Latest Accessibility News on Accessify

Web Standards Project Accessibility Task Force: Calling all Assistive Technology vendors

WaSP ATF issues an invitation to AT vendors:

When the Accessibility Task Force (ATF) was formed, we received feedback from designers and developers about their desire for better standards support in assistive technology.
Today, we announce the launch of the ATF’s Assistive Technology Initiative. We are issuing an open offer to assistive technology vendors to work with WaSP (and other groups where appropriate) to help ensure that assistive technology can benefit from a web standards-based approach to web development, design and programming.
By working together:

  • we will provide resources to examine and address perceived shortfalls in current assistive technology
  • we will help with developing test suites for use in assessing/addressing these issues
  • we will share our knowledge and expertise and help AT vendors share their extensive knowledge of their users with web developers and designers around the world

Web standards have always aimed to make the web a better place for all people, regardless of ability, and we hope that our collective efforts will help fulfill that promise.
We have begun the process of delivering this open invitation to Assisitive Technology vendors at conferences, trade shows, and industry exhibits, and will continue to invite those involved in building AT software and hardware to collaborate.
To work with us contact us: wasp@webstandards.org

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Saturday, August 26, 2006

Web Accessibility - The New Testament?

One of the first books I read about accessibility was Constructing Accessible Web Sites, published by Glasshaus. It was a fantastic book at the time but then something bad happened - Glasshaus publishing went under, pulled down by its parent company. This was a bad thing because, at the time, Glasshaus was putting out some of the best tech books money could buy, with web standards and all that good stuff as part of the package. Fast forward a few years and the book has been revived by Friends Of Ed. It’s now called Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance. To my mind, it’s not the sexiest title, but I can completely understand why it’s called that (it’s going to appeal to a great many corporate types who’ve heard about PAS78, DDA and the like). The author list is largely unchanged, but new names added to the Roster include Richard Rutter, who has contributed a chapter on Accessible CSS, Christian Heilmann, who’s covered accessible JavaScript and Accessify’s very own Patrick H Lauke who provides a case study of a site make-over (converting a university site to an accessible, all-singing, all-dancing site).

I’ve merely scanned through the book, for now - it’s on a pile of 3 books to read and review - but first impressions are that this is a must-have for anyone serious about understanding web accessibility, even if you bought the previous version (this looks to be a fairly major re-write).

Filed under: Accessibility, Reviews
Comments (2) Posted by Ian on Monday, August 21, 2006

Shockingly overdue announcements

Due to various writing commitments (none of which, rather evidently, include this site right now!) I have a backlog of emails to respond to which just keeps on growing. I managed to work through a few of them today and noticed a couple of requests for plugs on the site that, while overdue, I though I should share anyway (just in case you hadn’t heard):

  • Web Accessibility Toolbar for Opera - the link pretty much says it all. The teams from Web Accessibility Tools Consortium, Vision Australia and The Paciello Group have ported the useful toolbar that they built for windows/IE. (Congratulations to Steven, also, who’s making the move over to The Paciello Group - and London - in the near future. Any chance of an exchange deal, Steven?)
  • Ability panels goes live - The site blurb reads “ABILITY is a group of online panels for people with disabilities, their family members. advocates, and other stakeholders. Participants in our research have the opportunity to make their voices heard by participating in groundbreaking Market Research, Mystery Shopping, Surveys, and other specialized studies.” The company behind this venture are looking to recruit people with disabilities nationwide in the US. Want to get involved?
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Friday, August 11, 2006

Would you trust these people?

Me, at this hour, in this establishment, with my reputation? Bruce and Andy, proppin' up the bar, like … to talk about web accessibility? Go on, check out the mugshots. I mean, do they look reputable? It may be that the organisers of Geek in the Park made a mistake and picked a couple of characters whose prior speaking engagements consisted of saying “Yes, your honour” or “Run! It’s the old bill” but I’m reliably informed that these swarthy looking gents are in fact bona fide accessibility gurus. So, if you want to hear what these gents have to say on the topic, get yourself over to Geek in the Park. But just make sure you keep an eye on your wallet, folks :-)

Comments (1) Posted by Ian on Friday, August 11, 2006