Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Changes to the MD Accessibility WorkingGroup

The steering group met last week to discuss the way forward for the AWG.
Our feelings were that we needed to change the format for a number of reasons, not least being that we all have heavy daytime jobs to look after as well as doing this.
Notes from the meeting are as follows:
Notes of meeting of the AWG steering meeting 2nd May 2006:
Attendees: John Keys, Simon Wharton, David Kreps, Patrick Lauke.
During the discussion a number of points were agreed:
1. The focus of the AWG should be expanded to include web standards, accessibility and usability.
2. Instead of an event every 6 weeks that includes a presentation, the group agreed that it would target 4 presentation style events per yr. (Two in the April to June period and two in the September to December period). Additionally, a more informal social gathering of the group would then be planned to take place every 2 months, in a venue like the Circle Club.
3. Members of the group would be more pro-active in promoting accessibility to the wider business community by eg. taking a stand at relevant business events (if relevant).
4. To link the AWG blog better into the MDDA's & MD main site.
5. To develop more online resources etc. for use by the groups members and other interested parties.
6. To explore the opportunity of developing a collaborative toolkit that potentially could be marketed as a commercial offering by participating companies. Some suggestions included Wordpress Pluggin's, Dreamweaver addons.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Presentations from Recent Events

I've finally pulled my finger out and got some webspace to host the presentations from our recent events. Just last week we had an excellent presentation from Julie Howell from the RNIB on PAS 78. It was right on the money for what we needed.

A few weeks prior to that, Patrick Lauke did a more hands on presentation on using Firefox to test for Accessibility. Also excellent.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Spring Training Days

fourquarters are pleased to make available our popular suite of courses in May/June 2006, face-to-face in the Learning Technologies Centre on campus at the University of Salford. All fourquarters web training courses begin with Accessibility as the foundational premise - especially our always popular Using CSS and Web Accessibility one day courses. See the fourquarters website for details and booking form www.fourquarters.biz

Monday, April 10, 2006

PAS 78 Deconstructed, slightly rescheduled

We've had to make an adjustment to the PAS 78 Presentation on Thursday 20th April.
It will now be at 3.45pm and will be held at the Cube Gallery. Promptness is advised on this one as Julie Howells has an extremely tight schedule.

Friday, March 17, 2006

PAS 78 Deconstructed at the next AWG

On the 20th April at the MDDA, we will have Julie Howell from the RNIB presenting on the recently released PAS 78. This is stuff you need to know about. Starts at 6pm. Drinking after 8pm.
Register via awg@virtuaffinity.com

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Study into Accessibility in Web Projects

One of our number is Lyndsey Pearce, a student at the University of Bolton. She is very interested in researching developer issues/constraints and would really appreciate your response to some questions attached in the following questions. You can contact her via lyndsey.pearce@ntlworld.com

The responses to the questions below are to be used as part of ongoing research for a University final year project that is concerned with accessibility on the web.

The questions are aimed at finding out about issues involved when building for accessibility such as time and cost incurred, and also to discover technologies and tools typically used and in what environments.

This questionnaire is to be filled in by willing participants who have developed or designed accessible web projects in the past, in particular, database driven web pages, where the future content is to be managed by a person in the client company via a content management system. A content management system is defined here as a system which allows users with administration rights to add, edit, delete text, graphics etc on the web pages.

There are 8 questions.

Please give as much detail as you can, and fill in your answers in the space below:-

Many of the questions are open so you can express your feelings or individual experiences.


  • In your organisation, imagine a project comes along that you would class as a typical small - medium sized project.
  • You must build security measures in place so that a section of the site is secure for administrators.
  • You must build features into the project so that an administrator can add, edit and delete text, add and delete graphics; as well as add and delete audio files and video clips to all the pages.
  • You must also build in style sheets for formatting the front end.
Question 1

How often to you build accessibility into your web projects?

Question 2

Do you often build accessibility for all disabled groups such as those with Visual/Hearing/Cognitive/Motor disabilities? Explain what groups you design and develop for and why.

Question 3

Do you follow any standards to help guide your application of accessibility into web projects? What standards do you follow, how are they relevant for the groups you design and develop for, and why do you follow them?

Question 4

What tools do you use for projects dealing with accessibility? i.e. What server technologies do you use? What markup languages do you use? What software do you use? What environments are these used in? i.e. What platforms do you develop with etc? What limitations and/or advantages are there when using these tools and environments?

Question 5

What is the average time of an accessible project (using the premise as a rough guideline) and how much extra time does it take, if any, over a non-accessible project? Please explain why extra time might be incurred and what cost issues are considered

Question 6

What is your view of UK legislation for accessibility in web sites? i.e. Is is too vague, offers good guidance etc?

Question 7

Do you build for maximum/minimum accessibility in web projects? How do you go about achieving this? How do you define goals for accessible web projects?

Question 8:

What are the disadvantages/advantages to building accessibility into a project?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Google Word Verification Accessibility Petition

The Blind Access Journal have started a petition to make their word verification feature accessible.

You can sign the petition here and you can read the press release to find out more about the petition.