Fix the Web

Harnessing the power of networks to make the web accessible for everyone.

Archive for the ‘e-Inclusion’ Category

User experiences

Posted by gailbradbrook on May 11, 2010

Robin Christopherson (Head of Web Accessibility) at AbilityNet told me today that 45% of web access issues for disabled users (in research for DRC 2004) were not violations of an (earlier) standard.

From many “experts” I’m hearing that the user voice is key.

There is a useful clip on you-tube to give some insight:

And I’ve begun asking some disabled people to give specific feedback on sites they encounter to give a sample of examples.

I’m working this into a “roadmap” to map out ways forwards for Fix the Web.. there are lots of potential. It’s essentially about asking good questions and understanding how you get good answers the numbers of interested people is growing with some brilliant complementary expertise. Quite exciting!

It seems that the “cake” of Fix the Web may be about creating a simpler process for disabled users to report issues, which could then be owned and processed by a cadre of volunteers. This could mean disabled people report more issues but don’t have to deal with the process. The volunteers would have their knowledge improved as would the people (web developers / site owners essentially) that they report back to. But the effort is taken away from disabled people.

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Who is responsible for what?!

Posted by gailbradbrook on March 9, 2010

Confused people around a computerI’m in the middle of frustration, with that powerless feeling of waiting and hoping for help (a familiar old feeling- I did some Fortran programming about 15 years ago and wasn’t very good!)

I’m trying to install a “theme” (background for this blog) which is accessible and came across : “If you’re looking for a powerful, dynamic WordPress blog theme that’s accessible, usable, solidly-built to high standards, and attractive, you’ve come to the right place”.

Citizens Online think about the 13 million UK adults who aren’t online. They are generally older and / or people with low skills, low income, less educated. We are also thinking about offliners who are injured, ill or disabled and those who are online but struggling with e-accessibility.

If I can’t figure this out how can we expect these groups to join the growing numbers of social media users? If they do join, are they inevitably going to add to the inaccessible or less accessible content that is out there?

Beyond my immediate questions of why isn’t this installation process working on my computer… I’m wondering who is really responsible for e-accessibility in our networked world?

There are the standards agreed at international level, there are the national laws like DDA in the UK, there is pressure on big companies, there is guidance for web developers and government and NGO’s trying to spread that.

A new contact asked me the following:

“Do you have a target in terms of ‘bare minimums’ and ‘acceptable levels’, maybe in a simple ‘easy’ guide for would-be web developers? I’d be interested in getting our group to help put this together”

thanks for the offer!

I think some of that exists but I wonder if a next good step is to define the list of Internet stakeholders and be clear about who is responsible for what.

So what should I, as a novice to social media know and undertake to do? My one (pathetic) piece of info here is to put at Alt tag on my photos. What else should I know? Should I have to go through a palaver to get an Accessible theme? Shouldn’t that be something WordPress have sorted?Confused people around a computer

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