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Archive for June, 2008

Opinion – Web Accessibility. Life In the Post-Guideline Age.

Joe Clark, the Canadian web accessibility expert, has said that he believes we now live in a post-guideline era.

What might Joe mean by this?

To date, talk about making websites usable by disabled people has usually featured the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Web Accessibility Guidelines as a key aspect. This is absolutely appropriate and remains the crucial foundation of every website.

Charity Embraces Social Networks And Second Life

A leading charity is using a wide range of social networking and multimedia sites – Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, YouTube and iTunesĀ  – to provide support and information to parents of disabled children and help them contact each other.

Contact a Family (, which runs a parent networking website called Making Contact (, says parents of disabled children often feel isolated because they don’t know anybody in the same situation. But mothers, who are often the primary carers for children with disabilities, are now among the biggest users of social networking sites, it says.

Major Employers Launch Accessibility Taskforce.

A taskforce to help businesses provide accessible technology to employees and customers has been launched by the UK’s Employers’ Forum on Disability (EFD –,a body whose members include some of the country’s largest corporations and public agencies.

The aim of the forum’s Business Taskforce on Accessible Technology is to “make accessibility and usability as fundamental to IT as security is now,” said Steve Lamey, Chief Operating Officer of HM Revenue & Customs and chair of the new group.

Organisation in the Spotlight – The Employers’ Forum on Disability: Blue Chip Access

By Dan Jellinek and James Scott.

The creation of the Employers’ Forum on Disability (EFD) Business Taskforce on Accessible Technology (see News, this issue) is a sign that the UK’s and the world’s largest companies and organisations are beginning to take accessibility seriously.

The taskforce aims to help global ICT suppliers and regulators understand what organisations need from IT products and standards if they are to employ and do business with disabled people.

Accessibility Deadlines Set For UK Government Websites.

All new UK public sector websites must conform to at least ‘AA’ accessibility standards as specified by the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, according to guidance published this month by the Cabinet Office.

Existing central government department websites must conform to ‘AA’ by December 2009 and all other government agencies and non- departmental bodies by March 2011, according to the guidance, ‘Delivering inclusive websites’ ( ).