Elsewhere on the 'Net - Accessibility

Accessibility elsewhere on the 'Net.

26 February 2008

WCAG Samurai Errata for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0

Joe's Samurai have published the long-awaited Errata List. The first thing that struck me is that the list is so short. To me, that's a sure sign of excellence.

Accessibility | Permalink

28 January 2008

Empty Links and Screen Readers

Mike Davies studies empty links in screen readers. Conclusion:

Not using proper link text forces the browser and screen reader to fallback to heuristics in an attempt to determine what the link text should be.

Not surprisingly, all browsers have their own take on this.

Accessibility, Screen readers | Permalink

6 November 2007

UK government accessibility consultation

The UK government's plans for accessibility. Bruce is cautiously optimistic.

Accessibility | Permalink

28 September 2007

Resizing text and confidence

Isofarro discusses text resizing widgets and their social aspects.

Right now the new theory is that we shouldn't include these widgets in our Web pages because most browsers allow users to resize text anyway.

However, Grant Broome points at the social aspects of these widgets (confidence building, for instance), and on the whole Isofarro seems to agree with him.

A few months ago I created yet another text resize widget, and I concluded they're not necessary any more. However, the arguments presented here make clear that I have to re-think this entire question.

This might be the start of an interesting discussion.

Accessibility | Permalink

2 September 2007


Some facts and thoughts about WAI-ARIA support in (X)HTML.

Accessibility, HTML, Standards/W3C | Permalink

20 June 2007

Sad news

An employee of accessibility.nl, the most important Dutch accessibility company, appears not to be allowed to blog without his employer's permission and is closing down his recently opened blog.

That's extra sad because I talked to Wilco a while ago, and I was looking forward to hearing his thoughts on web accessibility. Wilco has a visual impairment, and I hoped he'd describe how the web looks to him (pun somewhat intended), and which technical problems he runs into.

Anyway, it seems I have to have a little more patience. (Unless Wilco and everybody else misunderstood accessibility.nl's intent.)

Accessibility | Permalink

18 June 2007

On the WCAG Samurai errata

Bruce comments on WCAG + Samurai, pointing out a few of his best practices that go against the errata document. I disagree with his use of the noscript tag; see comment 5.

Accessibility, Standards/W3C | Permalink

9 June 2007

Trying not to pretend

Joe Clark pretty much quits web accessibility. Sad, but not entirely unexpected.

Accessibility | Permalink

14 May 2007

Public Sector Forums accessibility talk

Bruce on the state of public sector accessibility in the UK. Most of his points are very recognizable.

Accessibility | Permalink

8 May 2007

Interview with Judy Brewer on WCAG 2.0

Some data on the ongoing WCAG 2.0 process.

Accessibility, Standards/W3C | Permalink

2 May 2007


Bruce Lawson and James Craig are worried about microformats clashing with accepted practice in HTML; especially the hCalendar datetime.

This article seems to be part of a more general movement to clean up microformat land and define more precisely what they are and what they aren't. The underlying problem seems to be that some people who create microformats are not sufficiently versed in HTML.

Accessibility, Microformats | Permalink

8 April 2007

JavaScript Keyboard Accessibility

The nuts and bolts of keeping a foldout menu keyboard accessible.

Accessibility, Events | Permalink

25 March 2007

Setting & Retrieving Accesskeys with JavaScript and DOM

Ian Lloyd discusses ways and means of using acceskeys that don't interfere with 'normal' browser functions (like Ctrl+R = Reload). He wants to allow users to set their own accesskeys through a little script. Interesting idea.

Accessibility, JavaScript | Permalink

20 March 2007

Who's responsible for accessibility?

Always an interesting question. Right now the answer seems to be 'web developers', but Patrick rightly points to the role of clients, authoring tool developers, as well as the disabled people themselves.

Accessibility, Professionalism | Permalink

14 February 2007

Graceful Degradation & Progressive Enhancement

Interesting entry on the difference between graceful degradation and progressive enhancement.

Briefly, graceful degradation starts with a whistle-and-bells page and then makes sure it can be viewed without the whistles, without the bells, and without the whistles and bells.

Progessive enhancement starts with a bare-bones page and slowly adds new layers of functionality for those who happen to support it.

Although the net result should be roughly the same, all in all progressive enhancement seems like the way to go.

(Via Naar Voren.)

Accessibility, Theory | Permalink

My two new sites with no valid pages

Bruce Lawson, whom nobody can accuse of being indifferent to web standards, decides to use an invalid attribute in order to combat an IE accessibility problem. As a result his latest sites use invalid HTML.

I wasn't aware of the problem, but now that I encountered it I completely agree with Bruce's line of thought.

As everybody knows I'm not above adding invalid or custom attributes whenever I see the need. My general rule is that I must be able to explain any validation error a page contains; that is, I won't use custom attributes just for the heck of it, but only if they serve a narrowly defined purpose that I can explain in two or three sentences.

Bruce's use of tabindex="-1" adheres to this de facto guideline of mine, so I'm all in favour of it. I assume that, other than the spurious tabindex, the HTML is clean and valid.

Accessibility, Standards/W3C | Permalink

11 February 2007

Letter to Tim Berners-Lee: Time to cancel WCAG 2

Joe Clark doesn't thing WCAG 2.0 is a good idea. In itself that's nothing new, but now he follows up by an official Open Letter.

Over on WaSP Derek Featherstone asks What to do with WCAG 2. A consensus seems to be that the document is impractical, but other than that there's no real agreement.

Accessibility, Standards/W3C | Permalink

10 February 2007

Avoiding Evil JavaScript

Useful overview of where JavaScript and accessibility stand.

Accessibility, JavaScript, Theory | Permalink

23 January 2007

Improving accessibility for today’s AJAX - To hack or not?

A call for screen reader users willing to test the recently published virtual buffer update trick (see under 20 January).

Accessibility, Data Retrieval, Screen readers, Tests | Permalink

20 January 2007

Improving Ajax applications for JAWS users

About some interesting Jaws features. Summary:

Popular screen readers use a virtual buffer to allow users to interact with web content, whereby the virtual buffer provides a mechanism for screen reader users to interact with web content. This article uncovers undocumented behaviour in JAWS 7.1 and later, which allows web developers to build Ajax applications that update the virtual buffer without any interaction from the user.

Delves deeply into Jaws's bowels. Not for the fainthearted.

Accessibility, Data Retrieval, Screen readers | Permalink

19 October 2006

Accessibility in Trouble

Isofarro feels accessibility is in trouble, and has written a sequence of four articles about the problems. It seems there's a split in the accessibility world, and that fundamental questions have to be answered. I myself have no opinion on all of this yet; I've been sufficiently asleep for the past months to completely miss the split.

Besides, the topic that interests me most, JavaScript and accessibility, remains something of a special case.

Accessibility | Permalink

11 October 2006

Today’s AJAX and DHTML Best Practices

Excellent overview of recent thinking on Ajax and accessibility.

Accessibility, Data Retrieval | Permalink

25 August 2006

Calling all Assistive Technology vendors

'WaSP issues an open invitation to work with Assistive Technology vendors to help ensure greater support for standards-based web development techniques in software that enables access for millions of people worldwide.'

Accessibility, Screen readers | Permalink

3 July 2006

Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance

Again a book to look forward to.

Accessibility, Books | Permalink

29 June 2006

How to Make Your AJAX Applications Accessible - 40 Tutorials and Articles

As it says. I read only a few of them, and wrote one of them.

Accessibility, Data Retrieval | Permalink

20 June 2006

Notes about our @media WCAG 2.0 Presentation

Ian Lloyd's notes on the WCAG panel.

@media 2006, Accessibility | Permalink

2 June 2006

Levels of Accessibility Knowledge

...and Joe does the same for accessibility. 'Level 6: Has small but profitable Web shop. Coauthored Friends of Ed book; business partners have coauthored O’Reilly books and/or have colour deficiency. Writes front-page posts on Accessify Forum. Has cooed at Zeldman’s baby. Smokes.'

Accessibility, Fun | Permalink

26 May 2006

To Hell with WCAG 2

Joe Clark explains why the upcoming WCAG 2.0 specification is wrong.

Accessibility, Standards/W3C | Permalink

25 May 2006

Making Ajax Work with Screen Readers

'We explain the fundamental issues; how to inform users of assistive technology that a change has taken place, and how they can interact with the content. To illustrate our findings, we summarise the behaviour of popular screen readers.'

Accessibility, Data Retrieval, Screen readers | Permalink

9 May 2006

Build Half a Product: Is Ajax accessible? At all?

Surprisingly, Joe's conclusion is 'Everybody could do everything. It just wasn’t all that convenient.'

Accessibility, Data Retrieval, Screen readers, Tests | Permalink

4 May 2006

AJAX and Screenreaders: When Can it Work?

James Edwards discusses screen reader JavaScript support. Chaotic.

Accessibility, Events, Screen readers, Tests | Permalink

31 March 2006

CSS Accessibility

A useful overview of most important accessible CSS techniques. Start here if you're new to the subject.

Accessibility, CSS | Permalink

15 March 2006

Interview with Derek Featherstone

Very useful overview of the state of affairs in accessibility

Accessibility | Permalink

Results for JavaScript - Part 2: Navigating forms

Which screen readers support which events?

Accessibility, Events | Permalink

20 February 2006

The DOM And Screen Readers

How to write an advanced form validation script that's usable in a screen reader. The trick is very simple.

Accessibility, DOM, Screen readers | Permalink

17 February 2006

Graded Browser Support

A methodology for deciding on browser support.

Accessibility, Browsers, Usability | Permalink

30 January 2006

WCAG 2: The difference between a level and a priority

... or why WCAG 2.0 will be useless and incomprehensible.

Accessibility, Standards/W3C | Permalink

3 December 2005

24 ways

An advent calendar with a web development tip for every day.

Accessibility, CSS, HTML, JavaScript | Permalink

Accessibility and usability for interactive television

Roger Johansson gives a few guidelines for creating sites for interactive TV.

Accessibility, Browsers, Usability | Permalink

14 November 2005

Interview with Andy Clarke (AKA Accessibility, the gloves come off)

Andy has an excellent approach to accessibility issues, and he shows it here.
'Those people still delivering nested table layout, spacer gifs or ignoring accessibility can no longer call themselves web professionals.'
Hear, hear!

Accessibility, Professionalism | Permalink

3 November 2005

Colour blindness on the Web

You should bear colour blindness in mind when designing a site, but it's no big deal. Says Richard Rutter, who's colour blind himself.

Accessibility | Permalink

31 October 2005

Simply Accessible

Derek Featherstone's new site with practical tips on making accessible pages. Right now the focus is on how to use absolute positioning to improve form accessibility.

Accessibility | Permalink

27 August 2005

Accessibility and Availability

Derek summarizes the recent accessibility discussions, and introduces a highly useful distinction between accessibility and availability. I agree with him, with the caveat that I haven't yet read any of the other recent accessibility posts and articles.

Accessibility | Permalink

29 July 2005

Access Matters - JavaScript Quiz

Great test page on the working of events in screen readers. If you happen to have an assistive device available, or know someone who does, please do the test! We badly need to know how screen readers actually handle JavaScript.

Accessibility, JavaScript, Screen readers, Tests | Permalink

12 July 2005

Screen-reader usability at a standards-compliant E-commerce site

As it says. By Joe Clark.

Accessibility, Screen readers, Usability | Permalink

8 July 2005

Accessibility Discussions: Article and Commentary Roundup

Molly gives a linkdump of the reactions on the foundation of the WaSP ATF. Includes most important accessibility articles of the last two weeks or so.

Accessibility, Linkdumps | Permalink

7 July 2005

The Accessibility Chronicles

Mike Davidson's excellent overview of cost/benefit ratios in accessibility. The article also repeats that we don't know as much as we think we know.

Accessibility | Permalink

6 July 2005

Made for All of Us

Dave Shea discusses the new accessibility wave and concludes we don't know as much as we think we know.

Accessibility | Permalink

JavaScript and Accessibility

Derek Featherstone explains why screen reader users might have to turn off JavaScript.

@media 2005, Accessibility, JavaScript, Screen readers | Permalink

This is the linklog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also visit his QuirksBlog, or you can follow him on Twitter.

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