The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) took effect on January 1, 2009. The ADAAA, which was signed by President Bush on September 25, 2008, is intended to restore Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provisions that had been eroded by a series of Supreme Court decisions.
Yesterday we launched a new version of our developer community website. It doesn’t have many ‘community’ features as yet but that’s all to come. One thing it does now have is an HTML version of all of our product documentation, in an easily searchable format. This new format of the product documentation is largely to move us away from PDF only documentation. At present we still have a set of PDFs but they aren’t particularly usable.
The purpose of this document is to provide information and resources for those interested in learning more about accessibility issues and current and next-generation information systems. The current focus of this document is on the National Information Infrastructure (NII), sometimes known as the 'information superhighway.' This document contains both information presented at a very introductory level and information which is more technical in nature. Wherever possible, all of the technical discussions are broken out and presented separately, so that readers may course through the material at a level which is comfortable to them, and which meets their information needs. This is a living document which will be continually revised and added to as more information is collected and as the efforts in the area of research, development, and public policy continue to evolve. The most recent form of this document can be found on the Internet via our ftp, gopher, or WWW servers. All of these are located at: trace.wisc.edu The document can be viewed on-line or downloaded in one of several forms to facilitate accessibility.
Although, web-based distance education programs address geographical and cost barriers, they usually ignore access barriers to students with special needs (i.e. those with sensory, motor or cognitive disabilities). Distance education programs should ensure that conduits, and not barriers, to information are created. When planning a web-based special education program the following concerns should be considered: how to increase Web access to persons with disabilities by addressing access issues on both the client and the service side; how to optimize the use of innovative web technologies to transmit interesting yet accessible learning materials; how to increase community amongst special education students and teachers.
The idea of accessibility is to make websites (or other things) more easily usable by people, most frequently specifically “people who are disabled”. This is emphatically not just about using alt tags (note: always call them tags, it annoys the purists). Accessibility is not just about the blind.
There is no doubt that, in pro-disabled accessibility discourse, certain groups are privileged above others. Whilst there is increasing sensitivity to this in Computer Science, with developers and researchers working to close the distance, this reasons for this divide are under-theorised within ICT discourse.
Social media can be a terrific way to share information with your customers, provide them with crucial support, and otherwise communicate with them. Although there is little you can do to compensate accessibility problems while you are visiting Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, there are many things you can do to make shared information on those sites easier for your customers to access.
An article discussing how the needs of all users must be addressed, including the varying level of computer literacy and competence. It is conjectured that building sites which address the specific needs of these audiences will benefit the general public as a whole.
In traditional marketing you're looking to define your targeted audience for your business or organisation. In Internet marketing things work in the same way. Unfortunately, with the growing popularity of the Internet in the past years and with the growing number of people building sites, a certain part of the online audience has been overlooked.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is a key resource for usable web accessibility. WAI’s accessibility standards are developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of providing a set of standards that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. In addition to standards, WAI produces many documents that offer guidance on how to include accessibility in a good user-centered design process, including people with disabilities and their needs early in the process. Other work of WAI focuses on how building on the benefits of accessibility for other audiences, such as older adults, people on limited bandwidth and users of mobile devices.
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.
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.