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  1. #1
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    The Important Topic of Accessibility

    Hi,

    There's been a lot of talk lately about accessibility and when it is necessary or even legally required to implement. However, I haven't come across much info regarding what an accessible web site really is, how one is created, and what the end user experience is reallly like.

    Can anyone broaden upon this important topic? I think we could all benefit.

    For instance, what is a "text-only" version, and how do blind people "hear" your website.

    What is the user experience for other types of disabilities?

    cheers!
    jen

  2. #2
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    The World Wide Web Consortium came up with a checklist for Web Accessibility: http://www.w3.org/WAI/Resources/#ch

    You may also find this link relevant. It's called the WebAIM which stands for Web Accessibility in Mind.
    http://www.webaim.org/standards/508/checklist
    Jacynthe Durocher
    Senior Designer & Developer
    Adrianet Corporation

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy blufive's Avatar
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    A couple more links:
    Some level of accessibility IS a legal requirement for government-funded websites in several countries (including the US)

  4. #4
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    Or you could just read some of my articles on Sitepoint!

  5. #5
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Originally posted by blufive
    Some level of accessibility IS a legal requirement for government-funded websites in several countries (including the US)
    in the UK and Australia (and probably other Commonwealth countries), business and - since 1st Sept 2002 - educational websites are required to be accessible by law (Disabilities Discrimination Act and SENDA).
    p.s.: there is the TechDis resource for UK academic webmasters...but most of the info there is probably relevant to everybody http://www.techdis.ac.uk/
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
    WaSP Accessibility Task Force Member
    splintered.co.uk | photographia.co.uk | redux.deviantart.com

  6. #6
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Nicky
    Or you could just read some of my articles on Sitepoint!
    Nicky, do I have to edit your posts because of flagrant self-promotion guideline violations?!

    Aaron
    Aaron Brazell
    Technosailor



  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
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    Originally posted by redux

    in the UK and Australia business and educational websites are required to be accessible by law (Disabilities Discrimination Act and SENDA)
    just curiouse as to if you have anything documenting this for australia? I have'nt heard anything about it being a requirement by law, tho there has been a presidence case made (sydney olympics site) for a site being un-accesibile, in wich they were fined AU$20,000

  8. #8
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    *Laughs at Sketch*

    Actually, I believe that there is no specific law in force to make businesses in the UK have accessible websites, although the SENDA act for educational establishments has already been in force for a few years.

  9. #9
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    does sitepoint have a text only version?

  10. #10
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    itec, yes, i was thinking about the precedence case...however, i thought the DDA existed in australia as well - and thus made it mandatory. http://www.accessibility.com.au/ might shed some more light on the issue. sorry if my information turns out to be incorrect.
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
    WaSP Accessibility Task Force Member
    splintered.co.uk | photographia.co.uk | redux.deviantart.com

  11. #11
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TransFuture
    does sitepoint have a text only version?
    afaik, text only versions are not required, as long as the site works reasonably well in text only browsers and/or screen readers...
    interestingly enough, a friend of mine who is 100% blind said that, when faced with the choice of "regular" and text only versions, he usually goes for the regular one, both out of fear that the text only version might not be up to date (which i have seen happen a number of times, when the two sites are not using any server-side code to ensure that the content comes from a single data source) and because he doesn't want to miss out on the "enriched" experience of hearing the graphics' descriptions etc. he finds the text only versions very sterile. but this point is debatable, and he stressed at the time that that was his personal preference.
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
    WaSP Accessibility Task Force Member
    splintered.co.uk | photographia.co.uk | redux.deviantart.com

  12. #12
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    We have Section 508 here in the States which is really only binding on government agencies since it's not a law but a federal regulartion from the GSA (General Services Administration), which administers all things government.

    You can read up on the extent of Section 508 at www.section508.gov

    Aaron
    Aaron Brazell
    Technosailor




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