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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.



Accessibility Audit vs. Accessibility Testing

Article outlining the difference between the two accessibility evaluation methods: The accessibility audit and accessibility testing.

Moss, Trenton. Webcredible (2007). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Methods


Accessibility Components Resource List

In trying to build accessible products, it is sometimes difficult to find key components. This is particularly true when building prototypes or coordinating small volume productions. This resource listing is provided to assist people in finding sources for key accessibility components such as accessible telephone handsets (for use on kiosks, etc.), voice technology products and other accessible components. It is maintained on an 'as we find it basis.' In other words, when we locate particular components or they are brought to our attention, we wll include them here.

University of Wisconsin. Resources>Usability>Accessibility>Universal Usability


Accessibility Does Not Prevent You from Using JavaScript or Flash

A common misconception is that in order to make a website accessible you have to abstain from using JavaScript or Flash. Almost every time I hold a workshop on Web standards and accessibility there is at least one participant who believes that accessibility limits what they can do on the Web by telling them to stay away from anything that isn’t pure HTML.

Johansson, Roger. 456 Berea Street (2010). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Flash


Accessibility Features of CSS

This document summarizes the features of the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), level 2 Recommendation ([CSS2]) known to directly affect the accessibility of Web documents. Some of the accessibility features described in this document were available in CSS1 ([CSS1]) as well. This document has been written so that other documents may refer in a consistent manner to the accessibility features of CSS.

W3C. Design>Web Design>Accessibility>CSS


Accessibility First—for a Better User Experience for All

What if design projects started by thinking about accessibility first? I don’t mean the basics like ALT text for graphics, following coding standards, and creating correctly structured information hierarchies. Building in accessibility at the code level is the only way to remove many of the barriers people with disabilities experience. But if our design thinking started with the idea of making a product that focuses on key tasks and is flexible, would that create a better user experience for everyone?

Quesenbery, Whitney. UXmatters (2010). Articles>Accessibility>User Experience


Accessibility for Special Education Students

Accessibility is an issue that is bigger than just students. In order for there to be change for students with special needs there first needs to be a change about accessibility for the entire World Wide Web. While this will continue to be an issue, there is at least room for growth to make the internet more accessible for students with special needs.

Rogers, Kristin. Orange Journal, The (2010). Articles>Education>Accessibility


Accessibility from the Ground Up

This accessibility thing sure is catching on. And it’s ready for prime time. Yes, Web accessibility is growing up.

May, Matt. Digital Web Magazine (2005). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


An Accessibility Frontier: Cognitive Disabilities and Learning Difficulties

With this paper... we are primarily concerned with the problems people with cognitive and learning difficulties might have when using the web and offering a few practical suggestions on how these problems might be addressed.

Hudson, Roger, Russ Weakley and Peter Firminger. Usability.com.au (2005). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Cognitive Psychology


The Accessibility Hat Trick: Getting Abbreviations Right

AAA-level compliance is the ideal of accessibility, the bonus-round of accessible design: AAA-level compliant pages meet the needs of every group of users. AAA is achievable, but requires preparation and forethought.

Lieberman, Colin. List Apart, A (2006). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Accessibility Humanized

Most web developers act in blindness when they design accessible websites, since they know next to nothing about disabled people and the technology they use. Accessibility guidelines and validation tools doesn't provide this insight. Accessibility should rather be approached from a user centred perspective.

Olsen, Henrik. GUUUI (2004). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Accessibility Humanized: A User-Centred Approach to Web Accessibility

Most web developers act in blindness when they design accessible websites, since they know next to nothing about disabled people and the technology they use. Accessibility guidelines and validation tools doesn't provide this insight. Accessibility should rather be approached from a user centred perspective.

Olsen, Henrik. GUUUI (2004). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>User Centered Design


Accessibility in Design

The next time you open a Web browser, try this: don’t use your mouse. Use your keyboard to navigate through your favorite site. You may very well find that keyboard navigation is not at all straightforward. On Yahoo.com, for example, you must press the Tab key over 75 times to get to all the options on the home page, and you must press the Tab key 10 times just to get to the main Search frame. Many sites, such as those that extensively use Macromedia Flash, aren’t accessible using the keyboard at all. The problems described here are problems of accessibility. In some cases, relatively minor changes can make the difference between an information design that can be used by anyone and a design that excludes people with certain disabilities – or preferences.

Birge, Colin. EServer (2001). Design>Accessibility>Web Design


Accessibility in User-Centered Design

A brief introduction, with linked resources, for those unfamiliar with accessibility and/or user-centred design.

Henry, Shawn Lawton. UIaccess (2004). Articles>User Centered Design>Accessibility


Accessibility Is Just Another Language

Although typically we think of accessibility in terms of visual, hearing, dexterity, cognitive disabilities and so on, this concept of disability is very limiting in terms of the need for accessible technology. More than 50 million Americans have some sort of disability, and the numbers are increasing as the population ages. Tens of millions of people in the European Union (EU) and half a million worldwide have a disability. Disability knows no boundaries, languages or borders.

Broin, Ultan Ó. Multilingual (2004). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Accessibility Is Not Enough

A strict focus on accessibility as a scorecard item doesn't help users with disabilities. To help these users accomplish critical tasks, you must adopt a usability perspective.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2005). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Usability


Accessibility is Part of Your Job

Accessibility is one of the fundamentals of the Web, so how people who claim to be passionate about the Web and say that they deliver high quality can choose to ignore it is beyond me.

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


Accessibility Issues Make a Difference

You often read advice from industry experts along the lines of "using tags as they were meant to be used" and limiting your use of advanced programming techniques in order to make your site accessible.

Claiborne, Scottie. Web Pro News (2004). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Accessibility Links and Resources

An annotated collection of dozens of online resources in web accessibilty.

Accessify. Resources>Directories>Accessibility>Web Design


Accessibility Meets Usability: A Plea for a Paramount and Concurrent User-Centered Design Approach to Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility for All   (PDF)

This paper identifies challenges for a user–centered design process with respect to infusing accessible design practices into electronic and information technology product development. Initially, it emphasizes that when user–centered design is paramount and concurrent with accessible design, electronic and information technology can be accessible for all. Next, it provides an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Section 508. Last, it provides basic accessible design heuristics that can be integrated into the design process. It concludes with recommendations for a paramount and concurrent user–centered design approach to product development.

Reece, Gloria A. STC Proceedings (2002). Articles>User Centered Design>Accessibility>Usability


Accessibility of AJAX Applications

AJAX is a smorgasbord of web technologies put together to allow dynamic client-server interactions to occur in web applications without requiring pages to reload or refresh. AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript And XML. AJAX itself is not a technology--it is a combination of technologies used in a certain way.

WebAIM (2006). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Ajax


Accessibility of Online Chat Programs

This article will evaluate the accessibility of three types of popular synchronous communication tools: IRC, Web-based chats and instant messengers.

WebAIM (2003). Articles>Collaboration>Accessibility>Online


Accessibility of the Internet in Postsecondary Education: Meeting the Challenge

This article explores the many-faceted nuances of the challenge of trying to make Web content accessible in higher education. It includes an analysis of the seriousness of the problems that students face as well as an optimistic vision for the future.

Rowland, Cyndi. WebAIM (2000). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Accessibility of UK Government Web Sites Investigated

The UK’s first e-Minister, Patricia Hewitt, gave a commitment in February 2001 that all new government websites should be accessible. Two years later, UK government sites are a long way from being accessible.

Accessify (2003). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>United Kingdom


The Accessibility of WAI-ARIA

Web developers interested in accessibility issues often look to WAI-ARIA to bridge the accessibility gap created by ubiquitous scripting and make web applications more accessible to blind and visually impaired users. But can we recommend WAI-ARIA without reservation? Are there times when appropriate semantic HTML elements are preferable to custom widgets?

Fischer, Detlev. List Apart, A (2010). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Standards


Accessibility on the Go   (PDF)   (members only)

Accessibility on mobile devices brings different challenges. Pappas and Roberts discuss how to evaluate your work for these devices with accessibility in mind.

Roberts, Linda Enders and Lisa Pappas. Intercom (2010). Articles>Accessibility>Mobile



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