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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After HTML, PDF (Portable Document Format) files are probably the most common files on the Web. PDF is usually used when a file needs to appear or print a certain way, regardless of the browser or technology. PDF files can be made accessible to people with disabilities, although usually with more difficulty than with HTML. A key part of this process involves creating tags that make a document more accessible to screen reader users.
It is six months since the release of WCAG 2.0 and I thought it might be interesting to see how extensively it has been adopted as a bench mark for determining web content accessibility. Over this time, I have felt that the rate of adoption has been relatively slow and the number of countries and other regulatory authorities now using WCAG 2 is lower than I expected.
Yes, if you do it right, using Ajax techniques can improve accessibility. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Ajax is like most techniques and technologies on the web—they are what you make of them.
American Express has come under criticism, and potential legal action, for the lack of accessibility of its credit card website. A blind customer of American Express credit cards found that Amex's change in the presentation of its online credit card statements from HTML to PDF format effectively prevented him from accessing his financial information online.