Latest Accessibility News on Accessify

Public on-line consultation on a proposed EU commission communication on eAccessibility

This anonymous consultation will provide the European Commission with inputs for the drafting of a Commission Communication on eAccessibility; it is particularly targeted at:

  • Users (of eAccessibility-enhanced products or services) and their associations
  • Relevant industrial/business actors and associations
  • Government and Regional agencies, Public Authorities
  • eAccessibility experts and professionals

N.B. There is no objection whatsoever to having other interested parties also express their opinion.

Responses are welcome until the 12th February 2005. The timescale for the analysis of the results will be from mid-February until mid-March 2005.

Fill in the online questionnaire on the European Commission’s site.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Thursday, January 13, 2005

Big, Stark & Chunky

Joe Clark’s new article on A List Apart, explores the use of CSS zoom layouts and their benefits to users with low vision. An excellent read, and in my opinion yet another nail in the coffin of table based layouts…

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Wednesday, January 12, 2005

@media 2005: Web Standards & Accessibility - London (9-10 June)

Patrick Griffiths just pointed out this exciting piece of news:

On the 9th and 10th June, well known web designers and accessibility experts including Jeffrey Zeldman, Doug Bowman, Joe Clark and a host of UK pros will be descending on London to speak about the hottest issues in web design.

From the conference site itself:

@media 2005 will bring together some of the world’s leading web design experts to discuss the hot topics of web standards and accessibility. Delegates will learn how to make the highest quality web sites through the use of best practice techniques amongst likeminded, forward-thinking web makers.

Visit the @media 2005 conference site for further information and registration details.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Tuesday, January 11, 2005

HERA - assisted manual accessibility checking tool

HERA is a utiliy for designers and developers who want to manually check the accesibility of their websites or to verify any Internet page. HERA aids with the revision of checkpoints from Web Content Accesibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0).

To review some of these Checkpoints, HERA applies a series of stylesheets created by the Sidar Foundation to the page being tested. These revision styles identify and highlight elements that have to be reviewed, avoiding the complex work of analysing the HTML source.

Where it is not possible to apply a stylesheet to made the work easier, HERA gives some instructions for steps to be performed to check accessibility. It also allows to take note of the results of revision and to generate a final report with these results.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Friday, January 7, 2005

Getting JAWS and Firefox to work together

The JAWS Screenreader Adaptation project is aimed at making JAWS more compatible with Mozilla Firefox [...] so that users of JAWS and those dependent on low-vision tools have a browser choice other than Microsoft Internet Explorer. This project will result in a set of JAWS scripts that will enable JAWS to function with Mozilla Firefox in a similar manner to how JAWS currently functions with Internet Explorer. Building from barebones support for navigational functions, the project encompasses complex functions that allow for alt text reading, link recognition, and other advanced capabilities.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Friday, January 7, 2005

Teaching Mozilla Firefox to speak

Two interesting extensions that add speech support to Firefox:

Foxyvoice

FoxyVoice is a Firefox extension that provides text-to-speech functionality using Microsoft Win32 Speech API. With FoxyVoice you can listen to the page being read; or browse on one page and listen to another page being read for higher degree of sensory overload. The soothing voices that comes with SAPI also makes FoxyVoice a competent virtual hypnotist.

Accessibar

Accessibar is a toolbar extension for the Mozilla browser which aims at providing various accessibility features for users who could benefit from them. These features primarily focus on the dynamic manipulation of the visual display of the web page in addition to the integration of a text to speech reader which can read out loud the browser’s user interface as well as web page content.

As this extension uses the Java based FreeTTS engine, it works cross-platform. In addition, it offers a variety of other interesting features, such as the ability to select foreground/background colours, change text size and line spacing, and disable images.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Friday, January 7, 2005

Designing for people with learning disabilities

The LD Web project was founded by UB Access. It has sprung out of UB Access’ dedication, commitment, and belief that it is possible, through various techniques, to address the needs of people with learning disabilities.

LD Web is part of UB Access’ continuous research and development into methodologies and techniques to help people with learning disabilities access data, understand and share information.

Although the information is a bit sparse at the moment, with only one case study and a few guidelines available, this site is interesting nonetheless and has the potential to grow into a valuable resources.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Thursday, January 6, 2005

Complex table inspector favelet

Gez Lemon created a nice javascript favelet to make hidden attributes of complex data tables (summary, headers, axis, scope and abbr) visible. Excellent stuff!

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Thursday, January 6, 2005
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