Accessibility

By Mike Gifford on 15/07/2011
Wanted to point folks to Karl Groves' article Do Accessibility Testing First, I really like his idea of automated nightly testing for accessibility. I also wanted to acknowledge that this is more of an accessibility evaluation tactic than methodology.
I just got word that the Web Accessibility Initiative's is starting up a WCAG 2.0 Evaluation Methodology Task Force to provide more comprehensive guidance on evaluating web accessibility.  This is great, not only because the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (published in December 2008) aren't written for the average developer, but also...
By Mike Gifford on 27/06/2011
I took a great opportunity to go to Guelph to both participate in and present to the 2011 Accessibility Conference. I was able to meet with a number of great accessibility professionals from Southern Ontario who were gathered for this event at the University of Guelph.  I missed the A11yCamp which Sean Yo organized and also to Derek Featherstone's HTML5/CSS3 training, but sent two of my team to it.
In thinking about what to present to this audience I had rethink a few things.  In presenting to Drupal audiences I had to go into depth about accessibility and work to educate the audience about...
By Mike Gifford on 16/06/2011
I got talking with Sandi Wassmer from Copious about accessibility best practices after I posted Accessibility Tips for Management last month. We had a really good exchange over Skype & have continued talking over Twitter.  It's really great to hear what is happening outside of North America. Since we've been talking she was published in .NET Magazine with a great article The 10 principles of inclusive web design which I think are good guidelines for thinking about designing a site. 
Best Practices
I was looking for a way to better publicize the accessibility work we've done on our own...
By Mike Gifford on 03/06/2011
I was happy to see the AODA Compliance Wizard produced to make it a bit easier to determine when/where Ontario organizations need to act about accessibility issues.
The Accessibility Standard for Information and Communications for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was released earlier today and it's a great accomplishment that reflects the dedication of thousands of people who have worked for improved Human Rights for our fellow citizens.  It is great to see this act, which was initially received Royal Assent on June 13, 2005, finally receive the clarity about what...
By Mike Gifford on 29/04/2011
Like many government agencies, the Government of Canada has a mandate to address accessibility issues. The Common Look & Feel presently is based on the 1999 accessibility standard WCAG 1.0 and will shortly require WCAG 2.0 compliance.  This falls within the Management Accountability Framework, which is an incentive based system for management. Internal audits are presently being used to evaluate accessibility improvements over time. 
As I noted in my last blog Accessibility Tips for Management even with this regulation, how is management supposed to know when their site is accessible or...
By Mike Gifford on 28/04/2011
Image from FAE's Evaluation
Most accessibility articles are written for either developers or designers who need guidance on how to implement accessibility fixes.  There's a lot more to write on this subject, but I was looking for articles written for the communications professionals who are overseeing web project. In most large organizations the people directing the sites development are not the same people as those who are coding it.  
Without having specialized technical knowledge tied to accessibility, do managers have the skills required to assess if their sites are accessible?  In my experience most managers lack...
By Mike Gifford on 27/03/2011
Here's a summary of accessibility presentations from DrupalCon San Francisco & Chicago. I've put them in an order that I hope will allow people who know nothing about web accessibility to progress through a rather complex subject. All DrupalCon videos are stored on Archive.org which now also has an option for using HTML5 video.
This is my first time using this great new HTML5 tag to embed a video. It's also a great space to highlight that there are as yet no captions available for these videos & I've yet to figure out how to make the controls accessible to keyboard only users &...
By Mike Gifford on 04/03/2011
OpenConcept Consulting takes a step into the future of the web with HTML5. Witness the power of lightning fast and super stable in-page video with the stunning effects of jQuery. Accessible, mobile friendly, sleek and flexible: HTML5 is where our heart is.
We are early adopters of many new technologies so that we can test/evaluate them before implementing them for our clients. We pushed forward with an early Drupal 7 install so that we could dedicate some time to working out the remaining kinks that are holding back implementation of this great new version. We've been using social media to...
By Mike Gifford on 28/02/2011
I don't know where the time's gone, but next week at this time I'm going to be at DrupalCon with thousands of other users & developers.  I've really enjoyed Boston, DC & San Francisco, and expect that Chicago will be just as exciting.  It's interesting to reflect that it was in 2008 at the Boston Keynote that Dries set the course for Drupal 7 challenged the community to embrace RDFa.  This was long before we became involved in making Drupal 7 more accessible, but making sites more machine readable will do a lot to making them more accessible to people too.  
William Lawrence gave the...
By Mike Gifford on 12/02/2011
Back in November of 2010 Federal Court Justice Michael Kelen gave the Treasury Board of the Government of Canada (GoC) 15 months to make all of it's websites accessible to the blind.  This is still a landmark case even though the government decided to appeal the case on Jan 10th. I'm not sure how much longer the appeal will extend the case, but the writing is on the wall, the GoC is going to need to begin the long and difficult process of ensuring that it's millions of public web pages are accessible to all Canadians.
It is unclear at this point what will come from the appeal. I would hope...

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