A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Page Source Order and Accessibility

In this presentation, the authors report on a survey and testing with screen reader users designed to determine how the placement of navigation in the source order (before or after content) affects accessibility.

Hudson, Roger and Russ Weakley. OzeWAI (2005). Presentations>Web Design>Accessibility


PDFs and Accessibility

Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format that allows the page creator to ensure that all fonts, formatting and graphics etc are preserved throughout the document regardless of the platform on which it is being viewed. Due to the control the author has over the style of the document, a number of accessibility problems can be identified.

Draffan, E.A. and Sue Harrison. TechDis (2002). Design>Information Design>Accessibility>Adobe Acrobat


A Personal Reflection on the WCAG 2.0 Publication

Let's work together as a community to make WCAG 2.0 a unifying force for web accessibility. There are so many websites and exciting new web applications being created today with accessibility barriers that make it difficult or impossible for some people with disabilities to use them. Let's change that, with WCAG 2.0.

Henry, Shawn Lawton. W3C (2008). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Standards


Photosensitive Epilepsy

Photosensitive epilepsy is a form of epilepsy that is triggered by visual stimuli, such as flickering or high contrast oscillating patterns, and it's believed that around 3% to 5% of people with epilepsy are susceptible to photosensitive material. Photosensitive epilepsy is usually triggered where the flicker rate is between 16Hz to 25Hz, although it's not uncommon for seizures to be triggered by flicker rates between 3Hz to 60Hz. The condition most commonly effects children, and is usually developed between the ages of 9 and 15 years, and most prevalent in females.

Lemon, Gez. Juicy Studio (2006). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Cognitive Psychology


Pitfalls of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools

Automated web accessibility evaluation tools are hard to trust, understand and only provides feedback on a small amount of factors that influence accessibility. Also, a unified web evaluation methodology should be adopted to provide consistent results across tools.

Standards Schmandards (2009). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>Assessment


Plongez dans l'Accessibilité

Ce livre répond à deux questions. La première question est Pourquoi je dois rendre mon site web plus accessible ? Si vous n'avez pas de sites web, ce livre n'est pas pour vous. La seconde question est Comment puis-je rendre mon site web plus accessible ? Si vous n'êtes pas convaincu par la première réponse, vous ne serez pas interessé par la seconde.

Pilgrim, Mark. Dive Into Accessibility (2002). (French) Books>Web Design>Accessibility


Position Paper on the Suitability to Task of Automated Utilities for Testing Web Accessibility Compliance

Automated tools can make our jobs significantly easier, more thorough, and more cost effective. But, they are only the first necessary step in addressing accessibility-removing the barriers. We must now address the special condition of usability related to handicapped users and accept that user-based evaluation is the only true test of success.

Killam, Bill and Bill Holland. Usability Interface (2003). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


PowerPoint Accessibility Techniques

There's nothing wrong with posting presentations in their original format; however, you must also post an HTML-based version to ensure maximum accessibility.

WebAIM (2003). Presentations>Accessibility>Design>Microsoft PowerPoint


Practical Plans for Accessible Architectures

Accessible design requires a deeper understanding of context. It's about providing alternative routes to information, whether that route is a different sense (seeing or hearing), a different mode, (using a tab key or a mouse), or a different journey (using an A to Z site index instead of main navigation). However, accessibility is much easier to achieve when the right foundations are put in place as prerequisites during site planning and strategy.

Forman, Frances. Boxes and Arrows (2007). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Prettier Accessible Forms

Forms are a pain. You can make them pretty, make them accessible, or go a little crazy trying to achieve both. Nick Rigby offers a happy solution.

Rigby, Nick. List Apart, A (2006). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Forms


Print and Online Resources about Web Accessibility: An Annotated Bibliography   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This annotated bibliography discusses over 120 print and online resources related to Web accessibility. It lists and describes resources that offer practical advice on how to implement accessibility, particularly in relation to the WCAG 1.0 and Section 508 standards. It also summarizes the findings of empirical studies that have examined Web site accessibility via automated tests, such as Bobby, and studies that have gauged user performance with assistive technologies, such as screen readers. The bibliography lists forums for discussing accessibility with other practitioners and researchers, and it cites sources for news and events related to accessibility. The bibliography concludes with a short discussion of trends in accessibility research.

Mackiewicz, Jo M. Technical Communication Online (2006). Resources>Bibliographies>Accessibility>Web Design


The Problem with Automated Accessibility Testing Tools

Automated accessibility testing tools can be useful, but there are a number of disadvantages with relying on them.

Moss, Trenton. Webcredible (2005). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Product Design Ideas Center

The Product Design Ideas Browser is a reference tool that focuses on design strategies used to address the Telecom Act Accessibility Guidelines. Select an item from the list of Accessibility Guidelines in the navigation pane to find ideas and strategies that will be helpful in the design of more accessible and usable products.

University of Wisconsin. Design>Usability>Accessibility


Providing   (link broken)

Once the information on a web page has been made, strictly speaking, accessible to assistive technologies, the question then becomes whether or not that site is 'easy-to-use' for people with impairments. It is not always enough to retrofit accessibility features to a pre-existing site that was designed without considering the needs of these users.

Frontend Infocentre (2001). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Usability


A Quick and Dirty Introduction to Accessibility

A presentation providing an overview of accessibility that discusses disabilities that affect use of the web, devices and technologies used by disabled users.

Weakley, Russ. Max Design (2004). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility


Quick Tips to Make Accessible Web Sites

Ten tips for making Web sites accessible, available on a business-card sized reference card. Can be ordered from Web site.

W3C (2002). Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Reading Expository Text on a Computer Screen   (PDF)

Issues of legibility, restricted screen space, and the resulting effects on reader efficiency have hampered efforts to bring expository text to the computer screen. Previous research focused on character-based displays, a technology that is rapidly being supplanted by equipment capable of improved resolution and visual symbol generation. These issues, which affect both authors and readers, need to be investigated in light of current screen and user interface technology. It may well be that linear expository texts are easily adaptable to contemporary computer screens.

Ham, Eardley L. STC Proceedings (1994). Design>Document Design>Accessibility


Redesigning the AccessAbility SIG Web Site for Accessibility   (PDF)

Assuring the accessibility of a Web site is an ongoing process. Hear how the Web team for the AccessAbility SIG redesigned the SIG's Web site to incorporate more accessible features and how they stay on the accessibility road.

Lockley, Cynthia A. and Ann Leslie Reed. STC Proceedings (2004). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>STC


Replacing NOSCRIPT with Accessible, Unobtrusive DOM/JavaScript

Modern user agents with JavaScript enabled will hide content contained within NOSCRIPT, and reveal it when JavaScript is disabled. User agents that do not support JavaScript will display the content within it. User agents with partial/antiquated JavaScript capabilities however interpret the element correctly and do not show the content, but when JavaScript is disabled also do not show the content - it never gets seen. This has an impact on the accessibility of the content. If your writing is targeted at modern, standards-based, compliant, and fully capable JavaScript user agents, employing the NOSCRIPT element is no problem. If the user agents among your audience are unpredictable, however, replacing the NOSCRIPT element with another mechanism becomes significant. This article looks at one such solution.

Palinkas, Frank M. Opera (2008). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>JavaScript


A Report from the STC Special Needs Committee: The Nature of Deafness   (PDF)

Deaf persons are not a monolithic group. Persons born deaf or who become deaf before learning the language of their environment (prelingual deafness) have a significant educational challenge as well as a communication challenge. Other deaf persons have a communication challenge. Deaf persons may be divided into five categories. For the purposes of this paper the categories are prelingual deafness, prelingual hard-of-hearing, postlingual deafness, postlingual hard-of-hearing, and presbyacusis. (oldage deafness) Each of these categories are discussed in detail including the characteristics of persons within the categories, and the nature of the problems they encounter.

Malcolm, Andrew. STC Proceedings (2001). Design>Accessibility>TC>Audio


Requiring the alt Attribute in HTML5

I'm putting together a list of pros and cons about making the alt attribute required in HTML 5. The following is a list of reasons for and against making the alt attribute required.

Lemon, Gez. Juicy Studio (2009). Articles>Web Design>Accessibility>HTML5


Research-Based Web Guidelines: Accessibility

Ensure that text and graphics are understandable when viewed without color. If designers depend on color to convey information, colorblind users and users with devices that have noncolor or nonvisual displays cannot receive the information. When foreground and background colors are close to the same hue, they may provide insufficient contrast on monochrome displays and for people with certain types of color deficits.

Usability.gov. Design>Web Design>Accessibility


Responsive—and Responsible—Web Site Design for Disabled Users   (PDF)

Urges professors of technical communication to teach their students how to design Web sites that accommodate disabled users.

Hawkes, Lory. Intercom (2004). Design>Web Design>Accessibility>Education


RNIB's Campaign for Good Web Design

There are two million people with sight problems in the UK - can they use your website?

RNIB (2003). Organizations>Accessibility>Web Design


The Rules of Unobtrusive JavaScript

One of the most important things to keep in mind when writing JavaScript for the Web is to make it unobtrusive, since You cannot rely on JavaScript being available.Sadly, there are many developers who do not seem to spend any energy at all on considering how to do that. Instead they choose to blindly forge ahead and assume that everybody who comes visiting will have full support for JavaScript and use a mouse.

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



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