Blind leading the Blind

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Richard Fortune's (@iamkey) slides to accompany his talk on accessibility at the Wellington Web Design Meetup, 6th May 2010

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  • Plenty of examples of who need this – the obvious disabilities, the silver surfers, folk with RSI
  • WCAGs(Web Content Accessibility Guidelines)2.0 are the guidelines that the NZ government are referencing in their “technical” standards. Mention : P.O.U.R (perceivable operable, usable, robust)Mention: Discussing the standards with the governments web standards team re: policing, implementation & ongoing support.Problems: Government agencies trying to outsource the problem – Vendor companies caught in a situation where they are promising solutions to *all* when in reality there is only real value in some.
  • - Problems encountered by disabled/non-disabled people are usually assessed as distinct problem sets. - The Process for removing these problems is usually tackled by different individuals within an organisation. Development teams are implementing standards without really understanding the problems they are trying to fix Mention WCAGs personas
  • There is no substitute for human investment. Caveats – results from automatic tools always require review and interpretation. E.g There are on screen images that don’t require descriptions for screen readers, yet will choke your average automated accessibility checker.I repeat, There is no substitute for human investment. Use REAL people to test you product, people using the same tools they use on a day to day basis.
  • Blind leading the Blind

    1. 1. The blind leading the blind (leading the blind..)<br />designers should focus on creating products that meet the basic needs of all people rather than the desires of the affluent minority. - Victor Papanek.<br />Slides before 1st Section Divider<br />Background<br />A<br />Support Documents<br />Le Fin<br />Snake Oil<br />
    2. 2. The who in this particular story are those people amongst us who consume the web with the same intent as you and I, with the same goals and needs, but in that very same undertaking must first overcome a challenge you and I most likely do not face. These challenges come in the form of blindness, deafness, motor skills impairment and cognitive skill impairments. <br />What approach they take to this challenge obviously depends on the extent of their ability and sadly quite often, the amount of money they have to spend on support tools. In general the tools people with such impairments use are screens readers, screen magnifiers, in-built web browser helpers. <br />The where of this story takes place on everyday sites, information and commerce services you and I take for granted. I’m referring to sites such as TradeMe, Stuff, GoWellington, GrabaSeat, BBC, etc, etc. More specifically it starts at the interface between the web and whatever tools the aforementioned use.<br />/WhoWhatWhere?<br />
    3. 3. /When<br />When your government implements a policy where all public sector websites are obliged to adhere to accessibility standards then you know countries web strategy is heading in the right direction. Even if the ‘vehicle’ driving you seems to be powered by steam/hot air. <br />Whether its a public or private website doesn’t really change who will be consuming the service, we’re still going to have to build that accessibility ‘ramp’.<br />As web designers/developers we need to be thinking about accessibility long before potential clients come knocking on our doors. Relying on the government to provide the impetus for when, is too late. <br /> The design for that ramp comes in the form the WCAG2.0 guidelines. (Mandatory reading it seems, even if it takes 42 PgDowns to get to the end. Fear not, I’ve included a link to a shortlist in the Support documents slide)<br />WCAG: Pri1 = You must!<br />Pri 2 = You should!<br />Pri 3 = You meh! /(You may?)<br />
    4. 4. How we tackle this is up to you. The nature of the guidelines puts the onus on developers/designers to come up with the solutions. <br />/How? <br />
    5. 5. Snake Oil<br />pptPlex Section Divider<br />The slides after this divider will be grouped into a section and given the label you type above. Feel free to move this slide to any position in the deck.<br />
    6. 6.
    7. 7. Ouch Online magazine <br />Accessibility aids:<br /><ul><li>Text only version
    8. 8. Size & colour scheme toolbar</li></li></ul><li>Dive into Accessibility <br />A month of accessibility tips for you to follow and learn from. <br />
    9. 9. Support Documents<br />pptPlex Section Divider<br />The slides after this divider will be grouped into a section and given the label you type above. Feel free to move this slide to any position in the deck.<br />
    10. 10. /Support Documents<br />Reading that will get you there faster:<br />WCAG Shortlist - http://www.searchengineguide.com/ross-dunn/yahoo-raises-awareness-internet-access-f.php<br />WebAims WCAG2.0 Checklist - http://www.webaim.org/standards/wcag/checklist<br />RNIB - http://www.rnib.org.uk/professionals/webaccessibility/designbuild/Pages/design_build.aspx<br />Reference reading:<br />W3 introduction to Accessibility: http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/accessibility.php<br />WCAG 2.0 - http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/<br />WAI-ARIA, The Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite - http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/aria<br />Other references - Ones I probably intended to make?!<br />Online magazine about disability - http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/<br />Accessibility Basics - http://dev.opera.com/articles/view/25-accessibility-basics/<br />Accessibility issues caused by AJAX - <br />http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-accessibility/ajax-accessibility.shtml<br />
    11. 11. Tools I’ve used:<br />Wave accessibility toolbar – <br />W3C Validator<br />Open Wolf <br />Jaws<br />ACTF aDesigner<br />Firefox Accessibility Extension<br />Broad review of existing tools:<br />W3 feed listing tools -http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/tools/feed.rss<br />/Tools<br />
    12. 12. Background<br />pptPlex Section Divider<br />The slides after this divider will be grouped into a section and given the label you type above. Feel free to move this slide to any position in the deck.<br />
    13. 13. /Where to from here? - WWM Challenge<br /> From time to time we will all be asked to work on a site that “needs to be accessible” (fyi – all sites need to be accessible), before doing so I urge you to take the time to explain what accessible means to the customer before agreeing to rattle through the WCAGs Checkpoints. This will give you an idea of what works for them (Costs/Time are always a factor).<br />Rather, consider these challenges instead:<br />If you or your company doesn’t have an Accessibility Charter, establish one.<br />Implement one of the code solutions I’ve mentioned in the Snake oil section<br />Spend 1 day consuming the web using a Screen Reader or a similar access tool. ( better still document record your experience and share it with others.)<br />Invest the time in learning about accessibility as a discipline not as a checklist. <br />Talk to the RNZFB, let them help you.**<br />
    14. 14. Le Fin<br />pptPlex Section Divider<br />The slides after this divider will be grouped into a section and given the label you type above. Feel free to move this slide to any position in the deck.<br />
    15. 15. Recap on some points:<br /> - Accessibility is not a checklist.<br /> - The blind are leading the blind, we need to turn that around. <br />Please send me with any feedback you might have:<br />Richard.fortune@gmail.com or @iamkey (twitter)<br />/le fin<br />

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