Latest Accessibility News on Accessify

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WebXACT from Watchfire (the maker’s of Bobby)

Michael Cooper from Watchfire has been kind enough to join us on the forum to discuss the accessibility of their new accessibility checking tool WebXACT.

Accessify Forum: Watchfire: WebXACT

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Friday, October 31, 2003

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Austin Internet Rally (AIR) Sites for 2003 Announced

Thanks to James Craig for mentioning that the AIR 2003 sites are now live. For those that don’t know about AIR, go check out the FAQs. Anyway, on with the post - if you are after examples of accessible sites that are visually appealing you could do worse than check out For The Children, Casa of Travis County, Austin Adaptive Sports and the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities.

The complete list of entries for this year are here, grouped into two categories - ’stock car’ and ‘formula one’. They’re not all great - in fact some look downright awful - but take encouragement from the fact that people are trying.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Tuesday, October 28, 2003

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Tables vs CSS for Layout Presentation

I can’t think of any kind of visitor to this site who wouldn’t be interested in seeing this presentation, the content is excellent, the design is really nice and it’s also funny, check it out.

When you’re done with it, discuss it in the forum.

Cheers,

Nigel.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Tuesday, October 28, 2003

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Holding Out The Begging Bowl

Since I started Accessify I have never asked for anything in return for any of the articles,
tools or anything else. I’ve simply
enjoyed positive feedback and the feeling that I’ve been able to help in some
way (as have others who also contribute to this site now). However …

As some of you may know, I am taking a break soon - from the web (partially),
from the UK (totally), from my job (which I have quit) - and am going to be
going travelling around the world for a year. Accessify will carry on, though,
and I have a babysitter all lined up
for my absence
. But to take this break I have not only quit the job, I’ve
also remortgaged the house to finance the trip. It’s all a little bit scary.

On this site, I’ve always proudly claimed that Accessify is a not-for-profit
site, but I get many emails from people telling me how much time and effort
I’ve saved them for one thing or another (mainly the tools
and wizards
on this site), and as I sit here contemplating a year without
income, I wonder about how much I’ve helped others to profit from my sharing.
With this in mind, I’ve decided that I should see how useful this site really
is to you, the visitors.

If you use, or have used, any of the tools on this site and feel that I have
saved you development time or cut down your learning curve, I’d really appreciate
a donation (using Paypal). It’s voluntary, of course. I don’t know what the
response will be, but if you value the site, you may be able to help me stay
at a reasonable hostel (not hotel, hostel) rather than a crappy one every now
and then - it’s as simple as that!

I will be putting a donation button on all of the tools in the tools and wizards
section, and there will be permanent link on the home page somewhere to make
a donation. It’s not something that I’ve ever done before, and it’s not something
that I would intend to keep once I am back in the UK and once more in gainful
employment, but if this site is really useful for people in the interim it seems
silly not to at least try to get something back from it.

Trust me, it’s not in my nature to do this normally and I hope that visitors,
regular or otherwise, don’t think I’m trying to force people to pay for anything.
It is totally voluntary.

Please note: This is entirely separate from the donation facility on AccessifyForum. Donations made on the forum go directly to Nigel for running/admin costs of the forum.

Thank you, all.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Sunday, October 26, 2003

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1-day Introduction to Accessibility

The Usability Company is now offering a one-day Accessibility Training course. The course aims to cover the most important issues surrounding accessibility on the Internet and Intranet and help managers (or anyone responsible for website development/success) to gain a clear understanding of the digital accessible arena. Course objectives are to help the attendee to:

  • make sense of web accessibility by aggregating and clarifying the current issues, guidelines and legislations
  • gain a clear understanding of the digital accessible arena
    • the key issues from a business, legal, technical and moral standpoint
    • the key guidelines and real world examples of problems and solutions
  • receive clear advice on implementing a simple, practical and effective approach to accessibility on the Internet and Intranet within organisations and projects

We’re not sure who’s actually taking the course, but if you’re interested, the next dates are 23 October 2003, 20 November 2003 and 16 December 2003.

2004 1 Day Courses In Sheffield

Added by Nigel.

If the above dates are no good to you and you’re close to Sheffield you could always try a course I will be delivering in 2004 (but forgot to post about).

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Tuesday, October 21, 2003

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Another way of looking at accessibility

Lorraine Ireland contacted us about her experiences of learning about web accessibility, having been in the business of selling adaptive technology for a number of years. We thought that it deserved somewhere more public than a personal email, so here’s what Lorraine had to say.

Discussion of: Another way of looking at accessibility

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Wednesday, October 15, 2003

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You Can’t Beat This Beta

Accessible Net logoGet yourselves
to Matthew Ogston’s AccessibleNet.org and check out all the resources listed there. The site is currently a beta and Matthew is after any feedback that all you good people can provide. From the site itself:

AccessibleNet.org is an independent, online directory of links and resources about Web Accessibility.

Included are some of most popular, well-researched resources available in this field. New resources are always welcome and those that are accepted will be added to the directory. The database is updated daily with news, resources, reviews or ratings.

Topics are listed as follows:

Phew. Quite a list.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Wednesday, October 15, 2003

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Canada: Satcom / WiFi POPs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

As pointed out by Michael on the forum:

SkyFrames and The Canadian Hearing Society Sign Letter of Intent to Establish International Satellite WiFi Hotspots in Support of Deaf and Hard of Hearing People

Canadian Hearing Society and SkyFrames to Create Satcom / WiFi POPs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Discussion of: Canada: Satcom / WiFi POPs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Monday, October 13, 2003

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Ouch! That’s One In Yer Eye for RNIB

The RNIB has often come in for criticism in the past for ‘hijacking’ web accessibility (sometimes a little unfairly, I would say). And if it’s not that it’s something else - like this animated icon, for example:

RNIB animated icon.

On the BCAB list Leon Gilbert writes: “The average frame duration is just 2 tenths of a second, and you get about 3 seconds to read the whole thing. Which is surely likely to cause eye strain (ironic). & The whole animation is just 120 x 60 pixels in size & is set to loop just 3 times.”

But Damon Rose (a writer on the BBC website’s Ouch microsite) goes even further:

Does anyone ever go to the RNIB website anyway?

Isn’t it really more aimed at sighted people who need reassurance and/or advice about elderly relatives? Or, more importantly, it’s about fundraising!

I put it to you, fellow debaters, that the RNIB website, with its distancing weird language and its begging cup out, is not really there for its ‘members’ or users.

I would like to see a really good lifestyle hub for blind people that doesn’t give me details about how bad my glaucoma might get … But might tell me the latest talking books being recorded are so I can look forward to it.

Come on RNIB, make this website blind friendly in content as well as in design innit!

Is the RNIB so bad? And if it is, what other content-rich sites that are aimed at the blind do you recommend?

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Friday, October 10, 2003

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Julie Howell Interview

I’ve just published my interview with Julie Howell at the RNIB:

An Interview with Julie Howell of the RNIB.

Discussion of: Julie Howell Interview

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Thursday, October 9, 2003
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