Accessibility Related Articles
The following articles address different aspects of accessibility. The purpose of this section is to increase the awareness of accessibility, and to explain commonly encountered, but rarely discussed problems.
On an increasing number of web sites you can find the phrase "accessibility statement". Sometimes it is very visible and hard to miss, in other cases we can barely find it. Did you ever read any of these accessibility statements? If you ever did, do you read it on all sites where you find them? In this article I will explain what is the accessibility statement, and give you a couple of points to decide if you need it on your web site.
Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) is a set of guidelines developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) to make it possible to provide an enhanced user experience for people with disabilities when using internet applications with assistive technologies. ARIA is an extra set of tools developers can implement into their web applications to directly communicate information to assistive technologies.
Recently there are many technical descriptions on ARIA, this article aims to explain what it is in general terms, and give you an idea of how and when to use it.
The implementation of accessibility or accessibility features are often times opposed with the reason that it costs way too much time and money for helping a few people. However, when finally things get implemented, it turns out that it helps many more people than to whom it was designed originally. To take a simple example, though not from the world of technology: ramps were built on curbs and building entrances to aid people who use a wheel chair. In many countries, actual legislation demands it based on disability related accommodation. However, all of a sudden people found out that it is the greatest thing also for those who walk with a stroller, a shopping cart, or on ice, during the winter, for that matter.
Sometimes we would like to know quickly if a web page or a web site is accessible. Accurately determining accessibility is not a quick process, but there are some questions we can ask to figure out in a matter of minutes if our site is mostly accessible.
In the following you can read a list of questions which will help you determine if your site contains any of the most frequent errors. What you should be looking for is if you can answer with "yes" to any of the questions. If the answer is "no", most likely you will need to make your site more accessible.
The questions are designed so that they are easy to answer without having too much technical knowledge about web design, web development or accessibility.
Presented at CSUN, March 21, 2009
- Tom Babinszki, Even Grounds, Director
- Larry Campbell, Overbrook International Program Director
Under the sponsorship of the Overbrook-Nippon Network on Educational Technology (ON-NET), we conducted a web accessibility course online during the first half of 2008, and face-to-face in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in June of 2008. The purpose of the course was to teach blind and visually impaired people about web accessibility, equipping them to work as accessibility consultants and trainers in their own countries. There is still much work that needs to be done in the South East Asian region on accessibility. For example, there is a need for more accessibility trainers, work opportunities, and, of course, accessible web sites. This paper will discuss the process of conducting a WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 course, including the challenges and lessons learned during the course and its follow-up in order to facilitate further work and share experience with those who are interested in contributing to web accessibility in the South East Asian region.
JAWS scripting refers to making applications more accessible for those who use the JAWS for Windows screen reader to interact with their computer. They are mostly totally blind, and some low vision people. JAWS, however, in every day terminology is unfortunately used to refer to screen readers in general. In many instances developers claim that an application works with JAWS, where the claim should be that it works with screen readers. Also, it happens often that applications are tested with JAWS for Windows and it is stated that it supports screen readers.
This article will explain what screen reader scripting and screen reader customization is, when is it the most beneficial to use it, and when should you use other methods of making applications accessible. It will also reveal the facts behinds pros and cons of screen reader customization.
Throughout my accessibility consulting work, Section 508 certification is one of the first questions I get.
many of my clients asked me at the beginning of a Section 508 remediation, if I will provide them with a Section 508 certificate, which states the compliance of their product. In this article, I would like to answer this question, and dissolve misconceptions about Section 508 certification.
During the elections, the subject of disabilities wasn't in the center of attention, while it effects almost one out of six Americans. While more emphasis was put on foreign policy and the economy, President Barack Obama definitely has a plan for people with disabilities. And this plan, was posted electronically on the internet, with special considerations to accessibility.
Two hundred years ago, a blind French boy, Louis Braille invented a writing system for blind people, which is used until today, and named Braille after him. Braille letters consist of six dots, the number of dots and their combination make a Braille character. This system is widely used by blind people.
The World Wide Web Consortium announced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to be the new official recommendation.
After long years of work, the new set of guidelines allows more applicability to current and future technologies. In addition, WCAG 2.0 with its new structure makes it easier to follow, and provides much more guidance.