Latest Accessibility News on Accessify

Last Call Working Draft of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0

A Last Call Working Draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) as well as two supporting documents were published 27 April 2006. W3C strongly encourages broad community review of this Last Call Working Draft, and submission of comments on any issues which you feel could present a significant barrier to future adoption and implementation of WCAG 2.0.

(Note that only the WCAG 2.0 is in Last Call and only the WCAG 2.0 will become a Recommendation. Understanding WCAG 2.0 and Techniques for WCAG 2.0 are being developed to support WCAG 2.0, and will be released as Working Group Notes when WCAG 2.0 becomes a Recommendation.)

In particular, we encourage you to comment on the conformance model and success criteria. Reviewers are encouraged to provide suggestions for how to address issues as well as positive feedback, and commitments to implement the guidelines. This message contains information on the documents and how to comment.

Comments should be received on or before 31 May 2006. Comments should be made in one of four formats:

  • online form,
  • downloadable excel form,
  • downloadable html form, or
  • downloadable text form.

Instructions and downloadable files for comments on WCAG 2.0 Last Call Working Draft.

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.

Note: Until WCAG 2.0 becomes a W3C Recommendation, WCAG 1.0 will continue to be the current and stable document to use. Most Web sites that conform to WCAG 1.0 should not require significant changes in order to conform to WCAG 2.0, and may not need any changes.

This 27 April 2006 release of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 is a Last Call Working Draft by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (part of the Web Accessibility Initiative). Publication as a Last Call Working Draft indicates that the WCAG WG believes it has addressed all substantive issues and that the document is stable (see below for more information on subsequent stages). The first public Working Draft of WCAG 2.0 was published 25 January 2001. Since then, the WCAG WG has published nine Working Drafts, addressed more than 1,000 issues, and developed a variety of supporting resources for the guidelines.

A good place to start a review of WCAG 2.0 is with the Overview of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 documents. The Overview explains the relationships between WCAG 2.0 and the supporting documents, and links to the current version of each document.

The documents published on 27 April 2006:

The WCAG WG believes that after Last Call, WCAG 2.0 will be ready to move on to the remaining stages of the W3C Recommendation Track Process:

  • Candidate Recommendation - when the WCAG WG will collect implementation experience on use of WCAG 2.0 to design and evaluate Web content for accessibility;
  • Proposed Recommendation - when W3C will seek endorsement of the specification from W3C Member organizations;
  • Recommendation - when WCAG 2.0 will be published by W3C as a technical report appropriate for widespread deployment and the promotion of W3C’s mission.

Note that the WCAG WG will start collecting implementation examples early in the Last Call review period. Please visit the WAI home page for more information.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Friday, April 28, 2006

New in Book Reviews - CSS Mastery

Just a brief heads- up - I have given CSS Mastery a (slightly overdue) review. For anyone who’d been debating whether to buy a copy or not, perhaps this will tip the scales a little.

Book review - CSS Mastery

Filed under: CSS, Reviews
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What’s wrong with this picture?

I had to flag this one up - a great example of a company that seems to ‘get it’ (on one hand) but then manages to foul it up at the same time. What’s wrong with this picture? It’s clear for all to see. Or rather it’s not.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments (1) Posted by Ian on Monday, April 24, 2006

WaSP Accessibility Task Force manifesto

The Web Standards Project Accessibility Task Force has finally released its ambitious manifesto:

  • We will work ceaselessly to demonstrate that accessibility and well-formed markup can go hand-in-hand with effective interactivity, branding and aesthetics.
  • We will demand more from our tools. All of them. We will push for browsers, media players and assistive technology to support UAAG, and for WYSIWYG code editors, CMSes, blogging tools, converters and media tools to support ATAG.
  • We will impartially attempt to engage all vendors in constructive dialogue to help them support web standards and thereby enhance accessibility.
  • We will strive to educate corporations and their web developers, so that they can make informed decisions without falling prey to “Accessibility Snake Oil Salesman”.
  • We will work closely with other WaSP Task Forces and relevant Working Groups such as the WCAG WG to develop reliable patterns and methodologies for developing standards-compliant, interactive and accessible web sites that work consistently for users with disabilities.
  • Finally, when a vendor is unwilling to engage and willfully continues to pursue discriminatory practices, we will use the resources we have available to force the issue.

Don’t forget that the Web Standards Project is first and foremost a grassroots coalition. We’re part of the global community of web designers and developers, and we appreciate and value the community’s input and support. So get in touch if you have any issues, ideas or suggestions!

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Saturday, April 22, 2006

PAS 78 - Learn How to Contract Accessible Websites to Improve your Business

Introduction to PAS 78 - Guide to good practice in commissioning accessible websites

Breakfast Briefing:
Understanding how Disabled People use the Internet
Thursday, 29 June 2006
Introduction to PAS 78
Thursday, 29 June 2006
Half Day Workshop:
Presenting the Business Case to the Board
Friday, 30 June 2006

Location: Novotel, West London, W6

This introductory-level, practical and non-technical conference will explain the content and best usage of Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 78 - guidance which enables you to effectively request and implement accessible, usable websites which can:

  • Improve your business
  • Deliver ROI
  • Help meet obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005

With an aging population, and the untapped spending power of disabled people, it makes good business and legal sense to ensure your site is accessible.

The PAS, developed by BSI for the Disability Rights Commission (DRC), has just been published and applies to all organizations that provide or sell products and/or services on line.

Attend this event to gain the advantage for your organization - be among the first to learn:

  • What PAS 78 is
  • Why you need it
  • When and how to implement it
  • What using PAS 78 will deliver for your business

Who should attend?

  • Management of all organizations that provide a service or sell products or services online
  • All owners, managers and all staff responsible for contracting out, implementing, maintaining and managing websites

To book your place call +44 (0)20 8996 9001 or email

For more details, see the BSI PAS 78 conference information page.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Friday, April 21, 2006

UKUPA presentation: What does PAS 78 mean for accessibility?


  • Julie Howell, RNIB
  • Lucy Spence, Mencap
  • Jon Rimmer, UCL
  • Jon Dodd, Bunnyfoot
  • Giles Colborne, UPA


Friday 28th April


6.30pm for 6.45pm, followed by drinks and networking at 8:00


Prudential Group Head Office, Laurence Pountney Hill, London, EC4R 0HH


Free for UPA members, £10 for Non UPA members (£5 for students)


Last month, the Disability Rights Commission and the British Standards Institute launched PAS 78: Guide to good practice in commissioning accessible web sites. The guide puts user-centred design at the heart of accessibility and will change the way site owners think about accessibility.

This is your chance to put questions to some of the people involved in writing and reviewing PAS 78 and debate how it will change the landscape. What are the practical implications of PAS 78? What will it mean for designers, developers and testers? How should usability professionals prepare?

The meeting will take the form of a panel discussion with questions from the floor.

To reserve your place, email with your name, affiliation and stating whether you are a UPA member or not. If you do not specify membership, it will be assumed that you are not a member.

If you are allocated a place and then cannot attend, please let us know so that someone else can take it.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Friday, April 21, 2006

Creating a more accessible map

Over on A List Apart (which apparently has had some kind of colour shift with the changing of the seasons, although you’d be hard pushed to tell) is a cracking article entitled A More Accessible Map, in which Seth Duffey demonstrates how to create a CSS-based, semantically rich map that shows information about cities of the world when you tab to or hover the link. What struck me about the article is the way the author neatly steps through the process from the most basic data requirements up to the full-blown visual version, then finally recapping in English the various steps that he went through (similar to the way that Jeremy Keith does in his Dom Scripting Book). If only the real mapping services would (or could) approach online maps in the same standards-friendly and visually appealing manner.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments (1) Posted by Ian on Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Rescheduled: Julie Howell to present at MDAWG

Reposted from the earlier news item.

Just a quick note to give you first option on the next MDAWG which will be on Thursday 20th April at 18:00 at the MDDA premises as usual.

We have just secured a presentation from Julie Howell, Digital Policy Manager for the RNIB, who was very heavily involved with the development of PAS 78.

Register by sending an email to

Rescheduled: to accommodate the rather heavy demands on Julie Howell’s time, the presentation has been brought forward. We will now be starting a little earlier at 15:45 pm in the Cube Gallery next door to the MDDA on the 20th April. This is one to be very prompt for as Julie has very little time and will be starting at 16:00.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Web Accessibility Tools Consortium colour contrast analyser 1.1

The Web Accessibility Tools Consortium and Vision Australia are proud to announce the colour contrast analyser version 1.1.

Packed with new features:

  • Choice of test algorithms (luminosity and colour/brightness)
  • Input hex or RGB values
  • RGB sliders to tweak colours on the fly and get results instantly
  • Simulation functions that allow application of colour blindness and other simulations to screen captures, existing images, and real time simulations via a draggable “simulation window”
  • Button copy results to clipboard for insertion in documents

A huge thanks to Jun for all his work on this project and thanks to Gez Lemon, Sofia Celic and Andrew Arch and pixeldiva for their feedback during development. And a minor pat on the back to my humble self [Ed.: Steve Faulkner from the National Information Library Service]

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Tuesday, April 18, 2006

GrayBit version 1.0 launched

Congratulations to Mike Cherim and Jonathan Fenocchi for the launch of GrayBit 1.0

GrayBit is an online accessibility testing tool designed to visually convert a full-color web page into a grayscale rendition for the purpose of visually testing the page’s perceived contrast.

Regardless of a few very minor bugs, the converter works very nicely, dealing with images referenced in the HTML, as well as any images and colours defined in the CSS. Moreover, all link references in a page are changed to run through the converter as well, so that you can do an entire run through a site and view the converted version of each page…slick.

It’s worth noting, though, that, as useful as this tool is, it still only provides a way to carry out a subjective assessment of a page’s contrast. A human tester running pages through the converter still has to make a personal judgement call on whether or not contrast is sufficient. Also, this tool does not (yet?) simulate the effect of different types of colour blindness (which not only influence the hue, but also the perceived brightness of colours). And lastly, the mathematical conversion to greyscale used by GrayBit may not complete match the subjective brightness perception of the original colours; for instance, compare the top banner on Jona’s page in its original and converted forms - the greyscale version of the gradient appears darker (to me, anyway) than the fluorescent green one, giving the impression of a far better contrast than originally present.

All in all, though, this is an excellent tool to demonstrate the reason why a site shouldn’t rely on colour alone to somebody who may not even be aware of the potential problem encountered by users with colour blindness. Use it in conjunction with Gez Lemon’s colour contrast analyser for slightly more objective results.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Monday, April 17, 2006
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