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Georgia Tech hacking Accessibility


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Georgia Tech hacking Accessibility

  1. 1. Accessibility Hacking Christian Heilmann | | Georgia, Atlanta, US, Hack-U Georgia Tech, March 2009
  2. 2. What is accessibility?
  3. 3. To find this out, let’s start with an expert.
  4. 4. Sir Isaac Newton
  5. 5. Portrait of Isaac Newton
  6. 6. Picture of an apple
  7. 7. Right now, we have quite a big mass of people who care and talk about accessibility.
  8. 8. we access
  9. 9. The problem is that a mass is not a force without any movement or acceleration.
  10. 10. we access F = ma “the net force on an object is equal to the mass of the object multiplied by its acceleration.”
  11. 11. This means that if we give this mass a push, it becomes a force.
  12. 12. we access
  13. 13. The more we push, the larger the force will get, and the bigger its impact will be.
  14. 14. we access
  15. 15. However, this only works, when we all push in the same direction.
  16. 16. we access
  17. 17. Otherwise, all we do is exert our strength pushing against each other.
  18. 18. We do move the mass, but only randomly, and eventually it might get motion sick.
  19. 19. This is where web accessibility is right now.
  20. 20. A lot of people are simply getting sick of the inertia.
  21. 21. Accessibility supporters are getting sick of things not moving forward.
  22. 22. People seem to be more interested in checking boxes than removing barriers.
  23. 23. Developers get sick of having accessibility as a show stopper.
  24. 24. Developers are getting sick of being told off for not following guidelines that don’t seem to make sense.
  25. 25. However, we all are ready for action.
  26. 26. Accessibility supporters are happy to tell people about the impact of bad usability or technical assumptions.
  27. 27. Developers are happy to spend hours on solving problems...
  28. 28. ...right now mostly problems they came up with themselves.
  29. 29. So what we are really facing here is a breakdown of communication.
  30. 30. Accessibility is about removing barriers.
  31. 31. The web is there for everybody, regardless of physical condition, location, or technical setup.
  32. 32. When building web products people keep forgetting this.
  33. 33. And if they consider it, then we add extras to make things accessible and look, err, interesting.
  34. 34.
  35. 35. Put down Frontpage and step away from the internets, sir.
  36. 36. Accessibility is not about building extra solutions for users with disabilities.
  37. 37. It is about seeing disabilities as an hard core test case for our products.
  38. 38. Making our products free of barriers improves the experience for all users.
  39. 39. Sometimes this is as easy as rethinking a solution and getting back to basics.
  40. 40.
  41. 41.
  42. 42. u#from=USD;to=EUR;amt=1
  43. 43. 2009/01/accessible_converter.html
  44. 44. Three things make a really accessible solution:
  45. 45. Knowledge about the barriers.
  46. 46. A drive to make it a great experience for everyone.
  47. 47. Being open to find consensus.
  48. 48. Let’s take a tough nut to crack.
  49. 49. A friend of mine works for a charity of people with learning disabilities.
  50. 50. She tried in vain to find a video player that works for the people she cares for.
  51. 51. Until she found me and I found the YouTube API:
  52. 52. Easy YouTube.
  53. 53. Screenshot of Easy YouTube
  54. 54. Easy controls ★ Option to search for videos ★ Copy and paste video URL to share ★ Select video size ★ Easy Volume Control ★ Option to show a playlist created with ★ Option to search YouTube ★ API to automatically open videos in Easy YouTube ★ Documentation how to host it yourself ★ Open Source ★
  55. 55. That’ll never make it to the mainstream, though...
  56. 56. Or will it?
  57. 57. Screenshots of with and without JavaScript
  58. 58. I earlier used the YouTube API to build easy captioning interfaces.
  59. 59. I also used the YouTube API earlier to build easy captioning interfaces.
  60. 60. Which inspired others to hack their annotations API:
  61. 61.
  62. 62. And again others to build a whole web app about it:
  63. 63.
  64. 64. and maybe, just maybe YouTube to now offer it aswell... (yeah, I don’t believe it myself either)
  65. 65. The main trick is to make Flash and JavaScript talk via APIs.
  66. 66. Flash accessibility is much harder than just making the movie keyboard accessible.
  67. 67. The big issue is that especially in Firefox you cannot focus the Flash movie with the keyboard.
  68. 68. Flash, however, can talk to JavaScript and get parameters.
  69. 69. If you build your Flash component to call outside JavaScripts notifying them about the happenings, sky is the limit.
  70. 70. If you write out your Flash using SWFObject, you can send any parameter you want.
  71. 71. But what if you don’t have a Flash developer or you don’t have time and money to build your own player?
  72. 72. This is where geeks come in.
  73. 73. Geeks like Scott Schiller
  74. 74. Photo of Scott Schiller
  75. 75. Scott works for Flickr, so naturally he’d spend his free time on...
  76. 76. ...writing an MP3 player for JavaScript.
  77. 77. Using his Soundmanager2, you can create a player for a list of MP3s you link to in HTML.
  78. 78.
  79. 79.
  80. 80.
  81. 81. Other geeks found this, and started to mix it with transcripts of music to create a Karaoke machine..
  82. 82.–05–18.javascript-karaoke-lyric-scroller.html
  83. 83. Seemingly pointless bells and whistles...
  84. 84. ... but using this you could build a podcast and transcript viewer that works...
  85. 85. ... for sensory impaired visitors and everybody else alike!
  86. 86. For video, there’s Jeroen Wijering who built the JW FLV Media Player.
  87. 87. Screenshot of the JW Video Player
  88. 88. Using this, you can embed FLV videos easily into web sites and have an API to control them.
  89. 89. Using the right meta data, you can also add audio descriptions and captions.
  90. 90. Screenshot of the JW player with captioning and audio description showing a scene from Coronation Street.
  91. 91. Another area we are seeing some tweaking in is browser and software extensions.
  92. 92. AxsJax or Access-enabling Ajax is a JavaScript library that injects ARIA attributes into web sites.
  93. 93.
  94. 94. WebVisum is a Firefox 3 extension that crowdsources fixes for web sites – including allowing screenreader users to fix issues themselves and work around CAPTCHAs.
  95. 95.
  96. 96. IBM’s social accessibility project works in a similar fashion, except it is a screen reader extension that reports barriers to volunteers to fix.
  97. 97.
  98. 98. The final proof for me that we can work together on removing barriers was throwing the idea out at BBC’s Mashed08 hack day.
  99. 99. Photo of me and screenshot of the “Easy BBC Audio Archive”
  100. 100. I won a prize – funding for my own hack event.
  101. 101. On the 19th and 20th of September 2008, around a 100 people listened to 6 speakers...
  102. 102. ... speakers with different barriers to the web or researchers that spoke for people with barriers.
  103. 103. On the second day about 30 hackers took these insights and built solutions that work around these barriers.
  104. 104. We now have presentations on the barriers faced by the blind, dyslexic, learning disabled, the impacts of MS and and and...
  105. 105. The videos of these talks are now being transcribed and will be online soon.
  106. 106. We have hacks working around these issues.
  107. 107. Easy Google Maps Reduce to the max Easy Audio Books Stylesheet Selector Accessible Editing ...
  108. 108. The energy at the event was amazing.
  109. 109. For *nearly 10 hours* we presented and discussed in Q&A sessions on day one.
  110. 110. Hackers didn’t bother with presenting and competing with their hacks from 4–5pm as intended...
  111. 111. ... but instead stayed till 7.30pm and kept hacking until we had to leave the building!
  112. 112. But the best thing of all is seeing what your hack enables people to do.
  113. 113.
  114. 114. So instead of building the next “photos on a map with search results and videos on top” hack...
  115. 115. Have a look at what keeps people from enjoying the web because of their physical condition.
  116. 116. And remove that barrier!
  117. 117. THANKS! Keep in touch: Christian Heilmann