Latest Accessibility News on Accessify

New Blog for E-Access Bulletin

For those who are already subscribed to the E-Access Bulletin newsletter, this won’t be news; for everyone else, though, I strongly recommend you take a look at their swanky new blog E-Access Bulletin Live. It’s a simple design but, as with the email newsletter, it’s the content that really stands out. Go check it out, add to favourites and take part in the discussion.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Change of Image for UK Blind Organisation

RNIB logoSpotted in today’s BBC News:The Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) is getting a make-over and is dropping the ‘man holding white cane’ from its logo:

It said the current design suggested the charity was only for the blind when in fact it helped the partially sighted and works to prevent blindness.

“The logo as it stands promotes the idea that we are a charity that only helps blind people rather than also partially sighted people.” [Ciara Smyth, head of communications at RNIB]

The article also revealed that the RNIB is changing its marketing pitch from “helping you live with sight loss” to “supporting blind and partially sighted people”.

Given that many people on the fringes of web accessibility equate accessible web sites/pages with those that can be used by blind users, it will be interesting to find out whether this re-branding filters down and changes these perceptions.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Monday, February 26, 2007

Mike Davies’ thoughts on the state of accessibility (BarCamp London 2)

A thought-provoking piece by Mike Davies:

Creating an accessible web experience involves the co-ordination number of independent groups. The website builders have an important role, but they cannot cover the entire spectrum of accessibility issues. The user-agent vendors (typically browsers, but not limited to that) play an equally important role, taking accessible content and rendering it in an accessible way. They are also tasked with the responsibility of easing visitor access to content by features such as font-resizing, alternate stylesheets, colour filters, print functionality. The assistive technology provider also plays an important role, making sure that content is conveyed to the user in a way they can perceive and operate…

To that, I’d add a question: what about the responsibility of the end users? The onus also needs to be on them to know which tools are available to them and how to use them properly?

GAWDS has failed. Accessifyforum has failed. Accessites is fundamentally flawed. WCAG 2.0 is in trouble. Joe Clark’s WCAG Samurai remains as a glimmer of hope, so to is WaSP’s Accessibility Task Force. We need something that doesn’t repeat the same mistakes as GAWDS and Accessifyforum, but at the same time be open to involvement by the community, for the community

BarCamp London 2: Accessibility Panel Thoughts.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments (7) Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Sunday, February 25, 2007

Make Firefox’s toolbar buttons keyboard accessible

Mark “dive into mark” Pilgrim delivers a nice little extension for keyboard users:

Firefox toolbar buttons are not in the tab order; there is no way to reach them with the keyboard. This is an accessibility problem, because everything should be navigable with the keyboard. Actually, that’s a misstatement. It is more correct to say that every function must be possible with the keyboard. It is acceptable to duplicate each button’s functionality in menus, which are fully keyboard navigable. This is the route Firefox has historically taken…

It doesn’t work yet with dropdown menu type buttons, but it’s an excellent start: Tabbable toolbar buttons in Firefox.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments (2) Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Posse’s on the Loose at SXSW

To mark the imminent release of Web Standards Creativity - a book that covers a wide range of inventive web techniques, using tricks from the world of DOM scripting, CSS and more, and all with web standards front and centre - the whole posse of authors (well, apart from one notable exception) are going to be having a little competition at this year’s SXSW Interactive. Coincidence or otherwise, all of the individual chapter authors are not only going to be at SXSW, but we’re all speaking at one or more sessions (Patrick and I are doing a session entitled Accessified: Practical Accessibility Fixes Any Web Developer Can Use); your task is to track each and every one of us down to get a chance to win a copy of the book.

There are ten copies to give away and all you need to do is:

  1. Print out the PDF below
    Wanted: These ten authors
  2. Track each of us down (the flyer has a picture of each of us and where we’ll be speaking)
  3. Ask us nicely to stamp the relevant section on the flyer.
  4. Buy us a beer (optional)
  5. Offer up some mindless chit chat (optional) before finding your next victim, I mean author
  6. When you’ve got the whole set, be sure to ask your final stamper to mark the time/date and sign it for you (the final stamper will need to retain the flyer or just tear off that bottom section as proof)

The first ten people to complete the flyers will each get a copy of the book, once it’s available to ship. Good luck!

[tags]SXSW, SXSW2007, WSC, Web Standards Creativity, Competition[/tags]

Comments Off Posted by Ian on Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sarah Horton’s “Access by Design” online

The Universal Usability site houses an unabridged, online version of Access by Design: A Guide to Universal Usability for Web Designers, by Sarah Horton, published in 2005 by New Riders Press. You’ll find the complete text and illustrations from the printed book here under Access by Design Online. The online version also offers links to texts and tutorials that support and expand on the concepts covered in the book.

A wonderful book and now a great online resource…thanks Sarah!

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments (1) Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Sunday, February 4, 2007