January 30, 2005
Roger Hudson, Russ Weakley and Peter Firminger presented this comprehensive paper at the OZeWAI 2004 Conference:
The aim of this paper is to offer some ideas on how websites might more effectively meet the needs of people with cognitive disabilities and learning difficulties. The paper will look at three issues:
- How the presentation of page content can be modified to make it more accessible.
- Design of site navigation systems.
- Tailoring content to the needs of different audience groups.
Read the article over at webusability
When people think about accessibility of web content, there’s a tendency to concentrate on people with visual impairments. People with cognitive impairments and learning difficulties are often overlooked.
This article by Roger Hudson, Russ Weakley, and Peter Firminger, examines the types of problems visitors may encounter when using the web, with insightful and practical suggestions on how to develop websites that are inclusive for people with cognitive impairments and learning difficulties.
Read the article over at Juicy Studio.
January 21, 2005
Date: Thursday 24 February, 2005
Location: Wellington New Zealand
Jonathan is blind and has in the past provided web accessibility advice to a range of Government and private agencies. He will be demonstrating how web accessibility doesn’t mean that web designers have to sacrifice innovation or creativity. He will also be demonstrating the kind of technology blind people are using today to surf the web, showing just what a difference an accessible web site can make to a blind person’s independence.
January 20, 2005
Matt May of Bestkungfu and a little group called the W3C has written an article for Digital Web called Accessibility From The Ground Up. It’s a ‘primer for the web designer’ (his words, not mine) that runs through the various things that designers need to get up to speed on. I have to agree with Matt’s comment here:
The hardest part of Web accessibility, in my opinion, is the stuff between the angle brackets. You get your content from a dozen different sources, often with a dozen different voices. Some of it, like legal text, is irreducible. Changing it even slightly could alter it dramatically, if you were even allowed to do so.
So true. Once you have a basic understanding of how to make a page accessible it becomes second nature, just something you do without thinking (a state of mind some would describe as being ‘unconsciously competent’ … yes, I’ve been on a training course!). Cutting out legal text and marketing nonsense, now there’s the real challenge!
January 18, 2005
The article Guidelines for Accessible and Usable Web Sites: Observing Users Who Work With Screen Readers by Mary Frances Theofanos from the US National Cancer Institute and usability consultant Janice Redish (we mentioned it back in November) is now also available in HTML format.
January 14, 2005
You may be aware of net-guide, an Internet search engine designed to return only those web sites that are accessible to disabled web users.
Net Guide is produced by Internet consultancy Net Progress. Having received positive feedback from disabled web users, Net Progress has decided to lend even greater support to RNIB’s Campaign for Good Web Design.
Paul Crichton of Net Progress wrote to his Member of Parliament, Liberal Democrat Tom Brake MP, to seek his support for the Campaign. Tom Brake’s response was to table a parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM) to canvass support for web accessibility across Parliament.
An Early Day Motion (EDM) is a petition that MPs can sign. EDMs allow MPs to put on record their opinion on a subject and canvass support for it from fellow MPs.
A complete database of EDMs is available on the web at http://edm.ais.co.uk. There you can read the current list of EDMs and find out which MPs have signed them.
Every EDM has a unique title and number. The EDM on web accessibility tabled by Tom brake MP is entitled ‘net-guide RNIB Accreditation’. It is EDM number 461.
The last point in the EDM is the crucial one:
“That this House… calls on web designers to take on the board the practical advice offered by RNIB for producing websites which meet the information needs of the blind and partially sighted, a requirement enshrined in Section 21 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1999.”
For this to become a reality the Government must be encouraged to back initiatives that alert businesses, large and small, to the vital importance of accessible web design.
For the EDM to have maximum effect it needs support from as many MPs as possible, and this is where you come in.
RNIB and Net Progress are asking you to send a letter to your MP asking him or her to lend their support by signing the EDM and by writing to the appropriate Department of Trade and Industry Minister.
See the complete request from Julie Howell over at the Accessify Forum.
January 13, 2005
The Jodi Mattes Web Accessibility Awards were established in 2003, European Year of Disabled People, to celebrate the most accessible museum, gallery and heritage website. This year sees the awards opening to nominations from libraries and archives too.
The Awards will be for a museum, gallery, library, archive or heritage website which demonstrates active commitment to meeting web accessibility standards, involves users and develops practical and imaginative ways of making cultural and learning resources accessible to disabled people. The Awards are for websites developed in England.
The closing date for nominations is Friday 11 March 2005. Further information and nomination forms are available on the MLA website - paradoxically, only in Word and PDF.
The Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (ATAG 2.0) has reached Last Call Working Draft status. It will be under review until 18 January 2005.
What is ATAG 2.0?
Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (ATAG 2.0) is part of a series of accessibility guidelines published by the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). The other guidelines in this series include the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG).
ATAG 2.0 provides guidelines for designing authoring tools that lower barriers to Web accessibility for people with disabilities. An authoring tool that conforms to these guidelines will promote accessibility by providing an accessible authoring interface to authors with disabilities, as well as enabling, supporting, and promoting the production of accessible Web content by all authors.
See Judy Brewer’s reminder on the W3C WAI IG email list, which contains information on how to comment on the working draft.