What is Web Accessibility?

May 1, 2011

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Topics: Accessibility.

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Accessibility Accessibility is a general term used to describe how easy it is for people to get to, use, and understand things. (Wikipedia) It is a common mistake to believe that accessibility refers exclusively to the relationship between people with disabilities and their environment. That is, that making a building, website, or other device "accessible" is merely the process of ensuring that a person with a disability will be able to use it. This is not precisely wrong; it is […]

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Accessibility isn’t about technology

I’m a firm believer that the first step to creating effective accessible web sites is to understand the nature of disability. Learning all the technological elements which can affect that accessibility is also necessary, but if you don’t understand why you’re employing the technology, you’re far more likely to make simple but costly mistakes. My latest article, 10 Common Developer Mistakes, published at Ecommerce Developer, covers examples of some of those still-common mistakes which are fundamentally the result of a […]

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Color Blindness Myths and Misunderstandings

October 25, 2010

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Topics: Accessibility.

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I’ve always believed that web site accessibility depends on an understanding of accessibility issues — not on technical issues. Obviously, knowing the technical side of web site construction and how it impacts accessibility is very important. Some decisions are fundamentally technical, but a huge part of web site accessibility is purely visible — and just understanding accessibility issues will make a huge difference. To that end, here are a few quick comments about color blindness. Color blindness (or color perception […]

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Forthcoming Updates on Federal Section 508 Rules

Section 508 web accessibility standards were written as an amendment to the Rehabilitation Act in 1998. In web development terms, this isn’t short of an eternity — and in all practical sense defines an era. The web programming methods and styles of 1998 were radically different to what you see in normal use today. The Section 508 rules have been under revision recently, and were available for public comment until June 21, 2010. Unfortunately, my time didn’t allow me to […]

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Accessibility Viewer Application Beta from the Paciello Group

June 17, 2010

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Topics: Accessibility.

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Steve Faulkner, from The Paciello Group, just announced the beta release of their new Accessibility Viewer application aViewer. The purpose of the application is to give easy access to what information the browser is reporting back through Accessibility APIs. It’s an interesting application, and certainly has the potential to provide useful information in the future. It is in beta, of course, so it may not function entirely perfectly — in my installation, I had trouble getting a few features to […]

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