What is Web Accessibility

The W3C has selected the Web Science Institute and the University of Southampton to host its UK and Ireland Office. The office will be staffed by and Office manager, Susan Davies, Coordination Manager for the WSI and a Senior Advisor, Professor Leslie Carr, Director of the WSI Centre for Doctoral Training. The W3C offices are local points of contact for the W3C and work to bring the W3C and its specifications to an international audience.

Read the W3C press Release

The W3C’s WAI Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) has made public the first version of Web Accessibility Perspectives, which introduces ten videos that explore the impact of accessibility on people with disabilities and how accessibility benefits everyone. The videos show how accessibility benefits everyone in different situations and inspires viewers to explore web accessibility. The WCAG 2.0 guidelines inform accessible web development.You can read more about the initiative at Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

At Interactive Accessibility we have a dedicated team that works hard to produce the best services possible for our clients. Most of our time is spent in “head down” work mode – just like any other team producing products or service they’re proud of. Every so often, one of us pops our head out of the fog of a busy workday and remembers just why we have dedicated ourselves to accessibility.

The purpose of the day is to get people talking, thinking and learning about digital accessibility issues encountered by people with different disabilities. The target audience of GAAD is the design, development, usability, government, and related communities who build, shape, fund and influence technology and its use. That means you.

Read the blog post by GAAD co-Founder Joe Devon that started it all and watch an interview with GAAD Co-Founder Jennison Asuncion. How can you take part? There are ideas and activities for you to mark GAAD at  Happy GAAD!

This Thursday, October 24, in Berkeley, CA Frances West, director of IBMs Human Ability & Accessibility Center, will be speaking at the 15th Annual Disability Policy Summit and Ever Widening Circle at the World Institute on Disability. 

The Policy Summit will focus on improving accessibility within corporate technology policy and their online services and systems. It will feature roundtable discussions between consumers with disabilities who use access technology and industry representatives who develop that technology.

Microsoft joined the European Disability Forum (EDF) in Brussels to discuss how the business, government and private sectors can contribute to making web accessibility a staple in Europe. Among the initiatives that already are underway include:

  • The goal of making 100% of public websites accessible
  • Accessibility resources available on the Microsoft website
  • A Web Accessibility Handbook for European countries
  • A guide for governments on how to resolve accessibility issues
  • Schipol Treaty, an agreement among Dutch companies to prompt change regarding Internet accessibility

To read more about the Microsoft-Europe collaboration, go to Making progress on web accessibility across Europe.

While many websites claim Section 508 or WCAG conformance based on the evaluation of a tool, the truth is that at best the site passed the automatic accessibility features that can be judged electronically.

Here is an upbeat (literally) concise video on web accessibility.  In three minutes and twenty seven seconds the folks down under (Australia - Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs) have put together a big band introduction/reminder of what web accessibility is:

  • Universality – think about and expand your audience
  • Legal Requirement
  • Everyone’s Responsibility
  • Easy – structure, alternatives

“What you do at the start makes it easier in the end.”

Yes, an audio version is also downloadable.

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