Accessible Usable Design
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February 25, 2003
Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center
recently redesigned their site. They changed both the look and the site architecture.
Overall, I like the change. I'll need to get used to it, but the changes
I've noticed so far are good ones. They also added a
natural language search to the site.
It allows people to search by entering (in English) a normal question, like what you would ask
a person. The natural language search returns results from both the ITTATC site
and the following federally-funded accessibility sites:
February 23, 2003
Corda Technologies that recently released OptiMap,
a product designed to make dynamic Web-based maps accessible, will start a
software partnership with Siebel Systems Inc.
While this appears to be a beneficial business move for both companies, I'm wondering how this
may affect the pricing of Corda's products. I would hate to see some neat Web accessibility
solutions priced out of the range of smaller government agencies.
February 20, 2003
Here's a follow-up to the story about the UK
getting tough on inaccessible Web sites. Martin Sloan created a new
UK Resources for Web Accessibility and the Law
site that focuses on the legal aspects of Web accessibility there.
February 19, 2003
The Toronto Star
"Disabled Web-users flex their muscles", briefly describes Web accessibility requirements in both the
U.S. and Canada. In the
Section 508 and the threat of litigation hold Web
developers accountable for Web site accessibility. Canada has its own standards, the
Common Look and Feel (CLF) guidelines,
which are reputed to be stricter than U.S. Section 508.
Although accessibility of government Web sites has been the primary focus,
the private sector is feeling more pressure to comply, too. Businesses should realize the many
benefits of making their sites accessible.
February 17, 2003
The UK is ready to
legally pursue companies that have inaccessible Web sites.
This appears to be the first time the UK has been serious
about enforcing Web compliancy with their 1999 Disability Discrimination Act. While government
sites planned on being accessible by the end of the year, corporate sites haven't felt the
pressure until now. The Disability Rights Commission overseeing this investigation into
the Web sites has statutory powers to order companies to cease operation of inaccessible sites.
February 12, 2003
IBM, in conjunction with Chulalongkorn University in Thailand,
released a Thai language version of Home Page Reader, IBM's popular
speech browser. This version can speak in English
or Thai. It's estimated that this will provide
the opportunity for over a million visually impaired users to access the Web.
February 11, 2003
The W3C released a
Working Draft of the Requirements for WCAG 2.0 Checklists and Techniques.
The document outlines requirements that will ensure the quality and usability of other documents
created by the WCAG Working Group.
The W3C is accepting feedback on this
February 4, 2003
GNOME never ceases to amaze me. GNOME is a free, open-source desktop for GNU/Linux and UNIX
operating systems. They
built assistive technology into the new GNOME 2.0 Desktop, with the help
of contributors and supporters such as
BAUM Retec AG, and the
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre at the University of Toronto.
The GNOME desktop now has a screen magnifier, screen reader, on-screen keyboard, and Braille
drivers. Software, like
OpenOffice, is being adapted to support these new features.
February 3, 2003
I found an article that provides a few more details about OptiMap, a product that's supposed to make Web-based maps accessible.
Corda Technologies is releasing it today.