Accessible Usable Design Anitra Pavka logo and link to Home page
Skip the navigational links Home ¦ Accessibility ¦ Usability ¦ About ¦ Resumé ¦ Archive

If you are a visual user and see this message, you most likely are not using a Web standards compliant browser. Please consider upgrading your browser. All information on this site is still accessible to you, but a standards compliant browser will enhance your experience.

Skip the month's calendar with links to each date
February 2003
-- -- -- -- -- -- 01
02 03 04 05 06 07 08
09 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 --
Resume main content

February Weblog

February 25, 2003

The Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center (ITTATC) recently redesigned their site. They changed both the look and the site architecture. Overall, I like the change. I'll need to get used to it, but the changes I've noticed so far are good ones. They also added a natural language search to the site. It allows people to search by entering (in English) a normal question, like what you would ask a person. The natural language search returns results from both the ITTATC site and the following federally-funded accessibility sites:

February 23, 2003

Corda Technologies that recently released OptiMap, a product designed to make dynamic Web-based maps accessible, will start a software partnership with Siebel Systems Inc. While this appears to be a beneficial business move for both companies, I'm wondering how this may affect the pricing of Corda's products. I would hate to see some neat Web accessibility solutions priced out of the range of smaller government agencies.

February 20, 2003

Here's a follow-up to the story about the UK getting tough on inaccessible Web sites. Martin Sloan created a new UK Resources for Web Accessibility and the Law site that focuses on the legal aspects of Web accessibility there.

February 19, 2003

The Toronto Star article, "Disabled Web-users flex their muscles", briefly describes Web accessibility requirements in both the U.S. and Canada. In the U.S., Section 508 and the threat of litigation hold Web developers accountable for Web site accessibility. Canada has its own standards, the Common Look and Feel (CLF) guidelines, which are reputed to be stricter than U.S. Section 508. Although accessibility of government Web sites has been the primary focus, the private sector is feeling more pressure to comply, too. Businesses should realize the many benefits of making their sites accessible.

February 17, 2003

The UK is ready to legally pursue companies that have inaccessible Web sites. This appears to be the first time the UK has been serious about enforcing Web compliancy with their 1999 Disability Discrimination Act. While government sites planned on being accessible by the end of the year, corporate sites haven't felt the pressure until now. The Disability Rights Commission overseeing this investigation into the Web sites has statutory powers to order companies to cease operation of inaccessible sites.

February 12, 2003

IBM, in conjunction with Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, released a Thai language version of Home Page Reader, IBM's popular speech browser. This version can speak in English or Thai. It's estimated that this will provide the opportunity for over a million visually impaired users to access the Web.

February 11, 2003

The W3C released a Working Draft of the Requirements for WCAG 2.0 Checklists and Techniques. The document outlines requirements that will ensure the quality and usability of other documents created by the WCAG Working Group. The W3C is accepting feedback on this document.

February 4, 2003

GNOME never ceases to amaze me. GNOME is a free, open-source desktop for GNU/Linux and UNIX operating systems. They built assistive technology into the new GNOME 2.0 Desktop, with the help of contributors and supporters such as Sun Microsystems, BAUM Retec AG, and the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre at the University of Toronto. The GNOME desktop now has a screen magnifier, screen reader, on-screen keyboard, and Braille drivers. Software, like OpenOffice, is being adapted to support these new features.

February 3, 2003

I found an article that provides a few more details about OptiMap, a product that's supposed to make Web-based maps accessible. Corda Technologies is releasing it today.