Obama’s Web Transparency: not for everybody.

President Barack Obama’s approach to information transparency is admirable. His connection to the public through the major media channels of the digital age: the White House web site, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media methods is impressive. It’s a great way for the public to keep up to date on the activities of their government. Unfortunately, the accessibility level of these web resources is — all in all — not really up to the levels one would hope for. […]

WebAIM Survey on Screen Reader Usage

WebAIM has just published the preliminary results of a survey of screen reader users. With over 1,100 respondents — among whom over 1,000 used a screen reader due to a disability — the survey shows promise of revealing an interesting and valuable perspective on the practical usage of screen readers among disabled populations. Obviously, no survey is perfect — but observing the overall scope of responses can effectively expose some aspects of screen reader usage. In fact, the preliminary results […]

Web Accessibility is not SEO

There are numerous articles pointing out the business advantages of accessibility. Many of these reflect the similarity between accessibility and SEO. However, despite the close technical relationship between the needs of disabled users and the technical requirements of search engine optimization, the fact remains that the two goals are not the same, are not equivalent, and do not reflect the same ultimate goals. At their hearts, web accessibility and SEO are focused on optimizing different aspects of your web site: […]

Spam vs. Accessibility

The whole world of spam is an accessibility nightmare. The concept behind web accessibility is to ensure that users can access the complete functionality of your web site — but how do you cope with the fact that spambots will happily take advantage of any hole you leave? Comment forms, contact pages, email addresses and enrollment forms. All methods of giving critical access to previously unidentified users — and all in positions where you just need to find that crucial […]

Search Optimization, Accessibility, and Images: Best Practices

One common suggestion concerning the search optimization of images is to use the alt attribute to place keywords relevant to the image contents. I really loathe this. If it was an amazing, perfect, incredible search optimization technique which would bring absolutely fantastic traffic I still wouldn’t recommend the technique. Appropriate alt attributes are one of the most critical areas for the user experience of screen reader users — using them inappropriately is a great way to give this section of […]

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