Latest Accessibility News on Accessify

CETIS-TechDis Accessibility Special Interest Group (SIG) Meeting

There are still some places available for the Ninth CETIS-TechDis Accessibility Special Interest Group (SIG) Meeting, which will be hosted by BECTA in Coventry on Thursday 9th December from 10.30 to approximately 16:00. There is no charge for attending the meeting and lunch will be provided.

The agenda will include:

An Introduction to the IMS Accessibility Guidelines ? Sharon Perry, CETIS.
A brief overview of the IMS Accessibility Guidelines.
NLN Materials Project ? Andy Dudfield, BECTA.
An overview of the NLN Materials Project
Accessibility and BECTA - Adrian Higginbotham, BECTA.
An introduction to BECTA’s wider reaching accessibility work.
Is “Good Enough”, Good Enough? Creating an Authoring Tool with Built-in Accessibility Support - David Kraithman, University of Hertfordshire.
The SMIRK program developed at the University of Hertfordshire will be demonstrated and related to standards and specifications on accessibility. SMIRK is a tool for capturing, producing and then sending audio-visual presentations over the internet.
Time for discussion about relevant issues.

If you would like to attend, please complete the registration form.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Saturday, November 27, 2004

Web Sites That Work auf Deutsch

The Frauenhofer Institute of Technology has recently released a version of the Web Sites That Work video dubbed in German. Available as MPEG, Quicktime and — which is the part that particularly piqued my interest — Quicktime SMIL. The original english version is, of course, also available.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Saturday, November 27, 2004

WCAG 2.0 working draft - call for review

A new Working Draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) as well as four supporting documents were published 19 November 2004. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) invites you to comment on these documents. W3C Working Drafts provide opportunities for public comment during the development of a specification. Please send comments to the public comments mailing list by 3 January 2005:

WCAG 2.0 addresses accessibility of Web content for people with disabilities. It will apply to a wider range of Web technologies than WCAG 1.0 and is intended to be understandable to a wider audience.

See Judy Brewer’s full call for review for further details.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Thursday, November 25, 2004

Patrick has something to SMIL about

Patrick Lauke has been experimenting with SMIL. He has produced a captioned version of Jeffrey Zeldman’s Web Essentials 04 video keynote, using Quicktime SMIL 1.0.

There’s also an HTML transcript, for those who can’t get the SMIL to work.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Monday, November 22, 2004

Correction re: Doubleclick ads

In respect to my earlier post regarding Doubleclick banner ads, it seems that Doubleclick Flash banners are not actually scripted to grab the focus as at first thought.

Although the focus-grabbing behaviour does actually happen, the problem appears to be with iframes themselves and how the browser (in particular Internet Explorer on Windows) deals with them: if an iframe finishes loading after its parent loads, it seems to grab the focus.

Unfortunately this throws the use of iframes into question. Further investigation is still warranted, however it is something to remain aware of.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Friday, November 5, 2004

Doubleclick ads make pages inaccessible

Please note the correction made to this post.

If your site runs Doubleclick Flash banner ads in iframes, you may have a problem. It seems some of the Flash ads set the browser focus to themselves. This means that, as the ads run in an iframe, the focus is taken away from the page your visitor is expecting to be on.

There are two major implications. Firstly any visitor not using a mouse may well have difficulty getting focus back to the main page in order that they can read and navigate through it, not least because they won’t expect the page focus to have changed without them knowing. A clear accessibility failing.

Secondly any user will have unexpected results when printing the page - all they will get is the ad printed out - and they will probably blame that on your site.

The problem was pointed out by Jude Robinson who is currently doing an excellent job accessifying See this page for a fine example of the work and a nefarious Doubleclick ad.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Accessify on Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Guidelines for Accessible and Usable Web Sites: Observing Users Who Work With Screen Readers

Reprinted and expanded version of an article by Mary Frances Theofanos from the US National Cancer Institute and usability consultant Janice Redish, first published in ACM’s Interactions November-December 2003 issue:

Between November 2002 and February 2003, we observed and listened to 16 blind users as they worked with Web sites using assistive devices that read the screen to them (screen readers). Participants used the screen reader that they work with regularly: 13 used JAWS and three used Window-Eyes

[...] Our focus has been understanding how blind users work with Web sites and what that means for designers and developers. Our focus therefore is users rather than specific Web sites. In the following sections we describe insights gained from our observations and we present guidelines that can help designers and developers both meet the letter of the law and actually make Web sites usable to people who listen to screen readers.

Available as PDF (903 Kb) - or run it through Adobe’s online PDF to HTML conversion tool.

Thanks to Steven Faulkner at NILS for the heads-up.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Monday, November 1, 2004