AccessibleWeb@U - January 24, 2008
- UW Accessibility Web Site - Terry Thompson
- New site will soon be located at
- Much more work to do, you can help
- Related to C&C's name change coming out next week
to UW Technology, redefining role at the univesity
- Feedback from you
- What would you expect for a centralized resource on IT
- Tool recommendations, what they are good at, what
they do not do so well
- Vetted information
- Comments, what is not good, why is it not good. We
are sometimes reluctant to give negative feedback on
- UW specific information
- Discussions of practices relevant to our
- Controversies, open questions
- "We want drop down menus" - how to respond,
what methods to use if you have to do drop-down
- Can dynamic menus,interactivity be done with
CSS, will it work on all browsers?
- How do you deal with clients who know next to
nothing about accessible design?
- What do we need to know about commercial
packages such as code libraries, relevant to what
we are obligated to do
what are the best ways to ensure
- Are we on target?
- What other features would you like to see?
- Collaboration is at the center of what UW Technology
sees itself to be
- Is there a recommended way to do a dynamic menu
- We should present accessible sites, or sites where
people have consciously considered accessibility in their
- Strategies and tactics for creating and managing
- Design templates so that content providers only
have to know simple html - keep presentation entirely
out of their domain.
- Questions to ask outside consultants
- When hiring an outside consultant, what should you
be looking for in terms of knowledge about
- Could include boilerplate language in "Procuring
Accessible IT" that should be brought up in
negotiations or included in contracts? Current RFPs
include accessibility language, but with variable
- External developers often have a process they are
committed to or stuck in, and may not have any idea how
to address accessibility aspects of the design they
produce. We need interview methods that bring out their
limitations and flexibility.
- For acquisitions that will affect large parts of
the community, such as SharePoint, products should be
carefully evaluated for accessibility.
- Step by step walk through
- Home page
- What is the relationship to the
/computing/accessible/ site? Should the latter evolve
to be the home for the SIG on accessibility
- Policies and Standards
- In addition to current overview, do we need more
specific UW related statements of goals and
- Web Accessibility
- Currently a lot of stuff from the
./computing/accessible site, is it out of date, what
else is needed?
- Procuring Accessible IT
- Hope for involvement by Purchasing
- Disability Resources
- Much to add
- Should be a selected list of the best, how big
should we let the list get?
- Featured Web Site
- How would we manage this? Does some guru committee
select a series of sites? Do we have a competition?
What criteria should we use?
- Products and Practices
- Web authoring tools, document creation, content
management, Catalyst tools
- Need subject matter experts to identify and
- Wiki might be better tool, should it be limited
only to UW people?
- We need to learn how to participate in the
Web2.0, social networking wiki/blog
- We need to connect to other venues where relevant
discussions are taking place
- Guild of Accessible Web Designers has active
Web site http://www.gawds.org/)
- ATHEN - Access Technologists Higher Education
Network (http://athenpro.org/) has active
discussions and resource lists
- Tools and Resources
- Got input from discussion last month
- Only a few links to groups outside the UW so
- Could link to lots of stuff, but which of the sites
are most relevant and useful to us. Some sites are
developed in different management/authority
environment. European resources often assume rule-based
approach. Texas has a strong rule-based approach.
Within the UW, not always the best approach.
- We are moving more toward systems of required
templates with presentation controlled separately with
CSS, which allows accessibility aspects to be addressed
independent of the content creation process.
- Need to think on a local level. We have local
issues and local questions.
- How can we determine what are the best resources
for our local needs. How do we have that discussion.
Could have a wiki to develop questions, issues.
- Featured Web Site could be tool for building
- UW Accessibility Blog
- Opportunity to talk about issues, stuff that does
not fit in elsewhere
- Could be a primary source of new information and
- Omissions, What more is needed
- Interactive interfaces using AJAX, AxsJAX, DojoKit, or
others to create more usable interfaces but which create
accessibility problems in the process. Much info out there,
but we need to explore and sort out where things are going
and what to recommend.
- Visual widgets, such as Google Earth, - when
functionality is primarily visual, what is reasonable to
expect to address accessibility
- What is the nature of the application and is it truly
visual. A campus map is often considered visual, but
braille and tactile alternatives have been developed. Can
an alternative, like an audible interface, be
- How can we help people with disabilities find the
widgets available to meet their needs. How can we help them
connect to the developer communities making tools to
address their needs.
- We need to learn about using interactive environments
such as wikis, blogs, social software. We are used to the
logic of us collecting all the answers and putting them on
a static page we contain. Some general answers should be
provided. Can we connect it to an active interaction on
accessibility themes out there in the social networks and
- Flash - Adobe provides accessibility hooks in Flash,
but they are very limited. Aimed at making Flash
productions work for screen reader users, which is a
problem of figuring of what should be verbalized and what
should not. Takes a lot of work to make it work for the
small population of people equipped and skilled int
accessing it. Has Flash peaked?
- Flash is very good for embedded video. Can be
connected with MagPIE. IE7 and FireFox have become much
more robust. AJAX makes possible most of what we were
trying to do with Flash.
- Don't use Flash for required content
- Why use Flash if you can achieve the same thing
with CSS and AJAX?
- How important is it to make PDF accessible?
- Changing guidelines. Both 508 and WCAG are being
updated. Europe is developing its own version of 508
- WCAG2 -
- 508 Update -
- European 508 -
- Explore the Usability/Accessibility relationship
- You can make a site that passes accessibility
criteria, but is difficult to use.
- Testing and evaluating
- How do you interpret validation results? Much of
what you get is boilerplate that may not be relevant.
How do you separate the wheat from the chaff.
- 508 guidelines are only a place to start now. We
are interested in IT accessibility, which has a much
wider scope that the only static page, html only