December 9, 2002
University of Central Lancashire Adelphi TVI @ 19.00
“Click, Click… who’s there? Designing web sites
Synopsis: There are 8.6 million people in the UK. Can they use your web
site? What can you do to make your site more accessible to everyone? Why
should you care if a few disabled people can’t read you site (”it’s not for
them anyway”). In her presentation, Julie Howell, leader of RNIB’s Campaign
for Good Web Design, will explain why web accessibility is an issue that
cannot be ignore and will suggest strategies for inclusive design that will
realise Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of a fully accessible web.
Web accessibility makes the ‘mainstream’ news
Web Accessibility makes it into the ‘mainstream’ media - there is a feature today on BBC News’ dot.life section entitled ‘Websites blind to disabled need‘ in which Julie Howell, net campaigns officer at the Royal National Institute for the Blind, is heavily quoted.
December 8, 2002
Leading by example
An interesting feature of Judy Brewer’s Overview of the Web Accessibility Initiative is that on one slide it suggests that you can change the font size using the browser or by using a widget at the top of the page. Well, the widget works fine - and doesn’t require scripting or anything of that sort. But in Internet Explorer on the PC, I cannot change the size of the font. Now, you could argue that with the provision of the widget, that has taken care of the font issue. However, given that these slides are very basic in design, there seems no overriding need to fix the font at specific pixel sizes - but this is what has been done:
Surely the slides should have been built such that the fonts are scalable - down as well as up? I personally wanted to shrink it down a touch but was unable to unless I disabled the style sheet. I am a great believer in leading by example, so come on Judy, what gives?
New tutorial on Accessify
New addition to Accessify - Better Accessible Forms. This tutorial gives some suggestions from the simple addition of <label> tags to general pointers about form layout and shows where people have got things wrong. As usual, feedback on the article is appreciated.
Wave gets a facelift
The popular online accessibility checker known as The Wave has had a thorough facelift. Currently it is in alpha, and as such may change quite frequently as they fix any reported bugs or respond to user suggestions. At the time of writing this, I couldn’t get the tool to work - but it is an alpha version! Once this new version of The Wave is released proper, you can expect a review on this site.
December 5, 2002
Tutorial syndicated to Sitepoint
The Perfect Pop-up article that first appeared on this site has now been published on SitePoint. Reader feedback so far has been very favourable - after 57 ratings, the average rating was 8.9 out of ten.
December 2, 2002
Watchfire improves accessibility-checking module
Watchfire’s latest web site management tool update WebXM has a new standalone web accessibility module, and the best part is that it is purported to integrate with leading content management systems. From Watchfire’s press release “This release also introduces integration with leading content management systems through a new Web Service interface, and a fully documented Software Development Kit (SDK).”
Accessibility article on Sitepoint
New article on SitePoint: An Introduction to Accessible Web Design, written by Nigel Peck. It covers everything the budding beginner needs to know from “What is accessibility” to validation services such as Bobby and what the various conformance levels mean.