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Thread: The Need of Accessibility

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  1. #1
    WebProWorld MVP Webnauts's Avatar
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    The Need of Accessibility

    Have a look here, if you want to find out, why accessibility is needed.

    The Need of Accessibility
    Hidden Content Forensic SEO & Social Semantic Web Consultant | My personal blog Hidden Content

  2. #2
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    Couldn't agree more with this topic so I checked webproword.com for this issue and if failed to pass...On the other hand checked the article and it passed..
    Need to get IT working on their code webprworld needs some cleaning up to come into compliance...

  3. #3
    Senior Member bj's Avatar
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    Great article!

    One thing I might add. Currently here in the US it is "recommended" that all organizations that receive federal funding of any sort follow the Section 504 guidelines, which can be met by following section 508. If past behavior is to be repeated this usually precedes a guideline being made into a requirement. Not following the accessibility guidelines could at some near future point in time cost you your federal funding, and since no one likes being "under the gun" and stressed to get something done, wouldn't it make more sense to do it now and forego that possible future threat? This is already the law in Great Britain, Austria, and probably a few other countries. It will someday be the law in the US.

    Some additional links for anyone interested:

    Bobby Accessibility Tool
    Cynthia Says Portal
    Section 508
    Refreshing Regions
    The CSS-Discuss List
    Standards/CSS Friendly Web Applications

    Just for the record, my sites came up better than most, since they meet current web standards, but I still have a bit of work to do!

  4. #4
    Senior Member DrTandem1's Avatar
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    While I understand the goal of accessibility, it is not realistic. For instance, what if the person's disability is mental retardation? According to the guidelines, if the content is too difficult to comprehend for everyone, then it is inaccessible.

    In the physical world, we do similarly stupid things such as disabled parking spaces in front of gyms or bars. Why should bars even have parking lots? However, socialism is about spreading misery, not accessibility. As long as everything is inconvenient for everyone as possible, some people reason that we have an equitable society.

    Should web sites that deal with art (paintings) be forced to have their content accessible to the visually impaired? Should mountain tops be made wheelchair accessible for those who can't move their limbs?

    Obviously, if everyone had the same talents and skills, we could make equal accessibility a reality. That is not what equality is. All people are created equal in that they all have the same basic needs, not that they all achieve the same goals.

    Where we draw the lines of reason is very subjective.
    DrTandem's San Diego Web Page Design, drtandem.com

  5. #5

    Browsing from home, security settings degrade accessibility

    Just a small addition to the list of possible accessibility problems, mostly of technical nature:
    • Cookies disabled. So many online shops fail when user tries to place an order. Some are intelligent enough to notify about the problem. When shopping from security of my home, would I trust a merchant that has to stuff my computer with cookies at a cost of the order lost? Is that a secure place to buy from?
    • JavaScript. This is to add usability. If the feature is turned off in the browser for security reasons, the user should still be able to accomplish all the tasks. The http://www.national.org.nz/ is a home of one of two major political parties in New Zealand. While on the site, go to security settings in your browser, turn scripting off, refresh the page and see parts of it disappear. Very "professional"! And these guys are trying to persuade the public that they are taking our security seriously! How do I access their site from my home where my browser is secured?
    • Client side errors on. Many web developers have client side errors pop-up switched on. They are potential online customers more than anyone else. They also know that the secure sites do not have errors. Enable the client side errors notifications in your browser and try to use menu on the home page of the abovementioned website.
    • Slow connection or server. A lot has been said about that, but there is one aspect usually not mentioned. You start reading a web page, and out of sudden the text starts moving giving the space to images that keep being downloaded. Usually these poorly designed pages have plenty of images to annoy the user. Please remember that the transition of the images from your server to user's browser takes time, so let the browser know beforehand how much space to reserve for each image.
    • Pop-ups blocked. Nowadays the Pop-up blockers protect us from being assaulted while shopping from security of our homes. The pop-ups are blocked by Microsoft security roll-up, Google toolbar, etc. Still, there are many sites that rely on pop-ups to deliver core functionality. If I have to defend myself from your annoyances, do not expect me to buy from you?
    • Small screen. While there was an ease in web development when userís screens, even at home, were becoming larger and of higher resolution, nowadays we are back into age of small screens. The mobile devices currently canít have big screens due to their very nature. Whatever your targeted audience is, it is best to ensure that the user does not have to scroll horizontally. If you are selling cheap stuff, cater for users with cheap monitors and dial-up!
    homesecurity.net.nz - Hidden Content .

  6. #6
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    The main problems with accessibility are technical and non technical:

    1. It is the lack of understanding of web developers as to how to effectively make a website accessible or even the simple needs of disabled users.

    2. The propensity of web developers to develop web sites and not test them properly, by merely testing running them through an automated tool such as webxact whilst not checking them physically e.g. creating css styles that look good but a disabled user is unable to enlarge the text in the browser they are using.

    3. Probably the most important of all they don't test them on a variety of disabled users, on numerous occasions I have visited sites where text enlargement causes text to be unreadable.

    4. Maintaining accessibility, so many organisations build a site and think that's it all done and thats their responsibility done with . They start adding content via a content management system and within 6 months have a site claiming to be AAA rated but probably not even single A, this is a serious problem.

    We should also look at the economic benefits of accessibility:

    1. They have less maintenance costs per year.

    2. An accessible web site is faster loading and will save you money because you will use less bandwidth.

    3. Because they generally have simpler navigation they are easier to use and non disabled users prefer the simplicity and spend more.

    4. There is a huge potential market to be tapped in the UK alone it is estimated the disabled market is estimated to be worth £80 billion.

    5. We are living longer and have an increasing population of older over 50 web savvy users with their range of age induced disabilities.

    These benefits have been born out by companies such as Virgin which in the year after making their travel website more accessible their web generated profits rose by 68% to £62 million.
    Tesco (supermarket) in the year following making their site more accessible their profits rose by £13m and in customer surveys a majority of all users preferred the the simplicity of an accessible design.


    In the UK it is a legal requirement under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and 2005 but hardly anyone cares, and this is the biggest problem most companies choose to wait until they get threatened with legal action. We need to give them the message that it is a benefit to them not just another box they have to check.

  7. #7
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    one other thing

    Please change your text size to large in tools in internet explorer and you will see what I mean about css overiding accessibility

  8. #8
    Senior Member weslinda's Avatar
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    While I understand...

    I completely agree with the idea of making all web sites accessible. I completely disagree that it's a simple, or even realistic endeavor for all sites.

    Dependant upon what you are using for your E-commerce engine, or what "features" you'd like on your site, then accesibility is not a guarantee to all.

    Considering the low $$ that companies are interested in spending on their web sites, creating a site that is fully accesible would be a huge endeavor taking twice the time of a site not built to such a high standard.

    How can companies be convinced that it's in their interest to spend the $$ for this feature? If a site is simply an informative piece on bird watching, created by someone at home for fun, how is that person supposed to design a site that fits these standards?

    Lets not even get started on the Security thing. IF we really went down the road of "paranoia" that all things internet are bad, we all might as well go back to the library, get books, and enjoy lives without phones, cars, or computers. As people can tap your phone line, your car can be wrecked and tampered with, and of course, there are security issues with computers, but if you use your head, then life is not nearly as "insecure" as most people think.
    We offer a total eCommerce solution with Hidden Content

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by georgewv
    The main problems with accessibility are technical and non technical:

    1. It is the lack of understanding of web developers as to how to effectively make a website accessible or even the simple needs of disabled users.

    2. The propensity of web developers to develop web sites and not test them properly, by merely testing running them through an automated tool such as webxact whilst not checking them physically e.g. creating css styles that look good but a disabled user is unable to enlarge the text in the browser they are using.

    3. Probably the most important of all they don't test them on a variety of disabled users, on numerous occasions I have visited sites where text enlargement causes text to be unreadable.

    4. Maintaining accessibility, so many organisations build a site and think that's it all done and thats their responsibility done with . They start adding content via a content management system and within 6 months have a site claiming to be AAA rated but probably not even single A, this is a serious problem.

    We should also look at the economic benefits of accessibility:

    1. They have less maintenance costs per year.

    2. An accessible web site is faster loading and will save you money because you will use less bandwidth.

    3. Because they generally have simpler navigation they are easier to use and non disabled users prefer the simplicity and spend more.

    4. There is a huge potential market to be tapped in the UK alone it is estimated the disabled market is estimated to be worth £80 billion.

    5. We are living longer and have an increasing population of older over 50 web savvy users with their range of age induced disabilities.

    These benefits have been born out by companies such as Virgin which in the year after making their travel website more accessible their web generated profits rose by 68% to £62 million.
    Tesco (supermarket) in the year following making their site more accessible their profits rose by £13m and in customer surveys a majority of all users preferred the the simplicity of an accessible design.


    In the UK it is a legal requirement under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and 2005 but hardly anyone cares, and this is the biggest problem most companies choose to wait until they get threatened with legal action. We need to give them the message that it is a benefit to them not just another box they have to check.
    George

    You wrote what I was going to.
    To deliver an accessible website, you have to be good at what you do. There's nothing wrong with that. We should aim for higher standards in our trade. The client should also understand that the disbaled market has money to spend. Taking the daft example above, visual impairment is just about being blind, it's degrees of blindness. Comercially, blind people have sighted friends and maybe, just maybe they might want to buy them a piece of art.


    Anyone with any interest in PAS 78 or in the North West of England who wants a little more understandingof the subject, try this

    Manchester Digital Accessibility Working Group

  10. #10
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    weslinda wrote:

    I completely agree with the idea of making all web sites accessible. I completely disagree that it's a simple, or even realistic endeavor for all sites.

    Dependant upon what you are using for your E-commerce engine, or what "features" you'd like on your site, then accesibility is not a guarantee to all.

    Considering the low $$ that companies are interested in spending on their web sites, creating a site that is fully accesible would be a huge endeavor taking twice the time of a site not built to such a high standard.

    How can companies be convinced that it's in their interest to spend the $$ for this feature? If a site is simply an informative piece on bird watching, created by someone at home for fun, how is that person supposed to design a site that fits these standards?

    Lets not even get started on the Security thing. IF we really went down the road of "paranoia" that all things internet are bad, we all might as well go back to the library, get books, and enjoy lives without phones, cars, or computers. As people can tap your phone line, your car can be wrecked and tampered with, and of course, there are security issues with computers, but if you use your head, then life is not nearly as "insecure" as most people think.


    I am sorry but you are wrong, we have developed an eccommerce shopping cart and content management system that not only meet the minimum standards but exceed them and give equality to disabled users.
    There is no compromise with design or security.

    Companies WILL buy into this because in the UK we can see the marketable value of sensible political correctness, lets face it ISO standards are little more and look at their success.

    All these arguments about why we won't ever make sites accessible because you can't have a website that is accessible to all possible disabilities is a stupid one. To say you won't make sites accessible to the majority of disabled people because you can't find a solution to some types of disability is daft!!

    We are about 2 weeks away from completion of the initial version of the software and we are still working on validation, but I would welcome your comments. (We still have to have this product tested)

    http://217.72.191.6/

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