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May 2003
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May Weblog

May 31, 2003

Sorry about my short leave of absence. I'm back and I'll start by revisiting the status of Southwest Airlines' site. As you might recall, a lawsuit was filed because the site was unusable by a visually impaired person. While the lawsuit instigated minor improvements to the site, Southwest finally is going to work with a third party vendor to make their site "accessible".

May 9, 2003

Jason Lefkowitz provides an "interesting", (that's the nicest way to put it), review of his experiences with Bobby 5.0 Web accessibility testing software from Watchfire. His biggest gripes involve the generated accessibility reports and the "interesting" software licensing changes.

May 6, 2003

Bob Regan from Macromedia just started a blog focused on Flash accessibility. This should become an excellent resource, providing tips and much needed examples! His blog will eventually delve into other topics, too.

May 5, 2003

Kynn Bartlett analyzed why blind users can't register at Slashdot. The gist of the problem is that when you sign up, the site displays a generated image containing random letters that the user has to enter. This is a security measure to prevent automated registration from those who may abuse the use of their login. Since there isn't any alt text associated with the generated image, visually impaired users or users with a non-graphical browser are unable to enter the letters displayed. Another site that Kynn didn't mention that uses the same technique is You have to go through a similar validation process to buy tickets online. Unfortunately, there doesn't yet seem to be a feasible way to validate users that may have different disabilities, as well as those who use non-graphical browsers.

May 2, 2003

Web accessibility matters! Some voters in the UK found this out the hard way. "The RNIB (Royal National Institute of the Blind) today revealed basic flaws in the design of several council websites, which prevented many visually impaired people from voting in yesterday's local elections."

I also found some more news about the proposed "formal" investigation into the accessibility of UK Web sites.'s Ian Lloyd attended the initial briefing from the DRC (Disability Research Council). He wrote a lengthy but interesting post summarizing his thoughts about the meeting and what was discussed. I'm interested to see how this investigation plays out. It could set interesting precedents or procedures that may be used abroad.

May 1, 2003

The W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group finally released a Working Draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. However, I suspect this document will undergo many more changes before it's released as an official recommendation.