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.



Creating Captions Using MAGpie 2.0

MAGpie allows the captioning of Web audio and video content for use in QuickTime, RealPlayer, and Windows Media Player.

WebAIM (2004). Resources>Software>Accessibility>Video


Creating Text Equivalents for Images

This article is for developers and content editors seeking to supplement the visual elements of a user interface with text equivalents. This article describes what text equivalents are, why they are required, how to create them, and the best approach to writing and editing them.

Microsoft (2002). Design>User Interface>Accessibility>Visual


Creating Text Equivalents for Images

This article is for developers and content editors seeking to supplement the visual elements of a user interface with text equivalents. This article describes what text equivalents are, why they are required, how to create them, and the best approach to writing and editing them.

Microsoft (2002). Articles>Accessibility>Software


CSS in Action: Invisible Content Just for Screen Reader Users

Most of the techniques for making web content accessible to screen readers are invisible to visual users. Alternative (alt) text, table header tags, table summaries, and form

WebAIM (2007). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>CSS


Current Browsers and the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

Any effort on the part of web authors to add accessibility features is rendered useless if browsers and assistive technologies don’t take advantage of them. User agent developers need to ensure that their products support these features and, most crucially, make them available to users in an accessible and obvious manner. What follows is a quick run-down of most of UAAG’s guidelines and checkpoints, annotated with comments, suggestions, personal gripes about current levels of implementation, and wishlists for future browser versions.

Lauke, Patrick H. Web Standards Project (2009). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Web Browsers


Deaf and Hearing-Impaired

It is hard to make a hat that fits all heads. If one were made, most people would find it uncomfortable. This fact could be the realistic of the web sites design. Web developers face the same issue creating web pages for more general usage. For those deaf and hearing-impaired people, some special technologies should be applied to ease their web browsing and searching. This report will focus on such disabled characteristics.

Universal Usability. Articles>Usability>Accessibility>Audio


Deafened to Their Demands: An Ethnographic Study of Accommodation   (peer-reviewed)

After a semester of working with the population of Deaf students on a larger southwestern, suburban University campus, it became clear that the institution would not be able to provide reasonable accommodations requested by deaf students. As I witnessed students, rightfully fighting for reasonable accommodations (as outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act), I saw individuals both inside and outside the institutional structures attempt change only to find themselves rebuffed. The institution itself was not able to accommodate the reasonable and lawful demands of the deaf population of students at the university, but interestingly the efforts of reformers inside the institution were similarly unable to enact significant change. The institution was unable to hear the pleas of its students but was equally unable to accommodate the demands of members of the administration seeking to provide services to these students.

Salvo, Michael J. Kairos (2002). Academic>Accessibility>Education


Deafness and the User Experience

Because of limited awareness around Deafness and accessibility in the web community, it seems plausible to many of us that good captioning will fix it all. It won’t. Before we can enhance the user experience for all deaf people, we must understand that the needs of deaf, hard of hearing, and big-D Deaf users are often very different.

Herrod, Lisa. List Apart, A (2008). Articles>User Experience>Accessibility>Audio


Dealing With Special Mobility Needs: A Lesson in Patience and Coping   (PDF)

A great deal has been done over the years to make the lives of people with special needs easier. However, a great deal more needs to be done. This is an article about the special mobility needs of a career technical communicator. Through personal anecdotes and observations, the author establishes the point that the only way to really treat people with special needs fairly is to actually sit with them and understand what they are going through.

Vais, Fabien. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Accessibility


Dear Google: Can We Have Accessibility with Our E-mail Please?

Actually, let me highlight that: In order to tell Google about their problems with accessibility, you need to be able to pass through the inaccessible Challenge.

Anna. Feminists with Disabilities (2010). Resources>Accessibility>Usability


Demonstration of the LONGDESC Attribute and the 'd' Link

When images are provided to illustrate complex ideas, the same information MUST also be provided in an accessible form.

WATS.ca (2007). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Charts and Graphs


Deque Worldspace

Worldspace is an accessibility analysis tool designed to identify errors with Section 508, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Worldspace. Resources>Web Design>Accessibility>Assessment


Design for People with Disabilities in Japan

Design for people with disabilities sometimes works fine. However, without involving everyone, i.e., unless it will benefit everyone in the society, such design will remain as a kind of orphan technology and will eventually fail to be applied widely. The direction of design therefore should be universal/inclusive.

Kose, Satoshi. uiGarden (2008). Design>Accessibility>Regional>Japan


Design of Haptic and Tactile Interfaces for Blind Users

Since computer use became more widespread in the 1980's and 1990's, considerable effort has been put into ensuring that the blind have equal access to state of the art techology. However, the dominance of graphical user interfaces and direct manipulation has reduced the effectiveness of old speech-based systems. This article discusses aspects of tactile and haptic interfaces, reviews current research on the topic, and provides design principles for practitioners culled from recent research.

Christian, Kevin. Universal Usability (2000). Design>User Interface>Accessibility>Visual


Designing a Touch Screen Kiosk for Older Adults: A Case Study

An independent-living senior center recently approached us with a request to 'build a system that could track the fitness activity of their approximately 160 older residents.' The center houses a Fitness Club that offers seven different fitness classes, personal training, physical therapy, a pool, a spa, and access to a multitude of exercise equipment (i.e., stationary bikes, treadmills, and weights). At the time of the request, residents were signing their names and activities on a sheet of paper as they entered the Fitness Club. Occasionally, the sign-in sheets were summarized into monthly reports to show resident attendance by class and the type of equipment they were using.

Chaparro, Barbara S. and Laszlo Stumpfhauser. Usability News (2001). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Elderly


Designing an Accessible Web

For many Internet users, the full range of Web content is not accessible. This paper gives a quick overview of the subject of Web accessibility and calls for information designers to join the effort of making the web accessible to all users.

Gao, Wei. EServer (2001). Design>Accessibility>Web Design


Designing Documentation for Visually-Impaired Users   (PDF)

Preparing 'large-print' texts requires more than changing type size; it involves writing and structuring materials to meet the needs of an audience with varied physical challenges. For large print documents, format considerations include: using appropriate type, line length, and other design elements; setting all material flush left; and using lay-flat bindings. For braille documents, text may also need to eliminate or explain unusual symbols. Content considerations for both may include: replacement of graphics with descriptive text: brief orientation to the physical location and dimensions of objects; and reminders of help services. Cassette tapes offer one alternative to print or braille texts, plus serve other audiences.

Barthel, Brea. STC Proceedings (1994). Articles>Documentation>Accessibility


Designing for "Mature" Users

According to a study by the Annenberg School at USC, American Internet users include: 75% of adults aged 56-65 and 41% of adults over 66. If we want to design for the bulk of our users, we had best consider the more mature user groups.

Hall, Mark D. UI Design Newsletter (2007). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Elderly


Designing for Accessibility

Any large audience for a Web site will include users who have physical challenges to accessing your content. Designing for accessibility means that you should be developing Web pages that will remain accessible despite any physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities, work constraints, or technological barriers. Most mainstream Web sites are so heavily image- and media-intensive that they are not suitable for adaptive devices such as screen readers, voice browsers, and braille translators. Many of the guidelines necessary for developing accessible content naturally lend themselves to creating good design.

Sklar, Joel. Indus (2002). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Designing for Accessibility

Here are some useful tools for people designing accessible websites for the Federal government.

NOAA. Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Government


Designing for Screen Reader Compatibility

Techniques that work for one screen reader almost always work in other screen readers. In some cases, one of the screen readers has capabilities that the others do not have, or handles some types of content better than the other screen readers. Still, developers are almost always better off when they focus on accessibility standards and generally-accepted accessibility techniques than when they focus on screen reader differences.

WebAIM (2007). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Visual


Designing for the Elderly

Does the research suggest that there are differences in younger and older users? What can we do to enable older adults to interact with our Web sites at the same level as younger adults?

Bailey, Robert. Web Usability (2001). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Elderly


Designing for Users With Cognitive Disabilities

Users with cognitive disabilities interact with technology in different forms. Designers need to understand the deficits of users with cognitive disabilities in order to design materials that are accessible to those users. This paper provides an overview and analysis of the current state of service to those with cognitive disabilities, and makes practical suggestions on design issues, as well as suggesting further areas for research.

Kolatch, Erica. Universal Usability (2000). Design>Usability>Accessibility


Designing More Usable Documents

This section of Designing a More Usable World is dedicated to cooperative efforts linked toward creating more usable documents for all. A number of interrelated efforts and projects are listed below.

University of Wisconsin. Resources>Usability>Accessibility


Designing More Usable Web Sites

This section of Designing a More Usable World is dedicated to cooperative efforts linked toward building a more usable Web for all. At the present time, there are a number of interlocking and interrelated efforts.

University of Wisconsin (2001). Resources>Usability>Accessibility>Web Design



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