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Proceedings of the 2004 International Cross-Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility (W4A)

Fullname:Proceedings of the 2004 international cross-disciplinary workshop on Web accessibility (W4A)
Note:Accessible Layout - The Tension Between Accessibility and Visual Design
Editors:Simon Harper; Yeliz Yesilada; Carole Goble
Location:New York, New York
Dates:2004-May-18
Publisher:ACM
Standard No:ISBN 1-58113-903-9; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: W4A04
Papers:9
Pages:73
Links:Conference Home Page
  1. Accessibility
  2. Design
  3. Guidelines

Accessibility

The user experience: designs and adaptations BIBAFull-Text 1-11
  Vicki L. Hanson
Specifications for accessibility of Web pages do not necessarily guarantee a usable or satisfying Web experience for persons with disabilities. The needs of many of these individuals fall outside guidelines for accessible content. Many of these users, for example, wish that they simply could "enlarge" what is on a Web page. They also express the wish that pages would be "less confusing". To meet these needs, Web browsers and various software applications provide for a variety of ways in which page presentations can be altered. The effects of these alterations often have unexpected consequences. Some designs accommodate these alterations better than others. This paper discusses one such application that allows users to control features of Web page presentation and explores design features that facilitate such control.
Tension, what tension?: Website accessibility and visual design BIBAFull-Text 13-18
  Helen Petrie; Fraser Hamilton; Neil King
There appears to be a widespread belief within the web design community -- and possibly amongst website commissioners - that accessible sites cannot be visually pleasing. We present the results of accessibility testing of 100 websites with 51 disabled users that should dispel this belief. While there are aspects of accessibility that do affect visual design, such as visual structure, colour contrast and text size, these are aspects of design that can affect all users, not only disabled users. These design concerns must be considered if both the users' experience and business objectives are to be met.
A no-frills approach for accessible Web-based learning material BIBAFull-Text 19-27
  Valeria Mirabella; Stephen Kimani; Tiziana Catarci
Most of the efforts for supporting the preparation and deployment of accessible Web-based learning material propose guidelines that prevalently address technical accessibility issues. However, little or no consideration is given to the didactical experts, and thus their didactical experience, in the learning material development. Moreover, the aforementioned guidelines tend to provide high-level/generic indications on alternative forms of didactical content for equivalent access of the content. Nonetheless, the sole provision of equivalent forms does not guarantee the retention of desirable user interface aspects such as effectiveness and efficiency. While we do acknowledge the role of such guidelines, we do propose that the didactical experts be provided with a non-technical recourse that can enable them to contribute to the development process of accessible Web-based learning content. In particular, this work proposes tapping into the experience of the didactical experts by providing them with an avenue through which they can appropriately choose relevant and alternative didactical content toward developing and deploying accessible Web-based learning material.

Design

Accessibility and design: a failure of the imagination BIBAFull-Text 29-37
  Bob Regan
This paper examines the relationship between accessibility and design. Accessibility is often viewed as a limitation on creativity and design. Designers look at accessibility guidelines and see only restrictions against techniques upon which they have long relied. They look at sites that are meant to serve as models of accessibility and are appalled by the aesthetics. For most designers, accessibility equates with boring, uninteresting designs. The state of accessibility on the web today represents a failure of the imagination. Accessible sites don't have to be boring. Boring sites do not have to serve as models of accessibility. Perhaps one of the greatest limitations on accessibility today is the sites we hold up as models of accessibility ARE boring. We have yet to bring the power and creativity of the design community to bear on the challenge of accessibility. If accessibility is to truly become a part of mainstream best practice, designers should be inspired to create sites that meet the requirements of accessibility elegantly. The accessibility community needs to find ways to invite mainstream designers to meet the challenge of accessible design and cultivate innovation in design. This presentation looks at some of the most common challenges of accessible design. These include issues related to navigation, layout and typography. Examples of various strategies as well as common practices will be presented.
An accessible method of hiding HTML content BIBAFull-Text 39-43
  Paul Ryan Bohman; Shane Anderson
Though somewhat rare, there are occasions when the accessibility needs of screen reader users appear to be at odds with the needs of visual users. This kind of conflict occurs when Web developers put form elements inside of a data table matrix, when they want to use images as headings instead of text, and in other situations. Adding extra text helps screen reader users, but can complicate the visual layout, thus reducing understandability. One solution is to use CSS to hide the text from sighted users in a way that is still accessible to screen readers. The details of this technique are discussed, along with the technical reasoning behind it.
Proving the validity and accessibility of dynamic web-pages BIBAFull-Text 45-49
  R. G. Stone; J. Dhiensa
If a static web-page is checked for accessibility and passes then all is well. However checking the accessibility of the output from a dynamic (scripted) web-page is like testing a program to find errors. However many times a test succeeds it is always possible that the program will produce bad output next time. What is needed is something closer to a proof of correctness. This paper describes a first attempt to provide a proof of validity for dynamic web-pages which can be extended to a proof of accessibility.

Guidelines

Web accessibility highlights and trends BIBAFull-Text 51-55
  Judy Brewer
This article describes work of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It highlights recent developments, issues, and trends which can affect the progress of Web accessibility.
Designing search engine user interfaces for the visually impaired BIBAFull-Text 57-66
  Barbara Leporini; Patrizia Andronico; Marina Buzzi
Search engines are a fundamental tool for retrieving specific and appropriate information on the Internet; for this reason it is essential for any user to be able to interact with simple, clear and accessible interfaces. In this paper we describe the main design issues affecting the user interface of a search engine when a sightless user interacts by means of a screen reader or voice synthesizer. In particular, the most important differences between a visual layout and aural perception are discussed, in order to propose appropriate and specific guidelines for improving the design of search engine interfaces.
The semantic web, web accessibility, and device independence BIBAFull-Text 67-73
  Lisa Seeman
Over the past several years there has been a significant increase in awareness of the need for Web accessibility and development of policies relating to Web accessibility in Europe. Techniques for implementation have been standardized and benchmark guidelines (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines i.e. WCAG), recommended.
   However, as Web protocols and technologies emerge, new opportunities become available and it may be possible to open Web content to yet more people and to develop even more powerful accessibility solutions.
   New protocols and ingenuity could make it possible to encapsulate additional knowledge during the process of rendering content accessible, without necessarily adding more work for the original author.
   An implementation by UB Access is the Semantic Web Accessibility Platform (SWAP). SWAP is a semantic web, knowledge based approach to accessibility. SWAP creates alternative renderings of sites, or SWAPviews, which enable people with diverse special needs to smoothly and easily access the content.