Posted by gailbradbrook on June 14, 2010
The idea of browser extensions seems a good way forward and I did a little bit of digging and in Firefox there is a function in Help called ‘Report a broken website’ and it includes an option on accessibility see http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/kb/New+Accessibility+features+in+Firefox+3#_quot_Report_a_broken_website_quot_tool_now_has_an_Accessibility_option .
What it does not explain is what happens to the report so I have put in a support question see http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/forum/1/694766? .
I think we would have to extend this function so that it was specific for accessibility, included the email address of the user and maybe had some basic tick boxes to define the type of problem. But in principle it shows that reports could be generated within a minute.
Posted in e-Accessibility, Uncategorized | Tagged: #fixtheweb, browser extensions, conference call | Leave a Comment »
Posted by gailbradbrook on May 18, 2010
The Employers Forum on Disability have set up the Business Task force on Accessible Technology. (Good for them!) I shall be asking if members of the team have techies they want to put forwards for Fix the Web.
Some useful collated stats from their information:
Despite the rapid advancements in technology, it remains unnecessarily difficult for employers to recruit and retain disabled people and do business with disabled customers.
• Between 15-18% of the worlds population has a disability.
• There are 10 million disabled people in the UK, with 6.9 million of working age –19 % of the working population.
• One third of 50-64 year olds are disabled; 70% of disabled people become disabled during their working lives.
• Disabled people have an estimated spending power of £80bn pa in UK alone.
• 14% of those working in small to medium sized UK companies have a disability.
A compelling business case
• Legal & General’s new accessible website increased online sales by 90%; saved £200k pa on site maintenance; and delivered 100% ROI in one year.
• Accessible web pages are up to 75% smaller than non-accessible pages, giving huge bandwidth savings and reducing infrastructure demands.
• Barrier free online recruitment opens the doors to the talent of an additional 1.3 million applicants in the UK alone.(McKinseys)
• 83% of disabled people ‘walk away’ from purchases because they feel unwelcome or the product or service offering is inaccessible. (EFD survey)
Posted in e-Accessibility | Tagged: Business Task force on accessible technology, e-accessibility figures, Employers forum on Disability | Leave a Comment »
Posted by gailbradbrook on April 30, 2010
Blogging Against Disablism Day
Kevin Carey (Chair, RNIB, Chair, humanity, Head eInclusion Consultancy, ATcare) gave a fantastic presentation this week at the first BIS hosted e-Accessibility Forum. It was a clear and succinct overview of how to ensure disabled people can be part of Digital Britain. It focused on market forces and legal aspects and had a focused approach to future proofing standards. It seemed to me the work of a genius, a person who surpasses probably everyone in the UK, if not Europe, in his depth and breadth of subject knowledge. (Please email me if you want a copy of the documents)
Apart from a few questions and comments on details I would say it was largely met by silence by those hosting the meeting. There was no response to say “we take what you say very seriously and here is how we are embedding it into our thinking”. It felt like box ticking (yes we “listened” to the blind guy who is an expert, wasn’t it a nice “thought provoking” piece, now let’s move on to tinkering at the edges of this agenda). I made an impassioned plea to build our action planning with Kevin’s thinking at the heart of it – more silence. These are civil servants with a job to do. I’ve been around that before, the job is to not do, except what is already happening, which is failing. And of course they are good people. Tired and pissed off though he must be, Kevin has this paper higher up the food chain and he is making progress (power to your elbow!).
Silence is one malevolent element of oppressive behavior. It is insidious and murderous. To an able bodied person, our silence can feel numb, meaning well, being polite. I apologize. I apologize for when I do this. It must be the creeping behavior that fills all the gaps around the blatant stuff, making one big package that could drive a person nuts.
When, as an able bodied person, you can meet your silence and be aware of it, you find that it contains deep, deep separation which is heart breaking. It is the removal of the core of our humanity. Its making us ill, its making sicken for that something in our lives which is crushing in its absence. How can we talk about things not being “possible” or “affordable” when they are everything that we need, when it is about meeting our hearts longing?
Posted in e-Accessibility, Uncategorized | Tagged: Blogging Against Disablism, Clicking, disability, Equality, Events | Leave a Comment »
Posted by gailbradbrook on March 10, 2010
I’m aware my last post- suggesting that some sites might be acceptably accessible, could be interpreted as another effort to get disabled people to put up with crap.
It was about not waiting to have accessibility “bestowed on us” by some higher authority with a fat cheque book and power.
Community and relationships and dialogue are not “clean” processes but when coming from a human place they will find their own way. The things that matter should get sorted. I don’t want us all to feel the e-access is something too big for us, something that’s just needs money. That seems to buy into all the separation and fear.
A big influence in my life has been Micheline Mason (www.michelinemason.com) campaigner for inclusion who described the efforts to fix the world to date, as like a big jigsaw puzzle being pieced together. We couldn’t get it finished because we missed out a key piece; we needed to start again- with inclusion as the central part.
“Inclusion is not an easy option. It is difficult because it requires people to examine their deepest held prejudices and fears; it asks people to learn new skills; it means people have to think creatively and design individual solutions for unique people; it means doing things differently and risking failure.”
And from her Poem “Beware the Baubles”
Put away your cheque books
Bring us in close to the beating pulse
Of shared messy, risky, noisy days
Where we all have complex needs
We will learn then all that matters
And so will you.
Posted in e-Accessibility, Uncategorized | Tagged: inclusion, Michelene Mason | Leave a Comment »
Posted by gailbradbrook on March 10, 2010
Last year I worked with the e-inclusion team at the EC and we discussed potential strategies going forward. It bothered me how little progress had been made on a “Riga target” that 100% of EC public sector websites should be e-accessible (at last measure it was 5%).
However I also wondered, as a currently able bodied person, what the access issues really feel like to a user who is ill, injured or disabled. There are those days when I feel like throwing my device out of the window (the i-phone app period tracker is worth thinking about guys, if you want to know if its really the technology – but I digress!). My experience of the internet and ICT is that its clunky, buggy, annoying and needs a good fix!
However, there is a certain amount of frustration I can put up with (generally!). I doubt its ever going to be perfect.
And then I’ve encountered, this may be a little controversial, a certain sense of elite around being an “accessible” website (don’t get me wrong, its great to encourage and reward best practice). But as a disabled user is it so impressive if a site is all singing and dancing but boring as hell?
My first wonder then, is what might be “acceptably” accessible and could de.li.cious be used for tagging reasonable sites (so for example a Man City fan (now there’s an impairment!) could tag the best of the bunch in fanzine sites).
There’s a few issues in that idea, but discussing it more widely uncovered tools like Web Visum and the idea of fixing en masse came into view. I wondered if the fixing needed to be done by the user facing problems, and indeed if it always could be. I have helped get http://www.IT4communities.org.uk off the ground, which now has over 6000 (UK) volunteers, so I know there is a good techy energy out there to be tapped into. Scripting Enabled events being another example.
We just have some stuff to figure out, what’s important, what technically possible, how to best present a process on a website and how to drive traffic there. We just need to get together and figure it out.
Posted in e-Accessibility | Tagged: Riga targets, Web fixing tools | Leave a Comment »