ACCESSIBILITY PLAN

The ASSITEJ Online platform allows us a unique opportunity to make events more accessible to members and friends of ASSITEJ around the world. It has been designed with maximum inclusion for differently abled participants, participants with different economic contexts, participants coming from different language backgrounds, and participants coming from areas with differing levels of internet access.

ASSITEJ International is aware that, despite our best efforts, there may be participants for whom the event is still not as accessible as we would like it to be. We are committed to learn and grow further to embrace digital tools that allow for further inclusion going forwards.

Despite our very best efforts to allow anybody to adjust the digital event platform to their needs, there may still be pages or sections that are not fully accessible, are in the process of becoming accessible, or are lacking an adequate technological solution to make them accessible. Still, we are continually improving our accessibility, adding, updating, improving its options and features, and developing and adopting new technologies. All this is meant to reach the optimal level of accessibility following technological advancements. As such, we warmly welcome your feedback and experiences via our email: help@assitejonline.org

Accessibility for Participants with Different Economic Contexts

Dependent on the event, some sessions may completely free to all members of the public (either via registration of a free user account on https://assitejonline.org) or via Facebook streaming to the official “ASSITEJ International” Facebook page.

At all ASSITEJ International events, delegates from the following countries are eligible to receive a discount on the purchase of Full Access tickets. At partner events, ASSITEJ International encourages festival and event organisers to extend discounted ticketing to the same list of countries.

Afghanistan – Albania – Algeria – American Samoa – Angola – Arab Rep. Egypt – Argentina – Armenia – Azerbaijan – Bangladesh – Belarus – Belize – Benin – Bhutan – Bolivia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Botswana – Brazil – Bulgaria – Burkina Faso – Burundi – Cabo Verde – Cambodia – Cameroon – Central African Republic – Chad – Colombia – Comoros – Congo, Republic of – Costa Rica – Côte d’Ivoire – Cuba – Democratic Republic of Congo – Djibouti – Dominica – Dominican Republic – Ecuador – El Salvador – Equatorial Guinea – Eritrea – Eswatini – Ethiopia – Fed Sts of Micronesia – Fiji – Gabon – Gambia, The – Georgia – Ghana – Grenada – Guatemala – Guinea – Guinea-Bissau – Guyana – Haiti – Honduras – India – Indonesia – Iran, Islamic Rep. – Iraq – Islamic Rep. – Jamaica – Jordan – Kazakhstan – Kenya – Kiribati – Korea Dem People’s Republic – Kosovo – Kyrgyz Republic – Lao PDR – Lebanon – Lesotho – Liberia – Libya – Madagascar – Malawi – Malaysia – Maldives – Mali – Marshall Islands – Mauritania – Mauritius – Mexico – Micronesia, Fed Sts – Moldova – Mongolia – Montenegro – Morocco – Mozambique – Myanmar – Namibia – Nauru – Nepal – Nicaragua – Niger – Nigeria – North Macedonia – Pakistan – Papua New Guinea – Paraguay – Peru – Philippines – Russian Federation – Rwanda – Samoa – São Tomé and Principe – Senegal – Serbia – Sierra Leone – Solomon Islands – Somalia – South Africa – South Sudan – Sri Lanka – St. Lucia – St. Vincent and the Grenadines – Sudan – Suriname – Syrian Arab Republic – Tajikistan – Tanzania – Thailand – The Gambia – Timor-Leste – Togo – Tonga – Tunisia – Turkey – Turkmenistan – Tuvalu – Uganda – Ukraine – Uruguay – Uzbekistan – Vanuatu – Venezuela, RB – Vietnam – West Bank and Gaza – Yemen, Republic of – Zambia – Zimbabwe

When applicable, the discount will apply automatically at checkout.

Accessibility for Participants Coming from Different Language Backgrounds

Contributors can offer their session in any language they choose. We always ask contributors if they are able to arrange for colleagues, volunteers, or their own professional interpreters if they require it. We are able to provide the technical support to make sure that contributor/volunteer translations integrate into the platform. This may be as a pre-recording of a session in a different language to the one that contributors will use live (which can appear on the session page at the same time as the live broadcast); translation of supplementary resources in any format (e.g., written or audio translation of recorded speech or written text); or having a simultaneous translator working alongside contributors during their sessions (which will be integrated into a different audio channel of the ZOOM broadcast).

Accessibility for Participants Coming from Areas with Differing Levels of Internet Access

The website has been created for desktop and mobile browser viewing in as many locations as possible. But there are some parts of the website service that may have problems in certain countries due to local laws and international regulations. We are happy to work directly with delegates and/or National Centres to provide alternative access to those coming from countries where certain elements may be blocked.

All Known Issues are Listed Here:
  • Our Customer Service Channel (receiving all messages sent to us via the ‘Help’ widget on https://assitejonline.org) will/may not work in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Crimea (Ukraine). Any FAQ help pages of the website may also not work in these countries. If you are from any of these countries, please send an email to techsupport@assitejonline.org if you require help.
  • Our Live Events will take place on ZOOM which users from Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and some regions of Ukraine (Crimea, Luhansk, Donetsk regions) will not be able to access. Instead, please wait for the recording of these live sessions to be published on the website (most will be uploaded between 2 and 24 hours after the live event).
  • Our Recorded Events will be displayed using an embedded video player. This is expected to operate fine in most countries, however, there may be periods in which it is not accessible to users in Russia or Ukraine. If you are having difficulties, please message our team via techsupport@assitejonline.org and explain your situation and we will try and provide access for you in other ways.
  • We use PayFast and PayPal as payment services. PayFast works in most countries but may not work if you do not have access to VISA or Mastercard services. With a VISA or Mastercard, a buyer can use a card on PayFast that has been issued in any country. PayPal works in all countries except: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Equatorial Guinea,  Gabon, Ghana, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Monaco, Moldova, Montenegro, Myanmar, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russia, Saint Lucia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Timor-Leste, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe.
  • Please note that users from China may also experience some disruption with our website services from time to time.

Accessibility for Differently Abled Participants

Website Compliance Status
  • We firmly believe that the internet should be available and accessible to anyone and are committed to providing a website that is accessible to the broadest possible audience, regardless of ability.
  • To fulfill this, we aim to adhere as strictly as possible to the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) at the AA level. These guidelines explain how to make web content accessible to people with a wide array of disabilities. Complying with those guidelines helps us ensure that the website is accessible to blind people, people with motor impairments, visual impairment, cognitive disabilities, and more.
  • This website utilises various technologies that are meant to make it as accessible as possible at all times. We utilise an accessibility interface that allows persons with specific disabilities to adjust the website’s UI (user interface) and design it to their personal needs.
  • Additionally, the website utilises an AI-based application that runs in the background and optimises its accessibility level constantly. This application remediates the website’s HTML, adapts its functionality and behaviour for screen-readers used by blind users, and for keyboard functions used by individuals with motor impairments.
  • If you wish to contact us with any notes, comments, and/or feedback, please use the following email techsupport@assitejonline.org
Screen-Reader and Keyboard Navigation

ASSITEJ Online implements the ARIA attributes (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) technique, alongside various behavioural changes, to ensure blind users visiting with screen-readers can read, comprehend, and enjoy the website’s functions. As soon as a user with a screen-reader enters the site, they immediately receive a prompt to enter the Screen-Reader Profile so they can browse and operate the site effectively. Here’s how ASSIETEJ Online covers some of the most important screen-reader requirements:

Screen-Reader Optimisation:

  • We run a process that learns the website’s components from top to bottom, to ensure ongoing compliance even when updating the website. In this process, we provide screen-readers with meaningful data using the ARIA set of attributes. For example, we provide accurate form labels; descriptions for actionable icons (social media icons, search icons, cart icons, etc.); validation guidance for form inputs; element roles such as buttons, menus, modal dialogues (popups), and others.
  • Additionally, the background process scans all the website’s images. It provides an accurate and meaningful image-object-recognition-based description as an ALT (alternate text) tag for images that are not described. It will also extract texts embedded within the image using an OCR (optical character recognition) technology. To turn on screen-reader adjustments at any time, users need only to press the Alt+1 keyboard combination. Screen-reader users also get automatic announcements to turn the Screen-reader mode on as soon as they enter the website.
  • These adjustments are compatible with popular screen readers such as JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, and TalkBack.

Keyboard Navigation Optimisation:

  • The background process also adjusts the website’s HTML and adds various behaviours using JavaScript code to make the website operable by the keyboard. This includes the ability to navigate the website using the Tab and Shift+Tab keys, operate dropdowns with the arrow keys, close them with Esc, trigger buttons and links using the Enter key, navigate between radio and checkbox elements using the arrow keys, and fill them in with the Spacebar or Enter key.
  • Additionally, keyboard users will find content-skip menus available at any time by clicking Alt+2, or as the first element of the site while navigating with the keyboard. The background process also handles triggered popups by moving the keyboard focus towards them as soon as they appear, not allowing the focus to drift outside.
  • Users can also use shortcuts such as “M” (menus), “H” (headings), “F” (forms), “B” (buttons), and “G” (graphics) to jump to specific elements.
Disability Profiles Supported on ASSITEJ Online

Epilepsy Safe Profile:

  • This profile enables people with epilepsy to safely use the website by eliminating the risk of seizures resulting from flashing or blinking animations and risky colour combinations.

Vision Impaired Profile:

  • This profile adjusts the website so that it is accessible to the majority of visual impairments such as Degrading Eyesight, Tunnel Vision, Cataract, Glaucoma, and others.

Cognitive Disability Profile:

  • This profile provides various assistive features to help users with cognitive disabilities such as Autism, Dyslexia, CVA, and others, to focus on the essential elements more easily.

ADHD Friendly Profile:

  • This profile significantly reduces distractions and noise to help people with ADHD, and Neurodevelopmental disorders browse, read, and focus on the essential elements more easily.

Blind Users Profile (Screen-Readers):

  • This profile adjusts the website to be compatible with screen-readers such as JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver, and TalkBack. A screen-reader is installed on the blind user’s computer, and this site is compatible with it.

Keyboard Navigation Profile (Motor-Impaired):

  • This profile enables motor-impaired persons to operate the website using the keyboard Tab, Shift+Tab, and the Enter keys. Users can also use shortcuts such as “M” (menus), “H” (headings), “F” (forms), “B” (buttons), and “G” (graphics) to jump to specific elements.
Additional UI, Design, and Readability Adjustments

Font Adjustments

  • Users can increase and decrease its size, change its family (type), adjust the spacing, alignment, line height, and more.

Colour Adjustments

  • Users can select various colour contrast profiles such as light, dark, inverted, and monochrome. Additionally, users can swap colour schemes of titles, texts, and backgrounds with over seven different colouring options.

Animations

  • Epileptic users can stop all running animations with the click of a button. Animations controlled by the interface include videos, GIFs, and CSS flashing transitions.

Content Highlighting

  • Users can choose to emphasise essential elements such as links and titles. They can also choose to highlight focused or hovered elements only.

Audio Muting

  • Users with hearing devices may experience headaches or other issues due to automatic audio playing. This option lets users mute the entire website instantly.

Cognitive Disorders

  • We utilise a search engine linked to Wikipedia and Wiktionary, allowing people with cognitive disorders to decipher meanings of phrases, initials, slang, and others.

Additional Functions

  • We allow users to change cursor colour and size, use a printing mode, enable a virtual keyboard, and many other functions.

Assistive Technology and Browser Compatibility

  • We aim to support as many browsers and assistive technologies as possible, so our users can choose the best fitting tools for them, with as few limitations as possible. Therefore, we have worked very hard to be able to support all major browsers.
Session Specific Accessibility

Session Information

  • Session listings contain information about the language of primary presentation, including whether it is non-verbal and whether it has captioning.
  • Session listings also contain information about the age they have been created for.
  • All session contributors have been asked whether they have any extra materials like scripts, images, story precis, and/or videos that can be presented on their session page to accompany their event in order to provide supplementary resources that users may find helpful in accessing the main content.
  • Listings clearly indicate whether a session is (A) Non-Verbal, (B) Highly Visual, (C) Relaxed Performance/Workshop, and/or (D) Uses Sign Language.

Captioning

  • Live sessions being conducted in English will have automated English captioning enabled by default (unless the contributor specifically requests otherwise). This gives audience members the ability to switch on/off live automated captioning, to refer to the transcript at any point in the session, to make the captioning font size as large or small as they would like, and to move the captioning to their preferred area of the screen. Regrettably, this is only available for events taking place in the English language.
  • All contributors providing pre-recorded materials have been invited to provide translation and captioning for their work, if it is text based. Text-based documents to support understanding are encouraged to accompany the session information on the event page.
Accessibility for Those Joining Us at Events ‘On the Ground’

The accessibility arrangements listed above refer to the ‘Online’ Digital element of any Festival or Event only. Information about the accessibility arrangements for events ‘On the Ground’ may be available on the organisers’ websites or by contact and request directly with the host organisation which is partnering with ASSITEJ International.