Archived entries for Accessibility

Three Things I Learned About Screen Reader Users | unraveled linked to this interesting post, Three Things I Learned About Screen Reader Users on

You should hop over there and read the whole thing, but here are my notes:

Make sure [access keys] don’t conflict with browser or screen reader shortcuts. Thankfully, the good folks at Web Accessibility Testing and Services have already started looking at this. Here’s their article on the topic.

Everyone…used JAWS, which doesn’t read display:none; content. Thankfully, the good folks at
the CSS Discuss Wiki have researched the issue and designed an improved method that works in 11 major browsers.

(Because of forms mode in JAWS), use the fieldset and legend elements as suggested by Derek Featherstone’s comment.

Braille Biz Cards

Access-USA will print Braille on your business cards. We don’t have an official vendor relationship with them. Our business card folks were pretty clueless on Braille, but you can order your cards the normal way and send them to Access-USA for Braille printing. It’s about $65 for 250 cards.

Accessibility Comes For Free

Jeffery Veen writes a nice piece on his blog called I don’t care about accessibility. (It’s from his speaking notes at SXSW-04.)

He uses a term spectrum of degradability, which is very similar our thinking that has lead to

This content has been censored during migration from my behind-the-firewall blog to this public one.


Their designs are explicitly intended to work in what we call the spectrum of degradability — that is, consider the current Mozilla in the middle, with less advanced and broken browsers like Blazer, Netscape 4 and IE6 on one end, and more advanced browsers like OmniWeb, screen readers, and other accessibility devices on the other.

It’s noteworthy that he puts omniweb and screenreader agents on the the more advanced side of the stectrum.

Veen’s dead on though, and we XXXXXXXXX’s have been touting this too:

…when Web design is practiced as a craft, and not a consolation, accessibility comes for free.

Accessibility Toolbars

XXXXXXX previously pointed us to the NILS Accessibility toolbar.

I just came across this other one, the WAVE Toolbar. WAVE let’s you submit a url (or trigger the toolbar), and receive an instant Accessibility report. The report is customize and thorough, and uses an extensive icon language to communicate it’s finding on your page itself.

The service also provides some interesting additional features:

Icon View
This representation shows your page, overlaid with an extensive iconic library that communicates the findings
Text View
Shows your page as a text-only user agent would see it. See processes CSS for font-family, and size and color seem to be respected too. An enlightening view.
Outline View
This view transforms your page into it’s hierarchical view, nesting H2 headers under H1 headers, and so on…. A good tool to help verify your semantic markup structure.
Report View
Unknown (error on page)

All and all, it seems to be another good tool for our arsenal.

The Behavior Layer – Accessible Javascript

Digital Web Magazine – Keep It Simple: The Behavior Layer

Now that Web developers have a solid grip on the XHTML structural and CSS presentation layers, its time to consider the JavaScript behavior layer and especially its accessibility.

We have now added a behavior layer to our simple page. It lies on top of the structural layer, and next to the presentation layer. This means that instead of two views we suddenly offer four.

Web Accessibility Best Practices Exchange Training

Web Accessibility Best Practices Exchange Training

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative is holding a 2-day Web Accessibility Best Practices Exchange Training on 9-10 February 2004 in Madrid, Spain. Participation is open to anyone interested in Web development. There is no registration fee; however, pre-registration is required. See the Education and Outreach Working Group’s event page for further details.

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