Category Archives: Accessibility

The Design State

“Design State is a weblog about government web design and its attendant subtopics: accessibility, usability, and web standards. In addition to these nuts and bolts, Design State will also focus on higher level issues and project challenges that affect government and public-sector web design.”

Is Ajax accessible? At all?

“In these notes, I summarize my presentation of original research and testing of an Ajax application (Basecamp) with users of screen readers and other adaptive technologies. Here’s my working definition of Ajax: The use of scripting to cause portions of a page to refresh without reloading the entire page. That usually happens after the user does something, but it can also happen automatically.”

Accessiblity for the Masses

“I was recently reminded while working on our panel for SXSW that accessibility isn’t just about screen readers, markup guidelines, or alt tags. Unfortunately, that’s about as far as most of us ever get with accessibility. It’s good that most of us are making an effort, but it’s time to start consistently thinking bigger.”

The Accessibility Hat Trick: Getting Abbreviations Right

“AAA-level compliance is the ideal of accessibility, the bonus-round of accessible design: AAA-level compliant pages meet the needs of every group of users. AAA is achievable, but requires preparation and forethought. To create a forward-looking, fully AAA-compliant site, we need to execute a sort of hat trick: XHTML 1.0 and 2.0-compliant markup, a generous breadth of backwards compatibility, and real universal accessibility.”

I don’t care about accessibility

“These are the speaking notes I used during the ‘Accessibility is for everyone!’ panel discussion at South by SouthWest earlier this week [March 2004]. I came here to be on this panel to tell y’all that I don’t care about accessibility. Don’t care. Not an issue. Hardly ever comes up. Here’s my big secret for you today. When you design for the Web ó that is, when you design exclusively and specifically for this medium ó when you do that natively, so many of the things we consider problems just start to fall away.”

Accessible Website Menu

“UDM is a lightweight and accessible javascript menu, which provides useable content to all browsers—- including screenreaders, search-engines and text-only browsers. But accessibility shouldn’t mean compromise, and so UDM has a sophisticated range of design and usability controls, many of which are unique to this script. The navigation bar is simply a list of links. You can use Tab for navigation, and Enter to activate links, or whatever keystrokes you would normally use. To the best of our knowledge, Ultimate Drop Down Menu is the ONLY fully-featured and accessible DHTML menu in the world!”

An Interview with Joe Clark

“Digital Web: ‘Accessibility’ is now part of the Web development community’s lingua franca. However, it’s often used as shorthand to mean making a site function for blind people. How would you define it, in the Web development context? Joe Clark: I use the same definition of accessibility everywhere: Accommodating features a person cannot change or cannot change easily.”

Joe Clark’s Answers — In Valid XHTML

“We sent 10 of your questions to usability guy Joe Clark, and he took it upon himself to go a bit beyond simply answering them. In his reply he said, ‘Answers attached in a valid XHTML file. I would suggest at least retaining the id attributes. I copy-edited all the questions, but the words are all the same; they are now merely spelled and capitalized correctly. I think all the links work.’ Whatever. We left Joe’s formatting intact. It’s a little different from our usual style, but variety is the spice of Slashdot.”

Building Accessible Websites

“The purpose of the book? Teaching developers, of any sophistication and working with any kind of budget (including none), how to improve the accessibility of online media. I have come up with a new approach to the issue, which has never been documented properly in the past.”