Web Design

Today HTML5 was published as a W3C recommendation by the HTML Working Group. This defined the 5th major revision of HTML. Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director, explained that HTML5 and the Open Web Platform are driving growing user expectations. 

HTML5 enables the following and more:

  • Web video and audio tracks without plugins
  • Programmatic access to resolution-dependent bitmap canvas
  • Native support for SVG and MathML
  • Annotation important for Ruby
  • Features to enable accessibility of rich application

Web standards for the future from W3C on Vimeo.

The W3C’s Protocols and Formats Working Group has published the first public working draft of API Mappings 1.1 (Core-AAM). It supports the updated working Draft of Accessible Rich Internet Application (WAI-ARIA 1.1). WAI-ARIA helps to improve the accessibility and interoperability of web content by providing an ontology of roles, states, and properties that developers can use to define accessible user interface elements. Core-AAM shows developers how user agents should expose semantics of content languages to accessibility APIs across multiple content technologies and includes much of WAI- ARIA.

For more information on WAI-ARIA see Kathy Wahlbin’s Introduction to WAI-ARIA

Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.0 is now a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Recommendation. Publishing WAI-ARIA is an important step making web content and application more accessible to people with disabilities. WAI-ARIA defines how developers of browsers, media players, mobile devices and assistive technologies (AT), and content developers can achieve better cross-platform accessibility. WAI-ARIA is introduce in the WAI-ARIA Overview.

More information on WAI-ARIA

Advancing Accessibility and Inclusion in Social Media – The User Experience, will be a virtual town hall dialogue examining the accessibility barriers of social media for people with disabilities. The dialogue is put on by The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the National Council on Disability. The public is invited to participate.

The Event will take place Monday, March 17, to Friday, April 4. It will be the first in a series of three social media events on accessibility held online and taking place over the next three months.

The Value of social media in the lives of people with disabilities will be explored through the conversation during the event. Focus will be on work and identifying accessibility issues and creative approaches to make social media tools more accessible and usable. As a participant you will be able to discuss your social media experiences and submit ideas, comments and vote on potential solutions.  

You can register for the event, which is being coordinated under ODEP’s ePolicyWorks initiative.

Some European Bank Struggle with Accessibility

According to research conducted by the University of Oviedo, Spain 74% of the time users with disabilities don’t have equal access to banks from the EU, as determined by a sample of 50 banks. The results further show that 26% of the banks presented acceptable levels of accessibility on their websites and over 36% of the banks analyzed had major accessibility issues.

Read more on the University of Oviedo’s research.

Infographics on the web have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years for many great reasons. Often, they are able to quickly convey complex bits of information and show key relationships between data sets. For sighted users, representing data as an infographic actually improves accessibility. It’s easier to understand because infographics:

UC Davis, University of California, announces its commitment to an information technology environment that is accessible to all, and in particular to people with disabilities, is now an official UC policy.  The policy can be found in the UC Office of the President website, in the “Presidential Policies” section (search for “Information Technology Accessibility”).

The Policy was unveiled for public review by UC, in draft form, in May. The four-page policy and three-page addendum policy took affect August 27 with minimal changes. The policy defines accessible as follows: “Refers to the concept that people with disabilities are able to access and use a product or system, including with the help of assistive technologies. For example, an accessible website may be designed so that the text can be enlarged by the user, rather than having a fixed font size, or may be designed so that it can be interpreted and “read out loud” by screen reader software used by blind or low vision people.”

The Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme is open for application from September 2nd through December 31. The Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme was launched in October of 2012 by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer and the Equal Opportunities Commission in Hong Kong, to show appreciation to enterprises and organizations whose websites are accessible for all segments of the community, including persons with disabilities. Read more about the Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme opening for application.

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