Latest Accessibility News on Accessify

Search Engine Optimization and Accessibility

Juicy Studio has a high-level overview of the relationship between accessible markup and search engine optimisation.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Monday, April 26, 2004

Web Usability Checking for Blind and Vision Impaired

The Web Standards Group recently held a presentation by David Woodbridge and
Robert Spriggs of the Royal Blind Society.

The presentation was based around a list of questions that Royal Blind Society’s
Adaptive Technology Consultants commonly ask when checking websites for accessibility.
The questions could also be used as an auditing tool for web designers and developers
to assess their sites for accessibility.

Presentation notes and further background information are now available.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Saturday, April 24, 2004

iTour is iNaccessible

Paging through Apple’s .Mac iTour, one wonders why all but one piece of text on the page is an image. Because of this, one wonders why nearly every image on the page is missing an alt attribute. Apple’s product offering is showing a burgeoning support for other web standards; why is .Mac, a product created for the universal access of information, left out in the cold?

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Friday, April 23, 2004


Mark Pilgrim on Gmail Accessibility

Mark Pilgrim has a long blog entry on the Accessibility of Google’s up and coming Gmail service.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Thursday, April 22, 2004


DRC Response to Discussion on Accessify Forum

Malarkey from the forum recently identified the use of misguiding sales tactics to win Web Accessibility related business. I’m please to let you know that Mike Abbot took the initiative in letting the DRC know about it, who have now sent a response.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Thursday, April 22, 2004


RNIB speaks out following DRC Report

News release: 81% of UK web sites failing disabled people - RNIB says make sites user-friendly

The Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) is calling on businesses,
the Government and the web design industry to make their web sites
user-friendly for people with sight problems and other disabilities. The
call follows a report published 14 April 2004 which reveals that 81 per cent
of UK web sites fail to meet even the most basic accessibility requirements
for disabled people.

RNIB warmly welcomes the publication of the report by the Disability Rights
Commission (DRC) which highlights a need for more Government resource to be
directed towards initiatives that help businesses ensure their web sites are
usable by disabled people.

A DRC Investigation studied one thousand sites to arrive at a set of
recommendations on how web sites can be made easier for disabled people to
use. Fifteen recommendations have been published in the report of the DRC
Formal Investigation into Web Accessibility.

Julie Howell, Digital Policy Development Officer at RNIB, said: “Businesses
have a social responsibility as well as a legal duty to ensure that disabled
people can use their web sites. Add to this the compelling business case
(there are 8.7 million disabled people in the UK). The DRC findings would
indicate that there is a need for additional Government initiatives and
resources to make businesses aware of what they must do to reach disabled

The DRC recommendation that the Government should ‘facilitate the
establishment of a code of practice for accessible web site development’ is
being strongly endorsed by RNIB.

RNIB provides resources that help businesses develop an understanding of how
disabled customers can be reached:

  • an online Web Access Centre packed with information and guidance
  • a web site auditing service
  • a consultancy service to help businesses tap into a market with a revenue
    potential of £45bn per year
  • RNIB’s ‘See it Right’ award, a symbol that indicates that a web site has
    been designed to be usable by disabled people.

In response to the DRC report RNIB is announcing additional measures:

  • a series of regional seminars for businesses that wish learn about web
    accessibility policy, featuring practical demonstrations of the technology
    blind and partially sighted people use to read web sites
  • RNIB is investigating the feasibility of creating a ’social firm’ that
    will provide web site developers with ready access to blind and partially
    sighted people to feedback on web site designs.

Julie Howell added, “RNIB urges businesses to consider the practical
improvements that can be made to their web sites to ensure disabled people
can enjoy the same quality of experience on the web as everyone else.”

The report is available for download from the Disability Rights Commission web site at

A web cast of the launch event is available at


  1. RNIB helps people with sight problems to live full and independent lives.
    We campaign to change society’s actions and assumptions so that people with
    sight problems can enjoy the same rights, freedoms and responsibilities as
    fully sighted people.
  2. If you or somebody you know has a sight problem RNIB can help. Call the
    RNIB Helpline on 0845-766 9999.
  3. RNIB Web Access Centre provides the tools and resources needed to plan,
    build and test accessible web sites:
  4. Enquiries about RNIB’s ‘See it Right’ award and web accessibility
    consultancy services:
  5. Details of RNIB Web Accessibility Seminars will be released shortly.
  6. Further information about RNIB’s ‘Social Firm’ will be released later in
  7. RNIB’s Technology Helpline can be contacted at
  8. For more information about the DRC and the Formal Investigation into Web
    Accessibility and copy of the report, contact Alyson Rose in the DRC press
    office: 0207-543 7044 or
Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Tuesday, April 20, 2004


More on the UK Disability Rights Commision Report

WaSP has a write up of the report, as does The Register, and Gez Lemon’s been blogging about it too.

Also you can still go talk it over in the forum.

New on the DRC (Disbaility Rights Commision) Website

The DRC Website has a new toolkit for businesses minisite. Looking briskly through it Web Accessibility is specifically mentioned under the communication analysis section.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Tuesday, April 20, 2004


Web Accessibility: What’s the Next Step?

Sorry for the last minute notice, some details here of a Web Cast on Wednesday the 21st of April.

Please join the Disability Law Resource Project at ILRU for the Web cast on Web Accessibility: What’s the Next Step?

On Wednesday, April 21, 2004 the topic will be: “Taking Web Accessibility to the Next Level with an Internet Accessibility Rally (AIR) Program.”

The Web cast will run from 3:00 - 4:30 pm Eastern, 2:00 Central, 1:00 Mountain, 12:00 Pacific, 11:00 Alaska, 9:00 a.m. Hawaii.

This Web cast will discuss the Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR) program, the issues it addresses, how it meets community needs, current organizing efforts in Houston, and how you can bring the award-winning program to your city or region.

To link to the first Web cast and download accompanying materials visit:

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Get a Good Feed

Get a Good Feed

The topic of RSS feeds came up in conversation the other day, and it
prompted me to remind visitors to this site that there is an RSS feed
right now (and has been for a long time). If you’re not
sure what this is all about, try the ‘Syndicate’ link and you’ll find
more information about how you can use this RSS feed. Enjoy!

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Saturday, April 17, 2004


British Standard for recommended best practices and use of accessibility metadata

Taken from Seb Schmoller’s monthly mailing.

BSI has set up a new panel to develop a new standard on e-learning accessibility. Andy Heath of Sheffield Hallam University has been appointed to convene the panel which will oversee the work. According to BSI, the first steps in this work will be to scope the project and prepare a proposal for consideration by BSI. To this end an open meeting is being held at Sheffield Hallam University on Monday 24 May at to begin work on the project. More details are contained in BSI’s summary [160 kB PDF].

Rich Media Accessibility

While searching for the correct media type for a PDF I came across the NCAM Rich Media Accessibility site which looks well built and seems to have a lot of useful information. Never did find the media type for PDF so if someone know please drop me a mail.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Friday, April 16, 2004
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