Latest Accessibility News on Accessify

Setting Your Own Accesskeys with JavaScript

I’ve written an article which is published on Think Vitamin about the thorny subject of accesskeys. Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, they can be useful to some people, but not necessarily when they are forced on people. In the article I demonstrate how JavaScript and the DOM can be used to set and recall chosen accesskeys, but all done unobtrusively and with an evil factor of zero.

Read Setting & Retrieving Accesskeys with JavaScript and DOM on Think Vitamin, and please do add a comment if you have some suggestions for improvements on this idea

[tags]javascript, DOM, accessibility, accesskeys, tutorial, vitamin, think vitamin[/tags]

Comments (1) Posted by Ian on Friday, March 23, 2007

1-day Accessibility Workshop - Public Sector Event

I’m taking part in a 1-day workshop for the public sector here in the UK entitled How web accessibility works in the real world, along with fellow accessibility twonks Bruce Lawson, Patrick Lauke, Ann McMeekin and organiser Dan Champion. I was thinking about how to craft this post, but how can I possible do better than Bruce? The answer is that I can’t, so I’ll just refer you to this piece of marketing genius:

“It’s the kind of shindig I like; evangelising practical accessibility techniques. Also there will be the Web Standards tubgirl to my accessibility goatse, Patrick Lauke , my partner in DTI -bashing fun , Dan Champion , Pixeldiva of the Royal National Institute for the Blind, and the rakishly handsome and debonair Ian Lloyd of Nationwide.

Come along. It’ll be like having sex with all of us at once, in that it’ll be great fun, good for you, you’ll be the envy of your friends and it will last all day.”

Thanks Bruce. Having linked to those photos, I think I can safely say that we won’t get many sign-ups for the day now. Way to scare ‘em off with picture of ole rubber face lloydi!

Comments (2) Posted by Ian on Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Perfect Popup was Imperfect …

But now it’s history. The Perfect Popup is dead, long live The Perfect Pop-up.

After many years of sitting there advising about how to create accessible pop-up windows using inline event handlers (onclick), I have finally got around to updating this article using unopbtrusive JavaScript and also the accompanying Popup Window Generator (the two go very much hand in hand).

Please do take a look. If you can spot anything wrong with it, or perhaps you want to make a suggestion or two on how you can improve it, then please feel free to add something to the comments on this post.

Filed under: Accessibility, Tools
Comments (6) Posted by Ian on Thursday, March 22, 2007

Who’s responsible for web accessibility?

It’s the web developer/designer right? Right? I mean, that’s what we’ve all been led to believe for a long time - it’s that person’s duty to make the web site accessible, isn’t it? Perhaps not.

Patrick Lauke, contributor to this site, wrote about this topic for .net magazine for their April edition, and the text has been re-published on his personal blog. Much like Patrick, the article is short but sweet. Actually, Patrick’s just short, but you get my drift.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments (5) Posted by Ian on Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Accessibility Training in Texas - Hold’em Seats now

Sorry. That was a bad Texas Hold’em pun, but if you can grab a seat on this training session, you’ll certainly be playing your cards right, cowboy.

Derek Featherstone is heading back to Texas, so soon after leaving from SXSW, to do a 1-day training course on 7 May at the Alamo Drafthouse (hey, is that a bar, Derek? Sounds suspiciously like it!).

Anyone who knows Derek will vouch that he knows his stuff.

“Want a truly usable, accessible web app? Learn from a world-class teacher how to harness Ajax, break out of your usual development routines, and build intelligently, using the technologies you really need.

We won’t just be covering the basics or theoretical situations. We’ll be examining original research conducted by Derek’s company and real-life test cases. You’ll see assistive technologies and prototypes of new techniques in action. During this intensive workshop we’ll even put a selection of existing web apps through their paces — zeroing in on how well they meet the needs of people with a variety of disabilities.”

View the training course details here.

Comments Off Posted by Ian on Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Typical Government Response? Yup.

A recent government epetition read:

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure that any website launched by the government complies with accessibility standards (WCAG AA at least).”

The response?

“The Government is committed to ensuring that all government websites are accessible and easy to use for people with disabilities.

Action 7 of the Prime Minister’s Digital Strategy is to ‘improve accessibility to technology for the digitally excluded and ease of use for the disabled’.

This strategy is to be implemented by DTI with support from OGC and eGU (now the Cabinet Office Delivery and Transformation Group). A cross-government review of the Digital Strategy is currently under way under the supervision of the DTI).”

Firstly, how is this responding to the petition? And given that this petition came about because of the perceived failure of the DTI to get its house in order with regards web accessibility, what do we think about their ability to implement and supervise this?

Or have a totally mis-read this reply. Please tell me I have!

The epetition text, right here …

Filed under: Accessibility, Government
Comments (5) Posted by Ian on Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Impending Collision Of Accessibility and RIA

At Rob Garner writes about the head-on collision between Rich Internet Applications
and their worst enemy, good old accessibility

The irony is that while Web accessibility is just beginning to appear on the radar screen of corporate America, current mega-trends in enterprise Web design are as far away from meeting accessibility standards as they could possibly be.

It’s no good, you can’t bury your head in the sand any longer, folks! I dunno, those ‘fancy-pants designers’, they want everything looking sexy and exciting these days, don’t they? That was sarcasm, by the way.

Filed under: Accessibility
Comments (3) Posted by Ian on Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Doing Your Bit for Standards

I’m just back from the annual pilgrimage that is the South By South West Interactive festival/conference and wanted to highlight something that may be of interest to readers of this site.

During the annual Web Standards Project (WaSP) face-to-face meeting, questions were taken from the audience and one that came up was one that WaSP members hear a lot:

“How could I become a WaSP”

The answer was that people are invited, so if you’re doing something good, making a name for yourself and getting noticed, you stand a better chance. That said, WaSP was able to offer a another possible avenue for people to explore, should they wish to contribute, and that is the WaSP Street Team.

The idea is one that is not uncommon in the music industry, whereby the fans do some of the grassroots publicising on the band’s behalf, and with the Street Team, WaSP is hoping to get more people to spread the word through specific campaigns and promotions.

So if you want to get involved and do your part to further the cause of web standards, go on over to the sign up list - WaSP will be getting back to all those who sign up with ideas and tasks soon.

Filed under: Standards
Comments Off Posted by Ian on Thursday, March 15, 2007

SXSW 2007 - Accessified Presentation

Just a quick note to say that we’ll be getting the slides up from yesterday’s presentation as soon as possible. The location is here (for those who may have missed the note on the final slide). In the meantime, some of the demos are available on YouTube (but obviously minus the commentary).

If you were there and have any feedback, we’d love to hear what you thought of it. 25 minutes was definitely not enough time to cover anything (and we had to cut a lot).

Update: the transcript for this session is now available.

Comments (2) Posted by Ian on Monday, March 12, 2007