Monday, September 19, 2005

Blog spam

We seem to be suffering from an influx of blog spam at the moment, so if you see any exotic enticements please bear in mind that they might not be totally above board.

This has actually highlighted an accessibility problem on Blogger. To reduce the chances of blog spam, we could turn on Blogger's "Word Verification" feature - a friendler name for the CAPTCHA challenge and response test.

Verifying a comment on BloggerThis means that people have to type in text from a picture in order to prove that they're not a machine. However, there's no accessible alternative. If you can't see the image, you can't prove you're a person.

Hmmm.... What do you think about this?

Accessibility and the e-Government Interoperability Framework

For those of you developing websites for the UK public sector, you may or may not know that there are specific standards you are expected to meet under the e-Government Interoperability Framework (e-GIF), such as using particular image formats, using certain metadata elements, and so on.

The Technical Standards Catalogue of the e-GIF lists those standards, and the latest version (v6.2) now includes a section specifically for accessibility and usability.

One thing developers should be aware of is that the e-GIF is now recommending that government websites meet Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0.

(The Technical Standards Catalogue has also included the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 "for future consideration".)

What do developers think about this? Is it easier to comply with these requirements when producing static pages? How does this affect your content management systems?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Accessibility Strategy Event

Stuart Smith at Manchester University is running an event at cafe Muse tomorrow (Wednesday 14th)

Forthcoming Events

The next two events will be at the MDDA premises in Central Manchester on Tuesday 11th October and Wednesday 23rd November.

The October event will be blessed with a presentation from Dr David Kreps on accessibility and data tables (I think). We're also going to nerd out a bit more. This event is going to be a live clinic. Previous sessions have switched people on to the necessity of accessibility. This time, I'm hoping were going to demonstrate some tricks of the trade. We want you to bring along some real world problems you're labouring with right now. We're putting together a panel of experts (Volunteers please!) and we'll get them to sort out your problems as best they can. So start thinking about the issues you have and where not commercially sensitive, bring them along to the meeting.

If you want to attend, please let me know via

The meeting in November we're going to skew to commercial considerations. How do you sell accessibilty to your clients? You can only deliver what the client specifies and pays for. Ideas on presentations and speakers on a postcard please.

And a last point, the nominated pub is the Pitcher and Piano by the Bridgewater Hall.

NLB Event Tells It Like It Is

First of all many thanks to Carol Pollitt and the NLB for hosting the event. We got our hands on the kind of kit many of cannot afford to own. It becomes rather apparent that websites to standards is one thing but actually achieving meaningful accessibility can be something very diferent.

Once again, the turn out was excellent with delegates from around the North West including:

Vanilla Storm
and Sputnik Internet

Carol gave us a presentation which I'm hoping to make available via the Blog. Very enlightening it is too.

We also did some live critique of brave souls websites . One of which was Fluid Creativity and it came out very well.

Any more thoughts on the event, stick them here