Joint meeting of Boston-IA and the Boston Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) on April 27, 2005 (Part 2 of 4).
Barbara Casaly talked about her work on a team of people developing web accessibility standards for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Mass.gov).
This article is divided into the following sections:
Barbara started with a challenge: Open your browser; turn off formatting, style sheets, colors, fonts; turn on accessibility options; and see what happens. Some Web pages may become cryptic and confusing. Other pages continue to be understandable and provide useful information. The Boston-IA.org site will meet the challenge, but many other sites will not.
Barbara recommended going to Google and searching for "accessibility". Follow the links she said. See what you find. Think about what you're learning. She commented that she assigned herself this task when she accepted the invitation to work on a project for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. So, she summarized, I've been learning about accessibility for a very short period of time. She felt that her eyes have been opened.
Barbara distributed a one-page handout, which I'm going to paraphrase and offer here because you too can be learning more.
For this exercise, you need to use Internet Explorer (IE) on a Windows platform. If you use another system, the following instructions may not apply.
To configure IE without all the bells-and-whistles and so you can view accessible Web pages:
Now you're ready to start disabling. Disable formatting and style sheets in Internet Explorer:
You're still with me? Turn off images and turn on complete ALT text in Internet Explorer:
The following is a list of Barbara-discovered Web sites. With some of the sites, Barbara identifies notable accessibility features.
© 2005 Bill Gruener. All rights reserved.