Get a FREE accessibility report from Headscape, a new media development house that offers a full range of new media services. Simply enter your details on their website and they will email you a breakdown of any potential problems on your website. Mind you, this is a company and at the end of the day they need to make money to stay afloat, so they are doing this for free in the hope you will use some of their services. But if they are good, have accessibility in mind and finish the job then why not?
Latest Accessibility News on Accessify
3rd April 2003 - York, UK
This workshop will examine the use of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and issues that arise for disabled students. Emphasis will be placed on how PDAs can benefit disabled students, and issues of usability and accessibility will also be covered. The workshop will also report on how the Internet, VLEs and other technologies can be accessed using PDAs.
Practical applications of PDAs in an educational context will also be looked at; each delegate will receive a PDA and a range of software that can be used for education. In addition a set of workshop materials will be provided for each delegate should they wish to run a similar workshop in their own institution.
The RNIB is a huge accessibility advocate in the UK that is constantly campaigning for large corporations to make their website accessible. They are always being asked by both individuals and businesses what can be done to improve the state of the Internet as it stands so that more and more people have access to it. For corporations that are serious about getting accessible, the RNIB offer the See It Right Campaign where you can display their logo if your website is approved by them. They are also now running accessibility audits so if you want them to audit your website for you then get in touch with them.
Accessible tables the LIFT way
LIFT is a product offered by UsableNet that makes checking a site’s accessibility - and then fixing it - a much less painful procedure. As I’ve mentioned before on this site, the trickiest problems relating to accessibility appear to be forms and tables. LIFT offers a neat way of dealing with both, and Macromedia now has a Flash demo showing how the tool works within DreamWeaver MX (LIFT is also available for Front Page). Worth a look if you’re serious about getting your site into shape.
Homeland protection site - a much visited 508-compliant site
Ready.gov is one of the latest US government sites to go live, and it’s proven very popular - in its first 24 hours it had 2.5 million visitors. The site is aimed at giving US citizens information about how to prepare in case of a terrorist attack. The strapline: “Don’t be afraid … be Ready”. Oh, and did I mention that it’s section 508-compliant?
Disabled Web-users flex their muscles
There’s a nice little article in the Toronto Star about web accessibility which covers the basics about what accessibility is about and how blind/visually impaired people are, ironically, helping business leaders to see the light. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“Though he sees only shadows and light, Larry Marcotte is leading RBC Financial Group employees out of the dark. His job: adapting software code so that visually-impaired call centre workers can interact with their monitors using a talking screen reader called JAWS.
Marcotte, who was in a car accident that all but obliterated his vision at 13, helps JAWS understand some of RBC’s oldest systems - systems that were designed long before developers realized blind people would ever need to use them. When he’s not writing code, the 54-year-old IT consultant likes to surf the Web. Often, he finds elements of a company’s site that JAWS, which translates on-screen text into synthesized speech, can’t interpret.”
New review on this site: TopStyle 3.10
The behemoth Cascading Style Sheet editor gets an update … and a full review on this site. Find out how TopStyle 3.10 Pro is embracing accessibility by including hooks into Bobby and other web page validators.
Accessibility and the Project Management Life Cycle
Over on UsabilityNews.com is an article that I wrote especially for them - entitled ‘How Nationwide tackled Accessibility - The Whole Story‘. For those who are managing web projects and need to consider the accessibility implications, this should make for useful reading.
If you have any comments on the article, please feed them directly back to UsabilityNews.
One for Valentine’s Day
Netscape Developer Central gets accessified
Netscape’s developer resource DevEdge has had a complete re-working - gone are table-based layouts and in is a swanky new CSS design. The site has also been given a good accessibility make-over, passing Bobby A status (or WCAG Priority 1). There are some slight errors that stop it from passing the priority 2 and 3 tests, but it’s a marked improvement - and given the audience for the site, it’s a case of leading by example.