Know your why’s and how’s…

The Accessibility Cookbook: a Recipe for Disaster, by Aaron Cannon. This is a very well-written article which provides an “insider’s” viewpoint from both an accessibility and an interface designer’s perspective. The article remarks, in brief, on the importance of knowing the why’s and how’s of accessibility. If you don’t understand why or how you’re helping a disabled user, you are immediately opening up a gateway to create new barriers. It’s not about following a set of rules; it’s about sitting […]

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Accessibility and Usability issues with AJAX

This is not a technical article. You will not learn how to code AJAX by reading this; either in an accessible and usable fashion or otherwise. This is a conceptual article. It will run through basic user-interface issues with AJAX (and other rich media). These are the reasons that AJAX functionality can be a problem for users — if you consider these issues carefully during development, it should greatly enhance the usability of your end product. The basic limitations encountered […]

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More News on the Target Accessibility Lawsuit

For a major issue in accessibility, I have to say that this really hasn’t seen much press. Granted, major lawsuits tend to move slowly — glacially, you might say. However, given the fact that the last announcement concerning the National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corporation lawsuit was in September of 2006, you’d expect some kind of blog coverage on the latest announcement. In fact, I found it difficult to find anything about it at all, at first — […]

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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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Don’t Rebuild the Browser: Educate The User

Recently, I wrote a series of posts about what I choose to call pseudo-accessibility — part of which is the provision of website tools which emulate native browser functionality. The reason these tools proliferate is because of developer laziness, not because of developer interest in accessibility. For some strange reason, it’s considered more difficult to educate the user about their browser than it is to build a text-resizing widget. (Granted, text-resizing widgets aren’t exactly rocket science.) Ian Lloyd, of Accessify, […]

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