Design with Accessibility in Mind

I’m often asked to create the business case for building accessibility in to your web process. Most organizations are very responsive when I explain the benefits of universal design, the crossover between accessibility and usability, as well as accessibility and mobile design. By the time I explain the search engine optimization benefits, they are often salivating and ready to commit to accessibility. But, what happens when I’m working with a company that is inaccessible but already has decent SEO? I remind them that the litigation risks are real and the cost of retrofitting for accessibility is significantly higher than designing with accessibility in mind from the beginning. The thoughts I want etched into their minds are:

Equal Opportunity for Learning: Accessibility and Education

Today I read very powerful words about the right for everyone to have equal access to education from the U.S. Office of Civil Rights. If you are in edu, do all your students, regardless of disabilities, have equal access to course content? See what the Office of Civil Rights has to say: All school operations… Continue reading Equal Opportunity for Learning: Accessibility and Education

When Should You Invite tabindex to the Accessibility Party?

I am a minimalist. I believe that simple solutions are better. So, when it comes to tabindex, I rarely invite “him” to the accessibility party. Why? Because if you will just write the source code in the same order you need the items for the visual presentation, then tabindex is not necessary. But there are… Continue reading When Should You Invite tabindex to the Accessibility Party?

Web Sites Accessibility Evaluation Research

I’m excited to be part of a group of experts contributing to a research project by Nirmita Narasimhan on web site accessibility evaluation methods. Contributors to this research project include: Shadi Abou-Zahra (W3C) Srinivasu Chakravarthula (Yahoo! India) Glenda Sims (Deque) Neeta Verma (National Informatics Centre) To get the conversation started, Nirmita invited us all to… Continue reading Web Sites Accessibility Evaluation Research

Leslie Jensen-Inman is my Ada Lovelace 2010

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, an international day of blogging (videologging, podcasting, comic drawing etc.) to draw attention to the achievements of women in technology and science.

I am surrounded by women in technology that inspire me. When I paused to consider who to recognize as my Ada for 2010, I knew without a doubt, it was Leslie Jensen-Inman. Leslie’s developing a model web education program at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Her students, steeped in web standards and best practices, are already producing professional level work before they graduate. I’ve met and worked side-by-side with a number of her students and can testify that Leslie’s passion for creating beautiful and usable web sites has been ignited in each of them.

Knowbility Accessibility Conference: John Slatin AccessU May 10-12 2010

AccessU is Knowbility’s annual institute that provides two days of classes in how to make electronic information technology accessible to everyone – including people with disabilities. If you believe that the web should empower ALL people, if you need information about how to meet state and federal accessibility mandates, if you are a commercial web developer who wants to understand emerging best business practices for the web, AccessU is the place to be in May.

Join world renowned accessibility experts for two days of classes, many of them hands-on, to help you improve your skills and understand the both the need and the techniques for inclusive IT design. From the basics to the bleeding edge, AccessU will provide the resources you need.