Latest Accessibility News on Accessify


Websites ‘failing’ disabled users - UK Disability Rights Commision (DRC) Report

The BBC (UK British Broadcasting Corporation) has recently published an article covering the recent UK DRC investigation of the Accessibility of UK Web Sites:

You can also read the news article at the DRC and the full report.

The W3C has published a statement.

Thanks to Allan Rooms (W2 Networking), Julie Patterson (Sheffield University) and Joey (Transitionary) for letting us know.

Added - Just noticed Isofarro beat me to it, so go talk it over in the forum.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Thursday, April 15, 2004


Over at A List Apart, Trenton Moss debunks some popular myths about Web accessibility and the law for those involved in the design and development of UK-based websites. In particular he points out that the Disability Discrimination Act does specifically mention websites and has done so for some time.

Discussion of: DDA at ALA

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Thursday, April 15, 2004

New Faces to Accessify

New Faces to Accessify

This is a little late, but there’s no excuse for not
welcoming some new contributors to Accessify’s news page. In no
particular order (well, actually, it’s the order they appear in my
address book!) we have Anne
van Kesteren
, whose blog I have read on many occassions and enjoyed
the discussions there. For those who don’t know, Anne is actually
male and he hails from The Netherlands.

Ethan Marcotte is an
all-round good egg who put me up when my accommodation plans went badly
wrong at SXSW2004 (I had no plans, really), so I rewarded him with more unpaid
work. Am I not kind? Ethan runs Virtua
alongside his personal blog, sidesh0w.

Richard Rutter runs a site
with the best name in the world, namely Clagnut. I don’t know what it
means but it sounds rude, and that’s good enough for me.

Russ Weakley is one of the
co-founders of the Web
Standards Group
, which has a geographic heart in Australia but
whose members now span the globe. Hopefully Russ will report on all the
web accessibility issues down under, including the many events that the
Web Standards Group are organising there.

Finally, Sharron
, co-author (with John Slatin) of the book Maximum
Accessibility will be posting news from her base in Austin Texas
where many wonderful people involved in web accessibility seem to be
based. Sharron is heavily involved in which does great
things in promoting accessibility for all.

So, welcome on board one and all and happy posting!

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Making websites accessible to users who are blind or have low vision

David Woodbridge and Robert Spriggs from the Royal Blind Society will be doing a presentation at the Sydney Web Standards Group, 15th April 2004. Further event information.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Accessibility review of Google’s GMail

Mark Pilgrim – of Dive into Accessibility fame – takes Google’s free webmail service for a spin and documents GMail’s utter disregard for even the most basic accessibility requirements.

Discuss this article in the forum…

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Monday, April 12, 2004


UK Disability Rights Commision - Website Investigation Results

Just in from the DRC

Findings from a report into the first comprehensive investigation into the user-friendliness of websites will be web cast on Wednesday 14th April from 1030 to 1200 BST.

The Disability Rights Commission’s report - The Web : Access and Inclusion for Disabled People - is being presented at a media briefing in London. You are welcome to take part by logging onto the web cast at and submitting a question online to a panel of experts.

The investigation studied 1,000 British websites across five key sectors:

  • business
  • e-commerce
  • entertainment & leisure
  • government and web services

You will need Windows Media Player to veiw the web cast. If you need to download this it is best to do so in advance. Please go to:

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Thursday, April 8, 2004

Accessibility in Practice Conference - 23rd June 2004

Accessibility in Practice
at the University of Central
, Wednesday 23rd June. The conference aims to address the gulf between
the theory and practice of web accessibility.

Keynote by Bob Regan – senior product manager at Macromedia – and
other expert speakers including Jim Byrne, Zoe Neumann, Peter Rainger and Sydney Tyrell.

“Early Bird” discount available to those who book before Friday, 30th April 2004.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Thursday, April 8, 2004

I care About Accessibility

Caring about Accessibility

At a panel presentation at this year’s South by South West
(SXSW2004) Interactive
conference, Jeff Veen publicly said: "I don’t care
about accessibility."

That’s some statement. Read it again:

"I don’t care about accessibility."

Looks pretty bad doesn’t it? Jeff Veen said that? Yes, he did, I
heard it and
so did many others attending the event. But … they
it in context, and what Jeff really meant that was ‘as a practitioner
of web
standards, by doing things correctly he almost doesn’t have to think
about accessibility,
that it almost comes automatically as a by-product’.

The trouble is, this is not always the case, and the other problem
is that
too many people are latching on to the Jeff Veen soundbite and the
message is
getting twisted along the way (something that Mr Veen surely never

Matt May, a W3C guy with a special responsibility for accessibility
the Web Accessibility Initiative, Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines and more),
has put his thoughts on
the issue together
over at his personal web log, BestKungFu:

I know he didn’t mean that, because I saw the presentation, and I
read his
notes. Veen gets it, because getting it is his job, and has been
since before
most Web designers got their first cramps from typing angle
brackets. He knows
you have to care about it, even if you are a standardista. And if
you heard
that in his message, you can stop here.

But if you quoted him out of context saying "I don’t care
about accessibility"
on your blog, as many did, you need to read on.

Accessibility is definitely not a no-brainer, even if
coding to standards
is. You cannot assume that a site will be completely accessible
simply by using
the correct markup (but it helps).

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Saturday, April 3, 2004


Belated Congratulations to ‘The Gardener’

I’ve said as much in private correspondence with all concerned, but
because of my current travelling antics I have been a bit slack in
saying the following in a more public arena:

Congratulations Dave!

I am referring to the South By South West (SXSW2004) Web Awards, in
particular the Developer Resource category, which this site
made to the final 5 nominations. The winner, as you almost
certainly know by now, was the CSS Zen Garden - which also
went on to win best in show.

I just wanted to say, belatedly as it is, that it was a real honour
to appear in the finalists list alongside the eventual double-winner,
but also to be there alongside Keith Robinson (Asterisk), who wore a
really cool over-the-top shirt to the finals (which kept me good
company in my Mambo Fighting Furry Animals shirt … but that’s another
story) and James Craig (Cookiecrook) who organised a
great dinner meet-up for all us CSS/web standards twonks. It was a long
way for me to travel to get there but I certainly didn’t regret it.

So, what sites are going to be the ones that get everyone excited
this coming year, and thus make it to next year’s finals?

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Saturday, April 3, 2004
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