content and maybe hit side the size of your buttons and checkboxes and things. But overall, if you start at 2.0, you're gonna be at a great point to move forward. And what we you know, people, most people are not going to sue you because your hitbox was too small, they're gonna see you because I open the document and there's no tags at all. So yeah, get to that base level, and then improve from there.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Exactly, exactly. Back to documents and creating the documents, not necessarily the heading structure and that sort of thing. But we always hear, and Chad, you touched on this as well. Well, when it comes to creating my documents, if I'm being accessible, I'm losing design and it's going to be boring, and it's going to be you know, black and white and nothing fancy. How do accessibility considerations impact the design process of digital documents and And can you be creative when you are creating documents?

Chad Chelius:

Yeah, I mean, I mean, the answer is absolutely. And the way you do it is by being creative, right? Like, that's the secret, right? So, your your designers, right? Like your creative people, you just have to get creative, right? You know, there are, you know, I use this example, we went out to a restaurant recently. And they handed us the menu, the menu was printed on yellow paper. And all of the headings were yellow. Now, I was like, I was like, Ummm...problem, like, even if you're not even thinking about accessibility, like, as a designer, right? That should be front and center, right, you should be paying attention to that, right. And so as a designer, you just have to get creative. There are a number of tools out there, I would recommend check out Adobe Color. The website is color.adobe.com. You can plug in colours, it tells you if you have any low contrast or colourblind barriers. As well TPGi is colour contrast analyzer is a good way to evaluate colour as well. Dax and I have a script that we wrote for InDesign, that generates friendly colour combinations from all the colors in your Swatches panel. So if you, you know, if you add colours that you want to use, and you run this, it will show you the colour combinations that you can use in your documents. So there are tools out there, there are ways to do it, you just have to pay attention.

Dax Castro:

In fact, the script goes a little bit farther in that if you want to compare just to with tints, like if you want to say okay, I want to use blue, and I want to use purple one, tints can and so it will build a chart based on 10% increments and show you hey, if I want to use purple, I need to use 30% blue, right, and so then that's a good colour combination, and then it'll tell you which ones don't pass. So it's a really great way to explore colour. WebAIM has a colour contrast checker that's free, that's web-based. In fact, what's really cool is the eyedropper actually works from the browser across any document you have open on your screen. So you know a lot of these tools are PC only. This is one that it doesn't matter. Because if you're on a Mac or a PC, you can sample that colour contrast, you know, throughout. So yeah, there's definitely some good colour contrast, good colour tools out there. And if you use Illustrator, most people don't know that there is a colourblind car simulator inside Illustrator. So if you go to Preview, to print, preview, and then change the mode, you can change that mode to Deuteranopia or protanopia. And really, you could use either one that's really close to the same, but it's gonna let you know if you've got colours that are potentially colorblind barriers for people looking at your graph.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Excellent. And I think this is this ties in really well to the next question in terms of how can PR professionals integrate accessibility into their content strategy from the outset? So considering colour right off the bat, if they're creating a social media calendar or campaign, right, there are all these tools available, but what else? What...What else would you recommend?

Chad Chelius:

Well, I mean, colour is the easy one, right? I mean, colour. Colour is one of the things that Dax and I tell people to do at the very, very, very beginning. Like, as you're picking colours, as you're choosing colours for your design, make sure that they they have minimum colour contrast, and make sure that they're colourblind friendly, right? Do that at the outset. Right before you move on. Because if you wait until the end, it's hard. That's when it gets hard. Right. So colour is a big one. You know, again, it a lot of it depends on which program you're using, right. But with all of the products, there are some fundamental steps you can take to make sure that when you make a PDF from those applications, that your your PDF will. That's the difference between being accessible and compliant. Right. And they're not mutually exclusive that each one of them has value, right. And a document can be accessible without being compliant. And so so by taking some fundamental basic steps, you can, you know, you can get there, it's really not super hard.

Unknown:

I would say the biggest thing you can do is really set your designers up for success. And this is what we teach. We have this product we call workflow evaluation. We basically interview all your, all your teams to figure out how you're doing things and then tell you How you can inject accessibility along the way, and kind of give you a battle plan. But one of the key points we always say is that you should always have a brand style guide that considers accessibility. Take the pressure off the designers show them, hey, when you use these four colours as text, here are the combinations you can use for background colour, or this is the size of our heading structure, or these are our first tier colours. And these are our second tier colours, empower them with the decision that with the knowledge to know that the decisions already been made on how to use colour from an organization standpoint, because then you're not the the end designer is not struggling, maybe not always, in every situation, there might be certain situations where like, well, I'm building this chart, and it's not one of these colours. But for the majority of decisions, it's not a decision, it's looking it up in the guideline and saying, "Oh, if I'm using this, then this is what I do." And that just makes it so much easier than trying to kind of basically reinvent the wheel every time you design a document.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah. Yeah. And um, what? When it comes to documents and the creation process, you know, if we look at documents from 20 years ago, when they were accessible for 20 years ago, versus you know, 10 years ago versus today, right? Some people think that accessibility is a one and done well, I've made it accessible for that, that moment in time, I'm good for the future. How does creating accessible content and the evolution of it with the advancements in technology have either helped or hindered the legacy documents that are on our website? And what should organizations really be considering when it comes to that legacy content?

Unknown:

Chad, you want to talk about the length of alt text and how that's changed over the years? I think that'd be a good.

Chad Chelius:

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I mean, I will say before we go too far, I mean, if you made your document compliant within the realm of WCAG, your document is mostly future-proofed. Right? I mean, it's not like, you know, you know, we reach 30 years after the date, and all of a sudden, it doesn't work anymore. You know what I mean? I think for the most part, you know, you're in good shape. But, but alt text is a great example, Dax, where what used to happen was, we always recommend for alt text, keep the alt text as concise as you can, while still sufficiently describing what the image is about, right? And part of the reason is, because as your alt text gets lengthy, the experience somewhat diminishes. Because a lot of assistive technology will keep repeating the word graphic, every so many words, if I don't know what the number is off the top of my head, but let's say it reads 256 characters. And then after that, it keeps repeating the word graphic when you have really lengthy text, right? Dax and I've seen examples where people write like a short novel, of old text, you know what I mean? Ever, like, whoa, like, that's a little excessive, you know. So, the problem with alt text is, the experience is not robust. There's no structure in alt text, you can't include hyperlinks in alt text. It's really just like reading notepad. Right? And, and so you want to try to provide the user with the best experience possible. Now, more recently, we've noticed that the screen readers have kind of adjusted the way that they the way that they voiced that, right Dax?

Unknown:

Well, the so going back, so it used to be that a screen reader would cut off your text, you've only had a certain amount of characters to actually voice. And so we used to say, it should be two to three sentences, 250 characters, I've even heard people say 150 characters. And the reason is, because back in the old days, I can say that back in the old days, or the olden days.

Chad Chelius:

You just showed your age.

Dax Castro:

I know. You said just cut off the alt text, you'd get to a certain point, it would just stop reading. Right. So if you designed a document in 2010, the old texts that you could have put in for that bar chart or line graph or whatever, was very minimal. Now today, all texts can be much longer, you will, as Chad said, hurt hear the word graphic to let the user know, hey, you're still in the description for this image. But you can go up to 1,200 or 1,500 characters. I do not recommend that. But the idea is that the user experience has changed. So now if I need three or four sentences, I can do that in all tech. So whereas you might have had a document you did in 2010, if it was compliant and a good you user experience that alt text was bar chart showing, you know, sales for 2025 at 12 million. But in today's technology, because assistive technologies might, you know, has advanced, you could say showing and then go through five different months worth of data points. So So I think there is some some difference things like title tags, and table summaries, and, and captions all have evolved over time to allow for a different user experience as the programs have gotten better. Well, if I had 10,000 documents on my website, I don't think I'm going back to all the ones that are done before 2015 and revamping them, but maybe, maybe you look at the ones that are the most downloaded off of your website and say, okay, these 100, we're going to solve. And we're going to make sure that they are current and up to date and have good user experiences, and kind of move in that direction.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Excellent.

Chad Chelius:

And a lot of people, you know, Dax and I specialize in training, like, you know, when we started our company, we started a company under the premise that we just want to help people, right. And, and, of course, we're trying to make a living doing this too. But But fundamentally, we're just trying to help people. And what we often encounter is, you know, we'll train people, and they're like, Oh, this is this is great. But they're like, but we currently have 500 PDFs on our website that are not accessible. And that can be really overwhelming for people, right? That they're like, on there under this mountain, other like, how can we possibly get caught up. And so just understand, like, like, companies, such as Dax, and myself, CHAX Training and Consulting, we offer remediation services to help clients get out from under that mountain, so that they can just start at a neutral playing field and say, Okay, from now on, we're going to make our documents accessible. Right? Certainly, there's a cost involved with it. But it's not, we're not talking six figures here. You know, we're, you know, the cost of it is a way for you to get out from under that mountain of documents, so that you could start at a place where you can just focus on what you're creating, moving forward.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Excellent. Excellent. So from your perspectives, being in this industry for so long, and being sort of the top tier go to experts, in my opinion, when it comes to this sort of stuff.

Dax Castro:

Oh, thank you.

Chad Chelius:

Awww you're making me blush.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Listeners can't see it, but they are blushing. I've done it. Do you see in digital accessibility that you think professional communicators should prepare for?

Dax Castro:

I don't know. Do you want to answer first you want me to go?

Chad Chelius:

Mine will probably be shorter. So I didn't mean that... I didn't

Unknown:

If you could see the scowl. If looks could kill, you'd be lying on the floor?

Chad Chelius:

No, like, I think what I would say is like accessibility legislation is coming. Right, like, and so there's a lot of companies out there who are just kind of like pushing this off. They're like, let's kick the can down the road. We'll deal with it later. We listen to federal agencies have done this for years. You know what I mean? Like, you know, I've gone into federal agencies, and we'll do like a quick introduction before class. And people are like, Oh, well, now that it's a law, we need to make our document accessible. I'm like, What, whoa, whoa, whoa, it's been a law for 25 years, right? This is nothing like, they didn't just pop this on you. Right. This has been around for a long time. So but I would say like, for companies, like, I do feel like, you know, accessibility legislation is gonna get more stringent, you know, to me, and, you know, the writing's on the wall. Canada. You know, Ireland, as you mentioned, some other, you know, countries, you know, it's a thing, right, and they've created legislation around the lived environment. And we've had that for some time. It's only a matter of time until digital documents catch up. And so I would encourage people, you know, jump on this early so that it's not such a shock to your system, right? Start implementing things early, that are going to benefit you moving forward so that when this legislation does happen, or when things get more stringent, you're not totally blindsided by it, you're already, you know, you're already putting forth the initiative to make it happen.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah

Chad Chelius:

Go ahead. Thanks.

Unknown:

So I think there's a couple of trends that I think are interesting. So first of all, the one trend that's out there on the tip of everybody's tongue right now, which is AI, and how is AI going Need to improve accessibility? I know we're very close ties to Adobe, we consult for them on a regular basis. And one of the things they've been actually making some pretty groundbreaking improvements on is the ability to autotag the documents inside Adobe Acrobat. And so it used to be, and I will just say this plainly garbage. And it was not great. And we tell people never click autotag, they're starting to starting to use AI in a much more productive environment way to now evaluate that document and get much better results. Is it perfect? Nope, they got a long way to go. But it's much better on most simple documents, you can autotag a document and be 90% correct. And I think that's huge. Whereas before, if you add a table or anything other than just text, good luck, and even then the text didn't get tagged correctly. So I think AI is one of those things. So learning how to use AI to write alt text, I think is still in its infancy. Chat GPT 4.0, is doing a much better job in certain circles for coming up with alt text. But in other situations, it's still falling very short, and other people's engines still the same. I think we're gonna see an improvement. But I think that we're still a better ways from there. The other thing I think is as a trend in the accessibility world is getting training as an organization, we're seeing more and more organizations start building community areas of practice or building centres of excellence or having an accessibility program within their organization. As this becomes more and more of a requirement as a default, rather than a special consideration. Chad mentioned legislation, almost every state in the United States has some local level of accessibility requirements in the United in California, we have AD 434, and 1757. And in addition to the Unruh at the federal level, and the Title II at the federal level, so if you think that you're going to be you know, that, Oh, I'm a dentist, or I'm a doctor, or I just run a marketing firm, it doesn't really apply to me. You're gonna get a world according to DAX, I think in the next 10 years, you're gonna see that you are going to now be part of that group.

Chad Chelius:

Well, especially if you service the public, right? And that's really Yeah, like you said, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, and like all these companies who, who service the public, and you know, Dax you and I say all the time, other people do, too. Not every disability can be seen. Right. And I think that's where a lot of people get hung up. You know, we, Dax, and I hear this from all all the time. Oh, we don't have anybody at a company who's blind.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah.

Chad Chelius:

Okay. You got a lot of people at your company were in these things. And these are assistive devices to, you know what I mean? So I'm sorry, I'm helping

Unknown:

I'm sorry Chad. I'm helping you along the way. I'll help you remember that we're on on a podcast, not video. It's all good. Well, but but

Chad Chelius:

as we're doing the podcast, we could see each other. And so that makes me think that it's a video podcast. So I apologize, everybody, I was pointing to my glasses when I said that. You know, a lot of people forget that glasses or assistive devices. I've only worn glasses, I think for two years now. And I'm at a point where if I sit down in front of my computer without them, I can't see. I cannot see what I'm doing. You know, so. So I rely on those devices. So when when people in companies say that they're like, oh, there's nobody in our company who's blind? Yeah, but they can be low vision. They can be colourblind, you know, one of those users may not be aware that the biggest part of the population of users who are colorblind, are older white males.

Unknown:

Yeah. You know, so And who are those in our organizations, they're the CEOs, and C suites that are reviewing our charts, graphs and infographics and the big reports that we put out, and I will tell you, you you, I could never, I could never back this up. But if you put out a charter, a graph that is not colourblind friendly, and I'm reviewing your proposal, I'm going to be less inclined to pick you, you know, I gotta believe I'd be less inclined to pick your company versus someone else who considered my colourblindness and created a graphic because people don't want to disclose their disability. They don't want to have to disclose what's going on. And so and why should they use it?

Chad Chelius:

Exactly.

Dax Castro:

Yeah.

Chad Chelius:

Yeah.

Dax Castro:

You should just be accessible. Right?

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Yeah.

Chad Chelius:

Yep.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

This has been an absolutely amazing talk, and we've only chatted for an hour. You have your own podcast and I want folks to check it out and listen to it but I want you both to tell us... to speak to CHAX Chat a little bit more. So individuals who were listening can really buy now are probably like, I need everything they have to say, just a bit more of a promotion around CHAX Chat so they can actually listen to this more frequently and learn and grow and become more accessible as professional communicators. So take it away and tell us a little bit more about CHAX Chat.

Unknown:

Well, I will say that we have more than 50 hours of podcast I did, I did we have 115 episodes and counting are usually about 35 minutes long. They span all so not just deep dive into PDF documents, but we had a lawyer on just two weeks ago, or I'm not sure when this will air but several episodes ago that talked about the legal aspects of accessibility. We've had people from Adobe people with lived experiences, all sorts of things, not just document and deep dive, but then there's a fair bit of that too. You can find us on every podcast platform out there, if you just search CHAX or Chad Chelius. If you'd search Chelius or Dax, or CHAX, you're gonna find us, I've made sure that all of that's all all tagged and correct. But I would say Chad, I think following us on social media on on LinkedIn, especially look for Chad Chelius or Dax Castro there. And, you know, finally the website. Right, Chad?

Chad Chelius:

Yeah.

Dax Castro:

You know, we've got our classes on there. And maybe you could talk about that.

Chad Chelius:

Yeah, I mean, Dax and I, we put on a webinar every week. Well, mostly every week, I think we do about three weeks per month. We try to give ourselves a little bit of a break every now and then. But we we do webinars on various aspects of document accessibility. I'm sure not all specific to document accessibility, Dax, you do a really good one called designing with accessibility in mind. Yeah, you also do one called the secrets of writing effective alternate text. Yeah, those are great. Well attended. Yeah

Dax Castro:

yeah.

Chad Chelius:

I do Adobe InDesign, which is also another well attended webinar that we do. We also do accessibility for Word. We do...

Dax Castro:

Forms

Chad Chelius:

Forms. Yep. Yeah. So you know, we do a lot of different topics. And we're also always open to other topics, you know, if anybody has an idea of something they wish we would cover, just reach out to us, you know, because more than likely, we could accommodate them.

Unknown:

Well, and I'll tell you, this is why I'm the social media guy, and Chad's the trainer, the web address for our website to actually get there. Right after all that information, the web address is accessibilityunraveled.com. So that's accessibilityunraveled, U-N-R-A-V-E-L-E-D.com, and you can sign up for the classes there, you can download we have a handout called 10 things you can do to improve accessibility without being an expert, I highly recommend any of you who are new to accessibility, go download that form for free or that document for free. It's great to distribute within your organizations that you don't have to know all the technical ends. But there are simple things you can do to make your documents more accessible. So feel free to do that.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

And again, just like the other software, the website and the document will be available for download. If you look at the description of this podcast to make it easy for everybody. Thank you both so much for today, but before I let you go, this is PRN latte. So I do have to ask, what is your favorite go-to caffeinated beverage that gets you through the day?

Chad Chelius:

Oh my gosh. I mean, my my go to every morning I make a pour over. Right. So I grind my coffee fresh and I make a pour over that. That's kind of my go to. We also have a Nespresso machine. So like every now and then I'm like really hankering for something. Oh, I know you asked me for one but I'm giving you three. Dax sent me a Moka Pot. That is one of my favorites. I don't drink it all the time. That's more like a treat for myself. But you put like espresso in there. And then it like percolates and creates this really rich deep dark coffee. And if you want to do it right, you you like mix some sugar and like create like a paste of the sugar. And then you pour the milk over and it gets a nice crema on top. It's phenomenal.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

It's delicious.

Chad Chelius:

So for me a little I'll do a sidebar a bit. We have alpaca and one of our alpaca is named Maki and but it stands for caramel macchiato. So he could maki is caramel colored. So we are trying to think of a name and my favorite Starbucks is caramel macchiato a quad. So I do Carmo maki Got a quad. But at home, I drink Cafe Bustillo. I love that as a coffee. And I get both the beans and the ground. I usually have a bag of beans, and a can of ground just in case I don't feel like grinding it at the time. But again, I love the Moka Pot and I have a coffee press and a tea pot. So I do the instant hot water in like 90 seconds and use the press because I can get kind of better than a drip coffee but not quite as good as a Moka pot. It's kind of the in between. In fact, I actually have mine sitting here in my Oh, this has got to be a 32 ounce coffee mug. But, but yes, definitely a coffee aficionado.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

Amazing. Well, again, thank you both so much for being on today's episode. Again, all the links and products and software and tools that were mentioned. You'll find everything in the description of this podcast. But thank you both so much for sharing your insights and knowledge with me today.

Unknown:

Thanks so much for having us. It's been been super amazing.

Matisse Hamel-Nelis:

You've been listening to a special episode of the PR & Lattes podcast. Make sure you stay up to date on all things that are happening with PR & Lattes by visiting our website prandlattes.com. You can also follow us on social media@PRAndLattes on Instagram and PR& Lattes on LinkedIn. Thank you so much for listening to this special series in honour of Global Accessibility Awareness Day. We'll have a new episode for you each day this week focused on a different aspects around digital accessibility and communications. So make sure you're following PR & Lattes, wherever you listen to your podcasts. I've been your host Matisse Hamel-Nelis And I can't wait to share our next episode with you with a brand new latte. Until then, bye for now.