Inclusive New Media Design

including people with intellectual disabilities in the WWW

Posts Tagged ‘accessibility’

Nothing about accessibility at AnEventApart 2009?

I recently attended new-window-brown-miniAnEventApart (AEA) in Chicago. AEA, spin-off of new-window-brown-mini AListApart (‘for people who make websites’) and baby of the two founding fathers / gods / gurus of standards-based web design, new-window-brown-mini Jeffrey Zeldman and new-window-brown-mini Eric Meyer, fields a higher class speaker than your average web design event. This year’s bunch included Zeldman and Meyer themselves, and others known to have something of substance to say, like new-window-brown-mini Andy Clarke and new-window-brown-mini Dan Cederholm. Lesser known but nonetheless making an impact were new-window-brown-mini Whitney Hess on users,
new-window-brown-mini Kristina Halvorson on content, and new-window-brown-mini Luke Wroblewski’s entertaining and eye-opening talk on the many, many, many things you can get wrong in web form design.

No session on accessibility, though.


Helen Kennedy, 15/10/2009
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What did we find out on INMD?

You can download a summary or full version of our INMD report as pdf files by clicking on the links below. Below them is a summary of what we found.

summary of INMD report

full INMD report

As a result of engaging in INMD, all participants took action in relation to ID inclusion, passed on what they had learnt to others, or planned future action. The kinds of action taken include: adapting use of imagery to support text; using large fonts and simple text; re-checking previous work for ID accessibility; passing on information at work, or through blogs. Thus INMD succeeded in contributing to the inclusion of people with ID in the WWW, but mainly for people at the mild end of the ID spectrum. Participants recognized that adaptations for this audience – such as simple text, nice graphics, simple choices and a clear message – could widen and benefit all audiences. In contrast, accessibility measures for people with severe or profound ID may be intrusive to non-disabled audiences. Consequently, participants acknowledged that it would be less likely that they would attend to these audiences’ needs in their future work.


Helen Kennedy, 04/10/2009
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Information about accessibility

There is lots of information on the web about making accessible websites. We list some of it in this section.

There are also lots of technologies which can help people with disabilities use the web. There is information about some of them in this section, especially those which are made for people with intellectual disabilities.

You can find out about how to make websites that work for everyone, including people with disabilities, at the websites listed below.

Web Accessibility Initiative

The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative works with a number of organisations and through public contribution to develop guidelines and resources aiming to make the Web accessible to most disabled people. The current reference guidelines remain 1999’s WCAG 1.0, however work is drawing towards completion on a revised set of guidelines (WCAG 2.0) which are currently available in working draft form. In addition to content guidelines for Web developers, WAI also produces guidance for the developers of user agents, authoring tools and in relation to the development and implementation of rich media and dynamic Internet applications.


WebAIM provide Web accessibility guidance, training, and tools. Their site contains a considerable collection of excellent free tools and guidance. The site is also an excellent source of up to the minute information and external accessibility links.

Adobe Accessibility Resource Centre

This section of the Adobe site details techniques which enable the creation of accessible PDF documents and sets out a framework to approach accessible design using Adobe Flash.

RNIB Web Access Centre

The RNIB’s Web Access Centre website provides considerable Web accessibility guidance with particular, though far from exclusive, focus on the needs of the visually impaired audience.

Juicy Studio

Juicy Studio is the UK website of accessibility consultant, Gez Lemon. The blog style site provides a great deal of independent Web accessibility guidance, debate and reference materials.

Mencap – Accessibility Guidelines

Mencap are the largest UK charity concerned with the needs of people with intellectual disabilities (they use the term learning disabilities). Mencap produce guidelines in PDF format entitled “Making your website accessible for people with a learning disability” which can be found in the new-window-blu-mini resources relating to learning disablility section.

Jim Thatcher

Jim Thatcher is an accessibility consultant, developer and author with a long history in accessibility, having developed one of the first screen reader applications for IBM way back in the mid 1980s. His site provides excellent reference materials, example techniques and summaries of accessibility guidance.


UIAccess is the homepage of Shawn Lawton Henry (Outreach Coordinator of the WAI) the focus of the main site is user interface design and usability. Thanks to industry sponsorship, the site also hosts an online copy of Shawn’s latest book new-window-blu-mini Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design.


Accessify is a UK site dedicated to Web accessibility which offers free tools, accessibility guidance and a regularly updated news blog.

456 Berea St

456 Berea St is the busy and vibrant blog of Swedish Web developer, Roger Johansson. The blog is an excellent and well maintained source covering web standards, accessibility and more…

Helen Kennedy, 26/09/2009
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