A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Typography is the study and process of typefaces; how to select, size, arrange, and use them in general. Traditionally, typography was the use of metal types with raised letterforms that were inked and then pressed onto paper. In modern terms, typography today also includes computer display and output.



The Accessibility Statement: What Is It, And Who Uses It?

On an increasing number of web sites you can find the phrase "accessibility statement". Sometimes it is very visible and hard to miss, in other cases we can barely find it. Did you ever read any of these statements? If you ever did, do you read it on all sites where you find them? In this article I will explain what is the accessibility statement, and give you a couple of points to decide if you need it on your web site.

Even Grounds (2010). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Accessibility Testing: Case History of Blind Testers of Enterprise Software   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

How do software companies evaluate whether accessibility criteria mandated by law are met? Confirmation is often provided by filling out a checklist. However, the method used for determining compliance to the checklist is not specified. Typically the task of filling out the checklist is done by accessibility specialists, usability professionals, quality assurance testers, or, in one case we know of, the development team that wrote the software. We have conducted several types of accessibility evaluations, walkthroughs, and testing with scenarios by sighted test participants and testing by blind test participants. While testing with blind participants takes considerable preparation time, we have uncovered important findings that were not revealed with sighted participants. We consider accessibility testing by blind participants an important component of our evaluations.

Bayer, Nancy L. and Lisa Pappas. Technical Communication Online (2006). Articles>Accessibility>Testing>Visual


Accessibility Tips for Website Construction

This paper provides ten key tips to help improve the accessibility of any website, or intranet. It's not intended to be an introduction to web accessibility.

Kennedy, Patrick. Step Two (2006). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Accessibility to the Face

Empathy is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. We have an ability to imagine things the way that others see them and how it makes them feel. We don’t even have to have a disability ourselves. Accessibility is NOT a checklist. Accessibility is about usability. Accessibility is a paradigm shift. Accessibility is a personal issue.

Foster, Rob. northtemple (2009). Articles>Accessibility>User Centered Design>User Experience


Accessibility—Good Business, Best Practice   (PDF)   (members only)

Roberts and Pappas introduce their new column on accessibility by showcasing how accessibility can be a good business practice and increase a company’s bottom line.

Roberts, Linda Enders and Lisa Pappas. Intercom (2009). Articles>Accessibility>Business Case


Accessibility: Some Honest Talk

I'm not saying we shouldn't do it; I just wish the conversation about accessibility would be more frank when it comes to the opportunity costs and real costs to implement it. And I'm embarrassed by my own petty frustration in having to accommodate someone who has a real beef with the world and a legitimate cause for frustration.

Hughes, Michael A. Humane Experience, The (2011). Articles>Accessibility


Accessibility: The Missing Ingredient

Why is accessibility often treated as an afterthought? Key factors include lack of tools and specifications, weak industry demand, and developer laziness.

Hoffman, Andrew. List Apart, A (2014). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Accessible By Design

The demand for accessible sites is growing, but web workers, like you, are often unclear how to make sites more accessible. Designing an accessible site isn't necessarily harder, but it involves unique limitations that make you approach design from a different perspective.

Pavka, Anitra. Digital Web Magazine (2002). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Accessible Context-Sensitive Help with Unobtrusive DOM Scripting

This article demonstrates two methods of calling context-sensitive help in a web form: the Field Help Method and Form Help Method, in which unobtrusive DOM/JavaScript is employed to achieve the desired result. It also serves to illustrate the separation of the Structure and Behavior layers of a web page. Graceful degradation is employed to make sure that the help information is accessible if JavaScript is disabled or not available in a user agent.

Palinkas, Frank M. Opera (2008). Articles>Web Design>Standards>Help


Accessible CSS Forms: Using CSS to Create a Two-Column Layout

Websites have become less accessible and more complex over time according to recent studies. Learn how to buck the trend by creating fast, accessible CSS forms that work with modern browsers and gracefully degrade.

Website Optimization (2008). Articles>Web Design>CSS>Forms


Accessible Expanding and Collapsing Menu

A website’s navigation should, in my opinion, be visible and straightforward, not hidden away like this or in flyout/dropdown menus. But...

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


Accessible Folksonomies

I’ve been thinking about one particular artifact of the folksonomy phenomenon — the folksonomy menu that serves as a sort of buzz index providing users with a quick visualization of the most popular tags (technically I think it’s called a weighted list). Popular tags are displayed in a larger font and it’s relatively easy to identify hot topics at a glance. This visual representation of the popularity of any given tag is undeniably cool. However, once the coolness factor wears off it becomes fairly obvious that these menus are also not very accessible.

alt tags (2005). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Metadata


Accessible Forms

This document is concerned with what the user of a Website form "sees" and interacts with. It outlines how you can create forms for the Web that are more accessible and describes the appropriate use of.

Hudson, William. Webusability (2004). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Forms


Accessible HTML/XHTML Forms

Forms are often the most tricky aspect of web development for beginners to get their head around, largely because it means stepping out of the comfort zone of one-way information - no longer are you simply presenting information at the person viewing your site, now you are asking for input, for feedback that you have to process in some way. And just as it may be difficult for HTML beginners to understand just how they handle form data, so is it difficult to understand some of the issues relating to accessibility.

Lloyd, Ian. Web Standards Project (2004). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Forms


Accessible Java using JAAPI

Due to the proliferation of Java applications and applets on the Internet, it is essential that accessibility barriers are not introduced during their development.

O'Gribin, Niall. Erigena (2006). Articles>Accessibility>Programming>Java


Accessible Online Video for Keyboard-Only Users

Sorted out transcripts and subtitles to make your online videos accessible? This is important, but there are other accessibility considerations which are often overlooked. Here are some other things you must consider.

Moss, Trenton. Webcredible (2009). Articles>Accessibility>Video>Web Design


Accessible Podcasting: College Students on the Margins in the New Media Classroom   (peer-reviewed)

Students with disabilities are in danger of being either excluded from the new media revolution or accommodated as after-thoughts of pedagogies that fail to anticipate their needs. Too often, our excitement about new media, even when that excitement is tempered by sober reflection, leaves intact a set of normative assumptions about students’ bodies, minds, and abilities. These assumptions operate behind the scenes. They are activated readily and unconsciously as beliefs about how well or poorly students move, see, hear, think, learn, know, act, and use specific technologies. Normative or so-called “ableist” assumptions about our students – e.g. that they hear, see, and move well enough or in certain anticipated ways to engage directly with course learning tools — threaten to undermine our commitments to accessibility and inclusivity.

Zdenek, Sean. Accessible Rhetoric (2009). Articles>Multimedia>Accessibility>Education


Accessible Presentation of Measurements from a Web Accessibility Observatory   (PDF)

How shall we design accessible GUIs? Which are the main problems, which are the right paths and techniques for doing this? The article is a story about an experience, about the development of an accessible GUI and an analyses of the procedures.

Bertini, Patrizia and T. Gjosater. DFA International Conference (2006). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>Accessibility>User Experience


Accessible Taxes? A Blind Consumer's Experience with the US Tax System

One of the most common, and least enjoyable, experiences of citizens of the United States is that of filing income tax forms. This year, Sachin Pavithran, who is blind, attempted to complete the forms and file them without assistance from sighted friends. Find out whether he was successful or not.

Bohman, Paul, Shane Anderson and Sachin Pavithran. WebAIM (2004). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Government


Accessible Technology in Computing: Examining Awareness, Use, and Future Potential

Presents new findings about the use of computers among individuals with difficulties/impairments. It also discusses factors that influence the use of computers and accessible technology and includes data about the current awareness and use of accessible technology. This report concludes with a forecast of growth in the demand for accessible technology and an overview of the opportunities for the IT industry to make accessible technology easier to discover and use.

Microsoft (2004). Articles>Accessibility>Technology


Accessing Information through Natural Language Interface   (members only)

The natural language interface (NLI) is a module that allows the user to access the information stored in the underlying database by typing requests expressed in a natural language.

Kovacs, Laszlo and Sieber, Tanja. tekom (2005). Articles>Usability


Accessing Information: Not Everyone Does it the Same Way

As some in our profession have come to realize, social media and use of the Web in general have changed (and are still changing) the way in which people access and use information.

DMN Communications (2008). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>User Centered Design


The Accidental Beginning of a Highly Successful Special Interest Group (SIG)   (PDF)

SIGs exist to serve specialized needs within the greater organization. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Professional Interest Committees (PICs) are a tool by which the local chapters can serve a diverse range of special interests, boosting chapter membership. The Lone Star Chapter (Dallas/Fort Worth) began hosting SIG meetings three years ago. Currently, with four active SIGs, we are hosting an additional 100 to 200 members per month. This is how we built our SIGs to promote membership in STC. In the spring of 1990, a group of disgruntled contractors began to meet formally to discuss dissatisfaction with insurance plans for independents available through the society. We had been meeting informally for many years, to discuss the job market, rates available, and generally to gossip. We call it networking. personal contact or the sudden ice storm we had that night attendance was down significantly. From that point, we have kept a mailing list updated from our sign-in sheets, and sent postcard reminders about each meeting.

Steele, Karen A. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>Collaboration>Case Studies>STC


Acclaimed Science Magazine "Discovers" Plone

DISCOVER Magazine, the magazine of science, technology and the future, recently launched a newly designed website on the open source Plone content management system (CMS).

Plone.org (2007). Articles>Content Management>Case Studies>Plone


Accommodating Mobility Impaired Users on the Web

Worldwide, there are more than 750 million people with disabilities and this number is increasing. It is critical that the Web be usable by anyone, regardless of individual capabilities and disabilities since the World Wide Web is supposed to be a place where everyone has the ability to find information or shop. Website designers should be sure that the web pages can be accessible by everyone no matter who or where. Accessibility, a category of usability, is a software product's ability to be used by people with disabilities, such as motion impairment.

Deng, Yu. Universal Usability (2001). Articles>Usability>Accessibility



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