Well, go check out the Accessibility forum here at Sitepoint. I believe there are some links in a stickie…
for some reason older threads just vanish, so there are only current threads in there.
I don’t have a single link about mobility problems… and those are important. Think of older people, people with palsy or shaking, or people who have a crappy mouse (like my husband does… can’t click a checkbox with it to save your life). Maybe you want to do a search on that, because my links below make it seem like accessibility means “for the blind” and they’re a loud group but not the only one. Seniors in particular are a good group to keep in mind, and how familiar they may or may not be with their browsers or their computers in general. Double clicking is a problem for many (ha, only today do I learn you can click and then hit Enter… cause I’m so used to Linux single-clicks!).
WCAG 2 is the latest standards.
UseIt.com is where Usability expert Jakob Nielsen posts articles. He tests real humans with real sites to see how users really react to particular trends and settings on websites. You don’t have to agree with him, but he’s got hard data and so is terribly useful-- especially when you need to convince a client of something.
Bruce Lawson writes in the style I think in. His bloggitty blog-blog-blog seems to be about everything, including HTML5, so you have to sift through stuff, but that’s not bad. He’s lawlz!
Mike Cherim’s blog has some excellent stuff in it.
Here’s a piece about his WCAG2-compliant site which can be found at [url=http://lflegal.com/]Lainey Feingold.
Gez Lemon’s Juicy Studio is generally an accessibility blog. He has nice links to tests and things, and discusses ARIA.
Accessify is a general article site.
A YouTube video showing someone navigating through a web page using headers (h1, h2, etc) which is one of the easiest ways to navigate through a page. Good use of headers then can make your site easier to get through.
Jim Thatcher is known for his work in accessibility since his time at IBM with a blind colleague. Don’t worry if you’re not in the US, section 508 is based at least in part on WCAG and in general could be considered Best Practices even in other countries.
Roger’s blog is nice in general, and this specifically mentions some issues that may come up (even nowadays). 456bereastreet was better when it had comments, though. If you’re on a page with comments, read them. They are often more awesome than the article and people usually made good points. Roger had to turn comments off because of spam though : (
This is where I first learned how to write accessible forms, WaSP. Article’s by Ian Lloyd. Also [url=http://www.usability.com.au/resources/wcag2/]WCAG2 and forms! There have been a few important changes between WCAG2 and 1.
The link is broken, so maybe it’s moved, but http://www.rnib.org.uk used to have an article that explained how you need to be careful with overly long legends. Even my copy of JAWS still repeats the whole legend for each and every question if it’s in an inner fieldset, until you are out of that inner fieldset. In those cases I try to make the legend be more of a short title if possible.
CAPTCHA problems are important to keep in mind.
Somewhere in here I learned pointers on accessible tables… specifically I remember finding the page to look up how axis and headers worked in tables. Note, the page is old (2002) and today screen readers DO support the axis attribute. Maybe not all of them but the most popular ones do (JAWS, Window-Eyes).
Accessible Flash by Web-AIM, which in general is a site where I look stuff up. There’s also a site somewhere on Google that explains what you can do to get Googlebots to get to your Flash content.
In Ubuntu you should already have the orca screen reader. I haven’t actually gotten it to do anything more than announce itself and shut down but I hear it’s well-written. I do not like the voice and find it harder to understand than JAWS (which sounds like Stephen Hawking in its default “Reid” voice). Macs come with VoiceOver which works fine and is specifically directed with working with Safari as the web browser but it does have bugs specific to it.
If you get Windows running on a Virtual Box or Parallels or whatever, you can get a thumb-drive copy of JAWS from http://freedomscientific.com
While you’re there, check out their screen magnifyer MAGic. I don’t test my sites in a screen magnifyer but using one you can see how a cluttered (or spacey) web site can be hard to navigate in. You only see a tiny bit of the site at a time.
Refreshable Braille is interesting to see as well. Braille isn’t terribly popular among the blind but there are people who use it.
Test the contrast of your sites with GrayBit.
Test your site in three common types of colour-blindness with Visicheck. Both are beta-ish.
Anyway whenever there’s a particular thing you’re working on, like a form, a table, an application, a menu… then search for it with the word “accessibility” in the googles and see if anything interesting pops up.
That would prolly also go for mobiles, text browsers (Lynx being the most common, you already have it in Ubuntu), touch-screens and any other devices people start surfing with. For instance, some mobiles come with a stylus, but the browser doesn’t always seem to know if a touch of the stylus should be considered :hover or :focus, so if you know someone who has a mobile that works by touch then check your site in it.