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.
The TechDis Accessibility Database is part of the JISC funded TechDis service, alimented by the University of Sussex Institute of Education. This site provides an on-line resource of information about products which are available to assist those with disabilities. The resource is designed to provide information on assistive, adaptive and enabling technologies to the United Kingdom Higher and Further education sectors.
Assistive technology (AT) can open up the world for an individual who has a disability. Assistive technology can ensure that individuals with a wide range of abilities can have meaningful access, be productive citizens, and participate in education, activities of daily living, and recreation and leisure.
The rapid growth of Web services has led to a situation where companies and individuals rely more and more on material that is available on the Internet and intranets. Internet access is no longer limited to personal computers and powerful workstations in the office, but is reaching into the home, as well as on the road. A new class of electronics devices with Internet access capability called 'Information Appliances' was recently born. This Internet access capability is embedded in devices such as televisions, set top boxes, home game machines, telephone-based terminals, PDAs, car navigation systems and cellular phones. As mobile phones become available for everyone as commodities, successful telephone based access to internet is becoming more and more important to improve individual productivity. However, hardware restriction, narrow bandwidth restriction and accessibility requirements are serious obstacle to the success of telephone based access to the Internet.
More and more countries have passed laws stating that Websites must be accessible to blind and disabled people. With this kind of legal pressure, and the many benefits of accessibility, the big players on the Web must surely have accessible Websites, right?
The Disability Discrimination Act says that websites must be made accessible to disabled people. So how can you check that your website is up to par? There are a number of basic tests you can make to address some of the main issues. The following list includes guidelines that provide a good start in increasing accessibility to disabled people
Working as an accessibility consultant in an IT company is a very frustrating job right now. Highly publicized lawsuits and deep-rooted accessibility myths leave us with a lot to explain when the final product does not really help visitors. Our clients simply don’t care about accessibility as much as we’d like them to, and there are several reasons for that.
With the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines being made a Candidate Recommendation on 30th April 2008, many companies are starting to prepare for the arrival of the new Accessibility Guideline. What exactly is different though? User Vision's Mark Palmer takes you through some key things you should know about the document commonly known as WCAG 2.0.
Let’s take a look at 10 ways to improve the accessibility of your XHTML website by making it standards-compliant. We’ll go the extra mile and include criteria that fall beyond the standards set by the W3C but which you should follow to make your website more accessible. Each section lists the criteria you need to meet, explains why you need to meet them and gives examples of what you should and shouldn’t do.
There are many sophisticated software tools that can be used to check for web accessibility. US federal agencies and corporations are spending millions of dollars on such tools that claim to test web sites for accessibility. We want to raise the question here of what can and cannot be tested with these tools. Then we will examine six commercial tools in some detail and compare their results on a set of forty test files.
Thatcher, Jim, Andrew Kirkpatrick, Richard Rutter, Christian Heilmann, Cynthia Waddell, Michael R. Burks, Shawn Lawton Henry, Bruce Lawson, Mark Urban and Patrick H. Lauke. JimThatcher.com (2006). Articles>Accessibility>Assessment>Software
Tento článek je českou verzí článku Using JAWS to Evaluate Web Accessibility. V textu jsou zmiňovány prvky stránky, které jsou součástí struktury webu WebAIM.org a nemusí se vyskytovat na stránce s touto verzí.
Text-only websites are not suited to all users with impairments. Although they are often ideal for users who are blind and use a screen reader, accessibility goes far beyond this user group.
The humble ALT tag is easy to use, but tricky to get right: you're catering for two types of audiences which have different needs: one audience is search engine spiders, who want to analyse the content of your website for its own users, and the other is people with visual impairments, who need a bit of help understanding what your images are all about. In this article, we take a look at what ALT tags are, and how you can use them to improve your search engine rankings and improve the overall accessibility of your website.
There are over thirty million people in the U.S. with disabilities or functional limitations (of which a major cause is aging), and this number is increasing. An examination of the role of human factors in addressing this population is presented which would include both special designs for disability/aging and the incorporation of disability/aging into mainstream human factors research and education. Statistics regarding the size and characteristics of this population are presented, including the costs of disability. Examples demonstrating the economic and commercial feasibility of incorporating disability/aging considerations in mass market designs are provided along with a discussion of the benefits to non-disabled users.
As in finance, so on the web: self-regulation has failed. Nearly ten years after specifications first required it, video captioning can barely be said to exist on the web. The big players, while swollen with self-congratulation, are technically incompetent, and nobody else is even trying. So what will it take to support the human and legal rights of hearing impaired web users? It just might take the law, says Joe Clark.
The World Wide Web Consortium promises that the WCAG 2.0 guidelines “will make content accessible to a wider range of people” and “work together to provide guidance on how to create more accessible content (Caldwell et al.)” and in some ways this is true. WCAG 2.0 does make the web accessible to a wider range of people. It also provides guidance on how to make the web more accessible for people with cognitive disabilities; but it is just that, merely Priority AAA guidance. But the required success criteria are primarily designated for individuals with sight, hearing, and motor impairments, while those for cognitive impairment typically remain priority AAA criteria that may or may not be implemented.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 were published in 1999 and quickly grew out of date. The proposed new WCAG 2.0 is the result of five long years’ work by a Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) committee that never quite got its act together. In an effort to be all things to all web content, the fundamentals of WCAG 2 are nearly impossible for a working standards-compliant developer to understand. WCAG 2 backtracks on basics of responsible web development that are well accepted by standardistas. WCAG 2 is not enough of an improvement and was not worth the wait.
As the new disability legislation becomes law in the UK, Academic websites will be coming under close scrutiny from Disability Rights Organisations. Long established tools that have been used to test websites could, if used in the wrong way, be more of a liability than a benefit. The use of websites as medium for academia is now well established, with a plethora of materials being distributed over Intranets and Extranets. Furthermore, the pervasive Virtual Learning Environment is lending itself to opportunities for interactivity hitherto only possible in face-to-face teaching. But, as more and more material is distributed in this way there is a need for guidelines to ensure access for all.
To those employers who refused to hire me because of my typing speed and “poor” communication skills, you failed to think creatively and to think outside of the box – an ability I could have brought to your organization. The name, reputation and exposure, which I have created for myself, I would have willingly and gladly created for your business, had I been given the opportunity. But, you didn’t look beyond my cerebral palsy to see what I could offer. For that reason, you lose!
With the increasing use of virtual learning environments (VLEs) in further and higher education, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) which comes into force in September 2002 has particular relevance to developers and providers of VLEs. Developers and vendors can also help to ensure that VLEs are inclusive learning media by understanding the barriers that individuals face (whether or not they use assistive technology) and creating hardware and software designed to be accessible to all users. They should also understand the importance of designing accessible VLE content in order to provide guidance for users.
It's easy and relatively inexpensive for website developers to provide transcripts for multimedia. It many cases transcripts are required by law to provide access to information for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Transcripts are an SEO silver bullet for audio and video, and bring more people to your podcast, videos, and website.