The title of the article, "Section 508 'not as hard as people thought' ",
may oversimplify the point, but the U.S. Section 508
guidelines certainly haven't caused the "doom and gloom"
that some technology soothsayers predicted. Of course, not everything in American government
is fully compliant yet, even though the standards have been known for over a year.
One thing that's promising is how some government groups go above and beyond these simple,
baseline accessibility standards.
However, some groups still are not aware of the accessibility standards or may not be sure if they
apply to them. That's why the disability community, government, and private industry need to
continue working hand-in-hand (and further strengthen their ties) to effectively promote
understanding and implementation of Section 508. Strong co-operation among these groups
is the key to successful and universal adoption.
The answer to the title of Jim Byrne's article
"CSS accessibility problems: is markup dead?",
is undoubtedly that markup is NOT dead. Or, at least it shouldn't be.
It's unfortunate that some Web designers use CSS carelessly, just like some
used HTML elements such as <font> and <blockquote> improperly to achieve visual formatting.
The focus of a Web page needs to be centered on the content, both its display
AND structure (proper markup).
Shirley Kaiser comments further on the article, telling us
"Don't Fake Your Markup". She focuses on the lack of properly marked up page headings.
I'll extend the comments further and caution readers to properly use the <span> element.
Too often, a <span> tag (with CSS styling) is used to markup paragraphs, list items, quotations, and (as mentioned in the articles) headings.
Use <span> only when there isn't another more appropriate tag to markup the piece of
WebReference reviewed the
recently published book on Web accessibility:
Constructing Accessible Web Sites.
This book was a collaborative effort of eight experts in the industry, and is so up-to-date that
it includes information about the new Flash MX accessibility features.