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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This paper discusses in depth the relationship between accessibility and usability in product design. It presents a definition of accessibility and introduces the concept of ‘usable accessibility.’
The millions in America who navigate the world with a physical disability are poised to receive a lot of company over the next 20 years. The Baby Boomer generation is about to flood the population and promises to create a future in which centenarians are not at all unusual. With increased longevity comes more frequent occurrence of disabilities, thus demanding increased attention to making accessible technology more widely available.
In recent user testing with a range of participants including Visually Impaired (VIP) and Blind users we found that the majority of problems were common across all groups. However the effect of poor usability is more severe for users with visual disabilities. Surprisingly all of the issues are very familiar and are easy to fix so we thought we’d revisit some of the basics of accessible web design.
The Internet today is a part of kids' natural environment. Most children have access to the Internet at school and/or at home. In 2000 there were 55,475,000 U.S. households with personal computers. 99 percent of public schools have access to the Internet. The number of Internet users worldwide is expected to grow to 300 million by 2005, from roughly 150 million currently, according to an estimate by IDC. The greatest growth will be in Asia and South America. The number of online users will rise 61 percent to 95 million in the US, more than double to 88 million in Europe and quadruple to 118 million in the rest of the world. NUA Internet Survey, on the other hand, estimated total number of people online to be 407.1 million in November 2000. In November 2000 almost 20 percent of all digital media users were children. A recent National School Boards Foundation telephone survey of 1,735 randomly-chosen households showed that children predominantly use Internet at home and in school. In a survey of 10,000 students aged 12 to 24, from 16 countries, Ipsos-Reid Group found Internet to be widely available to Swedish and Canadian students. 78 percent of students in Sweden and 74 percent in Canada are able to go online at school. 80 percent of Swedish children and 71 percent of Canadian students have web access at home. Taiwan ranked third, with 63 percent accessibility at school, followed by the UK, US, Netherlands, Australia, South Korea, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Brazil, and Urban China.
How do you keep usability, accessibility, and user experience requirements on track while developing standards? It is part of the very nature of standards to focus on details--and in the process, to sometimes lose sight of the real goals. This is especially true when a standards-making process goes on for a long time, a situation is highly political, or most people are focused on technology issues.
It is hard to make a hat that fits all heads. If one were made, most people would find it uncomfortable. This fact could be the realistic of the web sites design. Web developers face the same issue creating web pages for more general usage. For those deaf and hearing-impaired people, some special technologies should be applied to ease their web browsing and searching. This report will focus on such disabled characteristics.
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.
In this video, I talk with Whitney Quesenbery and Caroline Jarrett about the feasibility of removing links embedded directly within paragraphs — which Kathryn Summers and Ginny Redish describe as “exit points” that confuse and disorient low-literacy readers.
This document outlines approaches for preliminary review Web site accessibility, and for evaluation of conformance to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. While it does not provide checkpoint-by-checkpoint testing techniques it does include general procedures and tips for evaluation during development of Web sites, and for monitoring of established Web sites. Other resources will be developed for in-depth compliance testing. The measures described here are intended to supplement an organization's existing procedures for content management and quality assurance on their Web sites. For information about why making Web sites accessible is important read the Introductions on the WAI Resources page.
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be disabled? Well, you better start thinking about it! As my collegue Gregg Vanderheiden is fond of pointing out, 'We all will have disabilities eventually, unless we die first.'
Accessibility is not something to be left to specialists hired to clean up our mess at the end. It should be a priority of the entire development team from the beginning. Yes, companies should definitely have accessibility people on-board, but they should act as much as educators and coaches as designers. Everyone on the development team must be aware of and responsive to the full spectrum of identified users if your product is to sell to the widest possible audience. That’s the only way to achieve inclusive design.
Usability is a concept that we intuitively know when we experience it. The notion of usability can refer to ease of use, ease of learning, efficiency and usefulness. To render a satisfying user experience, a well-designed product should have a combination of these features.
Begins by showing us the core functionality of screen readers and how they interact with the desktop. In the second part it demonstrates how a blind user may use them to explore and understand web sites, how sites are “linearized”, and how using semantic markup to build sites supports accessible navigation and usability.
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.
The concept behind website operability is simple: Can everybody use the tools and mechanisms required to operate your website? Operability may seem easy, but it can be very challenging. Every control, every link, and every button on your site is a potential point of failure for operability. Without appropriate consideration for the disabled, you run the risk that disabled users will be unable to access your site.