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March 2002
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March Weblog

March 25, 2002

I agree with the article, "Text-only is not accessible". Accessibility is more than making a site readable with a screenreader. Sites should optimize usability for the largest number of people possible, regardless of personal limitation or disability. The article even provides some general tips on making sites more accessible without limiting visual appeal. My own article that will appear in a couple weeks in Digital Web Magazine addresses this topic in further detail.

March 23, 2002

In the United States, senior citizens are the fastest growing demographic group of Web users. Companies are developing software (and hardware) aimed at helping seniors better use the Web and computers, in general.

March 22, 2002

The news release about the alliance between Crunchy Technologies and CORDA Technologies surprisingly has some useful content. In addition to the usual marketing spin, it provides a few interesting statistics on disabled Web users and a brief summary of Section 508 requirements.

March 20, 2002

A news release from the National Eye Institute reports that more Americans have visual disabilities than ever before. "These numbers are expected to double over the next 30 years as the Baby Boomer generation ages." Reports like this reaffirm why we need to focus on Web accessibility.

March 19, 2002

SSB Technologies and Adobe joined forces to create AskAlice, a web portal that checks sites for compliance with Section 508 guidelines and provides basic information about Web accessibility. Registration is required to perform the free accessibility checks.

Macromedia's new Flash MX is getting support from some high profile disability organizations and advocates. Another article about Flash MX supporters is more detailed and links to an example of an accessible Flash movie! I saw this Flash movie demonstrated March 9, 2002 at the South By Southwest (SXSW) festival. It was eerie listening to a screenreader read a Flash file. Macromedia's efforts towards accessibility are commendable. It should make multimedia more accessible to disabled users. However, Flash is not a replacement for HTML.

March 15, 2002

Those of us who can't attend the 17th Annual CSUN Conference aren't out of luck! Compaq is sponsoring streaming video coverage of the conference. You can watch it live or view the archives.

March 14, 2002

An interview with Kynn Bartlett brings up his long term role in Web accessibility, references general design tips, and gathers his comments on the future of Web accessibility. It's an interesting read.

March 6, 2002

In the article "Feds shift 508 responsibilities", it seems some federal agencies don't want to bear the brunt of compliancy with Section 508 guidelines. The article focuses more on hardware acquisition, but this attitude is visible in other areas. Agencies want the vendors to certify that the products sold are guaranteed to be compliant. This is a bad idea for many reasons. The article mentions the major reasons.

March 4, 2002

Finally! Macromedia will work with Microsoft to make Flash accessible. It will be interesting to see how effectively this is implemented. Also, it won't solve the usability problems that often plague Flash sites. However, this is certainly a huge step in the right direction. There's more specifics about Flash's accessibility on Macromedia's site.