Archive for June, 2007

2007 Jodi awards announced

June 19, 2007

this years awards for accessible Webistes and services among museums and libraries given by the MLA are out. see the announcement and list of winners here


Web 2 technologies cut accessibility by 40%

June 14, 2007

That is the shocking headline from this BBC report can it really be that bad? given that various reports over tee years have put the number of sites correctly implementing WCAG1 level AA at about 10%, does a 40% reduction now mean that those dependant on access technologies should now expect to access only 6 in a hundred Websites? well if it does then it’s still 50% more accessible websites than books (4% of books produced in accessible formats) but of course it doesn’t mean that. What it means is that people like me will be spending even longer on sites looking for information before either succeeding or giving up, or that we will have to spend longer searching for an accessible source of the information we are looking for, or more likely that we will find what we are looking for but won’t know it because we aren’t alerted to page content refreshes. and it’s not just access to information, it is also about having a voice. the in pact of web2 on access to information is nothing compared to the complexities of contributing to teh ‘social’ side of the Web. Commenting on Blogg posts, contributing to Wikis and participating in interpersonal activities are among the most challenging online tasks. largely however it isn’t the so-called Web2 technoligy which is the issue, it is the Web 1 elements which are put infront of the interactive elements in the name of for example security. See for example my recent posting re the use of CAPTCHURs by Blogger.

Flicr automaticly adds title and description to images

June 8, 2007

About to leave the office so not had time to follow this one through but justed spotted this report that Flicr now automaticly adds titles and descriptions to images uploaded – obviously significant accessibility applications for this technology if it works in the way that the headline implies here's the story

WCAG Samurai released

June 8, 2007

so, the WCAG Samurai is out. Put together by an unknown number of annonymous persons championed by (and who knows, maybe soully) Joe Clark the Samurai is an errata to the Web content accessibility guidelines version 1 bringing them up to date and making them fit for purpose in 2007. the Samurai is not a WCAG version 1.5 but rather a series of corrections and modifications which the author(s) believe will help iron out accessibility issues which continue to be propigated even with implementation of version 1.0. Both independant peer reviews, undertaken by John Sampson-Wild and Alastair Campbell suggest that this is likely to muddy the waters further and that the Samurai might be easier to interpret and implement if it were in the form of a WCAG update rather than list of corrections and modifications and I am enclined to agree. While the current Errata is a valuable point of reference implementation is complex and would be simplified by a WCAG Samurai content accessibility guideline.

More of an issue though is a direct comparison with the re worked WCAG 2.0 working draft. Working as I do in the public sector and setting benchmarks for commercial enterties to work to I have to ask myself which will our stakeholders

  1. find most palatable,
  2. be able to work with,
  3. and which will benefit end users more – if either.

What’s more, can it ever be acceptible for government money to be spent on holding industry accountable to a standard to which we nor they have no opportunity to input, and for which there is in turn no accountability.

difficult questions indeed.

adjustments were not enough

June 8, 2007

That was the decision of the apeal in the case of SamLatif versus PMI in regard to PMIs failure to make reasonable adjustments to accomedate a disabled candidate in assessment for a professional qualification. see the finding reported here and the original case report here This is a positive day for establishing the applicability of the DDA to education, Technology and assessment. Having read around the case a little to my mind it says more about exam and assessment arrangements than learning resources but is nevertheless valuable. Learning resources was an element of the course with which Sam struggled but it was not at the core of the case in question.

Books for all report

June 7, 2007

On Tuesday the Scottish Executive posted a report titled Books for All: Accessible curriculum materials for pupils with additional support needs to its website.

The report is the outcome of a project funded by Scottish Executive Education Department and carried out by the Communication Aids for Language and Learning
(CALL Centre) at the University of Edinburgh. It considers:

  • The numbers of pupils with literacy support needs in Scotland.

  • What learning materials are required in alternative formats.

  • Which alternative formats would benefit pupils with literacy difficulties.

  • What benefits are achieved by having learning materials in alternative formats.

  • Issues of equity and provisions under copyright exemption legislation.

  • how accessible materials might be made more widely available.

  • the duties of responsible bodies such as local authorities

  • and what steps should be taken to address these issues.

The report will also be available
from CALL’s Books for All web site at

Blooming Blogger and the infamous Capcha accessibility workaround

June 7, 2007

I just tried to post a comment on a colleagues Blogger Blog and was brought stumbling to my knees by their overly complex use of CAPTCHAs. See a run down of the issue and some good and bad examples here.