A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Accessibility is a general term used to describe the degree to which a product (e.g., device, service, environment) is accessible by as many people as possible, and the ventures to produce accessible products and services. Accessibility is often used to focus on people with disabilities and their right of access to entities, often through use of assistive technology.



Adaptive Technology Resource Centre: Technical Glossary

Comprehensive list of adaptive technology devices with detailed descriptions and examples of how they are used. Covers Alternative Keyboards, Alternative Mouse Systems, Braille Embosser and Text to Braille Conversion, Refreshable Braille Displays, Screen Magnifiers, Screen Readers and Talking Browsers, Text-to-Speech Systems, Animated Signing Characters (Signing Avatars) to name but a few.

Adaptive Technology Resource Centre (2004). Resources>Accessibility>Technology>Glossary


L'aderenza agli Standard di Screen Reader e Browser Vocali

Uno studio comparativo di 5 prodotti evidenzia come Jaws di Freedom Scientific e Home Page Reader di IBM siano gli strumenti che meglio interpretano le linee guida per l'accessibilità web.

D'Amour, Jean-Marie and Catherine Ro. FucinaWeb (2002). (Italian) Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Web Browsers


Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Techniques

Some sites would hardly exist at all if they took down their PDF files (PDF stands for 'Portable Document Format'). This format is an incredibly useful format for some situations, providing a method to post content on the Web that will print exactly as the author intended it to. Creating PDF files is faster and easier than creating HTML files in many cases. This increases its allure for Web developers.

WebAIM (2004). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Adobe Acrobat


Adobe Acrobat and PDF

After HTML, PDF (Portable Document Format) files are probably the most common files on the Web. PDF is usually used when a file needs to appear or print a certain way, regardless of the browser or technology. PDF files can be made accessible to people with disabilities, although usually with more difficulty than with HTML. A key part of this process involves creating tags that make a document more accessible to screen reader users.

NCDAE (2006). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Adobe Acrobat


Adopting WCAG 2

It is six months since the release of WCAG 2.0 and I thought it might be interesting to see how extensively it has been adopted as a bench mark for determining web content accessibility. Over this time, I have felt that the rate of adoption has been relatively slow and the number of countries and other regulatory authorities now using WCAG 2 is lower than I expected.

Hudson, Roger. DingoAccess (2009). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Standards


Advanced Techniques for Creating Accessible Adobe® PDF Files   (PDF)

A step-by-step guide that covers more advanced techniques for optimizing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files so that they can be made accessible to users with disabilities such as blindness or low vision.

Adobe (2004). Books>Web Design>Accessibility>Adobe Acrobat


Affrontare l'Accessibilità

Questo libro risponde a due domande. La prima è "Perchè dovrei rendere più accessibile il mio sito?" E se non avete un sito web, questo libro non è per voi. La seconda domanda è "Come posso rendere il mio sito più accessibile?" Se non siete convinti della vostra prima risposta, non sarete di certo interessati alla seconda.

Pilgrim, Mark. Dive Into Accessibility (2002). (Italian) Books>Web Design>Accessibility


AHA: Audio HTML Access   (members only)

This report discusses the 'AHA' system for presenting HTML in audio for blind users and others who wish to access the WWW non-visually. AHA is a framework and set of suggestions for HTML presentation based on an initial experiment. Further experimentation and further revisions will be performed with the system.

James, Frankie. Stanford University (1998). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Audio



If you’re an all-Flash shop that never creates a semantic HTML underpinning, it’s time to start creating HTML first—because an ever-larger number of your users are going to be accessing your site via devices that do not support Flash. That’s not Apple “zealotry.” It’s not Flash hate. It’s a recommendation to my fellow professionals who aren’t already on the accessible, standards-based design train.

Zeldman, Jeffrey. Zeldman.com (2010). Articles>Accessibility>Mobile>Flash


AJAX Accessibility for Websites

Discover the accessibility problems caused by AJAX and how it can be used to enhance web accessibility.

Simard, Brigitte. Webcredible (2008). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Ajax


AJAX Aids Accessibility?

Yes, if you do it right, using Ajax techniques can improve accessibility. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Ajax is like most techniques and technologies on the web—they are what you make of them.

Spool, Jared M. User Interface Engineering (2009). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Ajax


AJAX and Screenreaders: When Can it Work?

We've all heard a great deal of buzz about AJAX in the last few months, and with this talk has come a legion of articles, tips, presentations and practical APIs designed to explore the possibilities and try to arrive at best-practice techniques. But, for all of the excitement and hype, still very little has been said on the subject of AJAX and accessibility.

Edwards, James. SitePoint (2006). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Ajax


Aktionsbündnis für Barrierefreie Informationstechnik

Im Aktionsbündnis für barrierefreie Informationstechnik (AbI) haben sich Behindertenverbände und Experten zusammengeschlossen, um die Umsetzung von Barrierefreiheit in der Informationstechnik zu unterstützen.

FTB. (German) Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Alt and Beyond: Making Web Graphics Accessible

Many developers still view graphics and accessibility as being on opposing ends of the web development scale. The truth is that including graphics in your documents does not mean your page has to be any less accessible. In fact, as we will see later in this article, graphics can be used to enhance the accessibility of a page. There are, however, a few key techniques that you can employ to ensure that you don't have to construct alternative 'Text-Only' documents. The web truly is the last frontier where we can treat all people equally with 'one size fits all' web documents. There is just a little bit extra we need to do to achieve this.

Roberts, Tim. evolt (2002). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Alternative Interfaces for Accessibility

The key difference between user interfaces for sighted users and blind users is not that between graphics and text; it's the difference between 2-D and 1-D. Optimal usability for users with disabilities requires new approaches and new user interfaces.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2003). Design>Accessibility>Usability>Universal Usability


Amex Woes Highlight Common PDF Accessibility Problem

American Express has come under criticism, and potential legal action, for the lack of accessibility of its credit card website. A blind customer of American Express credit cards found that Amex's change in the presentation of its online credit card statements from HTML to PDF format effectively prevented him from accessing his financial information online.

Rourke, Chris. User Vision (2007). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Adobe Acrobat


An Idiot’s Guide To Accessible Website Design

If you are designing web sites in the UK, you probably already know that the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) mandates web sites be accessible by visually and physically disabled persons. But even if you work in a locale that doesn’t have any accessibility requirements yet, web designers have an obligation to make their clients’ web sites available and accessible to anyone who wishes to visit. Why? According to a report by the Danish Center for Accessibility, as many as 25% of the world’s Internet users have some sort of visual, auditory or mobility disability.

Butler, Sandy. Web Design Ledger (2009). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Another –ability: Accessibility Primer for Usability Specialists

This paper discusses in depth the relationship between accessibility and usability in product design. It presents a definition of accessibility and introduces the concept of ‘usable accessibility.’

Henry, Shawn Lawton. UIaccess (2002). Articles>Accessibility>Usability


Another Way of Looking at Accessibility

Lorraine Ireland writes about her experiences of learning about web accessibility, having been in the business of selling adaptive technology for a number of years.

Ireland, Lorraine. Accessify (2003). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


The Applicability of the ADA to the Internet

As the Internet has increased in prominence in all sectors of society, interested individuals have begun to question whether or not the Internet should be included in the regulations set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Right now there is no explicit reference to the Internet in any of the language of the act.

Bohman, Paul. WebAIM (2000). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Policies and Procedures


Applied Theory: Working Toward an Accessible Web Site

With the passage of Section 508 and the efforts of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), interest in Web site accessibility continues to increase. Web designers and Web content developers are finding that knowledge in Web accessibility is becoming essential to be marketable to government contracts and private industry since accessibility is becoming a best practice, and in some cases a legal requirement, in Web development. This article is written for those who already have a general knowledge about the reasons for, and the techniques of, designing accessible Web sites. In this article, I will share the steps that I have taken to work toward transforming a Web site that I manage to one that is accessible according to the W3C recommendations.

McConnell, Kim. Usability Interface (2003). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Section 508


Applying Color Theory to Digital Displays

For backgrounds behind text, use solid, contrasting colors, and avoid the use of textures and patterns, which can make letterforms difficult to distinguish or even illegible. Choose combinations of text color and background color with care. Value contrast between body text and its background color should be a minimum of about eighty percent.

Gabriel-Petit, Pabini. UXmatters (2007). Design>User Interface>Accessibility>Color


Appropriate Use of Alternative Text

Adding alternative text for images is the first principle of web accessibility. It is also one of the most difficult to properly implement. The web is replete with images that have missing, incorrect, or poor alternative text. Like many things in web accessibility, determining appropriate, equivalent, alternative text is often a matter of personal interpretation. Through the use of examples, this article will present our experienced interpretation of appropriate use of alternative text.

WebAIM (2005). Articles>Accessibility>Image Editing>Web Design


Are Accessibility Statements Useful?

An accessibility statement provides website visitors with information on how to utilize any accessibility features implemented, together with known barriers and how to overcome them. This information is usually presented on a dedicated page within the website. This article will look at the benefits of providing an accessibility statement together with common problems, before evaluating whether accessibility statements are useful.

Tomlinson, Leona. Digital Web Magazine (2008). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Policies and Procedures


ARIA and Progressive Enhancement

Now that the release of ARIA is approaching, let’s take a look at how ARIA fits within progressive enhancement strategy. Can we use ARIA in a way that respects progressive enhancement? Can we use ARIA in ways that ensure we have a working solution at every level?

Featherstone, Derek. List Apart, A (2010). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Standards



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