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Archive for August, 2009

Time To Be Flexible

By Brian Kelly

To achieve universal accessibility for their web resources, surely all that organisations need do is implement the international Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) guidelines (in particular the WCAG guidelines for web content)?

Sadly the evidence, such as the recent Better Connected 2009 survey from the local government Society of IT Management
( http://fastlink.headstar.com/so6 ),
demonstrates that public sector organisations are failing to implement these guidelines. But rather than calling for a renewed effort to implement the WAI model, perhaps an alternative approach is needed: a move from web accessibility to web adaptability – such as the approach described in  a paper entitled ‘From Web accessibility to Web adaptability’
( http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a912788469 ),
which was published recently in the ‘Disability and Rehability: Assistive Technology’ journal.
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Survey Uncovers “Depressing Picture” For Employees

A low level of accessibility found in internal ICT systems for staff is creating a “depressing picture for employment of people with disabilities”, according to a new survey carried out in conjunction with E-Access Bulletin.

The research, conducted by Bloor Research with E-Access Bulletin and Ability Magazine, found private sector organisations have more accessible internal ICT systems than organisations in the public sector, with 44% of private sector companies surveyed having more than 70% of their internal systems accessible, compared with only 29% of public sector bodies surveyed.
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Application Opens Up Twitter To Disabled Users

Keyboard-accessible links, audio cues and simplified layouts are some of the features present in ‘Accessible Twitter’, a new application under development to make the popular microblogging service more accessible to disabled users.

Users sign in to the application
( http://www.accessibletwitter.com/ )
with their regular Twitter username and password and are then presented with a tweaked version of the service with improved usability and accessible alternatives to many features.

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Academic Urges Shift From Accessibility To ‘Adaptability’

An approach to improving web access for people with disabilities based on ‘adaptability’ rather than ‘accessibility’ is urged by a leading academic in this month’s E-Access Bulletin.

Brian Kelly, UK Web Focus at UKOLN, the national digital library research body based at the University of Bath, says ‘adaptability’ adopts the UN Convention’s view that disability results from the interaction between people with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their participation in society.
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