- Fahrner Image Replacement (FIR) FIR is a standards-compliant technique that uses stylesheets and ordinary HTML to provide a visible image, usually consisting of text. The CSS specifies that the image will display in most cases; if it should not display for some reason, the underlying structural HTML markup is supposed to take its place… Because it does not nest an image inside a heading, FIR is at least superficially better for accessibility.
- Flash accessibility
- Adobe Accessibility Resource Center. Need your Web site Section 508 compliant? Get information and tools to make your web pages accessible, including the ability to test your Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, and Shockwave files.
- Can Flash be made accessible? Yes: JK Rowling Flash website – Case study – Web Access Centre (.pdf)
The J.K. Rowling accessible website was launched in July 2005 and is recognised as one of the most advanced and accessible Rich Media experiences, pioneering new accessibility features for disabled, blind and partially sighted internet users.
- Creating Accessible Flash Content WebAIM article, last updated: Sep 24, 2013.
- Flickering content or high contrast oscillating patterns may trigger Photosensitive Epilepsy, an article from Juicy Studio about the need to avoid flickering Web content, using photosensitive epilepsy as the basis for discussion.
- Floatutorial Maxdesign's step-by-step guide shows how to float elements such as images, drop caps, and next and back buttons to create image galleries, inline lists, and multicolumn layouts.
- How People with Disabilities Use the Web provides scenarios and descriptions for how different types of disabilities affect Web use.
- IBM Accessibility Research Contains information on how to make websites accessible as well as build accessible software.
- International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) is dedicated to the concept of accessibility for all participants. We recognize that our work promoting the development of an accessibility profession can never be complete unless all people can engage in education, networking and certification opportunities. We will work both to deliver accessible information and services and to continually improve in areas where new accessibility barriers are identified.
- Jim Thatcher accessibility consulting
- JuicyStudio is a Luminosity Colour Contrast Ratio Analyser that promotes best practices for making websites accessible for all.
- Knowbility supports the independence of children and adults with disabilities by promoting the use and improving the availability of accessible information technology.
- Making Information Accessible, the SAIF Standards for Disability Information and Advice Provision in Scotland. [UK]
- Usability Guidelines for Accessible Web Design by the Nielsen Norman Group
- Microsoft Accessibility. Includes accessibility information for developers.
- "Research-Based Web Design & Usability (21 MB .pdf) U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. The Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines, Enlarged/Expanded edition. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2006.
- Resources for the Hearing Impaired FREE…add a signer module to your software, a math test, and other educational learning modules. "Learning in Motion is proud to pioneer the research and development of educational software. By-products of our development role are modules of code and functionality we're happy to share. Sample our tools for deaf and hard-of-hearing. These free tools and resources are available for projects or personal use."
- Level Access, the digital accessibility rock stars (formerly SSB Bart Group, formerly SSB Technologies, Inc.,) has an unparalleled history in helping achieve compliance for regulations and standards such as ADA, Section 508, WCAG, VPAT, CVAA, AODA. They have worked with many regulatory and standards-developing organizations in an advisory capacity, including the U.S. Access Board, Federal Communications Commission and the World Wide Web Consortium.
Software design, integration, analytics, and monitoring; FREE Demand Letter Risk Assessment, Training webinars
- FREE Online Page Checker, Accessible Color Picker, Color Contrast Checker
- Download FREE web accessibility test tools by Level Access Automatic Testing,
- Side by Side WCAG vs. 508 comparison
- Technology and Information Accessibility from American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)
- The Paciello Group accessible interface design help for government agencies, technology vendors, e-commerce corporations, and educational institutions
- Universal Design Education Online
- U.S. Access Board Information and Communication Technology Revised 508 Standards and 255 Guidelines. New
- U.S. Government Website Accessibility Guidelines. This is an annotated table created to assist NASA webmasters in the goal of making all Government websites accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Web Views – iOS – Human Interface Guidelines
- W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
- W3C Accessibility Standards Overview
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 W3C Recommendation 05 June 2018
- Quick Reference to How to Meet the New W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 requirements (success criteria) and techniques.
- WAI-ARIA Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications
- WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices 1.2 W3C Working Draft 18 December 2019
- WAVE – WebAIM's Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool is a suite of evaluation tools that helps authors make their web content more accessible to individuals with disabilities. WAVE can identify many accessibility and Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) errors, but also facilitates human evaluation of web content.
- Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM) has excellent information for the Web designer for accessible sites. The site provides tools and items to consider when designing for the following disability types:
- "Wired Seniors: A fervent few, inspired by family ties", by Susannah Fox, et al., from the Pew Research Center, Internet and Technology, 9 September 2001, found that four million Americans aged 65 and over were online, sending e-mail to family members and surfing for important information. Demographics research report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. By now, that number has increased significantly.
- World Usability Day Observed each year, it has a specific focus and is honored around the world on the second Thursday of the month of November.
- World Wide Web Usability special issue International Journal of Human-Computer Studies (IJHCS) (1997) 47(1) 1-222 [United Kingdom]
- Word to HTML conversion tool: CZ Document Converter
We present to you a menu of tidbits collected in recent days that are too short for blog posts and sometimes too long for a tweet (when we want to add clarifying comments). Headings provide a light grouping to help you skim the offerings. Bon appétit!
The Old Folks
Aging is a suitable topic in technical communications because it involves all of us at some point. Don't expect aging to go away! There are always articles about helping today's older generation with technology or preparing for a future with an older generation who grew up with technology. Whether you call them senior citizens, the elderly, the old folks, or gray panthers, they are your audience at some level and at some point. Don't ignore them. Grandma might get nasty!
- With our rush to go online, are we alienating older people who are not so comfortable online? This PDF points out how offline accessibility is essential for older people: "Older people, technology and community" the potential of technology to help older people renew or develop social contacts and to actively engage in their communities.
- "Helping Grandpa Get His Tech On"
- How do you design for senior citizens?
- SUS-IT Sustaining IT use by older people to promote autonomy and independence – Helping older people to use information technologies for a better and more independent future
- Greying Gamers Will Require More Accessibility Options an article published in the now defunct GamePolitics.com – where politics and video games collide.
- An opinion piece in the LA Times wonders Can we be too healthy and live too long? This ponders the meaning and implications of aging. Perhaps a bit too pessimistically?
Academia, Education, and Online Learning
The IMS Global Learning Consortium is an excellent resource for those of you somewhere in academia. IMS GLC aims for "standards that enable the development and adoption of innovative technologies to improve and transform education worldwide." They held the Learning Impact 2010 conference in May, but I cannot find public slides or material from the conference. Go explore if it has aroused your curiosity.
What are the issues with online learning and accessibility? "Research and Practice in K-12 Online Learning: A Review of Open Access Literature" by Cathy S. Cavanaugh, Michael K. Barbour, and Tom Clark examines a report from the U.S. Department of Education and poses questions about "universal design of online learning environments and materials". You can download an excerpt from "What Works in K–12 Online Learning", edited by Cathy Cavanaugh and Robert Blomeyer (2.1 Mb .pdf).
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Tutorial is about more than accessibility or the notion of making environments accessible for learners with disabilities. It gets at the heart of design – whether it's design of a building, design of learning materials, design of a classroom environment, or design of a system. UDL is about the decisions we make in the design and development of learning systems, materials, and environments and whether those decisions unnecessarily constrain learners. From the National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities, University of Northern Colorado. See also:
- National Center on Universal Design for Learning information for advocacy, implementation, and community.
- NCLID Research Brief: "Perspectives of Effective Teachers of Students with Low-Incidence Disabilities" from the National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities (NCLID), University of Colorado.
Tools That Change Lives
analogy of web accessibility being like a ramp. Web accessibility is a well built building from the foundation up." I agree with this and want to include those technical communicators who are not in software
@ezufelt once wrote, "I don't like the- accessibility is part of the foundation whether you are working with software or hardware. Some people seem to find this concept hard to digest. Stories that tell how accessible products have a positive effect in someone's life could be the tipping point. I've collected some links that tell stories – life-changing stories, in fact.
- The story of Proloquo2Go: "Graduate Student's iPhone Application gives Voice to People with Communication Disabilities" by Mary Helen Miller, January 15, 2010. The article includes examples of how Proloquo2Go influenced the life of some users. Product information about Proloquo2Go that provides a voice for those who cannot speak.
- The iPad grabbed everyone's attention when it came out. Most reviews discussed the fancy bells and whistles. Far more interesting were the articles that demonstrated its value as a kind of off-the-shelf assistive technology: a new world for a young boy with cerebral palsy, an affordable communicator for a busy entrepreneur, or iMean, an app to help an autistic teen communicate.
- Assistive technology called COGKNOW is helping dementia sufferers get through the day.
- (I was uncomfortable about recommending the following article. Why? There was an auto-play ad on the page that drove me crazy as I searched for the source of the sound! You are warned.) The article discusses how the web is improving the lives of disabled computer users
- iComm is an iPhone app created by a father to give a voice to his severely disabled daughter.
- A nurse with dyslexia studied for her nursing degree thanks to the help of mobile dyslexia tools. See also, The Best Online Tools and Technology for Your Nursing Career.
- In Peru, scientists have developed virtual environment for intelligent telerrehabilitation people as support for treatment and rehabilitation of persons with physical disabilities. In an advanced project, unique in the region, scientists created a motion simulator with telerrehabilitation visual environment for people with injuries in their lower limbs motor lesions.
- What assistive technology helps Juergen Manthey, a man with Locked-In Syndrome? In 2004, Jurgen suffered a brain stem infarct causing locked-in syndrome: complete paralysis of all muscles except his eyes. After four years, he is able to sit, talk quietly, and move his head, and that's it. Juergen uses assistive Apple Macintosh communication software and tools to communicate.
Use these stories as inspiration for involving people with disabilities in any kind of usability testing you are doing – or should be doing. No matter how clever you are, you will not be able to think up all possible scenarios on your own. Remember, users can always provide a new and surprising angle. If people with disabilities are involved as developers or designers of products, wow! Think of the potential for inclusion in that scenario!
The Last Word
I have a dream that one day we will not be judged by our abilities / bodies but by the content of our character. – @wendyabc
This post was glued together with links or inspiration from many people. They are listed with their Twitter names.