Accessibility 2.0 conference. The agenda of the day was accessibility on the Internet in the ever changing world of rich media websites and social networking." />

Paul Sturgess

Accessibility 2.0

Recently myself and Robin attended the Accessibility 2.0 conference. The agenda of the day was accessibility on the Internet in the ever changing world of rich media websites and social networking.

On the whole everyone agrees the Internet is in a far better position than it was even just few years ago. The web standards movement to better structured HTML documents with symantec markup went a long way to achieving that.

However, the conference wasn’t about giving ourselves a pat on the back. Such is the fast pace of change on the web it is important that the accessibility message is not left behind the technology.

It was great to see such high profile speakers as Jeremy Keith (Clear left) and Steve Faulkner (creator of the web accessibility toolbar) and also representatives from Yahoo and the BBC.

The main point I took from the day was from Christian Heilmann who said that making your site accessible is not just about disabled users, it’s about making it more accessible for everyone.

Accessibility should always be a no brainer to sell.

He said that your budget would be better spent elsewhere than on specific widgets (e.g. text resizing) or alternative versions of your site. These types of solutions are often left behind as the site develops and are not maintained.

In anycase why should disabled users experience a boring version of the web?

I think he’s got a point.

Everyone benefits from accessibility.

Tags: accessibility, webstandards

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Comments: 2

Piers
commented on

thanks for the precis...

I guess that following the accessibility argument to its logical conclusion, the heart of accessibility lies in the message of the copy itself. Make sure your message is clear, well structured and easy to digest and the rest should follow on.

Gavin
commented on

Too true. An accessible site is a usable site. The efforts that you go to to help users with specific problems should and will be reaped by all. A decent tab index will help all savvy users and search engines, clear legible type will help get you message to all.

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