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.



Designing Pages Accessible to Limited Textual Comprehension Users

Many pages relating to web accessibility address the needs of web users who have sensory limitations -- the classic example of accessible web authoring is the proper use of the ALT attribute of the IMG (image) tag to provide a textual equivalent that benefits, among others, web users with visual impairments. Similarly, keyboard-accessible techniques can open up the World Wide Web to users who are unable to use a mouse or other 'traditional' input device due to motor or dexterity disabilities.

Bartlett, Kynn. Kynn (1999). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Designing Pages Accessible to Limited Textual Comprehension Users

Little has been written or done to advance the cause of web users with cognitive disabilities -- users who may actually require the use of graphics in order to make sense of a web site. For purposes of this document, we will use the term "Limited Textual Comprehension" to refer to anyone, disabled or not, who is unable to understand a web page -- and thus cannot access the information contained within in it -- due to the textual content of the page.

Bartlett, Kynn. AWARE Center (1999). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Designing Universally Accessible WWW Resources for People with Disabilities

This course is designed for web content developers to learn about the disability access issues faced by people with disabilities in using the web and how web resources can be designed to improve accessibility. The course provides a foundation on how people with disabilities access information on the web using mainstream browsers and specialized assistive technologies like speech renderings. Participants will learn about the two main standards for web accessibility, the W3C Web Content Accessibility Standards and the Section 508 requirements for web materials. The strengths and weaknesses of different evaluation and repair tools will be presented to help participants understand how to use the available tools to evaluate and repair their web resources. Participants will learn about common HTML accessibility problems, and HTML and CSS techniques that can be used to improve accessibility. Captioning of multimedia materials is also covered for Microsoft Media Player, Real Player and Quicktime, and the accessibility of non-W3C technologies like PDF and Flash will also be discussed.

University of Illinois (2002). Academic>Courses>Accessibility>Web Design


Designing Usable Sites for Children and Teens

It is often difficult for an adult designer to accurately remember what it is like to be 10 years old, and so it is important to turn to research conducted with children and teens to get a sense of their preferences.

Content Matters (2006). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Children


Designing Your Web Site for the Blind

Yet those of us who are fully sighted forget that as we make the Web our main information vehicle, we may be cutting out millions of customers or potential customers. And these millions (5 to 10 million in the U.S. alone, by some estimates) have every moral and legal right to have access to that information.

Ball, Guy. Boston Broadside (2001). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Visual


Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization: Overview

There are initial costs for organizations implementing Web accessibility; however, the initial costs are often offset by a full return on investment. In order to be willing to invest the initial costs, many organizations need to understand the social, technical, and financial benefits of Web accessibility and the expectations of the returns throughout the organization.

Arch, Andrew and Chuck Letourneau. W3C (2005). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Business Case


Developing and Publicising a Workable Accessibility Strategy

This article looks at the increasing need for developers of institutional and educational websites to develop and follow a strategy for ensuring optimal accessibility of online content. In particular the need is stressed for careful thought about the aims of such a strategy, and to ensure that the strategy meets a balance between ambition, legal responsibility and equitable access to learning and teaching. As an example, the need for a well written public online accessibility statement is discussed, not only as a demonstration of awareness and proactivity, but also as an important factor in its own right in optimising access.

Phipps, Lawrie, Sue Harrison, David Sloan and Betty Willder. Ariadne (2004). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Digital Divide: The Three Stages

The 'digital divide' refers to the fact that certain parts of the population have substantially better opportunities to benefit from the new economy than other parts of the population. Most commentators view this in purely economic terms. However, two other types of divide will have much greater impact in the years to come.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2006). Articles>Usability>Accessibility>Online


Disability Discrimination Act: An Update for 2005

Many organisations are confused and concerned about the latest requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), which came into effect on 1st October 2004. Failure to make reasonable adjustments may mean that organisations are discriminating against disabled people. Yet what does 'reasonable adjustments' mean and what exactly do organisations need to put in place?

System Concepts (2005). Articles>Accessibility>Legal>United Kingdom


Disability Resource Links

The purpose of this site become a comprehensive resource for finding disability information on the Internet.

disabilityresourcelinks.com. Resources>Directories>Accessibility


Disabling Innovation

Setting legal standards for making websites 'accessible' to all won't help web designers, or users.

Perks, Martyn. Spiked Online (2004). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Usability


DITA 1.3 and Improved Table Accessibility for Screen Readers

One of the ideas that appears on the DITA 1.3 project tracking website has to do with extending the existing table model so that outputted tables are more accessible for those using spoken-word browsers. Oddly enough, this proposal provides more than just a brief description as to how it is supposed to work, so I have pieced together a brief overview as to how I think it is supposed to work.

Schengili-Roberts, Keith. DITAWriter (2014). Articles>Accessibility>XML>DITA


DITA XML and Accessibility: An Interview with Robert Johnson II

DITA 1.3 is scheduled to include enhancements that expand the options for implementing accessibility in tables to match the options available in HTML. While it's good to enhance the flexibility of DITA, authors also need to remember to keep table design simple.

Schengili-Roberts, Keith. DITAWriter (2014). Articles>Interviews>Accessibility>DITA


Do Accessible Web Sites Have to be Boring?

All too often, designers think that accessibility means boring. Forget about text-only versions. Be true to your design instincts. Find out why accessible Web sites can be just as exciting as any of the cutting edge sites out there. Or if you prefer, go ahead and make it boring. Either way, the site can be accessible. It's all up to you

WebAIM (2003). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Do Blind People Use a Special Keyboard?

This is one of the most common question asked by sighted people when they meet or hear about blind computer users. Here, I’ll not only answer this question, but I’ll discuss where it may have come from. I’ll also add in some interesting facts along the way.

Babinszki, Tom. Even Grounds (2010). Articles>Accessibility>Visual>Software


Draft 2 of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

It's time to take a look at the working draft of WCAG 2.0. You'll see a fresh approach to a formidable challenge.

McAlpine, Rachel. Quality Web Content (2005). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Standards


The DRC Blew It

Review of the DRC's report into web accessibility.

Moss, Trenton. Webcredible (2004). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>United Kingdom


DRC Briefing Report

A write-up of the first briefing from the DRC about a forthcoming formal investigation into the accessibility of 1,000 web sites in the UK.

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


DVDs with Audio Description

DVDs can carry up to eight audio tracks. It is theoretically possible to provide main audio and dubbing in three languages and audio description in all four languages. In practice, all anybody's asking for is an audio description track in the main language of the audio.

Clark, Joe. JoeClark.org (2001). Articles>Accessibility>Multimedia>DVD


A Dyslexic Perspective on e-Content Accessibility

This paper gives the web developer an insight into the issues of web accessibility for users with dyslexia (and/or other specific learning difficulties). It covers the four main areas of accessibility: presentation, content, structure and navigation.

Rainger, Peter. TechDis (2006). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


A Dyslexic Perspective on e-Content Accessibility

This paper gives the web developer an insight into the issues of web accessibility for users with Dyslexia (and/or other specific learning difficulties). This paper covers the four main areas of accessibility: presentation, content, structure and navigation. The material covered by this paper forms part of TechDis wider range of research into usability and accessibility issues of electronic educational content.

Rainger, Peter. TechDis (2003). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


E-Banking: Quando il Servizio non è Accessibile   (members only)

La zona di confine tra normalità e disabilità è una delle più permeabili, soprattutto quando, come oggi, l'invecchiamento crescente della popolazione è messo a dura prova da una continua rincorsa ad apprendere e padroneggiare sempre nuove tecnologie di accesso ai servizi. L'e-book di Patrizia Bertini e Marco Trevisan non arriva per caso nell'Anno del Disabile. È frutto di un interesse di lunga data e di un sistematico lavoro di ricerca per rendere visibili e quindi superabili le barriere più insidiose, quelle dell'informazione. In particolare, quelle barriere che continuano a impedire l'accesso di tutti ai servizi bancari automatizzati (ATM/Bancomat) e ai servizi in rete (e-banking).

Bertini, Patrizia and M. Trevisan. Apogeonline (2003). (Italian) Books>Usability>Accessibility>eBooks


E-Shop Accessibility: From Theory to Reality

This article will explain how it is possible to apply WCAG 1.0 (and also how to comply with the future WCAG 2.0 and ISO 9241-151) to create an accessible e-shop shopping-cart and backend management system, analyzing the problems and the proposed solutions.

Lemon, Gez. Juicy Studio (2007). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>E Commerce


Effective Alt Text

Good alt text can be a useful tool for enhancing the web interface. It provides supporting information, helping users gain an understanding of the structure web pages and an insight into the behaviour of key controls and interactive elements. 'ALT' is a HTML tag. It adds a short line of text to an image, usually for descriptive purposes. If you are using a mouse and you 'hover” the pointer over an image on a web page, you will notice that a short line of text appears - this is the alt text. You should also see the alt text if you switch off the images on your browser - the images have been replaced by 'placeholders” and the same short line of text which appeared when you hovered the mouse over the image.

Quinn, Anthony. Frontend Infocentre (2001). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Effective Alt Text

It is perfectly possible to diligently apply alt text to every image on a site and create a result that is completely useless. Unless the alt text effectively conveys the information the image displays, it will be ineffective.

Frontend Infocentre (2008). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Graphic Design



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