digital media access group
...excellent accessibility research and consultancy
This is a archived version of the DMAG website, but the information remains for reference. Please visit the new website for updated information.
12 places to find out more about Accessibility
By David Sloan, published 9th February 2004, updated 22nd July.
We hope that you find our site a useful repository of information and advice on inclusive web design. Elsewhere, the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI, http://www.w3.org/WAI/ is the place to start - home of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. But if the W3C's unique style of writing is not to your taste, here are 12 (NB it started off as 10!) other web accessibility resources we think are particularly useful.
- 1. Accessify/Accessify Forum
- Accessify.com was launched in spring 2003 as a UK-based site providing a news,
advice and resource centre on web accessibility. It also has an excellent repository
of free tools to help check existing web resources for accessibility and develop new
accessible content. In parallel, the Accessify discussion forum has grown into perhaps
the most lively discussion group for all things accessibility-related. Between them,
the sites also provide links to other handy sites, including AccessibleNet.org,
a directory of accessibility resources.
- 2. Dive Into Accessibility
- Created by Mark Pilgrim, this site began as "30 Days to a More Accessible Web site",
and now exists as an on-line book, where specific accessible design issues and techniques
are described in turn. It's a great way to get started on why accessible design is important,
and what to do about it - it uses personas to describe accessible design techniques and their
impact on five fictitious characters, each with their own access requirements.
- 3. JoeClark.org
- Joe Clark is the author of a great book on web accessibility (Building Accessible Web Sites).
His sites may be personal and outspoken, but essential reading particularly if you're interested
in accessibility of multimedia, DVD, TV and cinema.
- 4. A List Apart
- If you're a web site designer and you care about aesthetics, creativity and following web standards,
you should already be reading this on-line collection of articles on how to implement standards-compliant
solutions to design issues. There's an increasingly useful collection of work on accessibility focussed issues,
again from a designer's perspective.
- 5. JimThatcher.com
- Jim Thatcher was part of the team that developed Home Page Reader, IBM's excellent speech browser;
he wrote the book Constructing Accessible Web Sites and now has a site devoted to accessibility. Some pages
form an online course in web accessibility; he also has incisive one-off articles such as a case study on How
Not To Do Accessibility:
- 6. WebAIM
- WebAim - Web Accessibility in Mind is a project based at Utah State University. It has an extensive
collection of articles, a discussion forum, some interesting simulations and is also home to the WAVE,
an extremely useful accessibility checking tool:
- 7. UK Web Access
- Martin Sloan's site concentrates on UK accessibility and legal issues. It provides comprehensive links to
disability related legislation and supporting documentation in the UK, Europe and beyond, plus links to
presentations and papers on the subject.
- 8. Jukka Korpela: Web authoring and surfing
- Jukka Korpela has a collection of extremely informative articles on writing effective Web content,
from advice for web design newcomers to in-depth articles for more advanced designers. He goes into some
depth on specific accessible design issues, including writing appropriate alternative text, link text
phrasing and implementation issues relating to access-keys.
- 9. Techdis Accessibility and Usability Resource
- Techdis is the UK's national service advising the Further and Higher education community on issues
relating to disability, accessibility and technology. Their Accessibility and Usability site provides
in-depth information on accessible design of educational web content, along with research findings and
tools for assessing accessibility.
- 10. Making Connections Unit (MCU)
- The Making Connections Unit (MCU) is run by Jim Byrne,
who's been promoting accessible web design for years. His site includes articles, points for debate and
discussion, and now his online book on Accessible Typography. Jim is also the driving force behind the Guild
of Accessible Web Designers (GAWDS), launched in December 2003.
And two recent additions:
- 11. Juicy Studio
- Juicy Studio is run by Gez Lemon as a web log and developer's resource, and has a growing collection of articles, discussions and other resources on topics relating to web accessibility.
Particularly useful is the Assistive Device Chart, outlining the behaviour of several common screen reading applications with respect to how they work with specific HTML and CSS features.
- 12. WATS.ca
- WATS.ca, full name Web Accessibility Testing and Services, is another excellent resource of article and thought points on in-depth web accessibility issues.
Topics addressed include keyboard shortcuts, the use of the link element to enhance page and site navigation, and the styling of link text.