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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.



Benefits of Web Accessibility

The Internet is becoming increasingly important in our lives. Web accessibility is vital to disabled people as it provides them with equal access and equal on the web. Therefore it significantly improves their lives as "the Web offers the possibility of unprecedented access to information and interaction for many people with disabilities. An accessible web allows people with disabilities to become more active members of our society" (W3C 2005).

Raspberry Frog (2007). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Best Practices in Online Captioning

Use of online video has grown faster than the use of accessibility in online video. Though bandwidth costs for video files can still be high compared to ordinary text-and-graphics Web pages, it is nonetheless easy to digitize video and post it online. It's easier to broadcast your video to the world via the Internet than it is to get the same video on television. Online multimedia are a useful and valid new medium of communication - for most people.

Clark, Joe. JoeClark.org (2004). Design>Accessibility>Multimedia>Video


Best Practices: Writing for Accessibility

Most of the time, the primary focus of information about accessibility has to do with making non-text information available as text. Captioning and audio description for video, transcriptions for audio, simple text alternatives for static images. But what about the content itself?

Dolson, Joseph C. Accessible Web Design (2008). Articles>Accessibility>Web Design>Writing


Beyond Accessibility: Treating Users with Disabilities as People

With current Web design practices, users without disabilities experience three times higher usability than users who are blind or have low vision. Usability guidelines can substantially improve the matter by making websites and intranets support task performance for users with disabilities.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2001). Design>Accessibility>Web Design>Universal Usability


Beyond Guidelines: Advanced Accessibility Techniques

Find out how to go beyond the W3C accessibility guidelines and offer a truly accessible web experience.

Moss, Trenton. Webcredible (2006). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Beyond Specifications: Towards a Practical Methodology for Evaluating Web Accessibility   (peer-reviewed)

The current set of tools and specifications for ensuring web accessibility require expert knowledge and often have a highly technical orientation, with the consequence that it is not very clear how, or even when, to make use of them. In an attempt to tackle this problem, this paper reviews the types of tools and specifications available and proposes a simple and practical methodology for web accessibility evaluation that demonstrates how these tools and specifications could be used. The proposed methodology proposes methods and processes for reaching and maintaining web accessibility, and consists of the following phases: (a) identification of user requirements and setting up of accessibility goals, (b) web accessibility evaluation and redesign process, and (c) establishment and follow-up of accessibility policy. Further, in order to illustrate step (b), an example of web accessibility evaluation is described, where the domain is contemporary scientific publishing web sites. The work presented in this paper reports on issues that need to be considered by human-computer interaction (HCI) researchers, interaction design practitioners, and usability professionals for inclusive web design and are complementary to web usability engineering.

Koutsabasis, Panayiotis, Evangelos Vlachogiannis and Jenny S. Darzentas. Journal of Usability Studies (2010). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Methods


Big, Stark and Chunky

Research shows that low-vision people need dramatically different web design. CSS lets you give them what they need.

Clark, Joe. List Apart, A (2005). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Blind and Low Vision Users

When we come to accessibility of web design, we will say that accessible web design is a sign of good web design. A lot of the information on the Web is not accessible to people with disabilities because of poor design. While many web site managers and developers accommodate various browser constraints, most of them do not realize that they are developing sites that people with disabilities have difficulty in navigating, or in many cases, cannot navigate at all.

Hung, Edward. Universal Usability. Design>Usability>Accessibility>Visual Rhetoric


Blind to Users' Needs

Making the web accessible by disabled people doesn't necessarily make it usable. Does simplicity always make for ideal usability - or are there instances where an innovative website might be difficult to use, but also hold usability dividends for users prepared to meet the technology halfway?

Starr, Sandy. Spiked Online (2002). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Bridging Usability and Aesthetic Design of Wheelchairs

A wheelchair provides transportation for the disabled, independence and self-sufficiency to someone who would otherwise be completely dependent on others. But is functionality the only aspect of a wheelchair worth contemplation? Should we not evaluate the design aesthetic of wheelchairs to the same extent that we analyze the design of other useful and purposeful objects?

Fields, Betsy. Usability Interface (2003). Design>Usability>Accessibility


Bringing Gaming to the Disabled

To a huge number of gamers and would-be gamers, though, even the most sensible and well-laid-out controller scheme is unplayable. For them, accessibility and interface issues make gaming at best an incomplete experience and at worst a total impossibility.

Hartford Courant (2009). Articles>Accessibility>User Interface>Games


Build Accessible Online Forms

Ask anyone who has had to fix a Website that's littered with accessibility howlers, and top-most in their list of problems encountered will be forms, closely followed by tables. These two topics always seem to present the most difficulties, but they needn't be a problem. For the most part, forms are a problem because the extra accessibility tags are simply not known to the Web designer -- after all, it looks right, it seems to work... what's the problem? Only by switching off the monitor and using a screen-reader can our oblivious Web developer understand the issues.

Lloyd, Ian. SitePoint (2003). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Forms


Build Accessible Online Forms

Ask anyone who has had to fix a Website that's littered with accessibility howlers, and top-most in their list of problems encountered will be forms, closely followed by tables. These two topics always seem to present the most difficulties, but they needn't be a problem. For the most part, forms are a problem because the extra accessibility tags are simply not known to the Web designer -- after all, it looks right, it seems to work... what's the problem? Only by switching off the monitor and using a screen-reader can our oblivious Web developer understand the issues.

Lloyd, Ian. SitePoint (2003). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Forms


Building a Barrier-Free Web

Architects call the concept of making choices that work best for the greatest number of people 'barrier-free design.' While no Web site—or building, for that matter—can be equally accessible to everyone, the intellectual shift from thinking of accessibility as an add-on can be liberating. There are plenty of good reasons for constructing your sites with as few barriers as possible.

Kuchinskas, Susan. New Architect (2002). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Building a Barrier-Free Web

Perhaps you're not legally required to make your site friendly to disabled users, but it's still good business.

Kuchinskas, Susan. Dr. Dobb's (2002). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Building Accessible Static Navigation with CSS

When building a navigation menu for a web site, steps should be taken to ensure that it is accessible, and degrades gracefully in older browsers with lesser CSS support. In this article we will explore one such implementation. The navigation menu you see in this example is built with valid, semantic HTML and CSS - no JavaScript is involved, as I felt this was unnecessary. The static (non-expanding/collapsing) nature of the example suits a web site comprised of twenty or less target pages.

Palinkas, Frank M. Opera (2008). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>CSS


Building Accessible Tables

CSS and XHTML have given tables a pretty rough ride in recent times. Of course, this is the fault of just about all web developers who have at some point in their career used them for laying out page elements. This article is not about using tables for layout. It is about how to use tables to display information in an accessible manner.

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


Building Accessible Websites: Serialization

Designers assume accessibility means a boring site, a myth borne out by oldschool accessibility advocates, whose hostility to visual appeal is barely suppressed. Neither camp has its head screwed on right. It's not either/or; it's both/and.

Clark, Joe. JoeClark.org (2002). Books>Web Design>Accessibility


Building an Accessible Blog   (members only)

The accessibility of blogs is generally determined by the accessibility knowledge of the blogger and the accessibility of the software that is used to create the blog (Shelly & Pezely 2008). While I can't help with the latter, I can give you some tips to enhance your accessibility knowledge. Here are some things to keep in mind when you write a blog. I'll start with two things that should sound familiar.

Roberts, Linda Enders. Intercom (2011). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Blogging


The Business Case for Web Accessibility

Makes the business case for catering to the widest audience possible. Identifies groups of people who have problems accessing the web, and explains how building web sites they are able to use can positively impact your bottom line.

Budd, Andy. Blogography (2004). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Business Case


Can Color-Blind Users See Your Site?

Information that will help you to create more readable Web sites.

Hess, Robert. Microsoft (2000). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Color


Can Expanding Targets Make Object Selection Easier for Older Adults?

Given the proliferation of computers and rapidly aging demographic trends, there is a critical need for user interface designs that accommodate older adults. It is known that many adults in this age group experience declines in cognitive, sensory, and/or motor capacities that may interfere with their ability to interact effectively with current user interfaces. Motor behavior slows with age. Compared to younger adults, older adults take longer to complete the same movement, and their movements are more variable, less smooth, and less coordinated (Seidler & Stelmach, 1996). The loss of fine motor skills makes it difficult for older adults to position cursors on computer screens, particularly when interacting with small objects (Chaparro, et al., 1999; Walker et al., 1996). This can lead to greater frustration and possibly increased risk of cumulative trauma due to prolonged periods of time in awkward postures. This article describes one of a series of studies designed to explore alternative interaction techniques to make object selection easier for older mouse users.

Bohan, Michael and Deborah Scarlett. Usability News (2003). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Elderly


Can the alt Attribute Be Omitted Without Hurting Accessibility?

In the current editor’s draft of the HTML 5 specification, the alt attribute for images is no longer required. I am not convinced that this is a good idea.

Johansson, Roger. 456 Berea Street (2007). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>HTML5


Can Two Established Information Models Explain the Information Behaviour of Visually Impaired People Seeking Health and Social Care Information?   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This study provides a new and valuable insight into the information behaviour of visually impaired people, as well as testing the applicability of a specific and generic information model to the information behaviour of visually impaired people seeking health and social care information.

Beverley, C.A., P.A. Bath and R. Barber. Journal of Documentation (2007). Articles>Scientific Communication>Accessibility>Biomedical


Captcha Usability Revisited: Google Inaccessible to Blind People

An online petition is being circulated to all Internet users for the purpose of collecting signatures showing support for Google to make its word verification scheme accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

Rønn-Jensen, Jesper. Just Add Water (2006). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Security



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