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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.



Let Them Eat Cake

A growing debate pits accessibility against usability. From our point of view, it’s like pitting peanut butter against jelly. This article helps you create a page that is both usable and accessible, saving readers the trouble of scrolling with a little help from JavaScript and the Document Object Model.

Gustafson, Aaron. List Apart, A (2004). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Usability


Let Users Control Font Size

Sometimes technological progress backfires, and the 'better' technology turns out to be worse for users. The Web is no stranger to this problem, and has experienced many innovations that would have been best avoided. Examples include frames, changing the color of browser scrollbars, and scrolling text. Another example of harmful Web technology comes with the increasing use of style sheets, which let web designers specify the exact size of text down to the pixel. Unfortunately, many designers are using this ability, leading to reduced readability of an increasing number of websites.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2002). Design>Accessibility>Web Design>Typography


The Lifecycle of Web Accessibility

In this article we'll divide the life cycle of web accessibility into 5 different phases and we'll see how they are strictly interconnected with other disciplines such as graphic design, development and content management.

Volpon, Antonio. evolt (2002). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Review: Lift NNg Edition

If you are serious about getting your web site accessible, you need to get the right tools for the job. Can Lift for Dreamweaver deliver the goods?

Accessify (2003). Articles>Reviews>Accessibility>Web Design


Links and Hypertext: An Introduction to Links and Hypertext

Some types of links are more accessible than others, and some types of links are completely inaccessible to people with certain types of disabilities. Because links are so basic to the functionality of web content, inaccessible links are one of the most severe barriers to overall accessibility.

WebAIM (2005). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Hypertext


List Provides Way for Developers to Reach Testers with Visual Impairment

A mailing list now connects users with visual impairments willing to act as testers and website developers concerned with accessibility.

Light, Ann. Usability News (2003). Articles>Usability>Accessibility


Luminosity Contrast Ratio Main Colour Contrast Analyser

The Accessibility Evaluation and Repair Tools (AERT) colour contrast algorithm was never a recommendation. As the luminosity contrast ratio algorithm is recommended with WCAG 2.0, it is now the main method of testing colour contrast on Juicy Studio.

Lemon, Gez. Juicy Studio (2009). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Color


Making Accessibility Part of Your Web Site Management Routine   (PDF)

Making accessible design part of your Web site management routine is not simple. Habit, practicalities, and even your Web publishing software seem to work against you, making it easy to skip important aspects of accessible design. This paper attempts to outline a framework for including accessible design in your Web publishing routine. Accessible design is the result the interaction of seven design aspects and two management processes. The design aspects are standards, structure, alternative texts, labeling, timing, linearity, and usability. The management processes are site design and page design. Developing a workflow that incorporates the seven aspects into the two processes, dealing with each aspect appropriately within each process, is our objective.

Ells, Rick. STC Proceedings (2005). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Making Accessible Forms, Part 1

Learn how to make your online forms accessible in this HTML form tutorial

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


Making Accessible Forms, Part 2

Learn more on how to make your online forms accessible in part 2 of this HTML form tutorial

Moss, Trenton. Webcredible (2005). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Making Ajax Work with Screen Readers

The accessibility community is understandably concerned about the accessibility of client-side scripting, in particular using Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (Ajax) to produce Rich Internet Applications. Steve Faulkner of Vision Australia and founder member of the Web Accessibility Tools Consortium (WAT-C) and myself on behalf of The Paciello Group (TPG) have collaborated in an effort to come up with techniques to make Ajax and other client-side scripting techniques accessible to assistive technology.

Lemon, Gez and Steve Faulkner. Juicy Studio (2006). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Ajax


Making Documentation Accessible to Users With Disabilities   (PDF)

Good documentation takes into account the needs of people with disabilities. Such documentation is termed 'accessible' and provides support for the assistive technologies used by people with disabilities. For example, accessible documentation provides a text equivalent for each graphic element, such as a picture, flow diagram, or icon. This provision is necessary for users who rely on screen readers to read the documentation.

Chappell, Gail B. STC Proceedings (2003). Articles>Documentation>Accessibility>Technical Writing


Making the Web Friendlier for Lower-Literacy Users   (PDF)

Describes techniques for improving the experience of lower-literacy Internet users that do not violate the principles of Web design for other users.

Summers, Kathryn. Intercom (2004). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Writing


Making Video Accessible

With online video’s increasing popularity comes an increased need to maximize content accessibility, whether for the handicapped or those who use exotic browsers / platforms. However, this doesn't mean you must offer twenty different versions of your media player. A clever combination of formats, the SWFObject javascript and the JW FLV Player can do the job quite nicely.

LongTail Video (2009). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Multimedia


Making Web Accessibility Accessible

when first learning web accessibility and uncovering its secrets, like many things, it can seem daunting and difficult. I think a lot of developers are downright intimidated by web accessibility — maybe even scared to go that route. But why? I suspect the reason is web accessibility is a discipline that lacks accessibility.

Cherim, Mike. Beast-Blog (2006). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Education


Making Web-Based Online Help Accessible: A Case Study   (PDF)

Accessibility is about providing successful access to information, and the use of information technology by people who have disabilities. The IBM® WebSphere® Commerce development team adopted IBM’s mandate to make its software accessible, and achieved a high level of accessibility in its release of the IBM WebSphere Commerce, Version 5.4, suite of products. Continuing with the next release, the WebSphere Commerce development team strove for an even higher level of accessibility. This paper discusses some of the experiences and lessons learned from making WebSphere Commerce online help and software accessible. It examines some of the most common issues from the User Experience, Information Development, and Test perspectives.

Bot-Roche, Diba, Frances Mullally, Vijay Sivashankar and Donna Sutarno. STC Proceedings (2003). Articles>Documentation>Accessibility>Help


Manchester United: Top of the Web Accessibility League?

Manchester United have got a separate accessible website for blind and disabled site visitors. This is not what web accessibility is about.

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


Manchester United: Top of the Web Accessibility League?

Manchester United have received a lot of press coverage for the separate accessible version of their website. They've probably invested a lot of time and effort to make this separate website, which according to Trenton Moss is totally unnecessary.

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


Manual for Apple VoiceOver in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

Apple’s screen reader, VoiceOver, comes bundled with Mac OS X (yes, it’s free) and has received a number of updates in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The updates include a new voice, Braille support, and improved navigation and searching.

Johansson, Roger. 456 Berea Street (2007). Articles>Usability>Accessibility>Macintosh


The Market for Accessible Technology

This report presents findings about individuals who are likely to benefit from the use of accessible technology. It also includes findings about working-age adults and computer users and presents data about the aging population in the US and its impact on computer use. This report concludes with statements about how these findings affect the information technology (IT) industry.

Microsoft (2003). Articles>Accessibility>Technology


Media Player Accessibility

When delivering multimedia content for the three major media players (Windows Media Player, Quicktime and RealMedia Player), the developer must choose whether to have the viewer access the content through a player embedded in a Web page or through a standalone player. Both methods have their advantages. Embedding the player in a Web page allows the user to access the content without another application opening. The standalone players usually have more control options.

WebAIM (2005). Design>Multimedia>Accessibility>Video


Meet the Special Needs Committee: Many Stories, One Mission   (PDF)

The STC Special Needs Committee was formed in 1998. Its charter is to research special needs in technical communication to find and publish ways in which we can leverage technology both to help technical communicators with disabilities practice our profession and also to help end users with disabilities access information in the products we prepare.

Voss, Daniel W. STC Proceedings (2002). Articles>Accessibility>Community Building


Microsoft Accessibility

Microsoft Active Accessibility 2.0 is a COM-based technology that improves the way accessibility aids work with applications running on Microsoft Windows operating systems. It provides dynamic-link libraries that are incorporated into the operating system as well as a COM interface and application programming elements that provide reliable methods for exposing information about user interface elements. By following accessibility design practices and using Microsoft Active Accessibility, you can make technology products for your customers with accessibility needs.

Microsoft. Design>Accessibility>Software>Microsoft Windows


Microsoft Word Accessibility Techniques

Most people use word processors incorrectly. Rather than use true headings, they simply enlarge the font size and make it bold. If you do this, the document has no real structure that can be discerned by a screen reader. The correct way to provide structure within Word documents is to use Word styles.

WebAIM (2005). Articles>Word Processing>Accessibility>Microsoft Word


Middle-Aged Users' Declining Web Performance

Between the ages of 25 and 60, people's ability to use websites declines by 0.8% per year — mostly because they spend more time per page, but also because of navigation difficulties.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2008). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Elderly



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