Accessible Usable Design
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July 25, 2002
The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative was awarded the Roland Wagner Award in honor of their efforts in the area of Web accessibility.
LIFT was finally integrated with Microsoft's FrontPage software. (It has already been integrated with Dreamweaver, Macromedia's Web authoring tool.) Although FrontPage still won't generate Web standards compliant code, at least LIFT will help Web authors check and try to repair what FrontPage produces. It seems like small consolation, but I guess it's a step in the right direction.
July 24, 2002
I couldn't resist linking to these useful little accessibility check bookmarklets. They allow you to do quick accessibility checks using Bobby.
July 23, 2002
Mark Pilgrim turned his series of articles about making Web sites accessible into a Web-based book, Dive into Accessibility. It's free! You may view his tips grouped by type of disability, web browser, publishing tools, etc.
The article "Raising the Accessibility Bar", discusses Stanford University's Archimedes Project. This project aims to make accessible technology that performs so well that it will appeal to all users, disabled or not.
July 17, 2002
Andrew Kirkpatrick wrote an awesome overview of accessibility and multimedia, entitled "Accessible Streaming Content". It's the feature article for August's edition of New Architect. He describes what various software does to help make multimedia files accessible.
July 12, 2002
The U.S. Civilian Defense Acquisition Council (CDAC) and the U.S. Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (DARC) have issued a request for comments on changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which implement U.S. Section 508 guidelines. You may only comment on the Section 508 Contract Clause (FAR Case 2001-033). The deadline for submission is August 26, 2002. "Accessibility law under scrutiny", a recent story in Federal Computer Week, describes in more detail why this is a concern, particularly to government contractors.
July 10, 2002
Mark Pilgrim is in the middle of an excellent series of articles, "30 days to a more accessible weblog". He provides not only tips, but also examples. He also shows how five fictitious disabled users (which he profiles in detail at the beginning) would benefit from the recommended changes. This approach really brings the often vague or abstract accessibility guidelines down to earth and makes them understandable.
Lasting link for 07-10-02
July 6, 2002
The article "Company builds game plan to help blind" discusses how a start-up company is creating versions of computer games, (such as the popular game, Quake), for the blind. As the Web becomes an increasingly visual medium, perhaps some of these principles can be applied to enrich the experience for non-visual and visual users alike.